View Full Version : Life before animatronics

01-21-2009, 10:57 PM
Have you ever done this?

Since I can not yet affort multiple animatronics, I wanted to get a similar scare with ropes and pulleys. To tip a coffin up at the guests, instead of an automated air system, I would use a weighted rope and pully for an actor to pull to accomplish the same thing.

In general, and actor would be stationed in-between two such scares. As people approach, they would activate with rope or lever a scary prop. Then they would do their own scare 10 - 15 feet further down the maze, and finally have another prop that they activate somehow 10-15 feet after their live scare.

This would allow each actor 3 chances to scare the people, they could coordinate the scare as they control 3 scares in-line with each other. It also cuts down on the amount of actors needed.

Anyone done anything like this?

01-22-2009, 12:37 AM
Hav'nt done it, but sounds good to get the people looking / turning to the jumping coffin side while the guy who pulled the rope can then may be come from behind.
I will just make sure it is well made, so the coffin can't fall over into the people.

In magic we use a production box, called a japanese box, could be made in all sizes. It can be tipped forward to show empty and tipped back, where a hand can appear on top by a little hole in the lid. Tip it forward again to show empty, and back where the lid can be lifted or opened and somebody jump out.

01-22-2009, 02:54 AM
Yes and this is how I started my journey to owning a pro haunt years later,

Way back in the mid 1970s, my dad and his friend used ropes & pulleys connected to props and make them move manually. My dad also had props connected to the automatic garage door openers via rope and pulleys. So the click of a button and things would move all around the garage at once. Something would go up, something else down, something else across all at once.
I did this very same thing in my garage once I got my own house years later until I finally stepped up to animatronics. One year I had a giant spider raise from the floor. Another year these huge monster arms raised and lowered (along wit other things moving at the same time). Of course we had smoke/fog, music and other effects. I thought it worked out great and the neighbors loved it. How many garages come to life at Halloween?

Now there is the "Dungeon"...

Hope this helps,

Jim Warfield
01-22-2009, 08:07 AM
Use gradual bends. You can bend it yourself with a little heat from the heat gun and practise. Tape the joints then you can take them apart later for access or storage or reuse for something else.
A little silicone spray inside the pipe helps it move better/longer.
Did you assemble the whole pipe systen then broke the fishline? Make a small rag-ball tied to the new line and suck it through the pipe using a vacuum clearner.
30 feet away... the object or the critter moves!
The reset should be figured our with gravity in mind or a piece of elastic from Mommy's sewing box.
You can paint those pvc pipes to hide them, you can bury them under leaves or real dirt.
I use electrical pvc they make smooth gradual elbows for this pipe " Long-Sweep" els.

01-22-2009, 08:19 PM
I actually think this is the future of animatronics (with electric motors instead of human power). You can have a greater range of motion with slower, more fluid movements than with pneumatics.

Allen H
01-23-2009, 12:36 AM
I have a position called the puppet master, he is positioned over everyone and he pulls ropes and drops puppets to scare folks. worth every penny and way more reliable.
Allen H