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Paper Dandy's Horrorgami
Ever wondered where the archetypal image of a haunted house came from? The houses in Psycho, The Munsters, Beetlejuice, The Addams Family, to name but a few, are all built in the style of Second Empire architecture, the period of rule under Napoleon III (1852–70). Tall mansard roofs stand almost vertical and are covered with rounded slate tiles interrupted by small dormer windows. The upper
part, often almost invisible from the ground, is either flat or very slightly sloping. Wrought-iron cresting decorates the perimeter of the upper part of the roof. Elaborate bracketed cornices support a large cantilevered roof edge and tall windows with decorative moulding punctuate the horizontal lines of wood cladding. Arguably the most iconic feature – certainly in horror terms – is a tall, square tower either centrally placed or on the corner of the house. A raised platform covered by a shallow porch leads the way to
a forbidding entranceway.
The style soon became a global trend, making its way
to America during the late nineteenth century, and was adapted into less elaborate, but nonetheless lavish, domestic properties. After the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression, many once-beautiful homes built during times of opulence were left abandoned. They became
a symbol of depression and despair – actual ghost towns and thus the haunted house was born.

Cutting tips

This is a fairly easy horrorgami but the spaces in the railings will be a little laborious. You’ll notice that there is a neat floating ghost in the porch. Take care you don’t cut the small section that connects its head to the wall above. If you feel this is too advanced, it’s fine to cut him off, the model will still look great – haunted or not.

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© 2023 Marc Hagan-Guirey / Laurence King · Reproduced with permission.

You Will Need

  • How to cut a piece of papercutting. Horrorgami Haunted House - Step 1
    Step 1

    With the printed side facing you, fold the main horizon valley folds (green dotted and dashed lines) and the two valley folds of the platform on which the house sits – they’re located directly above them. Use the levering technique to do this.

  • How to cut a piece of papercutting. Horrorgami Haunted House - Step 2
    Step 2

    Keep the printed side facing you and push out the valley folds at the base of the house. This includes the bottom of the veranda railings, the small railing section and the valley folds at the front door.

  • How to cut a piece of papercutting. Horrorgami Haunted House - Step 3
    Step 3

    Turn the paper over and fold the mountain fold at the top edge of the veranda, including the small side section. This is the trickiest part. Use a very gentle pinching technique with one hand and pull the fold through from the opposite side of the paper with the other hand.

  • How to cut a piece of papercutting. Horrorgami Haunted House - Step 4
    Step 4

    Begin creasing the mountain folds of the platform the house sits on. Hold the model in one hand and push the crease with the forefinger of the other hand. Flip the paper over again and use the same technique to fold the valley fold that forms the base of the same platform. Once you’ve done these, you can use a springing technique to fold the small set 
of steps.

  • How to cut a piece of papercutting. Horrorgami Haunted House - Step 5
    Step 5

    With the lower half of the model well on its way, concentrate on the mountain and valley folds of the roof section. There’s no specific technique to use here, just a bit of prodding of fingers will do it.

  • How to cut a piece of papercutting. Horrorgami Haunted House - Step 6
    Step 6

    There are a couple of valley folds (A) that require specific attention. Once you’ve started all of the other folds this area will naturally head the way 
you want it. Just guide them into place as you fold 
it flat. Before you completely flatten the model to complete all the folds, go back to the top edge of 
the veranda and house platform and give them 
the once-over.



mousee23 · Fortuna, California, US

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