Frequently Asked Questions
Hallowed Haunting Grounds
- What is this?
- The Hallowed Haunting Grounds was a private Halloween display, a "yard haunt."
It contained many eerie illusions, but avoided shocking, gruesome, and startling elements.
There were no chainsaws and very little blood. Walk through the Hallowed Haunted Grounds for a detailed description.
- Where were you located?
- Studio City, California — in the south-east San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. Near the corner of Moorpark St. and Whitsett Ave., it was known to local fans as "The Babcock House."
- How long did you do the show?
- The Hallowed Haunting Grounds materialized every Halloween from 1973 through 2005.
Visit our History page for some details on the evolution of the show.
- Why did you stop?
- It saddens us, but an end for anything is inevitable. The Hallowed Haunting Grounds materialized every Halloween for thirty-three years.
Each year the show became a little bigger and we became a little older. At one point the effort exceeded our ambition. Rather than reduce the scope or quality of the show, it was felt that the better course was to retire and pass into fond memory.
- Might you do the show again?
- The Hallowed Haunting Grounds has dematerialized forever.
- How many people did it take to build the show?
- Our core group was about five haunters. Many people did assist this core group by providing materials and support.
Visit our Hosts page for some more about the people who made this show possible.
- How long did it take to build the show?
- This is a difficult question. Some of the elements were in the show since the earliest years.
Summing the time spent to build everything is impossible.
The time taken each year depended on what was new and who was available.
While designing and building one year's show we would also discuss what might change for the following year.
That allowed us to spend some time throughout the year looking for materials and equipment which might be useful.
The detailed planning and design for each show began in early August. An accelerating schedule of evening and weekend
work lead to opening night. Show elements began installation about three weeks before Halloween with the majority of the
setup done in the final week.
- Do you work for the studios or for Disney?
- There is no official connection between the Hallowed Haunting Grounds and any studio or other entertainment company.
Because we are located in Los Angeles and have an interest in things theatrical some of the hosts of the show have been
employed in entertainment fields. The show did not have extraordinary access to motion picture or theatrical property
or special effects equipment. Visit our Hosts page for some more about the people who made
this show possible.
- Where did you get all of these things?
- All of the elements in the show were the property of the show, the hosts, or were loans from personal contributors.
Most of the show was hand built by the hosts and contributors over the years.
As resources increased the level of sophistication improved, but most of the elements were decidedly and
sometimes deceptively simple.
- Where did you keep all of these things?
- Some things were returned from whence they were borrowed. The rest were kept by the hosts of the show in various locations around the city, but mostly in sheds in the rear of the property.
- What became of the props and equipment?
- Part of the difficulty of building the show was repairing props that were rotting away. Many of those things were destroyed. Some props and equipment were donated to others. Several of the props and sets were transferred to Nathan's show, Turbidite Manor.
- How many people saw the show?
- We really do not have any good means to count our visitors. We estimate from the capacity of the show
(about 200) and the time it takes to view the show (about 30 minutes) and the average operation at capacity.
Our best guess is that about 2500-3000 people saw the show each year. In our final season we gave away about 5000 souvenier maps, one per visitor and none to most of the many children. We think about 7000 people visited over the final five nights. Thanks!
- When were you open?
- We were usually open from 7:00 to midnight October 29, 30 and 31. Dates were sometimes added as they
aligned with weekend days.
- How much did it cost to see the show?
- The show was always free. It originated as Halloween decorations and retained that same attitude.
Arrangements were made for visitors and friends to make contributions.
Their generosity greatly helped to improve the quality of the show.
- How did you do those effects?
- We think we did them pretty well. Almost everything was based on standard theatrical and
magicians' techniques with occasional flashes of brilliant inspiration. We are gradually adding some background details to this web site. Look for "About This Scene" and "Beneath the Hallowed Haunting Grounds" links. If you send us an e-mail message we are happy to confirm or deny your speculations.
Take a look at our links page for some web sites that have great ideas for creating Halloween props and special effects.
- What do you do for Christmas?
- A very traditional and tasteful shiny aluminum Christmas tree decorated with antique lead icicles and
illuminated with color wheels and large colored bulbs has been seen in the window.
(Do not try this at home!)