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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This year marked our 6th annual collaborative haunted house. We darkened things down a bit and with a simplified layout created an eerie druid themed haunt centered around a main building tricked out with catacombs, lots of skulls, flickering candles, a crypt and several good scares dished out by our costumed actors, all wearing hooded robes. Coupled with an awesome sound track from Sinful Audio and we had the 500+ guests on edge from the time they joined the queue line. Here are some stills from the haunt along with a video compiled by a photographer friend of ours. We didn't have a Halloween night video so these were taken a few nights before, but hopefully you get a flavor for what we did. The front yard scene featured a low crypt that was lit from within along with a fog machine. The effect of the fog seeping out of the cracks was really great. We went with a blue and amber color scheme and included several jack o lanterns, lots of organic elements and real deer skulls. The upright monoliths in the yard and interior catacombs were fabricated out of foam blocks and carved and detailed by my buddy and haunt partner Mark (lewlew on the forum). Mark also designed an epic wall scare with a robed corpse set into an alcove in the back wall. As guests approached, an actor outside of the back of the haunt hit a step pad which triggered a strobe light, and simultaneously blew into an Aztec death whistle while he pushed the corpse forward a few inches on a push rod. The sound was horrific and guests were literally hitting the deck when the scare came at them! Around the corner, a hooded druid made guests stop in front of the crypt to pay their respects to the spirit, and on a cue word twin drop panels opened up above the crypt as two ghouls came through the wall. Screams ensued. We also had a plexi window scare and a few other surprises. All in all another successful haunt with a fresh theme and lots of great scares. Can't wait til next year!
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471 Posts
Jerry, wow your haunts just get better, I never thought you would ever be able to top the witch theme years ago.

I have really missed out on being away from the forum for so many years, your themes always motivate and inspire me.
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you all for your kind and inspiring comments. As always, we had a lot of fun putting it all together. Mark and I (mostly Mark) are sticklers for details and we enjoy dressing the set out as much as we like scaring the folks who go through. I have stated before that Mark is the driving force behind our efforts. I provide the location, some props, lighting and labor, however he does so much behind the scenes with his fantastic foam creations that truly bring our scenes to life. He spends countless hours at his home 40 miles away fabricating facades and interior elements during the summer months. It's unfortunate that many get used only once. We did repurpose or large foam façade from last year's Frankenstein lab and it worked perfectly as the entrance to the tomb. The catacombs were nothing short of movie set quality and while we're offering them for sale, we'll certainly use them again if we don't find a buyer. Everything from multiple pin spots to light the interior, bags of Spanish moss on the catacomb shelves and in the wall cracks, to containers of leaves strewn on the floor, all added to the atmosphere. It should be noted that half hour before TOT began, we had torrential rain and heavy wind gusts that had me wanting to cancel it and shut it down (something we have never done) just for safety, but ten minutes later the rain stopped and the winds died down and we had a picture perfect Halloween night. Mark had been tracking the storm and being the voice of reason, reassured me that we'd be good to go. I guess the Samhain spirits were pleased with what we did! We are contemplating future haunts and next year plan to go a bit smaller, but it's early so once we have our annual planning breakfast in February, you never know what we might come up with. I know it'll be great and we both look forward to haunting together every year! I have more pics and Mark has a cool video he shot but we have to figure out how to load it. Will put them up soon.
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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Discussion Starter #14
LOVE it.

Been waiting on this one to pop up, and it does not disappoint!
Thank you sir! I was largely inspired by your own crypt, however time was not on our side and we didn't get the frame built until early October, leaving not enough time to detail it like we wanted. I can add to it down the road and I'm sure we'll use it again at some point.
 

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Imitation Imagineer
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Wow, you guys killed it this year! Those catacomb walls and niches look incredible, and that cracked crypt was absolutely gorgeous.

I love it all; the lighting, all of the candles, the organic details, and skulls, skulls, and more skulls!

Thanks for posting it all for everyone to enjoy. 💀
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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6,492 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Wow, you guys killed it this year! Those catacomb walls and niches look incredible, and that cracked crypt was absolutely gorgeous.

I love it all; the lighting, all of the candles, the organic details, and skulls, skulls, and more skulls!

Thanks for posting it all for everyone to enjoy. 💀
Thanks my friend! The catacombs were really impressive. Under haunt lighting much of the detail didn't show up very well but it really pushed the atmosphere over the top. Mark had made the crypt a few years back for our vampire haunt and it fit perfectly into this year's theme as well. It drew a lot of ooooh's and aaaah's. Interior lighting was mostly done with pin spots, the led candles and a couple small led spot lights. The overall vibe was dim and musty, just what we wanted. We had a plethora of skulls for this year and used them all! One of the little "Easter eggs" I have to point out is the darkened area just above the niches on the back wall that hold the candles. Mark did this to replicate soot from a long burning flame. I didn't notice it until we were setting the candles and skulls in them. He thought of everything!!
 

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WOW!! Absolutely fantastic. You all did an amazing job designing and building your sets. The details put into everything is mind blowing and the lighting is perfect.

You all really should consider doing a professional haunted house and have it opened for more than one night. I would definitely pay to see your haunt.
 
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