Get to know…
On a full moon night, deep within the recesses of the brain a dream begins. This is no ordinary dream, nor is it a nightmare. It is a dream set free from the restrictions placed upon by those who are not willing to give into their imaginations. For it is the imagination of the soul that allows the dream to become a reality.
Welcome to the imagination of Spooky Hollow Experience…
Not too far in the past, the imagination was stifled. Could television be the reason for the suffocation of inspiration? What about movies with CGI, are they to blame? Perhaps it was society who demanded the suppression of the creative mind? Whatever the explanation may be, it did not extinguish the creative minds of the Artisans of Spooky Hollow Experience.
Spooky Hollow is the brain child of Gracie Quinn. Since she was nine-years-old, Gracie studied different modalities of art.
“I remember attending private art classes when I was quite young.” shares Gracie. “I was taught various techniques including light source, shading, and three dimensional drawing, as well as adverse effects. Through the years I learned a wide variety of modalities ranging from theatre, music, writing and various artistic mediums.”
Gracie currently works as a Musical Journalist. Working in Country Music, she spends her days interviewing entertainers while writing about their lives and recent projects.
“I have worked with some of the most incredible artists in my twenty-eight years in the music industry. I do not like to drop names because people tend to get jealous.” shares Gracie. “Nonetheless, the most fulfilling is the art I create for Spooky Hollow. I have several notebooks filled with ideas; many of which will never come to life because we no longer do a haunted house.”
“I grew up on a farm in Hudson. My parents always made Halloween special for us kids.” continues Gracie. “I remember the two times we went to haunted houses. One was located in the caves behind Casanova’s. It was so scary I could not even keep my eyes open while I walked through! Funny, how I hated them [haunted houses] but love to be on the creative side of them. As a child I was not allowed to purchase my costume. I was given permission to root around in my parent’s closet to create my own costume. I believe the act of creating my own costume made Halloween more enjoyable.”
“My parents were milking cows during the haunting hour so I only had a short window to do my trick-or-treating.” laughs Gracie. “One parent would drive my sister and I to four houses where we would obtains more than enough candy to last us almost through Christmas! The fun of it was showing off our costumes to our neighbors. To us, that was what Halloween was about; showing off our creative costume.”
In 1982, the United States endured the Halloween Candy Scare. It was reported that people were lacing Halloween candy with poison. Gracie’s parents forbid her and her sister from trick-or-treating. Nonetheless, her mother helped her and her sister to create their own haunted yard.
“It was wonderful!” tells Gracie. “I was dressed as a ghost with a white sheet. I danced around the yard as people drove into our driveway. Children were afraid to get out of their cars!” Gracie laughs at the memory. “We made little ghosts out of Kleenexes and tied them on strings. We also made a scary tape of sounds mixed with music. My sister sat under the deck playing the music and pulling the little ghosts across the deck to chase the kids. It was such a wonderful fun filled night!”
That night resided in Gracie’s mind throughout her life. When she and her husband Jack Rosenquist moved to Baldwin, she revisited the memory.
“The first Halloween in Baldwin, we were answering the door nearly every minute. At one point, I turned to Jack and asked if next year we could create a scary display in our yard. He said sure as long as it doesn’t cost money.” laughs Gracie. “Decades later…yes, we have spent quite a bit of money to create Spooky Hollow!”
Jack Rosenquist was not keen to the idea of Spooky Hollow at first; but he reluctantly helped out those first few years. Neither of them can remember exactly which year Jack fully immersed himself into the creation, but eventually he did.
“Spooky Hollow was always Gracie’s doing.” adds Jack. “She always wants to do things bigger and better and more realistic.”
Jack Rosenquist is a child at heart. He inherited his ability to build things from his great-grandfather.
“My great-grandfather built furniture out of wooden orange crates.” shares Jack. “I am told you can see some of his work at the Afton Historical Museum in Afton Minnesota. I never knew him, but I inherited his gift.”
Jack is a United States Army Veteran and a Certified Ford Master Mechanic which also helps in the creation of Spooky Hollow.
“I love to see what we can build.” shares Jack. “I also love to see how everything comes together each year.”
Jack’s favorite prop is the Pirate ship, he also loves Gracie’s creation of Sammy from the movie Trick-R-Treat. Where as if you ask Gracie what her favorite prop, she would probably point to her newest creation.
Creating such an award winning display involves hours of research. The artisans have studied funeral art to help create some of the most realistic tombstones and mausoleums. Each of the items created are created to scale. If you ask either of the artisans how an items is built, they will always answer “Trade secret.”
It takes dreams, imagination, creativity, and ingenuity to create Spooky Hollow. One can not simply enjoy the vast creativity the artisans have unless you come to Spooky Hollow to experience it live.
Scaring the neighbors since 1996!
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