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shawnc
01-27-2008, 04:10 PM
I've always wanted to do a haunted circus but never really had the chance. Now I do, since one of my local schools just asked me to help with their haunted house this October.

The problem I am running into is coming up with ideas that are relatively inexpensive that will provide a good scare. I won't be able to be there (it's only open two nights) for more than a few minutes so the volunteers will need to run everything without me. It seemed easy to come up with things when it didn't seem like I would ever have the time to do it. I wish I had written some of them down.

I have a tent and some small bleachers so I thought about putting on a show, but can't really come up with any acts beyond clowns, a demented magician and some semi-trained creatures instead of animals. I do have all the costumes and props for those, and enough stuff to put together a really cool side show.

I suppose I could do a small maze with the clowns and animals in the tent, although that isn't what you would expect the tent to be wide open when you enter. Any other suggestions?

Smiley
01-27-2008, 04:37 PM
Hows a 'bout a freak show?

Jim Warfield
01-27-2008, 04:48 PM
The Wacky Clowns circulate around the floor, the Mentalist comes out and suddenly can't help saying anything that comes into his mind, blurting out the prison records of the clowns and the things only an ESP expert could know such as where the bodies ARe hidden..all the little children's bodies, "Whoops!"
Sorry kids, didn't mean to scare you.

Motograter
01-27-2008, 10:01 PM
You can perform live executions in front of your audience. Of course it would be fake but make it look real. Like someone getting their head chopped off by a Guillotine or getting fried in a electric chair!

shawnc
01-28-2008, 01:01 AM
Motograter, That was always my favorite part of the circus when I was a kid - the executiuons.

Seriously, I do have an electric chair that I probably won't be using this year. How do you think I could tie that in?

Smiley, that is the way I'm leaning. Instead of a ring with acts, I would set up the tent with panels where you walk through in a circle or zig-zag and see something different with every little room you come upon. I could have creatures in cages, a couple that have escaped, some being trained for acts by trainers, and the side show display I have.

I'd still appreciate any other ideas anyone has.

Greg Chrise
01-28-2008, 03:15 AM
The hallway of a dozen elephant trunks.

Cotton Candy walls of death.

Jump through the hoops.

Zombie Gymnasts and high wire peformers

The human cannon ball zombie

45 zombies get out of a pinto

800 pounds per day of poop from the animals creating some kind of energy

All the animals are sewed together and reanimated like Frankenstien

Midgets or at least people pretending to be midgets

Circus of nomadic vampires, wagons full of coffins

Knife throwers that miss a lot.

Zombie poodles in tu tu's

A mystery surprise ending no one has ever thought of before EVER

Jim Warfield
01-28-2008, 07:27 AM
I was told this morning that the midgets employed by Home Depot have a website.
This could be a way to make contact with someone small to work in the "Circus" if some of them lived nearby.
No, there is no punchline following what I just typed because it is true and I'm serious.

Motograter
01-28-2008, 05:17 PM
Motograter, That was always my favorite part of the circus when I was a kid - the executiuons.

Seriously, I do have an electric chair that I probably won't be using this year. How do you think I could tie that in?

I would say, in some way make it real as possible. Have one or maybe 2 of your actors "circus freaks" Tieing down a real actor in the chair. Have your circus freaks say a line or two like, ladies and gentlemen boys and girls of all ages. What you are about to experience is death in your face. Now on the count of 3 this young male is going to be executed. Are you ready? 1,2,3! buzzz pop, pop, buzzz scream!. Have a fog machine to create smoke like the guy is burning. A strobe machine to give the electric shock effect. and a LOUD sound of electricity. You also can buy a sinister sent of "burning flesh" so everyone can smell the guy burning alive.. after about 10 seconds the lights go out and your execution is over.

Jim Warfield
01-28-2008, 07:34 PM
My first-best customer is a Doctor, Haunted House fan, he told me about the haunt electrocution he experienced. They took his daughter (to young to be afraid) put her in "The Chair", then after much fanfare and anticipation the switch was thrown and the shock did flow! Right through everyone else's butt from the metal benches they were sitting on the little gitl got none of it!
This happened many, many years ago, maybe in San Antonio? In a building resembling a castle open year-round as a fund raiser for a church?
They also featured live rats, snakes, bats.
This Doctor was one of my first ten customers. That first tour he showed almost no reaction at all to anything ("Boy, this is going to be a real tough way to make a living!")
He loved it! He came back, brought and sent hundreds of people to my house over the next couple of years, then many years later when my cousin was a nurse at his hospital he was still so enthralled that he had to tell every patient and nurse all about my place, boring some of them nearly to death!
"Marci, you live in Mount Carroll, what do you know about this Ravens Grin Inn that Dr. can't stop talking about?"
"That place is owned by my cousin.." she said sheepishly.

shawnc
01-28-2008, 07:46 PM
Greg, Those are some excellent ideas that I can take and run with. Tell me you didn't just come up with those off the top of your head.

Jim, My curiousity has gotten the better of me. I'm going to have to check out that midget thing. It sounds so ridiculous that it just has to be true. And I have thought about something to shake the bleachers. They are only about four or five rows high and made of lightweight aluminum so it wouldn't take much to get them moving. Tie that in with sound and lighting and what is happening in front of them and I might be able to get some people running for the exits.

Jim Warfield
01-28-2008, 08:07 PM
If you want to "pre-Scare" them with your aluminum bleaches flatten some empty pop cans and glue them down to the bleachers making it seem the seating is made from old pop cans.
Maybe you could use some unflattened cans ringing the upright supports making it look as if the only thing holding them up will be mere pop cans.
"Have a seat..yes we do recycle here !"
When my front room routine goes full lenght I will scare them with a certain effect then as time passes and more stories flow, I get them again with the same effect as a different "thing", fitting the second story, usually with the same reactions!
Then after the lights are on and we are about to exit that rom I might say, "One more time by popular request." And get them for a third time! Everybody loves this! Sort of like the "Dumb-Dumber-Dumbest" competition.
But then I have about 25 effects in that one room, maybe this is how they "forget"?