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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Substitute for a coffin (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Special user
Memphis area
956 Posts

Profile of Margarette
I'm getting desperate here. With the help of a friend, who was going to do the cutting of the lumber for me, I was going to construct a coffin escape for the Haunted House. Well, this friend, has renegged on cutting the pieces for me. I can do the actual putting together, I just have no way to cut the pieces. Remember, my construction expertise is in concrete and asphalt! So, With less than a week till "dress rehearsal," I have no coffin. Any ideas on something that can just be purchased that would make a halfway decent substitute? The escape is all worked out, I just need the "coffin".

The only stupid question is the one not asked.
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Veteran user
387 Posts

Profile of pikacrd
This is not a cheep solution in any manner but I have seen on line a type of coffin that is temporary in nature. In other words usually only used for church services then the body is removed and cremated. These coffins are in the $300 - $600 price range. I will look for the link that I had for them. You can now buy coffins from various vendors and it is no longer controlled, so the prices are dropping. You may also want to do a Google search for Halloween props I have found several good Coffin type props on different sites that offer Halloween stuff at very good prices.
“Indubitably, Magic is one of the subtlest and most difficult of the sciences and arts. There is more opportunity for errors of comprehension, judgment and practice than in any other branch of physics”. William S. Burroughs 1914-1997 American Writer
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Inner circle
Central California
1793 Posts

Profile of kaytracy
Not being intimately familiar with your method, or exact needs, the first and fast thoguht comes to mind, foam core heavy duty and woodgrain con-tact paper?

Otherwise, hit up a local HS woodshop class and see if you can get some students to as a minimum do the cutting for you, they might be able to do the whole thing, but if time is short, I would go with just the cutting service, OR ask the lumberyard person if they could do any wood cutting for you after work, i.e. do they have their own shop?
Kay and Tory
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Inner circle
Bar Harbor, ME
2191 Posts

Profile of drwilson
If you go to Home Depot they will cut plywood for you. Just work out the cuts that you need to transform one or more 4' x 8' pieces of plywood into a box. There is no need to make it "coffin shaped," most of them are simple rectangular prisms with no shoulder budge or non-square cuts. Technically, then, this would be a casket instead of a coffin but you can call it what you like.

With all the Halloween stuff online, of course there are instructions for building a coffin from a sheet of plywood here. This includes a link to the plans.

Home Depot generally won't make odd-angle cuts, but my guess is that you are pretty charming and you buy a lot of rope, locks, and chains there already, right? I'm sure that you could talk one of those guys into it.

Good luck!


George Ledo
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Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
2917 Posts

Profile of George Ledo
If there are any community or regional theatres in your area, give them a call; often these places rent props, and one of them may have a coffin or know someone who does. If push comes to shove, you may be able to get one of their shops to make one up for you, or just to cut the pieces. Good luck!
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Black Hart
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Elite user
Scottish Highlands
470 Posts

Profile of Black Hart
I obtained a 'coffin' from a local undertaker. Well, not exactly a coffin but rather one of the fibreglass coffins that they use to collect the recently departed from the house etc.

I painted it matt black and then used it as a stage prop. It was also very useful as a container for carrying other items for my show. Being fibreglass it was very strong and stood up to being knocked about a bit.

See if your local undertaker has one that is maybe a bit damage. They can be repaired with a fibreglas repair kit. They are also a lot lighter than a wood coffin.

Best of luck.

Black Hart
Black Artefacts, manufacturer and dealer of weird, bizarre and psychic magic:
Chuck Lyons
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Loyal user
Channahon, IL
264 Posts

Profile of Chuck Lyons
Many party stores have a card board "toe pincher" type casket. I believe I have seen them at Wal-mart also. A local funeral home may supply you with a elder light casket that is basically a cardboard or fiber board casket covered with cloth. They may even donate it if you give them proper credit for the donation. Chuck
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Special user
New York
699 Posts

Profile of procyonrising
Chuck, I love how you're the clown talking about coffins.

For the record, you're the man.
Chuck Lyons
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Loyal user
Channahon, IL
264 Posts

Profile of Chuck Lyons
Hey Procyonrising, I can top that too. In my real life I am a full time deputy coroner and an IL state liscensed Funeral Director and Embalmer. Guess what, everybody gets a little make up and a smile. Noses are optional. LOL
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Inner circle
SW Ohio, USA
1555 Posts

Profile of Dr_Stephen_Midnight
My wife's stepfather taught her how to properly do her makeup as a teen.
He was the local mortician.

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Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
Leland Stone
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Inner circle
1204 Posts

Profile of Leland Stone
Hiya, Magi:

Did you know that Rockler Woodworking used to carry plans for a do-it-yourself casket? Dunno if it would work for a Sub Trunk, since it wasn't designed with egress in mind...

Clifford the Red
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Inner circle
LA, California
1935 Posts

Profile of Clifford the Red
You could also try a locked bodybag for the escape.
"The universe is full of magical things, waiting for our wits to grow sharper." Eden Philpotts
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Loyal user
The Pine Tree State, USA
224 Posts

Profile of Avrakdavra
As long as we're on the topic...

Do-It-Yourself Coffins For Pets And People by Dale Power. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.

Fancy Coffins To Make Yourself by Dale Power. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 2001.
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