View Full Version : Needing help / ideas

05-24-2012, 09:27 AM
So our attraction is going to consist of 2-4 1,000 sq ft buildings as a "haunt" with transitions from building to building. FM is ok with this setup.

We also have about 5,500 sq ft of building in behind where the haunt will be. I was originally going to put a que line in here decked out like what The Darkness is, cavernous with lots of eye candy, but I'm thinking, if more work is going to go into the "que line" why shouldn't it be part of the attraction.

FM doesn't think we can do darkness, strobes and fog in the building, but he said some sort of exhibit would be fine. I was going to do a Monster Exhibit with highly detailed sets, you know like storage rooms with zombies in it (all static) etc,

But, I've had a few blows this past weekend that really took the breath out of me. Literally. First, I lost my day job! Second, my brother / partner was going to move in, got all the way up to the WEEKEND and he calls and cancels. He was going to help with the utilities (the living quarters are onsite etc) So that's another $3,000+ coming out of haunt budget. (which would be fine had I still a job...)

I think it's all just taking it's toll on my mind / heart. I wake up feeling... well, like maybe I should cut and run, buy a house trailer and some land and forget it. We sold our house (was old and getting unlivable) so we're technically in a do or die situation.

I don't have the "dam right we can do this" feeling anymore. Maybe I'm just looking for inspiration, motivation or w/e. I can't re-plan now. I look at the paper for hours on end, with no results. I'm doubting my orignal plan, which is ok but I NEED SOMETHING!!

What would you guys do with 5,000 sq ft of great building that you can't technically do a "haunt" in? Anything? Nothing and just do the metal buildings outside or what? We've thought about turning the whole thing into a large duplex / house and renting the other side out. Don't forget we have a house onsite that just needs plumbing and flooring done. I'm just ready to get motivated again, it's not even been a week yet, so maybe I should just relax and let the "getting over it" take place?

Think I'll go watch my hearse getting wrapped, maybe that'll help boost my morale or something...

thanks for reading,


05-24-2012, 12:53 PM
You could use it for paintball, though im not sure what all goes into that sort of thing.. for a few thousand dollars you could turn it into a "functional fitness" gym--like crossfit (a bunch of pull up bars, gymnastic rings, and olympic bar free weights.

If your living situation is being affected, id focus on that first. Don't waste money on "extras" when it comes to scene design and props. Join a local freecycle group, check craigslist list "free" section (even the regular section can have dirt cheap stuff) Think about why people are really coming to your haunt (what's your target market?) And what they REALLY want. Families will want you to lean toward group games, food (caramel apples, cider, funnel cake etc) damn now that I think about it... 5000 sf would be perfect for something like an indoor halloween themed carnival!...

If it gets cold where you are, then that's perfect! Have your haunt as the string of buildings, with some outdoor stuff to keep them cold... then after, they'll want to go in to warm up. Once they get inside, make it a money pit: sell food, warm drinks, fun games like dunk the witch, or pin the nose on the witch, photo ops, etc. I wouldn't use all that space on the line, id put it to use! Personally, I've waited in line for hours; and if they want to see your show, they will too. Just be sure you have a person WALKING THE LINE SELLING HOT FOOD AND DRINKS! That'll keep them warm ;)

You have an awesome opportunity here man! Hell, think about how much you're charging for a ticket (7-10?) Sell a family a few drinks, some popcorn and a pretzel and you've got that! A couple dollars to pin the nose on the witch, a dollar to throw three balls painted as pumpkins at some bottles. Make a foam pit and have a pumpkin tossing contest every ten minutes... one dollar entry fee! 5-10 in a competition=$5-10! Have the pumpkins painted really cute...

It may not be what you want to do, but family events are BIG money... and you have what sounds like a perfect venue for that.

If 15-30 is your thing... then people will want a place to hang out with their group after the attraction. Give them one. Hell maybe they'd even like the games... but im thinking more of a mall food court setting, but with a little bit of privacy so they can feel kind of alone with their group. The longer they stay, the more they spend. Have somebody pass out free bite sized amounts of popcorn... then watch your sales go up!

This first year, id look at the show as a hook, and the warehouse as where you make your money. What does it really take to scare people? Not much. Creepy sounds, loud sounds, a clever maze, and a high school kid wearing a mask or makeup jumping out at the right moment. Jeez if your place has small buildings chained together by the outdoors, then you are living in my dream! You could blow up my quarantine idea and incorporate what greg talked about as well. It could be epic!

Email me if you're interested in some virus outbreak type ideas. Im working my ass off trying to find a location (working with THREE agents, and calling places myself) but its not looking good. Im gonna keep looking, but I might be of some help to you since you're starting this season no matter what!


Keep your head up man. Just keep looking for ideas, and you'll get hit with a big one when you least expect it!

Ps I wont be offended if my ideas here aren't what you're looking for. If they're not, then we're all just another step closer to finding whatvyou ARE looking for!

05-24-2012, 01:37 PM

I feel your pain!

Why not move in to that building? Make a place that's suitable for you and the mrs that's closed off from the public. It'll help your peace of mind when you're not open as far as security goes and you don't have to worry about a morning commute in that god awful hell known as traffic!

As for the rest of the indoor space, black light mini golf and arcade. Year round market-ability. A money maker. Low start up costs. Most arcade companies will give you whatever machines that you want for FREE, and whatever $$ the machines bring in, you split 50/50! Birthday parties will be your best friend. You can make it halloween themed, and you can have more peace of mind knowing that you don't have to wait until NEXT October before you get another paycheck! =) They really only say 3,000sq ft is all that you need for an 18 hole set up with cashier/prize/concession station and arcade games. =) Take a peek at Monster Mini Golf to sort of visualize what I am saying, they're successful, fun, and people of all ages love going there! The initial start up to join the franchise is EXTREMELY expensive, but if you get creative with your own name, style, and set up, you can do it for literally 1/20th of the cost.

05-24-2012, 01:51 PM
That's an awesome idea too!

05-24-2012, 02:11 PM
What would you guys do with 5,000 sq ft of great building that you can't technically do a "haunt" in? Anything?

Paging Dr. Chrise . . . Dr. Greg Chrise . . .

05-24-2012, 02:16 PM
Bobby, great idea! Cept' we've already moved in haha. We took about 1,000 sq ft for the apartment. Have a storage area, 3 bathrooms 1 with shower / bath, 1 kitchen, 2 bedrooms and a living / dining room.

The rest is all game.

Let me go walk the building and see what we can do with it. I like minigolf and the monster golf? WTF HAVEN"T I HEARD OF THEM lol. Dam that's cool, they got some cool props in there dude, even a Slayer!


05-24-2012, 02:22 PM
Paging Dr. Chrise . . . Dr. Greg Chrise . . .


Seriously tho, I'd love for him to Chime in. Thanks for jumping in guys, it's helping lift my spirits, keep it coming!


05-24-2012, 04:39 PM
Take a peek at Monster Mini Golf to sort of visualize what I am saying, they're successful, fun, and people of all ages love going there!

I particularly liked the Kiss themed Vegas event (http://monsterminigolf.com/kiss/index.php).


05-24-2012, 05:18 PM
Me too. I really like the monsters one though, with the slayer and that other huge mofo.

See, we have approximately 1800 to 2000 sq ft that we can open all up. The wall / hallway separating them is a temp wall. It's 30' by ohh maybe 70'. It's over twice as long as it is wide. We also have provisions for 2 private parties, a large room that could have pool tables, possibly even regulation sizes! We have 2 medium size rooms and a LARGE, wide hallway that can have all kinds of arcade in there. And I want CLASSICS! Have some Donkey Kongs and such :P

Bobby, I'm not paying you nething unless I make money! :P



Greg Chrise
05-24-2012, 10:23 PM
Okay here is where it gets weird. 5,000 SF can be used to have a band where 500 to 800 kids show up once a month and pay $10 a ticket. You build up vendors to work indoors there, cater things and all of those skills wrap around to don't forget out event this October. You have trained people to come out of the mobile home, spend money and know where to drive to. No fear, I have gotten there before and back. Sounds stupid but this is the secret of recouring business.

The queue line becomes very similar to a party with the occasional band to kick off the season. The inside games are good because people standing in line can still people watch and watch people fail or succeed at the games. To be the talk of the town you come up with your own displays and games that are just unbelievable. This is where Voodoo Hopscotch of death comes in or your 13 hole mini golf indoors. You could go with indoor radio controlled car race events and at Halloween time there are theme inspired cars and car shows of the little crazy things. There us a hobby shop in the south of town that took a vacant lot and at first I thought it was a mountain bike course. It turned out to be for of road style radio controlled cars. This can be something you sell, rent, promote they come race and bring what they build, father and son days or strange kid days. On the same framework you could do robot wars. All you have done is promoted the idea and provided the place to do these things.

You can turn it into a seasonal indoor skateboard arena. Or stunt bicycle course. It could be a sound stage for independent movies. An indoor but small car show club event.

You can still build yourself an apartment in there.

You could turn it into the murder museum from House of a Thousand corpses where you actually have some big guy push a cart with people sitting in it.

Excersize equipment is too expensive. Those customers want trendy with carpet mirrors and air conditioned habitrails. Screw that.

For some reason there are all of a sudden a crap load of bounce houses indoors here. They are all driving fine trucks and renting large buildings. Some I have known to be in business for years and years. One works the back yards of the world renting these things. They also seem to live in the higher dollar parts of town.

So what ever seems to be really happening in the community where you are at or perhaps what is missing is what to figure out. What ever sparks some community use (and regular paying) for the building, that is how you theme out the biggest queue line displays ever. The walls become a multi purpose facade and mood setter. Just simply built over quite some time as you can pay as you go.

on the other part of life. maybe you don't want a "job" or "room mates" when you can just find all kinds of odd jobs, be a subcontractor and pick your own hours. There might not be jobs out there but there sure are a lot of places to work. What is a job anyhow? Maybe you want to purposely do things that might give you exactly the on the job skills you would like to have and move from temporary job to temporary job. Just enough to feed yourself and get out and figure out where the junk is that can be converted into things. Who wants to build things just for something to do or to hone their building skills? Who wants to play with cameras and video equipment and make a movie that can trade out use of your "sound stage" for making commercials for your haunt. Get into barter mind set instead of job mind set. Don't go any place that you fill out aplications and they have neon lights and little rule books and dress codes. That isn't where the money is at, that is where slaves are herded around and told what to do.

If you are out and about in the world instead of putting your hours inside someone elses building doing meanial tasks, you are magically driving past piles of lumber that someone really wants removed because it is a fire hazard on their property and an eye sore from some project. They might even pay YOU to take it away because these days no one wants to work really. Why do things that will benefit you only on weekends when you can allow so many hours every day for something that builds yourself up every day instead of some "employer" wearing you out.

Like one of the conversations on one of these threads was what to use for speakers. My first sound system was an entire car radio and equilizer display that was being thrown out. I still 20 years later use all the fancy 12V power supplies. An auto parts store also wanted to get rid of their 6 shopping carts. They are mine. We use them to move the props in and out and cart around screws and drills when setting up and tearing down. Totally free. I'm certainly not the first person to come up with that.

I have had a couple conversations with a young haunter that now is full time haunter and was an advertising guy. Of course it took a few years for him to see what the advertising bosses did, who they contacted, what really worked and what was a scam that just got money from the hopefull new business start ups. Something he said marks him as a brilliant guy. I'm still wrapping my head around how old dudes think you come up with a myspace campaign and there is this thing called the internet you may have heard about. Young guys know it is constantly evolving and there is a new service to try to get results and every other one might only bring results for 6 months. Running your own business and what works, who the customers are is exactly the same way.

That's how you end up out of a job is because some asshole is following some old ass business model that is really only going to work out until they go broke in a few years. You have to always be changing everything and always learning new things and working and working and learning. So just cut out the asshole middle man and develp some skills, go to work, make money, those days where things didn't quite work out as scheduled, well they just forced you to build thing you need, spending your time your own way.

Unfortunately if you have that self serviant attitude instead of I wanna fill out an application and just show up for a pay check mentality, people want to pay you what ever. Nope sorry, I don't do jobs. I'm sure there are a lot of people out there sitting on their mommas couches that can do those things.