View Full Version : Theme?

06-09-2010, 05:42 PM
This will be my first year with a haunt, it will be a haunted trail that goes through a large field and some woods. and i was wondering do you usually have a theme and if so what theme seems to be the peoples favorite? I have been contemplating several but really haven't been able to choose if you would give your input it would be much appreciated!


Allen H
06-09-2010, 07:01 PM
Tell us more, do you have great actors? what are you good at? do you lean towards tech stuff or awesome setwork, what are your strengths? then match your theme to that/

06-09-2010, 07:35 PM
well it will be our first year so we are kinda starting small per say

Allen H
06-09-2010, 10:38 PM
What skills do you have? what are you good at? Im trying to help you. Are you good at art, can you paint? Is your main skill that you have loads of cash? thats a strength too and widens your theme options considerably.
Different skill sets play out better with different themes, the more we know about your strengths then the more we can help you. If you have no skills what so ever then go with a clown carrying chainsaws theme, cheap and easy but way over done. You have a personality and your show will be better if you can express it through your theme.
Allen H

06-10-2010, 12:25 PM
Well I'd say im pretty creative and im good with technical things like building

06-10-2010, 12:41 PM
I'm a newb here, and don't expect I'll ever run a haunted house, but I'll throw in my 2 cents cause I've given themes some thought. My take on it is that themed haunts are more effective because they do a better job of removing the patron from the outside world. If you walk from a clown room to a space alien room, it could easily feel like observing a gallery of sets and props, rather than actually being in that world.
Definitely think Allen's right about finding a theme that fits you. Sort of like finding a career that fits you, you'll do a better job because you like doing it. If you walk in every day and see your chainsaw-wielding clowns and go "ugh. this again." you probably won't be in the mood to make it shine.

edit: I see that this is PRO HAUNTER ONLY. If you think my comment detracts from the conversation I'll take it down.;)

Jim Warfield
06-11-2010, 12:28 AM
Can convince others to be afraid, afraid of the house or him or other unnamed entittys.
He can make those entittys seem real no matter how unrealistically large and over-blown they may be.
An excellant set can garner their intrest and maybe even hold their attention for awhile.
A theme gives them something to think about and even anticipate but maybe anticipation becoming a true forecast of what is going to show up next leads to the mind turning off because of the predictability?
Surprises entertain more than safe predictable circumstances, don't they?
Do they appear at our door buying a ticket because they are looking for predictabilty?
My place has been around along time and is actually mostly a tourist attraction and I think tourism lends itself to people wanting to return to the same thing they enjoyed before, bring new friends, show them what they have already seen.
I have built with much concrete, stone and steel, I'm not ripping the place apart soon or easily just for the sake of "change".
My front room is not of such super-durable materials but I can change that room with a flashlight in my hand as I effect a new voice and ad-lib things, things distracting enough they will totally forget to even look at the room that much.

06-11-2010, 11:37 AM
I think a them is important, but not an absolute. I've seen some very good non-themed haunts and themed haunts.

Do you have a key character? What type of props do you have? Your outdoors, so your theme should be associated with the outdoors. A farm, alien landing, circus, western, children of the corn, etc.

Here is how I developed my theme, none of it was really pre-planned.

Year 1, we had no theme, but people really liked our doctor scene with a Dr. with a circular saw. We just started calling it the Dr. Buzzsaw room

Year 2, we make Dr. Buzzsaw our namesake and go with Dr. Buzzsaw's Haunted Hospital, we had more medical scenes, but still had graveyards and other non-hospital things.

Year 3. we devote more energy to the hospital. We add x-ray, and radiation, blood donation, a dentist, ect. and get rid of Jason and other canned scares, no more Freddy Kruger, everything is original and part of a hospital.

Year 4, this year, we are going to tell even more of a story, instead of going room by room to a different procedure, we have continuity from one area to the next. The story line will be played out by the actors from check in at the hospital, through a series of tests and procedures, some death and dismemberment, to them being chased out of the hospital by crazy doctors.

So my point is, the theme might take a few years to develop. It might depend on what works the first year. It might depend if you have a really good actor in a particular scene that you can play up into the whole haunt.

06-11-2010, 12:19 PM
Pirates of Emerson and Bennett's Curse are two excellent haunts that come to mind with themes....


06-11-2010, 08:31 PM
THANKS FOR THE HELP! This helped me alot!:D