The Trail of Tears 2017 – The Prep

The decorations are all put away and all of this year’s Halloween prop tutorials have been written and published on the blog.  There is just one more thing to put a bow on this year’s Trail of Tears Haunted Trail – the walk through!  Oops, to be more accurate there are just three more things to do. The trail itself has grown so big that it takes two posts to get through it even covering just the highlights.  In addition, I like to add a behind the scenes post just to give a feel for what goes into this whole ordeal.  This is that very post.  Unlike last year (link here).  We really didn’t get a lot of pictures during the prep phase – mainly due to the fact we were incredibly busy trying to get everything ready to go.  Thankfully, my brother Ron, my friends in Haunt Paul and Brad along with another good friend Sung (not a haunter, but gracious enough to help us out in our time of need) all helped get this pulled off.  My help came the weekend before to get the props put together, batteries tested and inserted, the extension cords laid out on the trail and Ron completed all the heat sensor circuits for the new decorations.  Like last year, the basement was completely full of props by the time we got everything put together.  This included all the new Posey frames that needed to be dressed!  Linda was also insisting our mess (as she referred to it as) was out of the basement.  Didn’t exactly meet her goal, but thanks to everyone’s help, we moved 90% of the trail props to our staging area in the external garage – imagine an entire stall covered from front to back, left to right with Halloween props.  The one shot I did find from the garage on build day was late in the process and most of the items were already hauled out to the trail.

Behind the Scenes on the Haunted Trail of Tears 2017

One of the tasks that was delayed way too long was finishing up the Zombies.  Brad and I had talked a long time about what to do about properly lighting theses new props.  The lights were attached to the back, but without something for those beams to bounce off of, the glowing silhouette effect wouldn’t materialize.  One Idea was to put black sheeting behind them – attached to a PVC frame so they would free stand.  Our initial tests of this concept didn’t pan out as well as expected.   Brad came up with the idea to put silver (furnace) tape behind it and fold it out so it would extend past the cutouts and reflect the light that way.  He also taped up most of the first one until we ran out – had to drop by Home Depot to pick up a few more rolls that Ron and I put on less than two hours before the guests were scheduled to arrive (cutting it way to close).

Behind the Scenes on the Haunted Trail of Tears 2017

Hit the jump to read more about how our annual haunted trail comes to be!

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