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Well, here I go again. I posted last year about so many technical glitches it's hard to belive that in all my preparedness some of the same things happened. Except for one: we got rained out.

Yep, nothing could have prepared us for a deluge that shut us down the night before Halloween.

Fortunately - in the "what worked" category, I went with - breathtakingly expensive - 6 mil black plastic for the haunt shell. If it weren't for this slight bank-overdraft-ridden choice, our haunt would be a total loss. It survived the rain and wind (kind of) wonderfully (pictures soon).

So, again, I claim that no more will we have a haunt outdoor. However, we're already planning on "better planning" including the use of the entire yard. Some die-hards never learn.

Our haunt went off without a hitch for our Halloween party - which was a week earlier than the rain - Oct 25th. The goulie jumper again was the scare hit of the haunt and originally took me only 20 mins to build. Ironically, the most "Disney" aspect of my haunt was the use of a "rain" effect that was a pond setup with overhead perforated plumbing. It was beautiful. It loses the novelty in a REAL rain storm however.

For the first time ever I build a platform guests would walk on. We called it "the ramp". Guests entered the haunt by going to our front door and then were diverted into the haunt down the ramp. The effects in the ramp area were flawless. It really gave the impression that they were crossing onto a pier or a dock.

On to the tech stuff. What worked?

1. Lighting: We did some really good moonlight and water effects that stole the show. The 3ch SimFlame saved the day as far as my “real candle flame” fanaticism is concerned. Brilliant device and I’m certainly going to order more of them.
2. The fog: two fog machines did the job creating a seemingly enormous show area.
3. Despite some early sound glitches most of it worked well. Although, you can never have enough sound players! I had the computer all setup to play 8 channels and then – get this – ran out of WIRE! Oh well, the entire haunt sounded great.
4. Motion sensors: We had a couple x10 Eagle Eye motion sensors setup that worked great. I’ve adapted the macros to run sounds and lights.
5. Mat Switches: We had two “jumpers” – the aforementioned goulie, and then a descending spider. The spider didn’t get up and running until the rain started. It was, however, the best effect yet. Combined a Cowlacious playback board with a Vellman Sound-To-Light with pneumatic cylinder/valve setup and a strobe. The effect was really cool and scared the pants off of us even while we were cleaning up.
6. Sounds: With the exception of the "environment" and "grim reaper" tracks from last year I recorded all new sound effects this year. I lost the original "jumper" scream so it had to be re-recorded as well as a new sound for the spider. I'll post some soon.

I’ll post more but for now that’s my quick roundup.
 
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