In July of 1999, the members of the Halloween-L mailing list were discussing the lack of a decent list of project sites. Many of the members had posted how-to instructions on their personal websites for building the more complex props and the members were having trouble keeping track of all of them. Back in those days there were not very many search engines that could be relied on to find a Halloween "how-to" page without having to weed through hundreds of other sites.
Thus the idea for the Monsterlist came about. From the start, I had four main objectives:
1 - It had to be a non-commercial list. I wasn't interested in creating a venue for companies trying to sell their wares, rather to make it easier for the hobbyist like myself to announce and find information.
2 - It had to be a simple list, not a fancy page with lots of scripting and graphics to slow it down. Just a simple list of projects that people could scan through looking for something interesting. I resisted the idea of categorizing the list in sections (i.e. zombies, skeletons, etc.) as I wanted to encourage the visitors to scan through all the projects and perhaps find something they were not looking for.
3 - It had to be accurate. Many people have pages of links to other sites but most of the links are dead. I made a commitment to regularly check each and every link to see if it was still working. This process still takes up 75% of the time I devote to the Monsterlist. I have software that will quickly and easily tell me any of the links that are dead but tracking down where they went, contacting the owners for an updated link, etc. takes a lot of manpower. The rest of the time comes in the form of searching for new project pages.
4 - It was to be a free service to the Halloween community that has given me so much. I didn't want to advertise, exchange banners, use visit tracking cookies and all of the other methods people use to make money from websites. The cost is minimal, a few dollars per year to host and have the domain name. I would prefer that people who visit don't have the experience diluted by advertising, they can get their ads from many other places on the net.
The Monsterlist was an instant hit from when it was first posted and I have had to move twice to larger hosting providers due to the increasing bandwidth it uses. Although there are other Halloween and project search engines and lists, the Monsterlist is still a favorite for many due to the large number of projects it displays and the knowledge that they are checked for accuracy.
In 2001 in response to repeated questions from fellow 'weeners, I created the Monsterlist Update Group on Yahoo Groups. This group existed solely to distribute information on updates to the Monsterlist.
Sadly, I changed email addresses in the late 2000's and Yahoo won't recognize my new email since they cannot send me an authentication request to the one they have on file. So the group is ophaned and no longer used
It actually doesn't matter anymore as most people use Facebook. I post updates on the Facebook "Halloween-L" page as well as the original Halloween-L email list
If you are a link owner and would prefer a different type of link (i.e. to the root rather than to each project individually) I will be happy to change your listing. Most of the projects shown are by members of the Halloween-L webring and/or newsgroup. These groups are people who either professionally or as a hobby create haunted houses and seriously spooky stuff. For more information on the webring click here, for more information on the newsgroup click here.
If you want to link to this Monsterlist, you don't need to send me an email asking me for permission, please do so If you want to use a graphical link I have created a 16k animated GIF you can use. Either link to it at http://www.halloweenmonsterlist.info/monsterlist1.gif or copy it to your site and use it from there.
If you wish a return link, I will be glad to add it to the links" sub-page (notice there are no website links on the Monsterlist itself - just projects).
The Monsterlist for the actual list itself.
My Personal Site which has lots of original Halloween fiction, prop how-to's, haunted garage walkthroughs, behind the scenes, etc.
Halloween-L which is a highly active group of people who build haunted houses and props.