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Haunted House Art HEDZ Horror Props Costumes

Bugged Container

Bugged Container Small Photo

Bugged was one of those head props that underwent a dramatic transformation over its lifetime. The first incarnation of the prop was as a head for the gutted prison guard from the movie Silence of the Lambs. This naturally came from the movie-themed Wyandotte, Michigan Jaycee haunted house from 1994. Like the prop Behind Me?, creation of this prop involved a VHS machine, the pause button and repeated observation of the jumpy screen shot that resulted.

I believe this was one of the first truly human sculpts I tried. Up to this point I had been relying on the ragged edges that gore produced to create my props. (You don't have to be all that careful when the end result is a pulpy-looking mash or mottled, decaying skin.) I don't recall where the idea to use Crayola's Model Magic came from. I do remember thinking that clay would be too brittle. Based upon a suggestion, Model Magic was tried. The nice thing about the stuff was that it was spongy when it dried, providing props with a realistic bit of give. The downside was that in thick application it tended to crack when drying. It was also challenging to sculpt. Still, the prop head that resulted was pretty good (better than the rest of the prop, in fact). Still, off the body, it was sort of boring for a reusable haunted house prop. So the Silence head got benched for two years.

When I decided to take HEDZ public, I went through all the ones I had created, looking for ones that could be quickly converted into a usable product. I had learned how to create ceramic HEDZ with the help of Ed, the owner of a ceramic mold-making company in 1995 when I was searching for a way to mass produce the things. I thought the idea of a head with a large worm or centapede would make a neat ceramic container, but I didn't want to spend the time it would take to start one from scratch. So the Silence head was selected to be converted.

Bugged Photo Selection Strip Click the images above to view photos of this prop in the window.

As you can see from the photos, this prop was never completed. I ran short on time and had to focus my energy on the props that were ready to be photographed and put on the flyer for the Halloween show in March of 1996. However, most of the molding on Bugged is done. More work on the container part in the back was needed to finish it. I had planned to paint the embedded insect in greens or blues with black legs because the rest of the line tended to be peach, brown, red and grey. It would have looked nice on the flyer.