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Headless Hessian
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Hi All,
I wanted to document the progress of creating my Haunted Hotel theme for my indoor party this year and have a place to request feedback as I progress in this journey. My normal setting for the party each year is that of an old, decaying house/mansion but I thought about mixing it up this year, a little. With inspiration from previous Haunted Hotels found here, I made the decision that this would be the easiest in order to use a lot of my existing decorations.f

As a save the date message, I sent out hotel reservation confirmation notes to each party guest and included a small key (looked old world and picked up from Michaels) that was attached to a key tag that contained the date and time of the party. I attached tiny magnets to the key tag so they could be mounted to the fridge or such.

I've been buying vintage pieces (hotel desk bell, letter holder, cathedral radio, etc.) to set the tone of a 40's hotel but yesterday (Saturday) was the first day I have had the opportunity to actually work on the project. My house has a large "front room" which contains the foyer, living room, and dinning room all as one big open space. This is where I usually spend most of the time setting the scene for my party. The foyer will become the check in area, the living room will be the lobby extended, and the dinning room will serve as the "lounge" where the party buffet is set. These rooms will be the only areas where the hotel theme is prominent and the music will only be 40's music coming out of the repro cathedral radio. The remainder of the house and the outdoor deck and patio have seasonal decor for Halloween but don't speak specifically to the hotel theme.

Here is the current progress on the check in desk in the foyer. The desk and columns are simply made of foam insulation board covered in wood grain-look contact paper. I still plan to add some type of small lights to the front of each column and add dust and cob-webs to both the desk and the props. Any and all comments are welcome!! I'll go on to put a pile of luggage, my zombie bell hop, and my 6 foot tall metal knight in this area to complete the look.

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What a neat idea! From your pictures so far, I was reminded a bit of the Dr. Who episode "The God Complex" where The Doctor (#11), Amy & Rory are stuck in a hotel with changing corridors. And I also am thinking of the mansion from CLUE - such great inspiration there! Maybe you could find one of those wedding-type guest book pens that are feathery to add to that check-in desk. Or even an old inkwell with a quill.

Can't wait to see more of what you end up doing!
 

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I used a guest book and adapted it into a registration book complete with signatures. A feathery pen, phone and desk bell are good additions as well as some snacks for sale or travel brochures for local sights (or should I say frights) to visit. I also have a room key cabinet (I used a shadow box) and some artwork on the walls "Our Founder" etc. This year I'm thinking of using a small secretaire as a check-in desk so I can display some more props on the cabinet shelves.

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Hey @@FrogKid love your desk idea. I don't have furniture that I can drag outside, where my haunt will be, so really liking your idea there with the foamboard and contact paper. So any problems getting the contact paper to stick to the foamboard? Tips on working with it? Curious how you are able to support the weight of the radio and vase and such. I bought the same cathederal radio off of ebay earlier in the year for my vintage style themes, plus one other style for a future plan I have. Love their looks. My bell is brass as well and doesn't work so well but I love it's design. Yours looks like it's a working one and your hotel guests will have fun ringing it I'm sure. I think you could use a key rack somewhere near the front desk but other than that I think you've thought of everything important.



@@PoCoHauntGal, I haven't picked up a registry book yet. Where did you find yours? Looks kind of like one of those photo albums you add pages to. What did you do to age it? Love the brochure rack! Any closeups of it? Wondering what kinds of things you thought for sites to see. Cool phone looks like one of those heavy bakelite ones.


I'd love to have a registry book the kids sign their first names into and what costume they have (remember I'm doing hotel not as a party but set up outside on Halloween night) but just don't think the kids will take the time to sign in. What do you guys think? Worth a try or waste of time better spent on working on something else?
 

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@@PoCoHauntGal, I haven't picked up a registry book yet. Where did you find yours? Looks kind of like one of those photo albums you add pages to. What did you do to age it? Love the brochure rack! Any closeups of it? Wondering what kinds of things you thought for sites to see. Cool phone looks like one of those heavy bakelite ones.

It's a guest book with inserts like a photo album so I think your photo album would work. I searched on Google for "hotel register" images and modified the images I liked. I printed them on sepia toned card stock and inserted them into the plastic sleeves to protect them. You could do the same thing to find examples of brochures or just make up your own - I have done both.

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The phone is a Dutch made Bakelite telephone. When we were kids, my dad installed one in each of our bedrooms. We used to pretend it was the phone that Batman used. I always loved it and it's in pristine condition plus it still works! My brother has the wall mount version in his entrance hall.
 

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Margarita Goddess
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Spooky, how about an autograph book? The kids may be encourage & eager to sign their autograph.
Batman, Jimmy Clark
Princess, Suzie Smith

Frogkid, cannot wait to see what else you do!!
 

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Headless Hessian
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Discussion Starter #15
I used a guest book and adapted it into a registration book complete with signatures. A feathery pen, phone and desk bell are good additions as well as some snacks for sale or travel brochures for local sights (or should I say frights) to visit. I also have a room key cabinet (I used a shadow box) and some artwork on the walls "Our Founder" etc. This year I'm thinking of using a small secretaire as a check-in desk so I can display some more props on the cabinet shelves.

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Hey PoCo - I have seen your pictures previously which helped provide inspiration for my doing a Haunted Hotel theme. I also have noticed before that you have the one life size figure that I can never seem to find - Horace the Butler! I want him so bad and can never find him for sale.

This is probably my most favorite theme I've seen people do. Forgkid, who are some of the '40s musicians/singers you plan to use?
Hi Kallie - I am actually going to use my Sirius account and broadcast the 40's on 4 station via my computer. I discovered that my house wiring will allow me to use the existing phone lines (for landlines) to plug into my computer and then I rigged a speaker to plug into a jack in the foyer so it appears the music is coming from the radio. Whatever that station plays is what will be coming out of the radio to set the tone.
 

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Headless Hessian
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Discussion Starter #16
Hey @@FrogKid love your desk idea. I don't have furniture that I can drag outside, where my haunt will be, so really liking your idea there with the foamboard and contact paper. So any problems getting the contact paper to stick to the foamboard? Tips on working with it? Curious how you are able to support the weight of the radio and vase and such. I bought the same cathederal radio off of ebay earlier in the year for my vintage style themes, plus one other style for a future plan I have. Love their looks. My bell is brass as well and doesn't work so well but I love it's design. Yours looks like it's a working one and your hotel guests will have fun ringing it I'm sure. I think you could use a key rack somewhere near the front desk but other than that I think you've thought of everything important.
Hey GoS !! - The foam board insulation I am using is the thicker 1 inch stuff; however, it is sitting directly on top of my black empire table that is normally in the foyer (that you can see in some of my other photos I have posted and is in my albums) which gives it support. The desk is built to be the exact dimensions of that table beneath so I didn't have to move the black empire table anywhere to store it - it's neatly tucked away under the facade of the desk. I am planning to make a matching keyboard that will hang in that void space behind the desk. Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of staging the desk way out from the wall for someone to stand behind it so the board is going to hang on the wall in between those columns. The keys are also going to be a game and give-a-way the night of the party. Guest will arrive and select their "room" key with the room number. At a later time in the party, I will ask someone to draw a number from a hat and whichever number corresponds will win a prize. We will also have our normal costume contest to give away the big prize.

I am also planning on turning my open shelf bookcase into a Souvenir and Gift shop displaying items for sale. I will have toiletry items on one shelf, jewelry on another, and I need to plan out the other 2 shelves.

Yes, my bell is an eBay purchase and it works perfectly - I'm sure the guest will ring it constantly, but it will be part of the fun. My registry book is actually a 1940's account ledger book that I got from a friend - so I couldn't pass it up. I don't think I will have anyone sign it - I think I'll just use it for the look of the old aged pages and the ambiance it gives.

Please take photos of your hotel set up - I can't wait to see it !!!
 

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Celtic Spirit
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oooh frogkid, I've been waiting for your thread. :D Your check in desk looks amazing, great job. And I'm so jealous of your cathedral radio, I looked but couldn't find one. I did find a plastic Halloween radio for cheap and am hoping it won't look that bad in dim light. The idea to have forties tunes coming out from the computer is brilliant!

Any ideas for you bathroom? I'm doing Housekreeping in one with a skelly maid, witch's brooms, Egyptian mummy cotton linens, vintage iron and old washboards. Here's my pinterest page for D&B: http://www.pinterest.com/tannasgach/dead-and-breakfast/ Everything looks great; can't wait to see more. :)
 

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Headless Hessian
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Discussion Starter #19
Below is a link for an awesome prop made by Halloween Forum member: GraveyardGus. It would be perfect for your haunt.

http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/127675-animated-haunted-hotel-sign.html
That is so ironic that you should post that link - their sign is one of the many inspirations for my theme this year and I'm "stealing" (sshhh, don't any one tell them) their hotel name and that sign idea. I totally love it and it conveys the exact feeling I want of realistic with a twist. I didn't want anything to be obvious (ex. Blood Hotel, Witches Inn, etc.) - not that there is anything wrong with those, just I wanted more of a Tower of Terror The Hollywood Tower Hotel feeling.
 

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Headless Hessian
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Discussion Starter #20
oooh frogkid, I've been waiting for your thread. :D Your check in desk looks amazing, great job. And I'm so jealous of your cathedral radio, I looked but couldn't find one. I did find a cheap plastic Halloween radio for cheap and am hoping it won't look that bad in dim light. The idea to have forties tunes coming out from the computer is brilliant!

Any ideas for you bathroom? I'm doing Housekreeping in one with a skelly maid, witch's brooms, Egyptian mummy cotton linens, vintage iron and old washboards. Here's my pinterest page for D&B: http://www.pinterest.com/tannasgach/dead-and-breakfast/ Everything looks great; can't wait to see more. :)
Thank you Tannasgach. You are too kind. I love your ideas for the bathroom - please post pics!! My guest bathroom doesn't have a lot of room for props so I was thinking of turning the door into the elevator with the dial above the entrance and then mask the doors as steel plated. I really love your idea and may have to do that instead. Do you have somewhere that you are displaying the egyptian cotton sheets, iron, etc. inside your bathroom?? You must have an enormous bath ! My house is from 1960 and the bathrooms and bedrooms were definitely of different proportion than new homes constructed today. I don't think the builders of the 50's and 60's gave much thought around having room to decorate and stage -LOL
 
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