Halloween may be over, but did you know you can still experience Hollywood Haunts through November 24? There are so many awesomely spooktacular artifacts to show you, we didn’t want to put them away just yet! In this post, Director of Collections Chris Carron explains why these artifacts aren’t so scary after all. But don’t miss the annotations from Creative Director Ned Shaw—he won’t let Chris get away with revealing the mystery behind Hollywood Haunts!
When the Children’s Museum Guild started planning for its fiftieth haunted house, museum staff decided to plan a special exhibit in honor of the anniversary. But instead of creating more dark environments with characters to startle you, we chose to present a fun and lighthearted peek behind the scenes at some of our favorite spooky movies.(1) Hollywood Haunts is filled with the actual costumes and props that were used on-screen during the filming of famous TV shows and action films. Visitors can learn how movie designers use props to tell stories, and even gain inspiration to design their own silly monsters.
From a safe vantage point on the other side of the glass,(2) we see that the costumes and props are imaginative but make-believe, so we don’t really need to be terrified.(3) Take the mischievous hitchhiking ghosts from the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. They were shipped to the Museum in a large crate as a loan from a collector in California.(4)
The iconic monkey head from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
may seem gory, but it’s really just a plastic prop that is a part of The Children’s Museum’s collection. The bright red brains inside the skull were actually “cooked up” by our Collections Preparator, Nick Schanz!(5)
(Believe it or not, Nick details his process in this blog post
George the Spider from Sammy Terry’s Nightmare Theater
TV show and specials hangs from the ceiling on a thin piece of fishing line.(6)
(See George in action in this video
from his visit to the museum.) The invading aliens from Mars Attacks!
are revealed to be puppets,(7)
and the moody scenery from The Nightmare Before Christmas
was cut with a jigsaw from plywood.
Full-sized reproductions of Alien and Predator might be too menacing for some, so they’re secured behind shades, out of the sight of small children’s eyes.(8) So come see Hollywood Haunts during regular museum hours and learn how the magic is made. Don’t be frightened—be inspired!(9)
(1) That is, if you find skulls and mummies fun and lighthearted, like Chris does!
(2) Sure…the visitors just think they’re safe…
(3) We don’t need to be terrified…we WANT to be terrified!
(4) They wanted to hitchhike, but they probably wouldn't have gotten very far.
(5) I bet that wasn’t in his job description!
(6) And he writes all of his own dialog!
(7) Perhaps…or maybe they are REAL aliens, waiting for us to get our guards down, and then WHAM!
(8) So you know that’s the FIRST place your little daredevils will go!
(9) Okay, and just a leetle bit frightened!