Barry's House of Horrors

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Project by NoLongerHere posted 11-03-2012 11:37 PM 2693 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Barry's House of Horrors
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Welcome to,



Halloween is a big event in our neighborhood.

For the last 20 years, my wife and I have enjoyed decorating the house and making it more fun for the kids,

.... especially the kid in me.

And, every year it gets bigger and bigger.


Good Eveeeening…. Welcome to Transformation!”


Wanna see inside? Come on in!

But first, check out this 4 ft. door illusion! ..... It worked great!

Halloween night, I stood by the door to let people in.

People started to duck right before I opened it!.... Ha! gotcha.


The head in the window has animated eyes and moaned,

”Go Away…..Noooo…..I’M WARNING YOU! ...Nooooo.”

The door came from the scrap bin at Menards. I used alum. strapping to hold the animated head
and mounted a 10 watt bulb just below the chin. It worked perfect….. looked real!

There were surround speakers for the spooky sound effects and a big subwoofer for the thunder.

It was pretty loud in there!

There were 5 bats with blinking red eyes hanging from the ceiling.

This 3ft. spider sat on top of our Japanese maple and had legs that moved.

A 10 ft. tall skeleton ghoul towered over you on the left and glowed from the black lights.

There was a 4 ft. spider, way up on the 12 ft. ceiling ….. one of ten.

This 7 ft. skeleton on the right was caught in the web.

A 12 ft. tall dead tree helped create the illusion of height and shadows,

and was filled with crows, bats and moss

.... and a big snake.


…..”If you go in, I’ll go too!”........”You first!”



It was very dark inside so it’s hard to see the laser show on the floor in this picture.

It looked like crawling bugs everywhere!


This animated Zombie was stuck way up in the web and jerked all over and growled!

...... like he was trying to escape!

Looks like his black widows have turned on him!

..... oh, what webs he weaves.


Step this way….the door is to the left.


The Two Faced Ripper greeted you by the front door.


”Hey! You think your mask is scary?...... Check this out! ”


”Bet you didn’t see that coming! .... BWAAHAHAHAHA!!!”

Meet Mr. Bones, a full size labratory replica of a real skeleton.

He’s been a regular around here at Halloween for over 15 years.

I tied fishing line to his hands to a prop motor above to make them randomly go up and down.

Three tiny black lights light him up just right

...... One Awesome prop.

This 6 ft. guy in a sheet stood right by the front door too.

”Is….that guy real?”


You can either go in the front door, through the dark spider’s den to get your candy,

then turn right and come out through the side to the front grave yard.

or…. you can be a big chicken a take the bridge short cut.

But, no chickens showed up.


Exit this way please….

Just….step…. right… there.

AHHHHH!!..... Step to the right and this jumping spider gets you every time! Ha!

Go left….

Our neighbors, like Diane here, really enjoyed coming over to help and see the progress.

Here’s Frankie. He’s been around since the beginning.

He was doing fine until he got that medical marijuana card.

Poor guy, he just fell apart after that.

So this year, we rebuilt him with a new classic movie character head, a new five gal. bucket body
with 4” PVC elbows for shoulders, 6” flex pipe and rolled insulation for legs and a one gal. jug for a head,

...good for another 20 years.

Jack and Hunter were a big help too.

This skeleton slowly raised up every 1 1/2 minutes and made a loud breathing sound.

... very cool.

The coffin is made out of 1/2” plywood, painted flat black, lined with a red silky table cloth.

I also use it to store all the plastic pumpkins, rubber rats and snake props.

Spidey, our twelve year old prop was rebuilt this year with purple lights on the legs and an orange lit net for the body. We put it in a different spot on the side of the house every year.

He has red eyes that blink, although I couldn’t catch a picture of them on!

The legs are 10 ft. 3/4” conduit wrapped in black pipe insulation, the body is an old exercise ball, the head is my volleyball from way back when I had knees, the hairy fabric was sewn inside out and then reversed, the balls were blown up inside with a piece of plywood for a mounting block.

The Construction:

This is another reason why I love Halloween.
It’s no different than putting together a big kitchen addition for a client with a dream.

Only I’m the dreamer and…. I get to throw away all the rules, especially the levels.

Maybe I should’ve been a stage set builder or worked for Jim Hennessy.

...... dream on ol’ man, keep dreaming.

I used 6 – 4×8s, 1/4” plywood, painted in the garage and 16 ft. 2×4s to make the 12’ by 16 ft. tall front. total cost -300.00.

Everything else was made from leftover materials from previous jobs including a 3/4 roll of Typar house wrap which worked great as a gray back drop for Spidey, the 20 ft. spider.

Good thing I’m a recycling wood hoarder.

There was a 12×4 ft. platform above for easy access to the fog machines and electrical,

and, just in case some crazy clown wanted to get up there with a chain saw.

I mounted flaming caldrons in the top windows to look like the whole “3rd” floor was on fire!

They had fans in them to blow the fabric flame which also sucked the fog through.

We set up the window boxes in the dining room to see if the flames worked.

The flames were OK for an illusion, (needed more caldrons) but the fog pouring through the windows was very realistic – almost alarming!

A kid ran up and started yelling, HEY MISTER, YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE!

The 12” deep window “shadow” boxes were hidden behind black plastic and landscaping fabric which curved around to create a round spider’s den.

The framing was fun…if you like standing 16 ft. walls in 30 mph winds!

At least I knew it wasn’t going to fall down.

That Super Storm was heading right for us…, can you believe this?!!

I kept thinking, Bail!.... Shut it down! but, I didn’t.

They had 10 ft. waves and 50 mph winds in Chicago!

We’re just one hour north, near the Wisconsin border!

I thought the Typar spider wall was going to blow down the night the storm arrived, but it held strong.

By Halloween, the wind had died, the sun was out and the temp was about 45 – 50 degrees.

The weather couldn’t have been nicer!


One kid came up to me and said,

Dude! .... you put a costume on your house! Ha! ..... love it! ... he gets it.

I had a lot of fun building this set and I think the neighborhood kids had fun too.


Well, that’s the end of the tour. Hope you enjoyed it,

.... See ya next year!


Just what exactly did you think I meant when I said I was going to Fundamentally Change America? ... Fool.


Mr. Bones:

I Told you, ... but you wanted All the candy ….. well, TRICK OR TREAT!

...... HAAA … HAHAHA …. HAAAA!


8 comments so far

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 4201 days

#1 posted 11-04-2012 01:42 AM

Wow! Well done, but scary. Lots of behind the scene construction and planning. Thanks for sharing.

Raised in small towns; being the son of a high school teacher; halloween was always the worst time of the year. Car tires were slashed, etc. Guess it helped prepare me for combat later in life. Now I just turn off all lights, put out a perimeter defense, and stand by with baseball bats ready.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View USAFPOL's profile


125 posts in 2531 days

#2 posted 11-04-2012 04:28 AM

LOL, amaizing, love it!

View Jim Barry's profile

Jim Barry

25 posts in 3994 days

#3 posted 11-04-2012 07:43 PM

Stunning, simply stunning.

-- Woodwork Safely, Jim Barry, Nova Scotia, CANADA

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4641 days

#4 posted 11-04-2012 08:04 PM

that’s crazy .. and awesome.
I love it when I see families and communities really get into the fun and excitement of an event.. and, um… go a litle overboard?? hehe

and how long did this take you to set up?
and take down?
and storage?

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View NoLongerHere's profile


893 posts in 3156 days

#5 posted 11-04-2012 10:12 PM

I started with the idea of a tall building on fire right after last Halloween.

At one point, it was 24 ft. tall but, reason prevailed and the wife said no.

After numerous drawings and lots of input from friends and neighbors, we started making wall panels and window boxes on Oct. 1st.
We started framing 4 days before Halloween and had it completed by Wednesday eve, right at the last minute.

We took it all down the very next day which is the tradition. Plus, there’s less chance of it getting damaged or stolen. It took one day to take it down and another day to put it in containers, store it and clean up the yard.

I never re use the props that I build, so I usually burn them. I’ll save any good materials for the next year.

Go overboard?... Yea, maybe just a little. Ha! Hey, it looked easy to build on paper!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4641 days

#6 posted 11-04-2012 10:30 PM

that story makes it even MORE impressive!!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View mafe's profile


12096 posts in 3570 days

#7 posted 11-10-2012 11:52 AM

Amazing, the kids are lucky to live in your area.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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