View Full Version : 60 Degree Corners vs 90 Degree Corners

12-30-2008, 12:19 AM
No, I'm not looking for temperature jokes.

As I've been doing research, reading books, looking at haunt designs, and reading back through some of the evalutations I had on haunts from this past season, I've been starting to play with more and more haunt layouts of my own. In doing so, I'm really starting to determine whether it's better to go with 90 degree corners (4 sided rooms) or 60 degree corners (6 sided rooms).

90 degrees seems to be much easier to work with, but a lot of haunt vets seem to prefer 60 degree corners.

What are the pros and cons of each? What did you choose, and why? (Was it even something you thought about doing the other way?)

12-30-2008, 08:35 PM
We use both. Our "classic" haunted house we use the 90* system. It gives a more natural feel to the rooms. But in Slashmasters Asylum we use the triangular grid system. It makes a more uneasy feel for our patrons since nothing is square as it should be. There are no corners for normality and the triangular grid allows you to have narrower hallways. It does cut down on the room size usually and gives you more for the square footage than the 90* system. Thats my opinion anyway.

12-31-2008, 12:23 PM
I will never do my haunt under a 60 degree because there is no such thing as a real mansion or a castle built like this... when is the last time you saw a castle hallway anything but straight, or a dungeon anything but straight, or a prison cell anything but straight?

Does it exist somewhere maybe yeah I guess I'm sure if you look hard enough you can find anything...but what does the common person think?

I go for realism and for that you need straight walls.

Lastly, and I can prove this on paper, with a 90 degree system you can get more walking space, room space, and everything else out of your haunted house than you can with a 60 degree. When you turn the walls in and out you lose space.

It is also harder to move props in place or get them to fit right when you don't have even walls behind them. Also let me say a 90 degree system is stronger than a 60 degree because of the fact the walls are turn in and out.

Look there are many people out there with 60 degree and for them it works great and they should go with what they think is best... but when you are asking me this is the reasons why I would go with 90.


12-31-2008, 05:21 PM
I agree Larry if you are doing a classic haunt it is much more realistic to have a 90 degree system not to mention it is easier to put up and faster to complete. I prefer the 90 degree system for its ease and ability. Our triangular grid just throws everyone off but as you said it is harder to fit props in. Maybe thats why we use both but in diffrent haunts.

Jim Warfield
12-31-2008, 10:47 PM
Gently swooping curves , teasing curves, just hinting that you really can see around the corner but you can't quite really do it. (Maybe it inspires them to keep moving , seeking.
Less ankle twisting too but not boring like a straight shot.
I like to think that a certain number of people go to a Haunted Attraction to see something DIFFERENT!!. Curving walls take more work, the first time you build them. If you have a numb-brained helper and you need this helper then don't try this.
Anybody ever build a coffin-shaped hallway? Mine curves and ramps uphill, yet maintains the definate coffin shape.
"Look what we are walking in! Do you see it?!"
"Of course I see it, I can recognise a coffin when I'm in one."
It is painted flat white to make it seem dreamlike. I have heard customers express the opinoin that they thought they were in a dream when they are walking through it. Success!!

If you have a new idea, build it, do it, you don't want to spend the last ten years of your life groaning that you should have done it...as you lay in that bed or wheelchair.
This is why the pointy tower room has a 40 foot high pointed roof instead of a 20 foot high pointy roof.
My Grandmother's failing health inspired me to take the tower to it's full potential, even though it was quite a bit of scary work, I didn't want to be that whining old geezer someday because of this. (It frees me up to whine about something else, though!)
Our time here is limited.

Greg Chrise
01-01-2009, 09:56 AM
The 60 degree system is great for a 2,000 to 3,000 Square Foot semi dark maze with unexpected twists and turns. Anything larger than that and it is only a tribute to the International Plywood and Lumber Industrial Complex. It is a chore getting spaces for large props but there are a great number of nooks and crannies to put actors in corners and hallways. Add strobes and fog and you are done.

However with out great detail you aren't going to be able to charge big bucks for a ticket and this haunt alone is not going to build massive repeat business. It does take a lot more time to set up and money to build than a 90 degree wall system as far as structure goes. I don't like the old triangular grid units where they painted what was supposed to be wall decor on them or castle blocks. It looks better all black with crap in there and actors coming from the shadows.

It is great for a charity that refuses to advertise or has a space limited to 3,000 SF to use. All the extra work and preparation and it is still just a good side attraction or fun house.

The thinner walls could be made into a 90 degree system but, it is more stable to have near conventional construction and building inspectors know this. On the same token, you have a small asset that has it's own character to an extent that is totally different to most haunts as few will put in all that extra effort or deal with all of those limitations.

The big thing is being limted to maing serious returns on your investment. You may have to charge $10 a ticket when it is really worth $5 as a side attraction to cover set up costs and lots of actors. It would never be something that would easily demand $20 a ticket. This also becomes a realistic match to how much pocket money potential customers have, how much was spent on advertising (like none) and for some small townships, this is all they deserve.

You have forced yourself into bottom feeding as an add on attraction to a good one and having many attractions at different locations and still ight not be making a speedy return on your investment.

I love my 60 degree attraction because it is so different. It shouldn't be your first haunt. It forces you to over think everything dealing with all the limitations to the point of being a burden when you should be more concerned with acting and themes than how to set up walls.

There would be nothing wrong with putting little 500 Square Foot sections of a 60 degree design at some points inside a square design but, there again you have required so much focus on trying to make something with limitations somehow special.

On the same token, if the sun emits an EMP blast directly at the earth and simultaneously makes dysfunctional all machines on the planet, your haunt being 60 degrees will still flourish because you won't have had any space or money left for animatronics to begin with.

01-01-2009, 10:07 AM
I like them both. 6os are more unnatural, but they make for some interesting scenes. I like the odd triangles for natural scare pockets and spots to hide effects. They are also good for caves and mirror mazes.

90s are easy to design with - unless you are good at CAD I would stay away from 60s.

From now on I am sticking to 9os most of the time they are wider and make for better throughput.

Just more tools for a designer to use!


01-01-2009, 03:29 PM

I was waiting for you to chime in... LOL

I know you have both and it seems to work effective. Netherworld is awesome! We only use 90 and have never even considered 60.

However if you are going with 60 degree you can design these on 60 degree graph paper. You can actually buy the graph paper so you can design your haunt. A few dollars and you are off and going...


01-01-2009, 05:49 PM
If they want to play with designing a triangular grid haunt they dont have to buy the paper. They can go to incompetech.com/graphpaper/ and print it for free. You can also adjust the color,size and other variances on this site.

Greg Chrise
01-01-2009, 10:10 PM
You don't even need to print out paper if you go to the triangular grid design section on this page.


with this software it is like a video game putting in walls, taking them away, fixing designs and then hit print, with or without the grid showing.

01-05-2009, 07:57 AM
First, I want to thank everyone for their input. It really confirmed a lot of what I was thinking. It's good to get the input from people with experience to back up the "book learning" and conclusions drawn from that.

Second, I'm sure this question doesn't come up, but just in case someone does have it in the future, and if they are good enough to search before asking again, here is the summary of what I got from this thread, as well as reading.

90 Degree Walls

Easier and Faster To Build
Stronger construction
More natural and familiar
Easier to get large props into
More tools for design
Generally creates larger rooms and wider hallways
Easier learning curve in designing since spaces will be more familiar
May be easier on building inspections

60 Degree Walls

Lots of corners to hide actors and scares.
Easier to disorient customers and create mazes
Gives a different feeling than more familiar construction.
Gives different perspectives on scenes (there are 6 sides to view)
Useful for caves, mazes, and areas that shouldn't seem like natural construction.

This also has me wondering, has anyone considered an FAQ on these forums? I'm sure there are questions that come up over and over that veterans just groan at when they hear them. Might be a worthwhile exercise to compile some of the most common ones.

01-05-2009, 08:09 AM
Although I haven't really built any haunts, I've been messing around with 60 degree layouts in CAD lately and even then it's not quite so easy.

Which has me wondering...just how do you all do your 60 degree corners? The thing I've been noticing in CAD is that a 60 degree layout will never have consistent hallway widths, once you take into account the width of the wall panel. If you're drawing it as single line, everything seems ok. But realistically speaking, that line has thickness, and the wall panels don't attach at the center (if that makes any sense). The same can be said for 90 degree corners, but those are a lot easier to plan.

For those on the 90 degree system, how do you do the joints? Are panels attached as a butt joint sort of way (hard to describe, but anyone who's done this probably knows what I'm talking about), or do you just use some angle brackets to hold it together or do you build special corner sections to attach everything?

Also, why is it either 60 or 90? Does anyone (aside from Jim) use anything other than these?

01-05-2009, 09:00 AM
First place I'd point you for 60 degree wall construction is JB Corn's book #1 as well as his old website material. It includes info on wall construction, and the site has a number of room ideas using the odd angles.

My favorite design I've seen for 90 degree walls (due to simplicity and duribility) is framing the plywood sheet with 2x4's, and then using bolts to attach 2x4 to 2x4. For corners, 2x4's are turned sideways. Of course the issue for this is that it only works when using one sided walls, since you wouldn't be able to access the 2x4's for the bolts when there is plywood on both sides.

In practice, I don't think that design works as well as it does in theory unfortunately.

01-05-2009, 09:21 AM
When you draw the lines you get a 42 inch corridor. If you use standard 2 inch thick Haunt panels - (Sheathed sidways 2x4s) that eats up 2 inches or so, so the standard corridor is 40". In 90 degree you also lose that 2" on average getting you 46" wide. (Where do you put your wing panels? If you put them on the seam you get 46" corridors, if you hop to one side you get a 48 and a 44, or if you butt between you just extended your entire wall 2"..etc) Of course as you know over long runs even slightly odd panels can build lost space into the design - I like the slip groove Larry uses, it minimizes that problem

So in 7 runs of corridors, let than 50 feet or so, you gain an entire corridor in your layout with the 60 style. The problem is you get these triangles that Larry doesn't like that are "lost path" Of course in 90s people also don't walk in the corners, so that could also be lost path.

In a haunt lost path is useful, that is where you put props actors, etc.

Once again I think both have uses, the pros and cons sum it up nicely. 60s are much more difficult to design with. If you have never been in one, that is how mirror mazes are made , you can check them out at Transworld. Larry has one and Oak Island will probably have one on the show floor as well.

THE book on them is by JB Corn I thnk it is free somewhere - I think Nightmare Tony makes it available to all who want it.

Its all good!


01-05-2009, 10:07 AM
Ben your right

Nightmare Tony makes it available here is the link