A couple years ago we did one for the final scene/scare. I had a real looking manequin dresed as a clown, with the "pickles" clown mask sitting in a chair, in front of a large mirror (in think he had a knife in his hand), flashy christmas lights around the mirror. We lit the room mainly wth red, played circus music. Everyone thought the clown was going to scare them. Then, when the time was right, the actor came out from behind them in a clown costume, a clown squeeker, and we made a spark fence, except it wasn't a fence, on the wall so as he ran at the guests, sparks would fly. That was the pro haunt.
Last year in my home haunt, I painted a room to look like an entrance to a circus that an evil clown tookover, I made a drop panel, painted like the side of a tent (or maybe it had a clown head on it? i forget), and put "pickles" under it.
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