My Background

My background with haunted houses starts in Houston, Texas in the 1970s with me going through my elementary school "spook house." I grew up visiting local haunts (with a favorite being a multi-story "KIKK House of Screams" operated by a local radio station). Around 1981, while I was in Junior High, I helped design and run the haunted house at my cousin's elementary school. In high school, I worked at a commercial haunted house in East Texas and also designed and worked a haunt at my church (no, it wasn't a "hell house". I didn't learn about those until a few years later). After moving to Iowa years later, I ended up doing special effects work for haunted houses including Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, Ankeny Haunted Barn, Linn's Supermarket Haunted House and Tormented Souls Haunt. I have created custom sound effects, synchronized music, projection effects, pnuematic control systems, customized input devices, and computer-controlled DMX lighting. To name a few.

Please let me know if I can do anything for your haunted project.

Haunt Hardware

You can save a ton of money and find many great devices from Amazon these days. Need multi-channel sound? I can set you up with low-cost amplifiers that have built-in MP3 players that auto-play when you turn them on. I've found low-cost speakers that are rated for outdoor use. There are also triggered audio players (push buttons for announcements, or trigger with a motion sensor), and inexpensive projectors. If you have your eye on something from an expensive Halloween prop supply shop, drop me a note and I might have a much lower cost alternative you could try first. (I recently put together a $200 unit that does the same thing as what one company sells in a kit for $1049!). Just let me know what you need, and I'll help if I can!

Audio/Video Effects

I am available to custom create audio or video effects for your attraction. Whether you want a projected full moon, shadow effects or just a custom sound effects loop for a room, I should be able to help you out.

Limited Animation

I also have limited animation capability. This is a photo of a Halloween mask, animated using a program called CrazyTalk:

Shadow Effect

The following is test video of a "shadow" effect. It would be projected (with the projector turned sideways to make the image taller) down the end of a hallway. As guests came around the corner, they would see the shadow as if there were someone waiting for them around the corner. Other shadow effects ideas include zombies outside a window, or someone behind a shower curtain.

Animated Prop Programming

In 2005, I began working with computer controllers from EFX-TEK (Parallax). I custom built a half dozen controller modules and programmed them to run pneumatic props, lights and fog machines. They included passive infrared motion sensors, manual switches, and the ability to toggle 110V wall outlet devices. Fun stuff. This video is from the first test of an animated gas chamber prop.

Promotional Videos

I also have done various promotional videos for local haunts, including this excellent backyard haunt that was in Urbandale, Iowa in 2007.