Archive for the ‘Haunted House Tech’ Category

Are you the Keymaster?

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

zuul-gatekeeper-keymaster-ghostbusters Ray, when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say YES!” My favorite line from the 1984 movie “Ghostbusters”. Here we are almost 30 years later and Ghost Hunters are as popular as ever. Paranormal investigators and Ghost Hunting programs are some of the highest rated shows on TV. Over the last several years we have been fortunate enough to host several Paranormal teams, Investigators and Ghost Hunts at our Haunted House. I have seen first hand how teams differ in their structure, methodology and philosophy. One commonality they all seem to share is their basic Ghost Hunting Equipment.

Basic equipment you need to get started

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Controlling your Fear

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

haunt_controller_06 Animatronics and Automated Show control is nothing new to the Haunted House industry. In fact it has been around since the early days of theater. How we use it has changed a great deal, especially over the last decade. The once high-end and expensive devices that were limited to large Stage Shows and Theme Parks are now abundantly available and very affordable. Multi-channel devices can control anything from large animatronics to the subtle flicker of a candle. Audio processors monitor the screams of our guest and adjust the ambient volume and lighting of the room in milliseconds. Literally changing the mood of a scene based on your reaction. Gone are the old fashion infrared motion detectors and pressure pads that would trigger the action. Replaced by active sonar, thermal imaging and scanning lasers. (more…)

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Sounds of the Haunted House

Friday, January 20th, 2012

chillingthrilling-sounds-of-the-haunted-house-old-cover One of my most vivid memories of Halloween as a kid was what we called the Haunted House record. Each year as the season changed to fall and the days on the calendar passed. My brother and I would dig thru the stack of albums next to the Curtis Mathis TV, turn the lights out and play Disney’s “Sounds of the Haunted House” And we would scare ourselves crazy! Keep in mind this was before video games and high speed internet – for us it was 100% pure Imagination. Last week we were working at the Boneyard upgrading some digital sound cards and I was asked how we make the sound effects that are used in the Boneyard? Almost immediately I flashed back to the artwork on the old “Haunted House” record,, The next question that came to mind… What ever became of the album…? (more…)

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The Walls have Eyes

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

terrorfied_girl_scream The year was 2002, we had installed a inexpensive wireless camera inside the Haunted House, just for fun.. to laugh the people getting scared. (Yes we do make fun of you when you get scared) it was a very low tech camera, poor image, no recording or playback, black and white picture. Within the first couple of hours of seeing our guests reactions we found ourselves trying different things. Changing actors, scare tactics, lighting and just about anything else we could think of. No longer did we have to wait for you to exit the Haunt to judge how well we did, we could now see results in real time. after that first night we knew one thing.. We needed more cameras.

Are you gonna post that on Facebook?

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Make-up Wars of 2011

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

img_0422 What would you do with a few rubber bands, tooth picks, dental floss and a handful of rice? The staff and crew at the Boneyard Haunted House in Dallas Texas would declare war! A Make-up war to be precise. As most people celebrate the end of the year with a traditional glass of Champaign, noise makers and a countdown to the new year. Actors and crew members at this North Texas Haunted House have a different twist – Part of their annual new years celebration include “Make-up Wars” a creative showdown of special F/X make-up prowess.

If you only had 30 minutes a box of safety pins, rice and a rubber band… 

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2011 Awards List

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

  best-actress With a cast and crew of 300 plus for the 2011 Haunted House season the Boneyard is very proud to recognize the following cast and crew members for their outstanding contribution and performances. With out their support, dedication and countless man hours a event of this size and scope would not be possible.  It is with great pride and admiration that we acknowledge our 2011 Boneyard award recipients.

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Photo: Halloween Night 2011

Monday, October 31st, 2011

train-station

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Take my Wife – Please!

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

The Human Shield

  human-shield
 
This has to be one of the most common occurrences I see at the Boneyard Haunted House. Friday night October the 15th 2011 I am at the exit of the Haunt getting customer feedback, how was it? What was your favorite actor? etc. So I approach this one couple and start to ask my standard questions when the Husband starts in.. ” Well it was OK, I guess… Nothing much scares me” and the whole time his wife has that look in her eye, (if your married, you know what I mean)
So, the wife stays quite during her husbands speech, and then tells me that it was great as she grabs her husbands arm and leads him to their car.

So, I make note of the time and after we close for the night I decide to review the video footage from our “Haunt-Cam” and guess who I find using his wife as a human shield? Yep! Mr. “It wasn’t that scary” This guy not only grabs his wife, Yanks her in front. he then hides his head behind her shoulder. The best part of the entire thing. His wife never threw him under the bus. She just stood there and let him tell his story.. {Or at least till they got in the car}

 

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QR Codes & Haunted Houses

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

QR Codes and sms texting discounts

QR Codes have been around since 1994, originally used for tracking parts in the automotive industry, Quick Response Codes were slow to make their way into the consumer market. It wasn’t until the widespread use of smart phones that the codes began showing up in public.

Haunted House QR codes on wrapped vehicle graphics

We first started using Quick Response Codes for promotional tracking in 2009, a very basic code that directed users to our website www.theBoneyard.org.

Our plan was to place the code on print advertisement and business cards. Almost immediately we met with resistance, printers had not seen them before, they could not guaranty the codes would scan in their ads. Bottom line – people fear the unknown. On top of that very few smart phone users at the time were familiar with the codes and were reluctant to download the needed app. Read More

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Electric Chair – Halloween prop

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Electric Chair animatronic propOne question I get asked often as a Haunted House owner is ” What is your favorite prop or animatronics?” And it’s like asking a parent what kid is their favorite! However I have to admit the classic “Electric Chair” makes my top 10 list year after year.

In 1881, – Dr. Albert Southwick, a dentist and former steamboat engineer, sees elderly drunkard touch terminals of electrical generator in Buffalo, New York. He is amazed at how quickly and apparently painlessly the man is killed and describes episode to friend State Senator David McMillan.

Currently the Boneyard houses a total of five electric chairs. one of the chairs has been imported from Europe. Originally manufactured as a arcade style novelty, the chair has been restored and updated with modern electronics. And is currently available for customers. Read More.

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