View Full Version : How many minutes should a haunted house last?

02-17-2007, 02:03 PM
I know yourall probably going to say, depends on the size of the haunt. But I was thinking maybe a generall idea / ballpark figure. Or maybe a better poll would be what do you think is the average size haunt.?

02-17-2007, 04:58 PM
I put down 10 to 15 as thats about how long our home haunt takes but, I think it would depend on the haunt and how much you are charging. The more money you want the longer and better the show better be.

02-17-2007, 05:03 PM
My favorite line when asked "How long does it take to go through?"
In a dead pan serious look I say "How fast can you run?"

Greg Chrise
02-17-2007, 05:42 PM
If a haunt is picked just right, shipped frozen and delivered in refrigerator trucks it should last about a week. They tend to have less aroma this way so I would recomment haunted spray on smell once they are put one display.

Jim Warfield
02-17-2007, 06:50 PM
"How long will this last?"
"The effects are residual, they last a lifetime!
You will never forget it!"
Tours here take about 90 minutes but don't think a thing about this one way or another because.....b-caws..........B-KAWZ......i'm krazie!

"A 90 minute tour!!?"
"Ever had a meal that was SO GOOD you just wanted to savor it as long as you possibly could? Sort of a similair thing here. I'm mentally "chewing " and savoring the fun we are all having here, so why cut it short?"

If everybody that called shows up here tonight it will be worth all the snow-work I did today. We had 15 people late this afternoon for a Hide& Seek party, it was fun! They had fun too!
Maybe business picked up because of the 18 degree heat-wave?

02-17-2007, 08:42 PM
I know yourall probably going to say, depends on the size of the haunt. But I was thinking maybe a generall idea / ballpark figure. Or maybe a better poll would be what do you think is the average size haunt.?
You also forgot to factor in, the quality of the show. The quality of the show can supercede how long it is because if it's great, time is not of the essence. For example, if you're watching a movie for the first time on DVD and the movie is GREAT! Before you know it, the movie is over to your surprise...why? Because it was great and time didn't matter.

02-17-2007, 11:26 PM
My favorite line when asked "How long does it take to go through?"
In a dead pan serious look I say "How fast can you run?"

lol - how true is that saying. lol

02-17-2007, 11:48 PM
I think he's talking factual... how long is/should your haunt? Yeah, a 20 minute haunt me only seem like 5 when it's AWESOME! But that 20 minute haunt may seem like an hour if it's horrible.

It's like riding a roller coaster, the actual time of a coaster may be 2-3 minutes... but once it's over it feels like 10-15 seconds! -Tyler

02-21-2007, 05:17 AM
40-50 minutes!!!!!!! I wish mine lasted 20

Mr Nightmarez
02-22-2007, 05:14 AM
If I'm a theatrical styled Haunt w/ 5k sq.feet - I can keep you for 45 minutes to an hour.

If I'm a classic haunt - you could be done in 7 minutes. :roll:

How much do you charge for your haunt and how long does it last might be a better question... how much bang am I getting for my buck?

One of ours probably takes 20-30 minutes and yet we have another that can go from 7 minutes to 15 minutes (How fast can you run?) as put by Joe Dog.

02-27-2007, 02:53 AM
Ours was taking about 20 minutes last year but as always we are increasing by at least another 10 minutes. Because we use a tag-team approach we can make as long as we want and don't ahve to worry about holding other's up. If there are delays it becomes part of the show. Wouldn't be a normal night if I didn't resort to magic slight of hand tricks to entertain a waiting crowd.

02-27-2007, 06:58 AM
The Haunts we have visited last varying amounts of time. If it is close to ten minutes, I don't feel the customer is getting what they came for. Our haunt is about 20-25 minutes if the customers don't rush or run. We try to pace the crowd with several points in the house designed to do that.

Our goal is to get it over thirty minutes.
We also have the luxury of being able to grow every year. Our building was so big when we started that we only used one side of the main hallway.

This will be the ninth year we have expanded the haunt by at least one, usually two rooms or hallways. We still have three more years before we need to redesign some of the big/huge rooms into smaller rooms. That will give us a few more years of being able to advertise "more rooms added".

Now, the longest we were ever in a haunt is two hours, forty-five minutes. I don't know how he does it, but that Warfield guy holds the record with us.
Congrats to the Raven's Grin Inn !!!! We have been there three times and enjoyed it each time tremendously.

Jim Warfield
02-27-2007, 07:51 AM
Yes, two hours and fourty-five minutes does happen here sometimes.
How does this happen? Well, obviously we were ALL having alot of FUN! (Myself included!)
It wouldn't have run that long otherwise.
Sort of like marathon-sekz both parties have to be enjoying it or it just won't be happening.

damon carson
03-01-2007, 12:10 PM
Forget Erebus being in the Guinness Book of World Records. I think that time for a haunted house tour would probably set the record. Where was the 3hr choice on this poll???!

Jim Warfield
03-01-2007, 07:31 PM
I always like it too when at the end of the tour, 90 minutes or more, the customers remark about how time and it's passage eluded their whole feeling of time and they express surprise at 90 minutes (or more) having just passed by.
This tells me I am successful, they have been entertained!

10-21-2010, 05:25 AM
How long should a haunted house last ? that will depend on the size of the haunt the amount of things going on in the haunt. a big factor is the person themselves..

10-24-2010, 09:41 AM
I think Tyler made a great analogy. A great roller coster does feel like it only last a few seconds but that is because your were screaming and yelling the entire ride because it was awesome which is the same as any great haunt out there. Keep em' screaming and it doesn't matter because if they had fun they will just want to "ride the ride" over and over again.

Jim Warfield
10-24-2010, 10:27 AM
Are you attempting to reach might also decide the time factor.
Which part does the memory reside ?
Do you need them to remember your efforts? Some don't if they are moving the haunt every year and/or changing it's name.
I know I have effected a great many so much that they actively help maintain my business through their enthusiasm and odd memories that were created here.
I think the most sought out such haunt memories wil always be those shared with others , the friends, relatives who made that unbefore never heard incredible terrific scream or super-hero quick physical motion unnecessary previously.
Some deeper memories do seem to require some brewing and stewing and the opportunity to ponder and actually "think" to install that "program".
Maybe a mix of the primal quick messages along with the ones that usually take more time will be the perfect recipe?
This last weekend we had so many wonderfull and nice patrons here!
I had alot of fun as I invented many new little wacky things to do and say in the front room.. I even might be able to recall some of them for next time!?
So it grows.......

10-24-2010, 10:38 AM
I picked the 40-50 minute option because of bias! Simple as that.

I cant get enough of a haunted house, so i'd want them to last as long as possible! lol :)

Jim Warfield
10-25-2010, 08:19 AM
I have noticed. Doing absolutley Everything possible to distract, amuse , console and entertain a smaller kid in a haunt setting sees success but then the child's energy to apease the adults runs out and the fear creeps back, as if it just requires too much energy for them to maintain the adult -sought calm when in odd surroundings.
"Whaaa! Time to leave!"
(And they seemed So brave too!)

10-25-2010, 12:00 PM
Another consideration is what TYPE of haunt it is. The ones with great eye-candy, you want to last and last and last, so you can enjoy looking around. The ones that are less family friendly and put the emphasis on really scaring the piss out of patrons are a different kettle of fish, however. Many people enter thinking they want it to last and last, but after the first few minutes, they want it to END.

Ours takes about 40 minutes to go through if you don't power walk. Most all say that it was much longer than they expected, and a good deal of them admit that they couldn't wait to get out (and some always exit early). But they also say they had a great time. So it's a double edged sword: they love the length before and after being in it, but while they're actually THERE, they're stressing to get out!

This would also explain why most everyone is out of breath at the end, even though they are not allowed to run. It's the adrenaline and accelerated heart rate.

The Mad Hatter
10-26-2010, 04:05 PM
With me I think the time of going through a haunted house should relate to the price. I think a good estimate is around $1.00 a Minute. Also the quality should be good not just black walls and teenagers running around and hooking up with each other afterwords. If you have this type of setup it should be around .50 cents a minute. It does not matter how long it takes for someone to walk through the haunt as long as the customers remember it for being fun and great. A 4 minute haunt can be just as great as any 25 minute haunt, the price should be justified though.

11-17-2010, 08:05 PM
Well it seems to me that even if its a great haunt then after 20 mins Ive lost it. I think if you have a 60min haunt it should be broken down into three 20 min haunts. Just what I think

11-22-2010, 09:54 AM
On average, Haunted Attractions tend to last 20-30 minutes, but as many have mentioned, it entirely depends upon your selling ticket price. If you charge over $16-$20 for any one of your attractions, you should be expected to provide nearly 40-50 minutes of entertainment.

Our main attraction, the nationally famous, Niles Haunted House has over 100 possible routes creating near endless possibilities to our patrons and creating value. Although our show may only last anywhere between 15-25 min for this particular attraction, we only charge $10. In addition we offer a half priced discount for a repeat visit for a chance to walk through an alternate route. Very Popular!

It also depends upon if you offer an outdoor or indoor show. We also have what we call the "Field of Screams" and it could last you anywhere between 30 Minutes to nearly 1.5 hours! An outdoor maze, featuring a Chain Link Fence Maze, Claustrophobia, Multiple Themed Rooms, Birtch Tree Forest, Camophobia, a Bridge, and even a heartbeat tunnel! You'd have to see it to believe it! All for only $7!

Value is the Number one priority in pricing your event in relation to your attractions duration.

11-22-2010, 10:29 AM
I think that haunt length is based largely on the (misguided) notion that it's a haunts duty to get people to pee their pants. Some shorter haunts due it by trying to scare people so much they have to pee. Some other haunts use the strategy of keeping people in the haunt so long, they just can't hold it anymore. Some do both. My only explaination is that one of the secrets of the inner circles of one of the haunt organizations is that they own a lot of stock in mops and/or cleaning products and are attempting to create demand for those products.

Jim Warfield
11-22-2010, 10:32 PM
Doesnot get given out or worn here or incouraged to appear either.
When a girl maybe 10 years old soaked her jeans we were embarrassed for her. A week later she came back again, we recognised her but said nothing about her public urine sample. Then she began loudly bragging about it! Infront of total strangers!!??
Shut up, already! Here's your official Pee-Badge! Wear it proudly! Talk about it often.
Don't wash those jeans, frame them instead! Sell them on E-bay 20 years from now!
(A young "Monica L." in the making!)

damon carson
11-22-2010, 11:20 PM
Jim you might call Guiness for the longest time to tour a haunt. And also the longest wait to enter a haunt if your the only one working. LOL!

Jim Warfield
11-23-2010, 07:25 AM
Because I carry my doorbell in my pocket and it picks up the signal even underground in the wine cellar and even 4 blocks away (in a valley) where my wharehouse is located.
A wonderfull device!
I give waiting customers the choice of joining a tour in-progress and seeing the beginning at the ending (of their tour, a loop-tour) or waiting and beginning at the start.
Surprisingly most want the tour in-order, they must be "purists" for my art.

damon carson
11-23-2010, 07:48 AM
You need a storehouse. When I make it back you will have to show me that. LOL! You probably got some more great stuff in there.

Jim Warfield
11-23-2010, 11:48 PM
I said "Warehouse" not Whorehouse!
How Funny! this post is listed as having been made just 2 hrs. ago, not quite.

Uptown Haunts
01-16-2011, 08:21 AM
I've often wondered about the overall haunt size to throughput ratio. I posted a message here not too long ago asking this question but received no responses yet. Anyway, overall size is one thing. The time spent with each scare as well as the linear passage lengths would obviously play a roll in throughput as well.

In response to the poll question, would anyone like to share their overall square footage and average length of time it takes to go through their haunts? Another piece of info that might be helpful is the linear footage your patrons have to walk from start to finish. All of this combined information should give everybody and 'average' throughput formula to work with. Many variables will obviously apply but it could be a very basic rule of thumb.


Jim Warfield
01-16-2011, 12:15 PM
Issue number one: How many people /per/hour to = the income you need?
Haunt design comes in here. A lavish over-decorated haunt is incredible and will be selling itself as word gets out. bringing in free customers , free of you having to spend tons on advertising, word of mouth does it. BUT More to see and contemplate every linear foot slows down the patrons because they want to look at everything (to get their money's worth) So then what? Scare them from behind to distract and get their feet running? Then they run right into your lavish sets, break stuff/ Hurt themselves? Not good.
People spread out, usually unless they really know each other, and then look at the distance a "room" is. How many people can comfortably stand there to see that room, if you are putting them through as groups. "Conga-Lines" are not usually something that customers want to be in or pay to be in because scares are lost then customers feel ripped off.
In my house I have seen more problems arrise when more customers are in a group or even in the house. A group size of 8 to 10 with a tour leader and a tour follower, who also efects most of the scares, is the best method I have found because customers will do things and wander that will not be safe, efficient for customer flow .
Everything is a balancing act between so many factors most of which are fluid and quickly changing, and then we try to establish control, and keep it over these single-minded and surprising creatures the human beings!
Add alcohol consumption to the mix and you will not know what to expect next, but it will be time consuming handling it whether handling them is just verbal or if it turns physical (or potentually dangerous ).
We try to keep the roaring , idiot drunks out. If I wanted to own a bar I would have bought one, but I sure didn't.

01-20-2011, 06:05 AM
I tend to think that 1 to 2 hours of time at a Haunt. This would be the time the patron gets to start experiencing scares/entertainment/linewalkers and mood setting until they leave. To me multiple attractions are great, profitable, and add much to total attraction, but can also make a Haunt not so scary in that there are the cool down times of deciding what's next. Many 5-8 minute walk through attractions piled together to me don't seem to work that well. Just too short and can not get the patron to get the feeling of a false reality. One or 2, 20-25 minute or so main attractions done right with several complementing side attractions has been a winning combo for us. This also leaves the customer feeling satisfied with value for dollar. That's my 2, no 10 cents.

01-23-2011, 06:03 AM
My favorite line when asked "How long does it take to go through?"
In a dead pan serious look I say "How fast can you run?"

Agreed! On average, people take about 10 minutes to get through our walk-thru haunts. They're smaller, but they do the job. However, we have had people take damn near 20 minutes to get through the walk-thru haunts... and some runners take 5 minutes and blow by EVERYTHING.
Unfortunately for runners... our hayride drivers dictate the pace, and there's nowhere to go.

Every haunt is different, but 30-40+ is perfect for a big haunt. I like to go somewhere I can spend an entire night and be entertained. I don't want to show up, go through, and make new plans elsewhere.

01-23-2011, 06:14 AM

I agree 30-40 minutes is ideal. During my haunt visits I always time my tours for each attraction. When I visited your place the hayride was 17 minutes, and the houses were about 3 minutes each. They were not very long but I still felt I got my moneys worth.


01-23-2011, 06:35 AM
Wow, that's quick! I wish I knew you were coming. Glad you seemed to have a good time. Come back and see us again... we have big plans for our 5th anniversary.

01-23-2011, 09:19 AM
Thanks Patrick. I was on such a tight schedule that night going to three different haunts. Next year I'll plan to come on a regular night.


03-14-2012, 10:39 PM

If everybody that called shows up here tonight it will be worth all the snow-work I did today. We had 15 people late this afternoon for a Hide& Seek party, it was fun! They had fun too!
Maybe business picked up because of the 18 degree heat-wave?

What is a hide and seek party at your place. Last year at my Halloween Walk I hosted a birthday party and I was thinking of doing the same thing this year.
Thank you.

Allen H
03-15-2012, 04:53 PM
I think the ideal time varies because of intensity. I like 20min, long enough to be immersed and short enough that no one gets numbs to the effects or attacks. Pacing is key.

03-20-2012, 11:14 AM
Guys this thread has been great. I have been asking myself this very same question and I have enjoyed seeing all the variable responses. My haunt is 2200SQ FT inside, with another 1000 sq ft outside. I utilize every square inch of both in and outside to set the tone, and creep people out. The total experience is at 30 minutes including the queue. I have seen people inside get through in 15 minutes, and others sprint through in 3 minutes.
This year we will be growing in attendance, and the whole throughput issue will be put to the test. I am also adding another attraction outside which will be an interesting experiment.

Thanks again everyone for posting this as you answered this question for me and others I am sure.

03-28-2012, 01:07 PM
Also depends on your pricing. If you're time is 10min but you change $40 it might need to be extended.

Zombie Apocalypse
04-10-2012, 02:38 PM
How long should it last ? I guess it depends if you took the little blue pill.

Jim Warfield
04-16-2012, 10:09 PM
Unless it is a busy October weekend, then I do a ten minute quick show in the first room, in which I try to get their attention, inform them entertain them, make them giggle, smirk or laugh and possibly also get a fearfull reaction from some or all of them,all this in 10 to 12 minutes.
We often ask first thing if they are on a time consideration? When I forget to ask this I try to get a read on how they are liking what I am doing for them but could still get in trouble if they too lose all sense of time and are late getting out of here and have to drive 2 or 3 hours to get back home.
It does take some time to get into most people's minds to entertain them.
It takes time to communicate with them to convice them that you are... goingm to be doing or not doing certain things, hopefully up to their expectations, since they paid for whatever is coming up next.
Their bodies are also kept somewhat busy here for the duration of the house tour to traverse almost half a mile of foot travel here, all while never leaving a 125 ft. by 75 ft. property.. physically anyway.
If someone needs a "quick" show , I can get them through in 60 minutes, of course they have to do their part too, can't be asking lots of questions and stopping to gawk or read the scribblings upon every foot of maze wall, you know.

08-20-2012, 12:21 PM
This is a subjective question as it has everythign to do with the size of the haunt and the pricing. As previously stated you don't want to overcharge. Typically I aim at 20 minutes but I will NEVER sacrifice quality for more time. Any haunter that sacrifices the quality of his/her haunt will ultimately damage the entire industry! I relate it to this; if you go to a fast food chain place and your food sucks and the service was horrible, are you going to want to go to another one of their chains? Probably not!

The key is to give a great show with adequate time. Of course if we had all the money in the world we could do this easily so don't go broke trying.

There is no magical number of minutes or time line. Besides when you get closer to Halloween your numbers will spike and you will more than likely have a straight line through your haunt. Then it becomes an issue of traffic flow...


08-22-2012, 08:21 AM
I feel 20-30 minutes is ideal. Sometimes I feel you get what you pay for at some haunts you pay $10 and its a 10 minute walk. Others charge 15-20 and have a 30-40 haunt. Take Headless they have 8 attractions and it takes 2.5-3 hrs to complete the entire attraction. Per attraction some are a very quick walk through like the greenhouse and cellar but the Haunted Houses, cornfield, hayride are long. It is the best for your money and they do an excellent job.

Marr Branch
08-30-2012, 06:38 PM
How fast can you run?

01-13-2013, 11:07 AM
It is not always about time but about "depth of experience" If you have an endless maze where everything feels the same it might not be as good as something shorter where many different things happen. a huge variety of different experiences is worth "clock time" or Sq footage any day.

05-15-2013, 11:42 PM
I didn't want to start a new thread when such a closely related one was already here. I hope some of you guys are still reading / keeping up with this. I need some opinions.

I have a 2 trailer haunt that should take about 6 min's to get through (estimation) We're trying to project the average length of time to get from front door to the first room (2 small dark mazes etc) all the way down to how long we're going to tortue folks etc.

If a show is only 6 minutes average, BUT!... You involve them SO MUCH, they are literally part of the show. It'll be hands on w/o freaking people out. We're going to kidnap people without grabbing and dragging them etc. 3 of the 5/6 group will get hands on experiences from being kidnapped and tortured, to being part of a really cool illusion / scare.

If they REALLY get a great show for 6 minutes, what kind of price should we look at? We expect to have folks come out going 'WOW, that was so cool'. And what we're trying to do, is give them 'talk' materials, like the one who gets kidnapped, will have to tell the rest of the group later what she experienced in the hallways and torture table, and the ones in the illusions get to tell how it's done.

So... opinions on pricing? Should I stick with the dollar per minute plan? Or I have a few people saying $8 sounds good.



06-21-2013, 12:38 AM
Let me just say this... there are a lot of haunters out there that TOTALLY LIE or TOTALLY EMBELLISH the truth about how long it takes to walk through their haunt. Creepyworld is MASSIVE and I mean MASSIVE... if you ever get the chance to come during October you should just to see Creepyworld. Creepyworld is totally awesome and its long as hell... if I started at the beginning and just walked the whole thing with no one there it might take me about 15 minutes. Anyone should be able to walk a mile in 10 minutes or run one in 7 or 8 minutes. So tell me is your haunted house a mile long?

There is 1 Mile = 5280 Feet. How many haunted houses are 5280 walking feet? UMMMM not many if ANY!

So if you can walk a mile in 10 minutes, even if your haunt was TWO miles long its still under 20 minutes long. So lets get real for a second...

If you want to add in all the time they wait in a long line, or slowing down because they are scared, or whatever it still couldn't take more than 15 minutes for the average haunted house at best!!!!!!!!!!!!

If your haunt is TOUR driven then sure it could take as long as you want it to... but you would never make a dime because you couldn't put any huge numbers through the place.

So the bottom line is this... Most haunts in America realistically are LESS THAN 10 minutes long. Lets just call a spade a spade...

Now if you want to add in everything that goes along with your experience sure it could be a lot longer but to answer your question lets go back to what I already said...

How long does it take a NORMAL person to walk a mile??? Lets just say a nice pace puts you at 10 minutes for every 5,280 feet. Most haunted houses are NOT that long... I would actually say HALF of that so that is FIVE minutes! Now add back in the time they take walking slow, or getting stopped maybe you get back to 10 or 12 minutes.

That is your average!


06-21-2013, 11:39 AM
Larry just as a note a average person walks at a 4 MPH rate that would = 15 min mile and the the world record haunt right now is a little over 2600 feet long. but a person in a haunt walks below a 2 MPH pace, and yes i did check this with a pedometer.

11-16-2013, 08:18 AM
Larry just as a note a average person walks at a 4 MPH rate that would = 15 min mile and the the world record haunt right now is a little over 2600 feet long. but a person in a haunt walks below a 2 MPH pace, and yes i did check this with a pedometer.

You're right, austind.

4 MPH is actually a pretty quick walk. Probably about the pace someone in an airport would walk if he were worried about getting to his gate on time. Try 4 MPH on a treadmill. As you said, at 4 MPH, it would take 15 minutes to go a mile (5,280 feet).

6 MPH is a jog. At 6 MPH it would take you 10 minutes to go 5,280 feet. A lot of recreational 5K runners take 30 minutes to run a 5K (3.1 miles) which is about 6 MPH.

I would believe 2 MPH as a pace through a haunt (even lower if you really look around). At 2 MPH it would take 30 minutes to walk a mile.

11-30-2013, 02:56 AM
There isn't hardly any haunts in America that are over 5000 linear square feet no way...

Here is the reality 98% of every haunted house in America is less than 10 to 12 minutes and you can take that to the bank!

Most haunt owners out there say it takes 30 minutes, 45 minutes, an hour whatever... we all know as haunt owners we embellish the truth on just about everything.

So we can't take what we read on haunts websites as reality you have to go there, whip out a stop watch and walk thru... but you'll come up with different times depending on when you go!

For example if you go on a SLOW night I bet you get thru a haunt 40% faster than on a Saturday getting stuck behind scared people who will not MOVE... so if that happens the time in a haunt can take double the time.

But honestly I think when we talk shop here we should be talking the truth, how long does it take to experience your haunt with no one in line start to finish.

Most haunts less than 15 minutes TOPS! You go to Universal or say Knotts they won't have a haunt that will take more than 5 to 8 minutes each, and most haunts in the country aren't much bigger or only slightly bigger than the biggest single haunt at Universal. Yes there are many HUGE haunts, the Darkness is over 30,000 square feet, and if I made an honest guess hmmm... 20 minutes tops. Then you have some place like Creepyworld and yes we are telling the truth when we say it will take over an hour to get thru the place with que lines, haunts, and everything yeah an hour but that is a rare bird.


Chad Portenga
04-02-2014, 10:19 AM
My favorite line when asked "How long does it take to go through?"
In a dead pan serious look I say "How fast can you run?"

I like this answer! We've answered the same question occasionally with "We're not really sure. There's still a few people we haven't found."

02-11-2015, 08:23 AM
There are a lot of ways to make your haunt last longer we use lines between attractions to enhance the experience. In the lines we have actors and stage shows so the experience really seems bigger and better. I personally don't feel its about how long your haunt is but while they are there do they actually experience a show in the haunt or out.