A Shining typewriter
Monsters and ghosts are great, but sometimes the best props are the most subtle.  When you have a party, it's fun to leave out little things to see if anyone notices them.  This is a little bit bigger and more involved than other tricks you can do, but I had it sitting right near the front door for anyone to notice if they were curious.

This was Beth's favorite thing of the night.  You know that scene in The Shining where Shelly Duvall finds out what Jack Nicholson's been writing all winter?


The typewriter doesn't actually work (no ribbon, duh!), nor did I type all of this.  It's a cut-and-paste job I did mostly with the same sentence, sometimes with bits others had done (do a search for the phase and you'll find enough variations around the web to run with it).  I then inserted odd spacings and randomly skipped lines to make it look like the work of a truly disturbed individual... much like the rest of this site.

The font is a purposely messed-up type face known appropriately enough as Ghostwriter.  You can find it on the Fonts page.  At 11 point, it matched the actual font of the typewriter.  However, for added effect I took a spray mister (pictured) to it.  With the text coming from an inkjet printer, it was susceptible to dilution and slight smearing by the fine droplets.  This also has the effect of wilting the paper to make it look somewhat aged, although the pages were unfortunately still very white.  If anyone has any tricks for making paper appear aged by a few decades, I would appreciate hearing about them.

The typewriter has become a regular fixture at the Halloween party ever year.  We rearranged things over the years so that most of the antiques are now in the back of the house, meaning that the typewriter was under blacklights.  The white paper fluoresced, so it it looked pretty cool.

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