View Full Version : Wording Question

09-28-2012, 07:45 AM
So last night we had a meeting yesterday at the zoo I operate the Hayride at for their annual event. All the diffrent people who run the diffrent sites during this event including the event cordinator were theret. Now let me explain how this event works families come to main gate of zoo get tickets and go to diffrent treat stations and then pay a seperate admission into a haunted house as well as the hayride I run. So everyone is speaking about their diffrent positions and their ideas then it comes to my turn. I say how i want to put actors on the Hayride next to the door of it and pull them off as victims. Now everyone loves the idea except this one woman who runs the front gate. Now mind you she has no authority and nothing to do with the hayride, she says if children come on the hayride they will scream and be terrified, and was making a big deal about it. I leaned across the table (we were in a board meeting room) and I was pissed I looked at the event director and said listen you put me in charge on making this thing scary as hell. I have been doing this for 14 yrs and running it for the last 3 Im here cuz I know what I'm doing. If little kids arent screaming we arent doing our job. This has never been an issue in the past. If parents feel its to scary for children then dont bring them on but if we cant even make a child scream then we def arent going to be making adults scared. Everyone agreed with me but now they want to put up a disclaimer just to be safe (which we have never had before in my 14 yrs of doing this as well as overall this is the 25th anniversary of it.) So my question is what do your disclaimers say if you use them. I figured you guys were my best source for this info. Thanx guys!

09-28-2012, 08:44 AM

Front gate lady, cee lo green?
You, "good to see you some more on tv" guy

I think I would write,

Warning, this is a spooky hayride, we are trying to scare you, deal with it or don't by a ticket. Or.....why don't we just put all of our actors in bras and tinfoil hats. And instead of pulling eachother off the wagon, they hug eachother and compliment you on your new hairdo? TEN BUCKS!

09-28-2012, 08:51 AM
I needed that thanks!

09-28-2012, 09:16 AM
Hahaha glad I could help!

Seriously though, I think you should keep it short and simple, something like.

"Warning! This ride is actually scary! If you don't do well with terrifying situations, don't ride cause we don't give refunds! ....No babies allowed!"

09-28-2012, 09:38 AM
When you say "make little kids scream", who exactly are you referring to? Tweens and ten-year-olds, or little 4- and 5-year-olds? Also, you can easily scare the crap out of adults without scaring kids.

As far as putting shills on the ride and then having monsters pulling them off, there is the potential liability of other patrons not getting that that antic is actually part of the act, and that the shill is just that, a shill or a plant. What's the First Rule of any haunt? "Don't Touch the Monsters and Monsters Won't Touch You." We go to such great lengths to stress that rule, virtually emblazoning it on any flat surface we come across in the queue line, you'd think it was carved into Stone Tablets received on Mount Sinai.

So, what happens if the first thing we do, after covering that rule for the umpteenth time, is immediately violate it? Either one of two things can happen. First, if the vignette or skit is not convincingly executed, then it looks like a hokey little gag, which doesn't help. Second, if it is done convincingly, and the patrons do think that the shill is a legitimate patron, and that one of the monsters actually did grab the patron, then any number of the patrons may unwittingly think that physical contact with the monsters is now fair game, which is what we don't want, and the next time a monster makes a grab for a patron (shill), then he could get bopped on the face by another patron fighting back, and, afterall, why not? Fair's fair. (The patron could in fact be chivalrously trying to protect the shill.)

Incidentally, I'm perfectly fine with using shills as a way of allowing the monsters to get close to a "patron" without fear of getting struck, and if a shill is particularly jumpy, even tho they are in fact part of the act (some are), that's not bad either. It usually isn't necessary, I wouldn't do it in practice, but it's not bad to have and can be useful.

However, if we start violating the First Rule of haunting, we can't very well expect the patrons to follow it, especially if they fear, legitimately, the now perceived "real" possibility of personal harm.


09-28-2012, 10:03 AM
That totally slipped my mind and you are completly right!

09-28-2012, 08:25 PM
That totally slipped my mind and you are completly right!

Well, it's definitely one of those slippery slope type of things, which is a bummer since that could play really cool if done just the right way. Kinda like all those things that would be so cool in theory, but would be totally lost on our intended audiences in reality.


09-29-2012, 08:32 AM
Incidentally, if you did want a really good disclaimer, here's one I found from a local show here in DFW.

This haunted house reserves the right to refuse admission to anyone. You may experience intense audio, lighting, extreme low visibility, strobe-lights, fog, damp or wet conditions, moving floors, special effects, sudden actions, and an overall physically demanding environment. You should NOT ENTER the haunted house if you suffer from asthma, heart conditions, prone to seizures, physical ailments, respiratory, or any type of medical problem, or are pregnant, or suffer any form of mental disease, including claustrophobia.
DO NOT ENTER the haunted house if you are intoxicated, wearing any form of cast, medical brace, using crutches, or have any type of physical limitations. Do not enter the attraction if you are taking medications or using drugs of any type. You will not be admitted if any of these conditions are to be noticed by our staff.


DO NOT smoke, run, eat, or drink inside the haunted house. Additionally, there is no touching of actors, customers, or props inside the haunted house. No video or flash photography may be taken inside the haunted house. You will not be admitted and will be asked to leave the property if any of these rules are not followed.

Your ticket is a revocable license and may be taken and admission refused upon refund of purchased price. Holder of this ticket understands that there is inherent risk involved with attending this haunted house. The ticket holder voluntarily assumes all risks and dangers associated with participation in this haunted house. In consideration and acceptance of entrance into this attraction, the ticket holder agrees to release the operator, its parent corporations, affiliates, officers, directors, and employees, and landlord from any liability, harm, injury, or death, cost of expense whatsoever that may arise directly or indirectly, from attending this haunted house or any of the attractions at this location.

I don't know what copyright laws dictate about using someone else's disclaimer, but it might provide you with some ideas.

You know, for what it's worth and all.


10-01-2012, 07:41 AM
You are the man ty!