View Full Version : What do you consider to be in BAD TASTE?

Reverend Colt
11-03-2006, 05:37 AM
I bring this up just asa discussion question.

I think you probably all know where I'm coming from. We are in the shock business. We try to let people experience a violent, gorey, disturbing situation (all safe in reality). Personally I get the most satisfaction from coming up with unique room scenes- such as weddings, a disco, etc. I love to hear people say "I've been to a ton of haunted houses and I've never seen that before". But there are certain subjects that are off limits to me such as Jesus, dead babys, the armed forces. I've used some made up symbols and things in the past to imply but Satanism is another one I stay away from.

Just for discussion, what's off limits to you... or is there anything?

Jim Warfield
11-03-2006, 06:45 AM
When my oldest son was very young I would take him to see a variety of popular movies in the theaters. On the way home we would discuss the movie, break it down as to what he liked, didn't like and why? And why the movie maker did the things that he did ?
Under these conditions he was exposed to things and ideas that many children his young age would not be alowed to see or contemplate for another 10 or 15 years, normally speaking.
Almost anything can be artistically shown and thought about if you take the time to do it right, and of course you know your audience.
I seem to think that the majority of people's haunted experiences will not see such time or effort taken though, it's just the nature of volume experience-businesses.
Therein lies the real problem.
I don't do gorey scenes here or copy Hollywood monsters or movie sets.
On the other hand, this is an old , haunted house, historically speaking.
In the meantime I attempt to entertain with humor, adult humor, and startles that hopefully elict laughter immeadiately after the intitial jerk, jump or scream.
I have mis-read people or groups and I apologise quickly and change my direction of the presentation. I need to stay financially viable in this business of mine, it's all I have.
The most objectionable thing here visually would probably be the Nazi-Babe room, mythilogical creatuers from the pages of 1950's Men's magazines mixing sexual desire(Teasing?) with sado-masochistic implied impulses.
If the Nazis weren't "Monsters" in the trueset definition of the word, then slap me and call me Sally!
Come here to see "Monsters"? There you go.
Come see the monsters, lest we forget.

Do what you are comfortable with.
If you have to spend too much time defending your choices......?

11-03-2006, 07:12 AM
I would agree with religion, dead babies, and most political matter to be off limits. Any strongly debated issue where there are two completely opposing beliefs attached to it, it becomes a 50/50 of who will take offense.

Whenever a big time celebrity states his/her opinion on a fiercely debated issue, alienating half of his/her fan base is unavoidable, whether the point of the argument made makes sense or not. And as a business, that's no good.

Gore is good, but always to a certain "point" (HA, get it? me neither)

11-03-2006, 08:00 AM
I would never do anything that would run counter to my Christian beliefs. More specifically, I would not slap real satanic symbols around my haunt or allow my actors to pretend to be satan worshipers. Nor would I have any scene that depicted a political message (such as democrats/republicans are evil). As for gore, I generally ask my wife and daughter, and if those wimps think I am insane then I take them to other haunters. Sadly, they tend to agree with my wife and daughter.

11-03-2006, 09:02 AM
Satanic stuff, political (aside from guy faulks), anything sexual - with full frontal nudity (woman with cross inserted into her....) , chainsaw weilding and blood covered disney characters during children's hours, mutilated pets (there is already a maniac kid who is sticking fireworks (lit) up cat's butts)
http://iccroydon.icnetwork.co.uk/news/headlines/tm_headline=rocket-yobs-blow-up-cat&method=full&objectid=18039706&siteid=53340-name_page.html, mutilated children and baby scenes and anything really really gross

Gee I am actually so tame - we do scare-comedy!

11-03-2006, 09:10 AM
I have done Satanic scenes as well as dead baby scenes in the past. In fact we have had so much controversy over some of our baby rooms that this year we have zombie babies as our mascot. We had baby rooms our first three years so this year decided not to have one. We have not done any Satanic scenes in a while.

The simple fact is that no matter what the content or subject matter you depict in haunt, someone will find it offensive. This is a business that is all about scaring and grossing people out. I don't think you can ever go to far!

This year we had a Michael Jackson room. It was more to add a bit of humor to the house and to break it up from all the macabre stuff in the house. But we had plenty of people say how horrible we were to include this type of room.

I would leave out any scenes of rape or abortion but anything else is fair game in my book.

Howie "Slobber" Erlich
Deadly Intentions Haunted House

Jim Warfield
11-03-2006, 03:31 PM
If you were doing rape and abortion scenes you would be borrowing ideas from some of those so-called church-haunts, they might condem you to HECK!
Howie save your sole, ride or drive instead of walking.

11-03-2006, 06:19 PM
Interesting topic.

A couple of years ago, I got the idea to use pictures of real serial killers (Bundy, Gacy, Dalmer, Manson, Gein, etc.) in one of our rooms.

I printed off a couple dozen pictures and made a big collage out of them on a bare wall.

The night before we opened, I changed my mind and tore the whole thing down.

There's nothing I love more than scaring the (stuff) out of somone but that damn collage bothered me.

It wasn't scary just... disturbing.

Real serial killers equals real victims and real pain.

Our haunt was about FUN... not pain.

Those pictures just seemed out of place.

I'm glad I tore them down.

11-03-2006, 07:38 PM
I was actually just talking to my friend about this today, how to increase the shock factor while still keeping it clean enough for the masses.

Our first room was a torture room, most everyone had no problems with it but one big guy came running out hyperventilating. We thought it was funny at first until he explained how in the country he came from he had witnessed many real tortures before.

We didn't change the room because one guy was effected like this but if it had been a room that effected a large number of people Im sure we would have changed it.

Jim Warfield
11-03-2006, 08:10 PM
Haunter 112 , Took the posters down, took them home and put them up in your room.......hahahaha!

Reverend Colt
11-04-2006, 04:27 PM
Gore doesn't bother me to do. One of the things that prompted me to start this discussion was a haunt I heard about when i was in college. It was during the Jeffrey Dohmer trial and somebody opened up a haunt around Greenville, SC (I think) call Jeffrey Dohmer's Kitchen. I just remember them getting thwacked pretty hard by the media and me thinking it was a great name for a haunt. I don't know... maybe that was in bad taste for the current time but I thought it was brilliant.

I was on the House of Shock website the other day and saw a lady's costume with a presumably dead baby still attached to it's embiblical cord coming from her. I remeber thinking that it wasa great costume but I wouldn't do it in my place. I guess it was just one step over the line for me. It did look good though... in that twisted sort of way.

Greg Chrise
11-04-2006, 05:46 PM
I'll bet all the "bad" Press did them some good. It wouldn't have been so bad if it was called Jeffery Dohmer's COUNTRY Kitchen or Cafe. I'm sure like anything else the story got twisted and expanded upon beyond belief and this stuck sick chords in so many. It is all still sick to be identifying with directly. Maybe J.D.'s Halloween Country Cafe and only the really intent on knowing get the full name. Ya wanna know a secret?

Jim Warfield
11-05-2006, 08:53 AM
Instead of a carry-out food part of such a J.D. Country Kitchen, it would be a walk-in, since the "food" would be walking in , under their own power.
Very suspicious when no meat delivery trucks ever pull up to the back door.
Maybe 20 years ago a Super Valu refrigerated semi full of meat was found to have a human carcass swing with the beef ones. I guess he had been a foreman in the place they had made their last pick up?
(He hadn't been too popular of a guy , I guess?)

Reverend Colt
11-06-2006, 05:13 AM
Ya wanna know a secret?

I'll bite. Whatcha got?

Greg Chrise
11-06-2006, 06:17 PM
Ya wanna know a secret is the line directed at the customers and they will perhaps be just as intrigued and want to know more. Enter the story line the details that begin the word of mouth spreading of the secret.

Jim Warfield
11-06-2006, 06:25 PM
"Pssst! Wanna know a secret? I'm quickly approaching the serial-killer all-time record for bodys hidden in an attic, wish me luck! Guiness Records?"

11-11-2006, 01:54 PM
Anything to do with real life murders such as a Jeff Dalhmer kitchen, blah, blah.


Davey J
11-11-2006, 03:24 PM
My issue with real-world themes such as Dahmer, et al, is twofold:

First, as others have stated before, such an approach can hit too "close to home" for a lot of your guests. I'd say it takes a generation or two before such a thing becomes "safe"--for example, the Titanic and Jack the Ripper have sort of morphed from being real tragedies into folklore.

My second issue with using modern, real-world themes is that it can be viewed as taking the easy way out. My question to those using Dahmer and similar imagery would be, "could you not have come up with something equally as sinister, yet fully original, on your own?" Picking your storyline directly from the headlines strikes me, quite frankly, as a bit lazy.

Just my thoughts...

Jim Warfield
11-12-2006, 08:44 PM
So if my character creation was Alfred E. Neuman, centerfold of MAD Magazine , recently found to be a secret serial-killer AND the son of actor Paul Neuman, this wouldn't rate as creative enough?
(He hid the body parts in his Dad's salad dressings!)

Davey J
11-12-2006, 09:28 PM
Hey, I like that... I'm always up for some good parody, sounds good to me!

And I admit that "lazy" may have been a bit of a strong choice of words in my post above.

How about "lacking in creativity" instead?

Jim Warfield
11-13-2006, 01:07 AM
Waxing "intellectual" here for a second, (careful he's pretty ticklish!) one definition of "Creative" is the ability to mask your sources.
This does sound pretty snobbish, doesn't it? Sort of like saying there is a conspiracy to pretend to be original, ex cetra because there might be no such thing as creative.
Has everything all been done before? Done somewhere by somebody?
I have met some pretty educated and impressive people who seem to know an awful lot who can't define some of my sources when it comes to creative, but then I can't either!

11-14-2006, 09:35 PM
Bad taste is like porn, hard to define but know it when I see it.

11-15-2006, 09:16 PM
Bad taste is like porn, Can't define it just know it when i see it

Jim Warfield
11-16-2006, 09:50 PM
Do good taste and being politically correct become the same thing?
Can we name one thing in or about a haunted house that is in good taste?
Probably not?