View Full Version : In terms of Legality, What are some things Haunts can't do?

08-13-2007, 11:48 PM
Are there things haunts aren't aloud to do? I guess if it sounds dangerous iit's probably not good for a haunt, huh?

Like moving floors, rising floors, moving walls, etc...


08-14-2007, 10:01 AM
Are there things haunts aren't aloud to do? I guess if it sounds dangerous iit's probably not good for a haunt, huh?

Like moving floors, rising floors, moving walls, etc...

There are haunts that have moving floors and walls and there's nothing wrong with that -- as long as all safety precautions are taken.

Myself? I'm too too cautious -- always afraid of the "What if." But, I honestly feel I cannot have the kind of haunt I want unless I push myself beyond that cautious point. So....
This year, I'm having a chain link gate slam down on top of their heads. Well, not exactly on their heads, but you know what I mean. :p

08-14-2007, 03:40 PM
Beyond fire codes, I don't know that it is so much about legalities as it is what will your insurance company allow you to do and still cover you.

Sean Coleman
08-14-2007, 08:36 PM
Technically you cannot have movie characters in your haut without an agreement from the studio that put out the movie. But most haunts get around this by just saying things like hockey mask killer instead of jason.

damon carson
08-17-2007, 03:24 PM
Hmmm let me think on this one. With dealing with insurance company's in the past they always ask these questions.
Will there be any of the following?
Hangman or hangmans noose.
Suspension bridges
Unlevel floors
those are just a few.
I know there are more but cant think of them right off hand.
Basically they are worried by these things for the patrons safety.
I have seen haunts with all the above. Im not sure but I imagine they pay more liability for having such things in there haunt. The hangmans noose is a big no no mainly because of actors or kids working in the haunt putting themselves in it and then hanging themselves. But you could use a harness and a rubber noose that isnt really attached to anything but maybe a strip of velcro. But those are some of the things I can think of right now Im sure there are more.

08-18-2007, 10:52 PM
Our insurance company refuses to insure any haunt which includes a chain-saw. And yes, that's without a chain - go figure.

08-23-2007, 02:09 PM
tot13: www.spookyprops.com is your best bet for that problem. Looks and sounds like a real one but it is not.

01-09-2008, 02:58 PM
Thanks for the link. That is really expensive for just one prop.

01-09-2008, 03:13 PM
Be careful what you do with children and females. You don't want any of your actors arrested for allegedly molesting anyone by grabbing them in the wrong spot.

Jim Warfield
01-09-2008, 06:51 PM
Surveilence cameras throughout the haunt and the threat of such will keep people behaving much beter and will also make theft and threatened lawsuits diminished greatly.
Sad the world has come to this...but it does "work".
I recently corrected a little boy who said,"This is the part of the house where they run their hands up and down all over your body!"
"No it isn't! If someone did that to you the last time that you were here and they were working for me in the house, they would be fired and asked to leave immeadiately."
People's imaginations can get carried away, afterall this is what we are all trying to do, interact with their imaginations.

damon carson
01-10-2008, 06:07 PM
Hey Jim I had hands put all over me in that same room! Somethings really fishy here! Hmmm maybe it was four paws!!!

Jim Warfield
01-10-2008, 08:38 PM
"four paws" might be a fore runner to fore play?
No catnip in your pocket, no action for you!

Randy Bates
01-11-2008, 10:43 AM
Jim's right. Closed circuit serveillance systems are a must for professional haunted attractions. We have over 30 cameras located throughout the Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride complex, including views from the ticket booth, concessions, waiting lines and driveways. Indoor cameras have infrared illumination and give quality pictures even in pitch darkness. The important thing to remember is that video surveillance is only as good as your archive system. If you use a time lapse VCR, you need to keep back up tapes for each night of your season. Thats a pain in the butt and easy to overlook. The best system is a high capacity DVR. They are available from several hundred gigs to a teribite of space. A 1000 gig harddrive can hold video from 16 cameras, 24/7, for over 45 days It also has remote viewing capability, and onboard DVD burner, and advanced search modes. If you want to view a specific camera at a specific date and time, you just punch in the info and go directly to the video. The best part is that even while you are watching live feeds, or recorded video, this system is still recording all cameras at the same time. When you catch someone busting up the place, you detain them, and burn a copy of their actions, and hand the culprit and DVD over to the police. Another plus is entertainment value. First, post a sign stating that "you will be under video surveillance at all times, and anyone caught damaging props or striking actors will be prosocuted." Then, place a monitor with a live feed from the attraction, showing a good scare (but not giving the location away). This reinforces the fact that there are cameras onsite, and entertains the people waiting in line.

damon carson
01-12-2008, 11:39 AM
I agree with everything Randy mentioned in his last post. Especially if you have a large haunted house in a major city with a large amount of people everynight. I imagine Edge of Hell in Kansas City could have settled there problem this past year if they had cameras everywhere. They may have been able to stop any false allegations that very night! Its just too easy for someone to claim oh I was grabbed or pulled away from my group ect ect. In this day and age unfortunately anybody can say just about anything and the police will believe it. Espesscially if it s a women making the accusations.

Jim Warfield
01-12-2008, 06:56 PM
But Damon wasn't the" Edge Of Hell" incident alleged to have taken place in a rest room?
Admitting to having cameras surveiling people in a bathroom might get more trouble than anything else!
Sort of like the couple celebrating their first anniversity who saw themselves in their Hotel Honeymoon bed on a big screen TV while in Vegas! They were the stars of this show! The Hotel owner back home lost everything in court according to the newspaper reports...but then you can't believe everything that you read in the papers..........the Hotel owner said it was his manager hiding the camera in their room......

damon carson
01-14-2008, 08:58 AM
Yes Jim the alleged rape was supposed to of happened in a bathroom. At least the girl claimed it was because she claimed she was in total dark and the back of her head hit a sink. And yes it is illegal to have cameras in public bathrooms or any bathroom period I guess unless it is your on personal bathroom. And really who wants to watch that. But anyway what I was saying Jim she claimed she was pulled from her group in the haunt then taken to this make believe bathroom and then raped. Which we all know this was a false report now. I was just saying if they had cameras in most areas of the haunt. Equipped with nightvision for total dark areas they could have pretty much pinpointed the time this occured and seen if this really happened or not. Im glad it didnt happen Edge of Hell is in my top 5 favorite haunted houses. Yours is too by the way Jim LOL! So keep those cameras going! Ha ha! And not in your bathroom!

Jim Warfield
01-15-2008, 09:43 PM
Of course when my one certain employee is here we wouldn't need cameras in the bathroom because he's watching them by looking straight up through the toilet. No, I don't have to pay him, he has some kind of a strange fetish or something?

One October a helper of mine accidently walked through the bathroom as a female customer was sitting on the toilet.
I was about 15 feet away in the next room ,I heard the squak, she was mad, flustered, blustery, I calmly told her that it was no big deal.
"What do you mean?"
"All right Frank, tell her what your Dad does for a living."
"My Dad's a gynecolgist." And he is!

01-17-2008, 11:00 PM
Heres one that any Firefighter knows... NEVER AND I MEAN NEVER POINT ANY AIR CHIZLE AT ANYONE. The chizle is using air pressure to work. Figure it this way what happens when u put a piece of paper in a straw and put pressure behind it... usually the piece of paper goes flying. Well same thing that chizle will Go flying at the person you are pointing it at. O and those safety springs on those guns are notorious to break. Also Air Chizles are made to have a load so firing it without it against anything will damage it.

P.S. Sorry for the spelling...

01-18-2008, 10:01 AM
You might want to post that in the recent thread about air cannons also. I would assume that the posters aren't planning on shooting them towards anyone, but it never hurts to point that out.

Jim Warfield
01-18-2008, 10:14 AM
Just releasing compressed air towards a dusty, dirty floor can put crud into people's eyes, not a pleasant experience!
"Boy! That was FUN! Let's buy another ticket and go back in there, I've never intentionally had dirt forced into my eyes before!"

01-19-2008, 09:17 AM
Ive been to a house where the actor pointed the gun towards me and other customers. I informed their manager that that was severely dangerous but the manager shrugged it off. I guess the actor must of thought he was doing a good job when he pointed it at me i fell to the ground and started doing a low crawl.

Jim Warfield
01-20-2008, 08:03 AM
I had a very good, regular patron who brought her friends here . One night a worker of mine brought a very realistic toy gun here and he stepped out from a doorway, pointed it at her head as she turned toward him (from very closeby) he said "BANG!" very loudly, she freaked, fell to the floor(much too late if the gun had been real and been fired) She never came back .
When trying to compute income and potential income from scare-entertaining people do the rest of you who are not open year-round as I am, ever see how a happy customer keeps you financially going whereas an alienated one does nothing for you because they never come back, never bring their friends or relatives, all requiring you to spend alot more money to attract totally new customers?
Unless you are located in a big city , you just might run out of "new" customers after a few years no matter what, of course you will run out of money first.
Yes, I do use "guns" here but the way I do it I have never lost any customers because of it as far as I can tell. Starle, laugh, silliness, all is "forgiven" then.
If someone's mind is unable to laugh then I sincerely apologise and attempt to mend that bridge. Customers are each "people", not just dollar signs. (It would be VERY difficult to scare or to entertain dollar signs anyway, now wouldn't it?)
Give me People anyday!

01-20-2008, 10:34 AM
So far, the fools who point fake guns at people in haunts have been lucky. Just imagine if the patron had been an off-duty cop. Their training is to stop the threat, whether by disarming the fool or shooting back. Plus pointing a gun at somebody, real gun or not, is armed assault and carries a stiff sentence with it.

Jim Warfield
01-22-2008, 01:15 AM
As nutty as this is going to sound: I would lead a group up to a doorway, as they began walking away from me I would take a short cut (and I was younger and quicker then) getting into the next room ahead of them enough to take off the suit coat I was wearing, put on gloves, pick up a plastic MP-40 WW2 German machine gun, put on a plastic German helmet and a mask, climb up on a small round base about 18 inches tall and freeze my movement all Before they got there.
I would let them all see me and look me over for a minute, then I would slowly turn more toward the group but I kept the muzzle of the toy gun pointed downward, if I pulled it's trigger it made a stupid "Clicking" sound.
One night as I did all of this a customer spun to meet my statuesque character switching very quickly into a martial arts stance, bring his one hand into a quick but limited karate chop on the barrel of the plastic machine gun. (He didn't break the gun)
It was then when I noticed that on the blue coveralls he was wearing was a patch saying something about him being "Security" at a Nuke Plant!
Several years later some drunks were hassleing and insulting some female customers as they were done with their tour. When they finally realised that they were Not getting a tour of my place they began throwing full beer cans against the side of my house as hard as they could pitch them. The cops only caught one of them as they all quickly drove away, he ratted the rest out. This little drunken foray almost cost one guy his job and his upset wife, they were all nuke plant guards! Makes you sleep alittle lest restfull knowing this doesn't it?
I used to have people want to pay me to "Hide in the attic of the weekend rental cabin, then scare the hell out of my friend !"
"Does he have a heart condition? Does he carry a gun?'
No thanks, never took anyone up on this offer.
Why not?
"Boo-Bang!" that's why.

01-23-2008, 11:47 AM
The only thing I've been told that I will never be allowed to have is a slide.

I don't understand why, they are in all our parks??!??

01-23-2008, 11:50 AM
So far, the fools who point fake guns at people in haunts have been lucky. Just imagine if the patron had been an off-duty cop. Their training is to stop the threat, whether by disarming the fool or shooting back. Plus pointing a gun at somebody, real gun or not, is armed assault and carries a stiff sentence with it.

After our first year some kids broke into the building. County Sheriff replied and didn't know the haunt was in the building. When we arrived at 4am we talked to a couple of the officers that had to clear the building to make sure no one else was in there. One explained that is was the worse clearing he had ever done. He almost shot a couple of things because he wasn't expecting to turn a corner as see something standing there.

Now we send them a book with the layout and pictures of what to expect. LOL:cool:

Jim Warfield
01-23-2008, 09:49 PM
Sort of like the bullet hole in a critter left and being guarded on the Transworld floor one night, it moved, it got shot.
Dam those slow air leaks!