View Full Version : When/ how did you first become interested in haunted houses?
08-01-2012, 09:58 AM
Just curious to see when you were first intrested/ how did you become
interested in haunts?
I first started when I was a young kid. I would always decorate the house for Halloween and Christmas. When was 9 (14 now) I saw the show America Haunts, and thought it would be a fun idea to do a haunted house on Halloween for all the neighborhood kids. Ever sence then, I have had an obsession with haunted houses and someday would love to own one of my own!
08-01-2012, 12:45 PM
Well, Halloween was my favorite holiday as a child. I remember trying to make my room into a haunted house during the Halloween season. I'd make dummies with my clothes and have red yard coming out the top for blood where the head had been severed; just simple things really. Then as I got older, I slowly began to find Halloween a boring holiday, until I got the point where I didn't even so much as dress up, or even take my little siblings Trick-Or-Treating. Eventually I got married :) That happened September 18th of 2010, pretty close to the Halloween season. I got married in Utah, but moved my wife to my home state (Montana) so I could finish up my last semester of college before graduating. One day, as we both sat on a bench outside my Early Christianity class, my wife passingly threw out the idea to do a haunted house for my family to go through. I don't know why, but I loved the idea of it, and I felt that spark that I'm sure we've all felt numerous times when we think of haunted houses. I became so obsessed with trying to do a simple haunted house walk through for my family, that I spent hours and hours on it after school every day. I even used my Wal-mart gift cards I got as wedding presents. We ended up making it a game, rather than a walk through, where the kids had to find all the missing body parts of an old dead killer that was trying to become mortal again. The whole thing lasted over two hours for just two groups of kids. I had so much fun doing it that my Dad walked by while I was trying to do some last minute touches, and laughed at me because he had never seen me so involved and excited about anything in all his life. After it was all over, I couldn't help but realize how much I loved doing what I did, so I began contemplating it as a living. Pretty soon my simple contemplation of it began to grow into passion, and I have been VERY into haunted houses ever since. It's almost been two years since all that happened, and I know I have a long way to go to make my dream a reality, but I'm confident I can do it. Funny part is, my wife really regrets ever having mentioned making a haunted house to me haha. I've been obsessed ever since!
When I was young I grew up in the suburbs of LA, and we had this one neighbor Doc Brown that always decorated his house for Halloween and Christmas. The amount of decorations was ridiculous, but Halloween was always my favorite. His kids would hide in bushes and scare the hell out of us kids.
As I grew older I started decorating my parents house, and even my friends garage where we built a little haunted house for the local kids to go through. As I grew older the passion never died, and my wife and I always decorated for Halloween.
When my kids got to the age of about 5, we really started decorating. Because my wife and I have both been in theater and entertainment businesses, we have access to all sorts of equipment (sound and lighting) and so I started incrporating those into our little house haunt.
I think our final year haunting the house we had three big tents and two small ones, plus the garage and porch. Not to mention a lot of props and special effects I had been collecting over the years. We have a travel trailer parked at a campsite north of us, and the owner invited me to set-up in his campground. We did, and it was a hit, so every year we added more and more. The first year we did for free, the second year we charged a dollar.
This is our fifth year at the campground, and we are now adding a second attraction, and an expanded main attraction. I ahve invested a signficant amount of money into the attraction over the last five years, and this year we are adding a lot more advertising to expand well beyond the campground (a 200 mile radius).
By the way, my kids are still involved with Halloween. They all help as much as they can with the company and my son is my business partner!
08-01-2012, 02:18 PM
Loved Halloween all my life. Used to get a new Ben Cooper costume every year back in the 70's. Went to my first haunted house back in 1981 and i've been hooked ever since.
Believe it or not, I started at a church I attended as a teen. In downtown Wheeling WV at the old Victoria Theater...it was called the Catacombs. Never looked back, and never been to church since :/
08-03-2012, 11:05 AM
I've loved Halloween all my life.... and dressing up in costumes. After watching a movie as a child... from Batman to Indiana Jones... Beetlejuice... etc... I would become that character for a week or more. I've always been a strange guy, I guess. In elementary school some local car dealerships had "haunted houses" in their garages and they would open Halloween night. Families would pay like $5 per car and you'd get to drive through the garage while characters in cheap masks jumped out at you. I'm sure it'd be silly by today's standards, but I loved it at the time. In middle school I was old enough to go through the local church "haunted house" or "hell house" as they're called now. It wasn't a house focused on rape or abortion as some of the more extreme hell houses do, it was mostly just plain ol' Halloween fun (of course you'd still be offered to accept Jesus after you'd leave the place). Anyway, I was hooked after going through there the first time and haven't looked back!
08-21-2012, 06:09 PM
well similar here, i was always inthrilled about halloween never afraid of it. when i was 11 the nieghborhood kids and myself tried to make a haunted house to not much sucess int he garage becuse we would destroy it before the big day actually got here. then when i was 12 the march of dimes put up a sign on the old elementry school across the street and that was all it took. i ws there everyday tryin to meet the person running it and finally did when he started construction. very low budget just one guy building it and he asked if i wanted to help before i knew it i was aloud to build the grave yard. i gave him drawing of my ideas and he liked it and gave me materials the next day after talking with my parents who said he can do it. i was all over it and never looked back unfortunatly th emarch of dimes did not come back the next year to that location so the next year i volunteered at the local colledge but did not get to spend much time as mom had to drive me and it was a little drive. i have alswys been around it and im not much of a picture person but my sister sent me a picture of when i was in 5th grade holding my chalk drawing up which was a castle with lightning, moss growing up it a grave yard LOL the whole shabang. it is in your blood no matter what. I get frustrated sometimes as i see things as sets and seens and it is sometimes very hard to watch a movie as i find myself not payign attentiont to the movie rather the sets costumes make up and such.lol oh and there are remnants of halloween haunted house stuff all ove the house.LOL have a great one all
08-21-2012, 07:18 PM
I was probally 8, my daddy was a volunteer firefighter who designed one of the first spook trails "that is a haunted trail through the woods by the way" for the local fire department. When I turned 15 they quit doing it. By the time I was 28 a local ruitan club wanted me and my dad to do a trail for them so we did. The next three years we helped another volunteer fire department with their haunt, The past 2 years we have had our own haunt. This will be our third year and hotdogs,cotton candy,popcorn and sodas will be provided by Pleasant Grove Fire Department which was the original spook trail.It's now come full circle.
08-21-2012, 09:59 PM
When my roadies and I built our first HH in 1979 - we were 11, we were into KISS, and 8th grade chicks.
Fall Festival '79 - Daytime, school day event. The core of our school was built in the 1930's with three large extensions, the masterful design created a room in the middle of the school with no windows, about 30'x30'.
We pushed all the desks into the center of the room in a rectangle and covered them with sheets and a parachute from the gym to create a rectangular HALL of TERROR.
FX: One Spencer's red flicker bulb - One Spencer's strobe light - One library standard issue SCARY SOUNDS LP - playing in full MONO on a portable spinner, w/ built in speaker.
The day before the haunt we assigned Characters:
Roadie 1 - Dracula
Roadie 2 - Frankenstein
Roadie 3 - Mummy
Me - Scary Guy - Red pajama top with sleeves and bottom seam cut similar to Fred Flintstone's blouse, white face, black around eyes, messed up hair - good to go.
Girl 1 --- Ghost - a sheet with holes [against our better judgement we let a girl in, she kicked ass]
On the day of the haunt everyone but me and the ghost girl showed up as Gene Simmons' THE DEMON - to varying degrees of make up success.
We turned the mono speaker on 11 and cranked out MOAR SCARY for three full hours!!!! Counselors were on hand for third and fourth graders, I don't know if younger kids were allowed in. I got to be the finale scare. When we were rehearsing that morning I told the rest of the cast, "I will just be here, jump out, and be scary"
Professional Archival Illustration from the school's official archives below. Known as the best Three Gene Simmon show in the world.
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