Man working on clay(l), Man painting(c), Man throwing fabric(r)

@parkersaltsman/Tiktok

‘Man made an entire movie set’: Dad builds giant animatronic forest troll for Halloween

‘To say this is impressive in such an understatement.’

 

Jackie Ibarra

IRL

In a viral video, a woman shows off how big her dad’s Halloween spirit is— precisely the size of a giant forest troll.

In the video with over 12.2 million views, TikTok creator Parker Saltsman (@parkersaltsman) shows different pictures of her dad, Thomas Saltsman, molding and constructing his creation. He’s seen sculpting the face of the creature with clay, hammering wood together, setting up lights, and painting backdrops.

“Every year my dad builds something in our driveway for Halloween,” Parker writes in the video’s text overlay. 

This year, the “something” is a giant animatronic forest troll, peacefully sleeping on its side. As the video progresses, viewers can see the troll fully coming to life. Parker shows more images of her dad’s process, before taking viewers on a tour of the giant troll sleeping on her driveway.

@parkersaltsman In the dark recesses of Norway's forests, mythical trolls lurk. Large, humanoid beings with grotesque, rugged features: forest trolls are part of the spirit and folklore of the wilderness. If touched by the first rays of sunlight, their rugged features turn to stone. The forest troll is a testament to the enduring connection between folklore and the untamed realms of nature. #halloween #spooky #Splice ♬ original sound – Parker Saltsman

“In the dark recesses of Norway’s forests, mythical trolls lurk. Large, humanoid beings with grotesque, rugged features: forest trolls are part of the spirit and folklore of the wilderness,” Parker writes in the video’s caption. 

First, she shows a close-up of the troll’s giant and textured hand lying on the ground. Complete with chipped fingernails and wrinkles in the fingers, the hand even moves a bit, resembling the sleeping giant twitching in its sleep. 

She then pans over to her dad opening the sleeping creature’s mouth, with sound effects of the mouth creaking open, to reveal an even more whimsical and detailed world inside the troll’s mouth.

As Parker walks inside the mouth of the beast, past giant fake teeth and the troll’s beard, viewers are transported to a dark forest. There are trees, greenery, and rocks scattered everywhere. There’s a small waterfall rushing through, small mushrooms plopped on rocks, and the sounds of the giant breathing echoes throughout it all.

“If touched by the first rays of sunlight, their rugged features turn to stone. The forest troll is a testament to the enduring connection between folklore and the untamed realms of nature,” Parker writes in the caption. 

This year’s installment has garnered over 2.8 million likes, but it isn’t the first time Parker’s dad has gone viral. As an architect and woodworker, her dad has been creating giant animatronic creatures for years. Her first video, posted on Halloween in 2020, shows a giant King Kong animatronic sitting in her driveway, also complete with a functioning mouth and sound effects. The next year, she showed a giant ghost man her dad made. In 2022, they debuted a giant dragon.

A “Special Projects” tab on her dad’s company website, explained that the creations are made out of discarded materials from job sites, found objects, and “custom parts and assemblies.” It also details the story of his creations, highlighting every creature he’s made since 2017. 

People online have loved his creations and have been impressed with the size and scope of his decorations. 

“My flabber has been gasted,” one person commented. 

“AND IT HAS A WATER FEATURE?” another wrote. 

“Dude this is an art exhibit,” another TikTok user commented. 

Others have followed along since the Saltsmans’ first viral video, and look forward to seeing what whimsical creatures come next.

“Every year I wait for you to post,” one person wrote.

“I remember when this all first went viral and it’s still the best Halloween setup I’ve ever seen. And he does a new one EVERY YEAR,” another person commented.  

The Daily Dot reached out to the Saltsmans via TikTok direct message and email. 

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