View Full Version : Idea/Theme help

Jack Colquitt
10-17-2006, 09:36 AM

I am involved in a haunted trail that will be running on the 27th and 28th. Me and my group have been trying to think of an idea or theme. We're kind of leaning toward doing a torture chamber or something similar. I watched a show about Vlad the Impaler (boy, was that guy messed up), and got a few ideas.

A pile of severed heads
"bodies" on spikes
Apparently, one of Vlad's brother's had the skin on his face removed by the Ottomans.

If anybody could give me some tips on how to accomplish or build/make the things I mentioned above, or has any other ideas, I would really appreciate it.

To give you an idea of my site, its a wooded area about 30 yards long and the trail is about 10 feet wide throughout.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Village Haunter
10-18-2006, 10:24 AM
The Vlad them could work, because the wars, impalings, etc. were all "outdoor activities". Haunted trails have the challenge that they (usually) need to be things that would naturally be outside.

But make sure that you create something to block the views from one scene to the next. Otherwise there is no suspence. You can cut and move foliage to create these barriers, or sometimes you can hang black plastic from trees, poles, lines, etc. Just make sure there's a way to block so people can only see one at a time. Also, the guests perceives it as longer when there are twists and turns along the way.

It is also good to throw in a few changeups. I like to add humor occasionally, which often takes them off their guard enough for a really good scare. Don't just focus on gore; young guys enjoy it, but it does very little for anyone else. You are trying to entertain, and that keeps them coming back for more.

Take a good look at your resources (props, electronics, actors, makeup) and then come up with a story line, whether it is the Vlad theme or something else. A coherent story is critical, as it helps to "suspend disbelief" as the Leonard Pickel has often said. You need to have something that gets them caught up in the scenes and the images--especially the ones they create in their own mind, which are much more effective than anything you will create physically for your guests.

So take a look at resources, create a comprehensive story, throw in a few changeups, and create barriers that will force them to see only one at a time, and dread what might be coming next.

When creating a theme, take advantage of location, etc. Could this be a good location for an archeological dig, where some funky burial was discovered while preping for a housing division? Is this a good spot for an interrupted Halloween ritual? Maybe your neighbors had been complaining about strange sounds when the moon is full. Toxic waste can be a lot of fun, and I think it resonates where I live by a nuclear facility. When theming it helps to look at what is around you, and take advantage of the "set" that you did not even have to build.

Good luck! I hope this was a tiny bit of help.

Village Haunter
10-18-2006, 10:27 AM
Another thought: make the trail narrower somehow, at least be placing periodic barriers. Create tension!!

10-18-2006, 11:33 AM
You can use the "pod" method of creating a path/walkway. Simply use materials that maybe wouldn't be a wall, but would alter the path somehow. Use things like:

Wine barrels
Steel Drums
Large wooden Shipping crates
Hay bales (fireproof)
Aluminum Trash cans (all dented and beaten up)

I like your idea of a theme, it could work well and really be scary. I have done ALOT of work for outdoor events, so if you need any help just PM/email me! Good Luck! -Tyler

Jack Colquitt
10-19-2006, 09:52 AM
Thanks for your help. I like the idea of splitting it up somehow. I'm trying to figure out how to do the impaled dummies now. I was thinking of making them as lightweight as possible, but can't think of any way to fill out the torso with some sort of hollow item, like maybe a box or milk jugs or something. I've done chicken wire and newspaper in the past, but I think that may be too heavy to remain standing to the pole...

Village Haunter
10-19-2006, 10:51 AM
"Great Stuff" is a common material utilized for projects like this. If you can somehow create a mold, you can use this expanding foam insulation for lightweight shapes.

Good luck