Dead Room

Soundproofing a hallway is not as cheap as I’d originally thought.  Even the online “cheap” options aren’t really cheap when you’re looking at a LARGE space like our Dead Room, and you’re not wanting to spend more than $30 bucks.

Green glue?  $17 a tube is considered cheap!
Acoustic panels?  You’re kidding, right?
Rigid foam panels or soft foam underlay?  $6 for 2’x2’ panels or $30 for the 4’x8’ panels.  Two wall panels make up a hallway, and half of one for the roof, so you’re looking at $75 for 4ft of hallway.

No cheap options.

entrance to the dead room; cheap ways to soundproof a room

First step: double-layer the walls, using two wall panels on each side instead of the typical single layer.

Next: put a roof on the entire structure, then clad it in plastic.

This is going to shut out most of the noise of our haunted house, but it doesn’t give customers that uneasy feeling you get when the pressure changes in a room where the walls are specifically clad in soundproofing.

Collect egg cartons to tack to the walls?  Nice idea, but 4ft of hallway requires 96 cartons (and that’s with spacing).
Quilt batting?  $12/yard at its cheapest (0.5” thick) = $84/4ft of hallway.
Egg crate foam mattress covers?  $50 for a queen size (4’6”x 6’6”)
Old mattresses would be great, but you can no longer buy those from Goodwill or other OpShops, and we’d need about 20 of them.

See the problem?  So while we were totally excited about the concept of the Dead Room, we were suddenly realizing it might be nothing more than just a very dark room.

We started asking for donations of old curtains, sheets, blankets – and then we hit the motherload!  One of the guys knew someone who was replacing the carpeting in their home.

The day we installed it was a nightmare as it dumped rain and we hauled all our carpet inside the hallway to keep it dry while we measured it, cut it, and tacked it to the walls and ceiling.

That sucked.

Maze entrance

But the result was as close to what we wanted as we felt we were going to get.  The roof above the entrance to the Dead Room slopes downward, forcing customers to duck and look into the first dark hallway.  A strobe pointing at you from above the entrance kills any night vision you’ve acquired, and just inside, the light quickly fades as you see the hallway turn to the left.  And once inside, you get the slightly oppressive feeling from the sound dampening, and have to feel your way along the walls to find your way around the corners and back out into the light.

We do get a lot of traffic that slows through this area, and some people have crashed into walls when they moved too quickly, but it’s been great to slow everyone down just before the maze and the final exit.

On our budget, I couldn’t have asked for better!