View Full Version : Favorite tactic

11-21-2008, 02:49 AM
What is your most enjoyable tactic for scaring the guests?

I'm a big fan of the subtle scare that requires no screaming, words, or jumping out.

One of my favorites is sliding out from behind a wall already walking at the pace of the group and merging in behind someone and getting real close as they start talking and finally turn around and screammmmmmmmmmmmm.

Its usually funny because the people behind me are getting a great view of the scare and they are cracking up knowing what's going to happen to their friend when they realize its not one of them.

I also love the loyal husband / Boyfriend who sees me coming, doesn't say anything but steps out of the way so I can slide right up behind their girl.

Jim Warfield
11-21-2008, 07:02 AM
Showing a button to a scared little kid, convincing them to actually push the button(on a remote control) then something happens in the next room, all controlled by that small hand-held single button.
I see the "lights" go on in their head as a new realization dawns there, "They can have some of this fun too!"
The next button they push scares their family members but not them.
This is a very popular experience for the child. I just made a future haunter!
Or at the very least a future haunt customer.
Most of these formerly scared little kids then remain in the tour......this is how you "grow" your spooky business.
It feels great to me!

Dr. Giggles
11-21-2008, 04:14 PM
My personal preference? Well it depends on the group, since im usually a rover in the maze i can take about a room and a half to decide what i want to do. For example for the jackass groups who arent scared of anything il either be really subtle so they would be like "Wh...what .....go away man!" or il go absolutely crazy. I remember this one group came in about 4 sailors they were boasting about how they werent scared. But first let me describe this room to you its kind of like an operating room and theres like a metal gurney/table thing in the middle of the room and im the doctor..doctor giggles...laughter is the best medicine after all. So they come in all bravado. And im just leaning against a wall smiling all creepy like, when one of them looks me in the eye and says your not scary...i looked him back in the eye...started mumbling to myself...and let the smile slide of my face.. I am about 6'5 or 6'6 so i was about a head taller then this boastfull fellow so it was pretty intimidating i assume. Then when he backs off a little bit and his friends finally notice whats going on around them i assume my full height leap up onto the table on all fours and crawl across it to his friends barking and growling like a dog and they flipped out. I stood up on the edge of the table and launched myself over their heads, clearing it and landing once again on all fours by their feet. So i then i tore around the corner and i waited...once they recovered they made their way around the corder and i just stepped out and whispered. "Why...hello!" with the most malicious grin i could muster and they freaked out took off back through the maze and refused to come back in so they left the haunt. 8)

Jim Warfield
11-22-2008, 06:47 AM
That is amazing all that successfull leaping around. I used to be a quicker person but 20 years later....
I amaze some people by being "everywhere" at once (at least it seems like it to them)
Many years ago I knew I would be eventually losing the battle of age so I built myself a fireman's pole, hidden, just for my use.
Of course since I have built everything here I also have numerous hidden doors that give me quick access to where they are soon going to be, which also helps amaze them.
The best way to get ahead of them is to turn the lights up and give them things to look at along their path.
I might have the most illuminated haunted house that anyone has ever ran!
Having the lights basically "ON" also calms them, resets them and lulls them into thinking that they can't be scared ....(insert evil laugh here~)

Dr. Giggles
11-25-2008, 05:48 PM
I wear knee pads and elbow pads i jump around so much, i go crazy.(Knee Pads and Elbow pads at the suggestion of my boss) But yeah the maze has secret doors as well. I often get the comment "How the #@*% do you keep popping up like that!" too which i usually respond "Im like a cold sore...you cant get rid of me...( Insert generic crazy clown laugh here ) "

11-26-2008, 05:39 PM

Years ago, I was helping the Ft Wayne Jaycees on the Haunted Train Station. Baker Street Station has since been restored. It was one of the best I have ever seen.

Anyways, I was in a room that had a stub wall to hide behind and played a character with a huge head. I approached from behind and the boyfriend stopped. As he did their hands came aprt and I immediately put my hend into hers and she never looked back. Not for a few seceonds anyways.

She then turned her head slightly and realied a big headed monster was holding her hand and jumped screaming. The boyfriend laughed , but was chastised slightly by the girl for being in on it. Worked great. Oh, those good old days when some touch was ok.

Jim Warfield
11-26-2008, 09:29 PM
My Dad was sitting in the theater when my Uncle, my Mother's- brother-uncle, walked in with his girlfriend (later Wife) and sat down a few aisles infront of my Dad.
Part way through the movie Dad saw his Brother-in-law excuse himself , leaving her alone, watching the big screen.
My Dad waited a few minutes then walked down, sat down next the Uncle's girlfriend, put his arm around her back just like my Uncle had been sitting, all was going well so far, she was hypnotised by the movie....
Then Dad went to complete the posture my Uncle had by putting his other arm across infront of her and locking his fingers with his other hand on her opposite shoulder...
After my Dad's third attempt to make his arm magically stretch so he could lock those fingers, the girlfriend turned her head finally and the joke was over!
If only my Dad had slightly longer arms.....

Dr. Giggles
11-27-2008, 07:46 AM
Hahahahahahah Oh Jim, you really should suggest some of these to readers digest. You have some of the most amusing stories. Its like they happen...just so you can tell them. Ah well another tactic i prefer to do is just get inside their head. I know theirs a school around my neighborhood and i recognized these people that live about a block from me. They are nice people but everyones fair game when they enter the haunt. So i go "STOP! I...I...know you....iv been watching you!" I smiled big at this part. "Your kid goes to Hawthorne elementary!" which is the name of the school thats only a few blocks away and i happen to know this is a fact because i am close with the kids uncle who is a top notch make up artist if i do say so myself. He found out i was a haunt actor and always asks me over so he can try new stuff its pretty cool. The father of the kid wasnt scared until up to this point. His laugh immediatly stopped "H...h...how do you know that?!?!?!" he asked his voice cracking. "Tee hee....." i giggled and i got in really close putting my mouth right by his ear "Iv been watching little Jack" which isnt his name but im censoring for story purposes, but i did say his reall name and the dad just backed up on the verge of tears, the mom however was just flabberghasted...i think it was the chainsaw i had in my left hand. It was a big saw too. It was l a 20 inch blade i think im not sure but as soon as he was begging for mercy against a wall. I said "Fine John il let you go" Which was his name i found out from his wife who was freaking out. Then as he had his back to me "HEY JOHN!" i shouted, he stopped and turned. "W...hat now?" I saw that he was actually crying at this point. "I LIED!!!" i shouted with as much force as i could, i started up the chainsaw and lunged forward dropping into a crouch like i was going for his legs, he took off through the emergeny exit with his wife. And judging by the smell afterward im pretty sure he shat himself.
That was probably the most fun i had all season. Not counting the groups of teenage girls i get that i can really mess with.

Jim Warfield
11-27-2008, 10:33 AM
35 years ago I worked in a two-aisle grocery store in a village of 400 people.
The owner and his son were characters as were many of our customers.
I would go home at the end of the day with a stomach ache from laughing So Much!
A young mother would bring her precocious son in the store , she pushing the cart behind him as he would walk down the first aisle holding his arm out, knocking everything off the shelf as he walked!?
"Now Elliot, stop that." (notice there is no exclamation point after this sentence because the Mother never raised her voice or seemed to think this was a big deal!? (We got to pick everything up and put them back on the shelf!?)
One fine day the boss'es son got a hairy gorilla mask from UPS.
The Bosse's son was sort of built like a gorilla, sized impressively. He put on the new mask as Elliot and mom entered the store....as Elliot rounded that corner at the end of aisle (after clearing the shelves AGAIN!) he came face to face with a "Gorilla", 6 foot tall, 290 pounds, wearing a white butcher'a apron with a huge blood stain down the middle, "Gorilla" holding a curved boning knofe in one hand!!! Growling and threatening at Elliot!
That kid's head wobbled back and forth So Quickly as his eyes bugged out!
A few years later Elliot and his sister were 7 miles from their village in my village scared and quivvering in the JC haunted house.
I was wearing the silliest duck mask ever made, yet they were terrorifed!
As I escourted them prematurely out I said, (from behind the duck bill) "You wounldn't be so scared Elliot, if you were a better kid."
He had no clue who I was. I hope it added to his level of fear.
If a parent doesn't do their job with the kid, then the "village" must....

Dr. Giggles
11-27-2008, 11:06 AM
It often takes a village to raise a child....or something like that. Hahahahaha. Mmmm yeah, that reminds me of a story. You probably wont believe this Jim but they all think im crazy in my neighborhood. So i have one character iv developed called Chuck. Me and my girlfriend on halloween before we went to the haunt ((Because kids trick or treat early because the parents dont want them out at night by themselves)) My girlfriend walked around in a doll costume with a baby with a chain wrapped around its neck. And i would hide inbetween the houses. This gaggle of teenage girls dressed like whores, forgive me for by horrid language on that part but seriously those skirts were ridiculously tiny. But yeah my girlfriend walks up and slams the baby on a chain into a trash can upon which the babies head flew off and landed in a girls arm she scream and dropped it. So one of the girls made a snide remark which was along the lines of "Wow....your a bad mom!" and my girlfriend turns to her immdiatly looks her in the eye and says "Oh yeah? My son beggs to differ. CHUCK, CHUCK GET OUT HERE NOW AND SHOW THIS GIRL HOW GOOD OF A MOM I CAN BE!" She was looking in my direction so i got the hint that she was talking to me. I lumbered out with my 20 inch homelight chainsaw in hand. I was wearing huge combat boots, camoflage pants, a bloody (WHITE)tanktop, and a bloody(white) labcoat that was open. I keep my head shaved just for convenience purposes and i had a big bloody hand print on the top of my head and a slit across one eye and i looked pretty gruesome. Now this may not sound very scary but im a big fellow. Im about 6'8 and 300 pounds so im a BIG guy by most peoples standards. And these girls came up to my waist roughly. So i replied in my best hick accent "Whats the matter momma these girlee's giving you trouble" When i said the word girly i made my voice crack. The girls just looked up at me like there was no way a person could be that tall. I said "Dont worry momma, they can feed Junior.." i said glancing at the baby, upon which i noticed the head was missing so i freaked out. "MOMMA WHAT HAPPENED TO JUNIOR HE IS HURTED!!!" so my Girlfriend ((WHO was playing my mom, id appreciate it if their were no incest jokes hahaha)) "She calmly looked up and smiled at me patting me on the arm as it was the only place she could reach and almost whispered "They did it Chuck......they hurt junior." so i shoot the most malicious look i can at them and they are backing up. "N...no...shes lying it wasnt us!" they almost said in unison stuttering and falling overrthemeselves as they backed up. I just smiled and said "You calling my mom a liar" in a hoarse voice. One of them said "Yeah we are!" it was the smartass girl who said that my girlfriend was a bad mother. And as luck would have it the smarty party pants girl fell over, and landed on her but. I wakl up with her, "Time to teach you some respect GIRLEEE!" And as i shouted that i started my chainsaw. Then just needled her mercilessly. VERBALLY i did not needle her with the chainsaw. Her friends got over their fear but she didnt, she was crying and im pretty sure she peed herselv, and shat herself. Point being that since that year she never came back down my street.

Jim Warfield
11-27-2008, 12:47 PM
Freelance scarying people, not anymore.
Things never quite turned out the way I thought that they would.

Damien Warwick
11-27-2008, 05:18 PM
my personal fav is of course...mine...I'm Mr. Warwick, an absolute genius lol who caused all the crap thats happening at the haunt...i love having this twisted lil smile on my face (i have yellow UV Reactive Contacts) getting withen inches of them and just talking to them completely monitone...huge eyes....i really dont have anything all that scary to say, but the women usually cry lol....of course when i have enuff actors my monster then jumps out from around the corner and finishes them off. I catch them right at the entrance from an artificial hallway and we ripped the wall along with its supports out of the wall on the first nite from them jumpin back so hard.

My personal fav event was when I found out one of the female customers names. She was coming through with just her bf and she was actually not suction cupped to him...so i start doing my thing to her bf and shes laughing her butt off...I say to the boy friend"you're not supposed to be here..." then i turned looked her dead in the eye and added "....katie" her smile whipped off her face and she started screaming....so i followed them into the next room acting all nice and as she walked by i leaned in and whispered in her ear "I'll be waiting for you in the shadows...katie" she starts bawling so i slam the door shut and listened to the screamin...man it was a good day

Jim Warfield
11-27-2008, 09:46 PM
Customers get upset if I happen to remember that they have been here before.
Some get upset when I don't remember that they have been here.
My smart-azz response to guys saying this:"Maybe I would remember you if the last time you were here you were blond, naked and female! (and foxy)

As I put one to 14 people inside of the Fear Degauser cylinder I apologise for forgetting to give them the breakfast menu, then I almost whisper in through the vision port:"This is not a breeding experiment!"
Then in an even quieter voice I say:"Because I'm not in there!"

Stephan (screamwalk
01-05-2009, 03:44 PM
i enjoy the scare where you look like a prop, then when people believe you are, you scream at them and start chasing them.
of course in the haunt I'm building (Screamwalk) I'll be hidenn completely, then running out with the chainsaw or axe (dpending on if I can get a chainsaw)

Jim Warfield
01-08-2009, 06:46 PM
I once told a man working for me to pretend that he wasn't a real person and then scare people.
He misunderstood me and thought he was supposed to just pretend to not be a real person, at all costs!
"That little Bitch kept kicking me in the shins to make me do something so she could tell if I was real of not! I just sat there on the couch not moving or anything. "I thought:
Go ahead and keep kicking me Honey, you won't get me to move or make a sound!"

This guy was a retired old farmer. His Wife ran the farm always telling him what to do and when to do it. I told someone that they shouldn't be making fun of him since I was told that when he was a kid that his Father accidently had run over part of his head with a tractor.
I was then informed that the Father must have had them both lay down infront of the tractor because he had an identicle twin brother who was just like him (mentally).???

04-02-2009, 12:56 PM
I love to stand under a vortex light and pop out when someone gets too close. another favorite is to wear a metal glove and smack a railing or trash can as I go past someone. It's so unexpected that they invariably get a good startle or scream. Of course waiting behind a trash can while a group of 14-year-old girls walks past and then sliding the can and smaking it with the glove usually makes them all fall over in their hast to get away...

04-02-2009, 02:26 PM
I've found that a well placed plant in line wearing a new white sweatshirt can instill fear in most. Sheldon approaches and "accidentally" smears three fingers of blood and snot across the front of the sweatshirt. Apologizing profusely he retreats. Watch them scatter when he sets his sights on the closest article of white clothing. Blood, boogers and Baby Phat... it has a ring to it.

Jim Warfield
04-02-2009, 05:18 PM
Often customers here get scared because they can't tell whether I'm "acting" or if I am really "like this", crazy, senile, about to do anything at anytime.
I admit that your finger smearing makes more sense than me shitting my pants, if I could figure out how to simulate the effect things would be better between me and my Wife, who does our laundry.

04-02-2009, 05:39 PM
That's what apple butter and Tootsie rolls are for...

Jim Warfield
04-02-2009, 06:47 PM
"Eat my shorts!"

and if yours look good I can start on them.

04-08-2009, 08:26 AM
I really love our Q line lol. Since we're in an old baseball stadium they actually have to go through a gated ticket area to get inside our courtyard where are Q line is. Its about thirty yards by thirty yards of wide open concrete area (sheldon you would have a blast its allllll perfect concrete) with three or four picnic tables in the middle. So basically once you pay to get in...you're fenced in with us....and can't get out very easily. I like to start off by perching on the picnic tables staring straight at the line buying tickets, twitching and drooling and just generally being disturbing. The fun part about that is watching how many people buy a ticket...see me...then decide to go home lol. But once iv got a target who enters i watch them all the way in and once they walk past me and think i have ignored them follow them into the line and begin the process of terrifying them. The buildup is what really creeps them out best.

Psycological Profiling At Its Finest!

Rotting Flesh Radio Haunt Hottie

04-08-2009, 08:46 AM
My fav is the perfectly timed blood curdling scream..:)
You have to give it a few beats.. wait til they are built up and think that nothing is going to happen...they relax a bit...THEN get them!
Second fav is the mannequin scare..takes practice to get it just right..:cool:

Dr. Giggles
04-16-2009, 02:53 PM
I have some slider gloves that i dont slide with anymore. I have an old leather restraint mask, similar to the one that malicious studios came out with. The one with the zipper. I would wear a faded black overalls with a torn burnt up thermal shirt. Bruise up my kneck. I NEVER have to talk. Il just stand literally in the middle of the que line. When everyone gets accustom to me. I start clicking. Quitely at first. Then i go insane. I can get a 10 foot circle around me in every direction every time. Once i just literally followed a girl through out the whole haunt (i rove) and i didnt say a word. I was just always about 10 feet behind her. ALl the time. Then before the chainsaws ( rovers arent allowed in there) i just snuck up behind her and clicked my metal tipped gloves in her ear. She dropped to the floor. Not missing an oppertunity i stepped over her, she looked up into my face. and i just whispered "Hello freshmeat." very calmly and very smooth. Because i have a very low voice. And she burst in to tears. And i am pretty sure she urinated herself. Those are the scares that i live for.

Jim Warfield
04-16-2009, 08:06 PM
Which is the majority of the year I will sometimes speak very s l o w l y. . . . .enunciating fully, pausing often, attempting to thereby prove through these subtle mannerisms that I am in control of the situation, the room, this house and Them! (I lead the whole tour)
Am I scary?
Sometimes many years later I will be told how much I affected someone while doing this particulair style of communicating or someone will tell me how much I scared their friend they were here with who can't return because of the fear issue with that experience . Sometimes the house itself creeps them out instead, maybe it's those ghost stories, maybe if I am being friendly and not acting at all it all becomes more meanacing? The juxtaposition of Jim when contrasted to the house and those vibes? Maybe I'm seen a satan's salesman, the friendly guy who still steals your soul then laughs?
"Different" is scary because it's different . It requires the brain to stop, pay attention, then determine what is happening.
I lead the tours here all year long til the end of September and begin doing all the tours myself again in the middle of November.
I know this is a very different sort of style than what the majority of you can do with the season and the way a house is designed, but just imagine how scary you could be if you had an opportunity to do it like I just described.
Give it a try sometime, get a group of 8 to 10 people and entertain them all by yourself for 90 minutes.
I consider myself to be very lucky to get to be able to proceed with such an entertaining schedule for my customers.
These customers get to sort of know and respect me (or I'll kill them with extreme pain) and possibly then respect the house and the inventory because of the time I spend with them.
The other reason they might behave is because they feel there must be secret passages I'm not showing them (and there are!) so even if I seen to dissappear, I may still be watching them and prepared to jump around the corner and say the "G" Word. ("Gotcha!")

04-16-2009, 09:01 PM
I had a simliar scare like JamBam's

One night we did a lights out haunt, and had guests sign a waiver allowing us to touch them (security was on staff just in case)

at the end of the haunt, there was an exit that took you outside, but it was a far walk back to the parking lot, so we would as a group ( 7 or 8 actors) would chase them out at once.
a group of 2 girls came in, late 20's, and screaming at everything and anything. it made our jobs easy. At the end, one of the girls got scared and let go of the others hand. the other girl didnt look back, so she just stuck her hand out...to which I stepped in. She gripped tight, and at that moment I have her a tug on the arm. She then turned around to see a guy completely blood spattered in shredded scrubs holding her hand. Needless to say it didnt take her long to make it to her car...

My most favorite tactic was when I was a toxic clown in 08. I wore UV reactive makeup and got to use a chainsaw, so i was pretty freaky looking under blacklights with a roaring saw. When large groups came in, I would hide until the correct moment, and fire up the saw. This would make the group stay against a wall, and I was right next to the exit of my room. I would crouch and watch them walk by me. I would pick out who looked the most scared, and then lunge and slam the saw on the wall in front of them. Not only did this separate them from the group, but they would see that the saw is real (without the chain) and would scare the pure hell out of em. The floor of my room was also a smooth concrete, so I would scrape the blade of the saw on the ground, shooting sparks up. This mainly scared males, as I would get close to their feet.

my final tactic was once they left my room, they were in a pitch black hallway. When they left, I killed the saw but left it on, and followed the group. Halfway in the hall I would fire it up again and scream out some lines, like "IM NOT DONE YET!!" or "SCREAM ONE MORE TIME", to get that final scare out of them.

Jim Warfield
04-18-2009, 07:21 AM
That has worked so well.
A 50 year old Chinese/American man was hiding behind the women in the group(the group was mostly women) he was doing this for the whole tour, the women finally realised this so they pushed him forward into the dark first. (Most of my house is very well lit)
When I turned the light on we were standing almost nose to nose!
I didn't know they could do this but I saw his oriental eyes go very round, very quickly!
(Much to the enjoyment of those women.)

Talk about a very cheap "Effect", look into the 89 cent push button switch, "Normally "On". model. I hold it in to kill the light.
It is mounted up high, I put my arm straight up to push it which also creates a hiding place for my white reflective face, behind my own arm. There is a slight reflection from a piece of metal from the dead end behind me that fools them into thinking it is clear-sailing or an empty space.