View Full Version : Haunt Profile With 50 Photos - Haunted House Of Horrors - Ontario, Canada

10-24-2011, 12:24 PM
Hey Guys,

I have been a member of the forums for years, and really enjoy seeing other people post photos of their attractions. I wanted to put a thread together with some info and photos of our attraction in Ontario, Canada. This is the third year running a haunted house "proffesionally" but the first year as a trailer haunt. My background is in engineering so i tend to be very maticulous and methodical when it comes to construction and fabrication. I start off with a CAD drawing, then walkthrough in 3D, wiring schematics etc.

I feel that this haunt is likely pretty unique in the way its designed and constructed in the fact that the entire attraction is 12 volt, the only AC power used is from a generator that powers the air compressors (we dont have exterior power in our lot), and charges the batterys when we need to. Basically, the entire haunt lighting system, audio, effects, props etc etc is all 12V and the entire thing runs off 3 marine grade deep cycle batterys. Whats amazing is the entire haunt will run on these batterys for about 20 hours without exterior power (the air obviously wont work, since that needs the AC generator, but everything else will). This haunt is really a testimonial to those haunters asking "Can i really run a haunt with just 12V?", the answer is YES and it can be done well! It saves the electrical inspection and satisfys your fire marshall. Of course, 12V haunting isnt revolutionary, but its become feasible with the advent of proper haunt lighting. All our lighting is from Quan at Darklight, the stuff is amazing and well worth the money. Whats even cooler (i think at least!) is that each trailer uses 2 10 guage power wires running down the middle of the ceiling of the trailer, and there are no junction boxes (no electrical tape, no boxes, no solder), whenever we need to get power to a light or prop we use these clips called "tap and run connectors" which allow us to tap power from that wire by inserting a small fork into the thicker power wire and then running power to a small guage wire to the prop or light.

Each trailer is essentially a module, with a wiring harness containing 4 wires. 12V power and ground, and the emergency alarm signal in and out. For fire safety, we have emergency push buttons at the end of each trailer, plus heat detectors in each trailer. If the buttons are pushed, or the heat detectors go off, the ground signal triggers all the other trailers to turn off the effects lighting/props/sound and turn on the emergency lights and audio recording telling people to find the nearest exit. Again, all this is 12 volts.

Lastly each trailer has a 3/8" air line running down the middle underneath the trailers, with T connectors inserted where props are on the floor above. What also neat is that the ground wire going into each trailer is grounded to the trailer chassis, like a car. So for any prop or light, we have to run a single 12V positive power wire, but the ground wire to that prop or light simply gets grounded to any part of the trailer that is metal (usually the roof cross members). Saving on extra wire and creating less mess.

I am a numbers and details guy, so here is the run down:

- Victorian funeral home themed attraction with the first two trailers being the "victorian part" and the last two being the basement or underbelly of the funeral home.
- (4) 53' FRP Trailers - 53' long, approx 100" wide. - Total of about 1700 sq ft.
- Started building from scratch in late March, completed in September of this year. I built this entirely myself, with the exception of help from our actors for laborius non techical tasks like painting etc.
- There is likely over 500 hours of my time into this project :-(
- The cost (dont cringe!) - $61,500 (cost of trailers, new props and materials). However we also carried over $62,800 worth of props and equipment from our previous haunt. So YES this is a 1700 sq ft haunt that cost $124,300 to build (thats $73/sqft! - most expensive trailer haunt ever? I dont know, but it turned out amazing!). There is a lot of higher end animatronics in this small space, which is why the numbers are as big as they are.
- We have 16 volunteers / actors each night
- We are open for 7 nights per season

As haunters we all know its easy and cheap to throw up something substandard with black walls and no thought put into it, however the part i enjoy is the set design and the detail, it is time consuming but i have been told that this is one of the most detailed trailer haunts in existence from some haunters who have been through it. Although I hear amazing things about the trailers at Creepyworld and RJ's in Las Vegas.

LASTLY, i have 5 unit 70 animatronics for sale that are in the haunt right now but wont be next year, so after november 1 they are available, you can see the details on what i have for sale here: http://www.hauntedhouse.ca/propsforsale.asp

So... now that you know the details, here are the photos. I have put them in order of the walkthrough, so photo by photo its the same order you would view things while going through the haunt.

Im open to questions, comments and criticism, so enjoy!

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10-24-2011, 02:05 PM
That is very impressive what you have done. I love the fact that everything is 12V.

10-25-2011, 02:08 AM
How do you get enough power to run your scare sounds and ambient sound tracks off 12v?
I know you can use pico boo with a built in 40 watt amp for some prop scare sounds but if its Unit 70 i know they use Gilderfluke and that would trigger an mp3 player (SD-10).
How do you amplify sound using 12v?
And do you use any fog machines with 12v?
Very curious?

scattered screams
10-25-2011, 06:51 AM
this is a really nice trailer haunt.

10-25-2011, 06:57 AM
How do you get enough power to run your scare sounds and ambient sound tracks off 12v?

Well again, im using 3 deep cycle marine batterys, they are good for 130 amp hours. There are 2 voltage regulator boxes in the control room, which take whatever the batterys are outputting (which can be anywhere from 10V to 13.6V depending on state of chage) and converts it to 12.5V exactly. Each line running through the trailer is a 10 guage stranded power wire, it runs 53' down the trailer, plus about 10-20' to the power distribution box depending on how far away the trailer is from the control room (in trailer 1). The loss down that run is minimal, so you will have just under 12V at the very end of the run. As far as power/current, each trailer COULD pull 40A down that wire, but they dont, each trailer draws about 3-4A total in operation! Ambient sound tracks are running off a Boo Box with built in amp, and there are either 3 or 4 speakers throughout EACH trailer, that run off this boo box, the level of the audio is more than acceptable.

I know you can use pico boo with a built in 40 watt amp for some prop scare sounds but if its Unit 70 i know they use Gilderfluke and that would trigger an mp3 player (SD-10).

Yes, so Boo Boxes for most props where possible, sometimes i might replace a guilderfluke with a boo box just for convienience. However some of the unit 70 gilderfluke stuff is 24V, so thats simple, its a $15 part that steps 12V to 24V so i can run all the gilderfluke equipment. As far as audio, i have a solution for that to, the gilderfluke units without an amp (just a line level output) run into some 12V powered speakers i built using a car audio speaker and a motorcycle audio amplifier. They motorcycle amps are tiny and do a decent job of running 1 4.5" speaker. Again, these are 12V.

How do you amplify sound using 12v?

See above, basically with 12V powered speakers, and built in amps on boo box controllers.

And do you use any fog machines with 12v?

I dont use any no, they do exist, but im not a huge fan of fog machines to begin with. The only real place where they can work in this haunt and make sense is the freezer room, but i opted not to. My obvious concern is with the power draw of a fog machine heater. Right now as i said above, in operation each trailer only pulls 3-4A at a time (which is crazy right?!?!?) simply because all of the LED lighting, and boo boxes running the props and audio.

Very curious?

Hope i answered your questions. I met you at transworld, i LOVED the butcher table, i really wanted one, but i recall it not being 12V i know it could be converted if need be. Maybe next year!

10-25-2011, 11:36 AM
Oh I remember you now Shaun. I remember our exact conversation about this too.
I use 24v boo boxes for anything over 1 channel.
You could use your step up adapter for that. BUT....
The only problem is the powered speakers i supply are 110v.
I love that the whole haunt runs on 12v. TOO COOL!
Thanks again for sharing your great work!

10-25-2011, 01:21 PM
Hey Adam. Thanks for the compliments! And yeah, it would be easy to relplace your 110V speakers with 12V DC ones. Maybe i will have to get one of your butcher tables next year if you can give me a deal!

10-25-2011, 03:00 PM
Love it! Super clean and efficient!

I'm wondering what your hourly max guest through-put is?

I'm mulling the possibility of adding a 3-d trailer attraction...

chuck weber
10-25-2011, 03:42 PM
continued success to our friends up North. Looks like a nice, neat, package with all the eye-candy and detail needed. continued success !!!!

10-25-2011, 04:00 PM
Hey Zombietoxin, We are open from 6-11 and can do about 1400 guests.Thats 280 per hour. HOWEVER, we have a 40 second "live seance" intro in the first room, thats how we space the groups out. If you had a shorter delay you could increase throughput.

Chuck, thanks, i think thats a good way of putting it, a small but effective package thats modular.

10-25-2011, 08:27 PM
Best detail for a trailer haunt. Nice work Shawn

10-25-2011, 09:03 PM
Thanks paul! Glad you could come out!

10-30-2011, 07:51 AM
the most rewarding part about my job is seeing the amazing photos our customers take...
Shawn, can i steal a couple of these photos and post them to our darklight facebook page? if you have a facebook page, i can link it back.


- Quan

10-30-2011, 08:22 AM
Of course Quan, take em!