Archive for August, 2013


Sunday, August 25th, 2013

Since it’s almost September, we figured it was finally time to get to work on building some sets. It feels like we’re actually finally making some progress, but with a whole new theme this year, we still have a long way to go.

First is the “wall of coffins,” which will fill in a space that comes immediately after people walk off the bridge. This has more or less always been an empty space in our haunt, and we’ve filled it in with a plain black tarp before. But this new wall will provide a transition between the witches’ lair/cauldron scene and the demented pumpkin patch.

There will also be a scare within the wall. A hidden “boo door” will be positioned about head height, and our actors will be able to pull a cord that will lower a spring-loaded door.

Coffin Wall concept art

Coffin wall concept art.

Coffin Wall construction

Coffin wall construction, halfway done.

We’ve also been working on construction of the “Confession House.” This structure will be near the immediate entrance to the yard, and guests will have to walk through it to proceed. We’ve added a couple of windows to the structure to allow for extra scare opportunities. The inside will have various implements of torture, devised to elicit a “confession” from the accused witches.

Confession house concept

Confession house concept art.

Confesson house construction

Confession House consists of many panels, built separately for easier storage and transport.

If you look closely, you’ll notice that the Confession House’s walls are made of individual boards with carefully measured spaces in between. We’re planning to use a “slat light” effect inside here, one of our favorite lighting effects. Of course, this is via use of fog machines and well-placed lights to get those ribbons of lights coming through the slats. Here’s an example from Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor:

Queen Mary slat light

Example of slat light effect.

We’ve only been able to accomplish these builds with the help of Kendra’s dad, Bill, and our friend Derek, from our SoCal Valley Haunters group. It’s been great to get the assistance, also on the some of the hottest days of the summer!

Bill constructingBill uses the chop saw for the Confession House.

Confession house construction 2

Craig and Bill constructing in the backyard.

Also this weekend, Kendra worked on making a sign that we hope will help provide the back story to our haunt. We’ll be placing this on the hedge near the front entrance. We hope that people see “Massachusetts Bay Colony” and the year and figure out that we’re in the era of the witch trials. Nothing is worse than creating a whole back story for your haunt that nobody gets. Although surely, more people will get this theme than our previous one (ie, a carnival during the Russian Revolution).

Town sign Kendra and Dremel.

Town sign halfway done

 Wording done.

Craig will be adding an image of a tree being hit by lightning, further adding to the story of ScabTree Hollow. He’ll also be texturizing it to look like old wood. Stay tuned for the finished product!

Our next blog post will focus on some of the props we’re working on, including pumpkin groundbreakers and a mysterious “Manatree.”