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Guide for creating haunted houses


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For those crating haunted guest experiences, here’s a guide list of effects and gags you can use to spice things up for your own nightmares!

Boo Holes:
Bungee: A scareactor at a harness would fly at guests from above. Originated in Castle Vampyr.
Catwalk: An effect used in Dead Silence, Interstellar Terror, and Gothic. An illusion using a model to give guests the impression that they’re far too many floors up than they really are.
Crushing Wall: According to this it originated at the very first year. Basically faux walls creating the illusions of being crushed, not painful though.
Distraction based Scare: Self-Explanatory. Ex: Screamhouse featured a moving coffin gag.
Drop Floor: The ending of Twister.
Electric Chair: Or a simulation of it. Originated in Hellgate Prison, andReflections of Fear featured it as a drum beat.
Environmental-Blend Scare: A scareactor would blend in with their environment—gillie suits, UV pattern rooms, etc.
E-Prompt: A sewing machine pedal configured to activate a sound and/or light queue that actors trigger to emphasize the intensity of the scare.
Fire: Self-explanatory. Orfanage had it, Jungle of Doom had flame cannons.
Floor Trick: An scareactor would hide under the floor (actually glass) lying down on a dolly and move themselves up and down. Used in 2010’s LT house.
GAT: Guest Activated Triggers. Press a button and something will happen. Ex: 2010’s Paychoscareapy had Jack appear in a straitjacket if button was pressed.
Loop Traps: Don’t know when it actually happened at HHN, but going by this it did happen. You enter a (typically rectangular) room with a wall in the center. That room has an entrance and an exit. When you enter, scareactors either close both doors or stand in the way, forcing you to walk in a circle (trapped in a loop) until they open the exit and you can get out. Build them out of chainlink (or mirrors) and add a strobe and things get insane really quickly.
Mirror Maze: A maze where the walls are filled with mirrors making guests unsure where they’re supposed to go.
Mirror Trick: A scareactor would appear to approach a guest, but it is actually a trick of the mirror and the scareactor lunges from the opposite side.
Room Expansion: When a room appears to be bigger than it actually is. Used in walls, though the In-Between applied to floor and ceiling via mirror.
Rotating Room: A group would enter a room (of doors, actually) and the door would shut behind them. The walls of the room would then begin to spin around them, the idea being that it would "mix" which door you would go through. The room would stop spinning, and you would continue on.
Ping-Pong Scare: Guests would be “attacked” by multiple scsreactors in a rapid sequence.
Projections: Think Acid Assault. 2008 and 2009 featured projections around the park revolving the characters of Bloody Mary and the Usher.
Puppets/Animatronics: See the AWIL/La Llorona houses.
Scrim Wall: A seemingly barren wall would flash revealing a hidden Scareactor behind it.
SIF: Term for Stuff in Face which is self explanatory. Examples include “floating heads” in the Hallow and one of the UCM houses.
Spinning Tunnel: A special effect where guests would walk on a ramp and the room would spin creating a disorientating effect.
Stiltwalker: Extremely tall character achieved by putting a scareactor on stilts. Think Fear and the Sentinels.
Strobes: Flashing lights.
Team Scare: multiple scsreactors ambush guests simultaneously.
Tilted Floor: As it says. I think it was used in Forsaken.
Water/Air Spray: A jet of water or air giving the illusion of bodily fluids or something like a gunshot.

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Here are some of my advices to those who want to write their own house ideas: Don’t worry about trying to make everything accurate if you’re doing adaptations. Just go with much of the basics, and do your own thing.


I also think doing something you’re very familiar with the most is good start to brainstorm. Whether if it’s a movie, a TV show, a book/novel, or even a zone from previous years of HHN. For me, I don’t take easy calls so much cause I like to see how much I could break the cliches other than embracing the tropes in horror. 


If you wanna do a Scary Tales type of house inspired by a certain fairy tale/public domain story, just do your own retelling of the story without taking any Disney inspirations unless It’s necessary as an afterthought while thinking what makes the characters from it scary and terrifying.

Edited by Fear2010
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  • 1 year later...
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