For those of you who have not had the opportunity to make your own Halloween Maze, you are definitely missing out on a ton of fun, and a lifetime of memories. Here are some tips on how to make your own homemade Halloween Maze. Enjoy.
1) Walls: Many people like to use large cardboard boxes to create their maze. This can not only be a ton of work, but can get expensive if you aren’t using recycled boxes. If you do not have the budget to make the walls out of wood, you can buy rolls of visqueen (Painter’s Plastic) at your local Home Depot, Wal-Mart, or Lowes. You should buy them in 10×25, or 10×100 rolls of “Black” plastic. the 10×25 will cost you about $8 at your local Wal-Mart. Sometimes you can save a couple bucks buyin the larger roll if they are available. You don’t need to pay extra for heavy plastic. 2 mil will do.
2) Music: Many people like to use “Halloween Music” for their maze. There is some good music out there, such as the theme from the movie “Scream”, “Halloween”, etc. However, I like to make my own Halloween music. If you google “Mixcraft”, it will come up with a program for your computer that will allow you to layer separate music tracks over the top of one another. You can download “Scream sound effects”, “Chainsaw sound effects”, and many other horrifying sounds for free on your computer. Then, just dump some music, and these effects into Mixcraft, and you will have amazing Halloween intro music. Inside the maze, I like to use hard rock, or heavy metal. It tends to pump up your audience, and gets your actors going too.
3) Have a Theme: Themed mazes give the most memories, the most frights, and most of all, the most ideas when building the maze. For example, you could do an alien abduction maze, a killer clown maze, or a nursery rhyme maze (my favorite). Themes will put your maze over the top, and give you something you can work off of.
4) Lights, Fog, and More: Fog is a must in a maze, and can make all the difference. It makes it harder for your audience to see upcoming traps, and makes for a more “confused” feeling in the maze. I like to use lots of black lights in my mazes, along with colored lights etc. I do not recommend using a ton of strobe lights. Many people use far too many, and it distracts your audience from the scare, as they spend their whole time trying to find their way around. The best scares come when the actor is standing right in front of them, and they still never saw it coming. Strobes, unless they are used specifically for a scare distract your audience too much.
5) Props: You don’t have to go super-expensive with the props. Many places like Knotts Scary Farm, etc, have thousand dollar props that can put your audience in the mood. However, it is the actors, and the art of misdirection that make all the difference. Often times you can use cardboard, primer, and stuffed dummies to make all the disctractions necessary. Remember, we want them focused on something else when you pop out. Hanging thread from the ceiling distracts them as they feel like they are walking through spider webs. Try using dots on the walls to give you an opportunity to “blend in” to the walls like camouflage.
6) Scares: Scaring people is an art. Some people like to use soup cans filled with nuts and bolts as a “shaker can” to make an abrupt noise when they jump out. These work, but I assure you that a plastic milk jug filled with small bolts will do ten times better. These jugs make the most horrific sounds, and will scare your audience out of their shorts. If you don’t have extra milk jugs, you can use a 2 gallon gas container. Make sure you leave enough room in your hallways to allow your audience to jump back without pulling down your walls. It’s no fun putting them back up in the middle of the night. Finally, place props, camouflage, etc in areas opposite of your scare spots. These will allow your audience to be distracted while you jump out. Make sure that you let in only 2-3 people at a time. You don’t want a line of people that see all of the actors jumping out ahead of them. This will give your actors time to reset. Finally, I do not recommend that you touch the audience. I am sure as an actor, you would not be happy to take a punch in the face, and this is often times the easiest way to get it. Startle them…don’t touch them.
There is a start to your maze. Make sure you head to our website at www.postfallshaunt.blogspot.com and sign up as a follower. We will give you extra tips throughout the year, and more information on our legendary haunt in Post Falls, ID. So, stay tuned as the Post Falls Haunt Team will be giving you specific scare rooms that are guaranteed to freak out your audience. All you have to do is copy them, and build them. Until then, take care, and we will see you in 2010.