As you may recall, myself, Frightguy from Grimlock Manor (Jay), and Dr. Death from Pandemic Cemetery (Dave) are joining together to put on a pro haunt to be held at Secaucus High School in 2012. Nominally a fundraiser for the school, we're not looking at it as "just a high school haunted house" but rather a venue where we can try our hand(s) at a pro-style haunt.
Today we met with the principal of Secaucus H.S., Dr. Bob, as well as some of the support staff that will be coordinating it on the school's end. While the first idea was to have half the gymnasium as the venue, it was then decided the new two-story foyer for their performing arts center -- yeah, my high school didn't have a performing arts center either -- would be a better location. While it did present some challenges (a 30-ft high wall of glass being one of them) it was definitely workable.
However, Dr. Bob offered a third alternative: the town's ice rink.
This isn't a small rink like you might find for roller hockey or something, this is a full-size -- NHL size -- rink! I just did a Google search and an NHL rink is 85 ft. wide by 200 ft. long, or 17,000 square feet total! The amazing aspect of this venue is that not only would would we have full use of the rink, but also the "midway" areas that surround the rink, the ticket booth foyer, the concession stands -- everything!
But wait, there's more! While that's almost too much space for us to fill, we would have immediate use of the space following the winter sports season. So we could start building early in the year and keep it stored right there under lock and key. And after the haunt was over, the high school has facilities to store all of the panels and props in trailers.
One last unique aspect of the rink is that it is adjacent to Route 3. Now anyone from out of state wouldn't realize what that means, but Jerseyans understand the incredible advertising opportunity this represents. The highway is a major, major highway heading into New York City and is one of the feeder highways to the New York Giants football stadium.
There's still a lot of work that needs to be done before we even get to that stage, but Dr. Bob seems like he is fully on board and supportive. So that means we need to come up with a professional presentation because it still needs to go through the Mayor's office (who is likely to be supportive) and the Township attorney's office (and we all know what sort of curmudgeons lawyers can be).
Halloween is apparently a big deal in Secaucus and the town comes out in full force. In past years when there was essentially little more than black plastic and kids yelling "Boo!" they had some pretty good turnouts. Hopefully, with a bit more professionalism and planning, we can far exceed those numbers -- and dollars raised.
After all, this is a fundraising event for the school. We're also approaching it as an educational opportunity for the students. They'll be able to learn construction and set design techniques as well as acting, makeup, costuming, lighting, sound, etc. All the things that go into creating a successful haunt.
Again, we're still in early stages but the situation has improved considerably and the stars certainly do seem aligned in our favor.
Keep an eye out here and on the vlogs of Grimlock Manor, Pandemic Cemetery, and my own Devil's Eve for more details and updates.
2 hours ago