Decay over time


We haven’t posted in a while now so let me bring you up to date on what’s going on with The Haunt at Hellizondo.

We were going to be on TV. ABC’s Great American Fright Fight contacted us about being on the show. We did an interview, answered hundreds of questions, took pictures and videos, filled out contracts and background checks. We were told that we were on and to start building and that the official word would come down in a week or two. 3 weeks later I called them and their response was “yeah…..kinda sorry but you’re not going be on the show, um, but maybe next year blah blah something blah” Super. Great. Fantastic. We had about about $500 worth of lumber and supplies we couldn’t return and had already cut up. They contacted us in late June, and we were supposed to have the haunt up in August for filming, so we had been working like crazy. Then the bottom fell out. So we had a lot of plans and materials but took a huge morale hit.

To get on the show, we had to send a list of new stuff we were gonna build this year. Apparently, no matter how awesome your haunt was last year, they want to show something new. We had always had this idea of creating a themed town set for the driveway as part of the queue, so we thought this would be a cool thing to add for the TV show.

Here are the 3D plans for the town set in the driveway:




So now, even though we’re not on the show, it is still mostly built. Just two panels to go and some framing, shimming, and last-minute adjustments to get it to stand upright on the driveway’s incline.

I cut most of the parts for the facade with a CNC router table at work. Kinda interesting. Once you get your designs right, you could really make a lot of haunted houses quite quickly.


Here is a pic of me at the depths of despair over building this set:

house with sad craig

Here is one of the plexi windows I printed at work. It will be backlit to make it look like there is candlelight inside (looks like its upside down,oops):

with window

Building the sets by myself in the heat and humidity had just about ruined me on Halloween forever. Kendra pointed out that Halloween would be easier if I didn’t make such big projects for myself. She’s right.

I have considered shuttering the driveway set this year and just finishing it next year. We’ll see what happens.

This is the design for the cemetery gates we are adding to the graveyard. I have this all cut out of foam and PVC sheeting (thanks CNC router!). I need to get these painted and weathered this week. The white PVC sheet with be textured and painted like rusted metal, and the pink foam will be weathered old wood. It will be flanked on either side by flagstone pillars made from Styrofoam.





This weekend we decided not to sweat it out in the tropical heat and started building monsters and props. Kendra made the armatures for roots that will be covering the inside of our tree facade. I finished off  the last of the 2″ pipe we bought to make more candles.



Here is the original sketch, but I knew when I drew it we’d have to scale that back:

Scabtree Hollow sketch 3

This is what it looks like currently. That’s Emily, one of our favorite scare-actors.


emily drop panel


To add a little more detail, we are adding some roots coming down the walls. We have also started making some roots to form hands that hold candles along the inside of the tree walls.


These are similar to the candle tree we made earlier this summer.

Scabtree Hollow sketch 4



vine hand

Here it is almost done.

tree nearly finished

I finally started making monsters for this year on Sunday. This is going to be the centerpiece of the yard, where had the carousel in Carnival of Risk and before that, the shaman prayer tower in Haunted Tiki Island. Here are the sketches that have evolved over time. The original idea was to have something like a werewolf as one of the abominations burnt at the stakes with the witches.

The Sacrifice

However, I started making these abominations that were skeletal remains of horrible creatures, some with no faces left, some with horrible bony horn-like growths, all emblazoned with the mark of their master. So, the cross-creature will be more like those.

faceless IMG_20130711_121212_170

Here are some sketches I made more recently. Just quick rough sketches trying to sort out what it should look like.



Here is the head I am building for it. It has red LEDs in the eyes, but I just want them to show through faintly between the root-like cluster of horns or teeth growing from the face.







We’ll post more as we finish this stuff up. It’s going to be tough to finish half of what we were going do.

3 Responses to “Decay over time”

  1. Sorry to hear about your disappointing experience with reality TV. Don’t let it sour you on Halloween and haunting. Your work is an inspiration to a lot of people. Keep the passion alive, and most importantly, keep the posts coming.

  2. mark says:

    Sorry to hear you got screwed over by the Tv show. I’m thinking your not the first ones I heard had problems with them. Sounds like they took you right up to the last minute though. Program like that isn’t even worth my viewing time! Amazing sets and props you did though!

  3. I’m so sorry to hear that the TV spot fell through. That’s pretty crappy of them to leave you guys in that position =/ In any case, your plans for set up this year look absolutly AMAZING! I always look forward to seeing what you guys have in store. You have a very talented and imaginative crew 🙂 Hang in there and have a Happy Halloween!

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