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HauntedDeadEnd
08-14-2012, 07:58 AM
Theme is a camp and trying to figure out what to turn our Haunted House into. We have some ideas like arts and crafts but any other ideas greatly appreciated.

scottylmt
08-14-2012, 12:41 PM
Camp like a high school summer camp? Or like an elementary school music camp? Whatever kind of camp it is will probably help ppl give more specific answers.

HauntedDeadEnd
08-14-2012, 01:37 PM
summer camp I know like activities etc. but to turn a room into a scary room keeping with the theme. So far i was thinking arts and crafts room, with a deranged art teacher, a creepy cafeteria lady but how to make it creepy scare your pants off. We will have a drop panel etc.

BrotherMysterio
08-14-2012, 01:41 PM
Theme is a camp and trying to figure out what to turn our Haunted House into. We have some ideas like arts and crafts but any other ideas greatly appreciated.

Well, a camp really isn't a theme. It's more of a setting or a motif. What's the actual theme? What's actually happening at the camp? Allen covers a lot of material on that concept in his Haunt Design DVD (highly recommended, watched it five times so far, and about to watch it for a sixth). The only thing I would add is this.

Usually a theme involves things like setting and whatnot (which Allen covers), but usually the best themes also involve a meme, usually genric, such as Insane Asylums, Hospitals, Circuses, Were-beasts, Alien Invasions, Zombie Apocalypses, and Victorian Manors (not to mention my favorite: Welcome to the Family). You might suppose those are settings, and they are somewhat, but they are more memes than settings, and all suggest built in fears or phobias, or potentially frightening scenarios that lend themselves very easily to your story. That's why they are so popular in movies; half of the movie is written for you already just by setting up the story using one of these memes.

For instance, what kinds of monsters do you want to live in the world you create? What happened in this space? What's it's backstory? Stephen King once said that a place can't be haunted unless it has a history. What is the history of this place?

A camp setting sounds great, but what's happening in it? Any number of themes could center around a camp setting.

For instance, using the above mentioned memes . . .


Insane Asylum: a rehabilitative camp, where a former student wasn't completely rehabilitated. Call the camp "Nature Encounters."
Hospital: same as above, only a therapeutic camp, where it's believed that some fresh air will do the patients a world of good. Call the camp "Fresh Air Therapies."
Circus: the summer camp caters to circus enthusiasts, or is a circus camp or clown camp. A former student, abused at the hands of the cruel, uncaring camp counselors, returns for payback. Think of Jason in a clown mask, or a clown faced death mask.
Were-beasts: in a summer camp setting? Practically writes itself!
Alien Invasion: happy campers stumble over an alien invasion force camped out in the woods near the summer camp.
Zombie Apocalypse: zombies overrun a summer camp (can lead to some very interesting zombie kills, such as zombie targets on the archery and shooting range).
WTTF: the summer camp is owned by a family of cannibalistic psychopaths.


Those are actual themes, and ways that they can work with a camp setting.


Camp like a high school summer camp? Or like an elementary school music camp? Whatever kind of camp it is will probably help ppl give more specific answers.

Indeed, and very astute. I particularly like the music camp idea. The psycho-killer could kill his victims with piano wires, or do the El Kabong number with music instruments. Nutty, discordant music could play in the background.

C.

Creepy Works
08-14-2012, 01:45 PM
If its summer camp then how bout a couple sets of rustic looking wooden bunk beds. Couple boat paddles on the wall. Throw in a dirty nasty cooler and footlocker at the end of the beds.

HauntedDeadEnd
08-14-2012, 01:52 PM
WOW alot to take in I appreciate the response. Summer camp motif. Camps are usually named after an Indian Tribe. So in a nutshell its a summer camp on ancient burial grounds where those who...a God eventually disappeared onto these burial
grounds and never returned. Totem poles still stand on these grounds
to scare off intruders. The public is stunned by this legend and are
curious as to what still lurks here this day. God (name) proceeded to lock
himself away from the world, until now. You can hear the famous drum beat which
legend states wakes the dead just long enough for the loved ones to
have one last goodbye. It has been encouraged by those with a recently
deceased loved one to come out and say goodbye one final time and
bring home a lasting memory. It wasn't long after the opening night
that people realized it wasn't their loved ones that had been woken,
but rather something ominous.

The motif ambiance setting is a summer camp. The first trail starts with counselor guiding recruits to the activities etc, through the woods,
then through a haunted corn field, then a trail then 2 haunted Houses. I appreciate all of the advice I will take into consideration these ideas and see how they can play out.

BrotherMysterio
08-14-2012, 03:15 PM
So in a nutshell its a summer camp on ancient burial grounds where those who...a God eventually disappeared onto these burial
grounds and never returned.

So, you're going with Ancient Evil Awoken. Nice! That's another one of my favorites.


The motif ambiance setting is a summer camp.

Well, it sounds like the motif is the Indian Lore that surrounds the camp, with the drums and totem poles and iconography, and that's a very strong motif, indeed.


The first trail starts with counselor guiding recruits to the activities etc, through the woods, then through a haunted corn field, then a trail then 2 haunted Houses.

Are you going to have guides?

C.

HauntedDeadEnd
08-14-2012, 05:29 PM
Since i read this post I took it back to the crew and we came up with a ton of ideas. Thanks for all of the help. We are going to have 1 guide "counselor" to start then we will have people that "push" the crowd in proper directions. It will be summer camp ambiance but the ancient indian Gods have awoken with all the noise of campers having fun as their ancestors rest. The final Haunted House which is a 20x20 room we are trying to have a show stopper night to remember. We were thinking of a detention discipline area for bad campers just trying to think how to make it scary

BrotherMysterio
08-15-2012, 01:17 PM
Since i read this post I took it back to the crew and we came up with a ton of ideas. Thanks for all of the help. We are going to have 1 guide "counselor" to start then we will have people that "push" the crowd in proper directions. It will be summer camp ambiance but the ancient Indian Gods have awoken with all the noise of campers having fun as their ancestors rest. The final Haunted House which is a 20x20 room we are trying to have a show stopper night to remember. We were thinking of a detention discipline area for bad campers just trying to think how to make it scary

Be careful not to make anything from Native American Lore the antagonist, like The Great Thunderbird, for instance. Instead, perhaps ol' paleface wronged the Native Americans back in the day and their Gods are angry, and rightfully so. Ergo, any trespassers on sacred land will incur their wrath. Just make sure that you don't make any Native Americans the bad guy.

You might have the Thunderbird or a Native American deity doing battle with an Ancient Evil looking to usurp the sacred ground, and the campers are simply caught in the crossfire. You could also tap into the Werewolf: the Apocalypse mythos (which is where Twilight probably drew a lot of it's own mythos from) and have the Native American angle actually play into the a werewolf theme. You could even call the camp "Camp Flow" ("wolf" spelled backwards - who can guess the reference?). Given the popularity of Twilight ("GO TEAM JACOB!!"), that would immediately register and probably resonate with your audience. Even those not deeply steeped in the Twilight mythos will probably still get the idea and it will still "make sense".

One thing I wouldn't suggest, or only suggest with great care, is doing a "slasher camp" theme, like Friday the 13th's Crystal Lake or Sleepaway Camp's Camp Arawak. In those plot-lines, there is nothing intrinsically scary or creepy about the camp. All the scares and creep factor come from the fact that there is a murderous, homicidal slasher on the loose. Well, if that's the case, why a camp? Why not a boiler room? (Freddie) Why not a babysitter's house? (Michael) Why not a high school? (Prom Night) It sounds like you want to haunt the camp with an Ancient Evil, and not a disenfranchised youth with homicidal mom/dad issues.

If so, something like the WTA mythos (Stephenie says "thanks") would be an excellent way to haunt or curse the camp. Not only that, but the Medicine Woman or Witch Doctor of the Garou or Lycan tribe on whose land the camp is built could have cursed or hexed the camp counselors and so on, so that they are deranged thralls who do the Lycan's bidding (ref: Ron Howard's The Missing). And while they are zombie like thralls, they could also exhibit slightly wolfie qualities, as would be beholden to the source of the curse, like werewolf contact lenses, and some basic grubby make-up (iow, no need to spend two hours on each of them in the airbrush chair).

Also, given the "wolfieness" of the theme, that aspect automatically gives you an excellent motif for any carnage aftermath your audience encounters, with bloody paw prints on the wall, and deep, bloody, talon-like claw marks on the walls and beds and so on (corpses?). You want a creepy bed setting? You want to save on actors? Just have a room with beds with blood pools and claw marks ripping thru the beds and linens. No need for an actor there. The room will speak for itself. If you like, add a large thump near the end just to give them a jump, but I wouldn't. Let the anticipation build and hold from that scene and thru the next, then hit them good in the following scene.

Ultimately, it's hard to take a mundane setting and make it "super scary". That's what your backstory does for you. That's why they are so important. All those elements do the work for you, and give you a great deal of flexibility and creative range, and also give entry to others who can contribute ideas.

C.

scottylmt
08-15-2012, 02:27 PM
Speaking of counselors becoming possessed, that leads right into my final room idea for you!

Idk your opinion on gore, but if you really want to shock, and possibly scar them into remembering you... have a scene with a counselor audibly forcing an actor dressed up as a little girl to saw her own arm off with a hacksaw. The teacher could be standing over her, with possessed eye contacts, and yelling "dammit jane, you're the last one left! You're a failure! HURRY UP!" Theblood effect would be easy to do, and the girl cries as she hurriedly tries to saw the remainder of her forearm off, while sitting at an old school desk. The scene would be a room with about five desks, five fake forearms, five dead bodies, and a TON of blood.

Makes me sick just thinking about it. Add a nasty smell and you've got a recipe for a lifetime memory. If you did your job and built enough "otherworldly" suspense, then this scene would finish it off perfectly. Ever see the movie Event Horizon? Ugggggghh...

Obviously there are regional and local considerations. If you're going after the children market I wouldn't mention this. Im thinking more 15-30... again, beliefs in your area you know better than me. Your key phrase I remember is something that will really shock them... that would lol.

BrotherMysterio
08-15-2012, 09:55 PM
Ever see the movie Event Horizon?

Awesome film reference! Major props to you!

C.

HauntedDeadEnd
08-16-2012, 08:36 AM
Nice idea but we get some children as well. We have been gathering more ideas and changed up the storyline a bit but we are still gathering ideas.
We also are looking for 2 other ideas for rooms like an activity room or a TIME OUT room for bad campers?