The basic premise behind Greyhaunt Manor 2005 remained the same as in
The 2005 swamp setting was basically the same as in 2004,
with a few minor changes to the props used, and the major change of
bringing the TOTs right through the middle of the swamp to reach the
entrance. We liberally doused the area with swamp scent to add to the
We used five different sounds systems for the 2005 haunt, each with
its own specially created CD:
(1) We used a boom box hidden in one of the coffins in the swamp to
play ambient swamp sounds (crickets, frogs, owls, crows, etc.)
(2) For our "troll bridge," we used a CD Walkman to power
a set of computer speakers, including a subwoofer, under the bridge.
It played a series of bass-heavy, rumbling growls at "random"
intervals. The subwoofer was wedged right up against the bottom of the
bridge, and did a wonderful job of vibrating the floor of the bridge
even when it was filled with TOTs waiting in line.
(3) We used a computer system inside the house to play rat sounds (skittering,
squeaking, gnawing, etc.) for our "rat area" inside the tunnel.
(4) We used a home stereo system with a sub-woofer for the lightning
strike in the tunnel.
(5) We used a second boom box hidden behind a backdrop for ambient
scary noises (howls, screams, moans, rattling chains, etc.) outside
TOTs entered the swamp through an archway at the south end of the yard.
They then followed a narrow path over a bridge
with a troll under it, and through the graveyard to the manor house
entrance where they waited for their turn to enter.
We built an entryway
for 2005, complete with a peaked roof, flickering flame lamps held by
gargoyles, and dry ice and fans to blow cold air on the ankles of the
TOTs as they entered. We liberally coated the inside of the entryway
with dungeon (mildew) scent. Both ends of the entryway were covered
by layered strips of black cloth that prevented anyone outside from
seeing in. Once a group was through the entryway and to the first exhibit
(the spider lair), a barred door swung closed across the inside opening,
preventing them from going back the way they had come.
THE SPIDER LAIR
2004's dungeon cell became a spider
lair for 2005, and the first stop for TOTs inside the manor house.
It was still a dungeon cell, but it had been taken over by Arachne,
our spider-loving vampire, and her eight-legged pets to serve as a torture
room and food-storage area for the spiders. The cell/lair had several
dead, web-wrapped spider victims, some spider egg sacs, a lot of webbing,
and a ton of spiders. Arachne was there as well, with a captured TOT
(actually one of our cast dress in a clown costume and playing the part
of a captured TOT). When the real TOTs arrived at the lair, Arachne
would take candy from her captive, give it to the real TOTs, and then
wish them good luck in escaping from the manor with the candy...and
with their lives.
Matt "Ignore The Man Behind The Curtain" Wilkens was lurking
just on the other side of the wall from the spider lair, manning the
control board. We put a spooky picture gallery on the haunt-side of
the wall and rigged one of the pictures so Matt could open it and stick
a mask (or his head) through it and scream at the TOTs to add to the
After receiving their candy from Arachne (and being terrorized
by Matt), the TOTs had to navigate a 20' long black tunnel filled with
glowing, blinking eyes, and the squeaks and skitters of hundreds of
rats. A mist system in the tunnel kept it damp and eerie-feeling, and
a liberal coating of dungeon smell added to the effect. As the TOTs
moved down the tunnel toward the rats, a lightning strike was
cued. A large strobe would flash and a thunder crack would be played
very loudly through a pair of speakers and a subwoofer located
behind a hardboard wall. The flash of lightning would briefly illuminate
the dozens of rats clinging to the walls on either side of the tunnel,
and the thunder was loud enough to shake houses all over the neighborhood.
As the TOTs made their way (usually running and screaming
from the lightning and the rats) to the exit at the far end of the tunnel,
air-powered ankle-biters were activated, causing soft rubber tubing
to slap against their lower legs, accompanied by a large amount of very
In 2004, we had "lost dog" signs posted around
the haunt. The name of the dog was Peaches.
The breed of the dog was werewolf. In 2005, the signs were still there,
but so was Peaches. As TOTs got past the ankle-biters, out of the tunnel,
and into the apparent safety of the open air, Peaches was waiting for
them, to make sure they found their way all the way out of the haunt.
2005 Photo Gallery Index