Monday, January 31, 2011

I LOVE A GREAT DEAL

A fellow haunter told me last week about a great deal on gaming speakers at a local auto store Princess Auto. I'll be honest, I would never think of looking for any kind of speaker at an auto store and why would I be interested in a gaming speaker.

I was told these particular speakers are a dream come true for a home haunter...

Altec Lansing designed these speakers to work with just about any gaming console which allows you to hook up your Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox, Rock Band, Guitar Hero, or DJ Hero and take your sound to a whole new level.








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These speakers have mutable uses for a Home Haunter, the ports on the right hand side allow you to hook up a MP3 player or your Ipod. Now your able to create an ambient sound(s) for any room or prop in your haunt that's able to continuously loop.

There's more than enough sound coming out of this 40 watt speaker with a 6-1/2" woofer, these speakers can be used for a static prop, Animatronic Prop, or creepy sound effects in your haunt. Another cool feature in these speakers are they have a left channel and a right channel, this allows you to hook up mutable speakers with surround sound.

The best part of all of this is the price I paid, the speakers normally retail for $59.99 CDN. I paid $24.99, Princess Auto had ordered to many last year and was blowing them out to reduce their inventory. I purchase 12 of them, I'll be using them throughout my walk through Mausoleum.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

TRANSWORLD - MARCH 10-13, 2011

For the last 16 years, TransWorld’s Annual Halloween & Attractions Show has gathered the largest collection of industry leading vendors and a huge selection of products to give haunters the greatest opportunity to see all of the best products and creations, all under one roof.




The Annual Halloween & Attractions Show continues its tradition of creating a unique business environment designed to allow buyers to meet face-to-face with exhibitors. The exhibitors bring all the newest products and classic designs, providing buyers with a one-stop shopping experience.

Products at the Annual Halloween & Attractions Show include: Props, Animatronics, Games and Crowd Pleasers, Concession Supplies, Tickets and Crowd Control, Masks and Costumes, Lighting and Special Effects, Make-Up and Prosthetics, Fabric Paint and D├ęcor, Gift and Novelty items, Haunted House Design and Installation, Sound/Visual Electronics and Effects, Mobile Haunted Houses, Educational and Instructional Videos, Spooky Music and SFX, Wristbands, Visitor Automated Tracking Systems, Haunt-Oriented Graphic and Web Design, and much more!

Networking events, award ceremonies, local haunted house tours, industry relevant seminars and an expanded Dark Zone make this the best Halloween & Attractions Show yet!

I've purchased my air line tickets, booked my hotel room, and reserved my name badge. This show has also become a major social event for me, it's allowed me to meet up with other fellow home haunters from across Canada & U.S.A.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

RYAN'S HAUNTED HOUSE

My 7 year old son Ryan drew this spooky haunted house with blue bolts of lighting, blood dripping from the windows, ghosts floating around the house, corpses hands rising from their graves, a green zombie eating brains, a werewolf howling, and two creepy pumpkins.



BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

SETTING THE MOOD

One of the most frightening things about approaching an outdoor haunt or walking through a haunted house is the background ambient music or creepy sounds effects being used. These sounds effects set the stage for themed rooms and outdoor haunts. The right music can send shivers up and down your spine even before you've set foot inside.

Try watching John Carpenter's Halloween movie without the sound, it's just not scary! Then listen to the music and background ambient sounds that were created for this movie and you'll know why it's one of the scariest horror movies created.

I'm always looking to improve my haunt every year, so this year I've decided to stop playing generic Halloween music and go for creepy sound effects instead.

Imagine yourself walking up to a cemetery theme outdoor haunt and you see an old rod iron fence with tomb stones behind it, a mausoleum, corpses coming out of the ground, fog rolling across the landscape, low lighting, and then you hear generic Halloween music being played in the background that you recognize from other haunts you've already visited.

Now take that music out of the same haunt and add the sound of wind howling in the background, crows screeching above in the trees, corpses moaning as they clime out of their graves, and a church bell ringing in the distance. This to me seems more realistic and creates a spookier ambiance.



Gore Galore Cd's I received in the mail this week.

The goal of every haunted attraction should be the suspension of disbelief by your patrons. Look no further, I've found some killer sound effects through Gore Galore.

Their Cd's or digital downloads from HauntAudio.com are designed to help you achieve this through your patron's auditory senses by making them believe what they are hearing is as real as it gets.

I've personally purchased many copies of their CD sound effects and never been disappointed; they are by far the best I've found in the haunt industry. Check out their web site, they also manufacture haunted house props, costumes and much more.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

CAT

My neighbor who lives a few doors down from me isn't home that often and she leaves her cat outside most of the time. I'm personally allergic to cats, but I've really become fond of this little guy.

He knows my routine and is always at my front door when I leave in the morning for work and always seems to be waiting for me when I get home. If I'm downstairs on my computer in the office or my living room, he always seems to know and continues to meow until I let him in.

Now I know it's my fault because I've been feeding him regularly, but I feel bad he's outside all day and I don't know how often he's feed. If I notice my neighbor has gone away for a weekend and left him out, he always has a warm place to sleep, and he knows it.

Throughout the year when ever I was outside working on my garden, lawn, prop building in the garage, or even setting up of my haunt in October, my little friend was always by my side.

I've talked to my neighbor and she's aware of our bond and thinks it's cool, she told me his name last year, but I can't remember it. So I just call him "Cat".


Another cool thing I like about my Cat friend is for the last two years in October when my Haunted Cemetery was all set up and running. My friend here liked to sit either on my tomb stones or my porch and keep an eye on everything for me.

Cat's really are amazing companions.

Monday, January 10, 2011

AND THE WINNER IS

I had the privilege this year to participate in the Home Haunters Association "Best Home Haunt of the Year Contest for 2010".

There were 64 participants from all over United States, Canada and even Germany. Everyone had to submit a video and pictures of their 2010 haunt, which was judged by a panel of 10 judges from the haunt industry.

Once all the video's were submitted, I was like a little kid coming home from Trick 'R' Treating on Halloween night. I just couldn't wait to sit down and open my bag to see what I got, or in this case, what everyone else's video's and pictures looked like.

It was great to see so many other amazing home haunts, one of the biggest disappointments for most home haunter's is not being able to check out other home haunts. We always seem to be working on our own haunts right up to the last minute on Halloween night, which doesn't allow us time to visit our friends haunts or one's we've seen on YouTube or the Internet.

Unfortunately I wasn't one of the nominee's, but I was honoured just to be in this contest with so many other amazing home haunts.

First Place Winners -
Darkwing Manor




Second Place Winners - McKamey Manor Asylum





Third Place Winners - Steve's Yard Haunt





Congratulations to all the winners.