I have a few costumes ideas that I am not going to use or need. Please understand that these drawings are now about 7 years old, if there are others similar, well, thatís how it goes for creative thinkers. Over the past few years some ideas were presented to individual costume makers that I felt might benefit from them. I will explain each one as I go. ĖIf you need an idea for your haunt I would be happy to help out, as I welcome the challenge.
Broken Neck. The picture in the upper right is just a prosthetic idea. Any actor can tilt their head to the side and walk around like a zombie. The neck has an open wound as if cut from a knife. In a perfect world, part of the spine would be hanging out.
Hello Dolly. Below in the picture, is the first of a series of a dolly effects (I wonít include the rest as you get the jist of them all here). The actor walks through the parking lot pushing a dolly that holds a garbage can on it. In this drawing it shows fireworks shooting out but, you can have pneumatic props pop out or another live actor. I designed a similar illusion for a magician many years back but that version used a garbage can. That can had a cut-out door in the back to let an assistant crawl in through the dolly and then into the can. The same could be accomplished with a good actor-team walking around outside. The pushing actor could stop in a crowd and lift the can showing it empty. When the can is placed back onto the dolly the second actor sneaks down through the dolly and into the can. Ė If you donít know how to sneak into the can; the pushing actorís costume will help hide the crawling and sneaking inside. Itís an illusion used by popular street magicians today.
On top: The shopping cart filled with garbage, is pushed by severed legs. The picture is fairly self-explanatory. The live actor is bent down inside the cart and covered by rubble. The legs are his, real and do the walking. On top of his legs should be a cut-off of his mid-section. This should look as if his body was chopped in half. Not sure this would be good for outside, but should work just fine inside in the right scene.
On bottom: This is the face from stomach costume. The great thing about a haunt is you never know what youíre seeing is real or not. The upper part of this costume is fake, fake head and torso. His arms are real. The bottom half is partially-fake too. The legs are real. The stomach is tan colored spandex with a slit in it. The actor, waits for people in the haunt. When they arrive, he pokes his head through the spandex. Notice the real arms are inside the arms of the fake body. This shows his real hands for added convincing that this thing could be real.
Blind zombie. This is my favorite costume idea. It satisfied all outside actor requests like the need to touch people in line. The blind zombie is dressed like a homeless person. He wears a bandanna over his eyes and carries a cane and if you like, a tip cup. In the picture, I have a trick blindfold. Those are sold in magic stores but you can just as easily use any black fabric or bandanna. The blind manís eyes are what sell this costume. When the blind actor has felt up the person in line, trying to find his way, he shows off his empty eye socket from under the bandanna. This empty eye can be done by either blacking out the eyes or the best way, use a prosthetic. This is one costume you should have walking around outside your haunt. Plus, most people wonít attempt to bother someone whoís blind. So, those rowdy people will not bother your actor.
Kitchen stew. The picture shows an actor that carries a large pot. The pot is filled with moving body parts. One of the actorís hands is inside the pot moving the contents while the other holds it up. One fake arm and hand is needed to pull off the illusion of two hands holding a pot. The actorís real hand is sticking through the shirt and into a hole in the back of the pot.
This effect could work with a pot filled with water too. But the hole would need to be covered with thick plastic bag. But, this makes the pot a little too heavy so it would need a strap for the actor.
Also, in this picture shows the pot on the stove. This is an old illusion where the window of an oven shows it to be empty inside. Then, an actor pops up through the pot. The oven is actually a giant mirror-box where an actor hides. This mirror inside is angled at a 45 degree. From the front, it looks empty with the door open and closed. The stove has a hole on the top for the pot. The pot has a hole in the bottom and thatís how the actor pops up. Ė I guess you can link the two.
Stretch. This costume was for an actor who could crouch down on a shelf or part of the set. A short person standing near a prop, stretches into a very tall person. This costume, simple in its concept, is frightening to see in person. The shirt is just tucked under to start and then unrolls when the actor stands up. The pants are the same but not tucked under. The legs of the pants just hide behind the shoes. The shoes can be just shoes that sit on the ground. If you want to go further, cut the shoes in half. Remove the ankles. Then use them in front of the pants. The actor crouches on a ledge and waits for people to come by. He only needs to stand up to get a good scare. Add some arm extensions and you got a cool effect that is cheap to build.
Head in a box or on a cake pan. This one is another one of those illusion ideas that make for great theater. The picture shows the costume and the secret how to make it work. The costume should be torn and fringe over the arms to help hide the actual actor bent inside the box. The actorís real arms are holding the box up. The second picture shows the cake pan method of the same costume. It will need more creative costuming to get this one to work. Just more hanging fabric over the arms should do it. Add a black shirt over the actor and that will work just fine.
The snake. Without a doubt this is my favorite costume. I drew this one years ago before I began the black book of haunted props. It might have even inspired me to start the book. The costume is a guy who is trapped, being squeezed to death by two huge snakes. The snakes have moving heads that sway at anyone nearby. The actorís hands are tied to his body and unable to move. Actually, his hands are hidden inside the snake heads moving them as puppets. In the picture it shows that the head of the actor is fake, but, I think it would be better to be real. The neck, should look twisted and tightened. A great airbrush makeup job will really sell this.
There might be a few costumes out there like this and the others today. This is part of the reason for me sharing them with you now. These old costumes have spawned several newer costumes that I will post on a later date. I hope they inspire you to create some more cool monsters and costumes.