The Haunt at Hellizondo aims to create an entirely new haunt every 3 years. This year’s theme will be a pretty big divergence from our Haunted Tiki Island and The Carnival of Risk haunts. We have been doing non-traditional haunts for 6 years, and we have always wanted to do all of the classic things like make cool tombstones and creepy scarecrows. We have also had a mix of super scary and whimsical in our haunt. This year, it looks like we are turning the scary way up, and the whimsical is nowhere to be found so far.
The Witches of ScabTree Hollow will delve deeper into the dark side of Halloween and into the nature of mankind. Thematically, we are trying to blend the true horror of the Salem Witch Trials with a dark and supernatural witch back story. While the villagers accuse and murder each other in the name of God and for fear of witchcraft, the real witches have been busy. In the backwoods of ScabTree Hollow, the real witches have been robbing graves in an overflowing graveyard and bringing the dead back to life. These revenants return in the dark of night to seek their revenge on the town who tortured and murdered them.
So far, we have a rough layout of what we are going to build. Construction will start as soon as we get back from HauntCon. We have five main zones. The Queue features the stock, the gallows, and a jail. The Confession House starts your tour of the yard, where you’ll find the tortured and dead on various implements of torture and execution. Corpses of people hung, stretched, and burnt litter the first half of the yard. The Graveyard is where all of the bodies are dumped and then “recycled.” The Lair is where you find the witches’ den, where the resurrection of the dead is performed and the King of the Witches fills his book with the names of the damned. The Forest is the last zone, which we always do as a blacklight area.
Each year I do concept sketches for the haunt. They help establish the look and feel of the haunt and inspire us to build. They also help us figure out where the haunt is weakest or where we might need to build to fit the yard and fill out the space. Some of these ideas will never be made or change so much you won’t recognize the final props or sets. Some of the sketches will be translated almost exactly into real props.
This won’t be built, but it looks cool. This was going to be the entrance to the covered area of the haunt. In previous years, we had the volcano and the Rasputin head, which were the entrances. I wanted to make this out of foam and carve it to look real, but we have had storage issues that have forced us to rethink how we build props. We will have to create a flat facade that can easily be broken down for storage.
This we will built for sure, although it will get moved around and won’t look like this. We will probably replace the demon with a person tied upside down on the cross. I know you’re thinking “OMG. that’s so sacrilegious,” BUT in fact, it was the church who invented this torture for heretics and witches. So really we are being extra religious with this prop.
This is more of an inspiration sketch. We wanted everything to be tied to birds. I think witches with their long noses and spindly fingers look like birds, so these evil birds are the spirit animals of the witches. They are found all over the haunt, whether watching over the gallows, talking to the dead in the graveyard, or whispering into the witches’ ears.
This is going to be my personal project. He might talk and move, or he might only talk, or he might not even be looking at you when you walk through. He will be the most detailed prop and set in the haunt, though.
Keep an eye on our blog, as we’ll be posting the build this month. See you then.