View Full Version : calculating your sqft

04-12-2011, 12:04 AM
I see some haunts listed at 20k sqft. Is that only actual haunting area or does that include things such as queue line areas, exits, actor passageways, etc etc..

04-12-2011, 07:43 AM
That's going to depend 100% on who is doing the figuring. Most haunters want to bump up the bragging rights, so they would count everything, but then some people are honest about it.

04-12-2011, 10:38 AM
We have a 25,000 sq foot building we are in and that's how big we say the haunt is , really just because it's easier. The space the haunt takes up in it is about 18,000 but with us we have people leave before they get a foot in the door so we scare thru out the whole area, pretty much.


04-12-2011, 02:21 PM
Over 740,000 square feet of corn maze. Haunted area is another 130,000 square feet. Of course I am outside though.

Wicked Farmer

04-12-2011, 02:52 PM
Haunted Paws~

As Gadget said " Most haunters want to bump up the bragging rights, so they would count everything, but then some people are honest about it. "

Which for BRAGGING RIGHTS is all good an well(to an extent) ..
the only ones who will REALLY KNOW will be you and your crew and POSSIBLY those that want to go through with a tape measure.

So do you want to "brag and lie " about how big your haunt (walk through is) or do you want to be up front and honest about it .

BUT ... this also would depend on your situation ..

Indoor or out door...

Does you Insurance Company OR you Building/Fire Inspector want to know how much area is OCCUPIED ( as in travel through space consistently) for your patrons and your actors .. as well as props and such.

Commercial, non profit, or just "doing for the hell of it" for Halloween.

There are many different aspects you want to take into consideration when calculating sq footage.

Just my thoughts.

04-12-2011, 03:40 PM
Commercial, non profit, or just "doing for the hell of it" for Halloween.

I'm gonna run as a commercial non-profit? I'm planning to pay a few people and then donate the rest to some specific charities. 25k seems enough but running the math you'd need an even larger building as 25k haunt is probably 30k with all the passageways and rooms for the actors.

04-12-2011, 10:40 PM
Haunted Paws~

You may or may not know some of these things.. if you do sorry for "preaching" in a way. .. if you don't consider it a bit of friendly advice.. with no offense intended at all ;)

What *I* would do .. Is the following

consider ALL your Sq Ft age(patron space, actor space, etc.) .... for insurance purposes... (Talk to Ken at West Land Insurance)

That way you most if not all your stuff( meaning ..animations, props, etc.) is covered......even including if you store stuff on site..

As far as running commercial/non profit...

Again, check with you local Town/City council .. REMEMBER . once you CHARGE(meaning money changes hands from the patron to you .. or your business) .. you MAY ( at least in my area) you MAY need to get a variance from the city /town board..

Case in point .. I was told .. after talking with building inspector.. for my home haunt .. that I COULD NOT charge ,, or ask in any way for monetary donations from the patrons .. UNLESS I went for a variance..

BUT I Could ask for NON monetary donations for admission.. ( such as non perishable food items - or SLIGHTLY used clothing) with no problems what so ever tyhat would go to a local food pantry or clothing pantry.

Just some things to think about.


Jim Warfield
04-12-2011, 11:29 PM
"Nobody has a good enough memory to be a totally successful liar."
"Was he lieing?"
"Were his lips moving?"
If someone ever thinks I am telling lies it might just be because they can't believe those "fantastic" things I am telling them because , 1) The things I tell them are unusual compared to the things they know or have done.
I have had some very non-ordinary experiences in my 61 years.
2) I created an unusual haunted house here from a haunted, haunted house.
3) I HAVE done a huge percentage of all the work here over these last 25 years.
4) This haunt, house, yard and subterraineon levels cover 5,000 sq. ft. which is not wasted, maybe too busy for some?
5) Tours Do Take 60 to 90 minutes and most of the time I lead the whole house tour.
6) Or maybe I'm just a 12 yr. old kid getting my jollys pretending to be someone else?
Now there is a difficult lie to pull off since people here have been to The Ravens Grin! (And not just in their dreams, although they sometimes hang out here after they experience the house!)

Greg Chrise
04-13-2011, 07:20 PM
Okay the plan is coming together, Year one I will have limited guests in exchange for pairs of socks, second year underwear, third year laundry soap, fourth year dog food. Year 5 will be paper towel year. I likes wiping things up.

Greg Chrise
04-14-2011, 12:46 AM
How many square feet should my sock drawer be? I is it a funtion of population? What kind of sock drawer can I build for $3,000 to $5,000? Should I dip my socks in fire retardant? Will the fire marshal be intrested in getting some socks?

I think for 3 to 5 K the sock drawer should have voice recogition, you say what day of the week it is, what color you want and a shelf flips around and comes out pnuematically, a little LED light illuminates the sock presentation. A robotic air brush and stencil come out and put my very own special insignia on the sock prior to going out in to public. If I ever find a reason to leave the house after having all these socks. Security cameras and recording devices are trained on the shelves to make sure that one sock isn't trying to escape every once in a while. Miniature gold plated barbed wire pointing in to keep the socks in.

Big neon signs that declare it is "sock time." Special sock presentation music. It could happen.

04-20-2011, 06:01 PM
we had someone move into our backyard (that i so graciously assisted when he was 45 miles away...lesson learned) and he is claiming to be the largest now in the area. the bulding he leases has a larger sq ft, but the attraction inside occupies less than 1/2 that amount...unless you include waiting area, bathrooms, makeup, costumes, ticket sales, concessions etc. he claims 'x' amount of "total terror". problem is the media doesn't know the difference and will print or say whatever he [pays] for. why can't people just be honest?

04-20-2011, 06:21 PM
But you gave me a laugh. My first year operating a corn maze another maze opened 15 miles away. They ran a charity event...and it got promoted as nations largest corn maze on radio, newspaper etc. I think I covered double the acerage they did. And owner was mortified that I dare try to get charity to rescind the lie.

Wicked Farmer

Uptown Haunts
04-26-2011, 10:25 AM
Once I find a location, my plan is to say what my haunt square footage actually is. Not the entire building because that's misleading. As a Weights & Measures inspector and instructor for the past 22 years, we look at the "Net" quantity, not the gross. That's the most honest way to do it and required by law in the Weights & Measures universe.

If I end up in a 25,000 sq. ft. building, I'll need a certain amount of space for wardrobe, makeup, dressing rooms, break room, security, box office, etc. There will be other unusable space such as sprinkler control room or whatever other mechanicals are in the building. If my actual haunt area ends up being 15,000 sq. ft, I'll list it as "15,000 sq. ft. of terror" or whatever. The extra visible square footage will lead customers to believe it's bigger than what was advertised but there would be no deception on my part. It's up to them to make that determination.

Bottom line: Stating that something is bigger than it's actual size is flat out deception. I can say my haunt is "in a 25,000 sq. ft. building" which is totally true. But I would opt to state the actual haunt size and nothing extra. It's just good business. And if you package and sell things like marshmellows for bonfires, they are not sold by the "bag". Anything you package must be sold the same way they are sold in grocery stores. Weight, volume or count depending on what it is. Right, Mr. Flemming? Just because it's a temporary event doesn't exempt us from any rules or regulations beyond haunting or the haunting facility.