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For those who care ... WHY?? ... anyway, our 2008 Haunt is actually getting close to being finished. We took lots of in-process-pics this time. When I posted the the '07 Haunt pics, we had some PMs asking various "How'd you do thats?" .... er ... maybe it was "Why'd you do that?"

Oh well, at the current inflating cost of threads, I thought I'd toss these pics in to match the value of the thread with it's cost to me.

ANATOMY OF OUR HAUNT

Back in September my son and I hauled all the wood from the "wrong side of the house" aaaaallllll the way around to the front and started trying to decipher our '07 pics and codes written on the 2x4s.

Ah! walls!!


We use a framed lattice to add more solidity to the structure and it allows us to make changes to the interior very easily. It holds / hides extension cords and video equipment too.



This year we extended the entrance all the way to the sidewalk. We needed the extra 18" for our new greater.


Oops, the new fence is crooked ... installed crooked. Mmmm. Let's say we did that on purpose because it's supposed to be old ... yeah, that's what we did. This is right after my son suggested that we take the roof all the way to the house and make it look like a spider web. You see a little of it peeking up above the back part of the side walls.


"But Dad, I did all the work coming up with the idea of the spiderweb roof, the least you can do is build it by yourself." There is no pic of my response. :rolleyes:


Spider's view of the web structure. Yes, that's a slightly twisted 4x4 that forms the center beam for the plastic sheet roof. Some one bought a golf cart and left a huge, custom "pallet" in our parking lot at work - All 3" torx screws. My son and I dismantled it and used every piece of wood and the screws too. Free wood. Cool.


It took my son hours to construct this with his compressed air web spinner. Riiii
ght.


That's it for this first installment. We should be VERY close to being finished by Sunday night and I MUST be finished Monday night, because I'm out of town for work until Friday:(

I used a tripod tonight to get a "black light" pic of the new Laboratory, so here's a preview of the next installment.
 

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Lt I can tell the difference the addion has made on your haunt, I think it looks great! I can't believe you are gonna be out of town till Friday....man I feel for ya guy, thats gotta be rough with you trying to complete something like you guys are working on. It will be be a good time for your son to become lead haunt builder! He can get it to completion.

Your house looks great as we are just like you, we try to add more each year. Look forward to hearing what the spectators have to say this year at your place, its always so much fun when they come & you have added more!!

Have a good trip & hurry home safefully for our beloved halloween night!

the Muffster
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Muffy, you're very kind.

We put in a long day again today, but my son had to quit early to finish up a paper due in school tomorrow. He also has two tests this week, so I'm not too optimistic about any significant contributions after I leave. My Flight isn't until tomorrow evening, so I've taken tomorrow off to achieve what I can.

The bottom line is that our plan this year was very ambitious if all went well ... and it did not. Winds and the real world (the job that pays for all this) contrived to slow and even reverse our progress this year. Yet we accomplished much more than last year.

Today while we worked we had many, many drive bys ... aaaa lookers that is. At least a dozen families walked up and asked if they could tour the haunt. We were working on props in the garage, so there's nothing left to trip over or fall on them = foot traffic OK. Some Moms and kids come each day (it seems). Today there were a lot of first timers.

Everyone was very nice ... complementary ... lots of questions ... several contribution offers. Maybe I should add a UNICEF box next year.

Too busy to take pics today, but will take and post some in the morning before I get started.
 

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Devilishly Dutch
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Looks great!
Where do you get those wall sheets with the brick motif?
DH is busy building an entry and ended up having to buy flooring with a brick motif to cover it up.

Love the lab pic!

MsM
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Looks great!
Where do you get those wall sheets with the brick motif?
DH is busy building an entry and ended up having to buy flooring with a brick motif to cover it up.

Love the lab pic!

MsM
All the walls are Scene Setter Plastic sheets. Because the SS sheets are about as thin as a typical plastic table cloth, we us 4 or 6 mill plastic sheeting / drop cloths from Home Depot as the base material. We stretch it between 2x4s, then use 3M spray adhesive (77 is best) to adhere the SS to the thick plastic. Most of the walls have another scene setter print on the inside which makes these walls that much stronger. When not in use, fold or roll up on the 1x2s.

Later you will see pics of the garage door covers which are mounted only to PVC frames and just roll up on their supports for storage.

The first year we used the Scene Setters on the heavy plastic, our strong Santa Ana winds scheared the plastic off at the bottom on both sides. I walked out one morning and both side walls were actually horizontal. At my son's suggestion we painted some PVC pipe with RED/BROWN primer and a little bit of black - looks just like rusty metal pipes. Then we screwed the pipe to the inside (only) top and bottom sheet mounts (these are only 1x2s). For the last 6 years we never had a rip until this year when the wind was strong enough to brake the 2x2s used for the lab for the last 2 years. We repaired this with 2x4s and should have no more problems.

TIP - the tighter the sheets between the 2x4s, the less problems you'll have with the wind. Let me know if you have any more questions about this technique.
 

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Lt I'm probably gonna have some questions for ya cause next year I would like to have some free standing walls with scene setters on them to create almost like a movie set. Someone here on the board has done that where he has a scene & its outside & its just a room with no walls but it has a wall behind all the props...it really looks very cool. You have good ideas here on how to make that much more sturdier.

Our plan also didn't play out this year much of it was just not being able to expand because of not being able to find anyone to help us. We are getting a little spread out here & it concerns me cause I just think we need people at various parts of this. This year it will only be the 3 of us, so much of the action that was to go on in the funeral parlor will not happen, also we let the gypsy tent go cause of lack of help.

We too have our "Fans" that drive by and slow down & some even stop on this sort of busy road of ours. The kids are always watching from the school bus & now more of the local kids wave & say hi as they know our names. We were out there till 11pm last night draping 75 strands of lights on all those darn bushes we have!!lol So we are lit up pretty good here.

Last night we sat on the tailgate of the truck thinking how lucky we have been that nothing has ever been damaged or stolen here where we are. We feel very fortunate. We still have tons of things to get done so we are moving along.

Muf
 

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Devilishly Dutch
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All the walls are Scene Setter Plastic sheets. Because the SS sheets are about as thin as a typical plastic table cloth, we us 4 or 6 mill plastic sheeting / drop cloths from Home Depot as the base material. We stretch it between 2x4s, then use 3M spray adhesive (77 is best) to adhere the SS to the thick plastic. Most of the walls have another scene setter print on the inside which makes these walls that much stronger. When not in use, fold or roll up on the 1x2s.

Later you will see pics of the garage door covers which are mounted only to PVC frames and just roll up on their supports for storage.

The first year we used the Scene Setters on the heavy plastic, our strong Santa Ana winds scheared the plastic off at the bottom on both sides. I walked out one morning and both side walls were actually horizontal. At my son's suggestion we painted some PVC pipe with RED/BROWN primer and a little bit of black - looks just like rusty metal pipes. Then we screwed the pipe to the inside (only) top and bottom sheet mounts (these are only 1x2s). For the last 6 years we never had a rip until this year when the wind was strong enough to brake the 2x2s used for the lab for the last 2 years. We repaired this with 2x4s and should have no more problems.

TIP - the tighter the sheets between the 2x4s, the less problems you'll have with the wind. Let me know if you have any more questions about this technique.
Thanks for the explanation. I thought they looked like scene setters but thought they couldn't be because you were using them outside and they are so thin. Now I know why you can use them outside :)
Wish you would have posted before hubby made the walls and bought the floor covering!

MsM
 

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Don't Drink and Fly!!
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LT, that looks absolutely great. I love the way you used the SS, too. I hope all goes well with your trip and that you totally enjoy Halloween night!! Have Fun!
 

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Thanks All.

Surveyed the "To Do" list yesterday and decided to jump into work rather than post pics. After another looong day, we are almost ready. Got two bits of good news last night. My travel scheduled for this week is postponed at least one week and I stepped on the scales and have lost about 12 pounds since we started the Haunt in mid Sep. :)

To night we will build our regular montsters. The Criptkeeper is the highest priority. He'll be standing behind the "Greater" coffin in the entrance.

Here are a couple of pics I snapped last evening ...







Wind battered and 6' lower than when setup, the roof ghost will be re-engineered next year...




That styrofoam coffin has an old christmas decoration that raises and lowers the lid about 3". Bought the mask, made the hands using HF How To. Shovel idea was stolen from an HF haunt too.


 

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We had decided that Hannibal was too $$ but Spirit dropped his price AND I used a 20% coupon + this year the local stores are honoring the coupons so no shipping ... had to jail him. The small light at upper left flickers incondecent. You can also see Freddy's Furnace.



Freddy has a victim in his furnace. We used Freddy SceneSetters to make the furnace. We placed a burning cauldron under a false "floor" then set our now not working headlifter ... who looks like his skin is burned off ... behind the flickering silk. The lifter was always a favorite when he worked, now he can live a second life, even in "death." :)


The snake pit....


A poor victim of Time, it's not likely that we will get a coven built for the witches this year :(
 

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Lt I'm probably gonna have some questions for ya cause next year I would like to have some free standing walls with scene setters on them to create almost like a movie set. Someone here on the board has done that where he has a scene & its outside & its just a room with no walls but it has a wall behind all the props...it really looks very cool. You have good ideas here on how to make that much more sturdier.

Our plan also didn't play out this year much of it was just not being able to expand because of not being able to find anyone to help us. We are getting a little spread out here & it concerns me cause I just think we need people at various parts of this. This year it will only be the 3 of us, so much of the action that was to go on in the funeral parlor will not happen, also we let the gypsy tent go cause of lack of help.

We too have our "Fans" that drive by and slow down & some even stop on this sort of busy road of ours. The kids are always watching from the school bus & now more of the local kids wave & say hi as they know our names. We were out there till 11pm last night draping 75 strands of lights on all those darn bushes we have!!lol So we are lit up pretty good here.

Last night we sat on the tailgate of the truck thinking how lucky we have been that nothing has ever been damaged or stolen here where we are. We feel very fortunate. We still have tons of things to get done so we are moving along.

Muf
Glad to be of any assistance possible.

Free standing as a back drop would be a bigger challenge IMO. Ours works with one sided support from vertical PVC, because stiff winds can only hit one side = only inside PVC is needed. Free standing could / would face buffeting from both sides and I think would need a block on each side. Still not a problem if you can work it into the scene. A PVC pipe in the back can be screwed through the plastic / SS into a matching height length of wood that is aged or painted to fit the scene. The 3D effect even adds to the scene.

You can also place some shelves in the scene that do double duty - as prop holders enhancing the scene and as wind blocking supports.

Also a big challenge for a free standing wall would be anchoring to the ground if there are no perpendicular "side" walls to improve stability. You should consider at least a very short side wall to keep it simpler. Otherwise you are looking at sinking at least a 2x4 a minimum of 12" into the ground at each end of the freestanding wall. JMHO BTW, the side walls can probably be anchored with stakes to avoid digging up you lawn.

Not trying to tempt fate, but neither have we ever had anything stolen or vandalized. Also, considering how normally-strict our Association is, it is amazing to me that year after year, we start this thing in Mid Sep or earlier and no one EVER complains to the association. In a culture that panders to the loudest single voice, apparently none have been raised. Pretty unusual in Ca.
 

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Good Ghoul Gone Bad
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LT, your set up is amazing! I love all of the ghouls that you have elevated and your entrance is to "die" for. I hope your trip goes by quickly and your'e home in time for all the finishing touches. Very nice job.
 

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LT, your set up is amazing! I love all of the ghouls that you have elevated and your entrance is to "die" for. I hope your trip goes by quickly and your'e home in time for all the finishing touches. Very nice job.

Thanks - got word last night that the need for the trip is being postponed. No trip this week - just a few last minute tasks for the haunt. :)
 

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Last installment ...

This is what it looked like on Halloween day


The window on the second floor should be open so that the back of the ghost is aligned with the head. With a black light in the room, he looks like he is flying through the glass.



Finally assembled some of the monsters, but not as many as in previous years. The Criptkeeper was essential !!



Hillary is in the vette and she's run over someone...



Victim Bill has kicking legs and remote control voice box that says," Darlin, are you doin' this 'cause of somethin' I said when you were running for President, or 'cause of somethin' I did when I was President?"...
 

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Hahahaha that Bill and Hiliary scene is just too funny :)
How do you have those 3 ghost guys suspended?

MsM
Thanks everyone for the kind comments.

Hillary and Bill were a hit H night. The rest of the haunt is a bit noisey so lots of parents bent down to hear what Bill was saying. Got lots of laughs. I agonized about the dialog for the last two months. Settled on this one because it was not obvious enough to offend or make kids ask parents questions they'd prefer not to field. No way to work in a "blue dress" without creating too much controversy.

All of the ghosts have pvc shoulders, neck and either one central spine or two 5 ft drops from the outer edge of the shoulders. A screw (blocker) is placed into the spine or drops, at a different location on each ghost. This makes them different heights when using the same length rebar stuck into the ground.

However, after our Santa Ana winds, we found that these latex ghosts are so top heavy that they bend the rebar in heavy winds. To repair we straightened the rebar, then slipped steel conduit over the rebar (and down into soil a short distance, then remounted the ghosts. This also enabled us to angle some of the ghosts toward the TOTs. Those ghosts have milk jugs taped to the conduit to give some form to their backs.

We didn't have a second severe wind storm so I can't state that the rebar/Condiut combination is the final solution.

Because our roof ghost took such a beating this year and is impossible to get to it in order to "repair", I'm thinking of using steel plumbing pipe plus guy wires for him next year.
 
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