Hello everyone! Just wanted to let you know that Episode 53 is running a bit late. We had our Halloween Show over the weekend and collected audio from several of our vendors throughout the day. I’m getting it all compiled and mixed as we speak. The new episode should be out tomorrow morning.
Hello everyone, hope you are all very frightened. Today we have a guest post by fan of the show Dylan Snyder. Take it away Dylan:
DIY Haunted House Tips
Halloween has evolved into the second biggest commercial holiday in the United States with about 90-percent of all households participating in Halloween activities. While it’s often thought of as a holiday for children, in reality the most common age demographic to participate in Halloween events, parties, and haunted house experiences falls into the range of 18 to 34-year olds. When planning a DIY haunted house geared toward that older demographic, it’ll take more than bed sheet ghosts and a spooky soundtrack.
Haunted House Themes: Gore or Creepy?
Planning a DIY haunted house designed for older teens and adults begins with choosing a theme. Themes almost are limitless but the size and location of your haunted house space will play an important role in your decision as will budget and time to complete the construction. Popular themes range from Insane Asylum (can be gory, creepy, or both) to a Horror House (gory) where a madman has traps and chases his “guests” or a classic Haunted House populated by wicked spirits and chilling surprises.
When planning any type of haunted house in a residential area, it’s important to check with the local homeowner’s association and/or city to ensure there are no restrictions or permits needed.
DIY Decorations for a Haunted House
The decorations for the haunted house are determined by the theme. Plan to create several scenes, tied together by the central theme so the haunted house has a cohesive feel. It’s scarier if there’s a narrative to follow as that provides a connection for visitor. Always have a separate entrance and exit when possible – how the path is determined will likely be based on the design and layout of your home.
One of the easiest DIY decorations for a haunted house is the ghost or apparition. There are many tutorials available throughout the internet but basic materials include cheese cloth or a medium-weight gauzy fabric that’s semi-translucent. HGTV offers one tutorial for a ghostly figure to place outside — a basic form that can be tricked out to appear scarier and more gruesome with a little creativity and luminescent paint.
Experts recommend playing off any existing creepy factors of the haunted house’s venue. For example, an old and gnarled tree out front becomes the perfect backdrop for a freshly dug grave with creature beginning to emerge. Another option is to place a hanging body from one of the branches. Create the body using old clothes stuffed with newspaper or fiber fill and place a white pillow case over the “head” and angle it as if the neck is broken.
Use plywood to make a drop-down panel to create what’s considered a startle-scare, the type of surprise scare that makes visitors jump and shriek because it’s unexpected. Heavy-duty sheets of plastic are perfect for blood-spattered backdrops and even wall partitions when creating a maze-style haunted house.
DIY haunted house material must-haves usually include but are not limited to:
- Heavy-duty sheets of plastic (clear and black)
- Cheese-cloth or other types of gauzy materials
- Old mannequin parts or full bodies (if possible)
- Fog machine
- Fake blood or ingredients to make fake blood
- Cobweb material
As you delve further into the creation of your haunted house, consider attending a trade show or event hosted by the Haunted Attraction Association (HAA). Trade shows like the TransWorld Annual Halloween & Attractions event provides the ideal opportunity to network with professional haunted house operators and designers, discover new ideas, and even purchase products that can help elevate your creations to the next “horrific” level.
Lighting Tips and Tricks
The right lighting sets the mood. From classic strobe light effects to eerie moments created by combining a violet light with fog machine effect, your lighting design can enhance the fear factor exponentially. Don’t underestimate the power black lights have to make a haunted house look and feel freaky and horrific at the same time — picture a black light illuminating a small, bloody hand print on the wall. When possible, tie the lighting design digitally with any audio being used. If you can control the lighting and audio features (as well as any animatronics) with a computer or even a tablet, it will make things easier.
The sky’s pretty much the limit when planning a DIY haunted house. Incorporating live actors to create jump-outs or act as chainsaw-wielding madmen is something else to consider as well.
Your friendly neighborhood Scarydad was invited to prescreen and review the upcoming movie from filmmaker John Schneider.
Yes, that John Schneider. He makes horror films now. But that’s not all. He owns the studio, writes the scripts, and directs the films. And he’s about to release one that’s pretty damn good.
Happy New Year my good and faithful minions! I trust you survived 2016 if you’re reading this right now so it’s time to get scary! Last night I spent hours cultiviating some of the finest books, films, apparel, and haunter’s supplies available and compiled them into our new Amazon Store. Click on Frank’s face above or on any of the red words in this post to be whisked away to a magickal world of pure awesome.
How does it work? We are an Amazon associate. That means we get a small commission if you click through our site and buy Amazon stuff through our store front. Our store is full of wonderfully frightening things, but you can buy anything you want on Amazon and we’ll get a commission as long as you clicked through us first.
In addition, our newest feature on the blog is going to be a featured item of the week where either Swampy or I will extoll the virtues of something we love. These will be personal endorsements of products we either own or have firsthand experience using so you know they’re good.
Thank you so much for supporting us now and in the future. Now click on Frank’s face and get to shopping!
Ah, it’s that time of the year when I accept offerings from my beloved minions. Every item in this holiday wishbook is something Scarydad would like to own. But in the rare case that you aren’t shopping for me, you can help keep it scary by clicking on one of the links and do your Amazon shopping as normal. If you buy anything at all on Amazon after clicking through, Scarydad receives a commission. It doesn’t cost you any more than normal, I just get a few coins for patching you through. Merry Krampus!!!
Swamp Thang and I discussed the Masters of the Universe in our Devil Music episode. Today I was playing on the computer and saw all these great old commercials. I love how the kids are playing with their dads in the first few. You can watch them run from awesome great ideas at the beginning to just another crap to sell at the end. Oh well. This was my childhood.
Since we started the Scarydad Podcast, I’ve had several people as me what a podcast is and how they can listen to it. So, I thought I’d take a moment to tell you all about this newfangled podcast thing.
A podcast is an online radio show. Your host(s) record an episode, add music and effects afterward, then upload the file to a server. You the listeners can access it in several different ways:
- You can listen directly on the site.
If you go to our Podcasts page and choose an episode, you can click the Play button and stream it. Or you can push the Download button and save it to your computer or mobile device. Podcasts are in mp3 format and are compatible with just about any music player.
- You can listen to ours and other podcasts on Spreaker
Spreaker is a website that hosts podcasts. You can find endless free content on literally every subject imaginable.
- You can subscribe to the show on iTunes
If you have an Apple device (iPod, iPad, Macbook, iPhone, etc.), then iTunes is perhaps the easiest way to get our podcast. If you are already using iTunes to manage your music and movie libraries, just go to iTunes, and subscribe to the show. iTunes will automatically download new episodes, and delete the ones you’ve already listened to. All you have to do is press play.
Well everyone, I hope this has been informative. I’ve been listening to podcasts for years and I guess I just assumed everyone else did too. Now you too can discover the world of many interesting things that are not the same 12 songs played over and over again on the radio.
Have a great weekend and keep it scary!!!
In Episode 6 of the Podcast, we told you about the preacher guy who had too much fun playing with Snake Mountain and Skeletor. Well folks, it was too funny not to share. It’s short but sweet. Enjoy!!!