Introduction: The Daark Valley Orphanage

Picture of The Daark Valley Orphanage

My name is Kevin Karstens, and tho I cannot afford to build/run an actual darkride, nor even set up a Halloween yard (we live in an apartment, the wife and I) I have wanted to create a dark ride inspired by Disney's Haunted Mansion since I was about 8 years old, back when my kid sister and I created 'rides' in our backyard (complete with fully operational animatronic figures, powered by record players, audio on cassettes and black light effects) which we pushed neighborhood kids through in a wheel barrow at 25 cents a head...

I finally determined a way, however, to bring my darkride ideas to life...

I am currently creating a 'haunted' theme in miniature/via CGI and models, which I am filming to demonstrate how the attraction might play out...I chose a 'haunted' one first, as they are my personal favorite, and I have created several fully operational miniature scenes from the 'Spectre Seekers: Daark Valley Orphanage' concept/script I came up with ...

Step 1: Making the Miniature Scenes

Picture of Making the Miniature Scenes

From concept art and designs to creating the miniature sets (9 of the 11 are completed as of this post), each sequence features fully functional miniature set elements and working special effects, utilizing everything from pepper's Ghost illusions to projections and miniature set details, all constructed from odds and ends in my home. The video linked here (Daark Dreams, Miniature Magic) explains in more detail. The video 'POV' showcases all the work I have completed so far, including a queue section for the 'attraction' at the beginning...

More on this project:


Swansong (author)2016-11-03

This is an awesome concept! I can't wait to see how it looks when you've completed it all :)

Kevin.Karstens (author)Swansong2017-03-23

Also, this is the very last sequence 'visitors' see, I jumped ahead and already created this bit, as it didn't cost any $ to create...;)

Swansong (author)Kevin.Karstens2017-03-27

That's pretty fun! If you get this place going I would love to go see. :)

Kevin.Karstens (author)Swansong2017-03-23

Many thanks...not sure when I will be able to finance the finale sequences (everything so far cost next to nothing, mostly made from junk around my home) as it involves creating a believable 'outside' miniature set of a haunted playground filled with possessed swings, a slide, merry go round and so on and many ghost effects (so I have to save some $ for that) BUT I am still working on it when I can, the project has NOT been abandoned, like the orphanage supposedly was, I promise...;)

dewalk3 (author)2017-03-03

The ending of the tour was the best concept I've actually seen in action. Big fan of the Scare. This miniaturization testing is a brilliant way to show case this concept. I think I would do more of an in and out of the room type exploration of the Orphanage. The individual cart goes into the room and give the rider a good look and then something happens and it backs out quickly to proceed to the next area. Other rooms just look into and get creeped out. Then of course larger rooms you would travel through them and pause the scare then get out. So many ways you can go with this. Love it and Big thanks for sharring

Kevin.Karstens made it! (author)dewalk32017-03-23

VERY kind words, I really appreciate everything you had to say...

I actually only have two more sequences to create/film, but the will actually cost some $, and my finances have been very tight the past few years (the term 'starving artist' applies, here, LOL) but as these are the big finale sequences, I want them to be REALLY impressive and show stoppers, with multiple effects, ghosts and haunted is a playground filled with spooky ghost children playing, then the final showdown with Miss maple, you is determined to keep you at the orphanage...

I may try to go back and add a few items as you described, tho...the cool thing about editing these sequences together is that I can always edit in something new, as each scene goes 'to black' so I can just plop in an addition and it will not be detected...

Thanks again, really appreciate your input and support...

PS...Test footage can be seen here:

About This Instructable




Bio: Illustrator, Cartoonist, Animator for 'Karstens Creations - Original Art & Custom Dreams' Fan of Cheese, Originality and the Ridiculous... ______________________ ATTENTION -any person and/or institution and ... More »
More by Kevin.Karstens:The Daark Valley Orphanage
Add instructable to: