“Ive always loved tiny things” – Queen of Hearts, Disney’s Through the Looking Glass movie
We’re halfway to Halloween, and you know what that means? Time to start planning for Halloween 2017! Today I want to talk about something that doesn’t get as much attention in the haunt community as I think it should: Haunted Dollhouses and miniatures. There’s just something about dollhouses and miniatures. Making something tiny instantly makes it adorable, regardless of the subject. Except maybe spiders. But that’s another topic.
Dollhouses can also be spooky, and there are plenty of horror movies and tv shows who have used that to great effect. The Dollhouse Murders, The Amityville Dollhouse, The Woman in Black 2 are some examples – there’s even an episode of Doctor Who that involves them getting sucked into a creepy dollhouse.
Once upon a time, dollhouses were all the rage, and it seemed like everyone had one. Even Walt Disney had them – you can still see his collection of miniatures at the Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. Nowadays however, it seems like an underutilized haunt attraction I think we can give a bit of a boost.
Now, I plan to come back to this topic and deal with specifics in another post, for the moment I want to talk more about how you can use a dollhouse and the different options you have available.
There are several ways you can use a dollhouse in your Halloween decorating and even your haunted attraction. The nice thing about miniatures, is they’re perfecct for small spaces. If you’re one of the many Halloween-loving apartment dwellers out there, a miniatures display or Dollhouse is the perfect way to get your fix. It also works great for those tiny alcoves in a haunt or any other place that needs a little extra spooky.
“Haunted Dollhouse” doesn’t even have to mean one of those full gothic mansion creations, either (but those are awesome if you have the space!). You can create a single room in miniature, anything from a seance room to a witch’s kitchen, and display it in a variety of ways. In a Box, in a tin, in a knick-knack cabinet or shelf, in a carved out pumpkin or under a glass bell jar, perhaps? Got an old aquarium that lost it’s fish? Set up an “underwater” display! You can even just dedicate one of the shelves on your book case for your display. There’s no wrong way to do it – you can use your imagination and adapt to the space you have!
Another great thing about them is the investment can be very small – items for your dollhouse can be cheaply purchased or even easily made yourself. There are many tutorials on this topic – everything from modifying existing pieces to building from scratch (something I plan on trying myself).
A haunted dollhouse would go great with a model train set-up (something I’ve always wanted to try!), they make a great window display, and would also make a great centerpiece at your Halloween party. Maybe it doesn’t fit on the table? How about setting it up in a corner of the patio to help add to your backyard decorations?
Craft stores sell little wooden coffins and boxes that are perfect for crafting a miniature scene, or you can improvise your own with a candy tin. It makes a great, creative gift as well, for that Halloween fanatic friend of yours (hint hint, my birthday is in July)!
If you have your own haunted attraction or yard haunt, the dollhouse or miniatures display can be a great focal point for a room or area. Set one up in the ticket-booth area behind the cashiers! Set up a series of mini gory scenes behind glass in a hallway patrons have to walk down. Have a waiting room or area? Surrounding it in a miniatures set-up will give them something to focus on while keeping the mood.
A static display is standard for most people, but you can add any number of extra effects to your haunted dollhouse. Make things move. Add some lights. And you can always change it up when you get bored with a scene!
Working in miniature is also a fun way to plan out future designs and themes for parties. You’ll be able to really see how everything goes together, or explain to partners how you want things to go. It’s also a nice way to keep a little Halloween up year-round
Hopefully I’ve inspired some of you to venture into a smaller world – if you’ve got a haunted dollhouse or miniatures display, please post in the comments! I’d love to see them!
If Pinterest is your thing, I’ve got a board of ideas for you under “Miniature Halloween” that you can check out.