There was a time, not too long ago, when “Halloween candy” meant candy corn and “Halloween costume” meant a highly flammable, plastic jumpsuit & mask combo neatly packed in a small, flimsy cardboard box. Then Don Post came along with a great line of high quality latex masks and the face of Halloween was changed forever, both literally and figuratively.

Quality, well-made Halloween products are always a plus for the consumer. Thankfully, with the increasing popularity of home and pro haunts, we’ve seen a lot of new and really imaginative products come to the Halloween market in recent years. Many of these product are simply amazing to see in person, and can add a whole new “WOW” factor to your Halloween party or haunted event. Unfortunately, there are also knock-offs which are often designed – and pitched – to look like the originals in order find a better standing in the marketplace, or fool the consumer into paying a “quality” price for what ends up being a cheaply made or poorly crafted item.

When The Ghoulish Gallery was founded, it was just a simple dream to start a company that would make and sell novelty Halloween portraits that appeared to decay before your eyes. Having taken a cue from Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion attraction, I’d made a home version of a changing portrait years earlier for a haunted house I’d built for The Downtown Business Association in Long Beach, CA. People really got a kick out of that portrait. Many asked where they could buy one. Clearly, this had all the markings of a great Halloween product for the home consumer market.

As we laid out our business plan and overall goals, it quickly became apparent that in order for our business to have legs, our product had to be high quality and affordable. Coming from a film industry background, I was keenly aware of “production value” i.e. getting the best possible value for your money. As a haunter, I also knew that our products really needed to appeal to the common denominator – in this case, a 14-year-old kid. After all, when it comes to Halloween, aren’t we all really just 14-year-old kids? In short, Ghoulish Gallery Changing Portraits had to be something that I would want to buy myself. It all came back to quality.

Quality speaks for itself. It is instantly recognizable. It doesn’t sling mud or innuendo to look better than it is. It sells itself simply by being. When you put it in a line up with similar product, it will speak volumes without saying a word. Quality sells… especially at a great price point. Quality would be our company’s signature trait! We immediately went out, started buying different types of materials, and began doing our homework to discover what did, and more importantly, did not, work.

In the art department, we had zero worries as the techniques for digitally designing prosthetic make-ups and spooky creatures are virtually identical to what was needed to create our ghoulish portrait characters. Those years studying bone structures, muscle groups, textures, the play between highlights and shadow, human expressions, the language of postures, the psychologoy of colors, sculpting… all that was now coming into play. We looked at paper quality and fiber weaves, ink qualities, and investigated which printer could create a museum quality image most true to our original artwork. We also examined all the different types of lens arrays that would allow the magic of transformation to occur in our product. Along the way, we learned that even a misalignment as little as 1% would result in a flawed product. Rather than settling, we instead approached the company who make these lens for 90% of the market and asked them train us how to hit the mark, each time, every time. In short, we literally made changing portraits our science and invented, from the ground up, the standards by which we would create the very first changing portrait available to the home consumer/haunt market.

Today, The Ghoulish Gallery is the #1 supplier of spooky changing portraits to haunted attractions and Halloween events throughout the USA. But our involvement in the haunt community goes well beyond just selling you our products. We also show our support for national haunt efforts by participating in numerous gatherings or conventions that take place each year, including, Deathfest, HAuNTcon, Transworld, Ironstock, Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors, The Great Lakes Fright Fest, Pennsylvania Gathering of Haunters, The Midwest Haunter’s Convention, New England Haunter’s Gathering, HorrorFind Weekend, Bat’s Day, Haunt “X”, and many others. Sometimes we exhibit. Other times we just attend. More than anything, we just look forward to spending time with folks who love Halloween just as much as we do.

So, what does the future have in store for The Ghoulish Gallery? Well, we currently have a pretty nifty line of masks in the works that are very much the caliber and quality of the classic Don Post masks of years gone by. We are also looking at brand new ways to bring exciting new lenticular art your way, including an incredibly innovative lens currently in development that will… well, you’ll just have to wait and see.

A sincere “thank you” goes out to all our customers and celebrity clientele for your support over the years. You are the ones that have allowed us to be where we are today. Please know that your patronage and friendships are greatly appreciated. As our company continues to grow, know that you have our promise that we will continue to maintain that fun and friendly way of doing business, and the superior level of customer service that you’ve come to expect from a company such as ours.

Now go out and scare someone why don’cha!

Happy Haunting,
-Tim Turner