Thirty years ago, a cruel man put his wife in a small wooden box. Every night, he ate dinner over the box and feed her only the crumbs that fell through the slits between the boards. She lived in the box for three years before she died. On the first anniversary of her death, the man died under mysterious circumstances. Some say that her ghost came back and got her revenge. In any case, his death was a good thing. For the man had grown lonely, and was looking for someone else to put in the box. His ghost is still looking. Here, in this garage, we have the box…
For the past few years, I had come up with the idea for my next haunt while I was cleaning up the post-Halloween carnage. As I ended up putting in way too many hours for the 2008 Elevator to Hell, I promised my wife I would do something small in 2009 and would not start building anything until October. What to do that is small but fun?.... For some reason, I got the vision of kids sitting on a bench that swings around 180 degrees. That would be great. It would be like a ride and all I would have to do is make one cool-looking room. The bench would be right at the front of the line where everyone could see it. I could be behind the bench, swing it around, scare the kids, give them candy, then swing it back and wait for the next group. I was even thinking if a kid had a hat or something easily removed, we could occasionally replace the kid with a corpse dummy wearing the hat so that the kids in line would see a corpse kid on the return (of course, we tell his/her friends sitting next to the corpse to scream like their friend is dead). Simple, easy and fun.
You know the saying that the best laid battle plans change when the first shot is fired. The first shot in this case was when I decided that this would be a great opportunity to try out a full-blown Pepper’s ghost. I did a small-scale Pepper’s ghost one year with a skeleton hand rising out of a séance table. It was very cool but limited in that I had only a small piece of glass so they had to peer through a hole about 6 inches wide. Since then, I read about using large sheets of window treatment rather than glass. Since the kids would be sitting down, I didn’t need to worry about them walking into a large sheet of plastic. The only issue was, my garage was not deep enough to do the scene I wanted. I would have to rotate everything 90 degrees and put the bench inside the garage rather than have it at the front. No problems. The kids wouldn’t get to see the bench while they were in line (so much for the corpse-kid idea) but it would be freakier for them to be surprised by the rotating bench.
Then my best friends from California called. I had been wanting them to come for a visit for years, but this was out of the blue. They wanted to help this year and that meant making the haunt bigger so that they would have something to do. The best laid plans…
The Rotating Bench
The Pepper's Ghost