View Full Version : Guns In Your Show

12-10-2008, 08:39 PM
The Tesla Coil is all fine and dandy. But I've always had this dream of something bolder. Now I know that most of you that have extremely succesful haunts have que line entertainment. Do any of you have scheduled performances? Like at Knotts, Halloween Haunt, or hell Disneyland.
Back to the main point... I've always had this dream that in one of my shows gunfire would be used. The loud bang is always scary and the effects, if done right, would definately trigger some fear of realism.
Does anyone think this is anywhere near possible? And has anyone ever heard of a haunt doing anything remotely like this?

12-10-2008, 10:43 PM
We do it and the crowd loves it. Just make sure they are away from the crowd and obviously make sure you use blanks. Also, let your security people know too. We learned the hard way. :D

Always check with your police dept. 1st.

Good luck.


Allen H
12-10-2008, 10:58 PM
I am not a fan of guns in haunted houses, that is not the kind of scare I want to give people. It takes all kinds and I
am sure many do have guns in their haunts. I do not and generally think it's a bad idea and a bit of a crutch. I have a hundred reasons for my opinions as you have for yours, so I will leave my opinions out of it and answer your questions without injecting more of my opinion.

Does anyone think this is anywhere near possible?
Sure it's possible in the name of entertainment lots of things are possible.
You will need to run the idea by your fire marshal and make sure you are not within 200 yards (thats Texas check your own state and county laws) of a dwelling.

Has anyone ever heard of a haunt doing anything remotely like this?
Yes I have heard about it plenty. I'm sure more shows have done it than I have heard about because you only hear about it when it goes wrong.

Please be safe and use your best judgement. For a bit of back ground on me and my opinions I do not use a chain saw in my personal haunted house for the same reasons. I'm not a fan of what I call CNN (as in the news network) haunted houses. In my personal show, my rule is that you won't see anything inside that could happen to your uncle.
if there is a dead body, there is an evident fantasy reason as to how he died (werewolf attack, Alien Chestburster, six foot spider) I am on the fringe as far as my style goes and I know that. When I consult, I do not inflict my strictness on others. It takes all kinds, if all haunts were like mine then mine would not be special. Do what you want in your haunted house as long as no one gets hurt. Put on a good show no matter the style and you will get a following that appreciate it. But Please be safe when using even prop guns.
Allen Hopps

Jim Warfield
12-11-2008, 12:41 AM
I was told about a Haunted Trail where they are telling the guests as they have just arrived to" Stay on the trail or else they will hunt you down!"
Then from 40 feet away in the woods:"There he is, over there!"
This gets everyone's attention.

I attempt to establish at the first moment of their tour here that I am in charge when I appear with my homemade German MP-40 machine gun, this gets them!
"Is that gun real?"
"No, but I made it and it's all steel, I could still beat you to death with it."
But no chainsaw ballet here.
No gore.
Ghost storys? Yes. This is a haunted house.
Supernatural helpers?
Yes, sometimes.
Is this a line of chitt?
No. I can tell you so many things about this house, that may not be believed just because of your own mind's need for self-preservation and return to it's former comfort level found in earlier ignorance.

12-11-2008, 04:28 PM
We do it and the crowd loves it. Just make sure they are away from the crowd and obviously make sure you use blanks. Also, let your security people know too. We learned the hard way. :D

Always check with your police dept. 1st.

Good luck.


Definately effective. Got me more then once.


Howie Slobber Erlich
12-11-2008, 10:52 PM
We tried it this year. Our theme was (Prison Escape). The whole premise was to make your way through the entire prison surviving attacks by our insane inmates and freaky guards.

Our last scare was a guard that bursts out with a hand gun "screaming freeze or I'll shoot." Sirens and beacon lights turn on and the guard fires a few shots at them as they are running out of the haunt. It was extremely effective. It was one of the most talked about rooms of this years show.

I was very worried about how it was going to work and for the safety of my cast and our customers. I was prepared to pull the gun and go with a back up plan if anything seemed to dangerous. To my pleasant surprise, no one reacted in any bad way. Most every customer once seeing the gun pointed at them, started to book out of the house as fast as they could. Once the gun went off they kicked it into overdrive.

A couple tips. Do not use a real gun with blanks. Use a top quality starter gun. The good ones will cost you over $100.00 but well worth it. The cheaper quality ones will break after a night or two. Get two guns. That way the actor always has one ready to fire. In between group he can load one while using the second. Our guns held 10 shots 22 cal. crimps. That was enough for two to three groups before reloading. Get ear plugs for the actor. And finally, if you have any law enforcement officers show up to go through, warn them about the gun :grin:.

Just my opinions,

Howie "Slobber" Erlich
Deadly Intentions Haunted House

Jim Warfield
12-12-2008, 09:34 AM
I have had a few Policemen go through my house With their gun!
I would usually only find out they did this long afterwards, like the second time they came here.
I guess my house must seem pretty scary to ellict such actions as having to carry a gun in here with you?
One time an undercover guy told me that was who he was half-way through here and he would not give up his radio and gun to pass through some physically demanding fun things here even though they were not designed to be gun-safe, unable to possibly make a gun go off by mere physically bouncing, touching....
His rationale was that he had put numerous people behind bars and he didn't want to enter a room here and meet up with one of those angry felons without his gun on his person.
Retirement for him sounds like it might be sort of nerve-racking.
The one definately ocassionally psycho-acting, over-the-top officer locally never got within 60 feet of me or that close to my house because he thought I was in cahoots with satan himself, I'm glad he retired and moved away!
I would hate to send my kid Trick-Or-Treating to his door dressed" devilish", there might be a problem.....

12-14-2008, 08:03 AM
Guns, prison gaurds, sounds interesting but I have my doubts about safety doing this in the Baltimore/DC area. I heard enough real gunfire growing up!


12-14-2008, 09:27 AM
I have been wanting to do something like this for years. However, I do not want to use real guns and blanks. Basically, I want something better than a "cap gun", but less than a real gun with blanks:

f(x)= cap gun < X > Blanks

Can anyone solve the equation for x?

greater than cap gun, less than blanks. I don't know why I have algebra on my mind, but does anyone have an answer?

Basically, very loud, but not blanks


Jim Warfield
12-15-2008, 12:07 AM
If you are using loud effects in your show it might pay you to take an extra look at your customers in good light as they enter to make sure there are no hearing aids being used by them.
I guess it might have been my ESP that kept me from making a loud noise and it would have been close to the person wearing a hearing aid.
Watch those obnoxious "effects".
Not every person going through a haunt thinks being that deafened, blinded , made to puke are the fun things to do again.

12-15-2008, 09:15 PM
Post deleted since it repeats below.

12-15-2008, 09:22 PM
I always made a conscious effort not to set up scenes using guns or weapons that may make an undercover cop shoot someone in self defense. In other words, I want it clear if anyone is getting shot or stabbed, they are not customers. The reason for this is several fold. 1) You might have an undercover or off duty cop enter and if someone whips out a gun and aims it at them, they could react automatically as they are trained to do, and shoot them before thinking it through. 2) I went to a California college filled with activists who would pull all sorts of reckless publicity stunts that often went terribly wrong, like the "guerilla theater" stunt where someone appears in a ski mask at the outdoor cafe and shoots someone else in cold blood. Then someone stands up on a soap box and explains this type of event happens in some South American country because the evil administration wants to stop communism south of the border even though the people there need it to survive, blah blah blah. Well, as you could imagine, violence eventually broke out as someone tried to interfer and prevent what would later be described as a Columbine massacre. (This was long before that actually happened.) A guy in line for lunch sees another guy show up in a ski mask with an automatic weapon and he hits the guy with a chair. The activists scream, "but it was only a toy gun, you idiot! It has a red tip on the barrel!" Of course, THEY were the idiots because the guy who interfered was color blind. And besides, not everyone notices the gun TIP, they see the ski mask first and some sort of weapon and panic. Especially now after Columbine is as well known actual event.

That being said, we have still used guns and blanks, but in a manner that did not directly threaten the audience. We use the guns to shoot at the monster or maniac, but not the audience. The loud blasts still scare them though. Some of these customers could be soldiers coming back from duty as well, and they also have automatic reflexes under certain circumstances. In a law suit happy society, it behooves us to take such matters into consideration.

When it comes to attacks by monsters and maniacs however, we do assume a certain amount of common sense from the audience. So far, only the drunks with impaired judgement have disappointed us.

Dr. Giggles
12-16-2008, 08:18 PM
Guns automatically trigger fight or flight, all it takes is for someone drunk or not to have a gun or a real weapon in their pocket. They would probably choose to fight.

Jim Warfield
12-16-2008, 09:36 PM
There seem to be a lot of people out and about who seem to believe everything is real no matter how stupid or fantastic it is.
There would be a good question for a survey.
"What is the most stupid thing a customer thought was true?"