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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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Discussion Starter #1
New Year, new decade, and a new direction for Road's End Eerie Manor Haunted House! When we closed out our haunt season last year, we talked about scaling back the existing set-up. In recent discussions, Mark (lewlew) and I have made plans to take the haunt in a new, and what we think will be, fun direction. The idea of doing a haunted "house" is one that has served us well for the past 6 years. The structure has been entertaining and has allowed us to do some really great haunt themes but it was also a lot of work. Set up, tear down, hauling and storage are among the issues that are becoming more difficult. Beginning this year, we're going to what could be best described as an enhanced scene or set, utilizing a portion of the driveway previously taken up with the haunt structure. Essentially, it will be a façade or building front, to create the image of a larger structure. The space behind the façade will be minimal, perhaps enough to house one or two actors, or display a few props. It will no longer be a "walk in" building. We want to use the façade as a focal point of our yard haunt and it will serve as a space where we can hand out candy, create a really detailed scene and set up a few good scares! This simpler build can be changed up to go with a chosen theme, and while we'll come up with some different ideas, we plan to stick with old school Halloween themes like cemeteries, witches, vampires, skeletons, etc.. We have no doubt that this new approach will keep things fresh, and really let people see and appreciate all of the detail we put into our haunts, something that has been a challenge for us from the start. As for this coming Halloween, we're still fleshing out some plans for the scene, but we think it will be pretty spectacular and we're sure it will be well received by our visitors. More details to come and we'll be sharing our ideas and progress.
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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6,519 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I think I follow. Different theme of course, but would it be like a wild west ghost town where you have detailed business fronts and the characters operate mostly in front of the props.
More or less. We're going to need far fewer actors, maybe 3 or 4, who can work the queue line or do a couple simple scares. We want to work with some projections, special effects, some well placed props, etc, just to create the atmosphere. The structure used to take up 24 feet of our driveway. It will now be down to 8 ft or even a bit less. We may create a room behind the facade, but for the most part the facade will serve as the focal point and we'll set a scene around that. Hope that helps.
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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6,519 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
It seems like you guys have landed on something that will allow you to keep a high-level of personal engagement and enthusiasm, while scaling back on the time and physical demands, yet still keeping things detail rich.

It sounds perfect.
Thanks my friend! Yes, that sums it up nicely. As Mark commented recently, sometimes he had to remind himself that this is supposed to be a fun and creative outlet. While we were having fun and being creative, the amount of work, at times, tended to outweigh the fun. Going smaller will give us the energy and time to focus on the detail we both love, but still allow us to throw in a few good scares utilizing a few helpers. We're both really looking forward to it!
 

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I've had similar feelings about time and yard haunting. I've decided to concentrate on quality over quantity with my haunts. I plan to create a particularily involved (construction-/display-wise) effect (think talking/animated scarecrow of some type, perhaps interactive). In addition, add some other limited lighting, audio, video, sets to create the mood in a time-efficient way (e.g., nightly build-up/tear-down). I used to automate my own large yard haunts with custom software, but now I have released a product that is particularily focused on home haunters, to create multiple media-synchronized scenes (either separate or working together as part of a whole). It's perfect for this kind of thing. Using a PC to automate stuff, I can reduce the strain on my/other's time to watch over, trigger and reset stuff. Plus I can deliver a professional-type feel. I think that just one central scene, delivered in a cool way, is enough to keep everybody talking and coming back to one's place each year. Plus the reduced creation/construction/build-up/down strain is a yuge benefit. Concentrating on one really cool display item is much more my speed these days; I'm not getting any younger!

If you're interested in such software, you can find it at DAZL - Misery Bay Software. The great thing about software is that it provides a great platform for easy show creation/running, usable year after year. I plan on creating a video series on such show construction, but this will take a while as I'm in the throws of moving.
 

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New Year, new decade, and a new direction for Road's End Eerie Manor Haunted House! When we closed out our haunt season last year, we talked about scaling back the existing set-up. In recent discussions, Mark (lewlew) and I have made plans to take the haunt in a new, and what we think will be, fun direction. The idea of doing a haunted "house" is one that has served us well for the past 6 years. The structure has been entertaining and has allowed us to do some really great haunt themes but it was also a lot of work. Set up, tear down, hauling and storage are among the issues that are becoming more difficult. Beginning this year, we're going to what could be best described as an enhanced scene or set, utilizing a portion of the driveway previously taken up with the haunt structure. Essentially, it will be a façade or building front, to create the image of a larger structure. The space behind the façade will be minimal, perhaps enough to house one or two actors, or display a few props. It will no longer be a "walk in" building. We want to use the façade as a focal point of our yard haunt and it will serve as a space where we can hand out candy, create a really detailed scene and set up a few good scares! This simpler build can be changed up to go with a chosen theme, and while we'll come up with some different ideas, we plan to stick with old school Halloween themes like cemeteries, witches, vampires, skeletons, etc.. We have no doubt that this new approach will keep things fresh, and really let people see and appreciate all of the detail we put into our haunts, something that has been a challenge for us from the start. As for this coming Halloween, we're still fleshing out some plans for the scene, but we think it will be pretty spectacular and we're sure it will be well received by our visitors. More details to come and we'll be sharing our ideas and progress.
Your haunted house sounds amazing!! Sounds like you put so much planning and detail into it. Where is it located? If it were anywhere near me, I would definitely check it out. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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6,519 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Your haunted house sounds amazing!! Sounds like you put so much planning and detail into it. Where is it located? If it were anywhere near me, I would definitely check it out. Thanks for sharing.
It's just our home haunt located in NW PA. Thanks!
 
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