View Full Version : is your house security ready?

05-14-2007, 10:35 AM
is your haunt security read in a way that if something happens where an unruley group needs to be taken out, can it be done quickly so no other actor and/or prop gets hurt?

what are some good security tips/ways one could improve this portion of your attraction?

does your security constantly walk through the haunt (besides taking a small break here of there) to make sure things are safe/the actors are in good shape?

05-14-2007, 12:56 PM
We hire an off duty police officer to work at the haunt and he parks his patrol car right by the ticket booth. When people come in and see the police car if they are looking to cause trouble I think that's a deterrent right there.

He walks around the outside and inside of the haunt. The woman who does the tickets, the woman who works the door, and myself (I work in the front room) are pretty good at spotting anyone we believe to be drunk or just an a$$hole and we alert him to the potential problem. He'll shadow a group if we think they will be a problem or he'll come stand in the front room with me and they'll simmer down. If they are really drunk he will ask them to leave - this seems to have solved a lot of problems. We didn't have anyone get hit last year.

We also have people in the back walking the perimeter of the haunt who are not in costume and have walkie talkies. They can "call" the officer if there is a problem. They can also escort freaked out kids (or adults) out of the haunt and bring the actors water if they need it.

If an actor is attacked or pinned against a wall - anything where they feel threatened they are to yell "SECURITY." The people in the back will then call the security officer to remove the person. If the problem is bad enough they radio the person in the front room and the lights are then turned on and the actors are to stop the groups that are going through (they can go back through free of charge) until we can get that person removed. That's only happened once and the person who caused the problem was arrested for drunk in public.

A line I use with every group that comes in the haunt (as I go over the rules) is "Nothing back there will touch you provided you don't touch them. If you chose touch them you get a free ride in the hearse or police car - depending on who gets to you first." I firmly believe the person who goes over the rules needs to be pretty authoratative - anyone who appears meek or easily flustered won't be taken seriously. I stay in character and I banter back and forth with them but I won't take any crap and they seem to know that. In fact, I've had groups come in and someone started up with me and I saw a person in their group elbow them and tell them to "shut up - I heard she's mean" hahaha.

Anyway, I hope that info his helpful. Good luck!

Mr. Haunt
05-14-2007, 03:02 PM
I like what you have listed Rachel. It helps to hear what steps are taken from other haunts to keep their haunts safe.

The more people share the better haunts can be.


05-14-2007, 03:28 PM
We too hire an off duty Sherrif. They get free coffee or coco and they also park the squad next to the ticket booth. They also stand right by the entrance to the Q line and wander around outside. Key spots in out haunt have walkie talkies that are on the same channel as the officer. I want the customers know we want them to have fun, but also do not tolerate problems. Anyone that is suspected as a potential, I personally talk to as they wait in line so I can get a feel for their attitude. Of course, they just think I am just being friendly but in reality I am studying them. I make it a point to talk to a few groups in front of them so they really do not know I am really zeroing in on them. If I am still a bit nervous I shadow em. If I think it might get out of control, I have the officer follow them too!! Last year, we had a group of like 10 REALLY obnoxious teens show up and so I broke them into groups of 3 and 4. I figured it was better to have smaller groups with them. I paid almost $1000 for the security last year, but the peace of mind was really well worth it....

05-14-2007, 03:56 PM
We hire anywhere between 2-6 sherrifs depending on the night who generally stand by the entrance of each attraction, and also have our own staff of 10-20 monitors, which patrol the houses and keep an eye on things, and then call the sherrifs if needed to remove customers.

05-14-2007, 05:54 PM
We normally have police cruisers nearby, plus our haunt is only three blocks from a police annex, so the presence is always there. But for our in house security we use club bouncers. Most of these guys are already well known, and well versed with handling most any situation. And our own staff is comprised of a few EMTs and/or firemen that are great for emergencies. On any given night we have techs that prowl the interconnecting actor alleys and can be anywhere in the haunt in seconds.

05-14-2007, 09:52 PM
Yes, we hire one off duty police officer, and we get the rest of the town police force for free. Not a lot going on here in the sticks, and it is a lot more fun for the officers to hang out at the haunted house than the local 7-11.
Also, I think telling patrons that they are being video taped, whether they really are or not, helps deter a lot of bad behavior.

Jim Warfield
05-14-2007, 10:19 PM
Tell them you are recording them in "Nude-a-Vision" and now you know why they act the way they do!
Sell the tapes from Nude-a-Vision if they act up , that will learn em!
America's Funniest Ugly Homely Videos!

05-14-2007, 10:56 PM
does no one have emergency/attention buttons for the actors to have in their scenes?

why not allow your staff security to roam the house more?

if an emergency happens in your house is your security able to handle it in a professional level? if so where did they learn there approach (no one wants to have a member of their security take out someone and have them hurt the customer)??

05-15-2007, 07:54 AM
What we do is every other room has a "emergency" light switch hiddin in a box on the wall. If something happenes the actor can flip the switch and a light will turn on in the security room. We have a floorplan on the wall with a led light corresponding to the switches in the room. We also have radios throughout the house and security cameras. We do not hire off duty cops but we have our own security staff. We also have EMTs on staff


05-15-2007, 08:38 AM
Well, I have been thinking about equipping all the actors and crew with tazers. They could serve as defensive weapons, and might be able to jump start someoneís heart in case of a heart failure within the haunted house. Wait! Hold the phone I got an idea here! What about setting up an additional attraction along the lines of laser tab, but rather tazer tag. Customers and actors would both be manned with tazers, and set loose in a large pitch black room. The only light would be the little and frequent blue electric flashes from the tazers finding their target. Excellent. Check out my booth next year at Transworld. I think Iíll market this idea. Iím gonna be rich I tell ya, rich!

05-15-2007, 09:15 AM
I'm sure everyone's security system is designed to work the best with their haunt design. I don't think one way would work best for everyone out there...

Why don't we have emergency buttons hidden in the rooms? If someone had an actor pinned against the wall how would they flip the switch? If I were the actor trying to flip the emergency switch I'd probably hit the wrong button and set off a pneumatic or something (maybe that would solve the problem! ha)

Why don't we allow the security people to roam inside more? They are "allowed" to go wherever they want. However, if your security person is good he or she will spot the problem outside and take care of it before they ever come near your entrance.

You asked about their training - most have mentioned EMT's and police officers - I think they are pretty well trained. I have never seen our police officer treat anyone unprofessionally. Not that he takes any crap - but he treats people with respect. He realizes that if he's a jerk repeatedly he makes the haunted house look bad.

I'm sure you'll find the best way to secure your haunt - in the meantime as one person said the more ideas out there the more we learn.

05-15-2007, 09:20 AM
Lurker - I love the tazer idea!

I think it could serve as an actor training tool! Remember on South Park when Cartman was trying to learn the lyrics to "Oh Holy Night" and everytime he messed up they would zap him with a cattle prod? We could do that everytime an actor messes up!

We could also hit you with a tazer if you started recreating scenes from the Nutcracker in the parking lot.... :lol:

Mr. Haunt
05-15-2007, 11:53 AM
I hate to bust the idea of the use of tazers, but they can cause harm if not used right. They can cause cardiac problems, which can be a serious issue.

A lot of the time when tazers are used by police, EMS is often called to check the condition of those that break the law.

I believe that they can cause the heart to stop as well. They are not made to be used as an AED for restarting hearts as well. Only trained persons should be using such device.



Mr. Haunt
05-15-2007, 12:19 PM
I might see a tazer type device for the haunts, but there would have to be a tun of research, testing, and certification in order to create this kind of prop. Anything that uses an electric current such as a tazer has to be opproved by OSHA or some other form of standard.

I might sugest maybe a special suit that the actor has to put on to help protect against health issues.


05-15-2007, 02:54 PM
I was just being facetious about the tazer idea. Sorry. Jim is a bad influence on me. :twisted:

Greg Chrise
05-15-2007, 05:16 PM
In the floor plan we have at least two full length corridors. Our one pro EMS was able to get to the first room in 7 seconds from the back of the haunt to aid respiratory arrests and hyper ventilations. He found out about it by radios all throught the haunt on older actors.

I like Rachel's the police car or the hearse. In our case, I'm the roving guy that designed the haunt and know how to get all around unseen and know where the radio guys are. I spend most of the time at the front standing next to the hearse. If they don't have respect for the police, they must deal with me. Something they don't really have a routine reponse for. Not that I'm an ultra bad assed ninja bouncer or anything but, how does the average punk act up with someone who presumable sees them as a dead guy they haul around one day. Maybe tonight? Like you have been places they haven't thought of yet and know how things end. They sober up a bit and act right.

Our ticket takers are the county constables and uniformed security for a resort that has partnered with the event.

A button does not describe what the problem is or what kind of person needs to deal with it. Do you need a medical tacticle guy, a police security guy or bigger monsters or some one to psych them out?

The only thing we have not been able to control is small blond girls named Barbie punching people in the nose like she was trained to fend off a New York City Mugging.

05-18-2007, 08:00 AM
A button does not describe what the problem is or what kind of person needs to deal with it. Do you need a medical tacticle guy, a police security guy or bigger monsters or some one to psych them out?"

at the uss nightmare we have a button system that contains 2 buttons; one makred emergency (where all of security comes to the scene) the other reads attention (mainly the actor corrdinator tends to that call.)

there is a time or two where an actor man hit the emergency button in place of the attention button...which kind'a freaks the actor out and leaves them wondering why do i have all these people running to my scene! lol

overall this system does work out nicely.

all security members carry walkie talkies which help us to quickly communicate in reguards to an attention/emergency situations. which, helps to quickly make any calls to any EMT, the offical police. etc.

Dr. Giggles
03-20-2009, 04:01 PM
Few things
1. Tell em you have securities camera's even though, you may not. Usually just the threat of observation suffices.
2. Have security shadow the potential trouble makers.
3. Try to detect the affor mentioned trouble makers early.
4. Tell your actors to keep aware, if they use common sense even they can pick up on who NOT to get in the face of. If the guy looks like hes under the influence of ANYTHING, its quiet possibly a BAD idea to get in his face on this particular night. As it will end in bad christmas spirit.
So just use common sense.