Tag Archives: House Of Shadows

Brother Cobweb at “The House Of Shadows”

Brother Cobweb is a character I created at the age of seven, in a comic book, which I titled “The Brother Cobweb Chronicles.” Brother Cobweb was a response/revolt/private protest to what I considered my own personal horror of being forced to attend a Pentecostal church, along with growing up in a dumbed down and oppressive fundamentalist environment. I created that comic from volumes of sketchbooks I produced during endless church services (for eighteen years,  I literally taught myself how to draw during those charismatic anti-ritual rituals).It’s interesting then to see him become an actual horror exhibit in a huanted house attraction. As I used to say (spewing sarcasm) “Amen Brother Cobweb.”

©2015 Alfred Eaker


“BROTHER COBWEB’S LAST SUPPER ” AND “BROTHER COBWEB’S TENT REVIVAL,” house paint on wood panels ©2017 Alfred Eaker

With my lifelong painting of idiosyncratic (or heterodox if one prefers) iconography, I suppose it was inevitable that I paint a last supper. This mural, titled “Brother Cobweb’s Last Supper” will be used for”The Church Of Brother Cobweb” haunt at the Gresham, Oregon HOUSE OF SHADOWS for the West Coast Haunter’s Convention this May and its October haunt.

The second mural, “Brother Cobweb’s Tent Revival” will be used as the entrance door into The Church Of Brother Cobweb.

Although, I drew numerous last suppers as a child (including several with a 600 pound Jesus), this is my first painting of the subject. Of course, it’s composed in my second language of blasphemy, which I speak fluently.

Brother Cobweb’s last supper:

“Brother Cobweb’s Last Supper,” 8ft x 16 ft, house paint on wood panels (featuring the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Kim Davis, America’s Best Christian Betty Bowers as Magdalene, Jimmy Swaggart, Anita Bryant,Jerry Falwell, Jan & Phil Crouch, Benny Hinn, Rev. Jim Jones, Brother Cobweb, Ernest Angley, The Duggars, Phil Robertson, Ted Cruz, Pat Robertson, Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, Ben Carson, Jerry Falwell Jr wearing a Jesus/Trump shirt, Mike Huckabee, the junior Duggars, Matthew Myer Boulton, and Sister Sandpaper) ©2017 Alfred Eaker

Brother Cobweb’s last supper close-ups:

Brother Cobweb Tent’s revival:

“Brother Cobweb’s Tent Revival,”  8ft x 4 ft, house paint on wood panel ©2017 Alfred Eaker


THE HOUSE OF SHADOWS (Oregon) Brother Cobweb on the short bus to perdition ©2015 Alfred Eaker

Brother Cobweb on the short bus to perdition ©2015 Alfred Eaker

When I moved to Portland, the last thing I expected was to get involved in another haunted house attraction. However, upon seeing an advertisement for the full contact House Of Shadows seeking a casting director, I contacted the owners: Ashley Ries, Nathan Fultz, and Troy Carpenter. In the previous full contact haunted attractions I had worked, my primary position was in casting and I often assisted in commercial painting. However, when I involuntarily was expected to assist in building, it was a case of oil meet water. After my initial interview with the House Of Shadows team, I was elated to discover that the House Of Shadows wanted me strictly for casting.

I soon found that The House Of Shadows redefined a new meaning in Full Contact, being far more intense than previous experiences. Their numbers (three to four times higher in Oregon than previous locations) reflected West Coast taste for amped contact. Over the course of pre-season (and getting down to the wire, as usual) I volunteered to assist in commercial painting as well.  During the next two weeks, I was able to engage in much dialogue with Nate Fultz and discovered that he too sprang from an intensely negative evangelical background.

Beware the demon Frogg ©2015 Alfred Eaker

The Demon Frogg, on Brother Cobweb’s Bus To Perdition at the House Of Shadows, Gresham © 2015 Alfred Eaker

With Nate, I shared slivers of my Brother Cobweb narrative, a novel I am working on. The title character was a comic strip I created in the early 70s, which was my private, horrific parody of the visiting evangelist preachers who frequented my mother’s Pentecostal church (one of whom was Jim Jones). Shortly after that, Nate viewed my online video performance of the character and asked me something, which took me by surprise: “Alfred, would you be willing to perform the Brother Cobweb character on the bus?”

Brother Cobweb. House of Shadows.Bus to perdition. Gresham, Oregon

The bus is the customers’ passage into the attraction, not within the haunt itself. Still,  I was initially skeptical. “I thought this was straight up traditional horror?” “Alfred, you and I both know damned well that charismatic fundamentalist shit is true horror.” Nate was not only right, but his proposal was one of such obvious simplicity, that the idea might have flown over my head a few years back. I agreed to perform the character. Needeless to say, there were a few provoked patrons, but Portland has a solid reputation for embracing weirdness and the reception was far more positive than I could have imagined.

Brother Cobweb. House of Shadows, Bus to perdition. Gresham, Oregon.

Naturally, I tweaked the character to fit part of the haunt’s narrative, which was relatively easy given that we had zombie go-go dancers, demons, and fortune tellers.  All of these are iconic elements of fundamentalism’s wave of hysteria run amok; anti-superstition superstition.

Brother Cobweb. House of Shadows, Bus to perdition. Gresham, Oregon (with Frogg)

Although I have not done performance art in a public setting for years, this was akin to a jumping back in the water experience. Many of the crowds erupted into applause after I  grabbed a patron and engaged them in Brother Cobweb’s Holy Ghost Takin’ Over The Service Dance.  I could never have done this performance in the midwest, so it was a helluva lot of fun (although requiring plenty of throat lozenges). Better yet, the experience was exhilerating enough to gift me a reshaped ending for the upcoming novel. Included here is a visual scrapbook from our 2015 House Of Shadows season (with our Christmas haunt as well).

Frogg %22Come on board Brother Cobweb's Bus To Perdition!%22 ©2015 Alfred Eaker

Frogg, Demon from the Bowls Of Hell ©2015 Alfred Eaker