View Full Version : Rural Haunts

Haunting Copy
10-16-2008, 07:41 AM
Can y'all (meaning anyone) give me your thoughts on rural haunts? You don't have to be the owner of one to offer your insights. :)

Do they succeed? (I know Jim's does, but I'm talking about more "conventional" haunts.)

What factors would you say contribute to their success or failure?

How have the successful ones dealt with their considerable challenges?


P.S. I'm asking this because I've often wondered whether I would be able to make it as a haunt owner out in the boonies. :)

One more question: For the *customers*, is it better to have an outdoor or indoor haunt?


Mike Goff
10-16-2008, 08:44 AM
we do a rural haunt, the closest town is 10 miles away and has a population of roughly 36,000. We are open 18 nights and average about 15,000 customers per year. To accurately answer your question, I would need you to define success. We are still here, we will be here next year, and we love what we do. To us that is success.
There are bigger haunts in bigger markets who out sell us 2 to 1 and command a much higher ticket price. The drawback is they have a higher overhead. I personally like being a big fish in a small pond. I could not imagine going to a big market and putting it all on the line in hopes that we could compete with a big haunt that has been in thier location for 10 years or more.
Our strategy has been to make our little piece of land a destination, by offering the best show that we can at a fair price.

we do two indoor shows, and one outdoor, I think that outdoor is the way to go, when you are starting out.

If we can be of any help, let us know. check us out at www.haroldshaunt.com

Haunting Copy
10-16-2008, 12:27 PM
Thanks, Mike! That was helpful.

By success I mean you are able to pay all the bills - including yourself, LOL - with a little left over to reinvest.

The closest "real" town to us is 30 minutes away, and it has a population of approx. 8,000. There is a small town that is 20 minutes away, and its population is approx. 5,500.

I'm thinking that those are pretty sparse numbers. :confused:

Haunting Copy
10-16-2008, 12:38 PM
BTW, *love* the porta-john system, LMAO!!

Mike Goff
10-16-2008, 01:47 PM
It took us 7 years to get to the point that I could quit my day job, I probably could have done it in 5 if I had worked up the courage to do so. Once we went pro, the quality of our show increased to the point that we more than made up for the lossed income that my day job no longer provided.

Haunting Copy
10-16-2008, 07:38 PM
Wow! To tell you the truth, I'm surprised you could quit your day job at all. So many haunters are working "regular" jobs *and* doing their haunts. I don't think I'd have the energy for that. Ugh.

But I do know I don't want to be in a big city, like Austin or Houston.

Were y'all a non-profit haunt before you went pro?

Mike Goff
10-16-2008, 11:06 PM
no, I'm a greedy capitalist, at least until inauguration day