The Set-Up Process:
1. Create the Space
Create your space by lining the walls, floor, and ground. You can do this by using dark sheets, black trash bags, rolls of Kraft paper, or other various fabrics. Also, divide the space in your path by adding road blocks or obstacles that require movement from your audience: Wood boards that make them duck, chairs or blocks in the aisle, tables they have to go around. Misters and fog machines allow for an extra eerie walk through.
2. Add Lighting
Lighting is important because while you want the haunted house to be scary, absolute darkness may interfere with your guests’ safety. To keep it still dark, use strobes, black lights, dimmers, and black bulbs. This way it is not too bright, but faint light can allow your guests to see where they are going.
Sometimes silence can be deafening. However, scary sounds and soundtracks will surely haunt your guests. Some decorations make noise and the characters in your house can use their voices, but those sounds should be sporadic to catch guests off guard. To keep a consistent and mellow background murmur, play tunes from your computer or iPod through hidden speakers.
Black walls are boring if they don’t have scary decorations to accompany them. This is where your theme comes into play. Decorate in accordance to the theme you are going for. Do not be afraid to craft your own decorations. Hang cob webs, spiders, and ghosts throughout. Place slimy items in your house and make your guests feel around. This texture addition will be sure to frighten them.
5. Ask Your Friends to Help
In addition to the decorations that haunt your visitors, using your friends or family as characters in your haunted house adds the live element. Their participation lets them sneak up or chase people. They can play with props or fake weapons. Live participants add surprise and shock when they pop out at you.
While they may be scary, haunted houses are amusing. We roam the streets on Halloween night hoping to find the busiest looking house, because busy houses are the exciting ones. They are the homes you hear laughing or screaming coming from when you are over a block away. In following these basic suggestions along with adding your own unique flare, your haunted house is sure to be the one everyone lines up for.