Beneath the

Hallowed Haunting Grounds

Crypt and GriefCrypt Ghost and Grief (1994)

This crypt (technically a vault, or small mausoleum) was a centerpiece of the Hallowed Haunting Grounds. It is constructed of timber and plywood and covered with "stones" made of polystyrene foam. The crypt supports several effects and illusions. The front is decorated with two flickering candles while the interior presents an ethereal image. The rear of the crypt contains the Breathing (Bulging) Bricks. Equipment for other lighting, sound and animation effects is also a hidden part of this construction.

The crypt was one of the longest surviving props in the show. At least the concept was long-lived. Due to the effects of weather, insects, time, changes of concept, use and abuse, the prop was rebuilt several times.

Crypt 1979Crypt (1979)

This is the earliest version of the crypt. Made of the finest recycled corregated cardboard, it served for but a short time before being destroyed. The untimely end came while breaking the fall of a haunter who shall remain unidentified.

After the durability of cardboard had been tested, a more substantial structure was deemed necessary. The new crypt was the first prop built using what was to become a Haunting Grounds traditional construction technique. A wood frame is covered with plywood and then has individual, hand-shaped "stones" made of polystyrene foam, glued to the exterior to form the masonry pattern.

Crypt 1980Crypt (1980)

Here Gary, Greg and Mark pose before the second mausoleum under construction. The photo also reveals the beginning of a trail of photos showing Mark working and others pointing.

Crypt Ghost 1980Crypt Ghost (1980)

The crypt was potentially a very good stage for visual effects. Several different effects were attempted over the years; this wisp was one of the first. It was also featured in the flyers at the time.

Crypt Ghost 1984Crypt Ghost (1984)

The very observent would note that the sconces shown in 1980 were replaced by "gripping hand" candelabra. The brass fixtures were transferred to the entry columns of the Chapel Ruins.

Crypt 1986Crypt (1986)

The addition of the "addendums" to the front of the crypt is the only significant change to the appearance of the structure. They add to the mass, balance and visual interest of the scene.

Gargoyle 1993Gargoyle (1993)

When this fine gargoyle arrived the crypt was the logical place for it to alight.

Crypt 1994Crypt (1994)

Many years and modifications later, the wood was mostly missing, destroyed by rot and termites. A new structure was built and the stones transfered from the old structure to the new.

By this time we are using more power tools; Mark is painting the interior with a spray gun.

Crypt 2000Crypt Profile (2000)
Crypt 2001Crypt Rebuild (2001)

By 2001, the crypt odyssey required yet another rebuild. Once again a new structure was created and the stones transferred.

Split Crypt 2001Split Crypt (2001)

This time it was decided that moving the entire crypt in one piece was becoming more difficult, so the structure was re-designed to split into two parts. Unfortunately, while lighter to move, the new structure was no easier to store, and required extra assembly and "stone" repair.

Crypt Front 2005Crypt Front (2005)
Crypt Rear 2005Crypt Rear (2005)

In the end, the crypt contained a rotating scrim projection surface to create the final Crypt Ghost illusion. It also included the Breathing Bricks system, a fixture for lightning effects, a motor that moved the Illuminating Ghost, and the counterweight for the Wandering Spirit mechanism.

At the retirement of the Hallowed Haunting Grounds, the crypt was transferred to Turbidite Manor but was left at Spooky House and lost in the closure of that venue. If anyone has information about the crypt's existence, or demise, we are curious and would like to hear about it.