I've had a windfall of materials come my way this year as well as a large group of high school thespian club helpers so I've decided to try out a couple new ideas I've had. What I want to create is interaction for my guests. I see all this detail on some peoples props and think, why all my people are running at mach5, lmao, so I'm also wanting to slow them down a tad for both safety as well as to appreciate my work (well that and to stall them so I can sneak from behind 8^) My elevator is slow as will be the new cart/cage so a few more will even things out to guests separated and from running into another group.
My first idea is to build a circular room with a caged hallway/walkway that only goes half way across the room. Guests will be able to see the exit door across room through bars. At the end of the walkway is a crank wheel and when rotated it'll rotate the whole walkway around until it meets the exit door. kind of like cheap version of a Harry Potter rotating staircase kind of thing. I plan on making it out of an old trailer axle and a pair of heavy caster wheels. The door open/close cycles are to be determined and maybe just manual from helpers this first year. Lot's of safety and mechanical issues to think about but feel I can pull it off 8^) I'm thinking I'll go for a neutral setting on crank so it can be pushed and reset by helpers so they don't have to crank it back a few hundred times in 4 hours, lmao 8^)
Next, I want to make a dead end hallway. Guests will enter a hallway with a see through barred door blocking their way. A crank on the wall will open the first door but also close the next door that was slid open and hidden. They'll need to move into the next segment and crank the next wheel to open the 2nd door but also closes the first, resting it for the next guest/s. I'll make sure to install a hidden door or two as well for actors and assistance.
I run a slow haunt and my lines do get a bit long in wait but I like to give each and every guest my utmost attention 8^) In reality each "pride" prop/ride (I don't know what to really call them, lol)I do only takes a couple of minutes to cycle. Anyway, that's a couple of the things I'm looking to incorporate into my haunt this year for a very interactive hands on haunt for my victims..I mean guest for 2014 8^)
Mom always said my middle name was Ambitious...or was it stupid? I just got home with a friends help with two trucks and trailers of goodies from electrical to paneling to a new treadmill to hack. There are two small beat up trailers available there still to get but their axles are going to make some type of rotating room/hallway. I will admit I'll be having some 20 hour days here soon but will post as I build which is still about a week away before I can start on things full time. I've never had so much fun stuff become available so I'm kind of beside myself and maybe dreaming of more neck than I can actual bite but hoping I'll be able to do 5 or 6 action stations where people will have to complete some task to pass. Got junk to unload so until next post.
So far I've managed to haul in 49 pallet tops, 35 sheets of various double laminated counter tops/plywood and a very large wood crate and even got some new tools to help out 8^) Going for the 2 small trailers today so I can hack the axles out of them.
I've had two new idea's for what I've started calling "action stations" both I feel very doable and ones I may do first. The first, "Zombie crush" will be a hallway with a see through barred caged wall with (fake soft spikes sticking toward the zombie filled side of hallway). The Tot's will need to push the wall down the hallway and crush/impale the zombies to get to a side door at the end of the hallway. I'll, of course, add some secret doors for additional things to enter the TOT side once the wall has passed that waypoint. The wall be on rollers and wood rail and I think I'll have a small platform they can stand on and just go for a small ride down the hallway, may put a brake on it (for those really big, possibly buzzed dads)(Friday night haunt this year 8^o
The next is an idea I want to try due to the fact that I'll be able to control light much better this year with totally roofed and enclosed hallways. My thought is to use dimmer switches, glow in the dark painted levers with a small light above it (maybe some soft black light for wall arrows directors) and some counter weights to pull the lever back down (turning the dimmer to off). The game will be to pull the lever for full light and race to the next light station before it gets dark. If they fail the glow in the dark paint will at least show where the next one is.
Hard to say just will materialize this year but, I've never had so much stuff to work with or so many twisted ideas to torment the kids with that I thinking I'm just going to have to not sleep for a month or so, lmao. I'll keep ya posted as to how this all unfurls as I work it all out.
Thought I'd throw an update on some goings on here on my action stations with the first one roughed out (paint still wet even, lol. It's huge, it's on it's side and it's sunk into the ground but the handle still turns 8^) I'm planning on it rotating a door into the undead clown room (via a bicycle front fork and bearing housing)(the wheel for the cable pulley). I've been looking for a JITB to take the music box from and also playing with a creepy audio but tonight when playing think I'll have the clowns sing the tune (maybe giggle a little as they do) as TOT's crank it, being they'll be able to see it crank as well as at what speed.
I picked up 3 dimmer switches at a restore for cheap so I'll be mounting those to levers TOT's will pull to light a hallway section. A weight will draw the lever back to the off position making the hallway dark again with no hope of making the next lever in time. This will allow for glow in the dark/black light paintings to appear and guide them if/when full dark. Turning lights on will keep glow in the dark paint charged (if all goes as planned. With a bunch of tight switchbacks I'm hoping this will be a fun and easy prop interaction for people to enjoy and feel they're part of the action and story that I'm going for this year.
The daughter is wanting to be the gingerbread hag this year so I've been modifying the old mine shed into a gingerbread house. I didn't like the tape overspray edge so I tried (and failed 8^) some freehand graham cracker dot/lines so I have so texture and paint to add but wanted to throw a pic of another area being worked. The frosting roof snow will be cobweb/spiders when finished.
Life's been getting in the way of my build time and I'm a bit behind but I'm not panicked yet (ask me tomorrow though 8^) I'll try and post more as I pick up the pace on laying this years haunt out. Hope you enjoy, I'm having a blast }8^)
I'm starting the dimmer switch / levers today so will post pics later. Some of my ideas will be very basic and easy and some more elaborate so I'm starting with the easy ones, lol. I also need my walls up before I can build most of them. This month is flying by so fast it's sick. I love gore as much as the next haunter but the way I see it, the young folk as well as us adults are looking for more interaction in this video/web filled world. I love building things so for me it's like building a big human mouse trap and saying, now escape 8^) They'll all be simple, straight forward, easy to do tasks (although the cage cart does take some effort) and I'll have actors stationed as needed but if all goes as planned it's going to feel like they're living the dream (sick and twisted of course 8^)
Things will start flowing fast (I hope) so I'll keep ya posted on the concept as well as results on real world testing.
I got one of the dimmer switch levers made. I used a small belt to transfer the lever action to the dimmer switch, which is also wired to a receptacle box for two light plugs. In the down position the light is off and at almost dead top is almost full on. I still need to add limiting blocks for a solid start and stop position and of course mount it to a wall and add some counterweight to pull the lever back to start and turn the lights off. I'd like to build two more for a switch backed 3 light hallway. Not a lot to it but hoping it'll add a little something for the ToT's to interact with as well as changing lighting effect. Here's the front side:
As just follow up...the weather beat me to death...wrath of God wind and rain. I got the haunt up but failed on many projects. The human protection cart was a hit...until one of the dads thought it was made for them and ripped the crank wheel off 8^o After a short melt down, I hauled my welder out, found the crank wheel, screamed at everyone to stay back and not to look at the light 8^) and then threw water on it and started packing them back in...I heard it actually was a highlight of the evening for some...sparks everywhere 8^) I've been stuck in Alaska, just got home and I have this stupid dream, I can pull it all off this year 8^) I need help...not the Halloween helper type either. Sorry, I don't as often as I like, I have a life, and God hates me for it 8^( I'll give it Hell this year. I just had to come post it was an epic try and utter fail...although not many seemed to notice, they seemed to run and scream the same, as any other year...I just wanted to slow them down some for savoring }8^)