View Full Version : Fake vs Real

05-11-2008, 09:07 AM
Ok everyone what is your opinion? I have been looking at some haunts across the country. And to me (this is just my opinion) some haunts look to good. What I mean by that is the detail is so detailed it comes off fake. I myself think that some things can be over done and when you go over board it takes on an apperance of it not being real there for everyone knows its fake. Let me give you an example. I have noticed Libraries in haunts several use the wood, or styrofoam books and the pattern is pertty much the same giving it a fake look. We have a librarie in our haunt and we have a few thousand books in there. It dont have the apperance of them being fake because they are real books. We try to make everything look as real as possiable by using real items. It takes more work this way and you really have to hunt. Trust me on this one I know I live on ebay,craigslist,local classifieds ect. And you almost always have to go pick it up instead of having it delivered to your front door. I myself think in the end it comes off much more realistic and believable. Again I am all for detail but does anyone out there think by using more of the manufactured items without hunting for the real thing and going over board with the detail that it comes off fake? Also before anyone makes more out of this dont come off and suggest a few rolls of plastic and a trip to Walmart of Spencers will give you a professional looking haunt! Whats everyone think? Shane

05-11-2008, 09:12 AM
I agree that happens, but I don't think you'd have to pick up the real thing to fix it. The right texturing or shading can turn any prop into a professional looking one.

What's really fake is when you walk into, for example, a haunted barn and find a library scene.

05-11-2008, 10:12 AM
Well I agree there and I totally agree you can take something new and with a few slaps of the paint it looks old. Let me give a different example so this thread dont take a wrong turn. Take tombstones. We have made several out of concrete and when its halfway dry scratch a name and date on it add some color and bang it looks real. The styrofoam ones look good but then again they look to good to the fake level. I few along with real ones looks much better than all fake. Again some of the "fake items" looks so good that its non believable. Maybe I shoud ask it this way so people dont read more into this. Anyone out there try to keep it as real as possible using real items and not reproductions. Shane

05-11-2008, 10:15 AM
We had some cook books (real old ones) on a shelf in Hell's Kitchen in our haunt and bugs got into them (we are way out in the stix) no matter how many times we sprayed the whole haunted house, the bugs still got into the pages of the real books
so we took them out.giggles Now I have wooden ones that have bug repellant
soaked on them.

But we have REAL cobwebs.giggles Some things need to be real I think.

I cannot wait to see your haunt Shane! I know its got to be great with
all the care you have put into it!


05-11-2008, 10:28 AM
I don't know, sure if you can't replicate something you might as well get the real thing, but I believe there are people who can really make believable "fake" ones. Take Jim (Gravestalker), owner of Graveside Manor, he makes custom tombstones not only for us but for other people, like the restaurant example I posted in the pictures here. Sure a REAL tombstone wouldn't have a business on it, or skulls, but they look exactly like stone, and look carved.

For every prop you will find someone who can make it out of nothing, but for those who can't build a certain thing there's nothing wrong with going to get the real item. It's a tough topic I guess, I see your point but after seeing some of the facades Jim has made, anything is possible.

05-11-2008, 10:30 AM
Thanks I am just one of many and I could not and would not do it with out the support and help of our team! Give credit where credit is due with them. I shall shall focus on the hell raising LMAO I AM KIDDING LARRY SO SIT DOWN! Again this is not about books per say just about going over board with all fake items. Shane

05-11-2008, 10:32 AM
He does nice work! Shane

05-11-2008, 10:50 AM
Shane, personally Bodybag Entertainment, goes above and beyond to create Realism in our scenic design, Our thinking is we want to create a illusion that sucks our visitors into it. Case in point last year we created a Pirate Ship although, people Knew it wasnt in the water, many experienced SEASICKNESS, this was a succesful Illusion, Created by all of the key details.

05-11-2008, 11:02 AM
I know you do! I have seen it many times. Vendors dont get me wrong I think most everyone in this Industry does an awsome job!!! Hands down no question. Let me try it this way. 1. does anyone go for the real thing when possible? 2. can anyone agree that sometimes you can go over borad and over decorate?. Again I dont want people thinking our vendors in this industry dont do awsome work because they can and do !! I am one of the biggest believers of that. Shane

05-11-2008, 01:29 PM
One of the things I have seen is a lot of stuff that looks too new, even if it's supposed to be old. For the most part, everything we should have in our haunts should have been there for a while and be faded or dusty. But I see lots of things with a glossy coat of paint, even when the paint was supposed to make it look old.

05-11-2008, 02:31 PM
My friend thats what I mean. Again I have seen sets to over done. AGAIN NOT putting anyone's haunts down. Just have seen them a little over done. Shane

05-11-2008, 07:09 PM
Shane, maybe I can partially answer your question. Yes I do believe a scene can be overdone...in the sense that you place so many props that it looks like you placed them there just for the sake of having props. ANY AND EVERYTHING PLACED IN A SET SHOULD BE INTEGRAL TO THE SET AND HELP TELL THE STORY. Im not saying that your haunt should follow a specific storyline or that you have to convey that to the guest by directly telling them...what Im saying is that even if you dont have a specific backstory, your scenes should always have a story behind them. You have to ask yourself some questions when youre set-dressing such as "who lived/worked here? what was their lifestyle and what kind of condition did they live in and why? what sorts of things were carried out here? does this make sense historically?" those are only a handful of questions but if your scene can answer that for the guest, and not have anything that is contradicting, then you are well on your way. I would much rather see a scene with "fake-looking" props that are beneficial to the scene than a scene littered with all sorts of clutter just to make it look "cool".

About your other question, the real deal is always better, as long as it works with the budget and the attraction. Wouldnt you rather have real bricks and real stone on your facades? I know thats not always feasible with temporary attractions, but if you have the money and the time, do it right...because for some people, realism and accuracy is what they pay money to see. Now dont get me wrong, I have no problems with foam brick or wooden books, they can be made to look pretty much identical to the real thing. Anyways those are my thoughts, hope that helps!

05-11-2008, 08:40 PM
I agree thanks for the input! At Graystone we try to be as realistic as possable. And your exactly right on a temp location. Shane

05-13-2008, 02:41 AM
I will say this a thousand times over... if you're building a haunt from scratch don't buy any animations or anything like that to start off. To often we see someone just buy everything in sight and throw them in a rooms painted black. Who cares... anyone can do that.

Personally I would MUCH rather spend my money on REAL old antiques, cool looking props, vac form, awesome looking trim, wallpaper and good artists who can paint and make things look REAL!

What do people expect when they walk into a 'HAUNTED HOUSE" they expect it to look like they imagined in their minds, in their nightmares, what they've seen on the movies or whatever.

Don't blow the money on animations and stuff until after you have a REAL looking haunt in place that looks like the theme you describe in your brochures. Animations, gory props, and all of that ENHANCE the attraction, and should never be the attraction.

That is my view!


05-13-2008, 02:45 AM
BTW... we are getting ready to build several new sets in the Darkness. Here are a couple drawings we did to accomplish this task. The reason I bring this up is because you should always get good drawings of rooms before building them. This will keep you on the right track!