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View Full Version : Kinds of Victorian Mansion/Manor ROOMS?



Dr Spooktakular
12-29-2007, 10:02 PM
For those of you whom have done the Victorian Manor/Mansion theme, what types of rooms or variations of rooms did you include in your haunt? After 9 years of home haunting and school haunting this will be my first season in the professional realm and I want to do a Victorian theme. I want to make sure I leave no stone unturned and all suggestions are welcome.

Jim Warfield
12-30-2007, 08:35 AM
Yes, Me too.
I am building a Victorian room here in my 1870 Italianate house.
Looking at library references (just pictures, no "reading", please!) that period was a time when very ornate and fancy-busy-work in walls, windows, trim, wall paper, and every item in the room showed this crazy influence of the industrial revolution suddenly making available cheap, machine-turned woodwork to fancy-fie everything.
The more "stuff" in a room, the longer it takes to get it and put it all there ($).
I am not sure many young people have a clue as to what the definition of Victorian means though.
Books,books,books on the subject will clue you in as to the wild extremes in all items of that time and place.
They would use so many colors and patterns in wallpaper and carpet and furniture coverings as to look pretty nutty by normal ideas and standards but maybe in a haunted Victorian setting more darker shades and colors should be used to convey the spooky-ness factor?
So far I have built a Victrola (record player) and have an 1890 wheelchair (creepy)
and have built a strange fireplace of my own design but looking as if it could have been of that period. I will probably be buying plain carpet then painting stencil patterns to "Victorian-ize " it, who wants to spend the money for actual 100 year old antiques then butcher than for a haunted house? Let the customers at them, they will pretty much eventually destroy most of them for you anyway....
...it all starts to sound like "Work" doesn't it? Work as defined as time and energy consuming, time I could be spending watching Scoobie-Doo reruns!

Dr Spooktakular
12-30-2007, 06:42 PM
Thanks Jim, anyone else feel free to chime in, I know many excellent haunters on this site do some type of Victorian theme, any and all knowledge would be great.

Mephisto the Great
01-01-2008, 10:32 PM
Howdy Doctor Spook...

I transitioned myself from 4 years of home haunting to a professional haunt back in 1998 when we rented a 100-year old victorian mansion in Utah. The place was amazing. It had its own ambience: hanging chandeliers, a spiral staircase and a stone-fitted basement with wooden doors like a dungeon. We didn't have to do much decorating, but it did teach me some basic tips on creating a Victorian-style ambience, regardless of your budget.

The use of wainscotting, wallpaper, battery-operated wall sconces/lanterns, ornate frames and paintings, busts and statues/armor, and other decorative touches certainly help. I visit Victorian websites such as

http://www.victoriana.com
http://www.victorianstation.com/

...which can be great sources. One of the hazards of a Victorian theme is that haunters (including myself) can be tempted to go overboard on the details or try to be exact. Remember--people are often racing through your haunt so you need to create an IMPRINT or IMPRESSION. Try to take those basic ideas that stand out to you and use those--striped wallpaper, a frame or two, wainscotting, paintings.

Room ideas and more decorating tips can also come from sites about real mansions still standing. One of my personal favorites is a "castle" in Victorian, B.C. (visit http://www.craigdarrochcastle.com) and a great set pf photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/44124324682@N01/sets/38754.

Our haunt had a funeral viewing room, an extended dining room with organ and fireplace, a drawing room, kitchen, bedrooms, the attic, a basement with vampires and graveyard outside. We've also done ruined Victorian rooms in a haunted forest that looked like a house had burned down, with a drop panel and secret exit and opened after the scare.

I could go on and on, but there's a few tidbits...