View Full Version : Maze Help, Hints and Stats

07-02-2010, 03:27 AM
Hello all. At Dr. Scarys we have 2 mazes, one is pitch black (dark maze) and that is inside and then we also have a outdoor maze but we seem to always have a few problems with them.

1. Dark maze people cheat and use cell phones. We can't think of any really effective ways to stop this other than cubbyholes at the beginning where they must deposit everything in their pockets. This would also help with spacing and timing issues since we would only have X number of groups in the house and also there would be no photography.

2. People say that our outdoor maze is to easy even with actors in it. (ironically nobody notices the brown muddy path in all the grass that is the right path, it just gets there from all the customers walking through the maze.) So for this problem I wanted to look up some stats on which way people will turn more often, left or right. etc... But so far I have not been able to find any.

07-02-2010, 06:24 AM
As far as cell phones go, you're not gonna get them away from people so don't even think about it. Who in their right mind would leave a cell phone in a pile with everyone else's? How are you going to remember who's is whos?

The best thing to do is not make your maze entirely pitch black. Take a lesson from the Air Force and make the walls not quite so pitch black. In the dark- you walls will be darker than the dark around them, making it easier to find the way. I've seen people using cell phones in our mazes before and it's never helped them at all. Lots of tight turns and you'll have people confused in no time and running into walls that they'll be wishing they had turned their cell phone off because their night vision is shot.
Another thing to try is to place an actor in your maze- preferably right around a corner- then the cell phone light only alerts them to the presence of more victims to scare and gives you someone to tell them once again to turn off their cell phones. (In character of course)

Now for your outdoor maze. We built a really nice, simple maze at our haunt- then hung alternating colour curtains for customers to find their way through- with one false turn...think of walking around in a herd of zebras. I built the thing and I'd still occasionally get lost in it. The only way out was to, as you mentioned, follow the tracks on the ground, or perhaps use the stars...

Remember you have 360 degrees to work with! All your turns don't have to be simply 90degree angles, mix it up! Have tight turns followed by more tight turns, long stretches that suddenly end and they missed the turn off. If it crowds up the maze, so what? You successfully confused them.

Finally to answer your question- the direction most people turn in is right. You don't need statistics. 1.People are right handed 2.In a vehicle it is easier to perform a right hand turn 3.People naturally want to turn to the side they feel most powerful on- and for 83% of the population that's right. 4. People lost in the desert normally end up doing circles that go clockwise (ie. to the right) because their right foot is slightly longer and more powerful. Now you might find someone who's done military or law enforcement- and they'll use their left hand to guide them around a dark area to find the way out (leaving their gun hand on the weapon) but not really something to worry about anyways.

Hope some of this helps- but don't get it in your head to make a maze that's all left turns- just make the turns tight and random and you'll disorient people. It doesnt take a lot either. We did a maze in a 10'x12' section and that was more than enough to throw people off balance for the rest of the haunt.

Jim Warfield
07-02-2010, 09:51 AM
People are more comfortable turning left, this frees their popular "Punching" hand for immeadiate action.(Just what We don't want to see!)
Put any actors on their right side, since if a punch gets tried it will be the left coming at you possibly less strongly and with less accuracy.
The British officers carried their walking cane, it was just the right height to spin under the palm of the hand to rotate as they marched across foreboding stretches of sand dunes, measuring their steps , keeping themselves and their foot soldiers walking straighter. I think it was usually held in the left hand to compensate for that weaker left leg/thing.
Build a few maze hiding places that will still hide even with some light on it, or have an elevated walk-way so actors can reach over the wall from above in numerous locations, the scare factor will increase as will the area they have to pay attention to, increasing the scare possibilitys from right infront of them as they are then looking "up".
Can an actor get really punched if they are that high above the customer? Probably not.
Of course build the walkway strong enough with side railings, don't scimp on this.
Cell phones: Funny thing is many of them don't have a signal inside my old haunted, haunted house! "OOOOWWW!" "It's HAUNTED!"
Then one could always be somewhat mean and have a strobe light to blind the cell phoner , but I would never do that because...I don't like my eyes getting such treatment.
When is someone going to make a cell phone signal blocker? Better yet an automatic cell phone caller sending spooky messages to every cell phone inside your building?
300 cell phones all go nuts at the same time! WOW! wouldn't that be fun! "We said, "NO CELL PHONES!"
Remember though guys, some girls pretend to lose their cell phone, this gives them an excuse to give YOU their personal contact information.
Maybe a nasty, gruesome looking goon could be introduced as the person you give your contact info to when you lose your phone in here would discourage them from bringing them in! hahahah!

Allen H
07-02-2010, 12:10 PM
Try a triangular grid system,and I never paint my walls black either I go for brown or a medium gray. And no one will give up their cell phones the triangular grid makes them unfocused and the lights dont help that much.
also if the whole maze is in darkness then they will use their lights, if there are spots of light they will try to make it to one of those as opposed to making their own light because there is none.
Allen H

07-03-2010, 05:56 PM
Try a triangular grid system,and I never paint my walls black either I go for brown or a medium gray. And no one will give up their cell phones the triangular grid makes them unfocused and the lights dont help that much.
also if the whole maze is in darkness then they will use their lights, if there are spots of light they will try to make it to one of those as opposed to making their own light because there is none.
Allen H

Allen H- I think I know of it by a different term, a Delta Maze. I assume that's what you are referring to? or something very similar.

Jim Warfield
07-03-2010, 07:02 PM
All the way to very well illuminated. I want then to see the place, see what they paid for, see what I have done.
People also relax much more when the light is brighter causing the scare to be more powerfull.
Using a bright light can also help create some incredibly dark shadows creating very black hiding places...sometimes right under their very nose, then..stand up! Wow!

07-29-2010, 08:03 AM
Our past experience was with a 4' square grid type maze. After we got all up and walked through it we realized 2 things- first we got very luck with the design and created a great maze. Second, even as great as it was, by itself and bare, it was very easy to navigate.

Our solution was two fold- first the hanging curtain strips. Placed about 6' to 8' apart REALLY increases the confusion. Second we put strobes at the beginning and at two places inside. These knocked out their night vision completely and drew them away from the exit.

Later we added two actors in identical costumes. They worked out a great routine that allowed them to steer the guests around and around the maze as long as they wanted.

It was our most popular room.

07-29-2010, 06:46 PM
For the cell phone problem, do this: Get the biggest fog/smoke machine you can get... Get the thickest, longest lasting fog juice you can get (Froggys fog)... Fog the HELL out of the black maze!!! Use black corrogated tubing to funnel the fog ("T" it off where you want fog)... Run it all night, fogging the entire maze... As thick as you can!!

This will create the same effect as turning your car lights on bright on a foggy night!! So even with the cell phone light, they still can't see ANYTHING!!


07-30-2010, 03:16 AM
Thank you for the many great ideas everybody as always you are amazingly helpful.

Although I would like to clarify my cubbyhole idea. My idea is that since everybody gets a ticket with a stub we give them the stub back and leave the ticket in the cubbyhole with their purses, cell phones, keys etc so that nothing gets lost or broken in the haunt people hate waiting till the end of the night to find lost items and we don't want any liability if something of theirs breaks while they are in the haunt. This area will be constantly monitored with a camera and by at least one person if not more.
Also with the cubbyhole system we will have more control and a much better idea of how many people are in the haunt, how long it takes the average group to get through and what areas have issues with people bunching up or areas where there are hardly ever any people. Plus we would not have to worry about people using cell phones or taking pictures while inside the haunt.

Jim Warfield
07-30-2010, 03:36 PM
people can hide things on themselves so well, we aren't going to go about frisking everyone now are we?
I was told just the other day about a rather big woman who had a wooden leg full of moonshine as she traveled from place to place selling it.
People enter my house in groups. It everyone in that group is a group (all know one another, came here as a group) if they have glow sticks I just forget about hassling them about such items, BUT if it is a mixed group, the glow sticks have get put away and stay away.
(Even though some glow sticks tend to blind the person wearing it! hahahahah!)
I really don't like some dissappointed customers wanting a whole new house tour because somebody in their group ruined it for them..maybe I'm just lazy and don't want work twice for the same dollar?