Thursday, January 26, 2012

Night Time Terror!

The Hound of the Baskervilles

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best known for the Sherlock Holmes stories. This book, published in 1902, is about a ghostly mad dog that has haunted a family for hundreds of years.

The older kids go out on some sort of a haunted treasure hunt each year. This years theme was found in the moors of England. They, along with some family friends either read or were told the story of the demon dog, and then went out into the mist to solve the mystery.

Our hunts include eerie sound effects, costumed characters, fog machines, black lights, skeletons and all sorts of spooky props. (Their Gramma's just a wee bit morbid). Come peek in my shed sometime!
The Hound of the Baskervilles

They were met by their guide who was waiting in the dark with a flickering lantern. She told them," The moor abounds with haunted stone ruins, creeping mists, strange and eerie lights and legends of fairies and hellish hounds. Please help Dr. Watson solve the mystery of this demon dog and try to make it out of the murderous moors alive!"  And then a dog started howling in the distance! (Some liberties were taken with the original story, I think Sir Doyle would approve!)

The first clue read:

1) Welcome to these misty moors where witches stir their brew. Reach inside their gruesome pot and you'll have the next __________.

As we walked through the dark a witches cackle could be heard floating through the air.

She invited us to reach into her pot for the next clue. The brew was a green cornstarch thickened concoction. Suspended in it were bugs, snakes, spiders, body parts and some slimy eyeballs. It had a nice glow from a green glo-stick. The clue was protected in a Ziploc bag and wrapped around a dismembered finger. The pot was suspended on a tripod with a cellophane wrapped lantern for the fire.(It looked a lot better in the dark!  The next clue said:

2) The spirits of the restless roam o'er hill and dripping cave. You'll find your next clue in the dirt of someones fresh dug ________.

Our sleuths had to walk through a grove of small trees that were covered in spider webs.
There were many headstones and bones that they had to search among. (All the while, moans, shrieks and groans filled the air.)When they reached this grave a skeleton rose up out of the dirt and leaves and presented them with the clue, which read:

3) a crazy man, he walks these hills. He fidgets and he squirms.
Please join him as he dines tonight on slimy, wiggling _____.

We didn't get a picture of crazy guy, but he was sitting in a bushy spot. He snorted and spoke gibberish as he dug through the damp earth (A buried bowl of Oreo crumbs) fished out worms (The root beer flavored, realistic version of gummy worms from OTC) and gobbled them down. The kids had to dig through the dirt, eating worms until they found the next clue. It said:

4) A young girl cursed to haunt this place. She'll never leave this land.
 Grab the clue, if you dare, from her cold dead _____.

This lovely lady was super creepy at night. She was constructed by poking a hole through a wig form.
 A wire was tied through a washer at the top of her head, threaded through the head  and through a water noodle that made up her arms. it was then wrapped around a washer under the noodle. We draped cheesecloth and strips of an old sheet over her. We tied fishing line to the washer and hung her from a branch. That night it was breezy and it looked like she was floating above the ground. She was lit from a concealed black light and of course she was sobbing. The kids had to get the clue out of her hand, a skeleton arm that we pushed into the water noodle. (The daytime pictures were taken the next morning when we let the little guys go through the less scary version of the haunt.)

The clue in her hand said:
5) A murderer they say is loose, all filthy, dressed in rags.
They say he leaves his calling card, bloody heads he leaves in ______.

Gruesome! I know. This was just a gallon milk jug filled with red water. We poked a couple of holes so it slowly dripped through the burlap bag it was suspended in. We poured a little Dracula blood on the bottom of the bag and on the rocks below. And for a special treat we poked a slimy, dismembered Halloween nose through a ravelled part of the bag. (By the way, through out the haunt, dog howls and barks could be heard, along with glimpses of two red eyes peering out amid the trees and bushes!)

Daytime version. Still gory!

The clue was pinned in the folds at the top of the bag. It said:
6) The murderer, he stole their head. It will be missing from their casket.
But feeling guilty, he left us gifts, inside a picnic ________.

 A lovely repast of gummy heart and brain drizzled with red food gel. Also a nice goblet of vampire blood. This romantic picnic was on a picnic table lit by flame less candles. The clue was in a slit in the heart.
(After Halloween I get clearanced items and work them in to next years haunt.)

Yum, year old heart!

The clue in the heart said:
7) The spiders here they grow quite large. They fill their prey with dread.
You'll find the next clue with their dinner, amongst their sticky _____.

Our little web entombed victim lay at the bottom of the branches. The very large, icky black widow was attached to fishing line and she dropped on the kid that reached for the clue in the web.

Kind of creepy, even in the light of day!

Tucked in the web covered corpses hand was this clue:

 8) Young man of the Moors, he'll meet his doom and never will he marry.
He'll drown in a pond while chasing after a lovely water _____.

The kids were lead up to a pond under an overhanging tree. They were told that the fairy appears as a strange flashing orb in the water. As they peered into the pond a color changing ball began moving through the water. While they were trying to figure out what it was the fairy came up behind them and put her cold, wet hands around Merrill's neck and he screamed like a girl! She gave him this last clue:

9) Take your stand, protect yourself, he's coming for the kill.
The vicious red-eyed demon dog. The hound of the _________.

At this point the lantern went off and two red eyes came charging towards them. Screams all around!
Gramma says, "Sweet dreams my little campers!"

Gramma Luvlee

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