Today, we went over to Daniel's place to load the last of the mausoleum frame into his truck to bring it to my place. Once the final pieces made it to our house, we did a test assembly of the mausoleum to do a dry fitting of the foam, see how dark it's going to be inside, and get a feel for what we're going to be able to do.
This mausoleum is going to be awesome. Every time I look at it, I'm impressed at how big this thing is. It's the size of a large storage shed, only taller. Once we got the foam walls and foam ceiling onto the frame, it really started to have some character, even though the foam hasn't been detailed with gray paint yet, and we didn't even put foam on the back wall. Daniel, Byron, Jen, and managed to get the mausoleum up in under two hours.
The ceiling completely blocks light from the nearby streetlamp, leaving only a faint yellowish glow on the interior. A faux flame gives just the right amount of dim, flickering light to see by, but not enough to really pull out details of the surrounding walls, which is perfect. The front facade looks like it will be perfectly suited to the two skull sconces we're building to hold two more faux flame cauldrons.
A ten-year-old boy was with us today, and he watched all the setup and construction. He saw that it was all just wooden pieces and pink foam walls. Even though it is still far from its finished state, once it was up, he would not set foot in it. Until the three-year-old girl who was also there bravely waltzed right in and tried to climb into one of the crypts. Heh. I think we've got a good creep factor already.
The crypts in the back wall are going to work really well. We did a test run, and figured out a good way to hide things in the rear area. While I was back there, I made one of our corpsified bluckies shake when a fellow worker was opening a crypt door, and about four people jumped. I think the fact that people have to purposefully open a door, and peek in expecting the worst, intrinsically adds to the suspense, because this system really seems to work well already, even in its unfinished state. It's going to be a simple matter to creep people out and cause the older kids to jump.
We're also going to rig a giant spider in one of the far corners from the crypt wall to run up the wall when some people enter the crypt as an extra scare.
While we were doing all this, Matt was finalizing the design for the front facade, fabricating some foam columns to be added to either side of the entrance, helped out by Jenny and Kathryn. Byron, Jen, and Matt discussed the script for this year's black light puppet show. Some of my family came to help out, too, and by the time the evening was through, we had more than ten people helping out. I really have an awesome team of volunteers - I don't think I could pull this off without their unfailing dedication, their hard work, and their creativity. Every one of them is focused on providing a magical, memorable experience for the trick or treater's this Halloween that is beyond anything else available in this area, and I'm constantly impressed at their willingness to put so much personal time and thoughtful consideration into how to accomplish it. The local kids are in for a real treat this year.
I've uploaded photos from tonight's crypt-raising to my Halloween 2005 Flickr set, should you care to see more. (The photos really don't do the mausoleum justice - it looks so small and weakly lit in the photos - but any home haunter who has tried to take photos of his haunt can probably extrapolate in their mind's eye.)