HOW TO CREATE THE PERFECT HAUNTED GARAGE
As a kid, I loved going into the haunted houses my neighbors would build every Halloween season. When I got a little bit older, I found much more joy in scaring kids with my own haunted house every year. It’s something that anyone can do in their garage, and it’s a whole lot of fun! So if you’d like to give it a try and build your own haunted garage, here are a few basic tips to get you started!
DARKNESS. The most important element of anything haunted is the darkness that surrounds your guest. The best thing to do is use black plastic sheets to cover all the walls. Not only does this effectively help block light from windows and doors, but it also helps cover up any miscellaneous items or other garage storage elements that just don't fit the theme. Once the sides are all covered, you can hang these same black sheets anywhere in the middle of the room to create artificial walls and passageways. As your guests are guided through dark hallways, it makes the whole thing seem much larger and gives you more room to play with. When you’re finished, you should have a black plastic maze.
EFFECTS. Anyone can walk through a dark, silent hallway just fine. However, when you add the elements of proper lighting, sound, and obstruction, you create a whole new experience.
- Start with lighting. Like I said, you want the proper amount of it. You want your victims to be able to see where they’re going, but very little more than that. I find that strategically placed strobe lighting is best for this. It gives just enough light to highlight their path and any spooky props, but it also alters their view of reality. It makes it harder to determine exactly what is happening around them, creating an immersive and thrilling experience.
- Next is sound. Find a really creepy soundtrack (that is as long as possible) and just play it on repeat. The possibilities for what this could be exactly are limitless. Just remember, if it creeps you out in plain daylight, then it should work just fine for your haunted garage. Play it loud enough so that it surrounds your guests, but not so loud that it’s all they can think of.
- The right amount of fog will add the perfect ambiance. There are several options you can choose from. There is the low lying kind that will cover the floor, or the regular smoke that will fill the room. Either can be used to achieve a desired effect. You can use fog machines (my favorite) or dry ice. Either one can take your entire attraction to new heights when used properly.
PROPS AND COSTUMES. This is the final touch. Anything from low-hanging spider webs, to empty coffins, to creepy dolls can be used to create the perfect feeling of evil in the air (or whatever you’re trying to achieve). The options are limitless. You can look on the web or check out this site for some great ideas. It’s also really good to have the right human touch. Get a couple of friends or family members to dress up and scare your guests. This is the best way to get them screaming for mercy. This will add an unpredictable and interactive element to your setup.
Depending on your budget and the size of your space, you can build a cute and kid-friendly spook alley, or you can go all out and attempt to scare anyone and everyone out of their wits. No matter what though, you’re guaranteed to have tons of fun! So go ahead and get to work. There’s only this one time a year you get to do this, and you’ll be so glad you did! Happy Halloween!