Check out the high tech & low tech inner workings of this haunted house
From Popular Mechanics:
Last year, pretty much everyone said the “Scarecrow, The Reaping” house was the best house at Universal Studios Orlando. The attraction included about five minutes of gleefully executed terror, built to movie-set standards in less than seven weeks.“Scarecrow, The Reaping” was one of nine haunted mazes featured at last year’s annual Halloween Horror Nights, which is not your cut-rate mall haunted house.
Every year, the team of 1,300 to 1,400 that creates the roughly monthlong event includes showrunners, scenic managers, casting directors, architects, carpenters, audio specialists, video technicians, lighting designers, special-effects experts and even lawyers to secure the rights to horror movies Universal doesn’t own. All told, each event takes more than a year to put together. It is the biggest haunted-amusement-park event in the country. …
Though the houses stay open for only a little over a month, the team builds them to the same standards as the amusement park’s perennial attractions, beginning with a full layout in a program called Sketchup, which guides a team of CAD designers when they start planning the Americans with Disabilities Act–compliant architecture. …
There are even smells, provided by a scent vendor. “She always starts off with the sweet smells, like We’re working on this evergreen smell, what do you think?” says Braillard. “And then the tray below that is axle grease. And then below that is a hermetically sealed bag that is the worst of the worst vomit-inducing smells.”
Not just for scares: This Halloween pop-up is perfect for…selfies?
There is a place in the trendy part of Brooklyn where you can take a selfie with a cockroach. Technically, you can do that in really any part of Brooklyn, although good luck getting it to stay still long enough for a decent photo. But at this one place, the cockroach selfie is like, the point.
That place is Nightmare Machine, an Instagram-optimized popup installation for the spookiest month of the year. Visitors can pose for a picture where it looks like they’re being sliced up by a maniacal butcher, pose for a picture in a decrepit laundromat, pose for a picture in “hell” (a red ball pit), and yes, pose for a picture next to a terrifyingly realistic mound of thousands of plastic cockroaches.
Nightmare Machine is part of a new-ish wave of temporary “museums” or “experiences” that exist pretty much specifically to be Instagrammed, and despite criticism (the New York Times called the trend an “existential void”), it has seen massive success.
Nightmare Machine offers something that a haunted house does not: the opportunity to craft a perfectly stage-directed and envy-inducing photograph to share on social media. Other fall activities, like apple picking or hay rides, provide charming pastoral backdrops for the ’gram, but haunted houses? They’re dark and crowded, and if they’re any good, you’re probably too busy being terrified to get a decent photo.
Smartphone gore: Last minute costume ideas
From Modern Innovations:
“Once upon a time, fake blood, pumpkins carved like demons and a white bed sheet with two holes cut out would have passed for scary Halloween decorations. Not today. With the progression in technology, today’s society wants Halloween tech to make the frights and the supernatural hyper-realistic.”
“Haunted houses today have become extravagant and expensive displays with props that ACTUALLY go bump in the night. Today there are around 2,500 haunted house attractions worldwide and it is a $300 million industry.”
Enter technology, and the applications that take costumes to another level… “Need some smart Halloween tech mixed in with your costume this year? How about the iwound? An app recently designed and released by NASA engineer Mark Rober.”
“Forget contrived gushing wounds with rubber organs poking out, the iWound is latex insert that cleverly features a slot for a smartphone. Once placed securely inside, the smartphone’s touchscreen can create the illusion of a real-life beating heart by running a free app on a loop.”
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