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As requested, I'm starting a new thread for the Haunted Hotel theme so we can all share our ideas.

To start, here is a description (rough draft) of how we plan to layout and decorate our Hanuted Hotel this year. I'll try to figure out how to get my drawings on here soon. I'm SO not technical.

Guests will enter through the hotel lobby – check in desk will be straight ahead where my son will be dressed in the Bones the Bell Boy costume to greet guests. There will be a recording played similar to the Intro on Haunted Hotel - 13th Floor by the Huntington Jaycees. There will be a shaking chandelier hanging from the ceiling, a clock on the wall with 13 hours, etc. and we've also picked up some really cool décor from local Goodwill Stores such as old lamps, mail holder, candle holders, etc. Behind the check in desk there will be a door marked with something like “Employees Only” or “Do Not Enter” (This is for us to pop through to the back side of the haunt). The Lobby will also contain a chair, table, magazines, etc. all decorated in a creepy way.

Guests will start down the first hall/corridor, and there will be a closed door on the right for decoration only. Next there will be an open doorway to a hotel room on the left. We haven’t decided on the scene for this room yet.

After they pass this room, the hall will make a 90 degree turn to the right where there will be another open hotel room down the hall on the right. In this room there will be a bed, night stand, etc. in the background with wallpapered walls, scary pictures hanging, etc. and the rocking granny sitting between the door and the bed, so that’s what they mainly see. (I’m going to put an old nightgown on the granny instead of her hospital gown)

As they proceed down the hall, there will be the façade of an old elevator (like the one in Tower of Terror) straight ahead with a static or animated prop (dressed in another Bones the Bellboy costume) waiting for the elevator. Would love to make the elevator doors shake or something, but that will depend on time.

Just before they reach the elevator, they will make another 90 degree turn to the right to start down the next hall. I’m thinking of having an actor run across the hall screaming into an open door to another hotel room on their left & disappear. Straight ahead of them at the end of the hall will be another faux door with a room service tray sitting on the floor outside. I’m thinking of putting old rotten food on it with maybe rats or roaches on/around the tray.

There will be a small jog to the right and they will continue down the hall to one more open room on the left. In this room I’d like to have a spooky little girl standing at the foot of a bed looking down (picture The Ring) and holding a spooky broken doll. On the side of the room there will be a TV with just static playing really loud, and in the back of the room there will be louvered bi-fold closet doors with some louvers missing and a bright like (maybe green) shining out from inside the closet.

They will make another 90 degree turn to the right to go down the last hallway. As they proceed down that hallway it will take on the look of a boiler room with the big pipes and flames, etc. and the end of that hallway will be the exit.

Forgot to mention that throughout the haunt (hotel) there will be faux doors added in each hallway to make it look like there are more rooms than there really is. All the halls will be lined with the look of wainscotting & wallpaper. Haunted portraits will be hanging on the walls.

So far for outside we are planning on making a Chamberwell Hotel sign with a vacancy sign hanging from it with the word "vacancy" flashing in red lighting.
I would love some more ideas for what we can do outside. We like to put up our outside decor by the beginning of October to get people talking. We've always had a huge cemetery with the columns, etc, but I'm not sure if that will fit with this theme... I can't wait to hear everyone's ideas!
 

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Lady of Chamberwell Manor,

That sounds like a great concept! I would love to see a floor plan and an idea of your available space. Is this just for your party or walk through halloween haunt...or both? I really like this theme and may borrow it for next year's party and haunt. Please post any photos of the set pieces and props you have too! We would love to see them.

Eric
 
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Discussion Starter #3
The haunt (hotel) is set up in a 20X20 garage. We have all of our guests walk through the haunt/hotel as they arrive at our party (we usually have around 100 guests - adults only). Then I also open the haunt again for the TOT's and parents in our neighborhood on Halloween night. We usually get about 200 going through on Halloween night.

My husband just got back from Home Depot with the materials to make the check-in desk, Elevator Doors, and Chamberwell Hotel sign (YAY) so I will try to get some pictures on here as we build and I'll also try to figure out how to attach a copy of our layout. I'll need his help to do that. (Again, I'm so not technical).
 

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If you are doing a painted hotel sign, consider a little creative lighting. Take plywood for the face of the sign and make a simple box frame for it out of 1x2's. The back can even be cardboard painted black. Cut out the letters with a jig saw and put some translucent plastic sheeting behind it. Tape some white Christmas lights to the back of the plywood to illuminate the letters slightly. Make separate cardboard separations behind the "h" and "ell" of "Chamberwell" Replace the white light bulbs on the string with red ones only behind those 4 letters. Come to think of it, you can even simplify this by just putting red celophane behind those 4 letters and keep all the bulbs white and eliminate the separate light boxes behind the letters.

Either way, the effect should look like this:

CHAMBERWELL HOTEL


The dimmer you make the white lights, the more the red "HELL" should stand out. I am a big fan of subtle details. Many guests miss them, but when they are spotted, guests tend to point it out to each other.

Eric
 

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you can use colored cellophane (found at party city and michaels) to change the color of any light... just dont put it up too soon becuase it fades under hot lights. I layer it pretty thick on the lights at my office for our halloween party.. the hallways all glow different colors. its pretty cool, and super cheap.

cant wait to see pics! neat idea.
 

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Lady --

Love all your plans. Can't wait to see pictures. From the clock to the elevator....they're all great.

Wow -- a haunt and a party. We just creep out the inside of our house for our guests and tot's to walk around. So our plan for a haunted hotel will be a little different. After reading your plans though - a haunt is very tempting. If I do the garage where will I store all of the things I move out of my house to make room for all the Halloween?

My thoughts are to incorporate the hotel theme into our current haunted house decor by adding a Check In desk, bell hops, suitcases, trunks. I was going to put room numbers on all the doors, 1 or two of the bedrooms will have a scary hotel scene inside. As always, the bathrooms will be done, I will add Wolfbeard's "Satinized for your possession" on one of the toilets. I hope to have an elevator fascade for a set of double doors.

Some thoughts for outside are:

I may still use our cemetary -- but perhaps in the back yard. The graves would be past hotel guests. Tombstones could have Room #'s, cause of death....

Out front -- a car could with a creepy valet behind the wheel and an advertisement for the hotel on the side. Perhaps a guest or two in the back seat 'dying' to get out.

Board up the windows on the front of house, ghost looking out one of the windows, near the vacancy sign.

A static prop with a bell hop outside with a luggage cart filled with old suitcases.

Guest lounging by the Bloody pool -- skeletons in lounge chairs on beach towels, with creepy cocktails. Body parts floating in the pool. Zombie static prop- cabana boy.

I may do a 'bar b que' grill scene out on the lanai as well.

So much to think about. So much to do....still working on the save the date travel brochure. Hope to post soon.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
WOW - I was only away from the forum for one day and I can't believe all of the GREAT ideas you have all added! I absolutely LOVE the idea of the creepy couple on a bench out front with luggage & the bell boy with the luggage cart. I also love the tombstones with room #'s and cause of death. I was trying to figure out a way to incorporate our usual cemetery and that's perfect!

Wolfbeard & Smitty - thanks for the great ideas about the lighting for the hotel sign. I was trying to figure out how to do that. I'm still not sure exactly what we're going to do, but I might just do a colored spotlight on the Hotel sign & use your tips for lighting the vacancy sign that's going to be hanging from it.

My husband got the front check-in desk 2/3 built on Friday (and then had to work this weekend so wasn't able to do more). But I definitely need to take some pictures and figure out how to get them posted on here because it's coming along great.

I can't thank you all enough for your help!!
 

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Lady, I adore your theme! Some of the reason is because I work in Hospitality and have been working at a hotel for several years now. Trust me, it's spooky enough without props. (Maybe have one room be a ballroom full of drunken wedding guests. :D Oooh! Spooky!) But I find your theme very fun! If you lived in South Carolina I could loan you some props from my hotel.
One of the things that has always made me feel a little creeped out is being alone in the empty hallways at night. It just seems to be sets of doors and lights repeating forever. I think the bottomless pit effect could be really cool to make it look like a never-ending hallway. I'm sure you have plenty of projects to do before Halloween though!
Good luck, it looks like you're on a roll. Please post pics as soon as you can!
 

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Confused....you live in OK and have a hotel in SC? lol
:eek:. Haha, sheesh, I never remember to change my location when I move! I'm a professional gypsy. :p I'm in South Carolina for now. Who knows where next! But it is cool having a Halloween party somewhere new every year with new friends!
 

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Excellent thought put into this!

I've already come up with several ideas for my old-style 'train depot' haunt that I may or may not do. lol.

What about getting some inexpensive wall sconces to put throughout the hallway. One thing I think of when imagining an hotel hall is those repetitive sconces that stretch all the way down. I think if you had some battery operated lights, you could plop them inside each sconce.

Also, I made some 'wooden crates' last year (pirate theme) out of cardboard and foam. Super easy, super inexpensive. If you are looking for a way to make some extra luggage... I think this would be ideal - If I end up doing the train depot, I'll be using this method for my luggage... just cardboard boxes, and thin styrofoam accents (strips of foam glued to the box to add depth).

Good luck.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
DT - your train depot haunt sounds awesome! That's a theme I've never heard of, but what a great idea. Thanks also for the great idea about the luggage. I was thinking of looking for some old luggage on craigslist or at yardsales, but your idea is much less expensive & I can't wait to try it.

I had the same thoughts about repetitive lighting through the hotel hallways. I started picking up some old sconces at local Goodwill's but they don't all match exactly. I think as long as the lights in each hallway match, it should look ok in the dim lighting.
 

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DT - your train depot haunt sounds awesome! That's a theme I've never heard of, but what a great idea. Thanks also for the great idea about the luggage. I was thinking of looking for some old luggage on craigslist or at yardsales, but your idea is much less expensive & I can't wait to try it.

I had the same thoughts about repetitive lighting through the hotel hallways. I started picking up some old sconces at local Goodwill's but they don't all match exactly. I think as long as the lights in each hallway match, it should look ok in the dim lighting.
Did you see the scounces that voodoo willy made and posted? Those are cheap and would look really cool in your hotel :)

MsM
 
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Discussion Starter #17
I finally have some pictures to share of the props we've been working on.

The first 2 pics are of the check-in desk my DH is working on. It will be the first thing you see in the lobby when you enter the haunted hotel.

The next 2 pics are of the service elevator sign I'm working on.

The last picture is of the beginning of what will be the elevator doors & part of the frame. Right now it's just styrofoam painted with a metalic silver paint.
 
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Wow - I can't believe that actually worked! My first time attaching pictures!

Here's one more picture which is of the Chamberwell Hotel sign I'm making out of foam for the front yard. I still have a long way to go...
 

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Wow that is looking good, I have a theme as well for Halloween, mine is a Masquerade Ball, and my guests/characters are walking into a Mansion that is haunted, any ideas how to dress it up would be good too
 

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Devilishly Dutch
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Wow! I'm REALLY impressed! You guys are really going all out for this! Love it all! Love the dark wood for the check in desk! Is that you cutting out the letter in the foam?

MsM
 
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