View Full Version : Getting your name out in the "Off Season"

Haunts of Richmond
12-19-2008, 11:26 AM
Any ideas for keeping your name out there during the off season? We were thinking about a "Design Your Own Haunt Room" campaign in the spring. Customers submit ideas for a room and the best design wins free tickets.

Thoughts? Other ideas?


Raycliff Manor
12-19-2008, 12:10 PM
That sounds like an excellent idea! What a great way to hear what your audience wants and get them involved!

Last year we had a "Get Married at Raycliff Manor" contest. This was very well received. People just had to write a paragraph or two telling us why they should be chosen to get maried at Raycliff Manor. We had the Fright Team vote on the entries. The public loved it and the press loved it!


Jim Warfield
12-19-2008, 05:43 PM
I have had numerous couples tell me they wanted to get married at my house, The Ravens Grin Inn...but so far none have.
The one guy proposed here, she accepted then a few nights later she found out he had been driving her new car as fast as it would go (120?) just to see "How fast it would go!"
End of engagement.
Smart girl.

Raycliff Manor
12-19-2008, 05:47 PM
Jim I've said this before, but I really do have your attraction on my "Bucket" list. One of these days your haunt should be included in a convention bus tour!


Jim Warfield
12-20-2008, 01:47 AM
One October the Chamber of Commerce here had a mishap with their Graveyard Tour when a weld broke and a wagon full of people went backwards down a very steep hill (Cemetary Hill), luckily only a few feet before metal digging into asphault became the emergency brake.
So that winter wishing to "Keep the Name Out There", I drew a postcard illustrating the mishap, had 500 printed and put them out on a mailing list I had accumulated........never heard one word from anybody...maybe the U.S. Post Office found a ditch to dump them into?
I also printed up another 500 postcards of my house and they finished filling the ditch leaving enough space for the covering fill dirt to complete the mystery.
Mailing lists of haunted house customers were very fluid things because of the age of the customers moving out of the family home, going to college, becoming incarcerated, bumming around, getting abducted, whatever?
In other words the mailings saw a fair number of returns because people move and young people move more often.

12-20-2008, 07:58 PM
Getting back to the topic of how to promote off season, I always thought an entry in the Christmas parade would be a fun and easy thing to do. How to tie it in? I guess that obvious answer would be "The Nightmare Before Christmas" or if that's too easy, then "having a CHILLING Christmas" , or "The Festival of FRIGHTS" or "SCARY Christmas and Happy New FEAR!" etc. One could do up a simple float with the slogan or whatever, perhaps dress a skeleton up as Santa in a sleigh wreck with "Santa's CRASH DIEt" or some sort of nonsense. Knowing how far to go without crossing the line would be a consideration, otherwise a chorus of "boos" could be expected. But one could even use that to their advantage using a sign that says: "Shout 'Boo!' if you also love Halloween!"

The easy part would be having cast members in costume walking along side the float and passing out SCARY CHRISTMAS cards (flyers). Doing this during Christmas might seem in bad taste-- like the atheist doing a "God is a fraud" display at city hall in Washington state or where ever, but there are other occasions that would be perfect, like Marty Grais or whenever. (Truth is, I need November to rebound-- a later parade than December would be preferred.) The parades we have in this town are very lame and any displays that are exciting or different would make an impression.

Jim Warfield
12-21-2008, 08:22 AM
Feature snow blowers and scoop shovels, only minimal attendence too?

12-23-2008, 07:39 AM
One of the most creative off-season haunters I have met is Kim from "Kim's Krypt" a haunted hosue in a suburb of Baltimore. She opens for a weekend around Christmas, Valentines day, St. Paddy's Day, any Friday the 13th, and so on. She seems to be very tight with a popular radio station and gets a lot of coverage from the morning show. It seems to work well for her.
We have a haunted hayride, unable to open other than October... but I bought a 1982 bread truck for 1000 bucks... painted it black, and bought 4x8 stick on banners for the side of the thing. I park it in busy parking lots in the county and in park-n-rides. It seems to get attention.
Appearances in front of large crowds like parades or fairs seem to work the best.

Jim Warfield
12-23-2008, 05:09 PM
I have always had a Spookmobile a moble billboard on wheels. My first one was featuring a motorcycle smashed into the big dent on the passenger side door, complete with the skeletal biker.
My second Spookmobile is a station wagon with a shark mouth grill, lips, teeth, victim, fin on the roof and arms that reach up and down.
They can be seen at : hauntedravensgrin.com