Monday, October 31st 2005

All Gone
posted @ 10:22 am by Casey

Yesterday was clean-up, and we’re all both sad and relieved to see it come down. What was put up in four days of non-stop work was taken down and packed away in a matter of six hours!

I took a few pictures to give everyone an idea of what the breakdown process is like:

Most of the electrical components. Flicker circuits, extension cords galore, can lights, christmas lights…all neatly bundled and packed away for next year.

Randomness scattered on the front lawn and driveway. You can see the morgue freezer walls and doors, the front door to the funeral home, and the wheelchairs from the morgue. We usually try to carry everything out to the front lawn for a quick mental inventory, and because it’s a little tricky to load the trailer now that we have so much stuff. We have officially exceeded the limits of Rick’s trailer now; it can only hold about 90% of our haunting props.

The deconstructed circus entry. Not as intimidating now, eh?

To everyone who helped out, from building to tear down to acting, THANK YOU SO MUCH. We can’t do what we do alone, and we love to see other people discovering and enjoying the haunting process.

Friday, October 28th 2005

The clock keeps tickin’…
posted @ 1:15 am by Casey

Well, we’re very close now, opening tomorrow night. While there are elements of the last push I usually don’t care much for I must admit lighting scenes really makes a huge difference. We put the finishing touches on the morgue today as well and Paul really came through with the airbrush to age the freezer wall. As usual Rick came through on the mechanical front taking my idea of a pneumatic slamming freezer door and delivered. In fact, I was so impressed I grabbed some video of it. Morgue Freezer .mov (1.3 MB)

This year has been really nice with a bunch of additional help I haven’t had before. Paul and Jenn have really stepped up and brought some great artistic support in, James also swooped in for some backup. I’ve had some extra construction hands with Kenny, Nick, Grandpa and Kawala. Rick continues to be a great guy to have around, providing mechanical know how I just don’t have and really bringing in a whole bunch of great ideas this year. And of course, my lovely wife Sommer has provided me with great support, a whole boatload of sewing, creativity and inspiration… I’m really lucky to have her around.

Jump straight to the photos for today

Wednesday, October 26th 2005

14 feet of Pure Fun
posted @ 10:33 pm by Casey

Construction is really going well, most likely because we’ve had a whole lot of extra hands around. Without extra hands we wouldn’t have been able to do some crazy things such as the 14 foot clown head entrance we put up today. Never really thought we’d pull this one off, just seemed too big, but now it stands there in front of the tent, peering out and waiting for victims.

Here is a direct link to more pictures of the entrance as well as other goodies from today.

In other news, a friend of Rick’s dropped by to tell me about a yard haunt right down the street from us. We dropped by tonight and were really impressed. The best part, though, was seeing a coffin built off of our Buried Alive plans sitting in the front yard. Small world, eh?

Wednesday, October 26th 2005

Fatso the Clown
posted @ 8:15 am by Casey

Well, we’re down to the wire and so far things are getting done pretty well. Yesterday we finished up the tent (thanks Sommer and Rita), autopsy and new morgue (reconfigured where the freezer is and expanded the room). Hoping to get a lot done today, starting with the mortuary and then completing as much of the circus as possible.

Sommer mentioned below that she sewed a clown suit for an inflatable costume which is honestly one of the coolest costumes I’ve ever seen, and we made it! Check out Paul inside the suit in the video below… this is some really really REALLY creepy stuff.

Fatso the Clown .mov | 1.2MB

Tuesday, October 25th 2005

Sew, sew, sew
posted @ 6:43 pm by Casey

My poor little sewing machine is just now beginning to poop out on me. Look at what I’ve put it through (or put through it, I should say)!

A ridiculously huge clown costume to go over the inflatable ballerina costume (see silly picture of Paul from a few days ago). It just needs some velcro in the back and a neck frill. I ran out of fabric – big surprise there!

A circus tent. Ok, this one gets me all excited and maybe even a little proud. That’s a 10’x20′ tent made from about 7 9’x12′ canvas dropcloths. Yeah, there’s some geometry in that…who says math is useless? It took two spools of upholstery thread, two sewing machines (mom helped too!) and lots of cursing to complete, but it’s amazing. It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever sewn, or will ever sew probably. I giggled like a schoolgirl when it was on and we were standing inside. If anyone wants to have a creepy circus birthday party, I’ll bring the tent!

By tomorrow I should have the jack-in-the-box costume done (sexy neon pink and yellow – it makes my eyes burn) and velvet drapes will be added to the circus tent entrance.

Saturday, October 22nd 2005

posted @ 4:04 am by Casey

Thats right we are done….Jenn finished Electra and yes I have finished the 2nd column. Well last time both Jenn and I worked on the column it took a week and a half, today due to the wonder of airbrushing (thanks Pops) I started and finished the column in about 4 hours. The cool thing about it is that I have learned the tricks of Blacklight paint, the column looks one way in regular light, and totally different in blacklight. Oh yeah and I did all the airbrushing in my little four foot hallway, there are even paint stains on the carpet…oops……

Friday, October 21st 2005

posted @ 9:42 am by Casey

I’ve got a ton of links collected over the years for inspiration, ideas, etc. Thought I’d share a few in honor of the approaching haunting season.

Terror Syndicate
Without question the best amateur haunted house around. Like us, Steve does a free haunt. Unlike us he seems to have an unlimited supply of talent and money. Check out all the years, the progression is incredible.

Brutal Images
Incredibly detailed and disturbing props. If we had a kitched scene, I’d own a bunch of these.

13th Door
This is a pro haunt in Oregon, check out the gallery, attention to detail is incredible. I’m especially jealous of their painting, the walls look so cool.

Haunte Pics
A free place to stick your haunt-related photos. Lots of stuff to wade through, but cool way to check out lots of amateur haunts.

Haunted Photos
Same idea as above.

The Haunt
Kind of a boring name, but one of the best pro haunts I’ve seen. Amazing detail.

Margaret Stratton Photography
Amazing photos of an abandoned Prison/Asylum… not only scary, full of ideas for future haunts!

When Zombies Attack
Absoutely hilarious puppet show for kids on zombie safety.

Friday, October 21st 2005

Baby Lee
posted @ 8:16 am by Casey

Man, I’m concerned about Paul. He has been working so hard that in addition to no sleep, it seems he might be gaining weight. Below is a picture, compare it with the ones of him from last year. Poor guy.

P.S. It is kinda creepy how much we look alike in that picture.

Thursday, October 20th 2005

Late nights
posted @ 11:46 pm by Casey

Well as Casey said lots of last minute prep…..Last night I stayed up until 7 a.m. painting one of the 8 banners to be included in the circus. And yes I had to work today…whew. The payoff for all this work makes it more than worth the late nights. Tonight Jenn and I are attempting to knock out two more banners, Jo Jo the dog boy, and Klem the Killer clown.

Thursday, October 20th 2005

Halloween and Hurricanes Approach
posted @ 9:44 pm by Casey

Well, we appear to be very much near where we were last year… nowhere near done and a hurricane approaching which will impact construction. The plan was to knock out a lot of construction on Saturday when I have workers available, but at this point weather is unpredictable at best. Even if we have a lovely day Saturday, I really can’t build the Mortuary or Morgue because Monday may bring strong winds that last year tore the Morgue down and damaged a lot of the walls. I won’t mention the need to go to work next week (even though I took it off) to take care of some things that I was unable to do this week with the hurricane preparation.

As far as individual projects we are in good shape. We only have about 4 projects this year that can be taken care of ahead of time and most of those are done. The rest of what we need to do will need to be done on the fly, as we build the circus. That will add a whole lot of stress to my plate next week, but there really isn’t a lot we can do about that. I have faith, as I always do, that we will get done and have a succesful haunt… but man, right now I feel unprepared.

I am going to try to keep a good account of the last few days we have here, hopefully they’ll at least be mildly entertaining. I think a lot of people don’t realize everything that goes into doing a haunt like we do, so perhaps it will provide a small amount of insight into the process.