The Baird Family is all about the Halloween season, and this year, they have stepped up their haunting game with a full projection show and backyard haunt to bring spooky smiles to Lehi faces. Below is a Q&A with one of the Baird haunted hosts, Jeff Baird.
Lehi Free Press: How long have you been putting on this amazing show in Lehi?
Jeff Baird: “We have lived in Lehi since 2007, and as a family we’ve always done an obnoxious Halloween display. For over 20 years we have used animatronics to create visual effects but we recently switched to a projector which is great because it takes up much less storage space.”
LFP: How did you learn how to project these images onto your house?
JB: “Well it started out pretty small, we used cheap projectors to display a trio of pumpkins telling stories and singing Halloween songs. Some people use projector mapping but the barrier to entry is larger, the machines are more expensive and more complicated to learn. For example, this is what they do on the Disneyland castle. However, my nephew is really good in Adobe after-effects and we worked together to map out the house. We mapped out each window and every brick that you see displayed to make it look really authentic.”
LFP: What’s it like being inside the house while the show is going on?
JB: “We use foam in the upstairs rooms to block out any light and a shower curtain downstairs so that during the day we can let light in. When the house catches on fire during the show, you can see flames bouncing off the walls downstairs which is fun.”
LFP: How many people come by on an average night?
JB: “A lot more than I thought, Friday we were probably around 50 people per night which is surprising for this early in the season.”
LFP: How do your neighbors react to all of this?
JB: “They have been so nice. We brought everyone treats to say thank you for allowing us to put on the show every night but we might have to do another round of treat giving if traffic increases.”
LFP: How do you get your ideas for what’s on the house?
JB: “Mostly from the Disney haunted mansion, that was a huge influence for us when designing the house. We are definitely going for that look and feel. We didn’t want it to be a copy and paste but you can definitely sense the same elements. The wallpaper is the same, the floating candelabra, and the ghosts shooting at each other. As a family, we acted out that whole scene and then worked it into the projector mapping. The people in the photo are my family and also my dad.”
LFP: Tell me about the backyard haunt that you also put on:
JB: “Previous to 2020, this was really our main show. One on half is tombstones and the other is pumpkins and there are ghosts popping up and pumpkins telling stories and singing Halloween songs. On Friday and Saturday nights, people can walk through the backyard and get a little extra Halloween feel and still be social distanced. I wanted to make sure that this year kids still got to experience some Halloween fun even though the world is so crazy. They can drive by our house, stay safe in their cars, and still feel the Halloween spirit.”
LFP: Do you go this all out for every holiday?
JB: “Historically I get pretty burnt out by the end of October, but we always project something on the house for Christmas too.”
If you want to create a similar effect on your house, the creator of the Baird Manor projection is for hire and can be contacted at https://www.haunt.works/effects.
To see behind the scenes footage of how the Baird family filmed their portrait projection, visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkWgCR2YnTakCsYLaMigQoA.
The Baird Manor is located at 348 W 1560 N in Lehi with projections every night from dark until 10PM and backyard haunt walks Friday and Saturday nights.