Halloween is done, my body aches from head to toe, and hundreds of children in my neck of the woods now have slightly more demented nightmares. I’m happy to report that this year’s ‘greatest day’ was a resounding success. We had more people than ever before, from kids to adults to the elderly, and it really feels like we frightened them all. 

This year I decided to make the haunted house a little bit scarier. Well, alright. If I’m being honest, maybe a whole lot scarier. And judging by the reactions we got, it worked. The endless screams and unceasing laughter made all the hard work well worth it.

But before we get in to how the haunted house was made, here’s the just-completed video. Get some popcorn and a change of underwear. Ready?

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/31547652 w=500&h=283]

There it is. I realize it’s hard to see what’s going on with the setup, so here’s how it went down. By segmenting the tent into three rooms (plus the garage) trick or treaters had a maze of sorts to walk through. It gave us lots of places to hide and jump out from, while increasing the feeling of claustrophobia tenfold. In order to do that I needed to create another structure to go inside the tent, which I made from ABS pipe. I created the structure in a way that it can easily be disassembled and stored. 

The structure created a tunnel for people to walk through, and a booth (or cage) for another scarer to sit in. That booth was covered on the front with chicken wire and a desk, and the whole structure was covered in pastic. It really did create the illusion that the tent was a series of rooms. Some of the images and video below should help explain how it worked.


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The tent was also a WHOLE LOT darker this year, as we blacked out all the walls and ceiling. Because of this I was able to get very controlled lighting on key areas, something that’s very hard to show on video. Indeed the tent was so dark that all sorts of the footage we took was unusable. What you see here are only the shots that I could salvage. I guess next year I need to invest in night-vision cameras.

I’ve been doing these haunted houses for the better part of 20 years now (minus maybe 5 years in the middle when I lived in an apartment) and this year was definitely the best. Only so much can be captured on camera (my wife shoots the footage, but likes to put down the camera and scare too!) but we really did get sustained screams throughout the evening.

It was a ton of work, but a total blast.


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