View Full Version : How to Deal With Vandalism amd Accidental Vandalism?

01-18-2009, 07:58 PM
How can our professional haunted house deal with vandalism whether it be by accident or on purpose? Can we legally demand money for severely damaged props or is it never worth the hastle? Any advise?


Dr. Giggles
01-18-2009, 08:01 PM
Vandalism on purpose? A B.B. gun. It hurts but doesnt kill and scares the crap out of the hoods that might try to break in(Our haunt walls kept getting hit by graffiti artists till my cuzin just waited outside with a Daisy BB rifle and got 3 of them...had no more trouble the rest of the season). On accident ask them if they would be willing to replace it, all nice and polite. Or post a sign outside saying "Please dont break our props, we will make you buy them! They are very expensive!
Have a nice day!"

Jim Warfield
01-18-2009, 08:33 PM
"OOPS! my fist just slipped onto your face!"
When my ex was 3 yrs. old she accidently broke a manniquin in a woman's clothing store, her parents had to pay for it. Of course this was 50 years ago when everybody seemed to care what others thought of them as people and reputation was protected at all costs.
Drunks would be found pulling on the edges of a fiberglass replica of a Nazi helmet being worn by the skeletal biker riding his wrecked motorcycle attached in the big dent in my car(See it on the website: hauntedravensgrin.com)
I never found any of them pulling on it again after I installed a few rows of rusty carpet tacks under the helmet rim.
The skeleton needed some more blood on it anyway.
Drunken blood works too.
Fourty miles from here a small roadside tavern would find it's Men's Room wall puched in right above the urnial after one certain customer was in there. The last time they fixed the wall they put in 2 by 4 headers with numerous big spikes pointing through the board, waiting behind the plasterboard.
He punched it again!
He got nailed. they all went to court, the Judge said, "You weren't supposed to be punching the wall, case dismissed!"
Three cheers for that Judge!

Allen H
01-18-2009, 08:53 PM
I believe he means while its open. This is different everywhere but still kind of the same. I was in a bit of culture shock as the Mob is different in different places. Different towards the props and decorations and towards the decorations. In the Maryland area The crowds were decent and were a bit rowdy with the staff but not with the sets, in Florida (Major tourist spot) the crowds were great all around (but most of this work was off season). In Texas where I have been for 8 years, the crowds are rough they will destroy sets in a heartbeat and rough up actors at a moments notice. They are kinder to the better sets though so they have reason. Also my haunt now (in TX) has very high throughput so with more people there are just more jerks.
There are two ways to deal with the vandalism its self If you want them to pay then you will spend all your time (and money) in small claims court. Or bullet/Idiot proof your sets which will make them bad sets. The Flip side is that the better the sets, the scarier the actor the less they get attacked.
Hire an off duty officer to work with your security, have them arrest the people its worth arresting and let that be your vengeance. everyone deals with this differently it will be good to hear others opinions.
Allen Hopps

Dr. Giggles
01-19-2009, 11:48 AM
Perhaps warn people going into the haunt that they will be under surveillance by video camera because people have been damaging their sets? Me and my cousin were talking about this earlier. Even if you really dont have a camera system set up usually just saying you do puts them off enough not to risk even touching your set or actors.

Jim Warfield
01-19-2009, 02:21 PM
In polite society (where our parents and granparents usually wanted us to be) it is usually considered very rude to purposely upset someone for little or no reason....
.....what happens in every haunted house?
We purposely upset, scare (rude again) everyone that we can.."Bad, bad,BAD!!!"
"You did this to ME! So I'm getting my revenge by doing this to you or your props or your workers!"
Don't waste time typing that this logic is wrong or very stupid because I sure know that it is, but it's Their Logic!!!
Yes, you paid me to do this to you and now you think you have the right to steal, break my stuff?
I think the overall style and feel a haunted attraction has also influences this behavoir, they "Do unto others as they have done unto ME!" Or seems to have done or tried to have done?
Ever had a customer try to scare you in your own place? See? That's what I mean.

01-19-2009, 04:25 PM
Lol! That is so true! I can't tell you how many times my actors have been scared more than the customers have been! (Especially from them drunks) =)

01-19-2009, 06:54 PM
If you cant afford a real camera system which I would recomend. You can just purchase some fake moving cameras and then mount em all over the place to create the illusion. Make sure that most of em are visible outside of the haunt so that people know without you telling them. Flashing lights scare the deers off.

01-19-2009, 07:02 PM
I always pay to have off duty poice at the haunt. It is expensive but worth it. Let your customers know there is a cop on-site. I think just knowing a cop is there helps keep some trouble away. When I have had a vandalism problem I let the punk know that they can either pay for all damages in cash right now or my cop will arrest them. Usually mom and dad gets called and they will bring the cash to keep there kids out of trouble.
I usually keep the cop next to the ticket booth so he is very visible and can keep an eye on where the cash is. The cop has one of our radios so if one of the security people has a problem he can enter the show to assist. Again this is an expensive option we have to pay $300 for an off duty but armed and uniformed cop. It is worth it as our problems have decreased dramatically.

Greg Chrise
01-19-2009, 07:25 PM
It is probably very wrong, but

I have always wanted to have a holding cell about 7/8 the way through the haunt and with the swing of a wall, the crew in question is funneled into solid detainment, possibly on diplay calling out to passers by to let them out? Crying for help? Discussing their situation over some time with each other?

Oh, it's just how we involve patrons in the show.

Any thoughts on this irresponsible idea?

Jim Warfield
01-20-2009, 04:10 AM
I spent $300 on "Cops" too! (Actually a sherrif's auxillery patrol, cop-wanna bees.)
They sat there calling my customers names, then turned their heads away from my house as a drunk climbed my spouting to the high second floor of my house, all infront of a crowded parking lot full of people!
Nice work.
You can go home now, don't bother returning.
Come back and show me that new gun you have been whittling out of that old board from the floor of your Granny's outhouse, when you get it done, that is..