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For my Halloween wallpaper this year I set out to create a creepier version of "Elegy" and mix in elements from "Forest of the Shades" and "Dark Wings". The title also refers back to one of my first Halloween wallpapers. I may still render another version of this one (the thumbnail looks a bit too dark to me) but I think it looks spooky enough to share as is.

Check out the rest of my Halloween wallpapers here.

8.01/10 rating (167 votes)

Pickle Jar Variations what's this?

8.92/10 rating (12 votes)

Member Comments

"No Sleepwalkers"
Love this picture. The setting sun in the background is great.

Thu October 29, 2015 at 12:32 pm

"Dark Forest"
It's funny that you made this image when you did. A couple of weeks ago, I was thinking of the scene from Beauty and the Beast where Belle's father was going through the dark forest. I wanted an image like that as my background and then this showed up! The stars are aligned!

Fri November 2, 2012 at 8:25 am

Happy Halloween, all!

Wed October 31, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Andrew S
"The Walking Dead"
Makes me think of The Walking Dead... I like it =)

Sat October 27, 2012 at 8:09 am

Ok, seeing as how I love all your work, not even gonna bother trying to pick out a favorite.

The zombie-less version is definitely better, as it gives the feeling that there is some monster hidden in the forest, stalking you, waiting to pounce...

Sat October 27, 2012 at 6:07 am

"Just the Birds' Eyes"
I like the no sleepwalkers version, but it would be cool if the birds' eyes were just as bright.

Also, just re-reading The Hobbit, the scene makes me think of Mirkwood.

Thu October 25, 2012 at 7:11 am

"RE: A version with out the walkers?"
Ryan - See I told ya this scene totally could stand alone. It's a nice eerie fall scene.

Wed October 24, 2012 at 11:27 am

Just scrolled down and saw Rob's comment. Definitely agree with the AWESOME! of the zombies popping in and out. Just wanted to add that I'm on a Mac . . . so if folks want to try the effect they know it works on Macs too.

Wed October 24, 2012 at 11:05 am

This is fun. I set my desktop to periodically alternate between the two versions of "Sleepwalkers." Then every 30 mins or so, the zombies either fade in or fade out--for a nicely creepy effect. (This works with the ghosts in "Forest of the Shades" too.)

Wed October 24, 2012 at 11:00 am

Brandi U.
"With Sleepwalkers"
Without them, the scenery is nice, but there's no focus to the image.

Wed October 24, 2012 at 9:08 am

"No Zombies"
I love the scenery but it's going to be the zombie-less one for me....and thats because the original gives me the major creeps!!

Tue October 23, 2012 at 8:22 pm

"Like the Alt version better"
I actually like it better without the zombies....Makes it more realistic, scarier.....You never know what is going to pop up after you, after all....

Tue October 23, 2012 at 5:54 pm

"Creepier zombies"
Love it with the zombies but I would like them to look a little scarier. Maybe red or white eyes ?

Tue October 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm

If only between these two I prefer the one without Zombies, but would like one with Zombies if they were reworked.

Tue October 23, 2012 at 1:50 pm

"More Better"
I am one of those that asked for this alternative version and I love it! Thanks, Ryan, for listening and delivering!

Tue October 23, 2012 at 12:30 am

"Zombie - Tie"
Use both... with Windows you can have the backgrounds scroll every now and then, set it to alternate with only these two backgrounds so you have on-off zombie images flickering over time... AWESOME!!

Tue October 23, 2012 at 11:16 am

"Zombie - Tie"
Use both... with Windows you can have the backgrounds scroll every now and then, set it to alternate with only these two backgrounds so you have on-off zombie images flickering over time... AWESOME!!

Tue October 23, 2012 at 11:16 am

"Love the alternate!"
I, like others, really appreciate when you create an alternate render of a specialty/holiday wallpaper. Like you said, it allows for non-halloween purposes! I love this one both ways.

Tue October 23, 2012 at 11:02 am

Not a fan of halloween, as such (not a holiday in my country). So I much prefer the no-walker wallpaper.

Thanks for catering to those that want the alternative. The scenery in it is just epic. Creepily awesome.

There's a bit of smoke around of late, so I've seen sunsets reminiscent of this. Very cool. Epic win.

Tue October 23, 2012 at 6:26 am

"Good Halloween wallpaper"
I'm not a huge zombie fan, but I think the one with the walkers in it is better as a "Halloween" wallpaper. However the one that will be cycling in my wallpapers folder will be the non-walker one. Just great scenery. Love it.

Mon October 22, 2012 at 9:55 pm

"good stuff"
Very nice, not sure if there's a version with zombies with red eyes or maybe no glowing eyes on the way?

Mon October 22, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Dave T
I prefer the sleepwalkerless adaptation, myself. Looks great.

Mon October 22, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Zombies make the scene. Keep nosleepwalkers in the pickle jar.

Mon October 22, 2012 at 7:02 pm

"I was wrong"
dunno what I was thinking--"nosleepwalkers" is good--but the original is better!!!

Mon October 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm

"Zombies in Canopy Creek?"
Very nice... Almost as if the zombies were invading Canopy Creek.

Sun October 21, 2012 at 7:50 pm

"Sleepwalkers (Happy Halloween!)"
looking forward to the zombie-free version :)

Sun October 21, 2012 at 5:08 pm

"I love it!"
This is perfect for the season, the zombies are small and do not detract from the scene at all in my opinion. I say keep them! I am curious about the filtering or is it a volumetric effect that makes the larger triple screen wallpapers look slightly over bright on the edges or "washed out?" Something I have been wondering for a while.

Sat October 20, 2012 at 11:45 am

"Sleepwalkers -- Happy Halloween 2012 (Halloween)"
thoroughly creepy

Sat October 20, 2012 at 4:08 am

The Guru
"Almost there..."
It looks really good. I don't know if the glowing eyes really suit the zombies. I really like the mood of it though. Good job!

Fri October 19, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Totally sick.. love the psycho sun behind them..

Fri October 19, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Love this one!

Small bloop: on the 3840 x 1080 (dual 16:9) your watermark is in the middle of the second screen.

Fri October 19, 2012 at 9:41 am

Thank you for getting the multiscreen posted!

Thu October 18, 2012 at 11:51 am

Great render absolutely love it

Thu October 18, 2012 at 10:29 am

I have to keep you honest, but this halloween wallpaper ranks up with my favorite ones you have done, my #1 being dark wings :D

Thu October 18, 2012 at 9:56 am

Jim Wilson

Thu October 18, 2012 at 9:46 am

"Sleepwalkers-less Version?"
I dig the trees, the fog, the birds and the setting sun...but the sleepwalkers just don't feel right in this one. I'd love to see a version without them. And more crows! I dig the crows!

Thu October 18, 2012 at 9:01 am

I'd like to see it sans zombies too!!!! but other than that.....

Thu October 18, 2012 at 8:33 am

@Ryan, you say NONE of them are missing arms??? Even if they were not facing forward most people would expect to see the other arm (at least part of it) since they are not moving and very skinny wastes... I think it's cool for some to have arms hacked off like the one in the front (looks like the right side is a stump to me). Might even be nice to mix in one or two with both arms missing.

And I love the crows in the trees.

Thu October 18, 2012 at 6:25 am

Your Halloween pictures are always awesome! It just looks great; from the gnarled, twisted trees to the inky red sun setting beyond the mysterious figures.

Thu October 18, 2012 at 3:42 am

"Zombies and crows"
I noticed some small white dots in the upper branches. At first I wasn't sure whether there are crows around the dots, meaning they would be their eyes, or if they're just some pixel errors. When I set the screen brightness to a maximum, I could make out the shapes of birds, but I think a bright screen takes away the creepy atmosphere of the wallpaper. Thus, I think the birds' eyes are too distracting as they are. Maybe a more orange-like color as in "Dark Wings (2009)"?

For the zombies, I'd love to see them in a bit more variations. Most of them don't have their left arm, but that's almost it. I don't know where to find some other models, but I think it would "brighten" the scene... ;) maybe a hunchback or some with their arms raised...

After that much criticism, I also have to mention that the overall impression is a good one! The color of the fading sun looks great, and an alley like that is somehow creepy even without those creatures. :D

Thu October 18, 2012 at 2:15 am

"A version with out the walkers?"
I like the scenery of this piece a lot...I think it could stand well on it's own with out the walkers.

Wed October 17, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Chris J
"One arm"
Its the same human model turned all different directions. They all have one arm. The moon is nice but overall the wallpaper is really bad. Its not creepy but just plain sad. If you added the green eyes to make it creepier that failed too.

Wed October 17, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Chris B
"@ Rick"
90% of the population is Right Handed so if they were hacking at the zombies with machetes or axes, or whatever they could find, they would hit the L side of the zombie 90% of the time... So THAT is why most of the zombies are missing their Left Arms.

Just in time for Season 3 of The Walking Dead!

The only thing I would change is to maybe make a few more zombie models to have a little more diversity in how they look. Otherwise I like it, but come Halloween, I'll always switch to "All Hallows Eve" that is by far the greatest & Creepiest Halloween Image ever.

Wed October 17, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Very spooky, but definitely works for Halloween. The fog / mist adds incredible detail, and I love the ravens in the treetops.

Wed October 17, 2012 at 6:00 pm

"aw man...."
zombies. i flippin' hate zombies.

Wed October 17, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Appropriatly creepy. Awesome background for Halloween.

Wed October 17, 2012 at 3:21 pm

I think the quality of this is higher than Forest of the Shades, I think they have dissimilar intents, this one is certainly more overt. Hard to say one is better than the other. I do like this quite a bit, as I do all your work. It almost has a Tarentino quality to it. "Yeah, we're coming for you..." Very nice work. Look forward to the multi-screen setups.

Wed October 17, 2012 at 3:17 pm

"Re: Arms"
None of them are missing arms but some are turned away.

Wed October 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Would bats flying around be too much? Nice maybe make the bushes on each side more liquid like they have heavy dew on them. These are fun and do like it. Thanks!

Wed October 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm


(Also, sadface I can't put my whole name in there "wraithslayer".)

Wed October 17, 2012 at 1:53 pm

"Zombie Arms"
Nice wallpaper. One question, why are the left arms missing on most of the zombies?

Wed October 17, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Erm, hopefully the multiscreen is finished soon! (Missed a word) A way to delete comments would be nice.. haha.

Wed October 17, 2012 at 1:14 pm

This wallpaper is awesome! Hopefully the multiscreen is finished so I can use it before Halloween!

Wed October 17, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Chris L
Love the coloring, the detail, the sunset, and the tunnel of trees; not a huge fan of the zombies. I think I'm with Kyle, they're a little too obvious, it might do you well to conceal them a little bit more in the fog ... and I'm not sure why, but part of me wonders if the "Creepiness" factor would go up with greens instead of reds. Not sure why, but I've always associated zombies with green ...

I too would also like a version simply without them, by itself, I think the tree tunnel is stunning!

Wed October 17, 2012 at 11:38 am

Maybe so. I've found that the best wallpapers have elements that catch the eye from across the room yet also reward close inspection. The difficulty lies in balancing the two.

Wed October 17, 2012 at 11:11 am

"Almost too obvious"
The forest and the sun are great, but I think the walkers are too obvious and set-apart to be really creepy. In that respect "Forest of the Shades" was a much stronger piece. I would love to see a version of this sans walkers.

Wed October 17, 2012 at 11:03 am

"Love it!"
Very well done, nice use of color and contrast. It kind of amazes me how so many of your pieces come out so well; you have a real eye for well made art.

Wed October 17, 2012 at 10:51 am

Ross H.
Amazing! I love all of your Halloween themed wallpapers!

Wed October 17, 2012 at 10:36 am

heck yeah, this wallpaper is awesome!! ...brai-ins...

Wed October 17, 2012 at 10:32 am

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