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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 Paul Race for
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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:

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 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.

New for 2009! - Halloween Updates to 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.Update for October, 2009 - 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.

Click to see information, free projects, and buyer's guides for Halloween Trains and Towns.Update for September, 2009 - If you're planning to set up an indoor Halloween train or town this year, check out our Halloween Trains and Towns Primer page. This page is designed to answer questions about Halloween trains and villages, and to point to other articles for more information.

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:

  • Halloween Trains - an index of collectible trains and towns that will increase your October decorating fun.
  • Building a Vintage-Style Barn and Silo - this isn't technically a Spook HillTM project, but it looks great with the Spook HillTM structures or with many other kinds of trains and towns.
  • What You Need to Build Glitterhouses - lists resources that will help you build Spook HillTM structures as well.
  • Building Glitterhouse Bases - contains instructions that will help you build the bases for pastboard building projects, including the "Frost is on the Pumpkin" house and "Shakey Pane Manor."

Other Articles related to vintage pastboard houses include:

To Return to the BIG Indoor TrainsTM Primer Page, click here.Return to Big Indoor Trains<sup><small>TM</small></sup> primer page

Click to see Halloween Trains and Towns for your seasonal displays.

Click to see unique Disney Halloween village collectibles and more

The Munsters(TM) Express Halloween Train Collection

Universal Studios Monsters Express Halloween Electric Train Collection

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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 by Paul D. Race. Reuse or republication without prior written permission is specifically forbidden.
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