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Archive for Sunday, October 30th, 2011 09:00 am GMT -5

Last night at the Giffen house

Sunday, October 30th, 2011 09:00 am GMT -5

It’s going on 19 hours without power.
It’s looking like the Halloween plans are not going to see the light of day this year.
Sitting here without power has given me some peace of mind though… Because it makes you realize a few decorations are not nearly as important as you make them to be.
On a side note… Even though I build stuff like this every day and love every minute of it, there’s something very creepy about being in my house at night without power … Walking around with a flashlight!


Two days left to prepare….

Saturday, October 29th, 2011 03:29 pm GMT -5

I am sure everyone is posting pictures like this…


But this sure sucks. I needed every minute of today and tomorrow to get the backyard walk through and animatronic show programmed.

What’s a little worse… in the middle of recording the audio for the show – the power went out and I had to start over producing the show… As I said yesterday… I feel like someone is telling me I am supposed to give up!

I guess the good news is most people won’t know what they missed….


My Halloween Costume…

Friday, October 28th, 2011 02:09 pm GMT -5

This is my Halloween “costume” although it is more of a uniform in my mind.

This past year when I went to a convention in Valley Forge – there were a lot of people into the “Steam Punk” type of fashon.

Although I am not info the SciFi part of the scene… I do liek the Victorian / Old West style of the clothing.

 I’ve decided that is the type of clothing I will have employees wear at my haunted house. I want something classy.

That’s all I’ve got time for today… Im still not done producing my Halloween show in my back yard… and have not even started programming it yet either. On top of that – it’s supposed to snow (!) tomorrow. I think God is telling me he doesn’t like Halloween!


Passing of the torch

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011 10:05 pm GMT -5

One of the first moments of depression I remember with the haunted house project is attached to one of the first moments of pure joy.

The moments were when I realized that the track for all the original 1955 Pretzel rides was pre-bent 25 foot lengths of railroad track…. So if you wanted to use old track, you had better be happy with the original layout and have a building that would allow the same layout.

There was no choice if I was going to have an “adaptable” haunted house ride … I needed to have track that was in smaller sections and that could be used to create different patterns.

The solution… Design new pieces that would be like a model railroad. Parts I could use to make any shape or design I wanted. The problem – bending railroad track is a consistent manner.
Friends and fans… I give you Mark Koppenhaver. One of the smartest men I have ever known.

Mark designed and built a track bending tool that no one thought was possible. This make it possible to bend many sections of track exactly the same way.

With Mark’s tool (ok kids… Get the laughing out of your system ) I created over 1000 feet of track that can be assembled in any pattern to fit any building design.

Well, I decided the track bender was best kept in Marks hands… So I returned his creation to him for safe keeping.

Many of you won’t understand how difficult it is with my hoarding tendencies to let something this important go. But it’s healthy for many reasons.

I have no doubt that if Leon Cassidy would have had one of these he would have had an easier time building dark rides than he did.

That’s all for tonight fans.