View Full Version : Economy and Haunted Attractions

Midnight Haunters
03-26-2008, 07:45 PM
Hello everyone,

We are looking to open a haunted attraction in the fall of 08. I am wondering what everyones thoughts are on the attendance numbers, with the economy and fuel prices where they are and where they are headed. Do you think, attendance numbers will be down last year?

Thank you for your help.

03-26-2008, 08:03 PM
I really don't see the economy playing much of a role when it comes to attendance figures. That may vary a little, little bit depending on what type of area you're in. But, for the most part, I wouldn't worry about it. $10-$15 isn't going to keep people from doing somthing they enjoy, that only comes around one time a year.

03-26-2008, 08:36 PM
People always want to be entertained. We provide that service for a limited time. The economy slowing down will not keep them from being entertained(scared) by something that comes around once a year. We have people who drive over an hour to see a haunt. If you build it.....they will come!

03-27-2008, 09:23 AM
I remember reading a couple of places that a slow economy actually helps things like this. If people can't buy big ticket items, they oftentimes make up for it by splurging on small things.

03-27-2008, 01:01 PM
It is the one time of year that horror and haunt fans have to go to haunted houses, they may not go on a 300 mile road trip but they will go and see haunts. The key is to advertise, a good place to start is here, you can put up a free listing. Just click Find Hunted Houses and put up your listing. The more I look into opening a haunted house, the more I can see that advertising is the key to huge numbers, just make sure that you give them a good show when they get there.

Jim Warfield
03-27-2008, 05:27 PM
YES! The key to people remembering your show is to do different sort of things, sort of like slipping your senile, wheelchair bound Scottish Grandfather a rotting octopus in place of his bag pipe , then wheel him out to entertain the que line with his music.
(He blew on that thing for 30 minutes complaining all the time about the terrible smell! He needed chapstick he blew so long, Grandma wouldn't kiss him!)

Midnight Haunters
03-28-2008, 08:38 AM
Thank you all for your input on the subject. Although not entirely sure where Jim's comments come into play. none the less thats for your help on this. and I am sure I will continue posting on this forum to gather much more knowledge.


03-28-2008, 04:56 PM
You will find that Jim is a one man show and is always on, Mr Tuxedo will not let him have a brake.lol.

Greg Chrise
03-28-2008, 07:26 PM
As gas prices increase and every product you need for home and work declares a 6 to 8 percent increase to conver said rising costs, as more people go into even more debt to keep what they have, they do certain things.

They might not go see that movie and wait for the DVD or for it to come on HBO, they are pickier about going to a restaurant routinely and might go to different ones and occasionally splurge to make up for much more eating at home.

They might not go to the fair or ammusement parks as they are there anytime they want. And similarly unless a lot of people are going to go does it become an event with any kind of time table to go do it.

To translate for JIM, make your event special, every changing, evolving over the years like the next episode or plain out who would have thought of that? You make your mind think continually of something no one has thought of and certainy has never seen.

Have you seen an old man in a wheel chair play an Octopus and demand chapstick? Nope.

Today driving along, I have been having trouble with my 32 year old truck I use for work. It seems the wiring system has rotted enough that I have had to make my own and put it in it's place. I used to be a good mechanic but, I have to work to make money, I can't just stop and do a smithsonian rewire of my truck. So, I'm making it to work every day by making it more like a race car. Today, I came up with an odd conversion idea.

How boring it is to just have a greasy engine with things jury rigged. And I over the years have become bored with that new $54 ignition coil that really isn't any better than the $8 ignition coil. So I'm thinking like it is art under the hood. Flux capacitors, valve covers with alien symbols. The radiator over flow for no reason isn't just a hose, it is a piece of found copper that spirals around like a distillary feed into a bottle not from a car.

I'm thinking hydrogen electrolizers, and the ultimate carb would be something completely different. Imagine, someone has their hood up and you come to see what is going and there is perhaps a human head that the mouth opens and closed to be the throttle plates, the brain is the control module to vary the sign wave of the ignition output. Then you go one step further with a small carb for every cylinder and each tube coming up out of he hood has a little rat head that the mouth opens and closes as you reve up or let it go back to idle.

Ever see that before? Nope. In all the car art, all the cartoons, all the rat type car decorations, I have ever seen this. And it freaked out my helpers!

Okay, this will never happen maybe. BUT, it could work in ilustrations and be considered origional art! Yes, the holy grail of oil paintings worth $4,000 to $12,000 because they have never been done before.

Then as I have gone from worrying about my truck to making art, I'm thinking how easy it would be to make art at the $400 level by having the silloute of a human being and superimpose the schematics from a 1974 pickup I have onto the body with the control module as the brain, the heart as the ignition coil and breaker less ignition, the fuels system could be the digestive tract and the lungs could be the traditional disclosure of venturi, compression and valves.

Perhaps the liver is a factory that makes syn fuel.

Yes, being on the planet for some time I have command of all of these things and the haunted house can one day be my gallery. Imagine Mister Bone stripper from the movie nothing but trouble with a real rat motor!?!

Alas, working so hard and being one of those becomeing picky at wether a certain restaurant is making the grade, just like everyone else, there are so many movies I haven't seen as I have avoided cable and I listen to my helpers describe these movies. I say man, it sounds like you really have the life. No, they say, we just have basic cable!

Well, those are my helpers making some money and the way they live THEIR life at their ages. Instead of watching the movies, my mind has translated what they are trying to describe into a different "Greg Medium"

Then due to dislocation, you have art, entertainment and hopefully some enjoyment. If you have come up with crap no one else has, because you aren't doing the same thing that has been done, you will get noticed. When it IS time to splurge to make up for doing with out for so many weeks, your event might be something of note, something that cannot be missed. Or, it is the same as it always was, we'll catch it some year down the road when we have more money. Which by the way, all my years on the planet prove that never happens.

In the beginning years it is tough to be more than the basic black plywood habitrail but, someday, it will work it's way to being toally origional and doing sketches today is something I really should be doing but, have not. You end up forgetting more than most will ever know.

If it is worth a 50 to 100 hour painting it is certainly is worth a 10 to 20 dollar show. A rental of your vision. Skip the sitting in the sun for years at a flea marklet trying to sell a painting and go directly to your own museum, seeking sponsors, patrons and free publicity.

At the Raven's Grin Inn, you will see where Jim has gone off on just such a tangent and really made the item physically for an audiences approval and astonishment. Every day for 20 years he has made something and thought of something in many cases because of the same old that is demostrated by horse barn haunted houses with chainsaws or even 3D attractions.

I have kind of thought Jim sat in his meditation chair and schemed, what can I screw up today. Some of the larger items actually used to be entered in an Art venue, then ride on his art car and end up in the haunted house, all the while being quite the conversation piece. Among about another 400 genius strategies of entertainment.

Jim has done all of this to a great level of success, makes a living and so this makes it all okay. His means of advertising is as intricate and detailed as how to make things. The crossing over to many traditional schools of thought make it universally appealing to a wide audience as compared to black walls, masks, no strobes or fog, and doing cheasy dedications to some scene in a movie that might have looked cool.

Make it something origional and compelling and it has it's own economy. It's own market. I love watching the news and the fair has just come to town and they are interviewing the carnies on TV, who are bitching that they brought all the same crap, industrial quantities of the same crap they bring every year, it was a lot of work and apparently this town didn't feel like showing up and handng over their money?

Jim Warfield
03-28-2008, 10:49 PM
The townspeople didn't feel like handing over any of their daughters either I bet.
I do different things because I not only happen to think of doing them, but also because I don't want to bore myself!
Many of my ideas never got built. some of them did get built but have passed on..
Right now I am modifying a previous work, why? Because I think it will look neat when it's done and I am pretty sure nobody else will have one like it.

One Mayfest here in town I made my creation and took it to their art show.
It was displayed among the other items ,mostly paintings that were imitations of paint-by-number paintings, subject matter: barns and log cabins and clown faces (Maybe they were paint by number paintings after all?)
My art was the focalpoint for some of the elderly women who had their things in the show, they swooped in on mine and never even glanced at any of the other exhibits.
Of course the whole time they were clucking and blustering saying things like ,"Oh this is terrible!" (Excetra..) then buzzed out of the room as quickly as they had entered.
What was it?
"The Last Elvis Impersonator"
A real wheelchair shrunk down with a small Elvis in it, decomposing, rotten wrapped legs, half his face gone. Powering his wheelchair was a V-8 engine with singing skulls for carburation, complete exhaust headers snaking back and around
most of it carved from styro foam, then painted.
Most of my Mayfest art exhibits are on display inside of The Ravens Grin Inn along with my old Halloween costumes, like "Rambo Rabbit" with his carrot machine gun and camo-bullet-proof vest.
I used to have an employee who loved wearing the Rabbit costume,standing in a corner with his paw out , almost every time someone would go to shake his hand and the bunny would grab their hand and shake them back! Surprise! Scream, jump!