View Full Version : Haunting and Halloween Stores

Mr. Haunt
11-19-2007, 09:43 PM
I was wondering if any haunters here run a haunted attraction and a franchise Halloween store?

I know that it would be added work, but would it meen cheap discounts on Halloween props and costumes for the owner?

It would also be some more added income and fun.


Jim Warfield
11-19-2007, 10:30 PM
Ask yourself though would your haunt customers think it unnecesarrilly "Cheesey" to see the same masks and decorations in your haunt that they just saw in three stores, people's yards and in other haunts?
They can walk through those stores and yards for no cost.
My first and final journey through a certain brand of Halloween store really made me wonder because so much of their items looked So Bad, do only little kids work painting their stuff?
Enforce the child-labor laws! Increase product quality!

Mr. Haunt
11-20-2007, 09:39 AM

You have a point about the props and costumes. Some of the little things might help though.


Sorry about that interuption. OK even if you did not use your stores product, it would be another form of a profit. It might also be a way to help get a bank loan or grant for those who are in search of these types of funds.

You could also advertise both the store and the haunt at each place! Did I mention the two web sites would advertise both businesses as well.

I guess it's more what can the store do for the haunt and what can the haunt do for the store?


Haunted Nashville
11-20-2007, 11:41 AM
I own two Halloween franchises in the Nashville area and also run the Demons' Den attraction. We very rarely use anything in the Haunt that we sell in the stores, with the exception of a little makeup. It is however very good for cross promoting the two off each other.

11-20-2007, 12:58 PM
I was looking for a local halloween store owner so I could start some type of a partnership with him. We would lease next to each other and advertise togeather as well. I'm not sure how much attendance would boost from that, but at the least it would cut my cost of advertising in half.

Jim Warfield
11-20-2007, 06:27 PM
I wonder if there is any market research out there concerning what percentage of Halloween Store customers even attend Haunted Houses?
There just might not be as much cross-over as one would think?
Does the person buying stuff and displaying it at his own house (residential) take the time to see haunted houses?
Maybe not?

Mr. Haunt
11-20-2007, 07:31 PM
I would not have heard about a new haunt here in MN if it was not for a Halloween store, pluss I found a coupon for another at the same store. So it works for a few things.


Jim Warfield
11-21-2007, 06:35 AM
Anything in advertising can work, I'm just wondering if we are assuming that it works better than it actually does?
I have been very wrong before in my thinking, especially concerning this haunting-thing I love so much, my personal blindness to what the majority is actually thinking and feeling and doing can get obscured to say the least. For instance who wouldn't want to work in a "Haunted House?"
I have been re-educated as to this thought many times over these last 20 years.
Maybe I just have so much fun doing this that I assume everyone else will feel the same rush and fun? I still don't see why they don't?
I must be incurable?
I do get my "Fix" being open every night of the year but sometimes in really bad weather NOBODY SHOWS UP!!!??

Gore Galore
11-21-2007, 07:05 AM
I think you might be right about Halloween store buyers not necessarily being Haunted Attraction attendees.

But I understand trying to cross promote that way. I think the best way to cross promote would be with other haunts. I know most might see it as competition, but there are haunts that have set up the cross promotion AS a competition. The attendees vote which one is the best or scariest haunt.

Also the owner of Erebis put together the "Haunt finder" paper.
He lets all haunts advertise in it and has a good distribution.
And then he puts full page ads in it for Erebis and his other events.

Just try to develop something innovative like a folktale about your event. Or something that gets the news out there. Some type of event you do to celebrate the opening of your event.
Anything to garner media attention.

Mr. Haunt
11-21-2007, 10:26 AM
I have read about the cross market topic. However when most of all of the haunts in a 1 hour radius does not reply to emails, goes to show that they want nothing to do with me. I have one that is 15 min. away from the location(s) I am looking at, however recently I have not heard from them either.

It's funny, I thought I would have heard from one other haunt here in MN, they are one of the most regarded haunt here. OH WELL THOUGH.

So trying to think of some differant ways to advertise is key.


Gore Galore
11-21-2007, 01:11 PM
I would try to contact them directly rather than email. Email fails or you forget to reply.
A phone call is better. It is better to get a direct "NO" than to assume you are getting a no.
Like I said most haunt don't see cross marketing as a good thing.
You are competition.
But I think it would be a good thing as long as your attractions draw similar #s etc...
But I am not a haunt owner.
I have worked with a charity haunt for over 20 years.
And the one time we worked out something with another haunt they didn't reciprocate the marketing.
we traded coupons and they didn't give ours out.

11-24-2007, 10:32 AM
i agree witht he store bought stuff but if you are an artist and make your own costume and you own masks then i say go for it or if you cary the more hig end retail stuff that you would not find in those other places i think you may have a good go at it.

and if youget the word out to the goth community then you may make a little money during the off season as well. but no gaurantees from me as i always say those are my two cents and they aint worth that.

The Care Taker

11-30-2007, 01:42 PM
We wanted to do an idea we got from a seminar Kelly Collins did at MWHaunters a couple of years ago involving a contest where a randomly drawn name from a contest sign up gets the guest a chance to "Try to Stay the Night at the Haunted Hotel". Make it until dawn and win $ 1000.

Told one of our radio ad sales girls about it and she went to work and partnered us with the new local Halloween Express store in nearby Ft Wayne (20 miles). Our radio ads and website promoted the contest and Halloween Express' radio ads promoted the contest as well. All entries had to be signed up at the Halloween Express store. The store also drew names each week for FREE Haunted Hotel tickets. The contest went as planned with the brave soul outlasting the monsters to win $ 1000. Halloween Express paid the prize money, and we both basically doubled our radio advertising in the market area.

The store got lots of foot traffic with the sign ups and the buzz in the area and on the internet was huge. We got tons of questions and one request to pay US to stay a night as a girls night out thing.

Plan to get with the store owner in Vegas at Transowrld to map out 2008 way ahead of time and help each other more. She is from two states away and only is in the area during the season so does not know the area and we hope to help her there as well.

Brett - JamBam

Jim Warfield
11-30-2007, 05:39 PM
Was the "Haunted Hotel" a hotel at all? Was it really supposed to be haunted?
Did the contest specify exactly which it was? Or was it an October Haunted House, a haunted attraction full of actors and props?
As far as couples spending the night in a haunted building...I found that very often opposites have attracted and one of the couple loves it, the other is scared to death and it isn't always the female that's the scared one either!
The small "nich" potential market becomes even smaller when the chicken wants to bail..and takes the brave soul with them out the door and down the road.

12-01-2007, 11:42 AM
i had thought to myself this year when i went to the mall that it would be a good idea to go in as partners with the halloween shop that rents out a space each year. i thought it may bring good trafic for both and could be some good in knid advertising or marketing. but then i thought hum may bee not. i have always wanted to have a small section with in a haunt with custom masks and cotumes (hate to call them that) ok wardrob and see what would happen.
in the future

Jim Warfield
12-01-2007, 01:42 PM
Mr. Care, What would your policy in your store be as far as trying on masks?
"Yes, this mask has only been sneezed in twice, once by "Typhoid" Mary, and once by "Sneezy" the Cinderella elf."
Pre-Goobered masks!
Scary! hahahaha!

"Something just crawled up my nose !"

12-01-2007, 04:25 PM
well for the higher quality you try you buy and snezzing cost extra!

hey i may find my place on earth is to help reduce the population. lets hope not cause evil runs deep in the disfunctional combat soldiers heart.

blood red foamy blood and guts.
may be thats why i dont sleep so goodLOL

12-02-2007, 11:47 AM
Answers for Mr Warfiled. THe Haunted Hotel is an annual attraction with actors and props in an old downtown building on the second floor. It was originally apartments and the design was such like most of that era where the rooms connected to each other on almost every wall and we set it up with only four cuts through the walls to accomplish our route.

The contest was set up as only one person being allowed to try to stay the whole night and win the $ 1000. The publicity was huge for both the halloween shop and us. The halloween shop drew ten names at the end of the month. They called all ten to tell them they had been drawn and to come and pick up their key. The keys were skeleton keys (from my own house). They were instructed to show up at 10:45 (15 minutes before our last ticket sold) and they then traded the skeleton key for one that might open the front door. We had rekeyed the front door and I was the only one that had the 2 keys that worked. Only three people picked up the first key as the rest of them declined. Of the three, one girl and two guys. The girl's boyfriend tried to use her key but we wouldn't let him. It was down to two and one good key and one bad key were put in a hat for them to draw from.

Jim Warfield
12-02-2007, 01:45 PM
And of course the guy was looking for some new key.
Was there a place to actually lay down and sleep? Were people trying to spook them out of the building?

12-03-2007, 06:55 PM
The finalists were told to bring their pajamas, sleeping bag, and pillow. The room was set up pretty bare with a casket for them . This young man did not bring anything with him and did indeed lay in the casket a couple of times.

Our actors had to convince the director they were worthy to be on the scare team. They tried their darndest to scare him and at one point he did call out to call it off, but when we returned communication, he had regained composure to complain about something and resume.

We had a couple of night vision cameras set up. One in the same room with the guest, and one in a main hallway.