View Full Version : Unbelievable- Need Suggestions Please

10-03-2007, 10:04 AM
We have had our Haunted forest for 2 years and this is our 3rd and for the first 2 years our competitor 10 miles away has been trying to put us out, his workers distroyed all our signs threw a brick and broke our lighted sign last year and has done nothing but cause us heart ache. i have to admit we kicked butt last year though and got alot of good comments, Even though i had to keep telling my workers relaliation is not the way to handle things, just keep giving good scares and we will be ok.RIGHT! WRONG guess what I put my flyers up and 2 days later some one broke into my shed at the haunted forest and stole all my actors costumes not the 2000.00 stereo system just the costumes and the neighbor said it was the competitors workers car from last year. What do i do now? I will open. It might not be as good but how do i get them to STOP.I can not afford to keep replacing all this stuff and the police really wont do anything.

10-03-2007, 10:35 AM
By a 100.00 security camera get them on tape and press charges.

Its about all u can do. U less you dig a moat, fill it up with alligators and let them handle the problem.


(P.S. You should explain to them that haunts that work together do better then haunts that consider themselfs compititors.)

10-03-2007, 10:59 AM
Definitely report it to the police!!! Even if they "won't do much," it'll still be the beginning of a paper trail documenting everything. Have the witness report what they saw, too. I would suggest a security camera, as well. Then, should they come back to do something else (fingers crossed that doesn't happen) and get caught on tape, you have the original report and then you have the tape to show the police from any subsequent events.

It really blows my mind that some haunts go to such measures to try to "bring down" their competition. It seems like each of the last few years there has been a post where a haunt has had items stolen, whether it's the competition doing it or not. It truly is sad.

10-03-2007, 12:00 PM
Ahh, that sucks. Try not to let it get you down too much, even though that is hard.

A few things immediately pop into mind:

1) As suggested before, get a camera to monitor the place. If it's motion sensitive, that is even better.

2) Get a gaurd dog.

3) Hire a company, or even a trusted group of people, to monitor the property, and just wait. Catch them red-handed.

And, make sure you report everything. It may not help immediately, but it might prove useful in the end.

-- I

10-03-2007, 02:12 PM
You'd be surprised what a camera will do to thwart an attempted burglar...even if it's fake, as long as it has a blinking light, and looks like a camera, most will think twice....but i agree with a real night vision camera and video taping...the camera does not lie!!!!

10-03-2007, 03:33 PM
Yeah, buy camera's and hammer them. Once you have the evidence not only press criminal charges for that incident, buy civil charges for all the rest. This is why you want a police report on this latest break-in.

10-03-2007, 03:35 PM
Thanks for all the advice, sounds like everyone is pretty experinced here,but one more favor can you all help me out and post some pic ideas of make up faces because I don't think I will be able to afford to replace all the costumes that were stolen before I open , I will have to use alot of makeup and i have never used it before, first time for everything i guess. I am not a very big Haunt but i promise if I ever make it there I WILL not forget the support of you guys.

Jim Warfield
10-03-2007, 06:40 PM
Buy a few really incredible full-head masks, carefully harvest some poison ivy leaves wear gloves, ex cetra, rub the leaves all over the inside of those masks and let them steal them.
They won't need any hideous make up then! Blisters oozing is really scary, especially when they are real!
Naw, I'm just kiding..no I'm not..yes I am...not. Maybe?

Greg Chrise
10-03-2007, 06:42 PM
Step one, share the burden of figuring out how to do make up or provide good masks with your actors. There is a level of satisfaction to them doing and completeing things.

Second, realize that for the most part costumes and things like that are the expendable part of a haunted house. By taking this stuff they have given you the opportunity to get new and far better than before, so the stunt has back fired to a degree.

I fully agree with keeping up on any and all police reports. At some point the cad who has this type of behavior will get in trouble for something else and your charges might be admitted to in a confession if pressed by the police.

Chances are if they think other people's property is expendable they will screw up.

Not only have cameras but set them up next year with the new costumes only they seem to be infested with lice? Wonder how that happened and the film becomes a funny segment as well as evidence.

In the design of the haunt the prison scene is real and you can turn competitors touring your haunt into props.

If they took stuff recently they might try it again mid season, so keep everything stored elsewhere or under watch or consider it expendable.

Possibly insure anything that isn't bolted down for replacement values and mark everything somehow to identify it as being yours, a serial number or something with records. The would be scaffla doesn't necessarily know these are your numbers and figures they are manufacture serial numbers but the police may find a stash down the road and put two and two together.

The police like to let things go for months to get the whole story of not only your complaint but perhaps what else is this guy into.

Jim Warfield
10-03-2007, 07:39 PM
Of course buying only the 98 cent Goat-Glue masks helps this problem also.
To the uninitiated upon seeing the goat glue masks for the first time laughter will ensue, making it easier to discover their position if they have run away a short distance to hide, like in the poison ivy patch.
The 98 cent mask put together with messy glue made from goat liquids can be The Scariest Mask ever!
"This goof-ball wearing this el-cheapo mask thinks he's scary? Wait, he is scary in a very real and mentally unheathly way, he's nuts if he really thinks this mask is scary!!!"

damon carson
10-03-2007, 08:20 PM
We unfortunately had similair problems in the past with competitors, We had a large inflatable pumpkin on top of our roof. And they got up on top of the building without a ladder and broke it off a pallet we had it screwed down on and stole it. We spoke with a security camera company the next year and was gonna hire them for the 2 months we would be in the building. But it was gonna cost us about a couple grand so we said forget it. So we brought in everything that wasnt bolted down. The security company told us the cameras they sell at wal-mart excetera cant be used as evidence??? Maybe he was trying to get us to go with him? Or maybe he was telling the truth? I would say evidence is evidence but the law is so screwed up who knows? I would say campout! Catch them redhanded and then call the law. Bait them with something! Put out a cool prop or a nice inflateable and leave it left out lit up! Maybe they will think you forgot to take it in?! Waiit and nab the b@$$*#@%s!

Greg Chrise
10-03-2007, 10:40 PM
I have seen camera systems in gas stations being reviewed by police that have all the stuff you see in the movies, scan in on him Bob, enhance and so forth.

It still might not be used in a court of law as the reason for conviction or even as supporting evidence but everyone involved knows by reference that they are suspecting the right people.

Even those in a bank might not be excellent enough resolution and so not guarentee positive ID. Yet locally they have picked up a guy who allegedly has robbed 13 banks over a 100 mile radius. He was picked up 3 days before his family was getting a free home from habitat from humanity.

There are different levels of evidence usually depending on wether it is a criminal or civil trial the later being to recover a loss money wise.

I am not an attorney but I play one on Hauntworld.

Greg Chrise
10-03-2007, 10:56 PM
In the movie the House Of 1000 Corpses, the one thing I did think was wild was the home made paper mache masks and big heads.

Every kid alive has put on a store sold mask and had their freinds or family think it was funny what the kid just looked like. Everyone immediately giggles. In adult life it is either a bank robber or someone being silly, who could it be? But real wacked out home made crude looking stuff is disturbing. Just one more thing to take away the familiarity factor from victims.

Doing strange things with latex and cotton swabs is odd too. Things undefinable not only add to the impression but when the group is recounting to each other what effected them, it isn't as easy as saying the guy with the jason mask did this or that. If they can't describe the event or what they looked like and it took far more for everyone to agree they might or might not have experienced the same thing, you have Your Haunted House The Home Game.

This engrains return customers, higher word of mouth and even months of buzz over simple things.

10-08-2007, 02:50 PM
I hate what you are dealing with, but maybe you should look at the big picture. You're obviously hurting your competition, so the best weapon is to keep it up. Try not to be discouraged, and let the show go on!

Jim Warfield
10-08-2007, 03:08 PM
A bank robber in Illinois used a store-bought expensive-one-of-a-kind mask.
The FBI asked the local mask and magic shop if they ever sold such a mask?
Sure did! I sold it to that Tv preacher on tv here locally."
It aseems "god" had been telling M.r.TV Preacher to rob banks and savings and loans. (This "god" guy is incorrigible!")
Then GOD told the FBI to clean out "TV's" bank account and place him behind bars, steel bars.
A home-made goat-glue mask would have changed everything.
"god" must have forgotten to mention this?

Mr Nightmarez
10-09-2007, 05:40 AM
Sad, truly sad. Can't beat you fair and square so the resort to cheap tactics.

I agree the Police need to be notified, but I would also look into ways around with advertising.

Do they NOT realize there is room for multiple haunts in one city?

In Chattanooga, Tennessee there are a total of 15 haunts within a 50 mile radius and population under 500,000!

Have you ever tried cross promoting or meeting w/ them to discuss how it would help to have 2 haunts?

Give me their phone number and I'll personally call them... Totally unbelievable. When will people wake up and realize it's co-opertition?

10-11-2007, 12:32 PM
I can't say a whole lot more than what the others have said, other than reiterate the cross promotion thing.

Haunts are a very niche industry, especially since most of us don't operate year round. Our haunt is open 28 days to be exact. We're not exactly a dying breed, but we aren't in the hayday of haunts (IMO), like it was in the mid 90's. Drive In movie theaters have mostly died off. I suggest we all work together as a team to help build the haunt industry, rather than bicker and fight with each other for a month a year.

I recommend cross promoting with other haunts that aren't in the typical driving distance. IE, consider promoting with the haunt that's a 15-20 mile trip away from you, rather than the guys that are 3 miles down the road. Chances are, patrons coming to your haunt are aware of the other guys a few miles down the road, but they may not be familiar with the guys 20 miles away. And the same works in reverse. Patrons at the haunt 20 miles north of you may have never heard about you. But if they get a flyer at that haunt, it gives them more reason to come to your neck of the woods.

My 2c.

10-13-2007, 01:23 PM
Wow and I thought I had problems. I agree you need to put up nightvision cameras and hid them really well. Also I would get a DVR and ask the police to check the property out at least once a night. Also maybe you can have some of your employees to do security inside the forest doing rounds for a couple years. Yes this may hurt your budget but it seems like it will be worth it. Also I incourage you to drive over to the other haunt and talk to them (Do not Accuse them of Stealing anything) For all you know it could be a couple punk teens in the area that broke in. So go over there and ask him if you and him cant become partners and cross promote. Also ask him if he cant show you what he does to secure his property. Or even if you give me a budget I could possibly come in an make that place fort knox. Let me know.