View Full Version : High Impact Outdoor Visuals???

Raycliff Manor
05-14-2010, 12:33 PM
Anyone want to participate in a Brainstorming Session? I'll start. We've been looking into high impact visuals for our attraction property. Something to grab the attention of people passing and cool visuals for the guest to enjoy when arriving and while at the attractions.

Of course we've been incredibly inspired by Haunted Overload's huge creatures. We even have ourselves on a waiting list for telephone poles with the utility company.

So what other ideas have you seen used, used yourself, or ideas are thinking about incorporating as outdoor high-visibility enhancements to your attractions?

We've been looking at the Wind Visuals - http://www.funkites.com/featherbanners.htm (considering white with blue or green lights on them)

We're also looking into lighting up many of the trees on our property with colored lights and are considering options for this. Any suggestions or recommendations?

I'd love to hear your thoughts, ideas and suggestions!


05-14-2010, 12:38 PM
If you have trees...how about dmx fixtures either up lighting the trees and fading from color to color or ever the fixtures with moving gobos projected on the tree...exp..a moving fire gobo or water gobo...they would look really cool on the trees...Just throwing out ideas...


Front Yard Fright
05-14-2010, 02:08 PM
I think those waving inflatable guys you see at like car dealerships would be something to consider. I know Dreamreapers in Illinois has a few of them with scary faces painted on them.

Raycliff Manor
05-14-2010, 02:52 PM
Zach and Kale, those are a great idea! Anyone know of a good source for haunters to get these? Ken?

Thanks Zach and I look forward to more ideas!


05-14-2010, 02:53 PM
Lights shooting up your trees would be ok. Although with your location Kelly I don't know if it would make as much an impact as say, a searchlight. I think strobing your trees would draw more attention that say, something similar to what we put on your facade (fading lights).

One thing I plan on doing is building a giant creature, not quite as big as one of Haunted Overloads, but probably around 16-24'. I am building it onto a trailer that you can get for $200 from Harbor Freight. The weeks leading up to the haunt and every night we are open or I am there I will wheel it out to the front of the parking lot (which is highly visible from the freeway). When I leave for the night I will pull it into our building. When I get more time I am going to build one that is a scissor that can be 8' or so closed on the trailer, and then 30' or so feet high when extended outside the building.

Mike Goff
05-14-2010, 07:08 PM
I like the idea of making the facades, attract alot of attention. It kind of makes you want to go inside and check it out. This is an area that I too, need to devote some attention too.

I have always kicked around the idea of putting a chainlink maze in a green house, fogging the hell out of it, and synchronizing a bunch of strobes. That would definately attract attention from the road.

I like any kind of lighting as long as it fits the theme.

A decked out hearse, with illuminated graphics, would get my attention. I'm in the process of hooking up a DSL show controller to our hearse that will activate the headlights, and various effects lighting (maybe even an air ride suspension in the near future) to the beat of the music. Illuminated graphics will come later.

Great topic, can't wait to see where it goes!

05-14-2010, 07:49 PM
The lights on trees sound really cool. How would this be achieved? Is lights changing colors be more effective than just lighting them? I would love to learn more about this idea it could also be useful on scenes or facades, anywhere really.


05-14-2010, 08:11 PM
The boss parks the Hearse out by the road and has a large lighted sign on top of it and we have one of those flailing ghosts from like frontyard was talking about .

does this need to be something that is taken down or can it stay up.

Allen H
05-14-2010, 08:44 PM
I get old fencing from companies who install new fencing, the 6 to 8 ft tall privacy kind. I then use a jig saw to cut jack o lantern faces. Lit from behind they look pretty cool. I have some by my pumpkin patch right now but I plan on adding them all over SCREAMS cause they look awesome and reek of Halloween.

Jim Warfield
05-14-2010, 09:15 PM
I took a junk 1950 Hudson, painted it black and white like a Police car, made red and blue lights on the roof that are three foot tall, you could see these flashing at night from a long ways away!
It was on my property, it's zoned "Business". I had no outdoor sound system though this would be very disturbing in a town of retired elderly people.
I made the red and blue lights by heating and bending pieces of plexiglass into a "U" shape, turned the "U" upside down and built the base from sheet metal.
Of course I had some employees who were told to remove their phoney badges when in my parking lot(City Property) and one got asked to not keep putting "stuff" on his old Chevy because they thought someone might think it was a real Police car. (If you were blind, senile and sort of ...stupid?)

05-14-2010, 09:22 PM
We use a version of these mounted in the roof peaks shooting into the tops of the trees.It makes the limbs appear to move because of the changing beams of color moving.The ones we have dont have this strobeing effect built in they are a few seasons old and still work great.Very long throw very bright.Makes the eves look pretty cool to with the beams of color shooting out.Got a good deal on ebay buying a few at one time 125..00 each 59cjm_ZDDFo

05-14-2010, 10:37 PM
I have a buddy that owns a bounce house company and they have a product called movie under the stars its a 24' screen and projector and stereo setup that i have been toying with the idea of having either a movie or video games or both for either free or a small charge. Kinda hard to miss a 2 story tall movie playing. Just have to check the legality of the idea before i get to attached to it...

05-15-2010, 06:34 AM

Very cool, thanks for posting that video. So are these ok for outdoor use then? And, did you have them strobing on the trees fast and it still looked really cool?


Raycliff Manor
05-15-2010, 07:05 AM
These suggestions are awesome! I'm really enjoying this discussion! I'm also corresponding with Bill at Dark Tech Effects, www.darktecheffects.com to further explore the lighting ideas. Those of you who lack in the technical knowledge of doing the DMX stuff yourselves might be interested in this as well.

After going crazy with spending last year though, we're on a very strict budget this year so I'm really investigating ways to maximize the impact of our investment. We're all about sweat equity this year! ;)

Anyone have a source for the inflatable dancing characters?

Allen, how do you back-light the fences, this sounds awesome! I'd love to see pix if you have any!

Unihaunter, thanks for that link! I'm going to look into it!

Nick, if your friend can provide a source, please let us know!

Thanks again for all the awesome paricipation!!!


Raycliff Manor
05-15-2010, 07:25 AM
Gadget, thanks for your reply too! You are very familiar with our property, after having done so much work on site for us, and I'm really excited to hear your ideas for our location. I love the prop on the trailer idea and the scissor lift idea. The scissor lift is probably not in our budget this year though.

Bill (Dark Tech Effects),

Do you have access to the lights like the Dual Gem Pulse and do you sell them? This is definitely somthing I'm interested in!

Thanks again all!


05-15-2010, 10:25 AM
Hey Kel,
Sure we are dealers of American DJ lights as well as Chauvet. Just let me know how many your looking for and I could get you a price quote. Also this is just my personal opinion, but I have seen many haunts do similar lighting like this at their attractions and sometimes it looks more like a club than what your actually trying to portray. It really all depends on the mood your going for outside of your haunt. Just let me know!

Jim Warfield
05-15-2010, 11:20 AM
Of making a Police blinking lights display. As the teens approach all the illegal beer will be pitched out the window. Next morning walk down the road with a wheel barrow and fill it with free drinking material.
This could be the same wheel barrow you use to take all the money to the bank in, this saves $ too, no use buying two wheel barrows.
Just don't get caught wheeling that barrow with alcohol on your breath!

05-15-2010, 12:57 PM
I didn't figure you would have a budget for the giant scissor trailer creature, heck I don't even. It's just a cool idea I had that I hope to implement by next year. This year will be a giant static guy.

As for the dj lighting, I agree. Sometimes too much of it can make your haunt look like a club outside instead of a haunt. That's the reason I like search lights, and/or lots of strobes. Something quickly moving to catch the eyes. The only kind of dj lighting I think would be both would be the laser effects. They are hauntish and eye catching. Maybe a giant laser vortex or laser sky effect in the trees?

05-15-2010, 07:01 PM
Last year we set up a lightning simulator with huge speakers in the trees for thunder.
It was a real attention getter, it set an ominus tone and at the same time lit the place up.
Ironically we didn't need it much last year as it rained every damn weekend.

05-16-2010, 11:52 AM
If interested in a 30ft Gargoyle / Vampire, click on the link below....



Raycliff Manor
05-16-2010, 03:47 PM
John, I sent you a PM requesting the price on the inflatable.


05-16-2010, 04:16 PM
Hi Kel,

Yes read your PM. Let me look up what we paid and I will get to you ASAP.

05-16-2010, 10:20 PM
I am thinking of cutting out our name out of metal and hooked to propane and burning.

Allen H
05-16-2010, 10:29 PM
I dont have any pics Im afraid. They were back lit by regular flood lights, they really were a great visual. Looked alot like this
http://www.hauntedoverload.com/Photo/2008/props/54.htm This is NOT MINE, its from haunted overload, but the concept is the same, back light with a colored flood light.
Allen H

Raycliff Manor
05-17-2010, 06:13 AM
Thanks Allen! I wish I could make it out to your haunt my friend! You have a wealth of experience incorporated into your show and I'm sure it's an awesome event!


05-20-2010, 08:28 AM
They are called air dancers. I found this source for heavy duty ones at www.3dadvertising.net. There are also cheap ones on Ebay.

Jim Warfield
05-20-2010, 04:10 PM
Boom trucks are relatively cheap around here, still run..Pull up, raise the boom, dangling one of those tall wispy figures with the haunt name on it.
Somebody begins to get ready to complain, lower the boom, drive away!
Gone in 60 seconds!
Quite the attention getter too!

"Who was that tall, masked man?'
"I think it was the Loan Arranger!"

05-20-2010, 06:02 PM
If you have the space- We had a guy bring his hot air balloon and give teatherd glow rides. The balloon was incredibly lit up at night.

It was super cool- made me want to buy a balloon (but not in the budget)

Karl Fields
05-20-2010, 08:39 PM
We love big visuals!

One of the first visuals we bought, many moons ago, was a lit, blow up skull. Stands about 30' tall and then we mount it atop a 13' trailer. Gives quite a sight from the roadway.

Funny thing was the newspaper clipping. One of the guys in the pictures was on disability leave from his day job, and who shows up but the local newspaper photographer. Picture was on the front page!

I think the skull cost about $3000 and have only had to replace the blower in 10+ years.

Karl Fields
05-20-2010, 09:24 PM
Another great visual was our laser show. This was setup on our ship stage/float/facade.

Was fantastic, but very very expensive. Used a local laser company to set up the single 5 watt water cooled laser (no boys and girls, that is not a 5 mw typo) to simulate rigging on the ship. Had to get clearance from the FAA as we are almost under the flight path into Oakland. We initially were also going to project an image on the hills a mile or so away, but the California DOT wouldn't give us a clearance to shoot it across the freeway.

This system was all controlled from a single laser beam and a ton of mirrors. Some of the effects that I can;t find pictures of is the ability to draw our logo on top of the tents. Way cool!

Then we had mirrors set up all over the compound and randomly the laser fired that direction and created a ceiling over the entire 2 acres. If the fog happened to not blow away, it was all the more effective.

Karl Fields
05-20-2010, 09:37 PM
Last one for tonight is our flame cannons. Have had these a few years now, and I think they were about $800 each. Only real issues we've had is convincing the fire marshall that they were just a propane cook station on steroids :)

The cannons are fed by dual 100# propane tanks under the ship. We have them set up to both fire on a timer and with a manual override switch for immediate crowd response.

They can be seen from quite a distance as the flame is close to 20' tall. Then they are mounted on top of the suips masts which takes them up another 20'. So we have these massive balls of flame reaching 40' into the sky! And yes, they pack a trendous amount heat punch as well. I can feel the heat from over 300' away.

These really get the attention of cars driving down the street & the freeway. Obviously the crowds in the compound notice them :)

Raycliff Manor
05-21-2010, 07:24 AM
Thanks for the replies... these are AWESOME! Karl, I love how you created rigging for the ship with lasers! That's freakin brilliant!!!


Jim Warfield
05-21-2010, 01:15 PM
And here I mistakenly thought "Laser" was plural for "Lazy"!

05-22-2010, 07:16 AM

Did you have those flame cannons custom made or did you buy them from a vendor? Very cool!


Karl Fields
05-22-2010, 08:36 AM
George Maser http://tentsandsigns.com/


Did you have those flame cannons custom made or did you buy them from a vendor? Very cool!


05-22-2010, 09:18 AM
Thanks Karl!


Karl Fields
06-05-2010, 12:12 AM
Well it looks like we scored another visual for the compound. A Steampunk type creation of a three story Victorian house. This will be available for guests to explore - of course for a nominal extra cost. They will have access to all three floors, balconeys and all. And this shoukd look spectacular lit up at night. Roof is over 24' tall.

We won't be using it as such, but the crazy thing is this is self propelled via a steam engine.

As most of you know, we have gone to six haunts at our location, only one (but it's the largest!) is still pirates. Steampunk will fit in just fine thank you.

Just waiting on FM approval. It will also be our first non ADA compliant device we've ever had :(

Allen H
06-05-2010, 07:10 PM
LOL looks like a burning man score

Karl Fields
06-05-2010, 08:23 PM
How in the heck would someone in Mesquite TX know about Burning Man?
Impressive Allen :)

Jim Warfield
06-07-2010, 10:25 PM
and I "Got the Word" about the line at the sex tent.
(I don't stand in those lines myself.)
(And I don't pay a stand-in either.)
How fast will that machine go?

06-08-2010, 05:16 PM
I'm building a 36' scarecrow for our pumpkin patch and haunted hay wagon ride (inspired by Halloween Overload). It will be about 100 yards from the road, but it wil sit on the high point of the ridge and be very visible from the road. Attached pictures of a model, the frame & head.

06-08-2010, 05:46 PM
What about FIRE? Fire is always cool! But have to be careful with all the fire codes then:)

06-17-2010, 01:10 PM
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.smart.co.uk/dreams/drpwagnx.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.smart.co.uk/dreams/&usg=__kkA0grXzs5-AXyNDcnP4_vUL5yk=&h=391&w=545&sz=35&hl=en&start=2&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=D6e2yuIG3k-EJM:&tbnh=95&tbnw=133&prev=/images%3Fq%3Ddr%2Bparnassus%2Bwagen%26um%3D1%26hl% 3Den%26sa%3DG%26rlz%3D1R2SUNA_enUS330%26tbs%3Disch :1

its from the movie.
'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus'
Very cool

Link on how it was built.

Peter T