View Full Version : Abandoned House to Haunted Attraction!

11-04-2007, 04:52 PM
Hey everyone- i just found a perfect location for my haunted attraction. For the past 3 years our location has not been that great, but me and my other 2 business partners have found the perfect spot. There is an abandoned house in town, right near a stadium that seats 50,000 people (good for advertisement). Now, you are probably thinking floors falling through and all that, but today we actually went into the house and looked around. (tresspassing is fun hahahaha) There is a hell of a lot of junk in there but as of sturdy wise it is not that bad. The house is such a PERFECT layout for a haunted house...i am going crazy thinking about it. There is also an old garage next to it (also filled with junk) that would be great for tix and the start of the line. Some nice backyard space as well. So most of the windows are broken, and the door was unlocked(thats how we got in) but it is not exactly in terrible condition. So i went to the house next door and asked an old man if he knows if it is for sale. He said that the 4 houses (the abandoned one included) was being sold all together. The guy who basically owns the town owns 3 of the houses, but the abandoned one is owned by an engineer in town. So what i'm asking:

1. How do i go about getting this house, and how much should they be expecting if it is abandoned, filled with crap, not a good RESIDENTIAL location, only has 1 bathroom and about 8 other rooms in total?

2. Are there any easy ways in which i may be able to get this?

3. If i were to get a good deal, before buying it shoud i get inspection guys to see if it would be able to be opened as a commerical haunted attraction?

Any other thoughts greatly apprectiated. Thanks very much.


11-04-2007, 08:31 PM
3. If i were to get a good deal, before buying it shoud i get inspection guys to see if it would be able to be opened as a commerical haunted attraction?

If I were you I'd have an inspection done, just to know what you're getting into. Keep in mind that just because a building seems to be structurally sound, that does not necessarily mean it is. It could have a bad roof that leaks when it rains. It could have a cracked foundation. It could have shotty electrical. You never know unless you get an inspector in there.

Do you know if this house is actually condemned or just abandoned? Because if it's condemned, you'll probably have to do some work to bring it up to code and make it useable. It was condemned for a reason.

If the owner is only looking to sell it as part of a group of houses you may be out of luck. A while ago I was interested in buying a building that itself wasn't much, but it was sitting on 40 acres that were also for sale. The owner didn't want to sell the building, the building was being torn down...they just wanted to sell the entire lot for a major retail development. So they had no interest in selling just that part, and wound up demolishing it anyways. You might be in a similar situation.

First thing you could do is call up the owner and talk to him. At least find out if it's an option. Then get a building inspector out there to tell you what condition it's in, and what you need to do to fix it. You may find that the repairs are not within your budget.

11-07-2007, 11:37 AM
robo brought up a bunch of things to consider.

Also, once you turn this house into commercial property there are different rules for fixing and building then if it's residentual.

For your questions:
1) Contact the city and have them give you the owners names and contact info. Ask them if they have any plans for the house. They may have a plan that no one knows about.

Cost is what you are willing to pay. My place was abandoned for 20 years and in bad condition (pretty much everything robo said), they wanted $500,000 .. we gave then $120,000 .. they took it. You have to convince people that is their only option.

2) Easy? nothing is easy :) If it really is abandoned residentual look and see if the property taxes have been paid. If they have not and there are no leans. Pay them and put a lean on the house. If the owner wants to sell it they can not without paying you back. In some cities (true in mine) if you do that and move in and start fixing up the house the city will give it to you because you've shown a vested interest in the house, where to other owner did not. Not as easy as I make it sound, but I've known people to do this then flip the house.

3) Yes on the inspection. What if it's full of pests that you didn't notice. What if a support beam is 1/2 eaten by termites. Eewwwooo. As for it being commercial, that is zoning up to your city.

Is it on lots of property or a small lot? Will you have parking issues? Are there other residentual people around you? Was it a meth house that is now a hazmat issue?

If your lot is big, or if you can buy out the neighbors then you can add other smaller attractions to it. 9 rooms is not a large haunt. Will your ticket price cover expenses?

But it would be nice to see an actual Haunted House, like Jim. Not just haunted warehouses. :D