View Full Version : Biggest Complaint?

Jim Warfield
02-06-2008, 11:06 PM
What is the commonist or biggest complaint that you all hear from customers about your haunted house?
What is the commonist complaint your customers have about "Other " haunted houses?
Since I raised the question I wil wait til further down to post mine, not wanting to influence undully....
Go For It!

Howie Slobber Erlich
02-07-2008, 01:06 AM
Our biggest complaint is that they wish the haunt could last longer or be a lttle bigger.

Complaint about other haunts is that they are not scary.

Howie "Slobber" Erlich
Deadly Intentions Haunted House

Jim Warfield
02-07-2008, 09:39 PM
People will complain about the admission price ($12.oo) then they pay it , go through and have a great time!? Then they forget about the bitch they thought they had. Then I hear their complaints about other houses "Too long a wait for too little entertainment" usually.
sometimes they tell me about some nasty stuff happening to them in a haunt, usually years before they see mine but the incident must have really negatively impressed them! Unfortunately.
It makes me sad when I hear about the customer's lack of satisfaction in a haunt because I know (as most of us do) how much plain old "Work" is required just to attempt to get something built and up and running.
Maybe some just don't know how to be entertaining or scary or maybe they are just too tired from building the place to run it with enough good energy?
Either way it's sad.

The HorrorTeller
02-08-2008, 07:35 AM
My 2 cents worth on the subject is this:
First you will never please everyone of your guests.

Admission price = guests time perception.

Whether its a : if it only lasts a very brief time and is a walk(run) through type of haunted event, normally the guests feel it was inadquate amount of time for the big dollar admission.

As to not being scary enough...maybe it was lacking imagination and was perhaps the same ole same ole senerio that many haunts present.

What happens is that too many haunt owners give the guests what they believe the guests want to see...not what the guests really want.

Maybe its because the actors are not trained to be scareactors..they are just haunt actors.

The amount of time that goes into a show is unbelievable each season, especially if you change it out each season. But it does give the guests what they want.
Something new...something different...something exciting. A reason to come back.

A new legend, a new theme. NEW fun.

Like I said, just my 2 cents tossed into the matter.


02-08-2008, 08:48 AM
Biggest complaint: Too long of line.

When we start hearing this we try to send them throug faster without losing the quality of the show.

Biggest complaint of other haunts: too long of wait, too pricy, not scary enough.

I guess its just part of our business. you could have a 45 min haunt with a ten min wait to get in and the scariest props and best actors and someone will still bitch.


02-08-2008, 12:01 PM
This question needs to be answered in two parts.

First, the teenage boys are the toughest critics. They will claim the haunt sucked, lame, not worth the money, etc.... But mosst of the time, if some one has observed these guys by either following them, cameras, or talking to staff later, it is nearly always the case that they had in fact been scared or entertained. The mach o image they try to portray is what causes them to say stuff like that.

Second part: We always hope that NONE of our customers have ever been to, heard of, or seen any reviews for the Raven's Grin Inn in Mount Carrol, Illinois. That place is so much in its own class that we fear ever being compared to them, him, Mr Tuxedo, or whoever is responsible for the place.
We have been there three times. The second time with some family, who agree with us. The third time, with friends that we thought we might not make it out of the place with, and the first time with a bunch of other haunters, who all sighed collectively after getting back on the bus. They all were heard to say, "wwwhhoooooaaaaaaa!!!!!" and "Did you eat the cookies that guy handed out on the ride down? That is the guy who hosted the tour. Do you think the cookies were really baked my his mother? I hope there was nothing in those cookies, ....."

A Raven's Grin Inn Fan!!!

Brett Molitor - JamBam/Huntington Jaycees Haunted Hotel-13th Floor

02-08-2008, 02:38 PM
Our biggest complaint is the wait time to get in. It can be several hours. We wont compromise the quality of our show just to get them in faster. We do the best we can.

We have some pretty good haunts that have been around for awhile in our area so the complaints are pretty minimal. Once in a while someone will try to come in and do a less than quality show with a big media push and they usually charge too much. They get a lot of one-timers. The biggest complaint about them is that they are priced too high, the lack of scares, length being too short and perhaps the most devastating is that they lacked uniqueness.

Hope this helps.


Jim Warfield
02-08-2008, 07:08 PM
I would tell people that if they wanted to go through my house and wanted to wait for as long as it took for their ticket to come up, that no matter what time it got to be, that I would still take them through......It is VERY difficult to entertain people at 6:30 AM after they have been waiting to get in since 10:30?
I sure don't do this anymore, mostly because I don't want to be the "Lone Ranger" after 2:30 am when our Police department goes home and goes to bed. (usually)
The tours only took about 30 minutes at that time but I was a one-man show, selling the tickets, doing the tour, resetting the house, then doing it all over again, ad infinitum.

Thanks Brett you made my day! hahahaha!

02-10-2008, 08:52 PM
What is the most common or biggest complaint that you all hear from customers about your haunted house?

The biggest complaint I've heard (from fellow students back in high school) is our admission price of......$10! Ah, I can see their dilemma. How will they ever pay for food and gas since our price of admission has skyrocketed!?

I really don't see how $10 is too much to ask for. I've had people walk up to me and say, "Hey, you work in that haunted house right? Can you get me in for free?" "It only costs $10 to get in. I don't see why..." "Come on, man. I'll come if it's free." "Do I know you? It really doesn't matter to me if you come see the place or not, but if you want to get in, you'll have to pay like everybody else." "FINE! I bet it sucks anyways!"

What is the most common complaint your customers have about "Other " haunted houses?

I've heard people say that our competitor, "Was not scary", "laughable (two words: trash bags)" and "stole our idea (the asylum theme)". I haven't been to the haunt myself so I don't know to what degree these claims go. It was later closed down due to saftey issues concerning their maze. However when the news hit the paper, the article explaining why it was closed down said it was, "Too scary" and "Too long". Right. http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/8569/dodgynt1.png

Jim Warfield
02-11-2008, 01:26 PM
When a punk said my house was not worth him paying me to see it, I asked him if he had ever been in it ?
"Well then, how do you know what it is worth?"

Suppose I built the only Cadillac ever made all built by hand, I say it's worth $100,000.oo , you say it's not..I built it, shouldn't I know better what it might be worth than you?

He didn't have a comeback for my logic.
Of course if I was trying to sell him my one of a kind Cadillac then negotiation would be needed, but I would still be trying to convince him that it was worth what I thought it should be worth.

02-11-2008, 03:18 PM
Not long enough... and this was when were had Rainbow Springs - and the attraction was over 40 minutes long. Some people you can never please.

Jim Warfield
02-13-2008, 12:28 AM
Nicole, sometimes when some complainer is wheezing and moaning I take a long look and listen to them and my ESP kicks in and I KNOW!
They have never successfully done anything in their entire time on this world!
(Or maybe nobody has ever told them they were worth a salt?)
I try real hard to replace anger with pity...they hear it in my words, see it in my look and then they either feel bad for being so nasty or they might feel really lower than whale feces for what they just tried to bring me down to, or they take this as compassion and run with it, I give them a little kiss , wipe their forehead with a urine-soaked rag , give them a hug then push them away!
They are so confused they can barely walk!
Never respond "In-Kind" if you can master it, it keeps them really off of their game.

02-24-2008, 06:03 PM
Since I've been bouncing around for years now, putting my haunt up in different areas, I've gotten varying reactions based on location... and year. Here's a brief sampling of reactions:

Fontana, CA (1994)- they loved it... everything worked, even ticket price.

Prescott, AZ (2003)- many thought ticket price was too high ($12, $10 for groups of ten), which boiled down to the bad state of their local economy... 2/3 liked the show, but wanted to see more (had some staff troubles that year), the other 1/3 were wondering where the blood and chainsaws were (as if I had advertised that it was that kind of show)... didn't help that one of my sponsors was the big movie theatre across the street, and a few guests were coming directly from watching the remake of Chainsaw Massacre. :)

Northridge, CA (2005/2006)- most complaints were aimed directly at the host haunt, "Spooky House"... ticket price, fraudulent VIP line, etc. Some (few) complained about the wait, but since my queue is computer-assisted, wait time into my attraction was never more than 45 minutes most days, 1.5 hour at absolute peak (1800 per night). Of course, since I was the first attraction out of three, I got the brunt of complaints at the door. Reactions here were similar to Prescott in that about 1/3 wondered why they needed to 'slow down and check the place out', instead of running through like maniacs, ducking chainsaw wielding monsters. The rest, including entertainment industry pros and celebrities, loved the show... they wouldn't change a thing.

03-02-2008, 11:46 PM
Complaint about our haunt: Too Short... but we do it for free so I say "go through again and it's twice as long."

Complaint about other haunts: Cheesey-ness, cliche themes... dot room anyone?

Jim Warfield
03-04-2008, 09:53 AM
Why waste your own time and energy doing what 10,000 others have already done? (unless you can actually do it beter?)
But if you don't "Try" nobody will ever know?
Chase your tail, round and round we go!
"Entertainment" by most people's definition has to be somewhat mentally or emotionally stimulating and to usually be thought of in this way it has to be somewhat "new" or at least unfamiliar or at least seem to be unfamiliar until they calm down and have a chance to analyse the experience.
Confusion can buy you time to push them through your place, and what is that word telling us? Let's break it down.."Con"...need I say more?

03-11-2008, 10:38 AM
Complaints - we have had a few. Not many but in my time we have heard everything from "someone touched me" to "no one touched me".

Our target audience is a 21 year old male in a group of 3 or more. There are many complaints from this kind of group due to the psychological aspects of the group and the male ego.

Having said that, we hear things like

"someone touched me" or "no one touched me"
"That was it?" Even though on screen video you could see him or her get the crap scared out of them on several occasions.
"I didn't like the crawling"
"I didn't like that I couldn't see"
"I didn't like that I got that scared"
"I didn't like that I was not scared enough"
"I didn't like (insert everything that you worked on for the past 11 months)"

Complaints you will have every night that you are open. It is how you deal with them. I usually have a snappy comeback to every silly complaint. Real complaints I offer one of two things. More tickets to come back another night or something of equal value (ie t-shirt, hot dog, blah blah blah). Most take the tickets and I see them on another night. Not everyone has a good night. It may be that their day was crappy and their friends forced them to come. If I can get them back on a night and they have a good time, they will tell all their friends good things instead of bad.



Jim Warfield
03-22-2008, 10:44 PM
Late one October a man and his two teenage girls showed up, we were almost closed for the night so I did their entire tour.
I had overheard him telling them as he bought their tickets that my place was so incredible, he had been here just that same summer.
Everything seemed all right until the tour was very close to completed then this goof begins bitching that the tour was no good because nothing was changed since he had last been here(his first time)
I listened politely (somewhat surprised by such a change in him from the tour's beginning)
After he was done ,I told him how I had been working everyday, long hours on things that he would not be seeing as he went through the house, yet these things were extremely necessary things that had to be worked on and completed. Steel conduit, "electrical" in nature)
He STILL was now whining and bitching! Now that the admission was way too high!?
I finally just looked at him with a mournful expression and said:"I'm really sorry if those admission dollars are so precious and hard to come by for you but most people don't seem to have to work or put out any extreme effort as you must have to do to make those same dollars, so they don't get as upset to spend that much money."
And I meant it. He may have calmed then...no, I did not return any admission money to him.

Jim Warfield
04-12-2008, 10:31 AM
Last night I asked a customer my typical question:"What is the most memorable,scary, or entertaining thing that you have ever seen in another haunted house?"
This was a new observation coming from a customer:"Well, you know, after awhile, they all seem to blur together......?
So what do the rest of your think? Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
"Good" if their mind blurs Elmer & Ed's Haunted Chicken Coop with the Disney Mansion, right? Especially if you happen to be Elmer or Ed! (Or their chicken!)

04-12-2008, 01:01 PM
Last night I asked a customer my typical question:"What is the most memorable,scary, or entertaining thing that you have ever seen in another haunted house?"
This was a new observation coming from a customer:"Well, you know, after awhile, they all seem to blur together......?
So what do the rest of your think? Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
"Good" if their mind blurs Elmer & Ed's Haunted Chicken Coop with the Disney Mansion, right? Especially if you happen to be Elmer or Ed! (Or their chicken!)

I guess what they mean is that the more haunted houses they go to, the more each haunt looks like the last.......or something.

04-12-2008, 02:03 PM
Theres a postive way to look at the TOOO SHORT complaint. Wheter your haunt is 10 minutes or an hour long, the customers have lost track of time and started to enjoy themselves. Its not the fact that the haunt is too short, but the fact that they if given the option want to see more of what you can do. And thats what keeps them coming back year after year. If you put all your ideas into one Giant haunt and kept it the same do you think you would have people coming back to see you, or would you rather have it be a 20 minute walk and have repeat customers?

Jim Warfield
04-12-2008, 05:41 PM
I have my house fairly full of objects and varied experiences and guess what? It has not drastically changed that much over 15 years but people can't see it all, can't remember it all, and often remark "Oh, look at that, that's "new" isn't it!"
"It was new ...10 years ago."
People also lose all track of time when going through my house and are very surprised that 90 minutes or more have passed since they walked in here.
I guess this means I have entertained or distracted them, given them some new things to think about or consider, basically engaged their minds with..something unusual. (And I have a whole lot of fun myself as it happens.)
After 20 years I have almost accumulated enough laugh-energy to power my return to my home planet, Laffingyerassoff!
Hey earth, it's been fun.