Archive for the ‘Haunt History’ Category

As the show leaves town

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

This was the final year of the Carnival of Risk. In keeping with our modus operandi we will be changing themes after three years of the circus and sideshow.

It was a very fun Halloween Eve and Halloween Night. We had a lot of fun and a lot of great scares. While we weren’t able to build any new props we were able to fix old props and build some some new scares.

I uploaded the scare reel from our submission to the Home Haunter’s Award Video DVD. We submitted a 10 minute video to for the DVD which you’ll be able to see if you buy the disk. I will be making a more narrative version of the video (like I did for the final year of Haunted Tiki Island) for our own DVD that I make for each of the people in our haunt.


I also wanted to thank the Haunt Crew that has stuck with us all this way. They made the Carnival of Risk a lot of fun and a great memory for me and for all of the neighbors. The haunt crew is a collection of family, friends, and neighbors who have come together to scare and entertain the neighbors. I am a difficult man but they have put up with me all these years and that means a lot to me.

groups shot 2012

Here is a collection of all the posters from the last three years. these were hung at the entrance of the haunt and showed each haunter in their costume for that year.

Dr. Drakkos


I also want to thank a guy in Pasadena who bought all of our props and sets after this years Halloween. He helps the Carnival of Risk live on and saved us/made us some money. I can’t wait to see what he does with it next year.

moving  bye bye

piled up


Bye Bye Carnival of Risk. We have to make a new haunt.

It’s a Long, Hard Road…

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Here is one more picture of the yard. I am almost finished editing all of the pictures. They will be up tomorrow or friday hopefully. Good old MonTiki, one of my first props I ever made, a 6 ft tall sexy hunk of Dow Blue foam.

Shot of the Yard with MonTiki

I was just looking at my google calendar for November. It’s mostly empty now. A few bills here, a couple holidays there, and eye exam follow up. It was a big relief.

Just for fun, here are the last three months. I have removed all the personal events so this is just prop making things I needed to do. Dark orange is for weeknight tasks, bright orange is for working in the garage at Patty’s house. Welcome to my nightmare! By the way, I had started way back in april but it was a casual thing. Those were easy days!

August - Prop Building Schedule

September - Prop Building Schedule

October - Prop Building Schedule

Designing Haunted Tiki island (part 3)

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Gateway to Haunted Tiki Island
Just a quick post today. This is a sketch of our haunt sign from 2007. When I drew it out, I tried to make it to scale, and I’m not a technical drawer, but if I actually built this, then I would just need to scale up the drawing to get a very close copy in real life.

So this what it looked like in 2007 when it was finished:

I made this from DOW blue insulation foam, and carved wood texture into it with a wooden sculpting knife. I painted it and washed it in gray and black to look like really old wood. This is one of the projects I finished at 1 am the morning of Halloween. I embellished the skull to look more like an ancestral skull.(follow that link to some really cool stuff).

Haunted Tiki Island Entrance 2008
This year (2008) I decided to make a new look for the sign, because it is one of the mood setting pieces of the haunt. I thought last years sign was too much Haunted, and not enough Tiki Island. I added some tropical flowers I bought at Michael’s and made a new skull based on a Palawan ancestor skull. I repainted the white lettering of the sign with Glow in the Dark paint to make it pop under the black lights. The skull is misted with black light hairspray.

Palawan inspired skull

The Palawan Skull orginal:

Designing Haunted Tiki island (part 2)

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Sometimes its good when props don’t come out like they looked in your head. Whereas the last post featured a giant tiki mask that is almost a verbatim replica of the original drawing, sometimes it’s good to just keep working till it looks good. This is one such case.

The final prop:
JungleRot - scarecrow tree

Let’s jump forward a year to 2008. This is a prop or a scene setter that Patty and I came up with. Patty thought it would be cool to put some skulls up on the branches of a tree in the yard that had died of blight, and was mostly stripped bare of limbs, just waiting to be felled and diced up into fire wood. She said we could do anything we wanted since it was getting cut down right after Halloween.

This is how it looked in the first sketch. Some good ideas, some ho-hum:
Tree props

Then a couple weeks later I drew this. It’s getting closer:
bamboo scarecrow

and here’s what I ended up with. Here is a daytime shot:
scarecrow 006

In the end we had to skip on the palm frond tiki masks because we couldn’t find the right one, but instead used palm fans from Calleana’s ranch and spattered them with red paint. The effect was better because it might have been too busy with tiki faces all over the tree, as the tree itself was surrounded with props already.

So if that prop doesn’t look like you planned, just work on it till it looks cool. Don’t get frustrated, don’t give up. Just keep working!

Designing Haunted Tiki Island (part 1)

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

I started making some sketches for props for Haunted Tiki Island in early 2007. While HTI was still a pipe dream for all of us, and probably forgotten by most of us, I was trying to figure out how to make a cool looking tiki theme that would be scary but not offensive to Polynesian neighbors. The look of Haunted Tiki Island is a conglomeration of all kinds of tribal design aesthetics and influences. It’s Polynesian, Mayan, Aztec, Dayak, Palawan, Asmat, Ifugao, Naga, and even little bits of various African tribes. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I tried to diffuse the influence so it wouldn’t seem I was picking on anyone group.

Here is an example:

This is our giant Tiki mask, whose main features are African and Polynesian, but if you look, you’ll see Samoan and Aztec influences (the tongue sticking out on the glyph on his chin).

I made this tiki face from Dow blue insulation foam starting from a 2″ by 8″ piece. I had the drawing I made blowup at Kinkos, then I transfered the design to the foam. I used a dremel with a routing bit to draw out the features, then I used a small wire clay tool to chip out some areas to give a rougher chiseled stone look. I painted him with dark grey latex house paint, then washed him with black paint to fill in the cracks, and followed with a drybrushing of light gray.