Just about every haunter I know has hoarding tendencies. Often it’s limited to what you can squirrel away in your home, but – more often than not – it expands to multiple trailers, storage units, and garages.
It makes total sense. We are building temporary fully realized interactive set pieces, complete with furniture, electric cords, lights, machinery, monsters, chain link fences, costumes, pipe organs, full-blown building facades…it all has to go somewhere. And if you’re lucky, the people in your life understand, even enable, your need to own enough crap to create and fill multiple buildings for a few months out of the year.
Bones has been running a home haunt for years, so he has a lot of haunt infrastructure. I have bits and pieces of things I’ve collected over the years, primarily because I lack the ability to (a) work for a haunted house and not buy crap to add to it as I go, and (b) I haven’t met a dumpster yet that doesn’t tempt me to peek inside and see what sort of treasures are being thrown away. (Although I try to keep telling myself what one wise haunter-friend has said before racing off to take a very much needed shower: “Sometimes the dumpster dive isn’t worth it, no matter how cool that old chair looks.”)
Need a random drawer pull – or six – for a coffin? How about a piece of Sirocco to hang on a wall and stick fake plants in? Or some plastic bits to put on a gravestone to detail it out? Rubber stamps for detail paint on a wall? Let me go look in a bin and see what I have.
So I don’t have big stuff, but I do have STUFF. Add the purchases of gargoyles and jack o’lanterns and skulls and be aware that I did not come into this partnership empty-handed. Oh, heavens no.
…But his toys are certainly bigger than my toys.
…..And we certainly need more STUFF than just a pile of much-appreciated wall panels.
So we’ve started the time honoured tradition of yard sale scouring and dumpster hunting. The haul so far consists of some free hard foam (useful for sculpting)..some promising flower pots..paint rollers…a pretty sweet candle-holding light fixture..
..and a mechanized deer head that may or may not still work (and really, has no place in our haunt design yet, but I love him verra much and he was a most excellent car passenger).
We’re thinking that tomorrow I’ll start working on fixing up some of those panels that need a little love to make them usable. Bones and I are both starting to get eager to get to work!
And if you’re reading this, you’re friends of ours, and you’d like to help? Come on down! We’ve got about a month and a half to make something awesome!
ETA: I should say that, of course, haunt stuff comes from all over the place – auctions, eBay, trade shows like Trans World, and any number of retail stores. (Christmas clearance sales are a haunter’s best friend for timers, outside cords, and the like.) Most of us are on a tight budget, so we get very creative with our supply sources, so that’s my focus here. In a few years when we have a bigger budget? Watch out, Trans World!