Whee! Haunted houses ROCK! Even goofy ones! Man, this was a blast. Every one of these we do is more fun that the last. This year, thanks to the fantastic help we had and a few lucky finds, we were able to do more than ever before. The wonderful folks who helped make it happen are listed below on the
One thing that I've always found unfortunate is the fact that haunted houses just aren't suitable for anyone but adults. Most houses are so full of gore that they're not even appropriate for teens. I think a haunted house is really a whole lot more fun than trick-or-treating: it makes Halloween become more than just a day -- it becomes an event. So I like to make my houses family friendly. They've still got all the critical elements of a good haunted house, but the gratuitous gore is removed and the goofy factor is turned up a notch. (If you know me, then you know that anything I have a hand in has a relatively high goofy factor.) And that's what we're doing here this year.
Of course, nothing ever goes exactly as we might wish. Despite all our efforts, we still found ourselves working double-time to finish the last few details at the last minute. A few things ended up changing because of this, but the whole thing still looked fantastic. If you compare the final look of things to the Goofy Haunted Yard 2006 Edition Handbook, you can probably figure out what changed at the last minute.
This year we had several nice new treats for visitors! We were able to rig a rudimentary sound system in the back of the yard, and we set the computer speakers up in the office windows, and we had a vocal soundtrack running on the deck (station 10), so the whole yard was filled with spooky audio delights! That really made a big difference in the whole-yard ambiance. We also had a fog machine, which is always a nice addition. By accident, we discovered an important feature that we haven't previously included: a central room inaccessible to guests for staff to lurk in. One room, hidden in the middle of the maze, allowed one actor to add effectively to three different stations! I could turn on the fog for the Ghostyard, bang on the wall of the Devil's Playground, and leap out behind people who were watching the Ghost Pirate ship! I got more screams than I would ever have expected this goofy project to get, all from having a small unused space that I just didn't have any real ideas for during the planning process. Secret rooms and passages are a MUST!
Pictured here is the layout of the house. Blue lines are walls (made of tarps on ropes), yellow lines are caution tape (to guide guests and allow for station viewing), the white dots are the walking path, red numbers are station numbers, and everything else represents the various features of the house. Click anywhere on the image or on the name of a station to see some pictures and a description of that area. Guests approach up the driveway and follow the white path through the house. If they're too young or scared to go through the house, they have the option to just head to the left and knock on the front door.
[1. Tent Full Of Dangly Things]
[2. Snowman's Execution]
[3. The Bat Cave]