View Full Version : Haunted Barn - Need help from the experts!

08-19-2009, 11:30 AM

I'm new to the forum, but I am a long time home and charity haunter.

I am in charge of the haunted barn portion of our Lions' Club Haunted Hayride. The Club has chosen a theme of Classic Horror movies for this year's barn, so I'm stuck with it. We will have the following scenes from the classic versions as you go through the barn:

Night of the Living Dead

While these are classics, I am beating my head against the wall, along with several other people's heads. I am really trying to make these "Classic Horror" scenes very scary and startling for today's audiences. I have some ideas, but I am reaching out to fellow Hauntworld Forum members for some ideas to make this a truly memorable event.

I love the classics, but they are extremely tame in comparison to what audiences of today expect. How can I twist these up a bit to make them very effective. I am looking for a good startle, or unexpected twist. We can use some gore, but we are limited by our club's policy to keep it PG-13 or close to it. We also have a very limited budget, so I'll be building the scenes and props myself.

All suggstions are welcomed. Although I have been a home and charity haunter for years, I am truly stumped by this year's challenge. As Vincent Price said at the end of "The Fly," "Help Me...."


Allen H
08-19-2009, 12:34 PM
I did a silver screen scream theme last year. I did the sets and costumes all in black and white and grays as if they were watching a black and white horror movie. That adds a wow factor to otherwise tame monsters. It was very well received.
For classic monsters try classic gags here are a few examples of what I mean.

Frankenstein- Set up the doctor to have a sparkwand and be close enough to the patrons to make it scary. Have the frankenstiens monster under a sheet on a table in a lab on one side of the wagon. the doctor goes over to the table and the lights flash and he yells "its alive" a few times crazy like. then all lights go out (noise is heard the doctor is heard screaming) and then come on again a second later and the body form under the sheet on the table is gone and the doctor is on the ground, then The monster suddenly attacks from the other side of the wagon when he has their attention the doctor can hit them again from the other side.

Dracula- I would do a classic coffin shuffle 8 coffins 4 on each side and have drac be able to come into one and come out of the other, two identical dracs one on each side should keep them guessing as long as they are not seen together it should go well.

Wolfman- A classic transformation chamber could add wow to a monster that is past his prime, its so classic many audience members wont remember it. If you need plans for this I can send you some.

Mummy-beats me, mummies are pretty lame. I did a styrofoam wall covered in hyrogliphics once, and actor hid on the other side and pushed out of the walls. I hot wire cut images of egyptians and fitted them in place, the actors just pushed them out and rebuilt them like a jigsaw before the next group. the set was lit from behind the wall with the cut outs so the actors were back lit, went well once we got it down.

Exorcist- bedroom scene with a wall behind the bed of scrim, so when the lights change they see a demon behind the wall and then the actors attack, a water spray/mist could come from her mouth at the wagon via a hose (like the pea soup scene) would take a bit to hide it and not get the audience to wet but it could be neat.

Night of the Living Dead - You got this one, there is so much you can do with zombies!

I hope those help,
Allen H

08-19-2009, 01:26 PM
Allen H,

Thank you! Those are the kinds of ideas I am looking for. The barn portion of the hayride is a walk through. It is midway through the hayride.

I have done a different scene in the field each year for the last 9 years. These have all gotten good reviews. I was asked to turn the barn around this year, since people complained that it had been lame, with black plastic walls, fog and little kids in masks jumping out at the patrons. This will be my first year doing the barn and I want the scenes to pop! I was out voted by the committee on the theme and scenes for the barn, so I'm pretty well stuck with it for this year.

The difficult part is that I have 2,200 square feet of space to haunt and a grand total of $250 for a budget. I will of course, go out of pocket to make this work. I will be using only seasoned adult actors and no kids.

Your ideas are a great start for me. I have done the Pepper's ghost illusion in my home haunt, so that might work well for the transformation chamber! Brilliant! Black, white and gray, also brilliant!

Thank you for the quick reply!

I am impressed by the professionalism of the members here. I had to go beyond lurking and become an active participant here. Since I am also the co-chair for the hayride, I want to move it forward from where it has been for the last 19 years. This forum seems like the place to be. I hope to contribute what I can to the forum.

Thanks again!


08-19-2009, 02:00 PM
Universal is remaking all the classics, The Wolfman was to come out this Nov. but was pushed back. Halloween Horror Nights is also having classic mazes this year but they will not be tame. The Frankenstein monster, Dracula, The Wolfman can be made to be very disturbing. You just have to stop thinking of the old movie you saw as a kid and bring the horror up to date. If you get a chance to post some pics that would be great, good luck.

08-19-2009, 02:11 PM
That's good advice. I have been thinking too "in the box" so to speak. Just because they want these classic themes, deosn't mean I can't go extreme with them. It is a small budget to do a lot, but I can stretch a dollar without the props or effects looking too cheap. I will have to earn the privilege to request a budget increase for next year.


Jim Warfield
08-19-2009, 03:32 PM
To make costumes from. Have all these famous monsters in one room and the country music starts up and it's "Hoe-Down!" All monsters dancing (in character), maybe some pink articles of clothing to add some mystery to the proceedings?
When the patrons begin laughing the monsters all get real mad!
"You going to dance with ME!" Says the monster as the customers are running away scared but laughing.
Make it more scary by having the monsters dancing with only the heads and hands visible as the partner is hidden by the monster's body, then they turn and all of the other dancers in the grip of the monster are just the hands and heads!
""I need a new partner, this one quit dripping already!"
Time for the crowd to RUN!
I think I would add Mikey Landon's Teenage Werewolf to this mix too.

Allen H
08-19-2009, 03:36 PM
Here is a link to a few shots of some of my costumes from last year.
these are actually apoor representation but you get the Idea
Allen H