26 Oct Hot Haunted House Hacks
During these spooky days, you may find yourself inspired to create the creepiest house on the block. With the right textures, sound effects, and lighting you’ll be on your way to scaring the pants off those precious trick-or-treaters in no time. That’s right – make them earn their candy!
- Pick a Room – Whether you’re transforming your front yard, living room, or garage make sure to pick a space that has enough room to create at least three sharp turns. Plan your trick-or-treaters entrance and exit pathway to be relatively close to one another, so as the kids narrowly escape the haunted hall, those about to brave the darkness will have a sense of their impending doom! Now the best locations have a natural place the hang dark drapery or stand up painted flats, but a few pvc pipes can also do the trick. In the front yard you can use the trees and roof line to set up your narrow, dark pathway. Either hang dark black tarps (if you have them) or grab large, black trash bags to cut down the seams for cheap “curtains”. Viola, you have the starting materials for your eerie hallway to take shape.
- Texture – When it comes to spooking you’ve got to have some detestable textures. The best place to use them is down a narrow hall so your victims can’t avoid pushing through the spine chilling walkway. A plethora of fishing line hung at varying heights with some fuzzy pipe cleaners can make the imagination run wild, random shots of air at calf level is a masterful way to get people to jump, and damp shredded trash bags will certainly get their blood pumping. Try making a hallway entirely of spider webbing or a dark menacing walkway with arms reaching out for new victims to play with texture. Mix in some real hands with the false ones to keep those ghouls and goblins on their toes.
- Sounds – In addition to the tight spaces and nasty textures, increase the drama by over stimulating their senses. iMovie is an easy editing tool that allows you to drag and drop sound clips to create a bone rattling track. Go to Youtube and type “ss” after the “www.” to save any clip you find with the right sound effect. Make sure to vary the soundtrack with a fun halloween song or mellow music then pepper in alarming sounds inconsistently. While the song may run on a loop, try to make it at least 5 minutes long so the same halloweeners don’t hear it twice. A piercing scream, the sound of a hatched or chainsaw, a small child laughing, even a quiet clawing sound will make for a creepy crawl through your haunted house.
- Lighting – A crucial player in all exceptional haunted houses is lighting. Without the right lighting your demented pathway may be too dark to navigate or too bright to scare. Use lighting as a visual stimulus to slightly disorient, while creating dramatic shadows to hide pop out volunteers or to make the fake corpses take on a more realistic appearance. Make use of deep purple rope light and green spot lights to provide just enough light to help your victims find their way. RGB bulbs are a great way to use the light fixtures you already own to transform your landscape. Uplight spider webs with a dark blue or purple, and use green downlights to make corpses look like something out of The Walking Dead. The biggest thing is to use lighting to draw your guests attention to one thing, while hiding another for the element of surprise. Have at least 3 main areas where the narrow halls widen slightly and you have a terrifying scene to display. It could be a crazed nurse with her disembodied patient strapped to a gurney, a witch boiling her potion with a trapped child in a cage beckoning for help, or a hall of mummies with one lurking in the shadows. Each of these areas should be down lighted to create enough light to see the scene, but also to create long, deep shadows to increase the mystery. Red downlights can easily be used through the halls and to intensify the mood.
Happy haunting ladies and gents, enjoy a safe and spine chilling Halloween! For ideas of how to use lighting to intensify your haunted decor check out the blog on Friday.