Skeleton Hallway PDF Print E-mail
Parts:
  • Lots of rubber skeletons
  • Bead board foam
  • Cheese cloth
  • Various colors of spray paint
  • Ground coat adhesive
  • Pulleys
  • Heavy fishing line
  • Air valves
  • Cylinders
  • Stapler
  • Screws
Description:

This effect is great because it plays off of many fears; Fear of the dark, fear of tight places, and fear of the dead. When the group enters the hall it appears to be just a dark passageway with some sort of rocky surface if they reach out and touch it. Then suddenly a strobe light flicks on, and the room comes alive with moving skeletons!

The room pictured uses about 14 skeletons, and around 5 skulls. They are screwed/stapled to the walls in various poses and some are even wired up with pulleys to bob up and down or swing back and forth. The added motion will come from the strobe light; it will give the appearance that the whole hallway is alive.

After placing the skeletons on the wall, break up some chunks of styrofoam (bead board) and glue it to the wall to fill in the gaps behind the skeletons and to just make the surface more rocky. You can use any type of adhesive, or even Great Stuff to fill in the smaller cracks left by the chunks of foam.

Once you are happy with the surface texture, and all your skeletons are partially covered to look like they are buried in the wall partly, you need to paint all the foam with ground coat adhesive. You can either brush it on (the slow method), or spray it on with a hopper like we did. The hopper method is much faster, but it will cover too much of your skeletons if you don't use a piece of cardboard or something to protect from over spray.

After the ground coat dries (overnight is best) you can come back in and spray paint areas in different shades of gray, brown, and black. We even painted some small rock formations with a bit of gold paint which not only made the scene a bit more magical, but reflected the light so much better. You may have to go over your skeletons with a light dusting of paint as well since the ground coat will probably have gotten on them anyway. Just highlight the skeletons with white, or some other bright color, and then spray in the shadows.

To complete the look, either die or spray paint some shredded cheese cloth a brownish-green color and hang it from the ceiling and off of some of the skeletons to give that root-like look. The more you add to the ceiling the more it will make the whole thing feel cave-like which will help out in obtaining that claustrophobic feel.

To animate the whole thing just mount some pulleys near the heads, arms, legs, torsos, whatever isn't attached all the way and then run some 40 lb test fishing line to an air cylinder. You can run multiple lines to the same cylinder, or have them all independent of one another. You could also use a motor for heads that turn back and forth, one cylinder that makes a certain skeleton pop up/out faster than the rest, it's all up to your imagination. Once you add the strobe light to the works, set it to a medium speed for the best effect; though you may want to play with the speed to suit your liking.

Now to animate the whole thing, you can either wire it up to switches and have a control center, but we used a Gilderfluke to control the whole scene and ran a CD player on continuous loop for sounds. We used 4 of the channels to control the whole display, and it gave a great show.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 December 2010 23:32