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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son and I thought it would be fun to turn our garage into a haunted house (for next year of course) but we are not sure where to get started.
Does anyone have any helpful advice or links?
Thanks
Amy
 

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Why not do it this year? Is it just you and your son or will you be able to get more people to help out?

If you can get more people to help out, I would suggest Knotts Scary Farm as an example. (Look on Youtube under Knotts Scary Farm) They do a great job with off the shelf masks and lots of actors. The actors there do a great effect where they either act like a static prop or they just hang back until they come forward in your face and scare you.

If not then you probably have to do some static displays. You can buy some cheap props from Walgreens, Costco, Lowes, etc. You can also get a lot of mileage with flickering lights, and this is the easiest way to do it
http://booityourself.blogspot.com/2010/09/flickering-fluttering-sputtering.html

Oh yeah and another fun first step is styrofoam tombstones. You dont have to buy the expensive ones from the stores. It's pretty easy to make your own. I have some that I mount on wooden dowels that are inserted into plywood bases. But I've used wooden shiskabob sticks to stick a tombstone into a styrofoam base, so if you arent handy with cutting plywood then it's still possible to make your tombstones stand up in the garage.

If you're asking now then it 'sdefinitely possible to have a decent haunted house in time for halloween.
 

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My thoughts too, why wait till next year? make a maze with lighting, a fogger.....go on youtube and look up halloween home haunts or mazes and just look through them...once you start it, each year builds up to the next one. we started ours when our youngest was 4, shes 17 now and i'm not stopping till i cant do it anymore...lol.....make sure you have storage for your props though, you will need it...
if you want to start slow, make something to scare the trick or treaters with that wont be really expensive....ONE thing i did one year that to this day was great, i made what looked like a shipping container on a boat put by my front steps, it was 6 ft x 6 ft x 4 ft....i used the silver foam board, taped it with silver duct tape then painted it distressed to look mossy weather worn...i put a cute address on the front addressed to count dracula etc, had two holes cut out of the front....we had a door in the back of it....my husband was dressed in the zombie costume thats been out now for awhile, its a good costume, we set up strobes behind it and fogger that he could trigger from inside the box....then decorated all around the outside....the gimmick was i was dressed up and told the kids my "pet: was inside and to get their candy they had to reach in the right hole...my husband shook the box and at the right time fogged and came out on the opposite side and scared them....we had kids throwing their candy at him they were so scared....
something simple can be really effective, you can trigger a yard blower set up, anything like that.....i made a walking coffin the next year set up in our graveyard, think of willie coyote hiding in the cactus and sneaking up behind the road runner....that was great ....made that out of pvc, black cloth...

you have plenty of time to set up something, just decide and go for it, nows the time to buy things also.....another month will be picked over....
 

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I agree with everyone! A garage at least gives you shape already, its already enclosed...throw up some black yard bags and throw up some cheap decor. The littlest go a far way!
 

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Yes--and I suggest lights. Green and red or orange bulbs, these are odd colors that will quickly and easily add atmosphere to a dark area of the garage. Or you can go with a couple of blacklight tubes.

Even the simplest sound addition, like a casette player, can add a "presence" or feeling. Just populating the quiet with some sounds creates mood.

Sometimes you can get a lot of atmosphere out of a few simple things--a couple of colored light bulbs, a cassette deck with a spooky sound effects tape playing in it, a prop or two, an actor or two. You can do whatever fits your budget. I often like an inexpensive arrangement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the awesome ideas, but Oh my gosh you guys I don't know if I could pull it all together so fast. I'm kinda anal and like things perfect...so the idea of taking my time to hunt down the right things sounds interesting : P I am working on some homemade paper mache scary people this year, so cross your fingers all goes well! Thanks again!!! If you have anymore ideas let me know : )
 

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for your lighting, go buy the clamp on can light holders at lowes or homedepot...you put in your colored bulb and then can place your light where you want it....projecting up is always good in a haunted set....theres also very small colored strobes, spirit halloween has them, they are battery operated, we got alot of them last year and used them here and there for effects..they arent expensive.....
if you are into detail, i would concentrate on one good area if you are on a budget and dont want to jump in this all at once, then add to it every year...alot of people go by themes but use what they have and change it up, thats what we do, we change our maze configuration every year and change the room themes...
use the black plastic rolls at homedepot if you make black walls, we make our frames out of pvc pipe and i dont glue the joints, we tape them very well, untape to store for the next year....frames are covered in the plastic tight then use the decor wall rolls to cover that if you want too...theres just so much you can do...
 

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Start off simple. It's your first year, so don't expect the moon. Maybe one large scene to keep it easy. We are into year 8 now, so things have gotten more elaborate! :)
 
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