View Full Version : NWO Themed Haunted House in NYC depicting dollar collapse in 2014 needs your help!

Matthew Lepacek
07-03-2011, 11:20 PM

Pledge $20 or more today to buy your ticket to NYCís first End of America Themed Haunted House! You have nothing to loose! If we donít reach our goal of $60,000 then you wonít be charged a penny! This fundraiser is taking place on Kickstarter.com, a website with many potential investors. The more donation activity we build without them, the more organic featured placement it will get on the site, which could make the difference between funding and flop.

Even if you canít donate PLEASE CLICK THE facebook like button which will help us with popularity trends on Kickstarter.com


The Salem Institute, A live interactive haunted house theatrical event thatís evolving the traditional genres of hell house, torture, maze into a interactive role playing mystery adventure ride where your feet are your coaster--Debuting late September through early November of this year in New York City.
For 30 minutes attendees will be integrated with actors into a role playing environment, guided through a series of challenges through 13 scenes across 8 rooms and 3 floors as they undergo the most important interview of their lives. As soon as the journey beings, it becomes clear that there is something very strange about the Salem Institute. Something so strange that your every impulse will be to escape the Salem Mansion and return to the streets you were all too eager to forget. This is no ordinary Haunted House; this is your 30-minute ticket to the future of civilization on the brink.


The stage is set 3 years in the future, October of 2014 at The Salem Institute, a philanthropical organization providing housing, food, and re-education and training to people that were displaced following the crash of the dollar in 2012. The President opened Federal Emergency Management Agency Work Camps to the public a year ago but now there isnít enough room for the demand. With thousands in line every day for food and shelter the humanitarians & elite of the world, private institutions and churches that survived the crash have teamed up to supplement the governments social services with free institutions and universities recruiting the best of Americas talent both young and old. Every year one of the smallest of such institutions invites prospective candidates who have applied for an interview, this evening a select few will receive a chance to get their life back at the Salem Institute.

With unemployment peaking at 80%, millions of homeless, and two winters leaving millions dead from starvation, malnutrition, and diseases manifested from deteriorating living conditions desperation is on the rise and institutions like the Salem offer hope to millions waiting for a chance to reclaim the dream of their old life. Inside the Institute things are safe and calm, outside protesters and mobs of people storm the streets while the military acts as a defense between the countless desperate people and the government, merchants, and banks. With gas at $12/gallon and a milk at $8 the world is now divided into two classes, the have and the have nots. NYC has been under Martial Law since the crash, with troops on every major intersection tensions are high while human strength and ambition is low. The parks have been transformed into tent cities. Men, women, and children scavenge through public garbage from morning until night when curfew draws, most with no space to call home--only returning empty handed to their tents in Central Park until dawn, only to begin the cycle again.


A typical haunted house may be inhabited by ghosts, monsters, criminals, frightening beasts, humorous characters and creatures from beyond the grave. They have taken place in dilapidated homes, abandoned asylums, old prisons, ships, boats, run down grocery stores, semi trucks, warehouses, factories, shopping malls, fields, farms, parks, and on. You usually come in contact with Intense lighting, animatronics, fog, scary music, old antiques, gory body parts and intense scenes of mischief, crime, torment, terror or comedy, various actors dressed up in elaborate costumes, masks and prosthetics while they perform skits or blend in with scenes before jumping out at you when you least expect it.

The scenes often depicted in traditional haunted houses are so far from reality that the same suspension of disbelief we undergo so naturally with a good well written script in the theater is improbable when confronted with monsters and ghouls in real life, making true authentic fright rather difficult to replicate consistently. But heck, thatís the reason people like me still go year after year right? Iím not knocking haunted houses, Itís a formula that works for kids as well as adults. But having been in the NY theater scene for over a decade I can appreciate what a good performance could bring to a haunted house but I still wanted to do something different-bigger, not just for the sake of being unique but to create a truly suspenseful and eerie experience for adults like myself that have been there, done that. Something that would make the hair on the back of MY neck stand up. Because haunted houses are already in their essence interactive, I also wanted to really focus on that part of the equation, the participation and interactivity of the viewer. This thought was the beginning of what Iím now calling the dynamic play, modeled after the style of adventure books I used to read as a child where I could make my own adventure simply by skipping to the pages I was instructed in the book. If I wanted this to happen go to page 360, or this to page 245.

Now at the Salem Institute you, the audience will be transformed into an active participant in the scenes of the play, interacting with the actors as you choose. Groups of 15-20 people will enter at a time. Unbeknown to you, joining your group will be our actors serving the purpose of playing out the variations of choices that exist in each situation are presented. You will move from scene to scene, room to room according to the choices or actions that you make. The Salem Institute will consist of 13 scenes across 8 different rooms. But depending on the choices you make along the way your path will change. You could come back two or three times, make different choices, and have a different experience, being routed through different scenes and rooms because of the choices you made in the prior.
Think of it as Addams Family meets Jericho a la The Exorcist


Now here is why I need you! Normally to bring this quality of a production would require uppers of $100-200k but I have been able to negotiate with numerous entertainment professionals to make it happen for a total of $70,000. I have already raised $10,000 from friends and family but the rest is up to you!

Hereís the break down:
To bring this nightmare haunted house experience to life will require a $25,000 venue and the construction of a 15,000 sqft representation of the Salem Institute complete with props and set with a price tag of $25,000. Three engineers and carpenters will work for 8 hours a day for nearly two weeks, completing the job of what would be a 10-man union stage crew for $3000. Two weeks of lighting work for $1000. Video editing and special effect creation another $2000. $7000 for promotional fliers and signs. $5,000 for print and radio ads. Thatís almost $70,000 just to get the doors open.

Once the doors are opened the proceeds used from admission will be used to pay the salaries of over 55 actors and extras, and 14 members of security and general staff.

Over 15 professional actors working 6 hours a day for 40 days for $36,000. Another 40 extras and secondary actors for $10,000.

Karl Fields
07-03-2011, 11:53 PM
Yeah, sure. and the checks in the mail :)

Dr Spooktakular
07-03-2011, 11:55 PM
Get this CRAP off of here! It's insulting to those of us who bust our ass 365 days a year to put on a great show, this is a joke!

07-04-2011, 06:20 AM
When I read NWO I was almost expecting to read about Hulk Hogan, Hall and Nash and those guys from the NWO! Lol


Allen H
07-04-2011, 10:26 AM
Happy th of July- This is a terrible idea. You are forgetting the main element- this haunt wont be any fun. Does disney open a "car crash ride" no- car crashes arent fun. If you tell them it will happen in 2012 they why dont they wait a year and see your show for free. This will financially ruin you and anyone you drag into it. Please give up and start working at a dunkin donuts where you can do no damage to the entertainment industry. What a dumb time of year to post this.
Allen H

07-04-2011, 10:56 AM
This is just wrong, wrong, wrong on all aspects! Then to top it all off ask for money! Shane and it's well hell I am speechless! Shane

07-04-2011, 11:17 AM
Couple things...

1) We don't need to erase this post he's a guy with a dream and seems pretty sincere I just watched his video well as much of it that I could take. LOL

2) Do I think his concept is good or will work? Ahhhh no! But doesn't mean he can't try to find his dream and fund it by all means neccessary. When I first started my haunted house I funded my haunted house by all means neccessary. Back then you didn't have websites like kickstarter or anything else. You had to do it the old fashion way... just beat the bushes.

3) This will never get funded ever, by no one unless they are totally nuts, and we'd all have to admit we've seen crazy things before.

Lastly let me say this, if you really believe in this project work for the money, raise the money the only way you will ever have, the old fashion way, talk to a bank, talk to people you know who have money, find investors, or whatever. But let me say you will lose every single dime of that 60k because a haunted house can't be built for 60k #1, and #2 even if you could you'd lose all anyway because you'd have nothing left to market the attraction in the Worlds #1 market the most expensive place on earth to buy marketing.

The whole idea not just the concept is a bad one just my opinion, but if you believe in it that is all the counts, prove us all wrong. However that Kickstarter thing won't work so you should start looking at other means to fund this project.

Either way good luck with your dream, we all have them and so should you.


Matthew Lepacek
07-04-2011, 12:52 PM
heh, thanks for your input, even if it is really negative, reality is necessary. You guys really think its a bad idea? It's a world where people are dying right and left, This Salem Institute ends up being a huge cult with MK Ultra, Bohemian Grove Child Sacrafice scenes... I've had the idea for 3 years I just posted it here to get some input just like this.. but let the idea fizzle in your minds for a few before jumping to conclusions. And this isn't a typical haunted house, its a role playing play. Keep the abuse coming though, you are the experts.

Matthew Lepacek
07-04-2011, 01:11 PM
and I have raised 10k already, have blueprints for the set and a price, and a carpenter crew. Costumes, seamstress, script, actors, extras. A venue, and police support. I've been a NYC Off Broadway Producer for 10years (who cares) I've attended Haunted Houses across the world (who cares) and I guarantee that there is en element of a Haunted House that none of you have ever implemented, the interactive component. 70% of the men who leave your haunted houses didn't jump once, and were only there for their girlfriend. You don't need monsters and ghouls galore to pull off a psych thriller. You only need perfect timing to build suspense and actors to fill in the gaps. This is a Trojan Horse Haunted House. You enter into the environment of a economic breakdown and leave with a view of the true religion that's practiced by the power elite, Satanism, and black magic from the mystery religion days of Babylon and beyond. I know the odds of this happening are small, but a suckers gotta have a dream!

Allen H
07-04-2011, 01:45 PM
"and I have raised 10k already, have blueprints for the set and a price, and a carpenter crew. Costumes, seamstress, script, actors, extras. A venue, and police support. I've been a NYC Off Broadway Producer for 10years (who cares) I've attended Haunted Houses across the world (who cares)."
Most of that is intelectual as opposed to physical- that you have a location is awesome and a boon the rest of that anyone has or can easily get. Ideas are cheap. How much haunt research have you done? Your first post on the forum as asking for money...you must admit that is off putting.

"and I guarantee that there is en element of a Haunted House that none of you have ever implemented, the interactive component. "
How can you guarentee this? what research have you done? Have you heard of the 19 fully inteactivechoose your own adventure style haunts that I have? Did you attend the same seminar on interactive choose your own adventure style haunted houses that I went to (at our industry tradeshow) in 2010? I think you are juming to conclusions without doing any research.

"70% of the men who leave your haunted houses didn't jump once, and were only there for their girlfriend."
Where did you get this statistic? Its never a good Idea to make up stats to support an argument, again this is off putting.

"You don't need monsters and ghouls galore to pull off a psych thriller. You only need perfect timing to build suspense and actors to fill in the gaps."
Agreed, but you do need them to be a fantasy. The supernatural element and the fantasy element are a huge draw. They dont need to go to your haunt to get the experiences you selling, they can just watch CNN and get the same feeling. The point of a haunted house is that its fake danger and it can never happen to you in real life. You might as well open "The Forclosure experience!" because I think that will be about as fun to go through. No- people dont need monsters, they want them.

" This is a Trojan Horse Haunted House. You enter into the environment of a economic breakdown and leave with a view of the true religion that's practiced by the power elite, Satanism, and black magic from the mystery religion days of Babylon and beyond."
All the rest of your typing made you sound poorly thought out- this here sentence makes you sound crazy. Are you recruiting for a religion? You are on the wrong forum.

"I know the odds of this happening are small, but a suckers gotta have a dream!"
Review your idea, study to see if it will work, and if you wish to implement it unchainged then seek mental help. We are equals I do not see myself as better or smarter but I have alot more experience in the field you think you are entering. I recommend hiring a haunt consultant and listening to them If you PM me I can recommend several. my name will not be amoung them.
Best of luck.
Allen Hopps

07-04-2011, 02:01 PM
I have got to jump in on this one, I don't know you but I have talked too listened too and read a lot from the haunt OWNERS that have posted on your thread and if I was you I would take what they have said to hart specificly what larry had to say. You said "a haunted house is so far from reality that the suspension of disbelef we undergo so naturally with a good well written script in a the theater is improbable". Well now thats the challenge of a good haunted house isn't .

Matthew Lepacek
07-04-2011, 02:09 PM
heh, thx I'll shut up now before intellectually embarrassing myself any further. I did do research attempting to find haunted houses that are interactive but not a maze, without success. I love HHs and the minds that build them. Les Freres Corbusier's hell house in 09 is the closest I've seen to a true integration of theater and HH

07-04-2011, 02:55 PM
Sounds like you want to producte an interactive play a la Tamara by John Krizanc (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Krizanc).

"In Tamara the barrier between spectator and actor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actor) has been dissolved; the spaces intermingle, and spectators become actors on many stages (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stage_(theatre)). Tamara is postmodern theatre performed in a large house with ten actors performing simultaneous scenes in several different rooms; at other times there is simultaneous action in eleven rooms. The spectator can accompany the character of their choice and experience the story they choose, knowing that with the simultaneous performances they cannot experience the whole play. Thus the members of the audience make a series of choices, and depending upon these choices, each spectator creates their own individual viewing of the play from point of view they develop."

If this is what you want to do, go for it. But please do not call it a Haunted House or Haunted Attraction.

Matthew Lepacek
07-04-2011, 03:37 PM
haha Tamara! That's awesome. I haven't seen or even heard of this before. Yeah, this is it... very close to what I have written on a much smaller scale than this. Looks like I got some research to do on this one. Is there anything more recent that any of you are aware of, similar? Politically engaging.

Matthew Lepacek
07-04-2011, 03:53 PM
Well the play is about a Satanic druid cult, most of it is centered around the witnessing of a Human Sacrifice ceremony and the escape a la The Bohemian Grove in SF Cali. I have a friend who constructed a 30ft representation of Molech, the stone owl depicted at the grove that first inspired the idea. The entire concept is so reminiscent of a HH, I think that's what it should be called. I just added more of a dollar crash background story to introduce the cult through a politically realistic backdrop. I wanted to mix the reality of the rumored supernatural world of the occult with the fantasy fun of haunted houses.

Twin Locusts
07-04-2011, 05:30 PM
Alex Jones just doesn't scare me.

Mad Wax Sculptor
07-04-2011, 09:30 PM
I hate to be a wet blanket but people go to haunts to live fantasy and explore new exciting worlds. This haunt isnt fantasy its real there is no escape here. would people buy booze if it only sobered you up ? No they wouldnt same with haunts. Haunts are more interactive with customers today more than ever. I remember the Late JB Corn had rooms where you had to pull a rope in the middle of the room to open the door. The cool interactive thing is by the time you let go and got there it closed forcing someone to stay behind until another group came to help out. its all about escape and fantasy. I was once complemented by a stage magician who said haunters are the worlds ultimate illusionists . We create worlds more real and virtual than any movie or computer game.

Jim Warfield
07-05-2011, 06:14 AM
If you are financially secure beyond a doubt, haven't just lost your job,if you see the rest of mankind as totally worthless and helpless, and extremely stupid.
You could find patrons , if they fit this sad profile. How will they ever find you? And will they need or want to make the effort financially or physically to arrive at your creation? Maybe it has to go viral to have a real chance?
The amount of actor inter-action might have to be cut way back to ever see enough time and enough bodies being able to pass through your door. So throughput might win over what your vision wants and needs to make it be the way you think it should be.
I can imagine some of the acting will be high-energy and very demanding upon your people, High energy physically and mentally(the worst combination for a whole lot of people)
Maybe the worst underlying fear expressed directly or indirectly via your production will be submission to evil "others" whether they are setting the prices for needed commoditys or selling our living flesh to a sacrificial ceremony.
I can't imagine success finding you with the venue as I envision it, but then there are summer camps in England that are very popular where the specialty is constant insult and demeaning conversation.

Matthew Lepacek
07-05-2011, 10:12 AM
The venue I have is right next to Canal street in NYC with 1.5million ppl who walk buy everyday. In addition, I run a activist organization wearechange.org so I have hands to distribute the fliers for free here.

Here's what has worked in the past and I recommend for metro areas:

Sell tickets for $30 at the door, online

Develop a street team of minimum wage flier distributors advertising the haunt. Supply each individual team member with pack of stickers that go on their fliers with pre printed promo codes allocated specifically to that distributor (affiliate program).

The team member sells tickets on the street for $25, ($5.00) off when you use his Promo Code online/tel or present @ the door.

That way I can keep track of all the successful tickets that were sold on behalf of that team member. As an affiliate program I will reward each advertising team member $5.00 for each $25.00 ticket they actually end up selling.

This way all of your team members compete to actually engage ppl on the street, translating into commission in their pocket.

Allen H
07-05-2011, 10:34 AM
This would be a great start to a new thread.

Bradenton Haunted Trail
07-05-2011, 07:26 PM
Have you done any research on radio cost in NYC? If radio can be as high as $300.00 for 30 seconds in Tampa then what do you think it cost for adds in NYC 300 is probably the minimum for a spot. So you might get like 10 to 15 radio spots in your market. And you have not paid for your flyers yet. You might need to rework you advertisement budget after you do some much needed research. But if this is your dream good luck.

Twisted Woods