View Full Version : Since I am NEW here - I would like to know...

02-17-2007, 11:38 PM
Since I am new to this forum, but long time lurker. I would like to know how/why you all got started in this business? Was there someone who gave you inspiration to do this type of work? Or did you always know you wanted to do this. One final question, How long have you been doing this for? Lets see how many legends there are.

Since I started this topic I will go first. It all started back in 2002, my ex wanted to have a halloween party at my parents house. I said fine and started shopping for decorations/props. I saw this cool archway that would be awesome in the party so I wanted it. Needless to say my parents ceiling was too low and couldn't handle the 8 foot archway. So I scrappped the party at my parents house and rented a space. lol Too make a long story short, it went from her wanting a small party to this huge party. haha 5 years later I'm still at it and getting better every year. If it wasn't for her I don't think I would have ventured into this side off the business. (i.e. doing parties, going to transworld year after year and wanting my own haunt). Your turn.

02-17-2007, 11:45 PM
Well, for me... my dad used to build haunts for various people around the state while my grandparents operated a small home haunt for trick-or-treaters. Since the day I was born I was involved with Halloween/haunting.
My dad finally had to find a "real job" and is now working at TMMK (Toyota Motor Manufactoring of Kentucky) and has been there for around 10-11 years. My grandparents have stopped haunting as they are getting older but the blood still flows through my veins to haunt.

After working for my unlces media company (mostly local TV commercials) I decided to start my own company. My dad loved the idea and helped me by simply assisting with some start-up costs. Thank god! From that TerrorMedia (www.terrorhome.com) was born.

Today I am still (mostly always) updating my studio and am a full-time college student aspiring to one day open my own PRO HAUNT! I would love to work for a haunt company either designing or doing make-up. Maybe life will lead down a good path, maybe not.

But that's my story. -Tyler

Jim Warfield
02-18-2007, 12:26 AM
they won't stop singing that song!

My generation was always looking for the next "Neat" thing. Monster movies were neat, machine guns were neat. Tanks were neat.
Atomic -powered whatevers were neat(They lied to us about nukes)
Where is my nuclear powered flying car with the clear bubble roof?
My childhood fascination with ugly , scary things got it's start with the first mirror I looked into. I could make faces at myself all day long.
I could hide places other people couldn't or wouldn't even think of, I was a small kid, this usually meant I won the war/sniper contests in the neighborhood. Maybe this built ego? Confidence to scare people and get away with it? Everything became a thinking contest. "What are they going to do?" What should I do in relation to what they are doing?
Scaring people is guerilla warfare afterall, stealth, cunning, bravery, attack, retreat, regroup, attack again.
Making your opponent think you are more than you are or someplace where you are not.
Fascinating stuff.

02-18-2007, 07:59 AM
I think I had no choice but to be drawn to this business in one form or another.....

1) As a kid, I'd see spirits and YES, Jim...even Shadow People. :D

2) I grew up in a Holiness church which meant there was an occasional run in with those who were posessed with various demons.

3) My sister's birthday is Oct. 29th and my mom always gave her a party pertaining to Halloween

4) From a small child through High School, I was always dressed either by my sis and mom or by my own hand in great award-winning costumes for Halloween.

Put numbers 1-4 together and perhaps you'll see that this business really choose me instead of the other way around.

02-18-2007, 09:11 AM
i would tell you how i started but its a huge story and i dont want to fill up the chat.but hey jim i make faces at myself in the mirror for entertainment as well ahhaha

02-18-2007, 09:13 AM
i would tell you how i started but its a huge story and i dont want to fill up the chat.but hey jim i make faces at myself in the mirror for entertainment as well ahhaha
wipp, my story is much longer and more complicated, as well. But, I cut it short. So, give us the footnotes of your story. I'd like to know.

02-18-2007, 09:24 AM
ok when i was 4 yrs old i was going trick or treating with my mom and when i left the house i heard a noise ringing through the neighborhood saying"hooohoooo real loud over an amp.well as i made my way down the street the sound kept getting louder.i could only imagine what was making that unfimiliar noise.finally i got to the house that the noise was coming from and their was a guy in a visqueen box in a rocking chair wearing a mask.i watched 6 kids get candy and he just sat there.my mom said go get some candy.and i was like do i have to?she said nothing will happen.so i cautiously walked up to him to get candy.when i stuck my hand in the bowl he jumped up out of his chair and yelled whooo whoooo ,im telling you i did the scooby doo run.my legs were running but my body was sitting still.i got back to my mom and said,ok mom halloweenover,take me home.
well 25 yrs later me and my couisin were hanging out and talking about that and decided to build a visqueen box in the driveway to give some kids chemical memories.we did it and it was the start of my addiction.the next year i baught a flying crank ghost from doug at the house of shok and that really got me going.next thing you know im addicted to halloween and prop building.i turned my whole backyard into a haunt,full of home made effects and pneumatic homemade props.and it became a growing annual thing.
hurricane kitrina destroyed 30k worth of haunt and i missed that year.talk about depressed.well me and my couisin made loans and baught a warehouse to make sure this didnt happen again.so now were in a commercial location.thats how we became a commercial haunt

02-18-2007, 09:29 AM
im telling you i did the scooby doo run.my legs were running but my body was sitting still.
LOL!! :lol:

Thank You! :D

02-18-2007, 11:28 AM
That awesome! Great stories. We need more, more, everyone should share. Don't be shy. hehe I feel like a zombie hunting for brains but instead I want to hear how you all got started. ha Keep it going. Who's next?

02-18-2007, 01:18 PM
Well, let's see. Did the normal haunt in the basement thing as a kid. Got to my teens and did the mischief night fun stuff and of course Halloween night filling a pillowcase with candy.

Then got married and my wife and I would take her little brother and travel all over to various haunts. Most of the time we were disappointed but we always had fun. So when he turned 14 we decided to decorate our front porch. The next year we decorated around the house and the 3rd year the WHOLE front and back yard. We had lines up and down the road that year and we won an award for the best home haunt from the local paper. People loved our home haunt and said that we should go pro. So that's when the Trail of Terror was born. (At least here in CT) We found an old house a friends family owned and they let us use that for 8 years. In 1998 we won an award for the Best Outdoor Attraction by Fright Times Magazine.....Yahoo, pretty cool. Then we outgrew that loaction and the search went on for a new location. 3 1/2 years and 64 properties later we found our new home. Which we love. Now in our 13th year, 5th in our new location, we continue to grow and break attendance records each year. This past year we had a many nights of over a 4 hour wait. Each year we try to outdo the previous. The Trail has donated well over $300,000 to the Red Cross and local charities.

Thats my story so far.



Jim Warfield
02-18-2007, 01:40 PM
Don't tell me, Wipp! You spent all your money trying to get enough vizzqueen to cover the outside of that warehouse!
(Can't forget your trademark afterall!) hahahah!

Duke of Darkness
02-18-2007, 02:26 PM
I have posted a fairly complete version before, but he abbreviated answer is that in the mid-late 80's I was serving on a military base overseas and we decided to built a haunt for the kids, since the locals didn't do the whole trick or treat thing. It took about 10 minutes for me to be hooked completely.


Kevin Dells
02-18-2007, 07:57 PM
My story is a pretty simple one... Things freak me out so i decided i wanted to be the thing that freaked other people out!

I grew up in the middle of the woods,I hated the woods so i camped out in my backyard and overcame my fear as a teenager. Now when i camp it's alone and in the middle of nowhere, i pack and portage my canoe miles into the woods just to be alone with the woods. So i turned myslef into a fear Junkie!

I hated horror movies as a kid,now i own a huge collection and watch them over and over watching for details.

Ten years ago i used to have a huge passion for Christmas decorating,decorated everything including the dogs. Halloween came along and i thought why not. So it began my home haunt which i did for a few years. Until THAT DAY! That day was the day i meet my haunt owner at the local city festival, he had a booth set up and was advertising this haunt he was going to open in October, so i listened to his shcpeel and i told him i would stop by the next week and see if it was as cool as he said.

IT WAS! Whoo hoo i made a new freind and the rest is history!

Five years later i know so many new people, i have learned so many new things in haunting that it keeps me awake all the time. Its a 24/7 life for me as im sure most of you!

We don't have our haunt anymore but i have this unbelievable crew that along with myself won't quit. I have 20 other actors from our haunt and last year we took it to the road and guest acted at other haunts.
If we don't get the doors open this year we will surley hit the road again because now we love this drug we can't stop using it!

Last year we stayed at hotels living out of suitcases and put 1500 miles on our own vehicles but it was worth every second!

02-19-2007, 08:25 AM
I've posted my story a few times...but here's the abbreviated version...

I was born on October 4th and my parents always had Dracula, ghosts, pumpkins, etc. on my cakes, plates, and such. My dad used to let me watch parts of scary movies and got me hooked at a young age (even with the nightmares that came too, I still loved them!)
Well, our church had a yearly Spook Tunnel for the fellowship groups and one year a couple friends and I built/ran it ourselves and it was the best yet...I was only 16. Also, they'd plan a night to hit the Lion's Club Haunted House too (discounted rate for the group)!
Then one of my best buddies from high school (my business partner in crime now--hehe) said my father-in-law is a member of the Lion's and I helped him last year in the haunt...do you want to?
I was like "HECK YEA!"
And now years later...we bought all their panels/props since they gave it up from lack on interest inside the group and we're hoping to go pro this year!!!
That's my story...

Kirk :twisted:

02-19-2007, 10:04 AM
Every year that I can remember growing up, my dad took me to a few haunted houses every year, even gowing to the next state over- just to see a good haunted house. Also, every year when I was yound, I was dressing up in the goriest zombie costume I could get in to.
When I was 16, a friend and I got to work at a local jaycees haunt. When we finshed up that night, we were really pumped up and were saying that we were gonna build our own haunted house. I thought about it: I've beed going to haunted for forever, and I now what scares people and what doesnt. Why not!?! Why not build my own. So for the next 6 years, I bought props, masks, costumes, etc. And went to TW a few times and HAUNTCON to learn everything I could.
Last year was my first year to open up, and pulled in a lot more money than anticipated, and this year it will be much bigger and in a better location.
I hope that within a few years, between this haunt venture plus my other business plans, I will be self employed.
I'm hoping that in '09(or maybe '08) I will be able to be a vendor at TW and HAUNTCON.

02-19-2007, 07:51 PM
My love for Haunting started when my sister and I would have Halloween Parties in my parents gross basement. We made a Haunted Trail down the one side. My claim to fame at the party one year was this one wall filled with.....Tissue Ghosts! You know what I mean? I wall filled with them. I know your all getting scared just thinking about it! (Yes, I know this was lame, but keep in mind I was only about 7 or 8 at the time). My sister's idea was much better, she used an old junk toilet, she had it in the trail, with a witch mask placed inside it, face up. At the time I thought, wow, that is sooooo scary! From there,, it was acting at a local Haunted Hayride for years. I knew I really loved this stuff, cause when the Hayride was over for the year, I can still remember that feeling I woud get. I was so upset that it was over I really, really missed it. It's like when your there doing it,,, you just feel like there's no place else in the world you'd rather be. Then doing a home haunt for years, to finally opening a business. I'm proud to say I have since graduated to far better ideas and props than my tissue ghosts. Now I just save the tissues to stuff my bra! Ha!Ha! Thought you all would get a laugh at that!

02-19-2007, 11:27 PM
hi freaky,you owe me a pm,i do believe its your turn.tissue ghosts back when you were 8 yrd old huh?.that woulda made the brady bunch episode with the ghost on a string primetime tv.70s era,am i alone for remembering that?they tried to scare the possible buyers from buying their house if i remember correctly.

Jim Warfield
02-19-2007, 11:36 PM
Now several states have laws that if a realator sells a house purported to be haunted and didn't disclose this before selling, they can be in big trouble.
I already told you who, the seller!

02-20-2007, 05:35 AM
Yes Wipp the Brady's were much more advanced than me at the time. I think you would have liked my ghosts!Ha! Is it my turn for the pm? I'll write you later tonight. Hey, how's your organ? Just asking

02-20-2007, 06:35 AM
hahaha omg he said whoooooooo

02-20-2007, 07:00 AM
I have always loved halloween. Every year you go out, dress up get some candy. When i got into my teens I started scaring the other toters, the whole sit still with the candy in your lap stuff. Then in 2003 my girlfriend took me to help out at The Nightmare in Painesville in painesville, Ohio. She had worked there years before, and had friends who still worked there, and they need help that night. So my first night, ever working in a haunt, I was to give the actors water and candy. Cool. It was the first time I ever got to be part of the crew. The next night I tried acting. Never going to do that again. I guess it's just not in me. So the rest of the season I just handed out water and candy. The following year I told them I wanted to help build. Little did they know that I have more tools than sears, home depot, and lowes combined. I helped build a whole lot more than they were expecting and helped out alot. I have a background in machining, designing machines, and industrial electrical and pneumatic systems, so I started designing pneumatic and electric scares and props for them in 2004, and have grown my abilites since then. In 2005 after the season ended my friend Chris and I decided we wanted to do this for ourselves instead of working for someone. So we started Evilusions, a company that makes props, builds haunts, supplies pneumatic components and air cannons, design electronics and supply makeup to lots of people now. I still worked at the haunt last year, and have several for this year (2007) lined up. We do a yard haunt every year and blow the neighbors out of the water easily. I use the same lighting effects boxes, prop controllers, air cannons, pneumatic props, and foam latex props in my yard haunt as I sell on our website. This is definetly my calling, and it's definetly a 24/7 lifestyle. I can't stop thinking of new things to make, and new ways to scare the crap out of people. I love my job!

Jim Warfield
02-20-2007, 07:36 AM
"Tissue Paper Ghosts!"
"Kitty" Loves them on a string, pulled passed them, swung in the air just above them.
Unlike most Cat-Teaser" toys this allows Kitty to really be destroying something and get some satisfaction from that as the tissue shreds.
Can't find anything but frustration from a Laser-Pointer.