Archive for September, 2013

Confession House: Completed!

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Whew! After weeks of hard work designing, building, and putting together the Confession House, we can finally say that it is DONE! Overall, it wouldn’t have taken that long to complete, but we’ve been bouncing back and forth between various projects, so it just seemed to take a long time. It’s been really fun to have it assembled in our backyard, and we’ve been playing around with the scares by yelling, “Confess! You’re a witch!” Which surely has been perplexing to our neighbors.

The final piece to be completed for the house is to fabricate plexiglass windows that we can bang on from the outside for a scare. But we’ve already framed them out, and we’ll install the plexiglass when we construct the house on-site in Simi in a few weeks.

Here are some pictures of the construction and final product:

Confession House-15

Completed and assembled (roof was not on yet)

Side view, scare windows

Side view, scare windows


Placement of Sign

Placement of Sign

Happy to be finished!

Happy to be finished!

Here’s a close-up of the sign. It was carved in pink foam using a dremel, and the wood texture was created with a tool from the Hot Wire Foam Factory kit.

Confession House-29

Craig stained the outside of the house using a paint sprayer (we chose the stain color “Early American,” which seemed very appropriate). The fumes were terrible! Shortly after this photo was taken, Craig wised up and put on his respirator.

Confession House-19 Confession House-21

For the roof, we used different stains and a template to create a shingle pattern on lightweight luan panels.

Confession House-23

We’re also working on filling up the inside with props. Craig and Bill constructed a “torture table,” and we’ll be hanging up ropes, chains, and other scary implements.

Confession House-34

Finally, here are some photos of our slat-light test. It was hard to photograph with just a handheld camera, but it looks really cool in person. We can’t wait to hear all the screams coming from the Confession House on Halloween night!

Confession House-26

Confession House-25

The Watcher

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

Construction on the haunt is coming along, slowly but surely. We are close to completion of the Confession House and Coffin Wall. These two things are our main “set pieces” for this year, and our goal is to complete them this weekend. Our last major set build is the facade of the interior entrance, which will be formed to look like a giant tree, in which the witches of ScabTree Hollow reside. Most of that construction will have to be undertaken at the actual Hellizondo location in order to get the fit and scale just right.

In the meantime, we present “The Watcher.” This prop was actually finished a few months ago, but we haven’t posted it here yet. The Watcher will be positioned in the interior of the haunt (on the porch), where he watches and points the way for victims.  The design of his face will be a motif in our haunt, seen also on the “wraiths” in the graveyard scene. The face design was inspired by the artists Wayne Barlowe and HR Giger:

Barlowe 1

Wayne Barlowe

HR Giger

HR Giger

Here are the photos of the completed prop:

Watcher face

The Watcher
Watcher face 3

And here’s a video of the prop in motion:

The Haunted Forest Comes to Life

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Last week, we brought you some construction pictures of the sets/structures being built for our brand new haunt theme. This week, we’ll focus on some of the props we’ve completed.

First up is the mysterious “Manatree.” Is it a tree? Is it an old man? Look into his eyes:


This tree began as a black wire-frame prop we bought at Target several years ago during their Halloween clearance (90% off!). We paid about $8 for it. It was covered in purple lights, and its arms (limbs) move, as does the top branch on its head, and the eyes also open and shut. We never pass up an opportunity to buy a cheap prop that already comes equipped with motors. This is more or less how the prop looked originally:

Tree - before

Patty has repurposed and totally remade the tree by maché-ing the entire outside and adding a face, extra branches, leaves, and a raven:

_MG_7808The Manatree will be painted with invisible UV paints so that he can readily fit in our blacklight area, which has a forest theme.

We also had a black wire frame motorized cat that has received the same treatment from Patty:


Here’s a video of the two props in action:

We’ve also been working on pumpkin groundbreakers for our haunted forest/pumpkin patch blacklight area. We’ve given their bodies a twisted, root-like appearance. They’re made using PVC frames and papier-maché skin. Their heads are the foam pumpkins available at Michaels (or any other craft store this time of year):

pumpkins frame-1 


kendra Pumpkin Creep 2


craig pumpkin creep 2

pumpkins 1-1

      Craigs Pumkin Creep




In addition to groundbreakers, we’ll also have one pumpkin creep hanging above guests’ heads, suspended in a tree:



kendras Tree Pumpkin CreepLook out below!