Disney fan Michael Bilski has crafted a fiendishly fun “Haunted Mansion” inspired entertainment area docked alongside a “Pirates of the Caribbean” inspired bar in the basement of their home just outside Detroit, MI.
The Bilski family is well known in their neighborhood for decorating their front porch pirate style – including Michael dressed up as Jack Sparrow, handing out candy.
Both are skilled in prop making and costuming (having run their own haunted attraction called “The LAB” and consulting for other haunt projects including designing the first haunted attraction in Shanghai).
“After losing our location for the Lab, we were forced to sell all of the assists. We decided to take our creative aggression out on our basement,” said Bilski.
Descending the stairs to the lower level has the feel of sneaking into a darkened speakeasy or secret lair. Brick lined walls and even an N.Y.C. sewer cover adds to the transitional ambiance. The 1940’s alley look was completed with a faux fire escape and old posters.
The bar area has plenty of seating with and room for rum. A line of polished tankards stand ready for refreshment, looking at home among the nautical array of accouterments adorning the amber-toned walls. There’s a pair of corner booths for plotting future expeditions or regaling tales of high seas adventure.
“The bar went through several different things on paper. My wife suggested pirates of the Caribbean – it was so obvious. We did all the work ourselves, having not done finish work, only haunted house work was a challenge but after a while, we fell into it. It was always to be a place to store our props and masks.”
Across from this salty serving station is a spirited viewing center, surrounded by the infamous wallpaper that stares back. Adorned with paranormal portraits this ghostly wall wraps around a pair of cozy theater seats set in front of a large screen. The screen appears to be protected by various ominous masks and mansion must-haves. In the nook to one side, a proton pack can be seen tucked away next to a pair glass display cases stocked with more movie inspired masks. Midnight movie madness is served deliciously dark in this theater.
“My favorite item in the mansion has to be the mansion gargoyle or my ghostbuster proton pack. On the bar side, my Jack Sparrow costume sits on a mannequin.”
We thank the Bilskis for sharing their beloved basement with Inside the Magic readers.
Since completing their brilliant basement, they’ve turned part of their laundry room into an “old” workshop (complete with rusty I-beams and hooks overhead – perfect for hanging and sliding projects out of the way).
Mike shared one more fun feature about their fiendishly festooned theater room: “We have a soon to be 5-year-old daughter … who is just as movie / Disney / Halloween obsessed as we are. With all the scary monster masks and creepy ghostly mansion stuff Grace had no problem watching TV or playing alone in our basement – her friends that’s another story.”
Hurry back for more delightful Disney inspired décor soon!
If you have a themed room or rooms that you’d like to see featured on ITM, please drop me a quick note: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images courtesy of Michael Bilsky