This has been a bit of a tradition. We all do enjoy halloween and after visiting all the attractions in the area we usually head over to a friends house to run a haunted house. This section is a lessons learned and how the haunted house has progressed over the years. Initially we were young and enthusiastic and wanted to go all out. Costumes are extremely valuable until November 1st, then they can be found relatively cheap. Over the years among us we purchased several costumes and rigged up a PVC skeleton to hold up the costumes. This worked so well that we keep adding monsters and monsters and the complexity just kept growing.
Since we enjoy Halloween so much we started by setting up the PVC monsters by the window with a backdrop and some regular and black light. They were set to a timer so it gave the house an ominous feel all season long. All the monsters would be lined up at the window and on Halloween day they would line the walkway to my friends house. We (the living breathing humans) would then hide among the PVC monsters and jump out at the kids visiting the house. Many a time did kids come to the house look down the long walkway to the candy and decided it would be best to move on to the next house.
Over the years though the burden of assembling these PVC monsters and storing them became a larger and more daunting task. One year we started using our cars as props as they were easier to set up and decorate. We used the key fob to setoff the alarms or sit in them and turn the lights on and off. One year we filled the car with the monsters and would jump out at anyone that came near the car for a closer look. Overtime, the costumes that Lucy picked started becoming a certain piece of the event. I typically wore a variation of the zombie costume and my friends varied their costumes as well but not to the level of Lucy. From looking like the demented sister of Harley Quinn to the smiley face killer, she was always able to hold her own in the fright department. More importantly than anything over the years is that this is where Lucy learned one of her crafts: Making custom pumpkins for the holidays which became a staple of the event over the years.
Last year we were all busy and didn’t have as much time to set up but we ended up with a successful minimalist display that did not take much time to set up but still managed to give out nightmares. We lined my friends walkway with car’s and decorated them with some garments he had lying around. We covered the clothes and cars with washable blood and wrote all over the cars. We set up a smoke machine near the floor to cover the walkway and again we used our keyfob to set off the alarms. Instead of putting out the PVC monitors we lined the walkway with their heads and we pretended to be mannequins.
Over the years the thing that surprised me more than anything was the fact that most parents love the fact that you are scaring their kids. I always thought they would be protective but they love seeing their kids completely scarred. Setting up a haunted house is a lot of work and as you can tell we have gotten lazier but what other chance do you have to scare strangers and be thanked for it. Some years we were treated like celebrities with people wanting to take pictures with us and of our setup so that has always been a good memory. Definitely if you have never run a haunted house find a friend and do one one year. You don’t have to have a giant setup, psychological games and suspense work just as great as having large displays. There is nothing more scary than the unknown so don’t overthink it and go out there and have fun.
~ Happy Travels! ~