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For this year's haunt I am trying to incorporate more startle scares into my haunted house as opposed to creepy stuff people look at.

So, my question for you is - what is the best startle scare you've got and how do you use it? The more info, pictures, videos, etc. the better!

Hope everyone has a great long weekend :) Happy Haunting!
 

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A section of my garage has a large plate glass window. I always do a set up in there with a life size prop and then some 'live' characters go in there at intervals and stay stock still. When someone comes up to the window for a closer look, the 'live characters' jump into action. It always gets screams and jumps. One year a kid was so startled he fell backwards into the snow and my dog jumped on him and started licking him! He laughed so hard and told everyone who would listen. Good thing I have an 'Enter at your own Risk' sign.
 

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Props, lighting and sound are all to aim for one thing (IMHO). They set the scene and overload the senses to set up for a live scare. Just throw some blood on your face and yell from dark corners haha - it always works. Have the guests focus on the "cool props" and snap their attention to a pottential real threat (aka a person with a chain-less chainsaw or something)

Another thing that works is hide somewhere dark and have compressed air to spray people with. With this tactic not only is the hissing noise loud and jumpy, but they actually feel something touch them and it freaks people out big time!
 

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For this year's haunt I am trying to incorporate more startle scares into my haunted house as opposed to creepy stuff people look at.

So, my question for you is - what is the best startle scare you've got and how do you use it? The more info, pictures, videos, etc. the better!

Hope everyone has a great long weekend :) Happy Haunting!

Last year I added and air blaster with a step pad activation into my haunt. I made a box and partially covered it with black fabric and added plastic pumpkins on top. People would see the not so frightening pumpkins never expected the blast.

 

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last year I had a slit in one of my walls that had a scarer hiding behind. He wasn't even dressed up as anything but easily got the biggest scares of the night. Very simple but super effective!

watch from about 0:40 or so in the video to see how it worked in context.

 

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Having a bunch of props, then just sitting stock still in full costume until they come up to you thinking you're another prop. Then all you have to do is turn and give a friendly wave, and they'll run off screaming. Did this a lot early on, when we did more handing out of candy than decorating. It's really all about being misleading.
 

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The true way to set up a scare as stated is all in the atmosphere. The biggest keys of the atmosphere are lighting and sound. I highly recommend midnight syndicate as your music of choice. Now for the scares: One of the easiest is to take a hammer or rubber mallet and slam it into a hard sturdy surface. Another scare which works 99% of the time is the Drop panel scare. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81fqPHQTMxY What will always be important though is to setup the victims to be scared. Distractions are key, so always make the focal point directed away from the scare and boom you got them screaming.
 

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The "Best Startle" I have on video is from my Baby prop. See the little girl 2 seconds into the clip. I didn't know the human body could do that. I have considered handing out dry cleaning coupons (pants $1.99) in lieu of candy : - ) http://www.snydercentral.com/halloween/babysample.wmv

BTW - annoying as hell but the $10 Harbor Freight Ooga horn (heard in the video background) has caused more dropped candy than any of my props.
 

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Coke can. Two handfuls of gravel (or bent nails from projects) and a little duct tape to cover the opening. Then... Misdirection or concealment. Jump out and shake it like crazy. Always worked for my TOTs!
 
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