Thursday, November 08, 2007

Beware the stare of Mary Shaw

This year's haunted house was in my opinion, less scary and more funny. This was mostly because our guide this year (my friend Claude) was truly hilarious in his ad libbing during the tour. Many times, the actors in the haunted house found themselves trying to stop from giggling as they heard his comments or accents while he led the group of trick or treaters through the house.

The theme of my haunted house this year was based on the movie Dead Silence. Unfortunately, not alot of people saw that movie, but they loved the haunted house anyway. The summary of the movie is here and the synopsis (with spoilers) is here. Do read them if you haven't seen the movie.

Ok, now on to the house:

Outside, I had a nice little Ravens Fair graveyard set up with tombstones for some of the dummies and of course there was one for Mary Shaw as well. We also had a bulletin board announcing the ventriloquist show that would be playing for "one night only". After waiting in line (yes, we had a line of people outside) you would be escorted inside by our usher Claude. He usually had a Russian accent, but this varied as the night wore on. Claude would escort you to your seats and then the curtain would open and the show would begin. Mary Shaw (Meg) came out with Billy and did a lovely ventriloquist show until a loud-mouthed boy (Jason) named Michael from the audience called her a fraud and told her that her lips were moving. At this point Mary lost it, grabbed Michael by the neck and dragged him inside the door. Since Michael was dressed in regular trick-or-treating attire, the audience often thought that he was one of them and would be visibly distraught (precisely the effect I was aiming for).

Once inside, Michael was dragged into a room and was never seen again. At this point, Claude took over and offered to take the guests on a "one time only free back stage tour...since it's the only way out". The first area was Mary Shaw's workstation where you could see her drawings and doll parts strewn about. Her dressing room was next. Here she kept her jewels and knick-knacks and a picture of her precious Billy. As the guests were looking at this scene, a clock ticking noise would die down and there was nothing but dead silence. After a few seconds the apparition of a dead Mary Shaw (me) would appear in the mirror and the tour would move on with many a "that was cool" comments.

As the guests walked through the maze they would encounter one of Mary Shaw's life size dolls (Melanie) and freak out completely. Many were scared to even walk past her. Once they managed that fearful task, they came upon the couple that had had their tongues ripped out (Lisa and Damian) by Mary Shaw. Once in a while Damian had a fake tongue in his mouth and he would spit it out. After the mute couple, they guests would pass by the gallery of dummies. These pictures were unsettling, not only because they looked creepy, but because their eyes followed you as you walked past them.

Claude would then turn the guests attention towards the wall of dolls. This is where Mary Shaw kept her collection of dolls. Once in a while you would swear that you saw one of them move...perhaps it was just your imagination (or perhaps it was my brother Ricardo standing behind the wall controlling the dolls). Just when the patrons thought the dolls were harmless a loud thump from behind the wall would startle them. "The dolls are angry!" Claude would say as he urged the group to move forward.

As the guests rounded the corner, they encountered a dead body on the stairs. He was wearing the same thing as that loud-mouthed boy named Michael...coincidence? I think not. Last but not least, the guests were escorted into the dining room where they found Ella Ashen having dinner with her husband Edward Ashen who was in his wheelchair. It appears the poor chap was hollowed out and turned into a ventriloquist dummy. Ella would ask the guests whether they wanted to stay for dinner and commented on what lovely parts they had. As the guests lingered in this room checking out the corpse in the wheelchair, Ren (dressed like a dummy) would stand up from the couch, surprise them and spray them with cold air....that usually got them moving.

Finally, after this the people would exit through the sliding glass door into the back patio and collect their treats. I loved following close behind them to hear all the comments about the house. I'm happy to report that the house was a hit. Everyone loved it and poured on the compliments. The best part of course was that even with this monster lurking near by it did not rain one bit during our hours of operation.

I apologize for the lack of pictures (thanks for taking pictures Amanda!). Some of these pictures were taken on Nov 1st since I was too busy to take them during the actual haunted house.



Blogger AmandaDufau said...

You're welcome. =)
I never realized Ricky was behind the wall of dolls!

4:10 PM  
Blogger Lillianna & Adrián Simó said...

I am sorry that I missed your haunted house... I would have loved to take pictures of everything for you but with Noel lurking around I didn't want to take my little munchkin out... I hate the fact that Felipe's 1st Halloween was such a bust... I couldn't take him Trick-O-Treating...

9:06 AM  

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