View Full Version : Haunted House Question - Suspense vs. Scares

08-25-2007, 11:51 AM
I was wondering are haunts mainly scares or do some haunts offer some suspense with scares??


a haunt with just scares might have 40 scares

while a haunt with suspence might only scare 25-30 times.

Do it matter or should haunts be mainly scares?

08-25-2007, 01:24 PM
In my opinion I think a haunt should have some suspence. When the people are just in suspence, it makes them so much easier to scare, and overall they get a good scare instead of a few cheap ones that may not even startle um. My two cents.

Jim Warfield
08-25-2007, 05:18 PM
Don't forget to add some humor as a reset, or would this be a set-up?
With humor, suspense and scares a true roller coaster "ride" for the senses can be achieved, something unable to be ignored as their mind and body attempts to anticipate which may be coming next.
Obviously "anticipation" is also a large part of the experience, of course some of these things require that nasty "T" word that alot of haunters abhor.."Time"
Time that could be used shoving another 30 warm (protesting) bodys in and out of the exit.
a very many of my patrons spend 90 minutes "In House" and most of them cannot believe that 90 minutes have passed because their minds and bodies were actively engaged for a majority of the time.
I involve them in this fanatasy possibly against their will..but they grow to like it as I spread the reactions around among the group so everyone usually gets to laugh at someone else jumping, jerking and screaming, I mean we all like to see this, cause this , right? Share it with the customers, they like it too.

Chainsaw Charlie
09-06-2007, 08:04 PM
I'm starting to think that the atmosfear created, and the internal
tension is the way to start going. High startle is great, cheap, and effective, for awhile,... but maybe people are catching on, expecting where the startles are coming from. When I worked at a well known Hayride attraction people started calling out my door drop scare before the wagon even pulled all the way up.
I think people get desensitized to the high startle after a few minutes.
I'd rather have a haunt where people are freaked out of their minds, and then hit them with big startles or rapid fire scares when they are not expecting it.
I think a good haunt would more resemble a good fireworks show
than a rollercoaster ride, and then hit them with the grand finale until they can't take it anymore.
Just my thoughts.


09-06-2007, 11:59 PM
Is it Ben who teaches this? I forget who, but the lesson is valid:

Entertainment = Spectacle + Fear + Interaction

When we have scene sequences that really work, they always have a good mix of the above (not all at once, but a nice randomization of the above three).

Jim Warfield
09-07-2007, 12:08 AM
Please don't get too mad at the kid giving away the scare locations to everyone else. They seem to be of a "Helpfull Boy Scout" mentality, warning others so they won't become too scared or too upset or something?
Multiple scare locations in one small area helps make the provided information useless and creates the opportunity to scare the "Warner".
Low-voltage prop over-ride buttons to push also helps keep them trully guessing.
One time the prop goes off on an automatic switch, the next time when the button is depressed (or simply upset alittle?)