Why do most haunters haunt? Because we have tons of fun doing it! From building spooky props to putting together creepy Halloween costumes. From scaring the pants off trick-or-treaters to rewarding them with handfuls of bravely won candy. Most Halloween haunters find all aspects of home haunting fun!! Why else would we do it?!
With that in mind, and in an effort to provide our Halloween guests with more fun, the lurking lunatics at Screaming Scarecrow Studios put together the following simple game. Our Body Part Toss Game, or BPTG, was relatively cheap and simple to build and it should last a good number of years. In fact we have enjoyed a few years of fun from it already!
SOMETHING TO TOSS BODY PARTS AT:
Start out with a 4’ x 8’ sheet of plywood. Plywood is usually a bit more money than OSB board but it will paint better and last longer in the outdoor elements. We chose cheap, quarter inch thick, spruce plywood (rough not finished). Anything thicker will just add more cost to the game’s bottom line not to mention more weight when you’re moving it around.
Quarter inch plywood is kind of flimsy so next we screwed a 2” x 2” wood frame to the back of the plywood. This not only gave the BPTG rigidity it also gave us a good solid piece of wood to screw a stand to if one was to be used.
OUTLINE OF THE VICTIM:
For this, we simply laid the plywood down on the ground and then positioned somebody on it and traced their basic shape with a pencil. Once the general shape was traced, we cut out the holes for the parts that would be tossed during the game. We made the holes vary a little in size and shape in order to provide different levels of challenge.
After the holes were cut and all the rough edges sanded down, we painted the plywood white. Plain white may not have been the most creative choice for our game‘s backdrop but if you want your reds to pop out under any lighting, you need to put them on white!
Once the white paint dried we created body shapes such as chest, arms and legs using stucco wire. We like using stucco wire because it makes for a stronger wire frame form. Chicken wire would also work, however, you’ll probably find that you’ll be straighten it out more often. This is because the body parts, as they are tossed, tend to bash in the wire forms (Some people throw these things like they’re pitching a baseball!)
After the wire body shapes were created we attached them to the plywood in their proper spots. We used nails for this because the portion of the nails that were sticking out the back of the quarter inch plywood could be bent over flat so they would not be sticking out to poke anybody. But just to be doubly sure that nobody gets poked by any protruding nails, we have an actor dressed up with a fake chainsaw retrieving the tossed body parts for our guests.
DRESSED TO DIE FOR:
After the wire body shapes were all attached to the plywood it is time to dress our victim. In order to do this we cut the back out of an old used shirt and pair of pants that we had lying around. Next, we cut straight up the back of the legs and the arms of the pants and shirt. With the clothing opened-up in this manner we are able to wrap wire frame with the clothing, stapling the clothing to the plywood along the edges as we went.
DETAILING THE GAME:
Finally we added all the gory details, such as blood on the clothes, blood splatter on the plywood and of course the steaming pile of entrails! For the red paint we used high gloss red spray paint. Painting the clothes and the areas around the holes was easy, we just used as much as we thought looked good.
To get the blood splatter and drips was a bit trickier with spray paint. We used an ordinary stick and while the game was leaning upright and while holding the stick above the game, we sprayed the paint onto the stick (holding the nozzle close to the stick) letting the excess paint run off the stick. That is how we got the blood splatter and drips from a can of spray paint.
And for the final touch we used expanding foam to make the entrails. After reinforcing the waist with extra stucco wire, we put a small chicken wire basket inside the pants so that there would be something for the expanding foam to sit on.
Just some extra words of caution here: ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW THE MANUFACTURE’S DIRECTIONS when using expanding foam products. We always wear protective gear when using this stuff, especially eye safety goggles. This stuff is so sticky the only way you can clean it up is with acetone when it’s wet and a sander when its dry. We DO NOT want to get this in our eyes. It is also a good idea to wear old clothes and gloves.
As we found out, there is no right or wrong way to make “guts” from expanding foam but we did practice a little bit before we set out to fill up our pants. The only thing we can say, obviously, is that we tried to create long and winding entrails. We had a piece of spine left over from a blow mould skeleton so we stuck that in there for extra effect. Also, solid red entrails didn’t look entirely convincing so we mixed it up with a little blue and purple spray paint on top the red. Over all we were happy with the way it turned out.
HALLOWEEN FUN WITH THE BPTG:
With the construction part of the game all done the only thing left for us to do was go out to our favourite Halloween stores and buy some body parts to toss! In hind sight we got lucky, it probably would have been a better idea to get the parts first just to make sure the holes were cut to the right size, but like I say, we got lucky.
A few last words: we usually lean the BPTG up against the side of our haunt or sometimes we have it free standing with a stand that we screw into it. We ALWAYS make sure that it is either staked into the ground or secured to the haunt and sometimes even both. That way there is no way it could ever fall onto one of our guests. And as we mentioned before we use an actor to do the retrieving of the body parts for the guests. We find that these extra steps of care make for a Safe and fun Halloween Body Part Tossing experience!
Thanks for reading and Happy Haunting!
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