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The Big Kahuna of Fright
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This year I'm toying with the idea of doing something different. A "Human Prop". A variation of the old "Guy-Dressed-Up-Like-A-Dummy" routine.
We have an awesome Werewolf costume that I'd like to have my 6'-1" nephew wearing out on the front lawn, in the Graveyard. He'd be posed, illuminated by a dedicated light and, at his discretion, when a group starts walking up the driveway, we'll have him start to move like an animatronic. You know, turning the head side to side in the manner of an oscillating fan, maybe repetitively raising and dropping his arms. Robotic, predictable stuff.
But than, after a few seconds of animatronic behaviour, the Werewolf starts to approach the group.
What do you guys think? Could this work?
 

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BAD INFLUENCE
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I think that would be a great way to scare the ever livin' s**t out of some one!!! I myself would be LMAO!! Great idea!!
 

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Yeah, My nephew and I talked about doing something like this also.
I got the electric chair kit from distortions. Same concept.

Potential problem with it is, the person needs to be in possition all the time in anticipation of the next group. Not to much fun for that person.

In the electric chair scenario he is seated so that will help him be as motionless as possible. maybe you can provide something for him to lean on.

I was going to put this in the garage so a "look out" can give us advance notice to get him in place.
 

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I've done this kind of thing in my lawn haunt for several years and it always works like a charm! I usually have a prop-zombie in the yard for weeks before and on the big night everyone just thinks it's another prop I put out. I stand as still as possible and listen to all the parents take pictures and question each other about what might be real and what's not. Then I will very slowly make motions like moving my head and eventually begin walking towards the group suddenly. Gives a great scare almost every time.

You certainly have to take breaks, though. It can get tiring just standing there for a while. But at least our ToT traffic is pretty good, so there's always a lot of activity going on!

Hope yours works out as well as mine have over the years...good luck!
 

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The Evil Apparitionist
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This year I'm toying with the idea of doing something different. A "Human Prop". A variation of the old "Guy-Dressed-Up-Like-A-Dummy" routine.
We have an awesome Werewolf costume that I'd like to have my 6'-1" nephew wearing out on the front lawn, in the Graveyard. He'd be posed, illuminated by a dedicated light and, at his discretion, when a group starts walking up the driveway, we'll have him start to move like an animatronic. You know, turning the head side to side in the manner of an oscillating fan, maybe repetitively raising and dropping his arms. Robotic, predictable stuff.
But than, after a few seconds of animatronic behaviour, the Werewolf starts to approach the group.
What do you guys think? Could this work?
Believe me it works. Back in High School I came up with the very same idea. We found a couple of old dilapidated lounge chairs and placed them on either side of the walkway
to the house. We dressed up and sat there and stayed completely still until the tots had gotten their candy from my mom and walked past us again. We would get up slowly and sneak up behind them. I tried it a few years ago with a skeleton stalker getup on our haunted trail. I leaned against a tree like one of the normal props. I even had tots grab the fake arms to see if I was real. At points I would just leave the costume and walk around so it would really look empty. The key is to remain motionless and very quiet......then jump up and scare the livin crap out of them.
 

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Ha... That is the most awesome idea ever! It would get boring for the person for a while, but I imagine that it would be a lot of fun for them when the time comes! :D
 

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Lord of the Cemetery
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I like to use this technique somewhere near the beginning of the haunt.
It's probably one of the best techniques you can use, although you need dedicated and disciplined actors to pull off the effect convincingly. one wrong move at the wrong time and you've blown it. (for that group, anyway).

If you pull it off, you've got 'em. They will no longer know what's real and what isn't..they will no longer trust their own minds, and that's when you take your haunting to another level.
 

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The Big Kahuna of Fright
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Discussion Starter #11
Wow! OK, so it's not an "Original". But after 16 years of doing this, I've never used an idea like this. I would think that, if I were an unitiated guest, it would catch me totally off guard, scare the dickens out of me for a second. Especially if the kid can be convincing with his robot moves.

Thanks for the input, I'll show this thread to my nephew.
 

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I used to do this at one of the local haunts every year. I would work as a clown, and be down on the floor where the customers were. As they rounded the corner in front of me, I would point with one arm, from the elbow down, like a robot. They would initially be scared to come near me, but, inevitably there would be one guy in the group who would get cocky and walk over. I'd let him poke me a couple of times, then ask if he was enjoying it or reach out and shake his hand. LMAO, it's great to see the looks on people's faces when the "robot" talks to them.
 

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I saw this years ago at a pro haunt in Nashville. There was a large reaper costume with a big head standing at the entrance to the line to get into the haunt...and it seemed to be cheap animatronic, arms and head moving slowly in a defined space....until the actor suddenly lunged. He only did it every 1 in 6 groups or so...to make sure noone approaching had seen him. Meanwhile everyone waiting in line had a good laugh waiting for it. Worked great...I wanted to do it with a creature reacher I had, but never could find the dedicated person to pull it off. I wear glasses and couldnt do it myself, Id never know when to strike.
 

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The Big Kahuna of Fright
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Discussion Starter #14
Yes, granamyr, I think, to really pull it off, the guy must actually LOOK like an animatronic. I'm going to fill the claws with great stuff and insert extensions. This will give the actor, my nephew, un-naturally long arms, and the fingers will remain immobile. The fact that it looks unreal will make viewers drop their guard. That's what a good scare is all about, catching 'em off-guarI'm really starting to get warm over this one, you know, have an "SORRY! Out Of Order" sign draped over the kid's neck to really get 'em off guard. We'll have an electrical cord running up the kid's leg so it's an obvious fake, stuff like that. With luck, we'll get a few poor schmucks stepping inside the Graveyard for a Photo Op!
 

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I did this myself last Halloween. I stood on the front lawn just a few feet off the walkway. I dressed in full scary clown gear and as kids rounded the corner near our house, I would stand with my arms out in front of me forming a half circle and just rotated at the waist left to right slowly. Every single TOT that came up would stop short and say to their friend or parent "is that real? is that a person?" After their parent reassured them that I was totally fake, I would jump forward for the scare. It was so much fun.

I didn't have time to set up a prop that would look like the clown in the yard before Halloween, but that would have helped fool anyone who passed the house prior to Halloween night. Another idea I came up with is to stand on a square piece of plywood, so that I looked more like a prop attached to it.

I first did this kind of thing about 10 years ago when managing a Halloween store at my local mall. We would take turns and dress up with a simple black robe that was long enough to cover our feet and use a bleeding mask (with the pump tucked up the sleeve) and put a sign on the front of the costume that said "grim reaper prop, $99". We'd just stand at the entry to the store and people would come right up and touch the mask to see if they could feel the blood and we could just say "hi" or something simple and scare the crap out of everyone. We had people lining up across the hall so that they could watch the next victim get scared (one night there must have been almost 50 people watching). It's unreal to have someone come up and touch the mask that you're wearing and they have no idea you are a live person. It totally freaked them out! Oh, such fond memories :)
 

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Been there !

My costume for years has been this grim reaper type character. I put black socks on my hands and feet, and my mask has glow lights in the eyes so my white and black makeup eyes reflect the yellow glow from the sticks. So I commonly stand and stare blindly into space. Tots walk by thinking I am a prop, until I suddenly move. Even then they are not sure I am real until I slowly raise my hand in the typical grim reaper point and proclaim in my best deep ghoulish voice. " Beware the Witch !!! The wife who hands out the candy is decked out as a witch with fake nose and chin, and green face makeup.
 
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