View Full Version : Guide or No Guide?

11-10-2006, 06:03 AM
We're a relatively small pro haunt with a
through-put of 300 to 400 a night.

Lines are often long and the wait can be 30 to 40 minutes.

We use tour guides.... should we?

11-10-2006, 09:09 AM
I say toss the guide, unless it's you of course.

11-10-2006, 10:10 AM
It really depends on what type of haunt you're running.

If you just have groups walking through differently-themed rooms with lots of startles and jump-out-and-boo type scares, you could probably get rid of the guides.

If you have a theatrical-type haunt that needs narration, or your haunt is "personality-driven" (think RAVEN'S GRIN INN), guides are essential.

Remember that un-guided customers are more likely to break stuff, steal stuff, get lost, and get hurt.

Your haunt will have to be idiot-proofed if you get rid of your guides.

If you can do that, I say go guide-less.

11-10-2006, 10:20 AM

I served as a guide this year....
spent most of my time in the que line

It wouldn't offend me to be stuck outside
in the cue line all night long....
I love to improv and creep out the

Haunter 112,

I totally agree...
many of the guides said very little....
I would spend my time with the group between
scares talking with them... telling stories
and generally keeping them focused on me so
the actors could really get their scare on.....

A guide's job, as I see it, is three fold....

1. Protection (for group and actor)
2. Pacing (presenting and setting up the various rooms)
3. Policing (keeping problems to a minimum and property damage to zero)

11-10-2006, 10:27 AM
Yup I say 'toss the guide' as well.

We use a relay approach. A front door greeter welcomes a group of 5-9 (depends on how many 'lads') in and directs them to zone A.... the zone A actors then direct them over to the zone B actors etc. etc.

This approach also works a security measure by 'gating the crowd'. The small groups are literally sandwiched inbetween actors and given the feeling there is more of us than them.

We have never had problems at our haunt as there is no more than 5-8 patrons in a zone at one time and they are surrounded.

It makes it is easier because the show is divided up and the actors are responsible for their zones. In between the zones the hallways have cameras which send the images to a monitor in the next zone. So the actors can see what is coming as well. Any problems and they can can signal security. We have built in as many short cuts or secret doors as we can.

It is a nightmare but safety is paramount. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Only on the Ripper tour and haunted walks does the tour guide approach work. But then they only do a group of about 25-30 adults in one night paying about 30 per head!

People pay because the tour guide is very, very good and is literally the show.

11-10-2006, 01:46 PM
I've worked both large and small haunts.
I like the guides.
We use radios to control the flow..it help's with small kids too.
when the code (candy) go's out ,it's back off time.. no chain saw's..
works great..now when the code (redneck) go's out .well you can
imagine what we do,, he,he :twisted:

11-10-2006, 03:00 PM
.now when the code (redneck) go's out .well you can
imagine what we do,, he,he :twisted:

Hey now, I resemble that remark......

11-10-2006, 05:06 PM
We used guides, had to add one on the second night. Our trail is more of a theatrical and a trick-or-treat for the eyes type walking trail. Even with the guides some people tried to keep walking to get away, so we could not have done without the guides. They even added to the show, when they got to the cemetery they would say "Were here, we made it to Farmers Cemetery" they would stand there for a second and say "Oh, go on in because theres no way I am!" the group was then on thier own and a little on edge, they would head in and then the guide would go in after the group was down the trail a bit. haunter112 is right it just depends how it's set up. I like xeverity approach, I may try that next year.

Jim Warfield
11-10-2006, 08:21 PM
Isn't there at least one state that mandates tour guides inside a haunt?
I thought I heard or read this once and I thought it was Penn.?
If you delude yourself into thinking that you have fool-proofed your haunt's interior, think again, a drunkie can do things the likes of which nobody would ever think of or do.
I like guides alot.
I like my house pretty much they way I made it .
Thievery, vandalism, mischief all take time to fix and time sure is "Money" on a busy October night, right!

The Shape
11-10-2006, 10:48 PM
Isn't there at least one state that mandates tour guides inside a haunt? I thought I heard or read this once and I thought it was Penn.?

Mine does...


11-11-2006, 09:48 AM
California mandates it, as well. But, I still do not see that a "tour guide" has to be someone who is always with the group.

The Greeter guides them in at the beginning and then they are on their own for a few rooms. They are then met by security disquised as what I call an "Enigma." The Enigma guides them through three rooms and they are on their own again.

I plan to get a bit more "theatrical" this coming year. A few guides throughout will probably be essential. However, I have a special way I think I'm gonna pull it off....

11-15-2006, 12:37 AM
We used a guide for years, but our lines were getting too long. So this year we dropped the guide and went to a room by room design, kinda how Xeverity described. It worked great, and kept the line moving. The only place they are left alone is some of the hallways, where they can't do to much damage to us or them. So I say drop the guide, put him out front as Q entertainment.

Jim Warfield
11-15-2006, 11:59 AM
During parts of the tour the patrons might think they are "alone" but they are not.
Even "empty" hallways can fall victim to magic markers and gum and having holes kicked through them, oh, I forgot, human waste, if fecal doesn't matter, then urine trouble.

11-15-2006, 02:22 PM
We have guides and they work well they prevent the running groups from runing up on th slow group and keep the slow group of "donwannamovs" from slowing up evereryone. One gropup of "donwannamovs" can turn the haunt into a 100 person congo line.

11-17-2006, 08:51 AM
The zone guides have complete visibility of the groups when they walk in the connecting hallways.

Also the majority of zones - rooms go 'room to room' without a hallway inbetween. In addition there are a couple places where the guides interact with each other - introducing the group 'this one screams a lot' .... one of the guides in the haunt is a 'dungeon victim' who introduces and delivers the group to 'his master'.

Of course what is funny is that the whole time he was guiding the group through his zone and displaying his master's work he was actually priming the group for the next scene.....and dropping bits of vital information

then they meet the master ........

Technically this would still comply with the guide/group ratio - because we don't allow more than 6 in a group and basically they are always with a guide. If the hallways were a major problem there is no reason why the guide couldn't walk them down.

It does keep it flowing. This allows people such as magicians, greeters, contortionists, etc. to do what they do best in their zone...

Of course we still have a maximum flow rate - haven't yet thought of a way around that....

6 people every two minutes is 180 per hour (in a pinch we can speed it up)

What are your flow rates?

11-17-2006, 02:30 PM
We only used guides once where I volunteered. My business partner and I were the two guides and had a blast...on busier nights we used one or two more, but we had a whole routine and the people had fun. It worked out better cuz that was the year not many Lion's member's donated THEIR TIME and the guide could vanish/appear and garner more scares. Gave it a neat aspect and crowds weren't a problem...
Our flow rates...uh...that was tricky...
They'd have groups pay and wait in line by the door...the older gent at the door was supposed to wait, depending on the line length, a minute or two (or until he heard a certain 'noise'). But the guy would seem to get nervous if more than 8 people would be waiting to get in and start putting a group in...10 seconds...another group...door closes...another group...
We told him over and over...so make sure you get a trustworthy doorman!!!

Kirk :twisted:

11-19-2006, 11:54 AM
guides give patrons a sence of security.i would rather them feel alone.we had a detail officer this yr that would follow our customers through for his self enjoyment.i was gettin dam mad at him

Jim Warfield
11-19-2006, 02:06 PM
Guides do not automatically purvey a sense of security.
Would Dr. Lecktor as your guide make you feel more calm?
Anthony Perkins? Vincent Price?
Some small-town wack-o/looser who keeps looking at you as if you are a piece of porthouse steak?

"Security" ...we have numerous ways of dealing with that personal illusion.
Right Vincent? Anthony? Doctor?
I'm not a psycho path, but I play one on tv, and everynight, now I can't tell when I'm playing or not?
The only thought in the back of their mind that still holds out a shread of hope for them is that misconception that I am just "playing", and I sometimes toy with this concept mercilessly for extended periods of their agonising time here.
"Only my hairdresser knows for sure!"
Any guide has a wonderfull opporunity to control the patron's attention (or to mis-direct it) that same person hiding alone in the dark waiting to go "Boo! only gets a fraction of a second to influence them, and then it's gone.

11-19-2006, 07:29 PM
no offence jim,in your type of haunt you need a guide.i was speaking for myself i guess in our style of haunt

Jim Warfield
11-19-2006, 08:48 PM
There are many "right" ways to do something , usually the most "right" way is what we find works the best for us personally.
Doing something just because it makes more money doesn't always work in the long run because customers have memorys.
We recently had a couple deals here in which the customers were surprised that we did so much for them, over and above normal expectations.
A little girl was too scared, her Father walked her outside, I told him if she wanted to that she could return to the tour, she did this several times and afterwards the Father offered Jessica $20.oo for her extra effort, which she refused. Sometimes extra effort is what is needed and it was a success because the girl did see and enjoy most of the house! (Future customer!!) Her two brothers (who aren't alot older than she is) have been through the house 18 times!
Tonight a young man was pleasantly surprised when I refunded him $30 because he had sent a check a week ago and 3 of his group didn't show up.
This time of the year refunding is no big deal, BUT if it was a busy night in October and a group didn't show up and we are losing money waiting for them while the parking lot is teeming with waiting customers, that is different because we are losing money and the tardy customer is the one to blame.

01-13-2007, 09:59 AM
Toss the guides. It makes it more scary and if you have good staffing, it shouldn't be an issue. However, if you have different corners or doorways that lead "backstage", you'll need guides to make sure people don't go back there. Or, post a security officer at those. My haunt has one path, and all the doors are locked.

Jim Warfield
01-13-2007, 03:13 PM
Sometimes I wish my place was just one path and everything else locked up.
But people also come here and play hide & seek and the like and they get a big kick out discovering where the secret passage doors are and where they go, these events are almost always physically easier on me and stimulate return visits and regular tours often times.
These activities also make there be new ways to see and enjoy the same house.
Ever run a group through the house backwards? Entering the exit and leaving through the entrance?
I bet the customers would think it was a whole new place!

01-13-2007, 05:31 PM
Yes, I have considered sending them through backwards. However, most of the scenes are faced in a certain way so that the scares are directed towards them, also, they would see some behind the scenes stuff (wiring, fog machines, unpainted walls) etc. if they came through backwards.

01-13-2007, 05:33 PM
Why would you be "damn mad" at a police officer following your group through? You should be lucky they want to do that instead of just standing at the entrance.

01-18-2007, 04:49 AM
Remember that un-guided customers are more likely to break stuff, steal stuff, get lost, and get hurt.
True but that is why we have actors, your actors should be looking out for that stuff. I remember working as a clown and some dumb butt tried taking 3 or 4 props out of the haunt. I was able to startle him and make him drop the props. I was then also able to get him out the E-Exit to security right outside on our break deck.

If your worried about stealling consider making your guides your new security guards. Also anyone going through your 90 degree haunt with a jacket on should get you wondering what they are doing.

Jim Warfield
01-18-2007, 08:16 AM
Just curious, when you startled the crook and he dropped the props he was stealing, did he drunkenly giggle and use being drunk as his excuse?
This often seems to be the case here.
Some used to kick and pull on the skeleton rider I built on the wrecked motorcycle attached to the side of my car, my fantasy was to walk up behind them with a baseball bat , WHACK! them across the shoulder blades and then say, "Sorry, you were drunk!"
If that excuse is supposed to work for them, it should work for me too, right?

01-18-2007, 07:12 PM
No I just pointed tward the floor. He got the clue. I was also dressed as a clown he must not of liked clowns.

07-04-2008, 09:34 PM
I vote no on guides.

Jim Warfield
07-05-2008, 02:14 PM
Have guides, give them all name tags , each tag says "Your Conscious"
Let "Your Conscious " be your guide!

07-05-2008, 03:45 PM
You are the exception to the rule.

Jim Warfield
07-09-2008, 01:36 AM
Since there is no master blueprint that all haunts adhere to and they can be So different, I would say that in general taking these things into consideration that guides would moreso be a really good way to operate your haunt because of the myriad of safety factors potentially involved. customer safety, employee safety and safety of the structure mand props.
Having a paid "agent" right there to watch everything that happens , who also has the authority to stop BS from the drunken or unruly and knows the best way out of the building during any emergency and can add to the effective routing and tour timing are each very good reasons to have a guide handy.
Combine any two or more of these negative scenarios as possible during showtime, and how can anyone argue against having guides?

07-09-2008, 05:59 PM
Wow, was a guide used to bring this post back?lol. This year we are going to have guides on the trail out of the way, so if they stop or start goofing off a guide can come forward and get them to move on.

07-09-2008, 06:44 PM
I am currently volunteering as an actor for two haunts.

one has guides, one doesnt.

the one with the guides (jaycees) I've got to work with
last year, and it was helpful. They calmed down customers,
as well as kept em from going into wrong hallways and running.
the only thing was timing, as they didnt have a full system of when
to start pushing groups.

The other one is a new house, and they plan to have security roam
the haunt, and allow people to move at their own pace. Its going to
be interesting on how this will work.

Greg Chrise
07-15-2008, 12:35 AM
Say you have 350 people in line and bring them in groups of 4 people. The small but unigue haunt has 600 linear feet for guides to follow or pull groups.

87.5 tours (the .5 tour had someone hyperventilate and left out in the front rooms) so, 87 tours 600 feet is 52,200 linear feet. That's 10 miles of walking like through mud because of the jerking and stalling.

So how many tour guides are needed to keep a good mind and walk 10 miles? How physically fit are most people these days. So you have 4 guides? Each must walk 2.5 miles. Start heading out to the Dollar Store now and see how excited you feel about anything.

If this is a trail that is half a mile, this becomes humanly impossible at some point. Or at very least with most people's physical shape it's over after one night.

It can be done but, just the breaks required, the motivation required to keep the guides going is a chore.

What's wrong with letting people lose? Designing with expendable terrain and props or having physical means to keep them from detail like railings or actor placement. What's wrong with the patrons absorbing what is being offered at their own pace? Those that want to run from the monsters get satisfied by moving quickly. Those that wish to obsorb every prepared detail go at a snails pace and are satisfied.

I have gone to good haunts (and paid) going through over the years as many as 30 times with my pace being completely different as the flow of traffic or my desire of cataloging props and room decor changed over the years. The very same highly detailed haunt can be walked through in 30 minutes enjoying every detail or walked thorough like a shopping spree in 2.5 minutes.

each of those 30 times I was satisfied a different way or if I was dismayed it was because of who I had brought with me and what irreverence or indifference I thought they might have had.

The pace of the house begins at a pace but, ultimately is regulated by actors and the traffic pace of the other groups.

Who cares if one group passes another or even if they get passed by 6 groups? It doesn't necessarily mean this slow group is up to no good, they are having a different style of enjoyment.

With a guide, half mind numbed setting the pace in a who cares pace broadcasts back to the customers who cares since they never really got to see anything or grasp the investment or skill of the scenes and actors.

The different reads also keep it intresting for the actors instead of they are human puppets that do the same thing when you pull the string. The happier and more interactive the actors become trying to read the customers, the more it seems they are putting into the event and the end result is that is was great.

Then there is the ever popular the guide only does the first 1000SF then lets them lose with a read of what kind of extreme or normal reaction a group my exhibit. If the customers are totally chaperoned where is the element of you are on your own, no one to turn to, fear come from?

You get a much higher control of the crowd if they are in fear and wonderment and are on their own, victims and must somehow survive who knows what next. Inside their minds who knows how extreme a reaction the monsters might put out to bad behavior, they are already pretty wild?

Jim Warfield
07-16-2008, 10:54 PM
Just have some of those phoney naked butt-cheeks costume assesorys for them to wear.
Don't cha just love those things?
How American, how homey. A cold winter night, the wind howling around the corner of the snow covered walkway, your hound dog asleep at your feet, the fireplace crackles and glows...and you and your friends and neighbors are all wearing plastic butt-cheeks, running around the room being crazy!

07-17-2008, 09:31 AM
We started our haunt in 2002. That year we were pulling about 350 a night for the beginning of the month and 600 a night at the end. We started out using guides and it turned out to be peoples least favorite thing. They felt that the guides that talked were cheesy (No matter what they said or how good they were ). The next year we had silent guides lead the groups. It was better recieved but we still got negative feed back. The third year we found a formula that works best for our haunt: We put people out (not in costume, but in staff shirts) at the points that we feel people could bottleneck. These spot guides have flashlights and can help lead the group if they need it. Otherwise they just sit in the shadows and watch. They are also great for helping escort out patrons that are too scared or patrons that are too rowdy to continue. We also have a black hole maze (no light). We have a guide that slips in a follows the group to keep them moving. This prevents bottlenecks there too.

Just my thoughts on what has worked for us. Hope it helps. :grin:

Jim Warfield
07-18-2008, 05:09 PM
Sort of covering all of the important bases.
I like most of the aspects of the way you are doing this.
The only problem though I think you would have to design the place for this method to make it work the best. You'd have to have the hiding places everywhere or else many of my customers would be asking tons of questions and wanting explanations of my rooms and displays and these all take alot of energy and time.
Of course since the narration and sometimes question answering is how I have always made it happen here I would find a tough swimm of it upstream against my previous customers.
I am doing pretty much what I want to do with my massive involvement in each tour (except on weekends in October). I can have great fun dealing with my customers the way I do, I guess that's my main deciding factor.

08-16-2008, 09:47 AM
Well I remember a haunt that I went to "growing up" they used guides, they were different though ..... they were called "pushers" instead of leading the groups the guide would push them through ( there werent any stragglers )
the place was so crazy that everyone would freeze and thus it would slow traffic down to the point that these scared groups would act like livestock going into a slaughterhouse it would end up as one continuous line if they didnt have the "pushers" or guides. So, I say it depends on if they are really needed..... I like the ( pusher ) idea more because it was a little less personal, their job was to move you forward, not to entertain you. They could yell at you intimidate you.... I personally never cared for a guide who walked you through, the point of paying your money is to feel violated, scared, unsafe, etc. it harder to make someone feel unsafe and to get into their heads or what I call their "safety space" if you are "holding their hand" through the scary stuff.

who do actors complain about the most ?

Answer: The guys who hold onto their girlfriends, you know the guys that try to make their girlfriends feel safe.... with their arms around them from the back as she is covering her eyes with her hands ?? Yeah you know the type....

Same as a guide to me...... ( my opinion for what its worth )

Jim Warfield
08-16-2008, 11:39 AM
Are you confessing to liking being manhandled by" pushers"?
I wasn't quite clear on this?
I operate differently . I think that the old "Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" would come quickly into play if October customers were being manhandled, wrestled with. This sends the message to them that it is OK for them to treat you the same way.
I can't just look at a person and tell if they have a black belt or are a martial arts instructor, or a despondant psycho looking for some excuse to attack someone.
Eventually a haunt will attract the style of customer they want by the style of entertainment they provide.
As I have stated before, being open every night of the year here I only see difficult customers in October, usually.

08-16-2008, 07:11 PM
Darn voices ...... they just wont leave you alone will they..... ( Poor Jim ) Yeah LMAO I never said anything about anyone putting the hurt on a patron.... LMAO.... wow, your pretty aggressive arent you.... eye for eye ? you evil guy you....LMFAO
No I dont recomend using "pushers to misshandle patrons" I think you took me the wrong way. I stated that this particular haunt didnt use the "old guide taking you to each room with a story and a act routine" instead they used someone dressed up for the part or not to keep the groups moving at a steady pace much like a guide but from behind ( hence the name "pusher" ) You really should try to release some of that anger by reducing the cafine perhaps trying tae chi or Yoga or sumthin

come on now relax ..... say it with me.....Ohmmmmm......

Jim Warfield
08-17-2008, 12:38 AM
Re-reading your post you said" they would push them through".
Physically touching and pushing someone is all I see there in that post. No wonder I thought someone was getting physical as you described that old haunt you attended, along with the "yelling and intimidation", sounded like a place where fists would eventually be flying. (not good for throughput. Police tend to slow everything down.)

"Hey there Son! What are you doing standing behind your stalled car out here in the middle of nowhere?"
"It quit, I'm pushing it off to the side of the road."
"Don't you have to actually touch your car to push it?"

08-17-2008, 01:33 AM
and to guide your car would mean.....wish I had mind powers...lol... The things I could yeah...lol the evil things I would do.... or X-ray vision ( selective x-ray vision to be specific ) Its better not to see everything ya know....lol.... okay maybe I used to harsh of words .... please substitute hoot and holler for yelling....wow, or substitute guide for pusher....troubled childhood ? I think scary should include intimidating though.... unless of course it includes any act of violence or yelling of course. Hmmm... Yoga mat out yet? lol.... good..... can't speak from experience but they say something called a reverse morning sun calms and reduces stress...

Jim Warfield
08-17-2008, 08:02 AM
I guess that I have intimidated some customers by simply dropping that big steel bar across the door as they enter my house?
I actually do that so I won't be intimidated by some "Ya-hoo-Idiot " forcing the door open in the middle of the afternoon and walking into my bedroom as I am asleep in pursuit of satisfying their curiosity.
I like subtle forms of intimidating people, like speaking clearly (sometimes even quickly) and using multi-syllable words.
Of course these particulair "words" must make some kind of sense usually and remain in a recognisable order, at least recognisable to ME!

08-17-2008, 08:39 AM
I remember back when I had first seen your place in a magazine, I headnt heard of it untill then but when I saw the photos I thought " WOW " this guy is cRaZy....( in a good way ) Jim, I havent had the chance to check your place out but I sware "One Of These Days"...... yes, I have to do it....I bet you are very entertaining.... hell I remember I was parking at Transworld a few years back and I saw one of your vehicles in the parking lot. I was in awe, it made me feel like a kid. Your awsome in my book, keep on being you and dont let anyone change ya.... HELL YEAH

Jim Warfield
08-17-2008, 08:20 PM
HAAHAHA! Compared to almost everyone on this site , you are all "kids"!
I'm 59 YEARS old!
You have to maintain your youth. Tonight after supper I was in the parking lot playing Frisbie with my wife (throwing the Frisbie, not her!)
I have to admit tossing the Frisbie around was her idea but then you know how those 13 year old girls can be!

08-17-2008, 11:48 PM
He has lost his mind .....lol.... ummmm yeah...:rolleyes:

08-18-2008, 09:38 PM
realy depends on the style and such but to me bottom line is that if you want through put you don't wont a guide let the screamers ush the rest through for you. catle care push until it hurts baby.

Jim Warfield
08-19-2008, 07:34 PM
The main complaints I have always heard about October haunts from my customers is that they were rushed through, didn't get to see anything because of the other customers either in their way or pushing them through and that too many people were bunched together so the attempted scare was seen by everyone when it happened the first time.
These complaints ALL sound like a decent guide could cure most of these complaints most of the time, thereby giving your customers a much better, less frustrating memory of the place.
Maybe some large haunts in heavilly populated areas don't care if the customers come back?
My wallet cares even if sometimes after a cranky cheap-skate potential customer I don't feel that I should care.

08-19-2008, 07:53 PM
different haunts, different atmosphere, different throughput..... what works for you may not work for all.... what works for all may not work for you. Some haunts run them in and out as fast as they can while others let the patrons control their speed.... hell, some haunts are so damn scary that they have to slow the patrons down !! pushers and guides might be needed in different atmospheres, in the wrong atmosphere they can be a nuisance to the patron...

.... I think a guide is needed to keep people moving in most haunts ?

Jim, in your haunt you are the guide if Im correct..... and you are entertainment along the way because you have stories about your house and whatnot?? I dont know just guessing.... Which I think is cool in its own.... Im interested in checking your house out if we are ever in the Chicago area again....

Jim Warfield
08-20-2008, 12:37 AM
For the last 5? seasons I have been very fortunate to have had very good guides since I can not do it all in the fall.
They are adept at controlling and entertaining the groups. they even make up most of their own dialog, of course they all discovered years ago the cheap, guaranteed laughs will come when they say goofy insulting things about me!
In-season on weekends I only get to do about 10 to 12 minutes in the front room, sometimes I will also get to do the second room, but not always.
I miss the fun, mostly then.....

08-02-2011, 06:50 PM
Creatures Crypt did guides for years. The city demanded it. One of my rules to opening my own event was being in a municipality where I made that choice. No guides for now...

BTW, you think Jim is crazy now??? You should have seen him before he became the toast of Chicago... when he was alone more .... damn that show was freaking creepy!!! And it was all Jim... could have been in a damn corn field...LOL...

Haunted Prints (EOM)
08-02-2011, 08:17 PM
No guides. It takes away from the scare factor. At most use guides for a small part of the haunt but let the customers lead themselves to their own death.

08-04-2011, 07:33 PM
We use guides. Its can be the best part of the tour if you have good set ups and well trained people. Our guides have fun with the groups, set up the scares, keep the flow going, cover for mistakes, and even sometimes throw a scare in of their own. We have found that its easy to find someone to jump out from behind a blind spot and scream but finding someone who can be a great guide is a rarity.

RJ Latherow
08-10-2011, 10:55 AM
We had a guide that would tell them not to wander, gesture them into a kitchen room with a giant butcher guy that ignored them, and lock the door behind them. The guests had to cross behind the guy to get out, then go into the hallway and open another door. The best moments were when the group had to open a door while knowing the kitchen guy is in the room behind them, and has started to notice them. Guests are used to the conga line, not taking initiative. "Do we do this? That guy is staring at us, we gotta do something"- it ended up actually freaking out people. Anytime you have a percentage of people give up halfway cause they are too scared, you are doing something right.


Jim Warfield
08-15-2011, 05:43 PM
When dealing with any company or just a small business, isn't nicer to actually have dealings with a real person versus a machine? Now think of your haunt, it's basically the same thing, a business seeing real , live customers.

A tour guide listens, learns what his group might be anticipating, expecting, then he may be able to modify some small , certain things along their travels to make some of them happen. It really doesnot take all that much effort to scare, distract or entertain many people, if they are in the hands and under the direct influence of another real, live person.

06-09-2013, 02:38 PM
Wow. I feel sorry for Oklahoma. Not just because they mandate haunted houses must have guides, but that they think they need to dumb everything down to that level where the government is micro-managing how small haunted houses operate. I can only imagine what they're doing to other industries. Scary!