Hauntcrew.co.uk – growth planned

Posted in General, Halloween Home Haunts, Halloween Props on March 20th, 2010 by Ghoul

Halloween, as a seasonal event in the uk, grows in size and popularity every year – the amount people spend increases, together with ever growing number of halloween attractions, events, parties and home-haunts.

Halloween haunts and attrations of any scale can benefit from one to many scare-actors.  Static and animated decorations and props add value and boo factors, but remain just props.

Scare-actors add a totally dynamic and ‘live’ element, they can add random behaviour to the event, responding to the visitors, increasing the fear factor as needed or, indeed, reducing it and catering for totally terrified.

This all said, it’s time to add features to HauntCrew.co.uk – these features available to haunt planners, operators and scare-actors alike.  A resource to gather hints, tips and seek advice, swap tips and knowledge.

Visit back often to get the latest updates – why not Follow us on Twitter to get the updates as they happen.

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Scare Actors : Add the BOO Factor to your home haunt or party

Posted in Halloween Home Haunts, Halloween Party on October 20th, 2009 by Ghoul

Depending upon your venue, you may have need for real people to add the BOO Factor to your event.

If it’s just a party, you could simply have an Igor character – handing out drinks and snacks, dropping strange comments and doing similar strange things..

If you have a home haunt of any size, you can add real people to give it that unknown element for your visitors.  These people, often termed Scare Actors or Scareactors can be friends and family, volunteers or even paid staff.

What is important is image, planning, training, direction and rules.

Scare Actor image: take time to give a quality look to your scare actors, dress them in quality costumes or tske time to make impressive outfits.  Make up should be considered carefully also, there is nothing better than visitors going away talking about the quality of your event.  If you can afford it, spend a little on good brand make up, maybe latex wounds and features – special effect contact lenses always wow people

Planning: Your scare actor is bascially another prop in your haunt, typically give them a specific area or zone to work in, perhaps with other props that they can use to maximise the impact – chains, chainsaws, axes, fake body parts etc.  Consider the lighting and space for the area they will operate, perhaps where they can hide and appear from, maybe secret areas where thay can get from one part to another without the visitors seeing them. Take into account that a scare actor may need time to reset the scene or his/her position before the next visitors arrive in the area or zone.

Casting: It may sound over the top, but you may need to actually cast the scare actors – for any scale event.  You will need to find people with the right body sizes, voices and character to maximise the part and effect.  It may be hard to say no to close friends and family, so maybe offer them other task.

Direction: Actually, I mean have a storyline, give your haunt a story, a reason for the events and characters. You don’t actually have to tell your visitors, but it will help to gel your event and improve the visitors experience.  Having a story will mean you can give the scare actors specific roles, with defined character, location and maybe behaviour.  This could even mean having a script for the actors.

Training: Train your scare actors, rehearse the event, maybe even get friends to walk through to test it. This will ensure that all runs smoothly on the night or nights. It also gives you a great reason to have an after event party!

Feeding and Watering Scare Actors: remember that your staff may need to have breaks, refreshments and toilet! Either swap scare actors around or control the flow of visitors to allow this, you can allow people to build up a little, then let them in in groups.

Rules: One general rule is that they should never touch the visitors, there are too many complications, including legal, with this – some get offended, someone could claim harm, others damaged clothing etc, it’s not worth the trouble. Equally, visitors should not touch, or abuse, physically or otherwise, any of your staff, this should be reported to the owner/operator and the offender removed without delay.

Scare Level: Ensure they consider the victim, I mean visitor, if they’re already terrified, don’t over-do it, try to avoid making anyone cry, especially small children, perhaps try to have a slight comical side to some characters where small tots are concerned.

Don’t forget to check the List of Halloween projects on GhoulishGadgets – Halloween Props, Halloween Costumes and much more.

In general, it’s all about both haunt staff and visitors enjoying themselves.

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Credit Crunch Halloween : 7 Places To Find Free or Cheap Items

Posted in Halloween Costumes, Halloween Home Haunts, Halloween Props on October 19th, 2009 by Ghoul

Why break the bank to decorate yourself, your home or your garden for Halloween?  Here are a few ideas of where to buy materials for your halloween costumes and decorations.  In following blog entries, I’ll cover some of the things you can make with these treasures.

1. Car Boot Sales – everything you may want
2. Charity shops – clothing and more
3. Car Breaker yards – lighting, motors, batteries, cable and similar
4. Local refuse tip – if you ask, you may be able to take for free or buy some items
5. Friends and Family – what are they throwing out or no longer need?
6. Free Ads – look for bargains or free if collected items
7. Discount or Pound Shops – fixings, adhesives, rope, torches etc

When looking around these locations, don’t actually look at what you see, imagine what you can do with it.

  • Clothing could be for costumes or clothing on spooky props like corpses, grave diggers, scarecrows etc
  • Old mirrors can be used for many things, maybe only the frame, with perhaps 2 way film to make a magic mirror effect.
  • All forms of lighting may be used, lamps – perhaps with a flourescent starter to create an eerie flickering light.
  • Old car motors – wiper or window, to animate your props, perhaps a rocking gravestone?
  • You could use an old oscillating, side to side fan, modifiy it and make a character that looks left to right.
  • Don’t forget old audio equipment, either connect to a pc, mp3 player or make a cd or tape for spooky noises, thunder and more…
  • When it comes to screws, fixings, paint, glue etc – the discount shops are great places to check out.

For many ideas like these, wander over to GhoulishGadgets.co.uk to the Halloween Project List

When it’s over – are you storing your creations or recycling them? think ahead, there’s nothing worse than slaving over a huge masterpiece to then have to destroy it as you can’t store it.

Most importantly, safety – when picking up second hand equipment, especially electrical, take great care that it’s safe.  Ensure no shock or fire hazard and that your halloween fun doesn’t become a nightmare.

Enjoy the treasure hunt, if you’re of your creation, we’d be happy to include it in our Halloween Project List at GhoulishGadgets.co.uk

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Halloween Decorations :: Halloween Fun or Nightmare?

Posted in Halloween Home Haunts, Halloween Party on October 18th, 2009 by Ghoul

When creating a Halloween Home Haunt or creating that perfect Party Room, think carefully.

Halloween is not just for trick or treating and similar fun, it’s a great excuse for getting creative, some people waiting and planning for this seasonal occasion to show their true creative skills.

You can buy or make many decorations to decoration your yard or home, as a haunt or for a party. GhoulishGadgets.co.uk has a Monster List of Halloween Projects from all over the internet just for this reason.

No matter if you buy or make, you can create some really scary and spooky decorations and props. But it’s easy to get carried away, without thinking of the possible risks generated by some items.

1. Lighting: Be very mindful of the lighting you use and the risks it may bring with it.  The obvious risks are of possible burns from the heat if touched or electrical shock if damaged.  Careful placement should also be considered if mains powered – avoiding possible liquid spills etc.
Consider too, that little light can be a danger also – your visitors tripping or falling over.  It’s so tempting to create a darkened room or use mostly blacklights, the atmosphere is wonderful.
Maybe consider having extra lighting you can turn on quickly if needed or have good torches at hand.  The other option is to use battery powered LED lighting, very safe, low voltage – so no shock or burn risks.

2. Candles: Candles can create awesome spooky lighting, dark and eerie.
The flickering flames creating darting, almost living shadows in rooms.
Just remember the risk of fire or your visitors getting burnt.  Again, ensure that they are in areas where they can not fall, be touched nor have materials that burn easily nearby.
As before, keep in mind that you may need brighter lighting quickly, either torches or access to lighting.

3. Spider webbing: Spider webs are a great way to create a haunted or spooky look.  Be careful though, ensure that materials used to make them are safe – some may be lethal when burning.
They may also be made of rope, wire and string – ensure that visitor will not walk into these or get tangled.  Perhaps it’s best to place them out of reach, in corners or dressing furniture.

4. Power: Power distribution is sometimes never really given the thought and respect it needs.  Ensure that you do not overload multiple power outlets, split your power over a number of wall sockets.  Be careful with extension leads, that they can not be damaged nor tripped over.

Should an accident occur, you may need to kill the power quickly, so access to switches should be planned also.

5. Exits: Although not a decoration, keep in mind what you would do if you need to evacuate the area.  This can mean door access and also a safe area to get the people to gather, maybe even knowing how many people you have.

With any prop or decoration, try to imagine what is the worst thing that could happen to or with it.  Either by it failing, falling or worse some unpleasant visitor tampering or breaking it.

After all, Halloween should be fun, enjoy it!

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