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307 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
While hunting down out-of-print LPs on the Scar Stuff blog, I came across a recording for a fun, kid's party idea that I'd like to share (and possibly expand upon).

The concept has been called a "Virtual Haunted House" in other circles. It basically consists of blindfolding the kids and leading them through a haunted house of their imagination without the sense of sight.

The guide describes cobwebs hanging from the ceiling (as they pass through hanging thread), instructs them to feel inside a bucket that holds a heart (which is a water balloon slathered in vaseline), and eventually discover the body of the house's last victim (a stuffed dummy). The excitement is heightened with appropriate sound effects and mood music that plays along with the trip.

With the help of today's technology, I thought this idea could go well beyond what was considered cool when this record came out in the 70's.

For one thing, I could see myself actually narrating the tour, with the help of an assistant on a virtual cart machine to queue sound effects. (For an example of what I mean, see Ambrosia Software's Soundboard shareware.) This would allow for deviations in the script, without being locked into something pre-recorded.

Another thing I could see doing would be employing more assistants for "encounters," such as bats flying in their hair, or rats scurrying over their feet. I could see having someone in a fur coat for the kids to bump into after being warning about the sleeping gorilla.

Finally, one of my favorite rides at Universal is the Spider-man ride. There they use mists of water and sudden bursts of warm air to add to the illusion. I could see doing stuff like this, too in a virtual haunted house.

Wether it comes to things that could be scary to touch (or scary because it just touched you), I've been seriously toying with this idea for our next kid's party. If anyone has past experience or thoughts on how to make it better, please post away.

Typical Ghoul Next Door
7,507 Posts
I have a vague recollection of something like this when I was a kid. I lived with my mother in the married housing of a college campus, and one dorm invited all of the kids over for a Halloween party and they did this - I remember the peeled grapes and spaghetti thing (yes, it is dated, but at the time it was really fun and creepy) and they did blindfold us and lead us through a series of rooms with spooky stuff happening. I loved it. (I was around 8 or 9?)

Kids are less easily impressed nowadays, so you'd definitely have to up your storyline and the effects - but I still think with the right script and props and sound effects, this could still be lots of fun for kids. :D

3,076 Posts
I remember doing that sort of thing when I was a kid in the 70's and it worked great. I am not so sure how modern kids would get it, but in the 70's my mind made things a lot more creepy than they actually were. I think it has great potention, but modern kids often do not get the old school idea of using the mind.

Lord of the Cemetery
2,081 Posts
Sounds like a great idea.

Let their own minds help you to scare the bejabbers out of 'em;)

Sight is our primary sense...take that away and you're well on your way to dampening some underwear.:D:D

307 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
One of my thoughts was to have the kids feel around inside a coffin as the end of the tour was near. I have access to a few full size skeletons, and I was thinking to ratt up some clothes, dress the skeleton up, and tell them the key to the locked door was buried with the mansion's master. They'll need to find it in order to get out. (I know鈥 ripping of the Haunted Mansion movie, but hey it was one of the few good parts of the whole show.)

Aside from the possible creepiness of feeling an "actual" body, any thoughts on what else could surprise them in the casket? Maybe simulate come "rotting flesh," put peeled grapes in the eye sockets, and other nasty stuff around/inside the bones?

I was also thinking to simulate some bugs that infested the box, or even some real live night crawlers. Any ideas?

3,611 Posts
Sounds spooky! Today's kids are more desensitized, but I don't think it'll be too hard to scare the little ones verses teens.

You could make the skeleton move or jump around a little as they got their hands inside the ribcage or something.
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