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View Full Version : The Wilmont Estate Presents Lost in the Dark.



The Wilmont Estate
07-06-2012, 02:35 PM
After growing bored of the Victorian theme. (Not scary enough.) I have decided to change my theme permanently to a complete dark maze with a twist. Don't think this involves no creativity because it does. Let me tell you about this years haunt.

Guest will wait in a line that covers my whole driveway, yeah we are starting to get a lot of people. After waiting in line they will stand on the porch of a "Treatment Center" facade. This "Treatment Center," is where the doctors cure you of your fear, whatever it may be. The only fear they are curing though, is Nyctophobia-the fear of the dark. While on the porch they will be told the following:

In approximately 3 minutes you will enter the Shallow Brook Treatment Center. In the 1940's this place was bustling with phobic people. The most common phobia they treated here was Nyctophobia-the fear of the dark. When you enter you will be sat down and asked a few questions. Based on those questions you will be cured of your fear through one thing.

Be cautious, as once you pass through these doors, you will begin to see and hear things you wouldn't normally experience. I have to advise you to not touch anything. Good Luck.

The one thing that will cure their fear is complete darkness. After being sat down in a room and asked a few questions by "the doctors," they will be put into a hallway with no other light source other than a glowstick. The rest of is also complete darkness. This will continues throughout the rest of the garage and onto the side-yard.

Props will hang in the darkness along with occasional water misters and fishing line throughout. Patrons will only be allowed in 2 or 1 at a time. No exceptions. Tell me what you guys think. I've gotta go frame some door panels, I'll be back to read your responses in and hour or two.

-Sean.

BrotherMysterio
07-06-2012, 04:45 PM
After growing bored of the Victorian theme. (Not scary enough.) I have decided to change my theme permanently to a complete dark maze with a twist. Don't think this involves no creativity because it does. Let me tell you about this years haunt.

Guest will wait in a line that covers my whole driveway, yeah we are starting to get a lot of people. After waiting in line they will stand on the porch of a "Treatment Center" facade. This "Treatment Center," is where the doctors cure you of your fear, whatever it may be. The only fear they are curing though, is Nyctophobia-the fear of the dark. While on the porch they will be told the following:

In approximately 3 minutes you will enter the Shallow Brook Treatment Center. In the 1940's this place was bustling with phobic people. The most common phobia they treated here was Nyctophobia-the fear of the dark. When you enter you will be sat down and asked a few questions. Based on those questions you will be cured of your fear through one thing.

Be cautious, as once you pass through these doors, you will begin to see and hear things you wouldn't normally experience. I have to advise you to not touch anything. Good Luck.

The one thing that will cure their fear is complete darkness. After being sat down in a room and asked a few questions by "the doctors," they will be put into a hallway with no other light source other than a glowstick. The rest of is also complete darkness. This will continues throughout the rest of the garage and onto the side-yard.

Props will hang in the darkness along with occasional water misters and fishing line throughout. Patrons will only be allowed in 2 or 1 at a time. No exceptions. Tell me what you guys think. I've gotta go frame some door panels, I'll be back to read your responses in and hour or two.

-Sean.

Well, it sounds like you are doing a cross between HOT's Darkstalkers (sans monsters with night vision goggles) and NYC's Blackout (sans topless chicks and live, interactive, scatological S&M show).

Honestly? I like it. It's a new concept in home-haunting, and a lot of the discoveries you make whilst doing this will definitely translate to and inform many of your ideas when you go pro. Also, if you can get your hands on some night-vision equipment (cameras, and whatnot), you have a marvelous opportunity to study the impact or effects of total darkness (or as close to that as you can manage) on various patrons. If you get plenty of people to go thru, representing a good cross-section of the customers you'd get at your pro-haunt, that would give you a very well rounded look at how people respond to this type of stressor.

If you can manage the night-vision technology, and do just that, be sure to report back here your findings. I'm sure it will be be enlightening to all of us (reverse pun intended).

C.

The Wilmont Estate
07-06-2012, 07:55 PM
Blackout in NYC seems way to over the top.

BrotherMysterio
07-06-2012, 10:50 PM
Blackout in NYC seems way to over the top.

Well, yeah, but I was referring to the total blackout aspect, and just 1 or maybe 2 people going thru. Same kind of concept, but of course in Manhattan's Blackout, that is just way too over the top for most people. I think it's, in a way, meant for jaded New Yorkers who have "seen the rest and seen it all" (yadda yadda yadda). Besides, the people who present and run Blackout normally (if that's even the term) do experimental, interactive, avant-garde theatre, so, you know, that's kinda what you get.

Still, I like your idea a lot and can't wait to see how it develops.

C.

The Wilmont Estate
07-06-2012, 11:13 PM
Yeah, going through my haunt will also take some effort. Black plastic cut down the middle will cover the doorways so all the walls look the same, kind of like a house of mirrors. The only problem I think I might have is people being completely confused and not being able to get out of a certain room causing an extremely long line. Maybe I should develop some kind of system for people that get really scared and confused.

BrotherMysterio
07-07-2012, 12:46 AM
Yeah, going through my haunt will also take some effort. Black plastic cut down the middle will cover the doorways so all the walls look the same, kind of like a house of mirrors. The only problem I think I might have is people being completely confused and not being able to get out of a certain room causing an extremely long line. Maybe I should develop some kind of system for people that get really scared and confused.

Well, Allen is always really big on having some kind of light source, cuz if you don't, they will, i.e. patrons whipping out their cell-phones to light the way. Of course, that beats breaking out a lighter to light the way, which is how the Six Flags fire got started. I don't know how big the light-sticks are that you plan on using, but HOT uses really big ones . . . like diving sticks, basically.

What he will do is, whenever a patron makes their way from one room down a hallway, and into the next room, once you get into the room, you can look down the next hallway and see a light source, and after whatever happens happens in that room, the patrons follow that light source, be it a glow from a TV set in the dark, an old Victorian chandelier, a fire in a fire place (fake, of course), or whathaveyou, you have that one light source that you fixate on, even if everything else is in shadow and total darkness, save those few lumens from that one lights source.

Well, in that regard, you might consider Allen's LED minispots, and just have one or two, so at least they can orient themselves somewhat, and not be totally lost, or else everyone is going to be waiting in line for a really long time if someone with absolutely no internal bearings or sense of direction gets totally turned around and lost.

You might also have one or two "doctors" step out and point the way if someone just takes forever, or starts having a panic attack. Funny thing about nyctophobia is that's a close (some say kissing) cousin of claustrophobia, and the last thing you need is for someone to have a panic attack, hyperventilate, and pass out in the middle of your haunt, especially in narrow hallways made of, basically, plastic bags (along with some solid wall panels).

Of course, having a few people in lab-coats pop out and point the way will also save you a great deal on costuming, and them not having to particularly "act".

As far as a system goes, you could have an arrow light up in the direction they need to go only after they have tried to "solve" the room and cure their "nyctophobia" in that given scene.

You've definitely got some good ideas going here and I think you are just at the "tweaking" stage, as far as the concept goes.

C.

The Wilmont Estate
07-07-2012, 01:18 AM
I am basically done with the concept just working out all the possible things that could happen while people are inside.

The Wilmont Estate
07-07-2012, 01:35 AM
Read Below.

The Wilmont Estate
07-24-2012, 11:45 PM
Alright so I'm about to purchase a website for my haunt and need to know which sounds better. Since the premise of the haunt is an experimental facility helping cure people of their fear of the dark. The organization is supposedly called Shadow Brooke Testing Facilities. So what should the website be?
.com .org? Any ideas for a catchy name?

BrotherMysterio
07-25-2012, 06:29 AM
Alright so I'm about to purchase a website for my haunt and need to know which sounds better. Since the premise of the haunt is an experimental facility helping cure people of their fear of the dark. The organization is supposedly called Shadow Brooke Testing Facilities. So what should the website be?
.com .org? Any ideas for a catchy name?

Use two.

Use thehauntatwilmontestate.com for your show's main site (or your "prod. co."'s main site), and shadowbrooketestingfacilities.org for the faux testing facility which is the setting for your show.

Then the latter can lend itself to various viral marketing campaigns and so on, and then this dual website convention can lend itself beautifully to you going pro.

C.

The Wilmont Estate
07-25-2012, 03:15 PM
What do you mean by, "the dual website convention can lend itself beautifully to you going pro." If I'm sounding stupid right now its because, I've got tons of things to get done and not enough time to do so.

BrotherMysterio
07-25-2012, 08:30 PM
What do you mean by, "the dual website convention can lend itself beautifully to you going pro." If I'm sounding stupid right now its because, I've got tons of things to get done and not enough time to do so.

Well, first, so we're on the same page, you are currently a home haunter, with a view towards eventually going pro, yes? Assuming that that's the case, if you decide to take your ideas and themes and expand it into a pro haunt, you would be well served having two or three websites: one for your production company (thehauntatwilmontestate.com), one for the haunt itself (lostinthedark.com, or something like that), and one for the "testing facility" (shadowbrooketestingfacilities.org).

The one for the production company can be for more business related purposes, the one for the haunt is for specifically promoting the haunt (dates, times, online ticket purchasing), and the one for the "testing facility" can be used in viral marketing campaigns. In the last instance, very often the ICON characters of different haunts have their own facebook profiles, and do social network and viral marketing all thru-out the year, which is a free and effective way of promoting your haunt.

You don't have to do three, but domains are cheap, as is hosting, and it can be very effective.

C.

The Wilmont Estate
07-25-2012, 09:50 PM
Alright, yeah now I get what your saying. I have purchased one domain and am considering purchasing another. The one I have currently is a basic teaser thing setup on it until I find the time to write some stuff up and work on it.

BrotherMysterio
07-25-2012, 10:27 PM
Alright, yeah now I get what your saying. I have purchased one domain and am considering purchasing another. The one I have currently is a basic teaser thing setup on it until I find the time to write some stuff up and work on it.

Use [your-recently-registered-haunt-domain].org as the main haunt website (it's close enough to "Lost in the Dark"), and then do the shadowbrooketestingfacilities.org site for various viral marketing campaigns and whatnot, creating the history and building the intrigue, and developing the backstory and so on. You can add a separate production company website (thehauntatwilmontestate.com) after you get things underway.

C.

The Wilmont Estate
07-26-2012, 01:58 AM
Alright, so I am working on the website right now. I am trying to completely sell the idea that the "doctors," are trying to cure your fears but want to make sure people know this is a haunted house. Does anyone have any ideas on ways to write it so that it still sells the theme but also shows its a haunt?

BrotherMysterio
07-26-2012, 09:07 AM
Alright, so I am working on the website right now. I am trying to completely sell the idea that the "doctors," are trying to cure your fears but want to make sure people know this is a haunted house. Does anyone have any ideas on ways to write it so that it still sells the theme but also shows its a haunt?

Yes, keep those two ideas separate. That's why you have two different websites. For now, just file the "doctors trying to cure your fears" in the backstory or "history" section of the site, and use the other tabs for other info, like location, hours, and so on. Then when you can create the second website, that's where you get to paint that picture more elaborately with a much for florid brush.

C.

The Wilmont Estate
07-26-2012, 05:21 PM
But I don't want people email me asking if I really have a cure for Nyctophobia, how should I write the "about," so it is clear its a haunt?

BrotherMysterio
07-26-2012, 10:22 PM
But I don't want people email me asking if I really have a cure for Nyctophobia, how should I write the "about," so it is clear its a haunt?

Well, no, it will be clear from the main page. It will be supremely evident that it's a haunt. For instance, check out the amazing and pace-setting Thrillvania (http://www.thrillvania.com/). It used to be called "Verdun Manor" back when it was just the one attraction, before they added 8 other attractions. While the main haunt, Verdun Manor, has amazing realism, detail, and production value, no one would mistake it for a historical building offering tours. As real and as amazing as the production values are, it is still definitely a haunt.

In fact, check out the main page (http://www.thrillvania.com/source/index.html) and see how it's laid out. That will give you a good idea of how to do it. While you're there, click on the "legend" tab, and you'll see their backstory. Also, important note: "backstory" is a haunter's technical term; call it the "legend" of the facility or the facility's "history" on your site.

C.