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Topic: Effects for Haunted Walking Tour...
Message: Posted by: jimvines (Jul 30, 2011 08:12AM)
Hi, All.

I'm planning a haunted walking tour of a small historic town, and I would love to add some kind of bizarre effect that might make the guests wonder if a real ghost is present.

Most of the walking tours will be done at night, but there will also be some daytime tours (late afternoon).

If anyone here has experience with this type of magic, or if you have any ideas you'd like to share, I'd love to hear!

Thanks.

My best,
Jim
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Jul 30, 2011 09:23AM)
Can you be a little more specific, i.e., what's historic about the town, was it a mill town, a factory town, what parts of it are you walking through, why would there be ghosts in the area? This all leads to ideas for specific effects.
Message: Posted by: RicHeka (Jul 30, 2011 09:52AM)
Jim....good luck with your walking tour. Perhaps a Haunted Key effect. Maybe the key will only react when it is near a certain 'haunted building'. For ultimate visibility for groups of folks on the tours...may I suggest my Giant Haunted Key.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTY2yBgWJ8Q

All the best.
Rich
Message: Posted by: Diasgemini (Jul 30, 2011 09:56AM)
Yes, think that first you need to make a list whit the places you want to show, the history, the background, only after that you can go for the effects.
If you live in London the style and presentation will be completely different whit a presentation in a exotic island.
And also depends the age of that city, if you do some medieval effects in Boston ( for ex ) will be anachronic, or you will need a very strong explanation for it.
"the dance needs to be according to the music"
:)
Message: Posted by: Garrette (Jul 30, 2011 10:04AM)
[quote]
On 2011-07-30 10:52, RicHeka wrote:
Jim....good luck with your walking tour. Perhaps a Haunted Key effect. Maybe the key will only react when it is near a certain 'haunted building'. For ultimate visibility for groups of folks on the tours...may I suggest my Giant Haunted Key.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTY2yBgWJ8Q

All the best.
Rich
[/quote]

Nicely done. One of the few times I was able to truly blow the minds of my family and friends involved such an effect. They had seen my haunted key and were convinced it was either an electronic key or one key specially milled to roll over. I told them the key didn't matter; it was the setting, the presence of spirits, the belief in the room, etc. Some time later when we were out touristing, we wandered into a shop with outdoor garden decorations, among them was a set of giant keys like yours in the video. I told my wife to buy the key she wanted and keep control of it until the right spooky time. She did, and I did the haunted key. A bit of a risk as I hadn't practiced with the placement and such, but it worked.
Message: Posted by: jimvines (Jul 30, 2011 10:17AM)
Hi, Rich.

I love the giant haunted key! Looks great!

The town where I'll be doing the walking tour is an old whaling village in the northeast US. (Not mentioning the town name so search engines won't pick up this thread when people search for that town and haunted tour.)

There's an old jail (now used as a museum) -- the giant haunted key kind of looks like a old jail cell key, so that might work... I wish the key were more antique looking though... Kind of looks newly made. Do you have a "distressed" version of the key that's old and rusty looking?

There was a famous old hotel in this town that burned down a hundred years ago (now a parking lot with a stone fountain memorializing the hotel), there were rum-runners in this town, there are tons of old buildings, and old cemeteries dating back to the mid-1600s. Revolutionary war stories and sinking ship death-at-sea stories abound.

I'm having a noted area ghost hunter help me with the research, so I'll have about a dozen spots to visit and a dozen tales to tell.

My best,
Jim
Message: Posted by: RicHeka (Jul 30, 2011 10:30AM)
Sure Jim I have made them both ways: The key in the clip matches the patina on some antique mortise keys I own. However, I can provide a distressed/oxidized version.
Message: Posted by: RicHeka (Jul 30, 2011 02:49PM)
Here is the aged/distressed/oxidized version of my GHK:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unUvgYyF7aE

Any of my Haunted Keys can be refinished either way: antique/nice or distressed/oxidized upon request.

My best.
Rich
Message: Posted by: RCP (Jul 30, 2011 06:35PM)
A haunted hotel is screaming for a custom job from Paul Prater, Stoltz and a good Outlaw book.
Message: Posted by: dennfox (Jul 30, 2011 08:01PM)
A Faukai Voodoo doll would work as well!
Message: Posted by: ufo (Jul 30, 2011 09:10PM)
Jim,
Ive had a huge run with a walking haunted history tour in my tiny town. The key is a favorite and is bulletproof so it fits the bill. Good luck and good haunting.
Message: Posted by: Garrette (Jul 31, 2011 01:18PM)
Just had a thought that may or may not work. If you have a book that applies to your tour so that you can legitimately carry it with you, why not a book test at the appropriate spot? Frame it so that it is the spirits who are the tricksters and pass information that they glean from peeking over the tourist's shoulder.
Message: Posted by: mrmysticmike (Jul 31, 2011 03:17PM)
How about a set of spirit slates from the old school house ?
Message: Posted by: Garrette (Jul 31, 2011 07:40PM)
Well, if you really want to get in the spirit, then saw a lady in half. A lady from the tour. In half. Do it spooky.
Message: Posted by: jimvines (Aug 1, 2011 03:55PM)
Some great ideas in here... After reading these and thinking on it a lot, I've come to the conclusion that the type of effect I'm after is special effects-like, such as the haunted key, as others mentioned here. Another one that came to mind was one I read somewhere a long time ago where the magi is able to cause a mist or drizzle to lightly shower down on the spectators. This would work well for a story about a sea captain who was lost at sea and his spirit sometimes returns as a mist... I'm thinking only one effect per tour... Not one per story... More would be too many.... Thoughts?
Message: Posted by: weepinwil (Aug 1, 2011 04:48PM)
Our old cemetery has a 'weeping arch' and the legend is if it drips on you as you enter you will be next to be buried there. I once had a goth couple accompany me there and I made sure they stood under the arch long enough to get dripped on. You may find some natural occurrences available at your location.
Message: Posted by: Stoltz (Aug 1, 2011 04:57PM)
Perhaps a spirit lamp from UYD would work.

They make a pocket version as well.
One of these might fit the visual aspect you're looking for.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Gould (Aug 1, 2011 05:09PM)
http://www.personalprojector.co.uk/blog/2011/02/aiptek-v50-pocketcinema-pico-projector-review-why-its-the-star-of-the-show/
Message: Posted by: PROF BC (Aug 1, 2011 05:22PM)
As one who has been on a great many ghost walks on both sides of the pond, I agree that you don't want an effect for every story. This is primarily because of the shoe-horn factor. The audience grows weary when the effects are are obviously forced and strained to try to fit in something for every stop.

On the other hand, having only one effect would also be a mistake. If you do it up near the beginning, the group will expect more and be disappointed when nothing more happens. If there's only the one in the middle, it sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb ('why'd he do that?') If the one and only effect comes at the end, no matter how good, it will seem no more than cute--rather like a ghostly good-bye kiss--and your hard work is mostly wasted.

My suggestion is to fit up a few good pieces--no more than four--and disperse them throughout the walk. Nothing at the first stop or two. Then perhaps some pre-recorded sounds that you can trigger remotely somewhere around the third or forth stop. Something subtle that only some of the group might notice and comment upon (something also that is relevant to the story about that stop--PM me if you'd like to know how to do this on the cheap and keep it highly portable). Towards the middle of the tour, take a moment to fetch out the haunted key at an appropriate stop in front of a cemetery gate or locked church (or the like). Then perhaps a misting machine planted in the trees above your 'old sea-dog' stop (again, one that you can trigger remotely). Be aware, this effect will fizzle if the night promises rain--most will think it is just a funny coincidence. A few stops later, perhaps in front of the site of the old schoolhouse, show them the spirit slate routine (as mrmysticmike suggests) and have it give a troubling message--or something cryptic would be even better. Let them try to figure out what it means during the rest of the walk. Then a really good story (full of expectation that something might occur) at the tour's ending that leaves everyone holding his/her breath for something to happen, but here you have nothing planned.

The Edinburgh ghost tour (circa 1988) ended at the site of the old guillotine and invited us to remain very still in hopes of hearing the ghostly swish and thud of the long-dismantled machine. The group of us stood in rapt silence for perhaps a full minute before one of us noticed that our guide had quite literally disappeared (he did nothing more than slink off while our attention was riveted on the empty square, but the effect was very good). If memory serves, he was so bold as to tell us to close our eyes and try to imagine the guillotine there and, if our imaginations were very good, we'd hear it. The laugh, of course, was on us.

Bright lad, that. He collected his tips at the next-to-last stop, pretending it to be the last, and then as an 'afterthought' took us around the corner to show us just this one more thing--as a treat 'because we'd been such a good group.' This is always a good idea, anyway, because a lot of people want to give a tip but often are so slow about it that they give up seeing everyone else moving for home. By having that 'one more stop' you give them the time they need to fish out a bit of lolly for your efforts.
Message: Posted by: PROF BC (Aug 1, 2011 05:28PM)
[quote]
On 2011-08-01 17:57, Stoltz wrote:
Perhaps a spirit lamp from UYD would work.

They make a pocket version as well.
One of these might fit the visual aspect you're looking for.
[/quote]

. . . or a rapping hand?
Message: Posted by: docsteve (Aug 1, 2011 06:17PM)
[quote]
On 2011-08-01 18:09, Christopher Gould wrote:
http://www.personalprojector.co.uk/blog/2011/02/aiptek-v50-pocketcinema-pico-projector-review-why-its-the-star-of-the-show/
[/quote]
Oooohhh
Ooooohhhhh yes!
Oh baby!
Message: Posted by: docsteve (Aug 1, 2011 06:27PM)
May I offer some anti advice?
Somehow I also find it easier to focus on the negative!

Firstly do what you want - it's your show; once they've paid eff them!

Try out anything you fancy based on your own ego; if you like the sound/ look/mechanics of a trick, then it's your effing right to road test on people who should be effing glad of the extra free entertainment.
Surely everyone loves something for free, especially entertainment.

Quantity is quality!

People on ghost walks don't want facts or stories - after all they're just bored! Show them as much as possible!
If so if it moves a tiny bit, it's sh@t; change the effing colour of a card?! Or tie to your effing shoelace cos that's mental!

Better still bake it or put in a citrus fruit of your/their choice!! Now THAT'S magic!!!

EXTREME wannabe
Message: Posted by: Garrette (Aug 1, 2011 07:23PM)
Final thought: "Ghost Vision" by Andrew Mayne.
Message: Posted by: Diasgemini (Aug 2, 2011 03:27PM)
Garrette, that's the best you can get in a ghost tour!
:)

A very good advise!
Message: Posted by: amerigo (Aug 3, 2011 10:30PM)
< QUOTE >

<There was a famous old hotel in this town that burned down a hundred years ago (now a parking lot with a stone fountain memorializing the hotel), there were rum-runners in this town, there are tons of old buildings, and old cemeteries>

How about
David Regal -Hotel 52
Message: Posted by: afinemesh (Aug 3, 2011 11:44PM)
I like the giant haunted key!
Message: Posted by: DeadDave (Aug 6, 2011 12:30AM)
[quote]
On 2011-08-01 20:23, Garrette wrote:
Final thought: "Ghost Vision" by Andrew Mayne.
[/quote]

I can verify that this freaks people out on a ghost tour. I shot about 5-6 seconds of video of one location with people on the tour present in the shot. The ghost moved through the frame perfectly. My exclamations got everyone looking and wigging out.

The funny part is that I meant to take a still photo and accidentally hit the video. The results were better than I could have hoped for!
Message: Posted by: innermind (Aug 6, 2011 02:38AM)
Telekinetic Timber would be spooky if presented as a remnant/relic from the old hotel fire. Make sure it is aged and perhaps rubbed with some dust from a charcoal briquette so it looks like it survived a fire.

Another idea:
How about a pendulum effect? Construct a pendulum out of fishing line and an old fishing sinker. Or even utilize the Haunted Key as a pendulum. Amira has an e-book & video of pendulum effects:

http://ideaspendulums.blogspot.com/


Final idea:
Utilize Lior Manor's Invisible Touch on tour guests.



I hope these ideas helped.




David