View Full Version : Care to Scare? What works best?

The Mad Hatter
11-25-2009, 12:14 AM
Scarring people is starting to become an art form in the Haunt Industry. I was wondering how other haunt owners scare their customers and what type of scare works best. There seems to be many methods, and certain ones work best depending on the set up of the Haunted Attraction.

There are distraction scares where the patron is distracted by an animated prop and an actor sneaks up on them. There are methods where light is shined into the customers eyes and the actor comes out of the shadows. There are drop panels, chainsaws, robots, torture scenes, actors on bungees, etc.

I was also wondering how far apart you spread out you scares. If you have one after another or spaced out to allow the customer to build up anxiety again?
Do you normally have long scares, where two actors act out a scene or do you avoid that due to people stopping.

Does your haunted house have a finale scare, to leave your victims horrified and with a good memory? This to me seems to be the hardest scare to accomplish by any method other than a chainsaw? What scares work best for you and how are they set up?

Any scare scenes that stand out most to your customers?

These are just some questions, there are many more. Each haunted attraction is unique, and use different techniques to accomplish a scare. This could be an interesting topic to go into depth.

Frank Balzer

Jim Warfield
11-25-2009, 01:17 AM
Allowing them to reset and anticipate, then add the misdirection. Setting something up to look obvious then hit them with something totally unheard of.
I spent time this last October setting people up for the next time they come here. They will be assuming it's a mundane sort of a thing...then something totally unexpected gets them!
Of course some people get scared just listening to me tell the haunted history of this haunted, haunted house, which is all true, no fiction whatsoever.
I add much humor (usually) because I know how deeply, actually terrified some people can get when they realise it is all true.
They are in a "Haunted" house. I have had people need to get out during just the first room because of such a fear as I just described, I really don't like this when it happens because they will probably never come back.
Returning, telling friends and relatives, maybe even bringing them here is the mainstay of my place.

Kelly Anderson
11-27-2009, 06:51 PM
I've always liked to build up to the main scare. My rooms have always had alot going on while the guests are in the room. Not necessarily with an actor at the beginning. The wall dropping crypt I built a few years back the guests entered a seamingly empty room, which actually disapointed some people when they first stepped into my room cause there was nothing there. But then it went pitch black. You could here this screaching noise coming from all around. Usually lasted 25-30 seconds. People couldn't figure out what it was. Some thought there was mice coming to get them. Just then the lights come back on to reveal as many as 7characters all around them that appeared from know where. We would drop entire groups right to the floor.

Build them up. First something to distract them. Maybe even disappoint them right at first cause then they let their gaurd down. Then let all HELL BREAK LOOSE!!

Jim Warfield
11-29-2009, 12:45 PM
Humor distracts people very well. I think it sets their minds on a totally different logical/enjoyment path...THEN GOTCHA!!!!
Do something considered even stupid, lame, rediculous, take this risk put your ego, reputation laid out there to be abused..and watch them get very distracted from "protecting "themselves.
In my place I also have the situation most of you won't usually enjoy, the time to set them up, time to allow them to let their minds wander away from that protective mode.
I don't have any empty rooms here anymore, none to enjoy filling.
Wait, maybe I do have some small ones. Where's my shovel?
(It is pretty labor-intensive to make rooms using a shovel...wheel barrow..hoe.)