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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, starting to get that excited feeling...time to plan this years haunt. I have an idea for an elevator prop to make the tots feel like they are descending to the mine, but I'm not sure how to make a cave scene without spending big bucks. I would love to hear any ideas for props and effects for cave or mine haunts.
 

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make two walls that're about 3 1/2 to 4 ft tall outta 2x4s...then lay a short 2x4 from one wall to the other for the width of the mine...then throw a big roll of black plastic over it to complete the mine. Space out the boards and make sure they are on the inside of the plastic so that it looks like the support structure in a mine.


Try and make it so that the walls are short enough and close enough together that the black plastic encases the whole structure
 

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Hey, Scatterbrains, did you ever make it to the haunt that was in the (actual) silver mines up in Park City years ago? ( I think the last year of operation was 12 or 13 years ago)


Anyhow. They did a lot of stuff making it seem the thing was going to collaps (essentially a drop-spreader filled with sand, making the mine look like it was going to be falling in) and with people trapped in the rock. Big bugs and stuff like that.

It was actually pretty interesting as the only lighting was the lanterns on people's heads.

Then those went out...
 

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Man, that's a very cool idea. If you go with the black visqueen, you could even paint the inside with brown,white,or grey, silver, or gold paint to inhance the look of a mine.

If you where looking to build a train cart, you might be able to score a wagon from a garage sale or flea market and build around that. Other wise you could build your own out of 2x4's and some plywood. Then you could add some tracks to the mine to attach the cart to. I'd build one if it was me. I'd then go to a local salvage yard and pick up some cheep rusted wheel hubs and weld a couple of shafts to them with bearings to move the cart down the tracks.

I could have so much fun with this idea.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oh, if I only I could rig a way for head-lanterns to fizzle out by remote control!

I like the plastic idea. Price is right and it can be used year after year. I also considered buying big rolls of paper so that I could crinkle it up and paint it to look like rock. But the paper is pretty expensive for a one-time use.
 

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yeah, I never did work out how they managed it. But, you passed a certain point, and the headlamps went out, and you had to make the last little ways in the dark. Had to be some kind of RF trigger somehow.

And I DO MEAN DARK. (well underground)

Miserable for me since I couldn't stand in the mine to begin with (too tall), and ended up more or less crawling that last bit.
 

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Hey, Scatterbrains, did you ever make it to the haunt that was in the (actual) silver mines up in Park City years ago? ( I think the last year of operation was 12 or 13 years ago)


Anyhow. They did a lot of stuff making it seem the thing was going to collaps (essentially a drop-spreader filled with sand, making the mine look like it was going to be falling in) and with people trapped in the rock. Big bugs and stuff like that.

It was actually pretty interesting as the only lighting was the lanterns on people's heads.

Then those went out...
Never went when it was a haunt....but went a few other times. Don't get on that elevator if you're claustrophobic.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I suppose I could use chicken wire and paper machette to give it more of a solid feel and very realistic look for narrow tunnels and plastic/paper in the bigger caverns. I like the exposed timbers idea. I have some old 4x4 posts that I will run my car up onto break them, then put them in the ceiling for that about-to-cave-in look. Add some falling sand (brilliant!), creaky and rumbling sounds, dripping water, and swinging flickering lanterns.

Now, what about the actors? I usually have about 10 people. I figure 3 to manage the elevator scene, a couple of rescuers to lead the kids to safety at the end. That leaves 5 or so to be the theme actors. I know a cave is scary in it's own right, but I like to make it extra terrfying for tot teenagers.
 

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I suppose I could use chicken wire and paper machette to give it more of a solid feel and very realistic look for narrow tunnels and plastic/paper in the bigger caverns. I like the exposed timbers idea. I have some old 4x4 posts that I will run my car up onto break them, then put them in the ceiling for that about-to-cave-in look. Add some falling sand (brilliant!), creaky and rumbling sounds, dripping water, and swinging flickering lanterns.

Now, what about the actors? I usually have about 10 people. I figure 3 to manage the elevator scene, a couple of rescuers to lead the kids to safety at the end. That leaves 5 or so to be the theme actors. I know a cave is scary in it's own right, but I like to make it extra terrfying for tot teenagers.
Make a mining cart....if you have one of those garden wagons, just build a structure to rest on it... then you can have one actor dressed up as a miner pushing the cart and another one hiding inside to pop-up when the ToTs get closer
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Some freinds of mine have a big flat cart with rusty iron wheels that would work. Would still need to build the sides. I haven't decided wether do do this outside, or use the basement. Either way, it's going to be a really big scene.
 

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Okay super cheap base...

PVC Pipe. The long 10 ones, combine 2 of them then make them into an arch like shape and stake them into the ground. (THey have pvc pipe stakes)

Just keep making them and then you know throw the tarps or sheets or whatever you want over it. Maybe get some thick netting on the inside to hang down. buy some 2 by 4s the put in the middle of the walk way like support beams with some lanterns hanging.

10 ft pvc pipes are like $1.50 for the really thin ones and $2 for the slightly larger ones, and depending on how heavy the $2 dollar ones should work fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yep, that works great. I've done this by pounding some rebar pins into the ground, then slide the pvc over the 6-12" of rebar sticking up.
 

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Oh, if I only I could rig a way for head-lanterns to fizzle out by remote control!

I like the plastic idea. Price is right and it can be used year after year. I also considered buying big rolls of paper so that I could crinkle it up and paint it to look like rock. But the paper is pretty expensive for a one-time use.
Call your local newspaper and ask then if they sale End Rolls. This is the left over paper after a pressrun, there is so little paper left on the roll that they have to change it over to a larger roll at the end of the day. I work for a local newspaper and we sell these rolls from 1 dollar upwards to 10 dollars. This is the way to go, of you want to use paper. Also these sheets of paper have no ink on them and they are uninterrupted, meaning you can spread this paper out and it will go a long ways.
 

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wow, those are all really cool ideas. i had a haunted mine for my son's western party. nothing extravagant. i hung cardboard stalactites, bats, and thread (feels like spider webs against face) from the rafters. the only lights in the "cave" were one blue lightlbulb and a prop of a miner with a severly burned face holding a lantern. used a nature tape for sound effects. when they got into the deeper part of the basement, had a helper silently close a door behind them. I had adhered a gothic stone wall backdrop on this door so when the group circled back it looked like they were caved in. the guide lit a fuse on a tnt barrel (which was really just a sparkler), then said "step back- its gonna blow" which was the cue for the helper on the other side to set off black cat fireworks, giving the sound effect of tnt, which made the group close their eyes for just a second, enough time needed to quickly open the door. pretty basic, but the three groups of tweens that went through were impressed.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thats great, I love that concept of a cave-in. Here's how I think I will set it up. The tots take the elevator "down" to the mine. Then will be guided through the creaking, sagging, tunnel to the end (cart on tracks) where the trick/treat action will occur. Then some sort of explosion (fuse is awesome). Then work their way back to the elevator, but it will be blocked by a cave in, so they will have to take a side tunnel escape route, with other scary stuff happening.
 

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With the cave-in idea, you could have a pair of legs or an arm (I can invision the arm waving around) sticking out from under the cave-in rubble. Maybe even a recording of some soft moaning as though the guy is still alive. An actor could actually be behind the rubble and when they walk by, he could reach up with his arm and grab a TOT's leg.
 

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redrom,
check out the pics on my photobucket link. I do a Haunted Mine/Boot Hill yard Haunt.
Not extensive by ANY means ,but it may give you ideas. The Mine Shaft and Mine Cart vare made from white bead foam painted.(Not very well...).But the boarded up window over my front door turned out better.I am repainting everything this year. Still trying to figure out a rock facade,that is cheap and will hold up to the winds here.....Thinking of trying something covered in Drylock, but then there's that pesky storage issue, once its built.Any questions, just ask.
 
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