November 23, 2014 by Adrian
Greetings all, my name is Adrian and I am married to the lady of St Paul Haus. I get stuck doing a lot of the heavy lifting and dirty work for many of the projects you have seen over the years. I was allowed to use my creative side for once around the haus and this is what I did: #halloweenhaus
Halloween, the most wonderful time of the year. It has always been that way for me. Let me give you a little background info on Halloween and I. On the first of November, the day I’ll always remember, yes I will. The day after Halloween of course. My mother was pregnant with me in her belly and was out trick or treating with two of my older siblings on Halloween in the mid 80’s when her water broke. She decided to let me cook a little longer and get some more candy for the kids. That was the beginning of my connection with Halloween and claustrophobia. In the many years since I have enjoyed celebrating the glorious holiday to the best of my ability.
That was all child’s play, literally and figuratively. Now that I am a gainfully employed and childless adult I get to blow my money on all sorts of stupid stuff #DINKLife
For those of you that have been following the wife’s blog you know that we have been in our current home for about a year now. We moved here in October and we went to Orlando for my birthday/Halloween last year. While in Florida we went to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. AMC’s The Walking Dead was the main theme of the park that year and became an inspiration for this years Halloween decorations. Below are some of the photos I took while in the park.
While we were away my mother, who lives in the neighborhood, was able to check out area and saw that the neighbors went all out for All Hallows’ Eve. In our five previous years of home ownership I was busy playing music for drunks, out-of-town, or upset at punk kids for hitting our car with a pumpkin (true story) and didn’t do anything for the holiday at our home. But this year was different #HalloweenHaus
I began many moons ago by scouring the interweb to start generating/stealing ideas. Plans went from simply passing out candy in the porch up to a full on haunted haus back down to a combination of indoor and outdoor effects that included multiple video projectors, LED lights, speakers, an iPad, DMX programming, many trips to Halloween stores and Goodwill, a large number of friends and family and what you see above and below.
I won’t go in to all of the gory details of how the sausage was made but if you have any detailed questions leave a comment.
The most popular effect were the zombies in the porch. That was made possible by the AtmosFear FX Zombie Invasion videos. The final effect was created by placing the projector inside of the porch and projecting it on to the roller shades that were already on the windows but many test runs were made with various placement locations, screen materials, and video edits. Multiple people asked if actual people were inside the porch. Combined with the sound from a speaker placed outside, the effect was very convincing. Other AtmosFearFX videos were used to project dripping blood on the front of the house and more inside the house that I will touch on later.
Another spooky purchase this year were the two animatronic zombies. The zombie boy and crawling cathy that were placed on the lawn. I also added some tombstones, spider webs, skeletons, and boards to the windows to add to the experience.
I spotted them online at Spirit Halloween and I had to have them. Once the wife found out how much they cost she stopped me from buying the others that I wanted. But Halloween is only 11 months away…
Inside the haus was an audio-visual experience as well. I had a theme park “ride the movies” type adventure in mind. It wasn’t a traditional haunted house that you walk through. It was more like the Twister…Ride it Out experience at Universal Studios where you walk in to a room, see, feel, and hear the show, and then walk out. I of course don’t have a Universal Studios level budget but I did what I could. It worked out wonderfully in my mind and on paper but the execution had some kinks. Luckily we were able to make some adjustments throughout the night to make the experience more enjoyable.
Those who came to the haus were greeted by my mother who had a bucket of bite size candy on the front sidewalk. They are given the option to venture up the stairs in to the house in to receive a full size candy bar.
They were guided in to the porch and haus by a zombie killer/hunter. They then entered a dark room with a tv playing a video reminiscent of The Ring or Poltergeist with various spooky video clips giving the illusion of the haus being haunted. On the wall was a picture frame with image of an old timey little girl. The little girl eventually comes to life to scare those in the room. This was done by placing an iPad in a picture frame I picked up at Goodwill and modified to do the job. The plan was to have three frames set up but it didn’t work out in the end. The haunted portraits and tv were also AtmosFearFX products.
Once they were in the room I hit play on a light, sound, and video show created with DMX programming. As the program played lights flashed around to room in sync with various sound effects as ghosts appeared out of thin air.
As the program continued the zombies around the room came out from their hiding places to “attack” those who decided to enter. It was difficult to capture everything on camera due to the lighting and me being busy as a zombie all night but I did get a few behind the scenes clips.
Overall some things worked and some things didn’t but we got a lot of compliments and did this to a kid…
so overall I would say #Halloweenhaus was a success. I would like to thank all the people who helped out. Latwanna for providing some great zombie make-up, Dr. Cash and Mychal for letting me use their projectors, Anthony, Margaret, Dusty, Maya, Maureen, Joseph, Damian, Sarah, Stephanie, Marquis, Dani, and my wife for being zombies, zombie killers and other Halloween beings, my mother for passing out candy to the to the younglings, and everyone who stopped by for the Halloween Haus experience. Stay tuned to next year’s festivities. More photos below of our various zombies and Walking Dead inspired characters.
The next day I was the DJ for surprise birthday party/Halloween party. Here are some photos from that extravaganza including some photos of my wife as Michonne and myself in my zombie attire that we were unable to capture the previous night.
Thanks for reading #HalloweenHaus