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This is a continuation of the series: Seven Layers of Scare. If you haven't already, I suggest you read that blog post first: http://www.halloweenforum.com/blogs/terra/528-seven-layers-scare.html

Continuing with looking closer at Seven Layers of Scare let's finish up the Second Layer: Walls, Ceilings and Floors. The previous post dealt with the Walls. Now let's look at:

Ceilings and Floors

Walls are in every haunt but if you also tip the scales and add decorative elements to the ceilings and floors you will immerse your victims in the horror that awaits them.

The problem with decorating ceilings and floors is we are only home haunters. We feel lucky we have walls to decorate, LOL! But hopefully we can come up with some ways to at least give an illusion of ceilings and floors that fit the room.


In my haunt, the maze in the garage is made up of wood frames wrapped with landscape fabric. They are suspended from the ceiling. But, the ceiling is 12' high and the walls are 8' high. You are probably in the same boat: the ceiling will have to be lowered. Here's a couple of quick ways to give the illusion of a lowered, scary ceiling:

Camo netting: This is an all-purpose ceiling treatment used in professional haunts (along with lattice). To make it immersing, rip some of the netting so it hangs down in strips. Looks just like jungle vines. There are all kinds of colors of camo netting to help fit the scene. I've even seen mirror camo netting!

Overhead Scare Items: Hanging bats, chandelier, ghosts, spiders, heads, Spanish moss, bones, chains, barbed wire.... You can decide if you want the hanging items to be just above your victims' heads or they have to wade through it. I like this touch of putting a body among the chains:

Lattice: Yep, the same stuff you use to hide your lawn mower under the deck. A great 'ceiling' that you could dress up many ways. Thread in greenery for a jungle vibe. You could even add a scare to it by attaching a dummy that your victims will have to walk under. Or a giant spider. Muh ha ha haaaa..... Here's what I'm talking about:

PVC piping: Span a few painted up rusted PVC pipes and Boom! you've got a boiler room and a ceiling in one shot.

Drapes of fabric: This would be great for a vamp room or mansion.

Spider webbing: Don't forget to add the itty bitty spiders...

Thin foamboard: Just like for walls, you could carve and paint this anyway you want.

Thick foamboard: Shaped into stone spans with openings here and there. This picture also shows camo netting in use:

Tree limbs: Just span them overhead. Again, You could then hang many things off of it. String (spider webs), Spanish moss, vines....

Chain link fencing: Great for that industrial or torture room. Lace in chains, barbed wire...


Because of safety we are quite limited with what we can do with a floors but, we are haunters! We can find a way around that limitation....

Paint: Aw, come on! You know you want to make your garage that much cooler. Do it!!! I promise you, it will make you smile every time you pull into the garage. It's like having a hidden tattoo. heh.

So, what to paint? First of all think 3D. I have seen some great trompe d' oeil effects. What does that mean? Oh, just a snooty way to say 'tricks that fool the eye'. Paint very realistic bugs, or uneven stone work with exaggerated shadows. How about wooden planks, a see-through steel grid with skele's trying to get out? Blood stains or green ooze for a toxic room? Green leaves for a jungle room. Oh, how about a vibrant-colored checker-box for a clown room? An endless pit? Here's a shot of a ChromaDepth painted floor illusion but you could still do the same thing using regular colors and lighting:

Chalk: Okay, you are a chicken. Fine. USE CHALK you haunt wimp!

Real things: Think of things that wouldn't be a trip hazard. Like dried leaves for a forest room, silk green leaves for a jungle room. Sand for Egyptian, confetti in a clown room, hay for a slaughter room.

Lighting: Oh yes, lighting. Just like you can wash a wall with a colored light, you can also wash a floor with colored lighting. While we are on that, you can also paint some florescent paint effects on the floor and use a small fluorescent light to make those pop. One effect I want to do is to paint glowing 'embers' on the floor. Just use fluorescent orange and yellow paint here and there.

I hope you can see that when you spend a little more time decorating the entire perimeter of your haunt room (walls, ceilings and floors) you will be well on your way to making your home haunt RAWK!

I know you have more ideas that can be added to the list here. Let's make this a blog post to refer to. Post them in the comments below. Thanks!

--pictures taken at The Darkness haunt in St. Louis

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Cool ideas!
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