View Full Version : "How long is it?"

09-28-2008, 06:47 PM
I've been doing this for more than a while, and have to admit that I still haven't found a satisfactory answer to the #1 question we get asked via phone and e-mail:

"How long is it?"

Anyone out there found any good answers over the years?

09-28-2008, 07:20 PM
Long enough to satisfy?

Or "long enough to scare your pants off."

09-28-2008, 07:33 PM
I usually say...The rest of your life!

09-28-2008, 07:38 PM
the other two responces were good ones.

i ask them; well do you plan on running through or creeping through?

09-28-2008, 09:20 PM
Usually when I'm auditioning for an adult movie is when I hear this.

And i cant lie....... so 8 inches.

09-28-2008, 10:22 PM
" Its not how long it is. But how much fun were going to be having with you while were doing it". Shane and its thats how it is Shane this time.

09-28-2008, 10:58 PM
The fact of the matter is if your haunt is doing a good job the experience is overload to the brain and it will seem short when they first walk out of the attraction. Only after thinking about it and having time to digest all the cool stuff that they experienced will it become evident that it was really long.

I personally think that if the haunt is boring people will say, it was long but not scary. I know this to be a fact at our own haunt, when we are rocking the socks off people and they come out running from Spookywoods sweating and out of breath, and say "is that it?" The show takes over 35 minutes to go through from the time they enter the haunt and it is a constant walk/run.

When we suck butt when actors are not in their places or power is out and props are not working I hear, "it was long, but not scary".

So to answer thier question I would say, it's long enough, what matters is can you handle it. No sexual tone intended of course.

To answer this question for myself I wanted to see what the Best Haunt in the country was in time to tour. I personally have been to Rocky Point in Salt Lake before it closed some years ago and figured if my show was as long as Cydney Neil's than why should I reinvent the wheel so to speak.

Spookwoods - 25 to 35 minutes
Rocky Point - 25 minutes

On a strickly business standpoint her show was $13.00 of course it was in Utah, my show is $22.00 in NC. There are many points to compare, but the fact is if your haunt rocks there is no need to be more than a 30 minute show. My advice is make your show take about 30 minutes to tour, don't waste your budget making it bigger every year, but rather make it better. Improve the quality at every set and don't just make it longer with nothing to see in between.

Put your extra money in marketing to get more people to your ticket booth and wow them with detail, scares are easy! Anybody can make black mazes, but the best haunts win word of mouth with amazing sets and detail. Oh, don't forget high end costumes like Spookywoods FX! Shameless plug.....

Best of luck this season!

09-28-2008, 11:17 PM
Yes we are asked this question nightly, and we basically say...

That depends on the person, as some people run through, some won't go around a corner, some just walk through and admire the sets, everyone is different...this sorta answer usually gets people to say something like 'yeah I see...'.

We tell people Creepyworld takes over an hour which it does with the lines between the attractions and Darkness is about 20 minutes.

I know most people LIE LIKE CRAZY when talking about this they tell people 45 minutes, whatever... an indoor haunt at 45 minutes would have to be tens of thousands of square feet or some theatrical haunt or something.

But people say what they say to bring in the business, but we try to tell the truth because it will only haunt you later if you don't.

Try following your politicians as they give good answers for tough questions... LOL


09-29-2008, 09:10 AM
Thanks for the great advice everybody!

The truth is, I still don't know how long it takes to experience ScareHouse this year because everytime I try to track a group I get pulled away by something else. I know last year we were around 20 minutes or so - and this year, we really compressed and tweaked a lot of things to make the experience longer (and added the whole new 3-d area)

Terror on Church Street, Haunted Schoolhouse, Rocky Point, and The Darkness are/were all around 20 minutes or so --and it's always felt like the perfect length for a haunted attraction to me.

We spend a lot of time tweaking lights (and hanging fabric) to adjust throughput -- and just a few tweaks probably added about 60-90 seconds from Friday to Saturday night. I'm finding that 3-d, in particular, requires some experimentation ... if you make it too dark, no one can see the great artwork -- but if you make it too bright, they run right through the place.

09-29-2008, 09:50 AM
I go through other haunts during the season like most of us should and I was always curious how it could take 30min-60min to go through something. It never seemed to take anywhere NEAR that long to go through these things. I figured I just had a bad sense of time. So I started actually timing these trips from the second they let you into the actual haunt, not ticket buying and que line waiting, and let me tell you most haunts take 6-15 minutes around here. The longest I have ever been in one was 22 minutes and that was spent wathcing videos, getting requed because of poor pacing, and actors sticking you in boxes and not letting you out or just not getting out of the way of the door no matter how long you stand there blankly staring at them obviously not scared by their antics. Plus I walk REALLY slow trying to enjoy the haunt. This is true for almost all haunt I have been to. It doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the haunt because most of them I have, it just means they are flat lying about the time it takes to get through them. Time in the haunt doesn't mean good or bad quality. I almost always have fun going no matter how long it is.

Another thing that I find funny is when a haunt claims to have 40 new scenes or whatever and yet you count 20 rooms total and only half of those are new. I am not sure what people are counting as rooms/scenes. In my opinion a hallway is not a scene, even if you have decorations in it. It is a hallway. Why not just start counting each wall panel as a scene so you can say crap like "450 Brand New Rooms!!!". Just because you repaint a panel doesn't actually mean it is new. We aren't fooling anybody.