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The String Monster Haunt

The String Monster
The String Monster
The String Monster was my 2003 contribution to the world of Haunted Houses. I had originally imagined it as some sort of open-mouthed amalgamation of string, rope and whatnot that had gathered itself into a semi-sentient being which was hanging out in the corner of the room and reaching out for those at the opposite side. The skeleton (who was lightly dusted with orange paint for the black light) was supposed to be one of the monster's victim caught in it's maw.

Well...the creature was incredibly complex to make and required no less than 6 balls of string. It is a 2x4 frame with furring strips for the "mouth." I  had wanted to have an absolute profusion of tentacles coming off the thing, but that proved to be more difficult and time consuming to create than I thought. So I settled on making the dozen or so you see here.

It wasn't so much the tentacles that took time, it was the unraveling of the ends of them. I wanted each tentacle to continue to branch off until it encompassed the other side of the room. That also proved to be more time-consuming than was practicable. In the end it was created as  you see here

It was a pretty effective haunt, I'm told. The string monster was so bizarre that people just stared at it and The String Monster From the Side
The String Monster Looking Up. Note the Spider Webbing?
(Also note that the Skeleton's Head Has Gone Missing for Some Reason.)
wondered what the heck it was. So the worker could jump out of his hiding place (which is at the right of these photos) and get them.

Interestingly, I found out that all white string is not created equal. Some of it glows wonderfully in black light, some doesn't glow at all. The top part of the monster and the right side are mostly one brand and the bottom and left side are another. Notice the difference?

If you look closely at the picture on the right, you can see the construction furring strips inside the prop. The large rope strands coming off the monster are rapped with fluorescent orange string. This gives the thing String Monster Visitor
The String Monster With Visitor
the effect of a rope light in these photos. (Thanks to Rich Cieslowski of RSC Productions for the photos.)

Several comments were made during the haunted house about the general configuration of this thing. I had this idea of a monster with a sideways mouth, which would showcase the skeleton prop beautifully.

As I began to construct the wood frame, I noticed that it looked, well, like a part of the female anatomy. I started laughing and the kid working with me asked me what was so funny, so I told him. I think it took about 2 hours for the message to spread throughout the entire haunted house that I was constructing a giant vagina. So this haunt became know (internally) as "the vagina haunt".

Well, I didn't plan that consciously. I was going through a divorce at the time, so who knows? Freud would surely have comments about me. :)