10273 Haunted House taught fans a lot, as did the earlier 10228 Haunted House. As a Fairground Collection set, the former having functions was inevitable – its massive drop tower and Powered Up functionality are legendary. It also has many spooky details related to LEGO Adventurers, a much-beloved theme from the 1990s until 2003. Despite that models’ majesty, it doesn’t take flywheels and a LEGO designer to make your own Haunted House.
Just look at 10228 Haunted House, the 2012 predecessor to the current one. As a Creator Expert model, it was crafted by a LEGO designer, but there’s something different here. It’s a more traditional take on the Halloween staple, featuring boarded windows, cracking front and rear steps, and twisted spikes atop the roofs. Of course, there’s a lot to love about both a functional take and one meant strictly for visual appeal, though the visual is the focus of this article.
Blocks , the monthly LEGO magazine, is haunting your doorstep with three great tips to building your own forbidden abode, without even asking for candy in return.
Decay and rubble spell trouble
No haunted house has ever passed a home inspection – maybe before it was inhabited by ghosts, zombies, and the taint of evil, but certainly not now. The best way to create an awesome rotting wall depends on what you’re trying to achieve. For example, mouldy, wet walls can be achieved by choosing a different colour in the same family but darker – perhaps a forest green instead of a lighter one – but don’t make the difference too stark.
How about creaky wooden floors? Not everyone has the building experience yet to add a basement or raised foundation, making missing wooden planks difficult to show. For easier results, just use black tiles sparingly on the floor, or add the individual floorboards on top of a black plate before placing them in your haunted house. Showing decay on the exterior is as simple as adding cracks, gaps, and broken fixtures – maybe a gargoyle or two. Don’t forget the front lawn leading up to the house, either. Every little bit helps you get that gross, decrepit look.
Create clues to set the scene
Be it a trail of slime or a massive pile of bones, there’s truly a lot you can do with adding clues to a haunted house. Where did Jim go? He’s been gone from the group for far too long. Maybe he was in the basement, playing an old LEGO arcade cabinet that sucks you in and never lets you leave. It’s proof that you don’t necessarily need to go full Jigsaw for horror.
Still, how could you show that? A skeleton playing the machine could have been Jim. Including a small pile of soda cans, or food could be interesting. You could have a few coins on the table, and ghost minifigures with their arms raised cheering Susie on. That’s perfect for any gamer and LEGO fan who remembers long hours playing their favourite game. Maybe Resident Evil?
Let there be light … and darkness
The aforementioned ‘missing floorboards’ trick can be used to surprising effect when it comes to closets, holes in the floor and roofs. If you have a brick built roof with no room for a cellar, a hole filled with simple black LEGO bricks could work exceptionally well. You could even add a glowing red eye or multiple using a 1×1 brick with hole, a connector peg with knob, and a trans-red lightsaber blade. A light source can really help make it shine.
On the topic of light, have some fun with lighting. You don’t even have to go for the professional kits, let alone the LEGO Group ’s own light bricks or Powered Up products – you can have a lamp’s light entering the holes and cracks of the house. Just don’t leave the house under the sun – you could damage or fade the bricks that way. After all, moon light tends to suit a LEGO haunted house far better.