Lighting

Are you interested in having your haunted lighted like ours? Try a few of these effects. Our Head Haunters have spent several hours experimenting with our lighting and these are a few of their best tips. You want a combination of warm and cold light augmented by a neutral color. For that, our Haunters use green. Remember, to achieve the maximum effect you are better off following the adage, less is more. To much light can cause a scene to fall victim to light pollution, to little and the wrong kind of darkness pervades the scene.

1. Start with your cold color. Use the cold color as the main light source. See the blue image below for our example. Note that the light has not yet been focused and is pointed directly at the figure at that point.

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2. Then add the warm color. We again chose the obvious color, red. Note that the red is the secondary light source. See the image below. The skeleton pallbearers are one of the largest static props in the cemetery and are therefore light separately than the smaller individual props and tombstones.

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3. Finish the lighting with your neutral color. As stated above, our Haunters chose green, but you can easily accomplish the same with purple. Notice the lighting centered near the woman’s face. Our Haunters had a purple light positioned on a trellis aimed down at the individuals.

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The intent is to light the scene in a way that the shadows are maximized and the light pollution minimized.

Start with your blue, or cool lights and place them toward the scene. Our Haunters found that aiming the light toward the middle of the props to be the most effective. You want to draw the eye upward to direct it to the most remarkable piece of the prop and lighting aimed toward the middle of the object will help you do that. When placing your lights, place them on one side of the prop. Don’t just flood the scene.

Once the cold light is in place, focus on the warm light. Aim the warm light at the opposite side of the prop. This creates an obvious contrast in color. The competing colors will craft shadows that will accentuate the depth of the individual props.

Finally add your neutral color. The Head Haunters suggest pointing that directly at the piece of the prop you want accentuated the most. The top of the tombstone or a cemetery statue for example.

Our Challenges

As you are undoubtedly familiar with by now, our Head Haunters are constrained by the environment they are working in. The graveyard scene is contained, if you will, by a stone wall which surrounds the East Lawn area of the Rengstorff House gardens, which makes the garden completely accessible. Our Haunters have chosen to accept that the site is completely assessable and have run with it. So how is that different from your yard? Unless you have a home haunt that welcomes guest to meander though your graveyard, you probably won’t be using as many lights as our Haunters. Since theirs is a 3D scene with live actors, they have had to find creative ways to light individual props, using the same method as described above. They made us promise not to divulge those secrets, but assure us that they information above will give our readers the best lighting for their home haunt. Enjoy!