View Full Version : Walls v. pods

Doug Kelley
12-15-2007, 09:41 PM
I just read an article about using pods instead of traditional walls for building a haunted house. Is anybody using this technique? Do you have any pictures to share or good insights? Thanks!

12-15-2007, 10:50 PM
Can you post a link to the article, I would be interested in reading it.

Greg Chrise
12-15-2007, 11:21 PM
It's a wonderful idea until the magic smoke comes out of your 1968 forktruck for the last time. Once you let out the smoke it is impossible to get it back in there.

I remember this article and thought how stupid it was that they came up with the word "pods" to be so hip, when all they are suggesting is welding what ever crap together like drums and barrels and cars and more crap on pallets to be your haunt or a portion of scenes. How high tech and catchy is that idea?

So what do you have in mind for scenes? The labarinth of 1000 haunted refrigerators?

Yes, when ever you bolt and weld crap to pallets it needs a catchy hi tech name instead of crap on pallets. That way you will get yourself into Haunted Attraction Magazine. Don't forget to buy 5 copies for your mother and enter the Madame Curry look alike contest, enter as often as you like, no purchase necessary.

Greg Chrise
12-15-2007, 11:46 PM
I prefer to call them COPs. Crap On Pallets. or JWT's, Junk Welded Together. What is this NASA?

Quite simply it comes down to cost per lineal foot of crap that contains the path of the customers, wether it will need to be moved and how much it will cost if it has to be moved.

Where will it be stored off season? Outside somewhere awaiting the environmental action arm of the sheriffs department to say "hey buddy you can't have that crap just piled in there like that." Or indoors costing so much per square foot per month. Walls are a lot thinner so as to have many stored in a smaller space and are lighter so as to be moved, less expensive to fabricate brand new even compared to one fork truck rental or tow truck or portable building trailer hired to move crap.

With lighter less bulky items you are less likely to injure the movers or the movee if it is too heavy and starts going over on its own.

Of course it is very realistic to see a pallet under every piece of every scene, sticking out just enough to catch a foot on.

Of course every year we hear of a haunted house half down burning because they were welding inside to fix something.

Of course once a patron looses a few fingers on an unfinished edge of a bunch of crap welded together on a pallet, they are less likely to touch everything as they go through the rest of the haunt.

Nope, no one is doing this except for 3 pallets somewhere in Buffalo New York that made it into a magazine. You've already seen all the pictures. The secret is out now.

12-16-2007, 12:05 AM
Actually, I take it as anything that's not on a wall like a babies crib, a fridge, a boiler, etc.... is considered a "pod". At Kings Island (Ohio theme park) we used a mixture of both... "pods" and walls. Meaning that you can paint or create a "backdrop" on the walls and use pods as actual enviromental elements.

For example... our walls for a particular room would be painted like a rusty, industrious metal-n-bolts walls with blood/guts/goo running down and across them. The pods in the room would be like toxic barrels, maybe a spaceship/car/helicopter, alien "captivity" capsules, surgery tables, etc.

You can really let your imagination go nuts with this idea, and I see where you are coming from Greg. It's just my own opinion that it's better to use a mix of both scenic elements. -Tyler

Jim Warfield
12-16-2007, 12:39 AM
The last ime I saw Joe Jensen at Transworld he was trying to sell "Pods"(this is ancient history)
Joe's Pods were rectangular boxes with an open side with display stuff inside, they were supposed to hook together to make a bigger display or pod, I think?
No pallet was visible as I seem to remember it?
Sorry to say but bolted walls with goo running down them, spaceships and all the other stuff previously mentioned were all the results of somebody else's imagination running wild, now it falls under the heading of a copy of someone else's imagination running wild. Which reminds me, I saw a man walking down the street in Savanna, Illiniois today testing out his very wild and creative new Halloween costume!
He had on a stocking cap, coveralls and the coveralls had a big, dark drippy stain on the butt of the seat of the coveralls, not on the cheeks butt right in the folds of the crack or seam. We might not have really looked to then notice this except he was pulling at it trying to pull the wetness of it al away from his posterior and walk at the same time!
One man's protest against the conformity of using toilets.
(Yes, we really saw this! No, we did not stop to offer him a ride.)
The Jeep's new upholstery wasn't up for handling three people with messy pants seat rubbing along on it. (Cause we would have been messing too, unable to control the urges!) HAHAHAHAHAHA!

12-16-2007, 01:46 AM
Truck: (theatrical term) A low platform with wheels or castors on which a piece of scenery can be moved. Pod: A family of whales. If people would use accepted theatrical terms, there wouldn't be so much confusion. Trucks have been used in theatre and film/tv for years. But I guess if you give it another name and write an article about it, you've invented something "NEW". Oh, and don't use pallets as bases. Build a platform with lockable wheels, they are much easier to move and lock in place.

Jim Warfield
12-16-2007, 07:43 AM
Darn it! You just gave away my secret! The Ravens Grin is on caster wheels but the place is also as big as a whale, so I guess that it's still a "pod"?
So many harpoons and still going!

Doug Kelley
12-16-2007, 08:25 AM
Here's the article, assuming it's okay to post here:


I guess when I read it I was thinking more along the lines of trucks rather than "pallets of junk welded together." For example, an attic scene could have several trucks with wooden crates that could be easily moved. What I wasn't seeing was how that eliminated the need for walls. The more "colorful" descriptions of a pod cleared that up!

Greg Chrise
12-16-2007, 12:17 PM
Pallets, fork truck or pallet jack. This is bad unless you are in a permanent 20,000 or more square foot haunt and just want to redecorate or move things out of the way to make access for a hockey game or monster truck event.

I like using the word "truck" better. There already is a word for a skid of stuff with all kinds of time consuming devices attacted that needs to be moved in. It is called a prop.

Escentially if you are a mobil haunt, you just demanded that your off season storage is the same size as your haunt location, which kind of means you have enough space that the off season location could be a permanent location so why have to go to a second place? Bring the customers to you in PODs! Those are called shuttle busses, limos. SUVs and so on.

On a huge movie set, sound stage there might be the reason to move in all the scenes and put them together for a day and then move something else in for the next day but the lay out room is huge and they are only moving to keep all the equipment and cameras all hooked up and working. Its easier for 6 guys to move a wall on wheels and lash it to another than move the whole recording bank and re hook it up and destroy the connectors and fix them every time you plug and unplug.

It all still gets down to money. I know one attraction that has some huge props and I have surmized the reason they have a hayride is to utilize the big trailers and off season take all the props to a large metal storage building large enough to house everything. Of course this is on 46 acres and they are protecting their investment in so many ways. Over the years they have gotten lazy and the trailers are part of the gig. They open up and have animatronics to look at like scenes in the que areas and it is charming but it still looks like crap on a trailer no matter how grand it has been fashioned.

To me a pod is a little escape capsule to leave the mother ship when all hell breaks lose. Some how they always manage to show up again instead of just floating around in space until they die.

There is a company around here that has mobile storage containers they call pods. Something P word on demand. You call the number and you get a temporary little storage container. Portable On Demand Storage. That's pretty catchy.

Our shop has the same lay out space as the indoor haunt location, with out any facilities for parking but, I have never had the desire to set everything up and move it all down the street and into the building like so many parade floats. It actually seems still like double work, a traffic jam getting it just right into the building and you add easily $6 per square foot having everything up on decks.

The actuall number of trips and the fuel and labor to attend such a move is more. I can make 6 trips versus if the whole thing was a pod system it would be 20 trips and I'm sure some happless victim would end up bolted in between things.

The off season storage would need to be literally 10 times as much in square footage and so you have some kind of bill off season that would be 10 times more if you are paying for storage or in the case of what I have seen many semi trailers instead of perhaps a few. Money Money Money.

Actually the time spent assembling a wall system is only one third the time if you are paying labor as well.

Sure it would look cool coming in and setting up and flipping a switch like the Army Corp of Engineers in 2 hours with 20 trucks. It would make it look like there will be some bills due. Or you could go back to the 1870's circus (where the Army learned their tricks) and bring in 20 rail cars each with 5 wagons and 750 men setting the whole thing up from 7 AM to 11 AM and all the while the 2 lunch wagons are cooking to feed everyone. Then you could actually be tearing down as the last tour is going through and be in the next town tomorrow but, I'm afraid you would have to fill the bleachers with paying customers. This gets crazy having to have elephants moving things and then having to put on a show. I mean who's gonna clean up the poop? Not me pal.

12-17-2007, 11:24 AM
Jim, thanks for bringing it up. Joe Jensen had the concept pioneered of haunt in a box of whatever name he called it of a pallete mounted crate that the sides folded down to help form floor and scenery arrangements. The idea was to rent and rotate each year, allowing for a faster setup time.

Greg Chrise
12-17-2007, 06:53 PM
That sounds like Magic Sea Monkeys! Just add water!

The next up would be a Chia Haunt. You brush on the seeds and it gets scary!

Greg Chrise
12-17-2007, 07:15 PM
No, it's more like Transformers, you drive in a 73 Camaro that is blowing blue smoke out the exhaust and has a hard miss on #7 cylinder and get out. Once you hit the remote it unfolds, telescopes out, opens up and flops around to become a spooky graveyard scene with spooky fog and everything.

Until they bring down the price on technology like the automatically cleaning gas station bathroom module, I would Nix the Haunt in the box research and development. Unless of course you are doing your haunt to make your grand children rich? A massive plan to enslave generations sprung from your loins into servitude to keep the world at large scary way off into the future.

Perhaps we could isolate the scary Gene? I know I have seen some scary Jeans?

Mr. Haunt
12-17-2007, 07:41 PM

If you look close the picture with the "Skeletons", I believe that this is a good picture of a POD. You can see that this set up of Skeletons is on a group of pallets.

You just kind of dink around on web sites and you might find what you are looking for! LOL


Greg Chrise
12-17-2007, 07:53 PM
What begins with the letter "F" and ends in "UCK"?


Jim Warfield
12-17-2007, 08:29 PM
Gregg you are quite the "teacher"! After all these years NOW I know what those bathroom wall authors were referring to!
Maybe driving a fork truck is the ultimate phallic symbol? At least on wheels, it's difficult to misplace first place , it has to be the farm silo, visible from a great distance, looming over the horizon, casting a massive erect shadow over the entire barnyard scaring the animals, even the bulls run away!

12-17-2007, 11:10 PM
Jim, you think he got one too many free cowboy hats in the bathrooms?

Greg Chrise
12-17-2007, 11:51 PM
I have no idea what that is.

Jim Warfield
12-17-2007, 11:55 PM
I never use public bathrooms anymore, it saves time and is safer if you just fill your pants, clean up when you get home.
Nobody crowds you in the store aisles either.
"You walk as if you had a hernia?"
"I may develope one carrying such an off-balance, off-white load behind me. When it pokes out real solid some people think I'm growing a tail!"
Then they find out what it really is, they act all surprised, pretending that they never do this!

Greg Chrise
12-18-2007, 12:08 AM
The number of skeletons on a big pallet look just like a bunch of skeletons on a pallet. I'm sure it is functional as it looks like it is an outdoor piece, that needs to be moved, hence the room for a big fork truck to move around.

It's too plain or I have seen too many pallets in my life?

Maybe some flash cards would identify what age level can identify a pallet by name? Then at what age this is a distraction from being entertained? look Bob, it's a bunch o skeletons and some boxes on a pallet...Ya suppose they move that somewhere every night? I guess for some this is entertainment sort of like Hey Earl, is that the Black & Decker Hedge Trimmer 5,000 your using there?

It isn't what Haunt entertainment could be. There's probably $700 worth of crap on that pallet and I'm looking at the pallet?

Jim Warfield
12-18-2007, 12:36 PM
When people had outhouses in their backyards the Halloween sport was to dump someone's outhouse over, sometimes with them in it!
Enterprising young vandals had their hands full doing laundry when the intended victim's outhouse would be prematurely slid back a few feet creating an elephant trap for the would be vandals.
So Imagine this for a new rental business: "Hello, Port-a-Horribles"
"Hi, here's my credit card number*%^$^*#@ I want a Port-A-Horrible delivered to 157686 Hwy. 155 south, Flint , Texas, park it right outside the north window."
"Can you place it at least within two feet of the window?"

"Oh, I wonder what the weather is doing outside today?"
"AAAUUGGHH!" To the sudden sight of a gruesome practical joke delivered right outside of your window.
King Kong's butt on a pallet! Looking in your window.(Complete with twitching sound defects!)

Mr. Haunt
12-18-2007, 04:13 PM
You know it just might be a bit more easy to use a POD or some other form for haunting type walls to control guests as they walk through. One thing that comes to my attention is; these PODS can not be stacked on top of each other for proper storage. I think because of what they are would take up to much room come the off season.


12-18-2007, 04:49 PM
They are really good when used on trails or hayrides! And Mr.Haunt, they 'can' be stacked... some can. ;) . -Tyler

Greg Chrise
12-18-2007, 05:18 PM
Sure, sent porta potties to our old shop address! I don't care.

Good things should be sent to the Tyler Address, bad things to the Flint Address.

01-06-2008, 07:32 PM
They are really good when used on trails or hayrides! And Mr.Haunt, they 'can' be stacked... some can. ;) . -Tyler

So you can make a sort of haunted Hollywood Squares? I'll take Frankenstein to block, Bob! X gets the square.