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Haunted house design - HANDLING LARGE AREAS

Title: Haunted House Design - Large Area

Author: Paul " DragonMaster " Pendragon


Part of the House of Pain Haunted House is a school gym. And as
always large areas can pose a large problem for Haunted
Attractions. The basic reasoning is this - in a seasonal haunted
attraction the event is constructed several weeks before
Halloween and after Halloween needs to be taken down. This
results in temporary walls and a lot of plastic which is used to
try and control traffic flow and seal off areas.

The problems with large areas of temporary walls and plastic is
that often they start coming down as soon as they are put up. In
fact at the House of Pain we had scared vistors push, tear and
in other ways make an exit thru areas of plastic and temporary

In our second year we came up with an idea which worked real
well for us. We used the gym area and constructed a hall of
doors. This six door octagon not only took up a large area of
the gym but gave us ways to confuse the visitors and lengthen
the stay in the house. The second advantage of having this
octagon constructed in the center of the gym area is it could be
used to stabilize and strengthen temporary walls so that things
basically stayed together.

If you look at the graphic the vistors came off the gym stage at
area 1 and proceeded down the hall into the octagon area where
our actor was hiding in area " A " . Hallway 3 was basically a
dead end with graphics, the visitors then went thru a door to
area 4 where they were taken thru a " backstage " area and
around thru area 5 back into the octagon where the guide was
attacked by the actor leaving the visitors to go out into area 6
and into a tight maze to the exit.

Using the Hall of Doors and the various ways in and out gave the
visitors more time in the gym area and lengthened the stay in
the house. It also gave us a lot of different areas to hide
actors especially those who came in just for the night and
didn't have a great costume.

There was a cover on the octagon and several of the tunnels
giving vistors a closed in feeling which added to the
disorientation and kept them in the gym area before entering the
maze and exiting the house.

The Hall of Doors was constructed using pegboard ( or you can
choose any cheap plywoof or tile board ) , 2 X 4 studs and cheap
doors found at yardsales, discount stores etc. The doors were
painted black and the walls covered with scene setters. It was
lite with one black light in the center of the octagon and then
the halls were lite with black lights and decorated with

You can find out more about the Hall of Doors and other areas of
the House of Pain Haunted House at

Paul Pendragon

About the Author: About the author:
Paul " DragonMaster " Pendragon is founder of DragonMaster
Entertainment, and co-founder of the House
of Pain Haunted House. He has been designing and building
Haunted Houses for over thirty years. Find out more at

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