They Sense Your Fear Haunted Trail 2016 Pt 1 – The Build

Just sitting here yelling at my TV thanks to an Indian’s let down so far – someone wake up that damn goat!!  To help myself cool down, figured I would pop out another post.  For the record, you are in bonus time this month – life is so much easier when all I have to do is write the post as opposed to having to process all the pictures, get them linked into the post and then start adding witty banter for the enjoyment of my loyal readers.  Thanks to doing all the hard work while on vacation, I can simply jump in and get right too it.  As I have mentioned previously, we held our annual Haunted Trail at the beginning of this month.  Keeping with tradition, thought I would help give you a perspective of what it takes to actually put that together – This is what my basement looked like two weeks before the event.
Haunted Trail 2016 - The Build

Basically a total mess thanks to having to deal with finishing up all the trim work while trying to get a head start on the Halloween props.  This year I was able to start a little earlier than usual thanks to an accelerated running schedule  (my two half marathon races were earlier in September and my third one was a couple of weeks after the party date). This allowed me to get the crap load of boxes and tubs out of storage way early.  I was also able to get my partner in haunt to come over and my brother Ron was even able to come down and help build out all the new sensor triggers we deployed this year.  Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of Ron from that day, but he did send me a bunch of pictures he took to help chronicle the work (big thanks).

Here Paul and I are putting together all the Posey frames and getting them costumed up.
Haunted Trail 2016 - The Build

Hit the jump to get a feel for all the work that goes in for one night of haunting fun.

Paul actually spent most of the day running all the extension cords down into the valley.  That is always a time consuming part of the build so getting that out of the way was a huge benefit.  After getting that all laid out along with some of the weather resistant props he helped me with the tedious task of assembling all the props. See all those decorations in the background… here, let me bring you closer.

Haunted Trail 2016 - The Build

Those are some of the electronic decorations that Ron had completed adding the heat sensors to.  I have a post planned for the details on those sensors, but those are PIR heat sensors that will trigger the animations on the prop when someone walks in their field of view.  Super cool and I owe Ron full credit for getting those designed, built and installed on all my props.

Haunted Trail 2016 - The Build

Admitted, I have a crap load of decorations!  I never miss close out clearances at those pop-up Halloween stores.  Unfortunately, I never get to really enjoy the haul until the following year.  Here is another picture Ron took of our Posey construction.  I like this one because it shows my build tables full of all the electronic parts and hardware needed to get these things working – wires, solder, LEDs, connectors, transistors, resistors, bolts, nuts, heat shrink, motors … I could go on forever.  Did I mention that Linda was getting very annoyed with me – she had basement prep responsibilities and claimed I was preventing her from getting her tasks completed.  My argument centered on “people come for the trail, not the food” was shut down faster than a reporter attempting to say something bad about Hildebeast on CNN.

Haunted Trail 2016 - The Build

It’s tedious and tiring work, but for those of us who plan all year for the Halloween season, it is a labor of love.  Something tells me this picture might be a bit disturbing taken out of context hehehe.
Haunted Trail 2016 - The Build

I will say that my collection of skeletons is getting quite impressive – this year I added a dog and an owl skeleton – will try to point those out when I put up my trail walkthrough posts.  Oh, and you might notice I was able to get the windows done this year (basically the day after the Gut Check run link here),  All but a few tricky areas of the wall and door trim were completed that week as well – busy busy busy.
Haunted Trail 2016 - The Build

Well, if that previous post was disturbing, then this one should make you shudder.  Oh, note, these are last year’s Posey models which do not have all the new features of the 2016 versions (link here) but I did retrofit most of them with the new shoe design.

Haunted Trail 2016 - The Build

Wait, let’s get some clothes back on that posey…there, much creepier.

Haunted Trail 2016 - The Build

But we were not done.  Now the scary as hell clown is assembled along with an early Posey model (hard to tell, but the one in the white mask doesn’t have all the coupling features – it doesn’t have all the posing capabilities as the newer models, but still looks good out on the trail.

Haunted Trail 2016 - The Build

You might wondering about the interesting Posey model in the middle – that one is the first one of the Westworld line – That one will be featured in an upcoming post so I’ll leave that as a teaser for now – better yet, just forget you even saw that for now – nothing to see here … carry on.

Speaking of “carry”, that is a perfect lead in to the next phase of the process.  Now that we have our new garage built, we were able to use it as our outside staging area.  This was a major help this year and if nothing else, allowed Linda to keep her sanity thanks to being able to get everything out of the house so she could clean and decorate the basement.  Probably a good time to point out that this was all moved out on Wednesday – just a few days before the party.

Haunted Trail 2016 - The Build

My OCD may have kicked in a bit since everything was laid out by type (animated or not) and in a close grouping to where things would go out on the trail.

Haunted Trail 2016 - The Build

That Friday I took off to get started on the trail prep – that included all the mowing (the mower got back from the shop that morning), putting the finishing touches on the bridge, weed trimming and taping off all the danger spots etc..  Paul also came over to get a few things out as well… but unfortunately it was raining off and on that day which was a major pain in the ass.  Still, we were slightly ahead of schedule and I was feeling good about the remaining work for the following day – our party starts at 5:30pm which gives us the entire day to get everything done.  In the past we’ve always been up against the clock and even though we did get an early start… our collection of props had grown which meant more work to put out.

… and the workhorse of the day…
Haunted Trail 2016 - The Build

Without that ATV this whole thing would collapse from the weight – hauling all those props up and down the valley hills would probably end up killing me … and I’m the guy who runs hills for the fun of it!  The day before was a little dicey since my brakes had gone out in the ATV forcing me to make some scary free fall trips down the hills – Linda was nice enough to get me some brake fluid that morning which resolved that issue.  If I knew it was that easy at the time I would have gone out and picked some up the day before.

Ummmm remember that foam Posey that didn’t cure right (link here)?  If you recall, I mentioned I ended up using that one for a cool prop.  Here I am getting that ready.  That would be my demented evil grin coming out.
Haunted Trail 2016 - The Build

I didn’t realize it until I saw all these pictures from Ron how tired I must have been getting that day.  Definitely losing some weight, but not as much as my little friend ha.
Haunted Trail 2016 - The Build

There’s my new dog skeleton – ain’t he cute.  I wish I would have counted how many loads of decorations we hauled down that day – this is just my stuff, Paul has about the same amount that he brings over every year.
Haunted Trail 2016 - The Build

Last to go down are all the Posies.  There is something clearly wrong about this picture – good thing I am not in politics or someone would drag these skeletons out of my closet.  Mental note, next year put a sheet over the cart … if the mailman or UPS guy happens to drive up at the wrong time I might get a visit from our local law enforcement – “boy, you got sum splaining to do”.  “Me no no no, these are my brother’s… well, my brother’s enemies to be more specific… he’s over there.” [followed by my quick sprint into the woods]
Haunted Trail 2016 - The Build

FINALLY able to get that scratch that has been bothering me for a week!

Haunted Trail 2016 - The Build

I was hoping Ron got a picture of my new skeleton owl.  The clown head was new this year as well – damn creepy and you should commend how far I am progressing in my Coulrophobia therapy – a term I am violently opposed to on the basis it is NOT an irrational fear.
Haunted Trail 2016 - The Build

…. and then you have this dude (now with clothes)…
Haunted Trail 2016 - The Build
again, forget you saw this – that is if you can get the guy on the right out of your nightmares.

…. and there you have it.  Hopefully you have a good feel for all the prep work it takes to put this little event on.  Next up I’ll take you through some of the layout work and then if you behave I’ll release the 2016 They Sense Your Fear Haunted Trail walkthrough post.

Stay Calm and Spook On

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2 thoughts on “They Sense Your Fear Haunted Trail 2016 Pt 1 – The Build”

  1. Nice photography work 🙂

    This about sums up the amount of work involved in just getting the creatures assembled and moved, quite a chore that I was only involved in for a couple days but which involved many more. You didn’t mention that it was actually raining through about noon of the day of the Halloween party while we were assembling them in your garage/shed. Thank God it cleared up after lunch and ended up as perfect weather for the party!

    Ron

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  2. Oh right, it was raining in the morning, forgot about that. I remember how bummed I was that it was misting when I woke up but relieved it was not raining as hard as it was the night before. It was touch and go there for awhile, but the sun did break out to save the day. Definitely appreciated having the garage available for finishing up the prep work before hauling it all out – not to mention getting Linda off my back by allowing the basement to be cleared out so she could get her prep work done. Looking forward to next year!

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