Thursday, May 31, 2012

Haunted Attractions: Part 3

This is the third in my haunted house series. The first two can be found here:

Haunted Attractions: Part 1
Haunted Attractions: Part 2

For the next five years following Grimmwood I worked designing in theme parks for Halloween. The work was steady, paid well, was low risk comparing to producing your own event, and allowed me huge creative freedom. Things wound down in 2008, and in 2009 I found myself once again with an empty barn to fill.

At this point, I was not interested in super-imposing something onto an existing structure. That is, I put a gothic manor house inside the last barn. This time, I wanted whatever was in there to make sense in the context of it being a barn.

Why was this farm "haunted"? Why were people going into the barn? What was in there?

I settled on an idea... that the farm had been contaminated by a meteor. Some sort of virus. Mutants, zombies, mayhem. At the time, there was an "incident" at a local theme park. People believed that they saw some sort of "ufo" in broad daylight. It was humorous, and the perfect thing to build upon.

So I just had to create my own video:

So... now we have a "What?" We also have a "Where?" (On the farm). We also have a "When?" The video above was posted August 4th (Nearly two months before our event would open).  Next up was the "Who?"

I decided that there would be two distinct groups. One to expose what was happening to the public, and another to try to cover it up. Thus were born PHRAWG (Paranormal Heuristic Research Awareness Group), and Darkwater Industries. For PHRAWG, I created a blog. For Darkwater, I created this poster:

The essence of the event was that Darkwater had taken over the entire farm, and was doing experiments, but due to the Freedom of Information Act and interference from the PHRAWG activists, the site was open to the public. Darkwater agents in hazmat suits lambasted you for being foolish enough enter the barn, and warned you that if you were contaminated they would have to kill you. Once in the barn, the "experiements" break free, and all hell ensues.

Something lurking overhead

Corpse "Re-vivification"
Human-Arachnid Hybrid

Human-Animal Hybrid

All in all, the event was very well received. Many people commented it was the best haunt they had ever been to. It was humorous, creepy, and scary as shit.


  1. This is very, very cool. It would appear that you spend a lot of time with your work, which I find cool. Creating the back-story is a great idea.

    Do you have any video from the event? Just curious. I really like your ideas so thanks for sharing.

    1. Getting video of Haunted Attractions is notoriously difficult. Lots of people crammed in nearly pitch black rooms. And I tend to be way to busy managing things to think about video until it is all over.

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