View Full Version : Purchased Haunt vs. Custom Designed?

04-04-2007, 09:23 PM
I'm looking to get our haunt off the ground. I'm looking at the advantages/disadvantages for getting this off the ground with purchasing a complete used haunt (built in 2005) or building our own haunt (plans we have from a few years back).

Just wondering your thoughts on used vs custom built...

04-04-2007, 10:12 PM
There was a similar question a week or so back, but I am all about building from scratch, if you have the man power and time. Make it your baby!


Jim Warfield
04-04-2007, 10:37 PM
May I just add, Cluster, Build it IF you have ever swung a hammer or measured and successfully cut anything before? ( Cutting your own body parts, subtract points )

04-05-2007, 12:25 AM
So for a company like Halloween Productions, can they customize any idea that you may have for a huant? All of their worl looks great. Also, would you say that starting off with a mobile/trailer haunt for your first one, would be a good start, to see how many people attend, etc?
MT1 (http://www.cyclechaos.com/wiki/Kawasaki_MT1)

Jim Warfield
04-05-2007, 07:30 AM
Mobile trailers may give you more freedom to experiement with "what customers like", since a new location is easier to find, but I decided when I got my place (which refuses to be placed upon roller dollies) that I did not want alot of big publicity until I thought I had something to impress people. Alot of customers judge you on that first impression-end of story as far as they will be concerned-period.

Ken Spriggs
04-05-2007, 07:34 AM
You can't do something to test the waters.....
If your going to get in the haunted house biz.....jump in...make sure the rocks aren't going to break your legs and DO YOUR RESEARCH.

You aren't going to get your money back in the first year
You aren't going to quit your day job FOR A LONG TIME
This isn't a test the waters kind of thing
It IS a hold on this is going to be a hell of a ride though.

Also, would you say that starting off with a mobile/trailer haunt for your first one, would be a good start, to see how many people attend, etc?

My 2 cents on buying others used haunts

You can save money....and time....but it will always be someone elses stuff.
If you have time money and people....do it yourself or re do the used one with better props and scenery and paint...main thing it will save on building the walls

04-05-2007, 10:19 AM

04-05-2007, 10:26 AM
It all comes down to A) do you have the time, ability, and desire to build on your own. I have built about 300 or so and it is a boring job. B) Do you have the $ to buy a haunt? IDK, I guess it is easier to just buy a completed haunt, but there is some personal satisfaction I have when I can look at my walls and think, wow I built those....

RJ Productions
04-07-2007, 12:49 AM
If you have the where-with-all I'd say build it yourself. If you lack a lot of the experience I would say hire a consultant who can help you by-pass the expensive mistakes. But really check out the consultant. Make sure you only get the type of help you need, also make sure they have the experience you are looking for. It's one thing to say you have 10 years experience, but if you only do a haunt for one month a year for ten years is it ten YEARS experience or ten MONTHS experience??

A GOOD consultant will save you more than he costs! A bad one can COST you more than he's worth!

Duke of Darkness
04-07-2007, 10:40 PM
To me it all comes down to how much it would cost to buy the haunt. You don't necessarily need to give up any of your own creativity when you buy and existing haunt. You don't have to use the same themes or scares that they did. But many of the things that you get when buying a haunt are universal: Walls, sound and lighting equipment, fire extinguishers, compressors, etc. Even if you were to decide that you didn't want to use all of the props, it could still be beneficial to buy the haunt.

You have to examine what is there, what you could use, and how the cost compares to building it yourself (factor in time).

That's just my view. You should learn the how to build all this stuff either way.


Greg Chrise
04-08-2007, 01:39 PM
Typically in any business there is a big trend in dysfunction.

First you help others earn their equipment.

Then you know you can do it then you buy their equipment you already bought for them. That's twice payment to some degree.

Then if you are being competitve you buy everyone elses stuf so they can't compete with out reinvesting, that's three.

Then you refurbish everything that costs as much as building or buying new. That's four times.

Then years later (maybe 10) you are refurbishing the same thing.

Meanwhile in a seasonal business the storage of all this stuff costs just as much of the stuff. That's 5 to 6 times (if the experiment lasts that long) times you paid for the same stuff.

You have to eliminate a few steps like just start out with new anyhow with things actually being paid for as you go. Your storage facilities should be owned and paid for in a short time (not always possible) or otherwise free like on grandpa's farm.

4 of those steps that would otherwise have funds drawn can go to better facilities and does not put the constraints or expected performance on having so many customers or you die.

Anyone can spend money but few can make money. Fewer can keep some of the money they make. Alot of people make it look like they have something going on (in any business) but, they don't and eventually crash.