View Full Version : 2011 Haunted Overload progress
01-03-2011, 08:29 PM
I can't believe it's 2011 already. I'm still stuck in the 80's lol! I figured since we were working on acquiring props for the haunt today I would start a new thread detailing our progress like last year from start to finish. I really enjoyed Shane's progress post as well as Erick's from Oblivion and Dewayne's from Folklore. It's great to know others are in the same boat and I think we all learn a lot from each other by doing so. Last year was quite a challenge to say the least, having to move and rebuild the entire haunt in 6 months. We can only work on it during the weekends. Getting laid off and having to find a new job during all that didn't help in the stress department either, lol!
I mentioned my grandfather in last year's thread. He is still doing great at 101 years old. He did however have to move into a very good assisted living facility not too far from here. He knows a lot of people up there and is very happy.
He was a Jack of all Trades and had a home made saw mill in the late 70's and 80's. I remember him sawing giant logs with the mill made from a truck engine, it was insane. All the boards you see on this shed were sawed that way. That is my grandfather going into the shed at the haunt in 2008 in the photo below. He donated the wide pine boards to me for the haunt and got a kick out of the portable sheds I made with them.
Now he has donated one of the giant blades, cross cut saws and a bunch of old tools that look like torture devices to the haunt. He had tons of old stuff that will go perfect with our theme. I intend to make a big saw mill building and area this year. With this blade and tools it will look very authentic and my grandfather's legacy will live on at the haunt. It's pretty cool and I am very grateful for all he has done for me and Haunted Overload.
It will take me forever to revamp my web site so here is a Facebook gallery of last years move.
Event gallery. Photos by Artifact Images.
Enjoy the photos and progress throughout the year.
Tom Milone with the giant saw blade.
My Grandfather at 100 years old in 2010
Ottie going into the shed at the haunt in 2008.
Wallace Valley and Tom Milone with the cross cut saws, blade and some old tools for the new scene.
01-03-2011, 08:35 PM
I'm happy to hear your Grand father is doing well!
01-03-2011, 09:00 PM
Thanks Eric, looking forward to seeing the progress. It's a great blessing to have your Grandad so long; hope the thaw comes early this year as well.
01-03-2011, 11:49 PM
Great story and pics Eric. Hope you have a great 2011!
01-04-2011, 01:52 AM
Great pics and story...your grandfather looks amazing for 100! Have you asked him what his secret is?
Mike "Pogo" Hach
01-04-2011, 04:28 PM
Awesome, your back! I always love your progress post and pics. Looking forwared to see what wicked and OVER sized things you come up with this year.
01-05-2011, 04:15 PM
Cant wait to watch the progress, Eric!
Looks like this year you will get to watch OUR progress of moving, as we have found out that we have lost our building for this coming years season. Last year we had the luxury of working all year in a heated building and I fear that wont be the case this coming season.
01-05-2011, 04:40 PM
What I would not give to have my Grandparents back.. well I still have 1 living. I look forward to seeing the new stuff. I consider you a great friend and you inspire me so much! Shane and it's good luck my friend in 2011! Shane this time!
01-05-2011, 10:37 PM
Thanks guy's! I'll do my best to keep the thread up to date. I don't have nearly as much time to post now that I have a 2 hour commute to work, 10 hour work day and 2 hours back. It makes for a real long day but I have Monday's off to catch up, work on the haunt etc.
Looking forward to seeing what everyone else has in store for the new year!
01-08-2011, 04:18 PM
Tim Bickford of Creative Cinema Video made us a video to play at our wrap party. He only had 5 days to do it and it came out great. We will now cut this up and tweak it for shorter You Tube segments and put them on the new web site.
For better playback you should download the video file to your computer.
Also here is my favorite review of this year.
On a side note,
Richard Christy from the Howard Stern show just recorded a new album with his band Charred Walls of the Damned. He is a huge haunted house fan, check out his website/blog and favorite haunt list.
I made a real quick mock up of what an album cover could look like using one of our haunted attraction images. It would be cool but I doubt anything comes of it, they may have artwork already. It may fit because the guy in the video is wearing a gas mask. I emailed the mock up and we will see what happens I think it looks cool.
01-08-2011, 09:48 PM
Thats the same video you sent me I believe and I will say it again I LOVE IT! Great work man as always! Shane and it's you just keep wowing me man! Shane this time!
01-25-2011, 08:53 PM
Check this out! Some of you on this forum may have been interviewed by Lesley Bannatyne for her new book on Halloween so you know what I am talking about. I can't wait to get my hands on this book titled Halloween Nation. Behind the Scenes of American's Fright Night. It comes out in April but you can pre order it now. This is particularly exciting for me because the the publisher chose a photo of my scarecrow taken by Artifact Images for the cover.
I made this pumpkin in 2004 in the cellar for my growing home haunt out of Great Stuff spray foam. I never would have dreamed that 7 years later it would end up on the cover of such a cool book! I still use the pumpkin in my haunt today. The photo for the book was taken in 2008.
To learn more about the book or to pre order go to Lesley's web site, it's cool! There is a great list of people on there I can't wait to read about in the book. I am honored to have been included in the book with them.
I got a kick out of looking at these old photos of the construction of the pumpkin so hopefully you guys will as well.
Carving the foam, what a mess!
The pumpkin with Liquid Nails smeared all over it.
Some more pumpkins hanging to let the paint dry.
01-29-2011, 02:35 PM
Check this out, we will have a new character this year at Haunted Overload.
Tom Sadowski joined our team last season and is hard at work on a new costume for this year. I thought it might be of interest to forum users to see the beginning stages of the costume and how it turns out in the end.
I think this character will go over really well. I love the new CFX mask and hands but it will be the costume as a whole and Tom's performance that makes it.
Tom wrote a description of the character to share on this thread.
I have most of the accessories now to the costume but the main costume is still being worked on. The characters name is ol' scratch a satyr/devil who's name is an old New England nick name for the devil. The mask is a custom CFX Morlock mask with horns, hair and custom paint. They also painted a pair of matching gloves and chest piece that will be sewn on to the rest of the fur costume. The contacts name is "Harpie" are from Coastal Contacts. They are 18mm not full scalare(22mm) but close and I bet a lot more comfortable. Although after wearing them for 2 hours my eyes still stung for the rest of the day. I guess I'll be conditioning my eyes to wear them. I did buy a pair of dental distortions and they look great but I did not find them easy to speak with so I opted for some scarecrow "shredders" for the top and "small deluxe" for the bottom sold by vampfangs. I then used some tooth fx "nicotine" to discolor the teeth. In the pictures you will see a waist wrap that will have the camel color changed to the brown color to match the spaulders (shoulder pieces). Speaking of the spaulders I added 3 embellishments to spice it up a little. The other items are trinkets from ol' scratches victims and a scull ring on his finger. I'm searching for another ring. I will be constructing a staff with the crystal scull and baphomet statue (to help with stability while wearing the digistilts).The digistilits and part of my upper body will be covered in brown fur (goat hair...well not real). The pictures of the digistilits show me with foam added onto some pants for muscle mass. The digistilits add to my height by about 7" I'll end up being around 6'10" and give a good scale to everything and imposing stature.
01-29-2011, 02:36 PM
01-29-2011, 08:30 PM
I like this character old scratch. Cool idea and name. Like the stylts or elevated shoes. I would like to see this character in action. Got any video? Pretty cool stuff Eric!
01-30-2011, 02:44 AM
Maybe we can make a video when the costume is all finished. It's still being worked on at this point. I'll keep you posted, I can't wait to see it in action either.
01-31-2011, 07:08 PM
Here's what we worked on today. These pumpkins and hands were started last year but with so much to rebuild they never got finished. I was finally able to block out the faces while Tom worked on blocking out the stems in pink foam. These are different than the Great Stuff over a balloon. They consist of a ball of open cell urethane foam followed by a coat of closed cell harder foam. You can carve down the outer layer of foam and dig out the soft inner foam just like a real pumpkin, it's cool. I got a spray foam insulation company to do this for me.
Much more refining and detailing to go. You can see I need to dig out more foam on three of them. I'll pick up on it next week. We are bracing for a huge snow storm the next two days. I'll probably end up staying in a hotel for work.
01-31-2011, 07:18 PM
Awesome stuff. The things you are doing are simply amazing. My hats off to ya... Larry
01-31-2011, 07:37 PM
I need about 2 dozen pumkins! I will email you my address! I love those you do they rock! Shane and it's you always blow my mind! Shane
01-31-2011, 09:32 PM
02-22-2011, 01:31 PM
Worked on a new splash page for the website today. This could also be used for a desktop background.
02-22-2011, 08:23 PM
I love that!
I remember when you first posted the siloette picture. You have such a great photoghrapher!!!!! :D
02-23-2011, 06:10 PM
I think the new character of old scratch will be a great addition and when I saw it I thought about the old newspaper headline from the Hartford shire paper about the "mowing" devil...maybe you could incorporate something like this....knowing how you like to work on such a grand scale and your haunt is steeped in Halloween, a giant crop circle would be just so fitting with your very own mowing devil in the middle....and I am a neighbor of yours to the north, I work at the Ghoullog in North Conway and I plan on getting down to Lee this fall season! Your place just looks so incredible and must be even more so in person.[IMG]http://www.cropcirclesearch.com/imgs/mowing.jpg
02-24-2011, 08:53 PM
Thanks Pumpkin King, I agree Artifact Images are the best around. I really like this one!
Anytime you are around the area this summer shoot me an email at EL1450@comcast.net and I'll give you a tour. Same goes for any haunter on this forum. We are there at some point most weekends during the summer picking away at the new construction.
Here are a few more costumes in the works from our resident costume designer Rae Enslin. She is extremely talented and we are lucky to have her on our staff. You may remember her from the Mr Ded article in Hauntworld. My wife Janice needed a new costume for this year. She is the ticket taker and didn't want to have a scary one. When finished, this costume will look awesome and provide some eye candy while patrons hand her the tickets and wait to go in the attraction. I have encluded Rae's info for each photo.
Initial concept sketch for Lady Autumn costume. (Ticket taker) Sketch by Robert Quill.
I like to test out my color selections by draping them on a mannequin, so I can stand back and look at them before I start cutting anything.
This mask provided the inspiration for the color palette.
Lady Autumn about 80% done. Mask has been cut down and reshaped. Still experimenting with fabrics on upper body, LOTS of trim and sparkle still to be added.
02-24-2011, 08:58 PM
Initial costume sketch for Nurse Hearse. (Queue entertainment character.) Sketch by Robert Quill
The costume is based on a vintage style nurse's uniform.
The actor and I opted to go with similar colors to the inspiration piece, but we're using a corset to give it a more costumed feel. The black trim will add contrast to an otherwise monochromatic outfit. It should be more effective in the dark this way. Still some trim and finishing work to be done.
02-24-2011, 09:30 PM
Awsome pics and great story. You guys always do great work every year.
02-25-2011, 10:16 PM
Wow, wow, wow. I just love those costumes.... The Autumn one is gorgeous!!
02-25-2011, 10:26 PM
Nurse Hearse is going to look great in those old western movie full lace up boots.
Going the opposite direction from fetishy steam punk gives it a real authentic
old school scare that fits Haunted Overload nicely. Post some make up treatments
when you have sketches. Great work.
02-26-2011, 07:01 AM
Thanks folks!! It's nice to hear that people like the look of everything before it's even finished. I'll keep posting as things progress.
Hopefully we'll have some nice photos of the completed costumes from Artifact when we get rolling this season.
Lady Autumn is long overdue. Eric's wife is petite and very pretty, and every year she stuffs oversized clothes with hay and does a simple scarecrow costume. I had this idea for her, and when I told her that I wanted to make her a prettier costume her response was, "Oh, thank you!! I'm so tired of being the haunt goober!!"
02-26-2011, 10:47 PM
Made a new gif for the leaderboard ad on the NH state page of Hauntworld tonight. We'll see how it looks when Larry puts it up there. I like this photo so It will be a reoccurring theme for our advertising this year. It's looking a little weird on here though. It looks like it's moving back and forth. I'll see if it does that on the actual site. On my screen it just looks like still flickering. I think it's because of PhotoBucket. Maybe it will attract some clicks because of the movement if it still does that when uploaded.
Eric, looking good on everything so far.
Keep us posted on everything. Its a good inspiration on my down days to see all of this, and it keeps me going when people post all of their updates.
02-28-2011, 09:30 AM
My family has a house up in North Haverhill, I'm not sure how close that is to you or not, but we go up to new Hampshire a LOT and I'd gladly volunteer a helping hand to you when I'm up there this summer if you want it. (that and I also really want to see your creations in person! ;) )
02-28-2011, 02:25 PM
Great looking stuff Eric...I love the old mill blade and tools...good luck this year man!
02-28-2011, 02:39 PM
Everything is looking great Eric! Does your artist do freelance work for drawing costumes?
02-28-2011, 04:35 PM
I can answer that one. Robert is indeed available for freelance sketch work. It's his full time job.
His website for commissioned artwork can be found here.
For those of you who are planning on attending, he'll be at the National Haunter's Convention in May as a vendor.
02-28-2011, 04:47 PM
Wow that is some really nifty work by Robert.
I always wished I had better artistic ability, but no such luck.
02-28-2011, 05:22 PM
loved every minute of your cast party video. 25 minutes of halloween bliss! is that Joe Satriani music on there? rockin' stuff !!!!!! great soundtrack! Keep the stuff comin' man!!! Always great to see your haunt and your posts on here. I gotta get there (someday!) take care!!!! love the links to the richard christy stuff also. chuck
02-28-2011, 08:01 PM
Thanks Brad, I love when people post their progress photos as well. I find that by posting this stuff it keeps me motivated. Knowing I posted that I will do this or that keeps the pressure on because I know people will be wanting to see the finished results. I also like to look back on the thread when the season wraps to see what we have accomplished. It is also great to send a link like this to news organizations when the season rolls around. It's a great account of our progress through the year as long as we keep up with the thread. I'll post more on the pumpkins next week. Progress is slow on them. Took two weeks off of working on them but should have more to show next Monday night.
Bobby, Email me at email@example.com when you will be around this summer. We would love the help and to give you a tour as well. It's fun to see the new stuff going up.
Dan, thanks I got an even bigger saw blade now. My father was going to sell it but decided to give it to me for the haunt. I'm psyched!
DA, Robert is great you won't be disappointed if you use him.
Chuck, We purchase music tracks from Smart Sounds for the videos. They have some kick ass stuff that goes perfectly with our images and videos. It wouldn't be the same without those tracks. You can change up the music with the software as well, it's cool. Glad you like this thread.
Since this is a progress thread I'll post something that isn't nearly finished yet. I started work on a possible t shirt design last night. My computer is the biggest piece of crap, I need a new one bad. Working with high res files takes forever. I have more work to do on this, I may want fire in the logo or eyes, we'll see. Sometimes I don't even know how it will turn out. It was going so slow I'll have to pick it up next weekend. Also when you get to close to the artwork you have to walk away for a while and view it with fresh eyes.
02-28-2011, 08:04 PM
AWSOME! Shane and it's I am so jealous! Shane
02-28-2011, 08:44 PM
Eric I have to say you have the best pics of any haunt in the biz! The lighting is the key I think!
02-28-2011, 08:58 PM
you and your successful haunt (and your entire crew) are a TRUE icon and inspiration to EVERYONE in this business. (haunt owners and haunt fans alike) Your original ideas ROCK big time. Keep the photos coming, and thanks for the info on your music service. the music in your cast party video kicks ass !!!!!
03-01-2011, 09:55 PM
Thanks Damon, I think Artifact Images are the best! It makes a huge difference and pushes me to add more detail and lighting because I know they will capture the scene in the most insane way. That is one of my favorite parts of the haunt is looking at the photos at the end.
Chuck, Thank you from me and my entire crew for that comment. Teamwork is awesome and none of us would be anywhere without it. The best thing about haunting is all the passionate people you meet in the industry or suck into the haunt. It's like a vacuum, consuming anyone that has an interest in creating something or scaring people into it. I have a much bigger family now than before the haunt and it gets bigger every year. We may not be the biggest haunt around but we all love putting on the best show we can and try like hell.
I can't believe this coming season will mark our 5th from the small front yard of my house. I have big plans for this year, can't wait to start working on the new models for the buildings we will construct this summer. I'll post them as they are made. I want to get my website redesigned first. Last year the move was tough and the haunt was not nearly what I would have like it to be but we pulled it off. I'm looking forward to improving upon last year.
I love looking back at old photos. Here are some from the Home haunt in 2004 and 2006. Now you can see why we had to move out of the neighborhood, lol! My house is completely covered up.
03-02-2011, 08:49 AM
Sounds great! I'll keep you posted. I love the images! I wish I had neighbors with front yards like that. ;)
03-02-2011, 09:04 AM
Classic looking stuff!! That 2004 pic the house to the left of the reaper reminded me of Amityville house, just a bit.
03-02-2011, 11:32 AM
That is one amazing Home Haunt!
03-02-2011, 03:29 PM
Funny thing was that house to the left, the people were huge into Christmas. They would start decorating so early it wasn't even funny. It took me til it snowed to get all my stuff down. So for two months There was one house decorated for Christmas and one for Halloween, lol!
The last straw was when my thunder machine made their cat throw up all over the house. The cat hated thunderstorms and the people went away for Halloween. They weren't happy when they returned to step in puke and I knew my days in the neighborhood were numbered.
It was all for the best but the home haunt was a lot of fun and we raised tons of money for charity. It also allowed me to grow slowly and get experience with throughput.
03-02-2011, 04:16 PM
hard to believe you did that in your home. crowds looked unbelieveable !!!! I guess you had great neighbors (for the most part) who let you do your thing for charity. Onward and upward, my friend. thanks for sharing those precious photos.. un real set up !!!!!
03-02-2011, 05:01 PM
Yeah, the crowds got insane at the end. I can't believe I got away with it for as long as I did. The town really liked it though, the neighbors would run out of trick or treat candy in 10 minutes, lol! The home haunt was good for learning to make videos as well. This one is really rough compared to our newest one but at the time it really kicked ass. I love the crowd scene, look at how close all the houses are. Thanks to Tim Bickford for all the Haunted Overload videos to date. I still like looking at it from time to time.
I think it would be cool for someone to start a Nostalgia thread. Post photos or videos of past seasons as far back as possible. Then post one of the present day show. It could be a lot of fun to see the growth of each haunt. I loved Wayne's TW seminar when he showed really old photos of the Trail of Terror. It's great to look back and see how far each of us has come with our haunts.
03-03-2011, 09:47 PM
What may not be clear to all of you here is that Eric lives on a tiny little postage stamp of land. I joined Haunted Overload the first year that it was at Coppal House farm, so I never actually saw the home haunt set up. Every time I go to his house, I simply can't get my head around how he managed to fit all that stuff from the photos onto a plot that's just a little larger than the house itself. It certainly gave him a lot of experience in manipulating a small area into an effective haunt.
03-03-2011, 10:02 PM
"it was an optical illusion". never the less, an awesome set up to be sure.... ERIC, are you going to transworld or National Haunters Convention in Valley Forge, Pa ?????
03-03-2011, 10:05 PM
I caught holy hell for digging my wife's shrub up so I could make the trail go all the way around the house, lol! The best thing to come out of it was the necessity to build up instead of out. I had no land to expand so I needed to figure out a way to make it cool looking in that small space. The huge monsters that are now such a part of Haunted Overload were born from that need. It looked huge when everything was up and you stood in the middle of it all. I am constantly trying to get that feeling back at the new location. More giant structures are in the works for this year, lol! I can't wait to start working on the scale models. I'll post them as they are finished.
Chuck I just saw your post. No I won't be able to make it down there unfortunately. Would love to attend someday.
Here are a few slides from last years TW seminar. They show some of the trials and tribulations of how the monsters first came to life.
03-04-2011, 06:35 AM
You make it seem so easy! Thanks! :D
03-05-2011, 03:07 PM
I agree. Your pictures are awesome! :p
03-05-2011, 03:11 PM
Great pics. The giant pumpkin man is wicked, as is the 2004 facade8-)
I can see what you mean about the one setup being unsafe, elowther:p
03-07-2011, 06:53 PM
Pumpkin stems from pink foam.
Baby doll before and after Magic Sculpt. This is just the first step. I will use a detailing technique to add much more texture, flaking skin and character to this once the clay dries. We will have more than 100 of these in the woodland Nursery if I can round up that many. I think we have about 30 dolls now from the swap shop. Could make for a crazy looking scene between the stick house in the woods and these dolls in there.
Tom coats a pumpkin with roofing sealer.
03-07-2011, 08:16 PM
For a second I thought Tom was looking at you like, "this pumpkin is stuck to my hand", then I saw the glove. Good work!
03-20-2011, 12:13 PM
Working on a new home page today. Here is the rough layout. The logo and pumpkins at the bottom left will flicker. The face in the middle will fade and change to different ones. The middle photo will be sharper.
Rae's comments about the new werewolf costume revamp.
This is the initial sculpt for the new werewolf face. It's still got a long way to go, but I wanted to get some photos of where it is now. (I wish I'd thought to take one when it looked like a duck with teeth! That was hilarious.) I have to work out the musculature a bit more, and do some texturing. I know it looks a little out of proportion on the human face lifemask, but it's about the same size as the old muzzle. A lot of what you see in clay won't even be visible. (He had me build it down onto the face to give me somewhere to attach the fur.) Tomorrow I'm going to pull the mask apart and drape it on the sculpture so I can get some photos of what they'll look like together. I'll post it on the H.O. Facebook page when I've got a bit more to look at.
I thought we were just going to leave the teeth in the clay to do the mold, but Jeremy says we're going to remove them, and then after we cast it in latex, we'll be able to put them back in, which will give Samantha a lightweight face with realistic teeth. I was under the impression that they'd just be rubber along with everything else, but this will look SO much cooler.
We went cosmic bowling last night. The glow in the dark t shirts as well as Kyle's mask were a big hit.
As you can see we try and recruit only the biggest and tallest actors we can find, lol!
Facebook link to all the photos.
03-20-2011, 01:27 PM
When you use a crane! Come on! I know, the magic spell book was out of date, had special pages missing, so you Had to get a crane!
People ask me "How did you get that UFO on the roof of the cupola?" (It's a 1950 Hudson car body with wings, ex cetra)
"I ruined the clutch getting it up there."
NO CRANE THOUGH! hahahaha!
Ever put the head on a swivel on top of the telephone pole so he could do alittle turning to face another direction?
Paint the back of the head flat black to night-camoflauge it, then suddenly it HAS a head! Then it doesn't?
I love mystifying some customers with the simplest things like that. (Direct ego-feeder!) hahahaha!
04-17-2011, 09:30 PM
Haven't posted in a while. Here are a few more progress shots.
Tom's Old Scratch costume coming along.
Start of another creepy doll sculpt.
First coat of Monster Mud on the pumpkin hands.
Head in relation to the hands. These figures will be between 13 and 16 feet tall when finished.
04-17-2011, 09:33 PM
First coat of Liquid Nails to protect the foam pumpkin.
These will be finger nails for the hands.
Another rough web page layout.
04-17-2011, 10:44 PM
Incredible Eric!! I'm looking forward to helping you out one day this summer when we head up to our house in New Hampshire! You create some really amazing things! Keep sharing the pics! :)
04-18-2011, 01:21 AM
Eric as usual WOW! Nice stuff. Really amazing what you guys do.
04-18-2011, 06:26 AM
Thanks guys, it's time consuming but worth it in the end when the scene is finished. Also everyone has a lot of fun building these one of a kind props.
04-18-2011, 07:23 AM
Well, Eric we did use our pumpkin heads last year on top of the poles this year we will work on getting the bodies in place. What did you make the torso from to puff it out? I will attach pics when complete.:mrgreen:
04-18-2011, 07:44 AM
I have used a wooden frame with corn stalks tied tightly together in the past for the giant 34 foot figures. You can also use a chicken wire frame, branches, burlap, cloth or anything you think will work and be sturdy enough for the weather. These smaller figures will have 2x4 frames with wire mesh to fill them out.
Here are some photos that may help show the frame and structure of the bigger figures.
Be careful if you attempt this!
04-18-2011, 09:30 AM
Super work!!!!! Love the pumpkins! I see they are made of foam and are somewhat hollow. Can you give a few tips on how exactly to make one? I have a pumpkin patch and would love to make a few of your pumpkins. Also why do you coat it in roof tar? Thanks for any help with this!
04-18-2011, 10:17 AM
A lot of what I do is trial and error. These particular pumpkins because of their size were made by having a foam insulation company spray a ball of open cell soft foam first. Then I carved it smooth with a wood rasp. A top coat of closed cell harder foam was sprayed on top and carved the same way. It acted like a real pumpkin because I could carve the face and pull out the soft foam in the middle. The roof tar was an experiment and I doubt I will use it again. I like Liquid Nails for the protective coating then house paint and spray paint for the finish coat. The Liquid Nails fills in some of the holes and gaps. I like to leave a lot of the imperfections because it looks more like a real pumpkin that way.
Here is a video Kyle Aruda made for his senior project that goes step by step how to make a pumpkin with Great Stuff and a balloon. I like this method. These are not that cheap to make but each one is an original. Return paint from Home Depot $5.00 a gallon is used in this video for the first coat, that's why the strange color.
04-18-2011, 11:36 AM
These are a ton of fun to make. Eric helped a ton with this project.
I used a bigger balloon that I had to buy at a party store for the size of the pumpkin. Shaping it after the foam dries will kill your hands! It's tedious, and you'll always find an imperfection- but if you look at real pumpkins, there are not any that are perfect.
The first coat of latex paint helps strengthen and seal the pumpkin. The black just gives the final color a nice pop. I used a lighter yellowish-orange inside and a darker orange on the outside.
I'm thinking about making another one this summer! I'll make a more detailed video if I do.
04-18-2011, 11:58 AM
AWESOME!!!!! Thank you for the quick reply. I am going to give this a try. You are all so very talented!!! Thanks again! And a huge yes! to another video. Love your work!
04-18-2011, 06:23 PM
Eric everything is working great!!!!!!!!!! Shane and it's I wished I had your talent! Shane
Haunted Yard Props
04-18-2011, 08:00 PM
I have Eric to than for this beauty. My first home-made prop.
Haunted Overload is so inspiring.
04-18-2011, 08:47 PM
Looking good Ed! You must have used a ton of Great Stuff. How was the pumpkin received? Did your neighbors like it?
Here are a few more shots of the detailing of the new hands. Many steps to go, the veins will really pop with the final paint job. This will all be painted black first then I will bring out the highlights with a dry brush effect.
Creepy dolls in progress. Also sharp fingernails for the pumpkin hands on the table in front of the dolls.
Haunted Yard Props
04-19-2011, 09:35 AM
Everybody loved the pumpkin. I did use it in my yard as well as my first Haunted Attraction - Haunted Lehman Park (Town Haunt).
My icon pic is from my front yard.
Here are some staged pics for anyone wanting to make a big pumpkin.
Only 70 cans of great stuff!
04-19-2011, 10:20 AM
04-19-2011, 08:45 PM
That's awesome Ed! Did you take the TW seminar? The price of 70 cans is not that bad when you consider it is a one of a kind custom prop that can be used for years. Also the satisfaction of making it yourself is priceless. Not to mention the lessons you learn along the way.
Thanks for posting those.
04-20-2011, 01:27 PM
Awesome job as always. Larry
04-20-2011, 02:30 PM
You're right Eric...I just can't believe it took that many cans! I do a couple toxic waste barrels with three cans....guts on the walls of 1 room for 1 can...I think it's just a hard time soaking all of this in...I mean...that's a LOT of foam!! I can't wait to see these creations in person this year. =)
05-11-2011, 03:56 PM
Please do some 4xl for me (and other big guys) i will pay extra............ Keep in touch !!!!!!! Love the shirts....(back artwork too !)
05-12-2011, 04:58 PM
eric is a true icon in this business.
05-12-2011, 09:53 PM
Wow thanks Chuck!
Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Got it on FB but not here yet. Things are getting real busy now. These T shirts will be printed using glow in the dark ink. Last year's looked great under black light. I made them super high contrast so they will print well on the black shirt and really pop.
Mock up front
Mock up back
05-12-2011, 09:59 PM
Start of the new 34 foot clown figure quick sketch of the head.
Start of the scale model. Head will be much bigger.
What a mess. This step is important to get the measurements and proportions right. You can be feet off when you construct the figure in the field if you are not careful.
The model still was not complete when we started the leg pieces but good enough to get measurements from.
05-14-2011, 07:44 AM
Finally got this video on You Tube. It shows the move and construction of last year. It's almost time to start building over there again. I like to look at this one to get me psyched up for it.
This one is kind of long and will be made shorter for the website. It features some of our queue line actors at the Fright Night Light event, a non scary night for kids and people that can't take the normal show. There is some good scare footage at the end though that is my favorite. I'll try to post more progress shots of the props soon.
05-14-2011, 09:55 AM
They both look great! I especially love the dusk footage from the first one... It's very hard to capture a haunt on video, but I think that footage pulled it off! Good luck with the haunt this year, everything looks great so far!
05-14-2011, 10:27 AM
Eric, I always enjoy seeing what you and your team create! Awesome job as always!
05-14-2011, 04:04 PM
Awesome stuff man keep it coming. Larry
06-04-2011, 10:16 PM
Giant clown pieces in my driveway. These will be sprayed with foam by an insulation company.
Making the torso.
6x6 posts at the farm for the new circus tent.
Center pole going up for the canopy.
06-04-2011, 10:19 PM
Tent taking shape.
Adding the first braces.
Building a new fence to hide the tent.
06-05-2011, 04:31 PM
I've said it all before (as others have) Gotta be one of the BEST haunts in the country. (I wish I lived closer) I will get there someday. I gotta see this place !!!! Your photos REALLY tell the story. NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT !!!! Your biggest fan, Chuck
06-05-2011, 07:17 PM
Can't wait to see this one finished, great work!!
06-13-2011, 08:41 PM
Here's the drawback of an outdoor attraction, lol! We have to work rain or shine to stay on schedule. Here we are digging post holes for a new fenced in queue line area.
Walley laying out the new circus tent. We needed to do this even though it was raining so we could order the beams to be sawed during the week.
Walley and Tom Sadowski moving rocks. We need the fence to go right against the stone wall.
The foam contractor couldn't spray the arms and legs last week. We will spray the whole clown over at the farm. These
are some of the arm and leg sections in my truck on the way to the farm. Got some strange looks on the road, lol!
Saturday a lot of the Haunted Overload crew got together and went costumed black light bowling.
The same night as the rain photo so it was a busy day and night. The flash killed a lot of the black light effects in this gallery but you get the idea, it was fun. We plan on making the next one a fundraiser for the animal shelter.
06-19-2011, 08:57 PM
Check this out. My father and grandfather showed up at the haunt today. My grandfather turns 102 in a few weeks! He loved seeing the haunt, he asked where the saw mill was. It's not built yet but we are using his giant saw blade for it.
Walley asleep on his feet again, lol!
New crooked building going up.
06-19-2011, 10:24 PM
That is so cool that your father and grandfather can enjoy and appreciate what you have accomplished.
You are very blessed to still have them both with you.
Happy Fathers Day!!!!!!!!
Haunted Prints (EOM)
06-20-2011, 09:30 PM
Mock up front
Mock up back
Love the t shirt designs and the amazing haunt you put together. Hope I can make it up there one of these years to see the show in person.
06-20-2011, 10:36 PM
This place looks great. Hopefully I can get away from my local area some more to check out some great attractions like this. I would love to come act in those woods. Im normally against the scenes in woods, but you guys take to a whole other level. The gian creatures, facades and more are just breathtaking. While most items like this need to be built on location, you might want to market yourself to do this for other haunted trails....though Im sure you already have your hands full with this one as is...lol. Those shirts are also a great design. If you need any help on printing I'm sure we could help you out, we have great prices unsurpassed quality, and great human customer service. We print all of our products in house and pride ourselves on our service and quality. I personally love the glow in the dark stuff, we also print with neons and tons of other specilaty inks and finishing processes. Just wanted to throw that note out there...dont want to spam or hijack your thread..lol. Keep up the awesome work!
Are you open pre or post "normal" season at all this year?
Mike "Pogo" Hach
06-21-2011, 06:50 PM
Looking awsome man!!!!!!! I love it all!!!! Shane and it's I sure miss my grandad's! Shane
07-02-2011, 07:00 PM
Two short videos of today on our FaceBook page. It's back breaking work digging post holes with roots and rocks everywhere.
Trail of Terror
07-04-2011, 04:59 PM
Your place is looking great... Cant wait to see more... LOVE your ideas... I know everoyone will love it.... great job... keep up the work
07-05-2011, 08:07 PM
just amazing how much is getting done. The satisfaction factor come september is going to make it all worth while. Looking forward to more photos and updates !!!
07-06-2011, 07:39 PM
Thanks guys! It feels like it's dragging because it's only a few of us doing it on weekends. It will be right down to the wire again this year and I'm sure I won't get everything I want accomplished. What ever is new will be appreciated by patrons I'm sure. I didn't name it Haunted Overload for nothing, lol!
I like to imagine the lighting I will use as each scene or building comes together. It will all be worth it on opening night. This video clip was from last year. Pretty cool considering it started as just woods with nothing there as late as May.
07-06-2011, 08:13 PM
Always enjoy the posts, thanks. And keep the work videos rolling they're a lot of fun too.
07-15-2011, 08:52 PM
Look who stopped by! The one and only Ben Armstrong! It was a great honor to have him and his family stop by the haunt on their way up north. Hey Shane, recognize the shirts, lol! It's always inspiring listening to Ben and I'm glad he was able to see Haunted Overload, although it looks nothing like it does at show time.
Cutting trees to make way for the new lazer vortex walk in facade.
Start of the vortex tunnel.
Very quick and rough mock up of the final effect we are going for.
07-15-2011, 08:55 PM
Tunnel from the side.
Start of the stage on top. Actors will taunt the queue line from 3 sides.
On the stage.
It's getting there.
07-16-2011, 07:41 AM
Ben is a great guy one of the best men I know ( reminds me I owe him some money never think of it till I hear Ben can you tell I am over worked LOL!) I love your thread I have always wondered how cool it would be to work in the woods I bet at night it's even funner and scarier! Keep it up man! Shane and it's oh not 1 but 2 shirts of mine all the way up north1 Now how cool is that! Shane!
07-16-2011, 05:56 PM
you know it's serious business. what an honor !!!!!!! I'm sure you were a gracious host. Way to go, ERIC and CREW !!!!!! 75 days and counting !!!!!!
08-01-2011, 09:41 PM
It's starting to look enormous! This is a side view where patrons will exit the vortex. Stage to the left.
Setting up to carve the eyes. I need taller ladders!
Carving the eyes from inside.
Still more work to go, need to shape the mouth add teeth and detail face, adjust eyes etc.
08-01-2011, 09:54 PM
I love it man!!!!! So cool! Shane and it's I am working my ass off to! Shane
08-01-2011, 09:55 PM
Eric, how about you come take a "working vacation" at Raycliff?!?! Awesome stuff as always my friend!
08-05-2011, 09:21 PM
Chris does a great job with hauntcast!
I'm on there this month, check it out.
Haunted Prints (EOM)
08-06-2011, 09:43 PM
Your use of trees and natural environment to make scenes and props is amazing. No one comes close to what you guys do.
08-06-2011, 10:01 PM
very interesting and filled with information. hopefully, you'll be on again soon. really enjoyed it!!!
08-06-2011, 10:13 PM
Thanks Joshua and Chuck!
Here is some work from today.
Starting to refine the mouth shape.
I wanted the eyes to look more evil. Still a lot of work to go on this. It will have long sharp teeth and blow smoke out the top like a volcano.
Starting the stage in the middle of the new circus tent.
08-06-2011, 10:23 PM
'cause its made out of the natural environment around it. it's just amazing what you have done with the basics around you. nothing PRE-FAB, just real wood, real trees shaped to be the ultimate scare. can't wait to see this with your lighting effects..... WOW !!!!!!
08-08-2011, 05:47 PM
Great interview, great insight, lots of great info and history of your entire haunt career. All the best to you, ERIC, and THANKS to CHRIS BAKER at HAUNTCAST for having you on for an EXTENDED segment. Everybody should listen to this. GREAT PODCAST !!!!!!
08-08-2011, 08:52 PM
Thanks Chuck! Glad you liked the pod cast. Chris does a great job with it.
Here is the start of a stage in the middle of the new crazy circus tent. Today was tough, hot and muggy as hell with downpours off and on all day. We were soaked building this.
08-09-2011, 09:12 PM
Walley kicked ass on the clown stage today while I was at work.
Baron Von Goolo
08-22-2011, 01:18 AM
You cats are amazing. I started out in awe of you, leap frogged jealousy and looped back around to be in even more awe of you.
08-22-2011, 05:30 PM
Not sure if you'll get this but I'm thinking about just taking all the information I have and compiling it in one post. When I get Skype recording and I have a few minutes we'll work on the interview but of course, it may be after the busy season. Great pics and nice interview with Hauntcast.
08-22-2011, 10:16 PM
That sounds great Brian! You were right after all. Those questions you wrote made me want to jump off a cliff, lol! Just kidding because you said it first. They were awesome questions but would have taken forever to write the answers. I started a few months ago and they are still sitting on my desk. Sorry about that. Been working wicked long hours at work, the commute and the haunt has sucked up all my time. The Skype recording would be much easier.
Here are a few more photos of the progress. Worked on the railings to the clown stage today and tonight. It got too dark to take photos.
More slabs for the circus tent.
Hard to tell what it will look like from here. The under structure of the circus tent. The new 35 foot clown figure will go on the telephone pole to the right.
Another creepy building underway.
Making another trail for the exit. Tons of rocks and roots.
08-22-2011, 10:23 PM
I can't believe the number of wheel chairs that come and make it through our trail each year. This was a test to see if one could fit in a tight corner of the circus tent.
After the test I tried to do a wheelie in the chair.
I sucked! The hill didn't help matters, lol!
Starting the interior walls to the tent. These will be covered in padding and special blackcloth/construction fabric.
08-23-2011, 04:41 PM
I applaud you for the effort to make your trail wheel chair friendly as possible.
08-23-2011, 06:31 PM
Haunted Overload is looking fantastic once again! Kudos!
09-01-2011, 11:30 AM
You have big, elaborate wooden structures... Do you actually take these all down every November, or do some of them get to stay up year round?
09-02-2011, 08:44 PM
They all stay up. The new tent structure is looking cool. Hopefully I'll have time to post more progress by the end of the long weekend.
09-06-2011, 09:51 PM
Walley and Tom S. working on the giant clown head. The hands are to the left. This stage is before spray foam is applied.
Giant clown hand in my truck.
Clown tent is coming along. We will start the canopy this weekend.
Closer look for scale. This clown will be huge!
09-08-2011, 01:05 PM
looks great (as usual) guys !!!!!!can't wait to see the finished product............
09-08-2011, 07:06 PM
When you build these small buildings for your outdoor haunt, are their fire codes that you must abide by? I realize most fire code issues don't apply to outdoor haunts, but what about your small walk-through buildings?
09-08-2011, 07:31 PM
Every state is different I bet. My fire marshal is cool with the structures I have because of two reasons.
They are small and have no permanent roofs. At least the ones people go through. They tested the road mat material I use for the roof covering for flammability and it was fine by them. The basic rule is don't go more than 50 feet without a break, exit or open sky. Like I said every state and county is different depending on the opinions of the fire marshal.
Haunted Prints (EOM)
09-11-2011, 11:25 PM
You guys do amazing work!
09-17-2011, 08:57 PM
Trail of Terror
09-17-2011, 09:15 PM
How many cans of spray foam yall go through.. or do you use something else?
Walley and Tom S. working on the giant clown head. The hands are to the left. This stage is before spray foam is applied.
Giant clown hand in my truck.
Clown tent is coming along. We will start the canopy this weekend.
Closer look for scale. This clown will be huge!
09-18-2011, 06:51 AM
I use spray foam to brace the main parts but then have an insulation company spray the rest.
09-24-2011, 10:08 PM
Clown parts being sprayed.
New Woodland Nursery
New circus tent.
09-25-2011, 09:34 PM
Love it!!!!! Shane and it's always great! Shane
10-25-2011, 05:24 PM
hopefully, more replays of this half-hour show will be on again soon. should have been an hour. Congrats! ERIC and CREW for your fine all natural wood-working, super-rustic type scares up there in Lee, New Hampshire. Continued success !!!!
10-25-2011, 10:57 PM
How did you get that great swirl in the facade's mouth as seen at that Facebook link?
10-28-2011, 08:50 AM
It's a Laser Vortex. Look it up on Google, tons of sites and info about them.
Here are a few photos.
36 foot clown. Me waving on top.
Lighted with rented changing LED's
10-29-2011, 05:56 PM
hopefully, not. philly weather sucks. 3 inches of wet, icy, snow here and it's still coming with it freezing overnight. good luck to you guys !!!!! who expected this coming? figures, a freak storm the biggest week of the haunt season. you just cant win !!!!!! good luck....... chuck........
10-31-2011, 06:48 AM
We ran in the snow with great success! The patrons that came were treated to a once in a lifetime experience. Check it out! I am so thankful for Artifact Images! They braved the storm to get these shots.
Here is a comment we got on the website feedback page.
We were able to make the show at 7 and Wow!!! It was incredible…….It was well worth the 2 hour ride home in a blinding snow storm. We’ll definitely come back next year. Bravo to all the staff who worked diligently to create such a wonderful Halloween event.
10-31-2011, 07:29 AM
Absolutely amazing photos. You have a great haunt
10-31-2011, 10:59 AM
Those pictures are awesome!!
10-31-2011, 12:05 PM
Thanks! Headed to the haunt now for the last show. Here are a few more.
HO HO HO Merry Halloweeeeeeeen!
10-31-2011, 12:38 PM
Wow! The snow definitely works!!
10-31-2011, 04:11 PM
love the photos !!!!!! so clear and bright !!!!!!
11-09-2011, 10:32 AM
I'm forced to relax now. I'm home from work with 3 screws holding my ankle together. I fell off an 8 foot ladder putting up the giant clown 3 weeks ago. Could have been worse. I thought it was just a bad sprain. I bought a brace at Wallgreens and took pain meds to make it through the shows. I finally went for x rays and sure enough it was broken. I had the surgery yesterday. I would never have been able to do it before the shows. Now I am on crutches and have orders not to put any weight on it. 8 Week recovery time. Thank God it's after the season, lol!
Here is a link to a local TV show we were on.
Hope everyone had a good season....definitely time to take it easy for a day or two, it was a tough one! Looking forward to planning new and exciting things for next year.
Taken Halloween night right before the show.
11-09-2011, 04:31 PM
horrible thing to happen to you !!!!!! Rest up, get well............keep in touch !!!!
11-09-2011, 07:14 PM
Whole new take on Blood, Sweat, Tears, and Bones!
Godspeed to fast healing and a quick recovery.
11-10-2011, 05:18 PM
Just think, you can spend that down-time drawing up plans for next year's event!! OR, you know, actually resting and healing, if you're so inclined... ;)
11-13-2011, 09:00 PM
Great coverage from the news. You must have a high threshold for pain. I would have been out for the count. I love your haunt.
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