Steampunk it!

Rate this Entry
What if we lived in the world envisioned by Jules Verne and H.G. Wells rather than George Orwell? Airships, submarines, computers, prosthetics - everything would be powered by steam. A Victorian aesthetic would be the norm.

This is the idea behind the world of steampunk. Copper is the metal of choice. Steel is not stainless. in this world, nothing is immune from "industrialization". I have seen steampunk walking sticks, which of course makes no sense since a stick requires no power. Nevertheless, it is a cool looking aesthetic - and one that reminds me very much of Mary Shelley's most famous mad doctor.

When I made my mad scientist's jars, many people commented on their "steampunk" looks - which were really unintentional:

Some also compared them to "Saw", which I have never seen but I understand has crazy homemade traps and devices reminiscent of steampunk. A hand built or heavily customized look it important to steampunk, and certainly mantraps or torture devices are not readily available at Wal-mart and would have to be home made.

Even without changing a haunt's theme, I think applying a steampunk aesthetic to characters can yield an even more bizarre, surreal atmosphere. For example, this "steampunk clown":

Goggles and respirators are de rigueur for steampunk. There are some pretty creepy possibilities there! How about an industrial age witch? Steam powered broom, night vision goggles and a corset? Heck, why not a robot werewolf? A time traveling psychopath? There are no rules.

What about props? What if the electric chair was steam powered? Just add a bunch of pipes and a pressure gauge and it's steampunk! Add a pipe that goes to a fogger for actual steam (maybe coming from the helmet?) and that would be crazy steampunk.

Any industrial type theme is readily steampunked. Just replace anything electronic looking with steam pipes and boilers. Of course, it's no secret even the most mundane props can be made to look like they belong in a Jules Verne steampunk world - like Jack O'Lanters - AKA Steampunkins!

My Steampunkins got me noticed enough to appear on the Hauntcast "Bone Phone" a while back. If you want to listen to that intro, it starts at about 17 minutes here:

Need more inspiration?

Happy Haunting!


  1. cryptfx's Avatar
    Lots of great Steampunk maker tips on your Mad Scientist Jars instructables and also the Hauntcast interview. Thanks for posting, Jim! -Mike