The Dark Garden - an AV adventure!


Iris Digital were proud to be engaged as artisits for Alnwick Garden's inaugural outdoor Halloween experience 'The Dark Garden' in October. With 6 AV installations to design and install, it was a fantastic creative opportunity for us and we relished the challenge.

The run up:

Between having our proposal accepted to install week, we had approximately 6 weeks to get everything created, programmed and ready to go. It's probably safe to say that we disturbed ourselves in the process as we recorded and edited samples of a child (family member and willing participant) screaming to be let out of a shallow grave, and finding inspiration from haunting crime scene images, but things lightened up a bit with the creation of what we affectionately call 'Pumpy', the Geordie pumpkin, hand made from scratch by Ben and voice provided by a friend of ours.

The pieces:

After dragging hundreds of meters of muddy cables through the gardens and setting up projectors, scaffold towers, PA systems and interactive sheds, we finally assembled our creations.

'The Path Of Terror’

Creepy undertones with howling winds, thunder, galloping horses, rattling chains and ghostly groans that greeted guests as they entered the route. A dynamic Quad sound piece programmed to give the impression of things travelling up and down the length of the footpath.

'The Zombies Are Coming'

A synchronised sound and light installation that involved terrifying zombies hidden from view and a lot of smoke. A sporadically programmed scream and backlight gave passers by quite a shock.

Projector Mapped centrepiece The main AV piece of the event, a mapped horror projection on the brick archway leading through into the ornamental garden, complete with soundtrack to emphasise the suspense, unease and spookiness of the overall piece.


We (Ben) created a 3 foot wide, waterproof, papier machè pumpkin - from scratch - with a mapped face projection and life like soundtrack recorded especially for the character. 'Alreet?'.

Scarecrow Field An intensely spooky soundscape using audio from number stations discovered after the cold war, this was used as a backdrop to the scarecrow field on the hill

'Buried Alive' The quite disturbing ‘kid in a box’ installation, simple but effective piece that definitely ‘challenged’ some of the customers - and us. All of the installations were setup to run automatically on start up, minimising ‘on-site’ staffing needs and maintenance.

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