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Spider Haunt

The Side Part of the Spider Room
The Side Part of the Spider Haunt with Two Skeleton Spiders and Green Fish Line
The spider haunt was done for the 2006 Wyandotte Jaycees haunted house. It was sort of a return to old fashioned haunted house rooms for me. I had long wanted to make a room along the lines of that complicated web seen in the barn in the movie Arachnophobia. Add to that a photograph that I found in a design magazine I was getting for some reason that showed these droopy, egg-like thing and I thought it would make for a nice room concept. Simple as well. This was the result. The pics make it look amazingly amateurish, perhaps in part because there is no large photogenic prop. From all reports, I understand it worked quite well as a room.

The funny looking strands of curly green hanging from the ceiling is fish line. In the dark, it sort of feels like spider-webbing. It's an old haunted house trick, but it works. In this room, I actually built a rack that that could be raised about two feet up so that the webbing would be out of most peoples hair. The worker could then drop the rack and the webbing when the patrons got to the right spot. The Spider Haunt Room Mechnaics
The Front Part of the Room Revealing the Michanics of the Haunt
As an added bonus, it made an awful lot of racket when dropped, scaring the heck out of people beneath it. Between the noise and the webbing, it was a good distraction - thus fulfilling its purpose in life. (You can see the rack in the photo at left.) You may also notice one of the two blue covered pin-spots here - they were each focused on a spider.

This caused a bit of overspill light to fall on the cocoon. I didn't want too much light on it or it would be obvious that he was just a wrapped up prop. I was hoping that people people would think that it was the haunt worker playing possum - making the coccoon another distraction. To add to the effect, I used the webbing and wood to hide a pulley reaching across the room to the haunt worker's actual location in the opposite corner. They could jiggle him around - with the dim overspilled light, it made him look like someone fidgeting. Tricky, eh? (I told you it was an old-fashioned haunted house room. You can see some of the pulley designs in the photo at left below if you look hard enough. Look reallllly hard.)

Over Top of the Spider Haunt - Looking Right
Looking Into the Side Room to the Right
The cocoon was an old mummy prop we already had which I wrapped in spider webbing. Someone told me about the little skeleton spiders, so I bought a pair to give the room a focal point. They're mounted on 2x4 stands using u-bolts. The webbing seems to look awfully gobby and random in these photos. It actually looked pretty decent when seen in the room. I guess the photographs just don't capture Over the Top Side Room View 2
Looking Into the Side Room to the Left
its... splendor. You can also see a couple of egg sacks hanging down here. I tried to tie them into the webbing as well as I could.

If you look really close, you'll notice a lot of holes ripped into the OSB. I did this with a hammer and assembled it in such a way that I hoped would suggest a caved-in building. The real reason for making those holes was to create a jagged edge on which to hang the webbing, however. You have to have something to tie that stuff to! Plus it helped grab the webbing when I was trying to pull it apart. (Pulling synthetic webbing apart takes great patience.)

Spider Room Front Compartment and Mechanics
Looking at the Front Area & Mechanics
Here are two views of the little side room next to the main room with the skeleton spiders. This is actually where the haunt worker was hanging out (to the left of the little window). He could see everyone coming in and operate the cocoon and spider web rack pulleys from back there. Then he could jump out in the little window right where no one expected him to be.

The Spider Eggs
The Spider Eggs Up Close
The spider eggs really came into their own in this part of the room. You can see a nice close-up at right. Keep in mind that this is not what patrons would see - the lighting in this room was extremely dim as I wanted people focused on the area of the room with the coccoon-wrapped mummy. The spider-eggs still proved to be quite a hit in the gross-out department. (White nylons filled with zip-lock bags of sand nailed to the board they're suspended from. Simple, but effective.)