Well, it’s the New Year!! Did YOU make a New Year’s Resolution? I usually make only ONE….to NOT make New Year’s Resolutions!!! But I do like to reflect and think how I can do things better. This year I’d like to add a few more Blog Posts….so here we go!!!

The Asylum and Hotel Fear aren’t really “Halloween Attractions”, we don’t do Halloween. We have highly detailed themed Haunted Attractions. So, we don’t have spooky ghosts, black cats, witches or the like. When I work on props, I am building things like a radiator to replicate an old stem heating unit in the Hotel or detailed “knick-knacks” to put in the Dr’s office at the Asylum!

An issue that always rears its ugly head is period stuff! Most haunts back east find tons of old stuff to populate their attractions from friends, at thrift stores or even on the curb during trash day! We live in Las Vegas. Most people move here from somewhere else, so they get rid of old stuff BEFORE they move. I scour thrift stores on a regular basis looking for “treasures”. Most times I must buy something that is new and then have to make it look old!! Or, more fun for me, is to make something I need out of stuff I don’t!

So, let’s start out the New Year with this first Blog Post! A “New to Old” prop segment…. The HOSPITAL WHEELCHAIR. I have several wheelchairs, but I wanted an old-style vintage looking chair. Well, they start at over $300 on eBay, so time to build! It will be a set piece just to add atmosphere to one of the scenes.

On a trip to Goodwill, I found a newer wheelchair. Then I found a kitchen chair. It had the right look and appeared to be close in size. So here I am in the store trying to jam a chair into a wheelchair…yes I got a few looks! Fortunately, it fit! Off to the register, then home to build!

I dismantled the wheelchair, repainted it, took off parts I didn’t need, then attacked the kitchen chair. I had to cut off the legs, sand down the wood and then distress the whole chair. It needed to stained and weathered to look like it has been around for years.  Assemble the two pieces, add new foot pieces and suddenly a new wheelchair and kitchen chair are transformed into a vintage wheelchair!! Utilizing discounts at the register (remember, different colors equal different discounts!) stain, paint, a few screws and wood scraps, all I have invested in this build is less than $30 in materials and about 2 ½ hours in the shop!

So the lesson here is …if you can’t find it or afford it….you build it!! Besides…it’s more fun!!!


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