View Full Version : I need two or three more crates…

04-04-2012, 07:20 AM
We are opening our first indoor haunt in Cape Gerardo MO this year, Butchers Hollow “The Retribution”,
Its bases in a 14,000 sq warehouse, we are wanting to keep the warehouse feel so while I will have a contamination/radiation storage area and an office space backed up to a large workshop, Many of our scares will take place in 14 x 20 wooden crates laid out in the ware house. Currently we have a toy box , a doll box, in the archeological section we are creating a cave with skeletons (again in a large crate, using tiger foam) and a crate full of coffins for a vampire feel, from there is a carnival storage area and two crates with clowns, and carnival freaks, after that is a maze of wooden pallets, looking at turning that in to a 3d.
PROBLEM……I can put my own twist on these scares but they are a bit to common…. I need two or three better crate scares, your support, thoughts and input is GREATLY appreciated, this web site has been a tremendous asset in my ongoing education of this craft!!!!! Thanks to all of you - Cliff

04-04-2012, 08:24 AM
Okay, so I am just concerned, very concerned, that you are using large crates for rooms. For a professional indoor attraction, that seems like one of the worst things you could do, and good luck getting the fire marshal to approve of that method. Unless you installed sprinklers into each crate, prepare to get shut down pretty quick....

04-04-2012, 08:53 AM
i thought i explaned that very well. ill give it a few more hours then close the post if need be, thanks for reading it. tops are open 1x3,s with burlap, very interested in your opion why is that so bad? the crate will look like large shipping crates, larger then many rooms are and will be about 60% of haunt.

04-04-2012, 09:09 AM
..... my vision is to keep the atmosphere as real as possible, I could make a room that looks like a cave but everyone would know it’s a room made to look like a cave but if I put that in a shipping crate like that section of rock was being shipped to a museum …well that is possible right?

Again this is only my 3rd year in the industry and my 1st year building an indoor haunt so I will make a lot of mistakes. That’s why input from you pros is very helpful.

04-04-2012, 09:33 AM
Well I am certainly no "pro" lol. But I have been doing this for more than 3 years, and indoor haunts can be very difficult!

You didn't say the top was open at first, BUT, you still may face a LOT of trouble with your fire marshal. Why aren't you just using 4x8 panels? It's much safer, easier to fireproof and pass inspection.

Maybe you should sit down and talk with your marshal first, establish a positive connection with him and build a positive relationship, that way he doesn't come right before you open and say, "hey....that isn't built to code..." or tell you to start over from scratch.

Dark Scares
04-04-2012, 09:39 AM
I think Bobby is saying that you will have a hard time getting a fire marshal to approve your build based on what you are building the actual haunt out of. If I have this right you are using actual old shipping crates with open tops but you are covering the tops with beams and burlap? Indoor haunt fire regulations are very different.

As far as caves, anything is possible you are taking guests into a fantasy world. I have seen some very realistic looking haunt caves.

04-04-2012, 09:44 AM
Fire Marshall doesn't care bout people getting hurt as much as burning in a fiery death trap. Your crates would possibly work but you need to treat the everything with a LISTED fire retardant. Water also needs to be able to access the top so if they aren't open tops this is another issue.

04-04-2012, 09:44 AM
:DVery very good advice. I have talk to him a few times already, he wasn’t even sure if he was going to require sprinklers….i went ahead and got a building with them to be safe, I told him safety is number one and ask him to be an active part of this whole thing. So we are off to a good start.

04-04-2012, 10:00 AM
That's a plus, but if he does see the national code (i.e the NATIONAL standard) anything over 1000sq ft needs sprinklers. So if he does some research out of boredom and sees that, well, you'll need sprinklers and those crates are gonna have to go.

I was NEVER trying to put you down at all, BUT the indoor fire codes are EXTREMELY different than outdoor, and vary by state, and even by towns sometimes, since we are such a unique business. there is a small section of national fire code,

"2003 International Building Code Portion of the 2005 State Building Code- Section 411"12581

I'm sure there's an updated version out there, since I believe it was revised in 2007, but it isn't much different, the essentials are right here.

You can do so much more with wall panels, and even chicken wire and foam, it isn't hard to make an awesome cave!

I also notice that your name is "Butcher's Hollow: The Retribution", you asked for help on a few more crates. Well, to be honest, why are you having so many different sets? You want your name to compliment your haunt, and vice versa. You can do clowns, but why not zombie clowns? (if you really want them??). There are so many aspects of a butcher shop, a butchery, etc, that you should be able to fill your 14000sqft with a ton of butcher stuff. From animals being butchered, to people, to a slaughterhouse, to a meat market, to a freezer door maze, to gory zombies that survived being cut up, i mean, you can do so much more, but when you throw in a bunch of dolls, or a 3d pallet maze, it get's a little hazy.

I've been managing, designing, building, and constructing for years now (even though I'm only 19 haha), and I'm finally opening up my own location this year, and I don't want to fall into the generic trap of just 1 scene dedicated to a different phobia, I want everything to blend together. We're doing 2 haunts this year, 3 attractions in all, one hospital, one cavern, and an indoor paintball shootout. The hospital is STRICTLY a hospital, but it will still play on everyones fears, from scary "shriners-style" clowns, a childrens ward, a gross birth scene, an emergency department, a cafeteria, even a janitors closet, x-ray room, toxic waste area, the whole nine yards, same with the cave. You can touch on a TON of fears, but you should try to theme them all to the same thing, to help make the theme flow better, it will improve your quality and over-all first impression of your customers, NOTHING is better than someone who comes back the next weekend with friends!! =)

04-04-2012, 10:24 AM
I talked about the code with him….don’t think he followed up, but that’s why I went with the sprinklers. Thought about foam panels.

Again great points the name goes with the backdrop story at butchershollow.com the haunted trail, the website is up but being re-vamped by a pro “Chad”. The ware house was taken over by a bunch of old carnies that had been persecuted at the trail, that’s how it all came together. I’m using panels for much of the haunt 40% , Contamination room, the offices and the workshop. Lots of chain link and barb wire (fake)too.

Dark Scares
04-04-2012, 10:24 AM
This is our third year haunting and I now know more about international building code for Special Assembly then I ever though I would!! ;)

04-04-2012, 10:33 AM
Sounds great!! Just be CAREFUL! There is a whole hell of a lot I thought I knew, but didn't, and I keep finding out more and more every day as I anxiously await to start building lol. So many people make silly mistakes and fall flat on their ass for it, I just didn't want to see that happen to ya!

04-04-2012, 10:37 AM
...and i really mean it when i say thank you!!

Allen H
04-04-2012, 05:58 PM
I want to help answer your original question, I will assume you are covering your own butt in the fire Marshal sense...
1. When I think of crates the first thing that jumped into my mind was Jurassic park and the loading of the velociraptors in the beginning of the movie.
I think a dinosuar crate that is a giant "monster in a box" (could be actor controlled on a big gimble) with dino sounds coming from a ghost sub- could be awesome, then another dino crate that is obviously busted open from the inside. then a dino scare of some kind (One of gore galores big head puppets coming from the crate would be excellent there)

2. Why not a refrigerator crate that has a cave man in a block of ice? and again one of the blocks being melted or busted open.

3. The falling tower of crates gag

that is a few ideas for you.
Allen H

04-05-2012, 07:24 AM
I was hopping you would reply! Thanks!!! all good ideas and very doable, i like the cave man the most could be a real cool layout:)

04-05-2012, 08:17 AM
I don't know why you got hell for the crate idea. I think it's great and safety-wise it's no different than walking into a cave. So if you can make a cave or wood panels safe... you can make a crate safe.

Your idea goes right along with an article I read recently. I think from HauntWorld magazine (but not sure). It was about going non-conventional and walking your guests INTO things they wouldn't expect like into a refrigerator or closet. A crate would be perfect for a warehouse.

1. As far as ideas, the first thing I thought of is a vampire coven shipping itself to America!

2. Remember the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark when the camera goes wide angle and you see all those crates storing government sealed mysterious objects? I don't know how to use it but I always loved that part. Government sealed crates are cool. Especially ones leaking gases or green light.

3. I've heard of homeless people making secret sleeping quarters in warehouses... almost like human rats.

4. Did someone just say "rats"? Gotta have lots of rats. Maybe big ones.

5. I don't know if you like theatrical scenes but I could see a botched drug deal or mafia killing. Those are always in warehouses.

Anyway, I like it. Good luck and keep us up to date on what you decide.

Allen H
04-05-2012, 10:29 PM
Spiders! I can see a spider crate, remember hearing that tarantulas are found in banana crates all the time.

Gore Galore
04-06-2012, 06:33 AM
I love this idea.

Using the GG giant heads in giant crates or cage would be pretty perfect.
The crates would have to be huge and that just adds to the visual impact of the scene anyway.
We have a giant goat head.
Ancient Evil is kind of Dragon or hell hound like.
Slither is a giant snake head so that would be great.
I am sculpting a giant rat head right now. so that could work too.
And ALL the sound already come with the giant heads.

Even if you had a crate or cage that had been broken out of as if the creature escaped so it would come at the customers from a different angle out of no where. And it could come at them immediately after they recognized that something had broken out of the crate or cage.

I would like to do a giant sewer entrance for a display for the rat head, or a giant alligator head.

The funny thing is we have done a frozen Neanderthal before in a freak tank.

04-06-2012, 08:35 AM
I love the idea of the crates and the fact that you can exit and enter each one giving the feel of still being in a warehouse. There are so many possible things to do on both inside and outside the crates. Best of luck!

04-06-2012, 08:07 PM
for the help, i really wanted to do something different, but some times i do things and people are like.."WHAT WAS HE THINKING" then i found myself second guessing myself for about 2 seconds:)!! There were a lot of great ideas in the last few post so....... HiHO, HiHO, its of to work i go:)