View Full Version : I'm new guys.... what's the business

freddie mat
09-04-2007, 02:44 PM
I'm new to this site. My name is Freddie and I am a promoter in Jackson, Mississippi . I've been searching around and I can't find any haunted houses anywhere in this area.... and this is the capital city of Mississippi. Needless to say there is a supply and demand opportunity for an awesome haunted house. I've got access to venues, relationships with radio station. Jackson has over 500,000 in population. Over 30 highschool in the Metro area. The problem is I don't have the know how to get started. Also I have friends who are sponsors. Any help?????


09-04-2007, 03:05 PM
Hi Freddie,

A few things I would strongly suggest for you to do first is:

1. Go visit as many haunted attractions this year as you possibly can. See what appears to be working and what doesn't. Try to determine what type of haunt you would like to do: indoor or outdoor, actor or prop intensive, guided or not, etc...

2. Pick up a copy of "So You Want to be a Haunt Entrepreneur". It is out of print but some copies can still be found at www.rottingfleshradio.com .

3. Go to as many of the tradeshows as you can next year, especially the Midwest Haunters Convention ;) , and take all of the seminars that you can fit into your schedule.

4. Lastly, ask lots of questions. People in the haunt industry are always willing to help out.


09-04-2007, 08:05 PM
You have taken the correct 1st step, joining this board. Like Barry said, visit as many haunts as you can this season. cause it is way too late to open this year. Read the books, get the DVDS, go to haunt conventions and then maybe open small in 08 to get your feet wet. Mkae sure that you also charge a small amount if you have a small amount. Then in 09 get bigger...

Lord Barnabus
09-05-2007, 12:56 AM
Or you can hire someone to come out there and set up their haunt.

Or buy a portable haunt which various companies sell every year.

Are you looking at putting on a haunted house? Or are you looking at promoting one for someone. If you are looking at putting one on, Barry's advice is great. You'll want to see as many haunts as you can, visit the trade shows (if you can), buy books about owning and operating a haunted house, subscribe to magazines (such as HauntWorld and Haunted Attraction), get how-to videos, search the internet for haunted houses, hayrides, corn mazes, props, animatronics, costumes, masks, and so on forth. You will want to educate yourself as much as possible before you take the leap to start your own haunt.

What kind of rooms/scenes do you want?
Do you want random scenes that are not connected in any way, or do you want the haunt to follow a story line?
What kinds of characters are you looking for?
Are you going to have actors, animatronic figures, static props, wax museum type event, hayride, black maze, freak circus, blood and gore, etc?
How scary is it going to be?
What ages are not recommended? Or is it family oriented?
Will you have que line entertainment?
Will you have concessions and/or merchandise for sale?
What are your emergency procedures? What if there is a fire, or a tornado, earth quake, medical emergency, or even a bomb threat?

You will need to get all of these things and much more figured out.

What kinds of advertising do you think you will be using?

Just some things to think of as you get started. Also consider how much money it will take to get started. This is why it is a good idea to start out small. Maybe buy a few things and start with a home or yard haunt. Each year work your way up. We started our first year with all black plastic walls (talk about a major fire hazzard). Each year we built a few wall panels, and pretty soon all of our walls were wood panels.

Good luck with your new business venture and Happy Haunting!!!

freddie mat
09-05-2007, 09:47 AM
I am just a promoter trying to put somethings together. If I could get someone to bring there haunt or rent a portable haunt that would be awesome. I would like it to be scary and worth the price of admission. I can get alot of people to come out for something like this during the holloween season.


Lord Barnabus
09-10-2007, 03:54 AM
Well, I'm available. My haunt is not running this year and I've got alot of props, costumes, wall panels, make up and other things sitting around collecting dust (though the dust adds that special touch to everything). Are you willing to pay me a good price to come out there and set up my haunt that you are going to draw tons of people to. Are you going to get enough advertising out the door so that they know when and where. Get any special permits or licenses that the city may require. Get the special event insurance to cover it in case something happens. Does the building allow me to use my fog machines, or will they set off the smoke alarm system (had that happen a few times, and the fire dept had to bypass the system while we operated). Will you hire actors, controllers, guides, security, ticket sales people, make up/costume people, etc, or do I need to bring my own crew.

I'm not trying to discourage you or anything. I just want to point out that there is a lot that goes into putting on a haunt. I personally would not hire a promoter, as this is the kind of thing I can do myself. In the past, we have always made our own TV commercials (as we own a video production company). We have done our own radio ads (as we own a recording studio). We go out and poster the town, hand out flyers and coupons (using costumed actors when possible). We get Domino's Pizza to put flyers on their box tops, and hand out coupons to customers who come in the store. The local Spencers Gifts lets us hand out coupons outside their store (company policy does not allow this in the store). And there is a number of other things we do, like participate in local parades, and have publicity stunts.

But yeah...You sure could hire my company to come out and put on a great haunt. I could use the money to buy some more props. We have some animations as well, just not the big ones cause our town doesn't support us that well.

Jim Warfield
09-11-2007, 08:19 PM
Most haunters seem to be do-it-yourself-ers but if you are buying everything already made you will need to have access Grandma's bank account number.
You could begin small maybe having the "Haunted Car Trunk" as Gregg and others have suggested?
I have a very scary car trunk in my back yard as a display, it's ripped and crunched where the Abbieville Sausage truck hit me going 75 to 80 miles per hour as I was sitting behind the wheel of that car.

Greg Chrise
09-15-2007, 09:48 PM
It has been determined that The Haunted Car Trunk is for only the serious enthusiast or proffesional haunter. Such great conviction is required to keep this venue of good reputation nation wide.

We suggest lesser efforts begin with such things as a haunted automotive glove box or perhaps haunted bird houses.

Lord Barnabus
09-16-2007, 10:59 PM
Haunted bird houses?

Don't you think those poor little birds crap enough already?