View Full Version : The scary L word....lawsuit

BarnofTerror Noblesville
05-16-2012, 10:28 AM
In the past we have had everyone 15 and older sign a waiver (under 15 had to have a guardian) at the ticket sales line. The owner of the farm has her own liability insurance for her riding lessons she does on the property. But would the waiver work in cause of a lawsuit or do we need to get insurance for the haunted house? And where might we get that and ball park price?! THANKS

05-16-2012, 11:06 AM
LOL, Sorry a waiver is just something to stop some from suing you. Think of it as a hurdle. The more hurdles you have the harder it is to be sued. Even if an adult signed a waiver lawyers can and do find ways around them. For piece of mind you'd best have insurance and of course for haunter insurance you just call Ken. I would ballpark it at a few thousand or even less.


05-16-2012, 11:52 AM
A waiver is as good as your toilet paper, it for shit. And having anyone under 18 sign anything is even more worthless, you can have kids sign contracts and that is on the same line. YOU NEED INSURANCE !!!!! Opening anything without it is crazy. You need Insurance and you haunt needs to be a LLC company, it's the only way you can protect yourself from losing everything you own. Costs are different depending on where your at but your $3000 for the month ruffly. Customers can be crazy if something happens they will sue you the land owner your sponsors and your grandfather if they found out he loaned you $10 to pickup a bottle of fake blood. Protect yourself.


05-16-2012, 11:56 AM
Paws is right! The local drag strip has a waiver, and I've seen it get bypassed on occasion. It is a good thing to do however, IMO, even with insurance! Just because you have insurance doesn't mean you should welcome the lawsuit, that's my view of it.

Talk to Ken, he's the ONLY one I've seen mentioned, and he was very nice when I spoke to him. He told me insurance usually is about the cost of a home insurance. But he did say it still varies from event to event.

Good luck to ya,


Allen H
05-16-2012, 11:42 PM
Insurance rates will vary based on the type of attraction, venue, estimated attendance, and square foot of show space.
Talk to Ken Donat - he is the man!

Howie Slobber Erlich
05-17-2012, 06:45 AM

I don't know how long you have been open but maybe you have just gone undetected.

You do realize that even though you may be using someone else's property, in most situations your city will require you to have your own inspections which will very. Most likely you will need an engineered floor plan approved before even starting to build the haunt. Every haunt is required to have a fire sprinkler system if indoors if over 1000 sq. ft. unless waived by the city or fire department. You will most likely need at least a building inspection and for sure a fire inspection. There will be permits & or lisences to pull. And unless you are completely out in the middle of know where, where knowone cares or planning on trying to go behind thier backs, (BIG MISTAKE) the city will require you to have your own insurance. Could be anywhere between $700.00 to $4000.00 or more. Make sure you do things the right way or you will pay for it big time in the end!

Sorry to be a bummer, But there are so many people that think it is just a simple business. Through up some black walls, charge a few bucks a head and sit back and collect your millions. ( not saying you're one of those ) Haunting does not work like that at all. As I tell anyone who says they are going to open a haunted house, "DON'T." It is one of the hardest businesses to make money from and if you don't love it down deep in your soul, and it's pretty much all you live for, you will probably fail within your first two years, know matter how good or original you think your event is.

My two cents, from someone who has been in this business 26 years,

Howie "Slobber" Erlich
Deadly Intentions Haunted Attraction

BarnofTerror Noblesville
05-17-2012, 12:37 PM
Thanks for the responses. I do have permits and I do have inspections but they have never asked for insurance. The farm owner puts a rider on her insurance like an umbrella policy at least she has in the past few years and IDK if she is going to do the same this year have not gotten to that detail yet. But with insurance at a few thousand dollars our budget is only $3000 for everything. We only estimate of getting 3000 people attendance wise this year. We have two signs on the property advising what we use and that it is enter this property and attraction at your own risk. And everyone over 18 signs a waiver. I guess i will need to contact Ken and she want he has to say.

PS I do have this deep down in my soul, I have been doing a haunted house since i was 10 years old in my dads garage. This is not something I can walk away from!


05-17-2012, 01:48 PM
I just want to make sure you know that no matter if you have people sign something and if you post something it doesn't mean you are protected. If something happens you will still get sued. The only thing that will protect you personally is INS and LLC.


05-17-2012, 03:04 PM
Im guessing less than $1000. For a 5000 person, 10 night show including coverage for volunteers and emergency medical we were around $1000 with ken.

05-17-2012, 03:05 PM
If you can do the rider on the existing insurance, that will always be cheaper.

Dark Scares
05-19-2012, 08:04 AM
But there are so many people that think it is just a simple business. Through up some black walls, charge a few bucks a head and sit back and collect your millions.

So true. I think many have the image that this is easy.

Jim Warfield
05-20-2012, 09:12 AM
Everything is relative depending upon where you are "coming from". Pounding hot sand all day for min. wage with a boss and customers who are azzwholes?
Putting customers through a haunt designed for predictability might be simpler, easier but it will STILL require a big investment in time and effort. If you can screen out the drunks, life can be good, fun.. or go back to pounding sand for a totally unappreciative audience? (As you go broke)
Last night as a group left Ravens Grin one of the newbies was heard by me to say "This was the most impressive thing I have ever seen!"
He didn't know I could hear what he said, he probably thought the exit door was already closed between us. It is not all about money.