View Full Version : Need help with ideas for a home haunt.

09-29-2007, 06:51 PM
My brother and I have been creating a haunted house for a couple years now for a halloween party we have for family and friends. We have been doing the same things and looking for new ideas.

We have a two car garage that we make our haunted house in. We mainly just put up black plastic to create a long winding hall way thru the garage. We have a person guide them through(normally guide and 3-4 people at once). We use ropes and pulleys to move things such as drop a stuffed clown, or other creature in front of you as you walk by. Also we pull things over their heads down one of the hallways. We have two strobe lights, fog machine, string lights that we hook to the plastic, a coffin I made, a table that you lay on to make it look like a decomposed body as in http://www.hauntershangout.com/home/tricktable.asp One year we had a table with a person sitting under with their head and one hand through it.
We also have them walk up the steps into the upper part of the garage (an office) and have them walk around. We have a tv that reflects an image to a piece of plexiglass to look like it is outside a window. Other than that we have actors through it that do a scare in one place and then go somewhere else to do a scare or pull a rope.
In the garage we have a nice sized air compressor but have never worked with pneumatics (seems expensive and complicated) and never incorporated into haunted house.

Last year we tried to make a maze outside using black plastic walls and two by fours in the ground but it rained and no one walked thru that. Dont know if it is worth the time to try that again.

One year we walked through a path in the woods that we strung lights through along the edges of the path and to see where you are walking. We had a chainsaw with no chain that year which was good, and had pulleys and ropes dropping things and actors hiding in woods. The path wasnt cleared that great and they weren't staying on path but this year the path is cleared better and we want to try something in the woods again. Was thinking about showing them a clip about the goatman (we live in MD, where the legend about goatman began)
before letting them walk through the woods.

Sorry that this is long but if you read down to here and have any new inexpensive ideas because these are getting old to me and not as effective as they originally were at scaring them.

Jim Warfield
09-30-2007, 09:33 AM
Tell people you didn't build a haunt inb your garage this year, walk them through a normal looking garage to get to the backyard , except the car has fallen off the jack and a pair of twitching legs are pinned under the car!
There remains a zone of fear-safety when a prop is definately a Halloween item that their mind can quickly identify as a mere prop you are trying to scare them with for a fraction of a second.

Chainsaw Charlie
10-06-2007, 06:54 PM
My advice, go w/ the Goatman thing. Show the clip, use the theme
all the way. People react more to a cohesive idea than random horror scenes. Do a guided tour if possible, this way you can add backstory and keep people on the path.
approach it as the group is going to check out where the goatman has already been seen , or claimed victims, whatever. 1st couple of scenes could be like crime scenes, the guide pointing out evidence, describing carnage. I don't know anything about Goatman, but you can throw in details etc..
Another scene of just blood splatter or activity, and then a "fresh victim" along the path. Now things are serious, the guide is freaking out a little, and then the vic jumps up, right at the group, screaming about the goatman, and then disappears back off the path.
The guide keeps the group moving, maybe have a structure or house to investigate, seek refuge, but the guide is attacked and pulled away. He urges the group on their own through the dark.
This way the guide can go back for another group.
The rest of the way can be strange folks in the woods, actors camouflaged as part of the woods, etc.. Then at the end, the goatman attacks and the group narrowly escapes.

I know this is probably more than you expected, or wanted, but the point is tell a story first and foremost. Mix in the scares you've already been doing with hidden scares like the camouflaged guys.
It's all about timing, misdirection, and creating a sense within your customers that something is wrong, and that they may be in some danger. Don't be afraid to even use stretches of nothing but mostly dark woods to create suspense and tension.
Hope that helps, and good luck.