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View Full Version : What to use for door openings



SCfearfarm
03-06-2011, 12:11 PM
Hi guys, I have seen all types of things used, but I was wanting to find out what type of materials most of you use for a door opening to go from one area to another that doesnt actually have a real door. I have seen black freezer vinyl strips, cloth, etc. and I was just wondering what worked best/didn't work well, and which were the most inexpensive and still fire retardant. If anyone has any ideas or websites to order from please let me know! Thanks!

-Matt

Bradenton Haunted Trail
03-06-2011, 01:32 PM
I have used ca-mo netting and plastic sheeting both fire-retardant. or just make a wall to turn them before they go into the next room we always put some sort of hallway between rooms for spacing and line of sight issues.

Shawn
http://bradentonhauntedtrail.com

spookhaven
03-06-2011, 04:14 PM
We use camo netting, black canvas (get it at a surplus outlet), freezer flap, jute and more. Just make sure you use flame retardant if it isn't already treated and/or retreat.

Allen H
03-06-2011, 06:55 PM
The other replies have been great, I use those two, but here are more options

A laser - for about $200 you could have a laser above the door shooting down in a fan shape, on one side the actor could see them coming, but they couldnt see through it. really awesome doorway and room transition. Especially when as they approach a hand shoots through the laser right at their face!

I have used linolium as a doorway before, attach a piece to each side of the doorjamb the same height as the door jamb. Make the long though, not just long enough to meet in the middle, make them like seven feet long. They will curve toward each other and make like a mini clostrophobia tunnel, but as an entrance or exit.

I have also made the transition between rooms into a closet like set, so they walk through the doorway and there is a shelf over their head with shoe boxes and what not, and clothes hang on both sides that they have to brush against.

I have also used a refrigerator as a curtain, lol. My haunt two years ago was bug themed, and the first set was a kitchen. The exterminator/ greeter slid the fridge aside to reveal the "problem area". I cut a fridge in half with a reciporating saw and hung it from chains on a piece of barn door track. It worked awesome and gave a surprise entrance.

thats a few ideas that I have tried and they worked,
Allen H

Dark Scares
03-07-2011, 11:01 AM
We have used cheap black felt, treated of course.

Jim Warfield
03-09-2011, 07:57 PM
Garden hoses? Cut up? I have yet to use this idea but I think that as cheap as even a brand new hose can be that it might work fairly well? They come in colors too!
Use a hose and paint it to look like guts! snot?
If it doesn't hang straight-down enough, seal one end, put some sand in it.

X-Treme Torment
03-16-2011, 02:29 PM
rolls of burlap are pretty cheap and they give a good creepy/ old looking effect.

Allen H
03-16-2011, 03:09 PM
Make sure you soak the burlap in fire retardant. I love the look and texture so I use it too, but It really needs to be treated well with retardant.
Allen H

X-Treme Torment
03-16-2011, 09:45 PM
defiantly ..... yes u have to because they are VERY flammable!!!

Jim Warfield
03-17-2011, 01:38 AM
Like an old metal cabinet. Take a 4/12inch grinder, put on a DeWalt .047? thin blade and cut the first 3 inches apart from the rest of it, cut a sheet of plywood to fit what you have just made.
Bolt the plywood to an angle-iron frame to stiffen it up. Screw the cabinent to the plywood, attach hinges.
If the cabinet is not tall enough for your uses, fire-up the grinder again and cut another item 3 inches thick and attach it to the top of the cabinent. Make what appears to be a random pile of "Stuff" on and around it, fastening everything down well.

RJ Productions
03-17-2011, 10:57 AM
As you can see from the posts (all good ideas!) you can basically use ANYTHING as a doorway!! It all comes back to theme.

Do you want to disguise the opening? Use features or textures that fit within the room to create a "hidden passage" to the next room.
Remember this will slow down the audience if they have to find their way out, or an actor may have to direct to next room.

Do you want to speed you audience up? Use the same material for every door opening. It does not match decor but stands out ie: black
material. This way they always knowwhere the exit is.

I have areas where it is a normal door to enter, but the backside of the door blends in with the room. Once in and the door closes behind you it becomes part of the scene.

As stated any fabric must be fire treated. So just decide the look or use that is best. Blend the transition, mask the transition, or highling the transition.

It's really a personal choice, all will work effectively.

Rich

Uptown Haunts
04-16-2011, 05:03 PM
I plan to setup actual door frames built into boxed side columns with overhead header beams and very flat base plate joining the columns at the bottom. There's a good chance that I may not have an indoor venue and will need a way of locking it up at the end of the night if I end up doing an outdoor/open air gig. Some type of wire mesh fastened to the top of the walls will also help to keep the haunt a little more secure. Inside the haunt, walls that open like doors would be a great asset in the event of an emergency. Exit signs on these panels could be wired to light up when the emergency lighting goes on. Off while operating. Outer perimeter exit signs will have to be lit during your show.

Steve...

HauntedPaws
04-16-2011, 06:07 PM
what's a good door width? What width is the typical room 8'?

Allen H
04-16-2011, 11:28 PM
36" door width and there is no typical room width, but its ard to do alot on less than 12'. any less and they are so right on top of the detail that they dont really see it. Think of movies, the bigger the sets and the wider the shots the bigger the production values. It is the same for haunted houses.
Allen H

Jim Warfield
04-17-2011, 01:18 PM
Total darkness, empty darkness. A voice tells you a story. Much detail. Proffessionally interesting, intrieguing, taking you places only the mind's eye can see.
Feel it?
It's working.
Working on you. Now. It's working ... in you.
Too late to fight it, it's established itself, wormed it's way in when you were slightly distracted.
No seat belt. No roll bar.
You will now HAVE to pass some gas to break the hypnotic spell.
This usually works, the gas thing.

RJ Productions
04-17-2011, 06:23 PM
"Secret Passages" can be a great pass through. Build them according to your theme. The better you can disguise them the better.

In the opening room of the Hotel we have a fake staircase they thing they are going up. A startle scare stops them from entering the stairs so they have to use the secret passage. A section of the wall is hinged. But to better hide it I actually have a small table with a phone on it attached to the "wall/door". It also have a two way mirror. Attaching real items makes people assume you can't move them.

We have a bar/lounge area with a large bookcase. Instead of a faked bookcase this is a REAL piece complete with real books and knic knacs. It has a metal frame attached to it with heavy duty hinges. It has moved smoothly for over five years.

A friend also did the fridge as a pass though, but instead of visible chains and a a track, he cut the back off and you actually open the door and walk through the fridge.

The best way to accomplish this is the have things that you not expect to be able to move, move. Look at the room. What would you expect to be the pass though? Then what is the least expected? Figure out how to do the unexpected. That's we Haunters do!!!

Karl Fields
04-17-2011, 07:56 PM
Steve,
Capet tack strips screwed to the tops of your exterior wall might also deter those trying to climb over - that, or really piss them off!


There's a good chance that I may not have an indoor venue and will need a way of locking it up at the end of the night if I end up doing an outdoor/open air gig. Some type of wire mesh fastened to the top of the walls will also help to keep the haunt a little more secure.
Steve...

Front Yard Fright
04-17-2011, 08:22 PM
Steve,
Capet tack strips screwed to the tops of your exterior wall might also deter those trying to climb over - that, or really piss them off!

Lmao! Ouch!!!

hauntedkimmy
04-17-2011, 09:28 PM
I did this last year in my fortune telling room. My real bookcase had wheels to roll out of the way to hide the exit. I gave my fortune telling skit and people were so nervous looking around the room for the exit since they knew they only visible door was where the haunt started.

RJ Productions
04-17-2011, 11:33 PM
36" door width and there is no typical room width, but its ard to do alot on less than 12'. any less and they are so right on top of the detail that they dont really see it. Think of movies, the bigger the sets and the wider the shots the bigger the production values. It is the same for haunted houses.
Allen H

Gee Allen, you would REALLY have trouble designing and operating in a trailer!!! Welcome to my world!!! Eight foot width!!! There are tricks my friend!!

Rich

Ironman
04-18-2011, 10:23 AM
Our house uses a storyline and each room/scene has actors. We use hidden doors that blend into the decor in nearly every room. This seems to make our customers a bit more uneasy not knowing exactly how they are leaving until the actor reveals the exit. It also gives the actor complete control of the time line as well as directing/redirecting them to the scares in each room as we are very animatronic heavy in each scene. The passages that our guests exit into are all pitch dark turn about mazes leading them to the next room. We open throughout the rest of the year for private interactive mystery parties, with very few actors, so this works out very well for us. The layout of the house has all the rooms from the game 'Clue', but we have added a few more like the master bedroom, nursery, wine cellar, etc. Here are pictures of some of the passage doors:

http://s17.photobucket.com/albums/b90/Namnori/Secret%20Passage%20Doors/

Allen H
04-18-2011, 10:37 AM
"Gee Allen, you would REALLY have trouble designing and operating in a trailer!!! Welcome to my world!!! Eight foot width!!! There are tricks my friend!!"
Ive done trailors before and a friend of mine has a trailor haunt here locally. They are harder to work with and really hard to get good production values from. I thnk the choice of theme is the big one because it can justify the smaller spaces and tighter passageways. I think sharing the tricks youve discovered would have great value, like posting specific floor plans from past shows would help out folks considering or currently doinbg a trailor show.
Allen H