Monday, October 31, 2011


About 2 and a half weeks before Halloween, I "committed myself" to making an Indiana Jones Temple Of Doom in my driveway. (Once you see what I've done, you'll think I should have "myself committed"!)


Well, after working with my good friends at Rotten Apple 907 in Burbank, CA, I realized how much I missed hosting a walk-through attraction as part of my haunt. What I didn't miss was the stress of keeping the display up. I had been using PVC pipe as a frame covered with cheap plastic sheeting - this did not hold - when it rained, it all came down! While I was helping my friends, I saw that they used a tarp canopy. I saw that they make tarp canopies that could run the length of a long driveway and I have a long driveway that runs along the side of the house. It got me thinking...

I remembered for their "Nightmare at the Museum" haunt, that they used a gag which simulated the feeling of darts whizzing by via use of tiny hoses connected to an air compressor. I asked my friend that if I were to make up the temple, could he hook-up the dart gag effect. He said, "yes" and I decided then to go forward!

I did alot of searching for reference and drew up some plans for the entrance:

(My wife was out of town that weekend so it was a perfect time to have a canopy delivered along with large 4' x 8' sheets of styrofoam!)

I stayed up many late nights carving styrofoam. Scratching away, it made a pile of tiny beads that looked like I was knee-deep in snow. The beads were everywhere and clung to everything. (It was pretty easy to clean it up, though.)

I covered everything with a base coat of black (even the kids helped) and then quickly faux painted everything in gray/stone texture. Thanks to my sister and brother-in-law and few other friends, I was able to get the canopy up and decorated just in time.

My friend hooked-up the dart gag and it worked excellently. I got the idea to add some draped vines over the air outlet to give it a visual indication that something was flying out from the opening. (I took video - Check back - I'll try posting that later!)

Here is a shot of the inside during the day (it didn't get good photos of it at night) to give you an idea of the layout. It was a one-way in/one-way back.

I would greet trick-or-treaters at the entrance and have them follow me inside, cautioning them there was danger and to be very careful where they step. the dart gag was activated by an infra-red sensor. Then we'd run to the end and I'd turn around and ask if everyone made it through okay and then offer them some candy from a replica of the Ark of the Covenant (again, borrowed from my friend). The lid was slightly open and I had smoke/fog pouring out of it.

Friends of a friend who stopped by offered to let me borrow their fertility idol coin bank so I had a prop to carry. My next door neighbors offered to borrow an actual prop form the last 'Indy' movie (he worked on it).

My friend Peter did something amazing this year, at the last minute he rigged up the face on the temple entrance to talk! He recorded the voice, hooked-up the servo's and everything! Finally I had an animated piece this year! He also brought his amp and background sfx that he mixed together and it added a whole ambiance to the haunt.

THANK YOU to my family, and friends who helped make and came to enjoy this special night!

That's me on the right. I was 11 and went as Indiana Jones

Friday, October 21, 2011


I never thought I'd see the day. A big "THANK YOU" to all of you out there!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Haunted Steampunk Bordello

Here's a background that I did for an animated Steampunk project I'm working on:

I found this image that someone had done of a Steampunk girl lounging and imported it into the frame (I have the intention to re-place it with my own version so I can call it all my own). It kind of reminds me of the pirate girl in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. Also, for all you Mansion fans, note the wallpaper and wall sconce.

This scene is suppose to take place onboard the villain's airship which I wanted to feel like a "haunted bordello".