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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, i posted in the intro section to just so you know.

(by the way i rambled a lot and if you want to skip all that and move to the numbered sections at the bottom, those are the scare ideas that I really need assistance on)

Well I'm here because I need help making a haunted house. I have several ideas and limited funds. My friend just bought a house and really wants to do this and so do I. We will be working little by little over the course of the summer to have the house done by October so no rushed last minute planning occurs.

Anyway, to the haunted house. I'm thinking we got about a 500 dollar budget, maybe more, it won't seem as much spending here and there so it might be more.

We plan on having the guests enter the backyard from the side of the house then throughout the backyard chaos ensues of course which leads them to the other side of the house and around and into the garage to then enter the Halloween party.

This is why we need it all planned, so it doesn't take away from the party.

I was thinking about making a PVC pipe frame for the entire project. 10ft pipes are about $2 each, and then add the connectors, that will probably $100 there getting the frame.

I was trying to look for those long rolls of plastic as the walls, you know the trashbag-esque material? I don't know what it's called so I don't know how to find it online, but most likely I'll be spending about 60 to 70 bucks to make the walls. If anyone knows what thats called I would be greatly appreciated.

I'm going to end up buying like 30 extension cords and like 10 surge protectors for the small 7 dollar strobe lights and black lights and music and anything else we will need in there. That will probably another 60 dollars.

That right there takes care of the basics and foundation of the haunted house and I only spent half the budget.

What I need help on is thinking of awesome cheap things to do.

1. I was going to actually buy some wood to make a ramp and a walkway thats closer to the ground to where they have to crouch to get through. It's completely dark so they won't know that the floor is plexiglass so when they are all crawling through, the light will come on and there will be a person under the plexiglass screaming and banging on the floor.

2. I want to make a cube frame out of PVC like a room but make the walls clear plastic to put a crazed guy in there in the middle of the yard. I don'r know what I'm looking for though, like those clear rolls of plastic for furniture maybe.

3. This is something I'm having difficulty making. I need to be able to put pressure into a PVC pipe to push out face blood to make some walks bleed.

I was thinking of piercing several holes into the pipe, that will be the top pipe of the room. Put fake blood in it, but I need some was that ot will all be pushed out. Maybe a spring Idea or something, but if anyone knows I would greatly appreciate it. I was thinking of usinga waterhose but that will water down the blood too much and plus, I don't want hte water running all day.

4. Props. I can't afford props, they are over priced and I don't want to spend too much on them. I don't mind making them but usually all I fond online is 'here is how to make 1 severed hand in 12 hours!' I don't have time like that and plus, if I make something, I want to be able to use it year after year.

All ideas are welcome. I have more ideas I'll list but I would love some feedback, and wow, this is a cool site by the way!
 

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HELLoween Ubber Lord
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Going bump in the night..
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First off, welcome to the forum! Always fun to add another lunatic to the asylum...

Let me see if I can help at all on any of these:
I was thinking about making a PVC pipe frame for the entire project. 10ft pipes are about $2 each, and then add the connectors, that will probably $100 there getting the frame.

I was trying to look for those long rolls of plastic as the walls, you know the trashbag-esque material? I don't know what it's called so I don't know how to find it online, but most likely I'll be spending about 60 to 70 bucks to make the walls. If anyone knows what thats called I would be greatly appreciated.
I think what you're talking about is something like these:
Black plastic sheeting
As you can see from the size of the rolls on there (long one's being 100'), the length of your covered walk-through will determine the cost to cover it.
I'm going to end up buying like 30 extension cords and like 10 surge protectors for the small 7 dollar strobe lights and black lights and music and anything else we will need in there. That will probably another 60 dollars.
A suggestion on extension cords if you're trying to stay within budget: go to alot of garage sales, and/or swap-meets (Craigslist and Freecycle too)...anything other than indoor, 6' cords can run you $15-$20 apiece.
1. I was going to actually buy some wood to make a ramp and a walkway thats closer to the ground to where they have to crouch to get through. It's completely dark so they won't know that the floor is plexiglass so when they are all crawling through, the light will come on and there will be a person under the plexiglass screaming and banging on the floor.
Sounds like a great scare! Keeping it to one person at a time on the plexi will reduce the need for extensive bracing underneath (not eliminate it, but at least reduce it).
You may find it more cost effective to put the actor beneath in a rather narrow space (so, someone pretty skinny up and down...shoulders as well as gut) - plexi can get expensive very quickly, and a human jumping on plexiglass is going to be a lot of stress on it (even though they'll be crawling, remember they'll be scared and tend to jump and bump quite a bit) - thick plexi is pricey!
2. I want to make a cube frame out of PVC like a room but make the walls clear plastic to put a crazed guy in there in the middle of the yard. I don'r know what I'm looking for though, like those clear rolls of plastic for furniture maybe.
Perhaps a variation - use mirrored window film, mirrored side out, and put a strobe light inside with the actor, going slow, so people only catch "frames" of him inside - he can see out just fine, but people would have to wait to see what he was doing next (if the strobe's slow enough).
3. This is something I'm having difficulty making. I need to be able to put pressure into a PVC pipe to push out face blood to make some walks bleed.

I was thinking of piercing several holes into the pipe, that will be the top pipe of the room. Put fake blood in it, but I need some was that ot will all be pushed out. Maybe a spring Idea or something, but if anyone knows I would greatly appreciate it. I was thinking of usinga waterhose but that will water down the blood too much and plus, I don't want hte water running all day.
A simple garden pond pump would do the trick here...it would provide some pressure, move the liquid you're using (as long as it's not too viscous), and could be turned on and off easily.
Here's one that's pretty inexpensive, but run for a long time (I use these in my yard):
Harbor Freight Tools - 145 GPH water pump
4. Props. I can't afford props, they are over priced and I don't want to spend too much on them. I don't mind making them but usually all I fond online is 'here is how to make 1 severed hand in 12 hours!' I don't have time like that and plus, if I make something, I want to be able to use it year after year.

All ideas are welcome. I have more ideas I'll list but I would love some feedback, and wow, this is a cool site by the way!
Dark Lord gave a great resource for prop-making...and I understand how time can be limited, but if you start making things now, you'll have time to make quite a few props, even at an hour or two a day.
As for lasting year after year? Many of these props do last (I've made some that I've used for the last 5 years), and I think you'll find that the more you make them, the more you'll like making them - it's addicting, as you improve with each one, fueling the desire to make more.

Hope I've helped a little, or at least given some food for thought...
 

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Hey everyone, i posted in the intro section to just so you know.
Welcome to the forum!

(by the way i rambled a lot and if you want to skip all that and move to the numbered sections at the bottom, those are the scare ideas that I really need assistance on)

Well I'm here because I need help making a haunted house. I have several ideas and limited funds. My friend just bought a house and really wants to do this and so do I. We will be working little by little over the course of the summer to have the house done by October so no rushed last minute planning occurs.

Anyway, to the haunted house. I'm thinking we got about a 500 dollar budget, maybe more, it won't seem as much spending here and there so it might be more.

We plan on having the guests enter the backyard from the side of the house then throughout the backyard chaos ensues of course which leads them to the other side of the house and around and into the garage to then enter the Halloween party.

This is why we need it all planned, so it doesn't take away from the party.

I was thinking about making a PVC pipe frame for the entire project. 10ft pipes are about $2 each, and then add the connectors, that will probably $100 there getting the frame.

I was trying to look for those long rolls of plastic as the walls, you know the trashbag-esque material? I don't know what it's called so I don't know how to find it online, but most likely I'll be spending about 60 to 70 bucks to make the walls. If anyone knows what thats called I would be greatly appreciated.
One option is visqueen. Black Poly Sheeting

(not neccessarily cheapest, just first link in google)

I'm going to end up buying like 30 extension cords and like 10 surge protectors for the small 7 dollar strobe lights and black lights and music and anything else we will need in there. That will probably another 60 dollars.
30 extension chords will likely be quite pricey, actually. 25' indoor/outdoor extension is about $5-7. Cheaper to make your own, if you're able.

That right there takes care of the basics and foundation of the haunted house and I only spent half the budget.

What I need help on is thinking of awesome cheap things to do.

1. I was going to actually buy some wood to make a ramp and a walkway thats closer to the ground to where they have to crouch to get through. It's completely dark so they won't know that the floor is plexiglass so when they are all crawling through, the light will come on and there will be a person under the plexiglass screaming and banging on the floor.
Look into used pallets, and scrap lumber companies for cheaper/free wood.

2. I want to make a cube frame out of PVC like a room but make the walls clear plastic to put a crazed guy in there in the middle of the yard. I don'r know what I'm looking for though, like those clear rolls of plastic for furniture maybe.
Not exactly sure I'm understanding you're vision here.

3. This is something I'm having difficulty making. I need to be able to put pressure into a PVC pipe to push out face blood to make some walks bleed.

I was thinking of piercing several holes into the pipe, that will be the top pipe of the room. Put fake blood in it, but I need some was that ot will all be pushed out. Maybe a spring Idea or something, but if anyone knows I would greatly appreciate it. I was thinking of usinga waterhose but that will water down the blood too much and plus, I don't want hte water running all day.
Look into fountain pumps, or in-line aquarium pumps. You'll need a reservoir at the bottom full of the blood. It's pumped to the top, drips back into the reservoir, rinse, repeat.

4. Props. I can't afford props, they are over priced and I don't want to spend too much on them. I don't mind making them but usually all I fond online is 'here is how to make 1 severed hand in 12 hours!' I don't have time like that and plus, if I make something, I want to be able to use it year after year.

All ideas are welcome. I have more ideas I'll list but I would love some feedback, and wow, this is a cool site by the way!
Well, what props are you trying to make, I guess is the question. And, a little secret is it probably only takes 13 hours to make a dozen severed hands at the same time with those instructions. Yes, the process might take forever, but do many at a time.

I always approach a haunt in this way:

First:
Realize that first year is NOT going to be perfect. There is just no way for me to get everything done in a year. Period.

Personally, it took us 3 years of the same basic theme till I was ok with our haunt. 4 before I thought it was any good.

Second:

As such, prioritize your projects with what will make the best impact. Looks like you've got 3 good projects there already without the 'props'. 4, really, with the frame. Personally, I'ld focus on those this year, and work in other things in following years.

Finally:

Remember one very important fact. You've worked on this thing, seeing it day and night for months on end. You know every minor 'mistake', every little booboo. People are going to be seeing it, in the dark, while scared, for a brief time. Don't be too hard on yourself.
___________________________________________________

Now, then, if you need some things for 'filler'. One of the most popular, effective, cheap, and simple additions would be a dot room.
 

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Lord of the Cemetery
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Some great ideas there, and some great advice from Ugly Joe.
The pond pump solution to your "bleeding walls" effect is what I would also suggest. they come in various sizes and the majority of them have an adjustable flow. The size you require would depend on a) the height and distance you want to pump the liquid to. b). the viscosity of the liquid. and c) the pressure you require at the "delivery" end. (i.e do you want your blood to squirt, or just drip and run down the walls)?
Remember you will also need a reservoir of some sort, large enough to submerge the pump and a "return to tank" to channel the blood back into the reservoir after it has run down the walls. some cheap pvc guttering at the base of the wall, inclined at a slight angle towards the tank should suffice for this.
As for your props, remember that the quality and durability of your props will be directly proportional to the time and care spent in making them..I realise time is not on your side, but probably better to have a few good looking props that can be re-used rather than a bunch of naff stuff thats going to fall apart. Look on it as an investment on your time.

Just chipping in with my 2 pennyworth..don't let me keep you, sounds like you've got plenty to do!

Good luck!
 

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I don't have any suggestions (leave that to the experts here) but I just wanted to say your idea about the plexi-glass floor is awesome! I love it!!

:)
Leigh Clements
The Mystery Maiden
Shot In The Dark Mysteries.com
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you everyone, those were great ideas. Thanks for those links, I will check them out.

Fountain Pump! Genius!

That plastic stuff is a little pricey, but I need it, I guess if I cut it carefully I can reuse it. I need to make this stuff nice so I can save it all for next year.

I was trying to find cheap extension cords, and I was thinking about going to garage sales, but so far nothing.

That mirror thing is genius! I love it... OH MY CRAP. By the way so you understand it better. It's basically just a small room an actor sits in all demon like. I was thinking about making a door he can get out of, but so far just the room that they have to walk by to finish. I love it, they won't even see it unless the light flashes! Sweet!

Where can I by that mirror sheet stuff, also, I need some white sheet stuff and clear sheet stuff. Hopefully I can find it.

Yeah, this will be over budget probably, but I know most of this stuff will be recycled to next year, and your right, it will only get better.

I actually made 2 the last 2 years, but it was a mess around thing with sheets and rope, but I think it will help me with knowing what I need to do.

Thank you everyone, I will be back with more stuff in a little while.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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You can find the mirror film at most home improvement stores - they are used primarily to put on windows to provide privacy without having to use curtains.

Also, since no one has mentioned it yet, I'm going to be a wet blanket cause that's the kind of girl I am... ;) (paranoid and gloomy)

A couple of things to keep in mind:

Are you going to let any and all go through your house haunt (not just friends and family)? If so, you need to make sure that the stuff the folks are coming in contact with is built sturdy enough and well enough that it can't fall on them, give them splinters, trip them.... cause a lawsuit for an injury is the last thing you'll need. Not only that, but there is ALWAYS the possibility that your town or city might be "informed" of your haunt by annoyed neighbors and do an inspection - and most definitely can close you down if you're not up to code for fire and safety... it's happened to several posters on here. So using inflammable stuff, really well built if anyone is going to be walking or able to touch... the last thing you need is a lawsuit from some idiot that got a boo boo.

AND...

You don't say if you're charging admission for your haunt. Purely my personal opinion, but it's a really good idea if you don't. Once you charge people, your little home haunt becomes a home-based business, and that opens you up for your homeowner's insurance not covering you in the event of damage or injury, and you run into the whole neighborhood bylaws that might prohibit home-based businesses, and remember the inspection stuff? That can definitely come into play.

If it is your first haunt in this neighborhood, I'd keep the structure/walkway building to a minimum and just make it as good and as safe as you can and gauge the reaction as to how big and crazy you can go for next year. Hopefully you'll have lots of fun and lots of happy people who love Halloween just as much as you do!

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the info, yeah I'm not charging, we are having a Halloween party and plus neighborhood kids coming over. No real building, just PVC pipe which is basically just plugging them in, no real wood stuff except the floor, and that's a very small part of it.

But thank you for the word of caution, I'll be careful, thanks
 

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Going bump in the night..
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Okay, some other cost-saving possibilities...

For walls for your walk/crawl through - cardboard.
Start collecting boxes (behind business, etc) - go to Home Depot or other hardware stores, and ask about "oops" paint. This is the stuff they've screwed up when coloring, and sell it real cheap. Chances are they'll have some dark colors you can use to paint the cardboard, so you'll have dark walls that are dirt cheap, and tougher than plastic sheeting.

Since you're not using a lot of props, I'm guessing the extension cords are for lighting.
Go check out BigLots (or similar) and see if they're clearancing out their 12v yard lighting yet.
I've bought a couple of these the last few years, real cheap on clearance, and they can provide some of your lighting for a lot less than the cost of a few extension cords.
(no, it won't replace all of your lighting, but it can work for your yard, as you'll probably be looking for low lighting to set the atmosphere).
 

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First off welcome aboard.

The plastic sheeting can also be found at Walmart. I bought some about 3 years ago and this year I need to replace it. It works pretty good.

Ugly Joe makes a lot of good points on this topic. Just yesterday I went to Home Depot and got 2 gallons of oops paints for $5.00 a gallon. Compare that to $21.00 for the base before they mix it. They had gray's, yellows, browns, greens, whites, reds, ect.... Well worth it if your on a budget.


UnOrthodOx made a great point also in that it has taken everyone years to get there haunts better. I've been doing one now for 5 years, and I'm still not completly happy with my haunt. So this year I'm starting to build my own props. If you take your time and invest a little money here and some there your haunt will come along great. It just takes time.:cool:
 

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livin Halloween every day
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Well on a tight budget a cool book with cheap easy ideas that you could research is " Give them a real scare this halloween." You can probably find it on amazon fairly cheap and has some good ideas in it. My first haunted house i actually raided furniture stores for big heavy duty cardboard boxes and used the cardboard for the walls. It actually held up very good only having to do minor repairs, and best of all it cost me nothing. I spent a little on wood and duct tape and some $1.00 cans of black spray paint. Another real cheap scare i used that went over really good was, I had a door flap that covered a small hidey hole with a monster with a glowing mask on. After the people went past he stepped right out and appeared right behind. Got alot of great scares and nobody ever knew he was there.
 

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First off Welcome!

Next since your budget is very limited...

buy the book "How to Haunt Your House by Shawn & Lynne Mitchell at Barnes & Noble - Books, Textbooks, Used Books, DVDs, Music, Toys, Home & Gift, if you have a Barnes & Noble discount card even better, free shipping!

don't over look thrift stores, garage sales, dumpster diving, etc.

Recycling centers give paint away for free!!

Pallets do work good for free wood but, are a pain to disassemble.

Black weed guard also works to black out things.

Dollar stores are a great place to find haunt stuff off season

The more things you can make yourself will stretch the budget farther.

Necessary effects for any haunt:

good haunt music (Midnight Syndicate)
black lights
fog machine & chiller
strobe lights
faux cobwebs
sound effect cds

Replacing regular light switches with dimmers set the tone.

Do you have a theme to the haunt?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I don't have a theme, I have like different things in different rooms or halls. I was thinking of buying some cheap wallpaper that looks like cheesy elegant and put paintings on the wall, then get some empty frames on the wall with a window and have several posing actors and several masked dolls that just stand there so everyone knows that there is a real person there but no one knows who it is so he can jump out at you, so that is a kind of elegant castle hall theme.

I was also wanting to find some clear plastic walls and make like a butcher room theme with like a bloody masked man in an apron by a table of body parts with blood on the floor, walls, and table. That's another themed room.

I had another idea for, (now this is just a random work in progress, not sure where this is going kind of thing, but) a hall where they enter a room that is pitch black except for a slow strobe light, but I have 2 fans set up on each side of the hall blowing towards each other, I was going to fill the room with a crap load of packing peanuts which are really cheap. I was thinking about bloodying them up first and have them flying around, but I don't know where the scare is in that yet so I'm still working on it.

Well, I got more, but I'll get back to you. Later guys and gals!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
One more thing before I go! I have no idea where to get good music and sounds. If anyone has got any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated.
 

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We do the same lay-out with the sideyard leading to the backyard and into our cedar woods then back up and through the garage for the exit. Just keep it simple and try not to get carry away with projects too big. Our trail is about 300 yards long we add simple static props built with garden tools.....rakes, shovels etc. stuck in the ground upside down and then add rain poncho's, clothing and some spotlights to light the trail. Don't worry about themes so much your guest could care less all they want to do is look at stuff. Good foggers are a must. Also one of the best scares is a leafblower in our attic garage it got some good screams every time. And the most important thing are some good actors we use 12 or so and no prop can scare as good as an actor.$500 can go a long way with the November sales........this is where you can really built you supplies through the years........last Nov. I got $600 worth of props and stuff for $ 75 at stores like Big Lots......with sales from 75% off to 90% off. See my profile album pics. Remember your not completing with the theme parks yours is free and your guest will be easy to entertain.
 

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HELLoween Ubber Lord
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Nox Arcana has some excellent music for halloween......& for the rest of the year,LOL & there are numerous haunters here that have made some GREAT music & sound effects tracks
that they have shared with us for downloading from here. A few of us have sites with that have TONS of stuff from the 60's old albums sound tracks to newer stuff that they share.
Give us a "scream" with music or sound effects that you need for your haunt themes ( haunted nursery,insane asylum,twisted clown music,haunted organ music,cemetary & haunted house,
thunder/lightening tracks,ambient background music,etc) & there are a number of us here (including myself) that will have something for you. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I gottat tell you, I already love this site. Everyone is so willing to help and friendly. I post on a couple other sites for other subjects (I sit in front of a computer for 8 hours for work) and there are others that are helpful, but all of you have gone beyond and I thank you. As soon as I start working on this think, minus the brainstorming, I'll try to take picutres and keep you all posted on the progress. Thanks again.

Also, I will be going by the dump and to some garage sales hopefully to get some cheap supplies. I'll let you know how it goes.
 

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This is my first time here also. I was reading all of your postings and I love your ideas. We do a spook trail in the woods. We found some extension cords at dollar tree. they weren't very long, but they would be good for something. Good Luck, can't wait to see pictures!!
 
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