View Full Version : Not in MY Haunt!!!

01-24-2011, 11:18 PM
Ok.... my Haunt Partner and I haggle over what we do and don't want in our show. I am sure any of you that do this as a team, partnership, or rite of combat theocracy run into the same dilemma. For instance my Partner Ben doesn't dig clowns. Doesn't think they are scary so he sees no point in having them in a haunt. Which got me to wondering.... what things do you choose to NOT include in your show?

damon carson
01-24-2011, 11:53 PM
Clowns! I dont find them scary at all. But im leaning towards a creepy nostalgic type clown character. I think they can be made creepy. But your traditional clowns w bright colors, funny shoes ect. Definately not scary.

damon carson
01-25-2011, 12:09 AM
Clowns! I dont find them scary at all. But im leaning towards a creepy nostalgic type clown character. I think they can be made creepy. But your traditional clowns w bright colors, funny shoes ect. Definately not scary.

01-25-2011, 01:04 AM
Funny thing on clowns though (no pun intended)...there are a LOT of people with Coulrophobia (irrational fear of clowns)...more than you would think. The even crazier thing I learned from experience...that in some cases those people will be more afraid of normal happy looking clowns over the evil bloody ones.

I don't get it, I'm not afraid of clowns, but as a haunt actor that does a lot of clown characters...I love the existence of Coulrophobia!

Mike "Pogo" Hach

01-25-2011, 08:14 AM
but I think there is a market for clowns. If you can make a home for your clowns/circus, etc. then clowns will fit into your haunt.

A couple of things we have done... the first year our hayride went through a gas chamber... and the clowns were next and were described as a hallucination... it was good, but clowns didn't have a real place in our hayride.

Our back-story now starts at the circus tent... and it is a funhouse with all clown and camouflage actors... eye tricks, laser fx, etc. Some people tell me how stupid it is... others vote it as their favorite attraction at the farm.

The best clown that I have ever seen is the schizophrenic middle-aged clown at Scare House... One of the most believable clown characters I have seen... he was a lot of fun to watch in their videos and their haunt (even we didn't see the original actor, the stand-in did fine).

In our haunt... I refuse to have movie characters. In 2007 we featured a "movie lane" through our back woods... it featured Jason, Michael, and Leatherface. The hayride went through a drive-in movie theater scene (staff parking) and drove behind the screen while we played a classic horror thriller on the screen. This worked out really well for our story... As time passed, I found that some of our best actors were standing behind copy-written masks... and I couldn't legally put them on flyers, billboards, or marketing of any kind. So we converted these characters into signature characters of our own... now they're on the front page of our site... where Leatherface or Jason could never be.

Others still argue that we should have the movie characters. Yes, there is nothing like scaring someone who has the fear of Jason ingrained in their mind... but I am just stubborn I guess.

01-25-2011, 08:58 AM
Guns......I was so happy last year to find the "boomstick" and purchased it instead of a gun. I just have this thing about guns being pointed at people, fake or not.

Now we will see if I win the battle this year. I could see it as a prop that might be fired into the air outside but I can't see this machine gun that they want to buy. It just makes me nervous.

01-25-2011, 11:25 AM
I second the gun thing (love cannons and air bladders/rattlers though) but not the gun look.

I also just don't like clowns in haunts, creepy circuses are cool tho.

My absolute not gonna happen at all, no if ands or buts, are suicide and/or racial gags. It just does not fly. I've seen some haunts use scenes of people killing themselves and even one haunt I've been to did some pretty racist stuff which isn't cool. I don't think either are scary, never mock suicide and don't put the KKK in your attraction. It is not scary or even mildly acceptable as a form of any entertainment.

Jolly Pumpkin
01-25-2011, 04:13 PM
Rotting corpses, severed body parts, blood and guts, chained up victims, chainsaws inches from your face, actors screaming for their lives, demons, evil clowns, knives and everything and anything you can think of is ok. But suicide and the use of fake guns is out of the question. Boy, that makes a lot of sense.

01-25-2011, 04:29 PM
Yeah the guns thing can go either way really. Until last year I used to use a paintball gun in one or two of my acts...that ran on little CO2 cartridges, could easily be painted up cool, and was definitely great for startles. But if im running down the line popping off shots, not many people are going to immediately see that it is only a paintball gun.

However I came up on a group in the cue line last year that had just a little too intense of a reaction for my comfort level to where I felt if someone would have had one, I could have got a real gun pulled on me thinking mine was real. With the new concealed carry law in Ohio...it makes that possibility a little more realistic. It is one thing when you see the gun clear as day like the shotgun suicide scene that was in the Dark Zone last year (and a couple haunts) or if its something out in the open like the turret mounted guns and such...but I dont know if I will continue to do the handheld gun thing...boomstick might be a better alternative...but still has that same kind of effect. On the subject of the suicide thing...I can see both sides of the argument...some people are going to be offended or appauled by it, more so if you have someone you know that might have attempted or commited suicide, but in argument its not much different than having people getting hung, the "victim" of a killer real or not, or mental patients etc... It all goes back to human action in some way, and there is always someone that will be offended by different things, or can be traced back to something very emotional.

Some of it might stem from general jadedness from how much crazy stuff there is in our world, but I know its fake at the haunted attractions, and if you look at it beyond that you open up everything in a haunt up for argument of whether it is right or socially acceptable.

Those are my thoughts on it

Mike "Pogo" Hach

Jim Warfield
01-25-2011, 08:01 PM
"But I don't like pinches, they hurt!"
"Pinch my cheeks and you''l quickly find yourself in a jail cell !"
"I'm highly offended! I brush my gums once a month and just because I have no teeth doesn't mean you have to talk about gums! I take this as a personal insult!"
"I am scared to DEATH! That nasty woman who stole my virginity had a wad of chewing tobbacco in her mouth the entire time, I'll Never ever feel the least bit comfortable around someone who has some of that in their mouth."
Maybe we should all have a sign posted outside before they buy a ticket:"Hyper-Sensitive, Easily Offended People Need Not Come Any Closer , turn around go back home NOW!"
Entertainment is such a "risky" undertaking. Either you might bore them or offend them.
I don't have "Hollywood" here except in the form of some static masks that were made right across the street and were given to me.
I feature no bloody parts here.
Some Octobers some of my hired help put on make up and costumes and I think this is great and so do most customers.
I spend alot of time and effort distracting people from the fact that this 1870 house is actually haunted. I tell the haunted history in a comical way usually which allows the audience members to either believe or just laugh and not take any extra phobias or ghosts home with them when they leave.
All I need is this house, some front room furniture the customers can sit down on and a small flash light, all surrounded by darkness.
I have done some tours during which all I talk about are the funny things that have happened here! 25 years in this house doing this ,... this year...so I guess this is my extremely simple, simple-minded "answer" to these complex questions..dark room, flash light, audience, I'm set.

01-25-2011, 08:57 PM
We have a blanket prohibition on clowns at Fear Fair. Pretty much anything else is a go...

Jim Warfield
01-26-2011, 10:23 AM
Because they turn you on so immeadiately that you become an affection-Zombie, rubbing up against them and making a complete fool of yourself?
"Go ahead Clowny, grease me! Grease paint me, rub against me too!
Or does this have more to do with Jimmie Stewart in The Greatest Show On Earth"?
The conspiracy deepens!

01-26-2011, 11:51 PM
Im really impartial to religious stuff. Im a Christian myself, but Im not big on having anything religious in my show. Christian or satanic.

I like the idea of a fake weapon, but I dont think it should look exactly like a real gun. I've seen the replica 50 Cal that DSL makes, and it is pretty intense. I know of some ex-military people that would probly flip out if they saw one in a haunt like that.

Soul Reaper
01-27-2011, 05:20 PM
Clowns can and do work in haunts. There is alot of people out there scared to death of them. I've talk to some people that are not scared of some of the monsters and other nasty creepy crawles, and yet there only fear is of clowns.
Mostly do to the Stephen King's IT.

Allen H
01-28-2011, 09:16 AM
In the show I own
No clowns, no chainsaws, No sacriligious props/sets, No people killing people, no guns held by actors (OK on wall as props), No profanity (from actors), No black robes, No running zombies, and no babies (so far).
In the show I run I knw the public has expectation I have to meet so the list is shorter
No sacreligios props/sets/actors.

01-28-2011, 05:47 PM
No clowns, no chainsaws, No sacriligious props/sets, No people killing people, no guns held by actors (OK on wall as props), No profanity (from actors), No black robes, No running zombies, and no babies (so far).
In the show I run I knw the public has expectation I have to meet so the list is shorter

Chainsaws yes.

Suicide, no. Guns, no. Babies, no. Clowns, lame, and no. ( though the clown thing may change....) 3D Haunt, no.

Jim Warfield
01-28-2011, 10:19 PM
..what I say to customers here. When they say, "What!? No chainsaws?"
I would suggest they just drive to the next haunt and there you will find it. Now , reading stuff here I guess Every other haunt might not have chainsaws?
I actually do have some chainsaws here but I don't use them like" that"(The Screaming Chainsaw Ballet). What a revelation this is! Congratulations!

01-31-2011, 06:49 PM
I will not do a military zombie. I actually ran a thread on this about a year ago...many agreed with me...and many said nothing wrong with it. And I will add many who said nothing wrong with it; were ex military themselves. I have a clown; but if I didn't have my one guy who is so good at it I wouldn't have a clown. I do not have any devils or demons; although I have a witch. I actually get several church youth groups that will come to my haunt since I skip that stuff...a niche market almost. Never had or will have a suicide.

01-31-2011, 07:51 PM
Well, i guess that shoots down my demonic, suicidal zombie, Marine Corps clown who eats babies with his chainsaw character that I was working on. Damn.

Jim Warfield
02-01-2011, 11:05 AM
Concerning what we will be showing, having in our haunts. A committee will usually be very conservative and committes have never created any "Art" have they? Brown chevy 4-doors with no chrome? The Corvette slipped passed the bean-counters.
The freedom to do is also the freedom to fail and customers will vote with their $ ballots.
Why will people subject themselves to places and situations where they will not be "happy" or comfortable I'll never know?
I was in a military weapons museum. A young woman began crying looking at the Veitnam exhibit of guns, ex cetra. Why was she there?
IT was no secret what was inside of that building, you passed a check post to be able to enter the grounds...??
John Browning's name was on the sign, as in "Browning automatic machine guns."
Small groups go through my house mostly, I try to keep an ear out to see if someone is too upset, bothered by anything I am responsible for here and I apologise if this is the case and we go on to something else...which is the best I can do for them.

03-09-2011, 08:06 PM
I made post on here several weeks ago saying I have never had nor will have a suicide. That was before the neighboring towns have had 3 kids do this recently. Father came home and found his daughter who had shot herself...died shortly later. I scare and entertain. But I'll never have a suicide. Would have made good story line here too. About 100 years ago a guy walked back to the huckleberry swamp just a 100 yards from my haunted trail. The family found him when the vultures started circling.

Jim Warfield
03-09-2011, 11:29 PM
When I was told my Cousin had just died. I felt strange about that.
My Ex got our car "T-Boned" by a Volvo, I built a motorcycle wreck with a skeleton into the dent, then two teens running away from the Police on a stolen motorcycle went up a dark driveway, hit a parked car, one was killed.
I felt strange about this, this is a very small town.
A Woman was sneaking around one October night sprinkling "holy water" on store's backdoors. Our Chief of Police told her to "Go home and look after your kids." (Do something usefull)
About a year later I solved a flow problem here with customers by making a phoney closet for them to pass through, complete with the clothes hanging there. Just about the same time I made this, the woman who had been caught sprinkling the water found her oldest daughter, seemingly a smart and pretty girl hanging dead in her closet.
She had to hold her knees bent so her feet would not touch the floor to do this!
Life is Strange, Sometimes I wished that I didn't "Notice".
No fiction here.