I'd like to take a moment to introduce myself :3
My group, although currently un-named, hopes to be called Haunts For Health. This year though, we are simply a group of friends and family, ranging from ages 10 to 65, that are going to be running a haunted house at our home ^_^
The goal of which, is so we can assess the amount of work and effort that goes into building a haunted house, and see if we have any talent for doing so. The ultimate goal, is that if we indeed do have a talent, and see it as a feasible project for the future, we will take our group to be an annual charity organization, that runs a haunted house in a commercial area to raise money for a charity relating to a health issue, such as cancer.
This year however, we are simply creating a small, home haunt, that is almost like, a test of our skills. Over the last few weeks I've spent lurking this forum, and other websites, I think I've come to understand that indeed, a home haunt is no laughing matter. Although this years run through, will not be the most accurate way of seeing if we are indeed capable of running a commercial event for charity, it is a good place to start in my opinion.
At the moment, our house is going to be constructed of PVC Pipe (3/4inch) and Black Plastic (4mm). While not the most sturdy of materials, it is a cheap, and easy frame/wall for what we are doing.
We don't expect to have more than about 100 people enter our house, which will only run for two nights. The first night will be October 30th, and the 2nd night will be the 31st. The first nights run through will be open for only about an hour or two, and open to a select audience, so that we can test and make sure our scare tactics and frame/props are working well.
The second night, will be Halloween, and open to everyone that would like to enter.
In this thread, I'm going to be posting updates, for each step of the process to creating a haunted house we follow. I intend to take a lot of pictures, and possibly even video, so that we can have something to present to potential sponsors next year, and I don't think some people on this forum would mind seeing how it goes either ^_^ So I will post everything here.
I'm also going to be asking a few questions :3 That hopefully people on the forum will be willing to answer <3
Stage 1 : Planning & Budget
Our current budget is about $700.
After many sketches, measurements, total scrapings, and complete cost analysis, I think we have finally settled on a good (possibly over sized) house. A few questions we had to ask ourselves, was "How much walking space should our guest have?" and we decided that a constant minimum 3 foot pathway would be best. I personally would much rather have gone for 4 feet, but the budget is a bit too tight.
Here is the pathway sketch for our house. It may seem a bit un-readable to some people that don't understand what it is, but I'll try to do as easy of a description as possible. I will also post the bottom and top view/plans soon. They show the structural plan itself, that shows where each pipe will be and the connectors needed for it. The structure is always 7 feet tall.
The bottom left area, where the red line begins, represents the entrance. The red line (surrounded by 2 white lines) represents the path the guest will take through the house. The green areas, represent the 7 different scare areas that make up our house, this is where props, and scare actors will be located.
The white 4x30 area in the center of the house, represents the "Scare Tunnel" which is a long tunnel where scare actors can easily scare guest as they walk through the house (it is covered in black plastic). The entire outer rim of the house, is also covered in plastic. The only other areas that are covered in black plastic, are the double-lined bold areas you see, which serve as blinders, or hallway/room separators, and have a push through clear shredded plastic or sheet between them.
The theme of the house is a fairly simple one, and that is a hospital that has gone to hell. For us, this means a virus outbreak that has driven the patients and doctors mad. This was chosen because it is easy to do, and we already had many of the props needed.
Outside of the house, near the entrance/exit, there is the "Head Nurse Station" which is a desk, that our "Head Nurse" will be stationed at. There she has a computer, which controls the music throughout the house, and a microphone, so that she can communicate to both guest and actors within the house.
I will post a description of each room soon ^_^
So, to build the structure alone, it is going to cost us $464, with tax, it comes out to about $500, which leaves us about $200 for props, many of which we have already.
We have the proper liability insurance. I understand that at no point should you touch a guest. I live right next to Universal Orlando, so every year, huge groups of me and my family and friends go to Halloween Horror Nights, probably about 10 times a year :3
- Is the structure too big (not law/ordinance wise, but feasibility)? Many home haunts I've seen, are only about 20x15. This structure is 20x25+16x15, so roughly 740 sq ft.
- We are not charging at all this year, and it will only be operating for about 4 hours (up for about 72), should we get the Fire Marshal involved? Emergency exits will be marked, and we have 4 hoses, and 2 fire extinguishers. There is no permanent electricity, and no fire used. Do you think we even need a permit? We already have approval from the home owners association, and we will not be advertising the house at all (would generate too much traffic).
This is really just a sincere, home haunt, for neighborhood friends and trick or treaters to enjoy.
- We will be warning that the house contains strobe lights, fog, and scary/graphic material that may be too intense for some, including that children under 13 should not enter without an adult. Should we warn about anything else?
- Should we use black plastic on the roof too? I heard that should it catch fire, it turns into tar and can really hurt people. Should we use flame retardant black plastic? Or is the 2 fire extinguishers, and hoses enough? I should add, that we will be able to keep constant watch on everyone in the house, as each room has 1-2 scare actors, and the center room can keep watch on ANYONE at any time. Not only that, but we are pulsing the line, so there should never be more than 6 people in the house at once.
- Any recommendations for low cost black lights, fog machines, and strobe lights?