View Full Version : Need sugeestions please!

10-29-2007, 08:15 AM
I know this is a busy time to be asking this question with allot of you being Haunt Owners, so i will not expect many respones till next week! Me and my wife are business owners here in Tn. We are very,very Halloween enthusists! My wifes B-Day is Halloween also. But we want to build a Haunted Attraction here that is something evryone looks forward to. I need some help on where to start. We are in the process of locating a very large building on many acreas. We have a few places in mind! we want to offer inside and outside attractions. What is the first things you have to get! Do we have to have permitts and all? We plan on employee'ing a couple hundred employees and was wondering how some of you bigger haunts do it? Do you just pay them out of your pocket or do you go thru the whole employee application and taxes and all that good stuff. I am sure we will not even be able to open next year. We are in no hurry, we want to make the best arround! Any suggestions on anything we be greatly appriciated! Thanks!

10-29-2007, 08:38 AM
looks like your getting yourself into something big. My first suggestion like many others is to buy as many haunt books and videos as possible. Kelly has a great book which every haunt owner should own. Second attend as many haunt conventions as possible. Transworld in Vegas, Midwest Haunters convention in Ohio and Hauntcon where ever they will be located in 2008 are a few of the good ones. Go to Disney world. serisouly you can learn alot about entertainment business by seeing how they operate. If your going to have employees pay them and pay your taxes. Do it legaly or you will get into a heep of trouble. Reasearch research research! Read every post on this forum. Ask questions. And dont try to be to big too soon. Start small and work your way up. You may have tons of land and space but if you dont have the props to fill it, it wont be any good and people wont come back.

Their is so much more but i'll let others pitch in.

Best of luck to ya!


10-29-2007, 08:48 AM
Thanks for the suggestion! They will help allot. I guess i knew what the answer would be on the employee thing since we already own one business and do all the paperwork thing. I guess i was hoping the huant industry got a break. Taxes are taxes i guess.Thanks for the help. We have been to hundreds of Haunted Houses over the years and actually did reviews for Haunts around Tn,fl,SC,Ga,NC and KY. We owned a Haunted House website and was starting to buld it when a Haunted House in Texas offered to buy the domain name and i sold it to him.(wish i would have kept it now) We have learned allot from them. I totally agree that we can not go to big at first and that is a great suggestion from you. I have seen that many of you on here have been open for many many years and it will take us awile to get there. But we will. I promise. Well i will keep reading post on here and can't wait to read more suggestion! Thanks

10-29-2007, 09:15 AM
When you locate your building try to ensure that it is on county land if possible and with an up to date sprinkler system and plenty of exits. Talk to both the city and county fire officials if you have them both and explain what you are trying to do. Check zoning -- this one is important.

If you have never built a haunted attraction from the ground up consider hiring someone reputable to build it for you. Try HPI (Larry's company) for example.

You might also consider hiring a haunter to run it for you. Offer him or her a cut.

Buy every book on the subject, but start with Kelly's book "So you want to be a haunt entrepeneur."

10-29-2007, 09:24 AM
Thanks! I just ordered the book from Kelly. Looks like it has some interesting and helpful things in it. So when you say hire someone to create the haunt, Do you mean that i get the land ,building and layout and they come in and create the "Haunt"? I would also like to put in some sort of Haunted Boat ride on the property also. Has anyone tried this? I want to use all areas possible to make this a huge attraction.

10-29-2007, 01:00 PM
Welcome nabbm34, to the Hauntworld Forum.
We run the Body Farm outside of Knoxville,
Did you get to attend the show this year.?

10-29-2007, 01:14 PM
We visited Haunts in Chatt. and Georgia this year. Sorry we did not make it out to the Body Farm. Are you near Nashville? If so we came out there a few years ago and had a good time. What funny is Knoxville has a real Body Farm that they take real corpses and investigate how they detiriate under different atmospheres. It is a creepy place and pretty neat even though they do not allow the public to visit. The company we own has bucket trucks and they hired us to take them up for arial photos and our employee was freaked out about it.

10-29-2007, 02:46 PM
We are about 30min out of Knoxville, I live in Knoxville,too.
UT never owned the name, The Tn Secretary of State sold us the name
to use. "Got us a good Attorney" he,he

Jim Warfield
10-30-2007, 12:53 AM
Well I guess that everyone is different.
Reading about your plans to have a couple of hundred of employees and all the rest makes me very tired just thinking about what that would be like.
More and bigger buildings and lakes and land.....
I love running my house with as few other people and as few "things" as possible because what I already have keeps me busier than I really want to be.
There are only so many hours in a week and I like to have enough energy to put on a really good show for my patrons every night.
Doing janitor work and maintainence all day long then putting out the energy I do entertaining keeps me zapped.....

If you really love Halloween don't own a haunt, you will never see another Halloween again. I think just the problems dealing with 200 employees would keep one so occupied that it might be December before you realise October is passed.

10-31-2007, 11:09 AM
First write your business plan. Ask yourself the following. Haunting is just like any other business, unless you are a home haunter.

Do you think you are ready to start a business?

Have you ever worked in a business similar to what you are planning to start?

Would people that know you say you are well suited to be in this industry?

Do you have support for your business from family and friends?

Have you ever taken a course or seminar designed to teach you how to start and manage a small business?

Have you discussed your business idea, business plan or proposed business with a business coach or counselor, such as a faculty advisor, SCORE counselor, Small Business Development Center counselor or other economic development advisor?

Are you willing to invest a significant portion of your savings or net worth to get your business started?

Do you have a business plan for the business you are planning to start?

Do you know and understand the components of a business plan?

Do you know if your business will require a special license or permit and how to obtain it?

Do you know where to find demographic data and information about your customers?

Do you know how to compute the financial “break-even point” for your business?

Do you know how to compute the start-up costs for your business?

Are you sure your planned business fills a specific market need?

Do you know your target market?

Do you know how to prepare a marketing strategy for your business?

Do you know how to learn about your business competitors?

Do you understand marketing trends in your business industry?

Do you have a payroll process planned for your business?

Do you have a customer service strategy in mind or in place?

Do you know if your business should have some form of intellectual property protection?

Do you know where to obtain information about regulations and compliance requirements that impact your business?

Every area, from town to town is different with laws. The only way to answer questions like these is to ask a house in your exact town. If there is none, they you'll have to ask officals.

10-31-2007, 01:03 PM
After reading many posts on this site and what other Haunt owners say about how much time you have to devote to the 'haunt. Thats the deal with me and my wife. We already own 1 business that pretty much runs itself with the help of my wife answering the phones and doing all the paperwork. I can pretty much devote the entire year to it. I will run the Haunt business along with a few other guys that are going in with me. I will right down all the questions written in the post and answer them all. Thanks for the help on it.

damon carson
10-31-2007, 01:41 PM
Well at least you spell like a haunter. LOL! Just kidding its write not right. I know you were probably in a hurry. Its an old joke haunters cant spell. LOL!