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Welcome to Spook Hill<sup><small>TM</small></sup>, a 100% original collection of craft projects for your Halloween trains and towns.Return to Big Indoor Trains<sup><small>TM</small></sup> primer pageOn30 Display Trains
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Written by Howard Lamey and Paul Race for
Big Indoor TrainsTM and LittleGlitterHouses.comTM
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Welcome to Spook HillTM

Imagine you've just boarded an old-fashioned train that has a lot of orange and black in its color scheme. There's something "unearthly" about the conductor and the other passengers. But the ride is smooth. Then you disembark at a Victorian station that seems just a little "dark." As you move around the town, you see that the houses seem a little "off-kilter," somehow - the walls aren't all quite straight, and doesn't that one house look rather like it's glaring at you? You sense that the residents of these houses may not be quite ordinary, either. You begin to wonder if this town is permanently stuck in October 31. There's no telling who - or what - might be lurking around the next corner.

Welcome to Spook HillTM, an entirely original way to bring seasonal charm to your home each October. Its name is inspired by an attraction in In Lake Wales, Florida - a stretch of road where you can put your car in neutral and it seems to coast uphill. Our Spook HillTM community comes from the mind of Howard Lamey, a retired designer who likes reproducing those vintage cardboard Christmas houses with celophane windows and holes in the back for Christmas lights. The Spook HillTM collection, though, celebrates a distinctly different holiday.

Depending on your color choices, many of these buildings would look good with any holiday village or O scale train, including:

  • Hawthorne VillageŽ Halloween trains and Villages
  • Bachmann On30 trains, and
  • "Christmas Villages," both the new ceramic and resin kind, and the original cardboard and celophane kind that Howard promotes in his web page.

Howard's Spook HillTM collection for 2008 is complete. If you start now, you can have a complete Spook HillTM village by Halloween. Each project features:

  • Lists of recommended tools and materials (Xacto knife, glue, acid-free paper, various kinds of cardboard, etc.)
  • Downloadable scale plans (in PDF and .jpg format)
  • Step by step instructions (with hints, tips, and options)
  • Links to other useful articles and resources.
In the meantime, if you want to visit Spook HillTM this October, please start saving cardboard now. This includes cereal boxes, the backs of writing tablets, corrugated box panels, anything flat, firm and clean, that you can save.

The following Spook HillTM projects are currently available. We already have three more projects on the drawing board for 2009, but if you get started early, you can have a nice Halloween community by this Halloween.

Click to see the Shakey Pane Manor project.
Click to see the Spook Hill<sup><small>TM</small></sup> Station project
Click to see the Spook Hill<sup><small>TM</small></sup> Water Tower project
Shakey Pane Manor - the first building specifically designed for our Spook HillTM collection. Spook HillTM Station - The first ever "putz house" model train station designed specifically for Halloween. Spook HillTM Water Tower - Any easy and unique structure to complement the Spook HillTM Station.
Click to see the Spook Hill<sup><small>TM</small></sup> Billboard project
click to see the 'Frost is on the Pumpkin' house project
Spook HillTM Billboards - The easiest Spook HillTM project to date - great for kids, works with almost any Halloween village. Howard's "The Frost is On the Pumpkin" project - the one that started it all.

Click to see our tinplate-inspired Halloween Storefront projece.Halloween Storefronts

Several years ago, Howard Lamey and Paul Race introduced a series of storefronts inspired by tinplate candy boxes of the early 1900s, many of which found their way to the train table once the candy was gone. In 2013, Paul introduced graphics you could use to produce Halloween-themed storefronts for your railroad or seasonal village. They are styled after the vintage lithographed toys and candyboxes, but they have unique colors and signage that will bring a bit of spooky cheer to your own little communities. Click on the picture to the right to go to the free downloadable graphics, plans, and instructions.

Halloween Options for Popular Projects

In 2009, Howard and Paul cooked up a number of projects based on early 1900s stamped metal buildings that were sold to go with tinplate trains (and in some cases, in Christmas villages). Then we figured out that at least two of these "Tribute to Tinplate(tm)" buildings would make great Halloween projects, simply by repurposing the graphics. We have also supplied new graphics for one of our Glitterhouse projects, to repurpose the "Picture Window House" for Halloween as well.

Click to see Vine Covered Tinplate-Inspired Cottage, with new Halloween graphics.
click to see the Jeckyll Park Station, a seasonal twist on a tinplate classic.
Click to see the Halloween-themed options for our 'Picture Window House.'
Click on the picture above to see our Vine-Covered Tinplate-Inspired Cottage, now with a Halloween graphic option. Jeckyll Park Station is the Halloween version of our Lewis Park station. Click on the picture above to see the Lewis Park station with new graphics for a Halloween version. Click to see the Halloween-themed options for our "Picture Window House."

Click to see building textures for Autumn or Halloween. - If you want to design your own buildings for a fall or Halloween village, check out this brand-new addition - roof and wall patterns for making your own seasonal structures. The Halloween and Fall Textures page includes brick, siding, and roofing tile patterns in colors that are ideal for fall decorating.

What if you like these structures but can't build them yourself even with our instructions? Howard has often been "commissioned" to design and or build vintage-style cardboard houses for collectors and fans of this delightful, but usually underrated art form. That's why he started his own web site, If you would like to ask Howard to bid on a project for you, or if you have any questions for Howard, stop by there and you'll find direct contact information. If you have any questions for Paul, use this link.

Finally, if you have a similar project you'd like to share with your fellow readers and hobbyists, let us know. We'd love to add it to one or both of our sites, and we'll be sure to give you full credit for your contribution.

Other Articles about Halloween houses, villages, and trains include:

Other Articles related to vintage pastboard houses include:

To Return to the HalloweenTrains.comTM Primer Page, click here.

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Note: Big Indoor TrainsTM, Big Train StoreTM, Family Garden TrainsTM, Big Christmas TrainsTM, Garden Train StoreTM, and Trains and TownsTM and HallowenTrains.comTM are trademarks of Breakthrough Communications ( Spook HillTM is a trademark of Howard Lamey. All information, data, text, and illustrations on this web site are Copyright (c) 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 by Paul D. Race. Reuse or republication without prior written permission is specifically forbidden.
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