View Full Version : Mr. Haunt has been given an interesting opportunity!

Mr. Haunt
04-25-2007, 12:23 PM
My neighbor who is on the local city council has offered me an opportunity. He forwarded an email I had sent him to the recreation specialist of the city of Oakdale. I will share the email with you and I would like your opinions.


My name is Mary Tulgren and I am the Recreation Specialist in the Oakdale Parks and Recreation Department. Paul Reinke forwarded your e-mail to me in regards to the haunted maze proposal you had suggested. We may have something that might work for you.

To give you some background, my department puts on a Haunted Hayride for kids ages 3 - 10 every year the Thursday before Halloween. The Haunted Hayride is held in Oakdale Park, adjacent to the Nature Center. We set up 7 - 8 scare stations along the trails (with costumed characters, foggers, strobe lights, etc) and the hay wagons drive past stations. We also have other activities such as a bonfire, costume contest, etc. that take place as well.

Currently, we are building a new facility for the Recreation Department/Nature Center - which will open in September 2007. The facility we are currently housed in will become a storage facility. My thoughts are that this may be a good facility to set up a haunted house. There would also be some potential to possible set up a small haunted maze. Or maybe we could enhance our haunted hayride event to include older youth & adults.

I would be interested in talking more with you about your thoughts and ideas. I can be reached at 651-773-1316. I look forward to hearing from you.

Mary Tulgren
Recreation Specialist
Oakdale Recreation Dept./Nature Center

This might be the ticket I have been looking for. Being that I will be new to the haunt world, this could be a good starting point for my future.


Duke of Darkness
04-25-2007, 12:29 PM

That sounds like it could be a very exciting opportunity for you. you could learn a lot working on a project like that and move much closer you your ultimate goals. I would certainly suggest setting up a meeting to discuss the options.

I hope it works out well for you.


04-25-2007, 01:05 PM
1st thought that ALWAYS pops into my head is sprinkers?

04-25-2007, 04:09 PM
Take it and run with it! If th city is asking you to help with a haunt i'd say take it for all its worth.

Keep us posted!


04-25-2007, 04:22 PM
Sounds Good! How big is the facility?

04-25-2007, 04:23 PM
1st thought that ALWAYS pops into my head is sprinkers?

I second that thought! Sprinklers, sprinklers, sprinklers.

Best of luck with this opportunity, too!

04-25-2007, 04:25 PM
Most of the successful haunters I have met....fell into a good location. It sounds like a great opportunity...I am envious

Mr. Haunt
04-25-2007, 07:40 PM
Spinklers? There might be, the building has been revamped. It's currently the nature center building. So it's the hub of operations for them. The one down fall is they lack parking BIG TIME! Maybe I can think of a shutle bus of some kind.

I will speak to them ASAP so we will see how it goes, I will keep all posted!

04-25-2007, 08:18 PM
A little word of advice for you Brian. For our first year open, I teamed up with a volunteer fire dept., which gave me a free building, and a few firefighters that I could put into costume. One thing that the fire dept. insisted on, is that we need to have a kids section goig along right next to the haunt, all in a big metal building. So that way all of the families that supported the fire dept could come out for support. On the really slow nights it was ok. We would just stop the loud music, and run a little kids soundtrack. But on the busier nights when we had a 45 minute wait or more, and we had a few 5 year olds walk up to go through the kids section, we had to stop verything almost imediately to let the kids go through- if not, then they would get terrified from waiting outside too long, because of the sounds coming from inside.
I really did not want to have a kids section in my haunt, but they refused to back down from this idea, and it ended up biting us in the ass a few times.

Moral of this story is: this sounds like a great thing you've got going and it really can work out really well. But if you are going to team up with the city on this, and they keep the little kiddie thing going, you wanna make sure ya'll are either in seperate buildings in the same area, or lean towards mainly having a haunt geared towards adults. Your main audience will be teens and younger adults, so you need to have something that will scare the pants off this age group. By doing this, you are probably gonna traumatize any kids that are close by.
If the city is dead set on keeping this kids thing, then they might want you to tune down your design which can kill your sales and repeat business.

Take this opportunity, cause most cities try to run us off, not offer us a building; but make sure you have the freedom of doing what you want first, before you commit everything to this.

Jim Warfield
04-25-2007, 08:48 PM
No, no, no. Keep the kid audience simply make sure the lights are on, scare the adults infront of the kids, the kids will love it!
It will be easier than you think to scare the adults with the lights all on because they will be relaxed. (If you can't figure out how to do this," scare", then you need to be doing something else in October)
Lots of fun awaits everyone.

04-26-2007, 05:21 PM
Run with it Mr Haunt, run like a cold, damp wind that chills you to your bones. Having the city ask you to put on a haunt instead of you having to ask them. That my friend is only going to happen once in your life, GO FOR IT.

Mr. Haunt
04-26-2007, 08:50 PM
I hope to hear from this person tomorrow. I explained that there are 3 hurdles needed to jump to get the haunt to the next level.

1. Got to have land/room. – Being that the land is a park and a nature center there is all kinds of “wooded space”.
2. Must have sufficient parking. – This is the largest problem faced as of now. However there is an Elementary School a few blocks away. We might be able to use the parking space there.
3. Money! – Got a have MONEY

I told them about insurance and the target market and explained to them how much people a local haunt sees in average a year.

There are so many possibilities with the type of land that’s available. Very wooded and some prairie. So I told them the more that they are willing to put into it all the better it’s going to be. I can hardly wait, but we have to see what she says.

I will keep you all posted under this topic!


Mr. Haunt
04-30-2007, 03:46 PM
Well it might be a little while before I find out any more information on upgrading the cities haunt. I’m not sure if they are offering me to run their attraction or if they are offering me a building and some land to build an attraction for myself.

Either way I think it would be cool. Though I think running my attraction at the nature center and park could posses a problem in the long run if they were to hold their little kids attraction on the Thursday before Halloween or if they planned on upgrading the hayride to suit youth and adults.

Not sure, I think that I will pitch them an idea as becoming the attractions Event Manager.