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Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellow Haunters!

I've decided to start a thread in order to share my garage haunt build for Halloween 2020. We purchased our home in August of last year and really only had a couple of months (really weekends) to put on our show. It was a huge success but I wasn't quite happy given the rush job (are we ever?).

Link to Halloween 2019:

I've since cleaned out the garage and started thinking about a more long-term solution. Ideally, I'll have an actual functional garage year round with a nicely set-up work station. However, come Sept-Oct, the garage "should" have the ability to easily transform into major components of my haunt (walls, structures, etc.) with extra points if I can find a way to maximize storage.

I have some interesting ideas that I'm still thinking through and there may be some trial and error involved but I'm excited to get started. I've also decided to up the fear factor in my haunt going forward. This has me selling most of my bulky animatronic collection in favor of smaller more intimate scares/scenes. This also frees up much needed storage space.

So first step is to clean, patch, and paint - Stay tuned!

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Casters and Hinges

So like many of us on here, I have suddenly found much more free time to dedicate around the house. Last weekend, I started framing what will eventually be a hallway in my haunt. This is the only structure that will be freestanding all-year round. Think of it as like a storage unit inside the garage. During ToT season, it will be a dark hallway with a drop panel scare. However, the rest of the year it will function as a place store all my Halloween props/projects. If you look closely, you'll notice that there are a pair of swinging doors that allow me access to the water heater and the left side of the drop panel. The right side also has a single swinging door for access.

Next step is skinning the studs. The goal here is to use as much of the "inside space" of the 2x3 frame as possible. Stay tuned.

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Hello Haunters -

Made some good progress on the build this weekend!

As you can see, I've started skinning what will eventually be my Portrait Hallway with drop panel scare. As I mentioned before, I'll probably be sticking with some variant of a clown theme for the next couple of years. After that, this hallway can be modified for the new theme (haunted mansion, asylum, etc.). Specifically for this year, I'd like the backstory (TBD) to incorporate the typical clown scenes but with an added "behind the curtain" tour.

Last year, I made each visitor "join the circus" by become a clown and giving them a clown nose (bulk ordered). I'm thinking I'll do the same this year but with the added twist that only clowns are given access to the "behind the curtain" tour which would include the clown living quarters and clown portrait hallway, kitchen/butcher chop, etc.

So half the haunt will be the circus/show and the other half will be Clown Manor (or something with a better ring to it - lol)! :devilish:

For this specific section of my haunt - ToTs will walk through the Clown Portrait Hallway and then have to squeeze through a crack in the wall (the only escape). They will then find themselves in a walk-in cooler which leads to the Clown Kitchen (TBD).

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I created the slat look exactly the same as the guys at a Haunter's Life.

Check out the series "How to Build Modular Walls" if you haven't done so already.
A Haunter's Life - Click Here

The window will have some sort of effect (rain/thunder, maybe just overgrown with shrubs...) but I haven't decided yet. Again, just like the above video, I added wainscoting throughout the hallway bottom. I found the perfect wallpaper for dirt cheap that will eventually make these walls pop.

Now if you look closely, I've also built one (1) of what will eventually be two (2) swinging walls on the exterior. The idea is, come Halloween season, I can simply swing these both open (like one would open a book) and have my middle wall and adjacent room wall - think like a "T" shape when fully open.

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That's it for now - Happy Haunting!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Post - Weekend Update - Walk-In Freezer

So I decided to get started on the meat freezer that will serve as the entrance to the Clown Kitchen. ToTs will squeeze through a crack in the Hall of Portraits and emerge in the cold freezer (which naturally is a tight space).

NOTE: I forgot to mention in my previous post that I had also built an L-Shaped door (which can be seen in one of the pictures above) within the Hall of Portraits which creates the crawlspace for ToTs to push through. This door is on a hinge so post season it simply folds right up to the wall to allow for easy storage in the hallway.

I then went about decorating and distressing the plywood by following Terra's AMAZING tutorial on creating Faux Steel Walls - Click Here. I cant say enough great things about Terra's creativity and well written tutorials. Do yourself a favor and check them out if you haven't done so already.

Here is the left door that provides access to the water heater - The right-side rivet strip is secured to the right-side door (part of Hall of Portraits) so that the seam between both doors is lost when they are closed.

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Here is the view from inside the Hall of Portraits - Once complete, there will be some sort of divider between the rooms (I'm thinking a downed curtain rod... maybe).

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This is a shot of the back of the L-Shaped Door. I'll probably be adding an air blast effect here so I went ahead and started dry fitting some pipes.

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...and now for some paint!

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I must admit, I got a bit lazy and simply glued the "rivets" on as opposed to flush mounting them. They do seem solid but I'm a bit worried they will fall off as ToTs move through the space. I might go back and retool these in the future.

I'll also be adding a large fan overhead to actually make the space cold and blue/white lighting to add to the cold ambiance. ToTs will then need to push through bloodied clear vinyl strips before entering the next room - the Clown Kitchen.

What's a carnival without food!

Happy Haunting!
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Holy beans... this is better built than most of my house I think! :D

Looking really good and really fun how you're both keeping busy and making a pretty amazing maze (ha) haunt!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Holy beans... this is better built than most of my house I think! :D

Looking really good and really fun how you're both keeping busy and making a pretty amazing maze (ha) haunt!
LOL - Well I’m not clowning around - :ROFLMAO:

I was originally planning on tackling this project in the summer but here we are all stuck at home so might as well have something to show for it come Oct.

? ?‍♂?‍♀
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Weekend Update - Cooking up a Storm

Started moving into the Clown Butcher room. Originally, I was going to go with a white tile backboard on the upper half and painted plywood below. I needed to bring the cost down since each sheet of 4x8 ceramic board was about $25. o_O Unfortunately, or so I thought, the stock at my local hardware store was in pretty bad shape. Every single sheet had either a large hole or was stained with some kind of gunk that would not come off. In the end, customer service offered a pretty significant discount on these damaged sheets so I decided on floor to ceiling tile. I cut around the damaged and stained portions for the most part.

This is a dry fit of the backside of the wall in the Hall of Portraits. One of my goals is to build as much of the scenes "within" the frames of the wall to save space and allow for the walls to fold in on themselves. I'm not 100% sold on the upper plywood framing - looked much better conceptually in my mind. It stays on for now but I might remove later.

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The wall squares in the photo are the backings that make up the slats in the Hall of Portraits. I need to find a creative way to incorporate them into this scene. Maybe cabinets or something... ;)

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Next, I used grey monster mud with heavy sawdust to paint the 2x3 beams. I want these to look more metal than wood. The monster mud added a nice texture (hard to tell from the picture) and filled in the wood grain and imperfections.

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I then added a black wash to the wood frame and a yellow wash sporadically to the tile board to start my first layer of distressing. This was followed by touches of green and finally red paint on the tile board.

NOTE - I've been meaning to replace the "rivets" in my freezer/meat cooler. I found these furniture glides to be the perfect solution. Simply drill a small hole and insert the nail tack and you're good to go. I will be replacing the freezer rivets with these soon.

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I used some scrap foam board to even out the edges of the slat squares.

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I'm going to be adding some rusty pipes on the lower squares and maybe some kind or module (LEDs, gauges, etc.).
 

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Shadow box dancer
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My favorite part is that you got the panels at a discounted rate because of stains and damage and then you made them stained and damaged! Looks great! Can't wait to see more
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My favorite part is that you got the panels at a discounted rate because of stains and damage and then you made them stained and damaged! Looks great! Can't wait to see more
I know right? Normally I don’t mind telling people I’m working on something for Halloween (I’m looking at you Joann Fabrics) but we are in April and somehow the store employee got the impression that I was remodeling a bathroom. 😉
 

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Discussion Starter #17
UPDATE - I started working on the center wall that will be facing the Clown Kitchen. The process for this wall was similar to the backside of the portrait hallway. I also built the cabinet doors and installed them on hinges to cover up the slat frames. I'm thinking this would be a good spot to place my controllers. The two wood squares you see will eventually form the base for my electrical switch panels or whatever I decide to do there - lol.

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I also started working on the back wall that will fold back for storage. I built this wall a bit different. The 2x3 frame houses a 1x1 frame so that the tile board can sit inside.

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This is the view from the next room back...

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