View Full Version : Hospital Hell Semi Final Draft

02-05-2009, 08:17 PM
Ok here it is guys. You said it couldn't be done. You said I was crazy. Infact you said thats not how a haunted attraction is supposed to look but hey I proved you wrong didnt I. Anywho in the design the color definition is this
Green: Patron pathway
Yellow: Backstage
Blue: Exit
Red: The only room I will tell you guys. Its the infamous Furnace rooms. You guys been helping design those two rooms right there.
Oh and this is a haunt a little over 10,000 square feet.

I'd love your guy's thoughts. Please suggestions, criticisms, whatever.

PS. I did have the wall system copyrighted so I would be sourly dissappointed if I found out that someone stole my ideas. It won't be like SPFX and CFX it'll be you stole my idea now I'm suing you for a BILLION dollars. HAHAHAHAH. But no seriously take my ideas i kill you.

RJ Productions
02-05-2009, 08:25 PM
I doubt that the fire marshal will pass it with the lack of emergency exits. Check local requirements. You make need an exit every 150 feet (never more that 75 feet from an exit) Some now require no more than 50 feet from an exit.

Also I'm having trouble following your flow. You color rooms green but some rooms are not connected or provide adequate flow. Are rooms built around scenic requirements or is scenic decided around existing rooms?

I assume it's sprinkled.

I must have missed the point about the wall system,…. copyrighted??? It's not a written piece or media so you can only have it “patented” and that takes some time and money, probably more than can be made off of such a system. I would also check your idea against existing wall systems. Chances are it has already been done or a version of it. Not to rain on your parade, but original ideas are really hard to come by. Usually the best you can hope for is a unique twist on an existing idea, which still isn't bad. Trying to claim exclusivity is pointless. Ask any major vendor, ALL have been ripped off no matter how original their idea.

02-05-2009, 08:28 PM
OK, so... you have the software to make the hospital plan... but use microsoft paint to "edit" it for haunt use? Hmmmm....

Ok... here we go:

1- What's the path? The green is a MESS and does not clarify an actual direction of travel for guest

2- Your not utilizing your space effectively... again, I see bottlenecking a HUGE problem here.


http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.capareaves.org/images/Floor-plan.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.capareaves.org/facts.shtm&usg=__EU0U90PcMf15aDisZQ2YTfbpxpY=&h=844&w=1165&sz=266&hl=en&start=21&sig2=u8k249XLlZNYlksRQafQLw&um=1&tbnid=ygsbzJqVkh7YTM:&tbnh=109&tbnw=150&ei=mq2LSa2gO4_aNLSWyM4H&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dhospital%2Bfloor%2Bplan%26start%3D18% 26ndsp%3D18%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26sa%3 DN

Check out the floorplan on the bottom of the page, which can be viewed here:


So, I don't if you actually designed this or not... but my guess is no! Your only 18 and not a REAL architect! So stop using Google images as a resource for "floorplans" and calling them yours!

4- What's this "wall system" you've created that's so great you got a patent on? I'm VERY interested in this!

Just some thoughts. -Tyler

PS: I'm not attacking you... I'd be glad to help you LEARN haunt design in any way I can and share all the info I know... just let me know!

02-05-2009, 08:38 PM
Tyler out of all of the people here your probably the only one I kinda look up to. Besides Jim ofcourse but I look up to him as the REALLY old guy who just knows everything(maybe not everything).

I can see where you'd think I'd be embarrased about the plan already existing. I did use google images to find the plan but when I got to the same exact website. I fell in love with the plan. I called up the hospital and asked If I could use their plans for a Halloween haunt in CA that I was planning on openning within 3-5 years. We worked some things out and came to an agreement. The altered floor plan is actually what I had copyrighted.

EVERYONE NEEDS TO LISTEN TO ME WHEN I SAY THIS. I know I'm not an architect. I'm a smart ass 18 year old. So let me be a smart ass and just call myself an architect because I'm never gonna stop.

The green was just a rush paint job if you looked at my hand notes you'd see how the pathway is constricted. I couldnt transfer that over because it wouldn't let me attatch the image. And I never said I had the program to professionally edit. I use paint because I'm bomb with that STUPID little program.

The bottlenecks now thats something I'd like to learn about. Please tell me more about these bottlenecks. I'm not being sarcastic I need to know these things so I can fix them.

Thanks! Vincent This Time!

02-05-2009, 08:41 PM

Bottlenecking is an industry term (jargon) for a point in a haunt where peope become backed up and become VERY slow... overall affecting the flow and timing of the haunt!

Or that's the best way I can describe it!

If you need any help with design, just let me know. I see your eager to learn, and I love people with passion!

We're all here for you man. -Tyler

02-05-2009, 08:59 PM
Ok, I will throw my 6 years of owning and designing a haunt into the mix. 1st step, if you REALLY want to clairify what you are doing would be to make the guests path clear. I have seen many plans and laid out many, and I get about 1/4 of the way in your haunt and I am lost. Draw arrows, if you can, to make it clear and then maybe it will make more sense. :) Keep in mind, "Most" strive to have a group of 6 entering every 60 seconds or so. Now I am not saying that is the way it has to be done, heck Warfield takes sometimes 45 minutes for people to leave his room and when I was last there his tour took about 1 and a half hours. So you can break all the rules you want, just be aware that with every deccision you make, compromises will be made. If its your haunt, YOU make the rules! All we can do as a group is bring our experiences to your attention. Don't forget your emergency exits for use in a life or death situation as well as for troublemakers and chickens. GOOD LUCK!

02-05-2009, 09:04 PM
The plan looks hard because at each doorway I either put 1 line or two lines. 1 line is the patrons doorway the 2 lines is the actors doorway and also the emergency exit doorway.

02-05-2009, 09:12 PM

Alright man, time to cut the crap. If you are pipe dreaming for the future thats great but cut the BS out. There are a lot of helpful people on these boards, but they don't really want to waste there time being played with.

As far as the plan goes - for most start ups efficient use of space and other resources is a must and you miss the mark by trying to shove a haunt in some other plan. Use the help from people on these boards and start fresh.

As I said before, there is in fact a law called the Professional Practices Act that does prevent you from saying your an architect.

As far as making an agreement with the hospital and copy writing the plan - well if in fact that is true you wasted your money. The hospital does not own the plan, the architect does and as such owns the copy write. You cannot copy, modify and the copy write it.

Nuf said, play it straight up

02-05-2009, 09:13 PM
That's alot better! Now, check local codes and mark your emergency exits. Also, where's the actor/backstage areas... your bottleneck areas WILL be the areas where it looks like the line splits.

Hope that helps. -Tyler

02-05-2009, 09:24 PM
Ya that makes more sense. Now, start thinking about where your scenes will be in the haunt and where your transition halls will be. Also, just a bit confusing: If I read you right, you said this was an real, existing hospital some place. You fell in love with the look and decided to create a haunt from the existing plans. Now if this is a dream of yours, that is good and fine, however, keep in mind you might find a totally different bldg that these pland will not work in because of the lay out of the bldg. In other words, if this is a practice run of desigining a haunt, I think a better way would be grab some graph paper and create your own haunt from scratch...

02-05-2009, 09:37 PM
I knew there was a law I didn't know the name so thankyou for that info. It doesnt matter if I call myself one as long as I don't solicite my services. Just a like I can call myself a doctor as long as I don't practice. I know that for a fact.

Now can we get past that stupid title. Whats the problem with using actual real life floor plans for a haunted attraction. I followed your notes. The hallways are all 46 inches wide. I took out the ramps. You helped me design this. Arent we in this business to convince people of what they are seeing is real and for that fact they should be scared. What better way than using a "REAL" hospital for a hospital haunt.

The whole startup thing. I told NJproductions i think is his profile name my plan. What i'm doing is going to work intership for one maybe two haunts for two maybe three years to gain money that way. At that moment I will open up an amazing haunt that isn't going to save space. Its going to wow people. I'm betting on ingenuity rather than boring space savingness.


02-05-2009, 09:39 PM
Thanks for that tip dirk. I'm actually in the process of starting my new design. No images of the internet. Its going to be a circus. And I should be able to post something for you guys in three to four weeks. Starting from scratch is exactly what I'll be doing with this haunt.

02-05-2009, 09:52 PM
I just thought that layout really does not make use of the event structure you said you wanted to use. In my world efficiency means $$. To each his own.

Jim Warfield
02-05-2009, 10:22 PM
That blueprint was really of the Winchester Mansion, wasn't it? Probably the part that burnt down?
Any floor plans ever been designed by some one using a Oui-Ja board besides Sarah Winchester?

Someone duplicating Herman Muddgett's "Murder Mansion" would be interesting..of wait I sort of did some of that already.
Never mind.

Greg Chrise
02-06-2009, 12:02 AM
You could just stand outside the real hospital and ask for a cover charge. Then run away at 20 minute intervals. Hide your green magic marker so it is harder to describe what you look like.

RJ Productions
02-06-2009, 02:20 AM
Now things make a little more sense. Listen Oak Hills, or is it Vincent, the problem here is you are putting the cart before the horse. Why even bother with a floor plan 3-5 years from start up? You have no idea what type of location you will be in. If it is a building THEN you will have to work around existing conditions. If you are in a tent, large ware house, different scenario. I thought I would be in a tent and I ended up building a haunt in trailers!

I admire that you want to build an attraction someday, but the imperative point here is SOMEDAY. I have glanced back at some of your posts, and you have made a lot of them. They all have implied that you are basically under construction NOW! People are taking time to provide input for what they have thought is a work in progress.

Don’t get me wrong, posing questions on this message board can be good for everyone. The person asking gets a lot of information from a wide variety of views and experiences and those contributing get the “creative juices” flowing. But in some of your posts you end up disagreeing with people when you really have NO IDEA what you are talking about! You really want this $8,000 fire effect when people have provided some very creative WORKABLE solutions. Why would anyone want to spend $8,000 for a distraction? Do you really understand what it will take to open a haunt? Tabulate some of the effects and rooms you have inquired about… You will need upwards of $100-150,000 and we’re not even talking about all the other necessities and their cost. I don’t really think you can raise the necessary funding working for another haunt for 3 years!! The experience will be wonderful, but even the haunt OWNER may not be able to buy a whole new attraction in 3 years how can one of his employees afford to?

Do yourself and everyone else a big favor. Go to the conventions and trade shows; take as many classes as possible. Buy the books, DVD’s and magazines. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. They will answer a majority of your questions, actually prevent you from asking some, and even create new questions.

If you want to post questions or conceptual ideas that’s fine, but don’t post that it is this room or that room that you are working on. You haven’t built a wall yet! And until you have actually owned and or operated a haunt you really are no entitles to some of your responses to the people with REAL experience that have graciously responded.

And again I restate, be aware that it will HIGHLY unlikely that you will develop anything that is unique, original or never been done before. It’s not a dig, just the truth. We very rarely come up with original ideas, just unique variations on existing ideas. You may come up with something YOU have never seen, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not been done!

I do my haunts in trailers. I have written several articles about it, taught several seminars on the subject. Did I invent it? No! Do I take credit for it? No! I am merely someone who supports this style of attraction. Only because of the amount of time and experience with the construction and operation of this style of attraction, I can be called an “expert”.

I am NOT here to stifle your creativity. You just need to redirect your energies. Working on specific designs now is merely a mental exercise. Right now your questions and posts are more or less an exercise in futility. We do things today that were not even attainable 3-5 years ago, so effects you are “designing” now may have no relevance in 5 years.

Go do the “homework” I suggested and then we’ll talk! Trust me things change drastically and quickly. What you really need to be focusing on is learning about marketing, promotions, business aspects, financing.. things that provide the ground work to be able to own and operate a business. Ordinances change, technologies change, social attitudes and phobias change….we can do things today for $50 that would have been impossible to do 5 years ago for under $500. Ideas that are “cool” today will become blasé years from now.

People are here to help and they do so readily. But they don’t want to waste their time either. Many of us are busy WORKING on our haunts that will actually reopen in several months. 5 years from now you may not even be INTERESTED in haunted houses...but I’ll still be working on mine.

02-06-2009, 08:13 AM
Guys I've spent 5 years like tc dreaming I was gonna do this.

Someday. Someday I'll have my own. I'm 18 now and I've decided no longer someday. I will always be in the mindset that it opens tomorrow. Even if I have to do all of the scaring myself. Believe all of the questions I ask are to get answers to the things I don't already know from 5 years of look at this information.

So far the topics I still don't know is pnuematics, animatronics, and electrical setup. I know how to setup the electrical for a house, I've already done that, but for a haunt is different. I think. I know you guys are frusterated and think I'm jerking all of your chains but I need a job to get money and I cant wait 4 more years to get a degree than 2 years after that to save enough money as a nurse to open a mediorce haunt. I want to open NOW. As long as I can make some money I'll work anywhere if it means getting progress done NOW. You guys get to talk about openning next season, doing construction and all that jaz. But I cant and it is driving me crazy. And I wont want to do it anymore in 6 years. That will total to 11 years of waiting. I cant do that.

If I'm putting the cart before the horse what else should I be looking at. Location, structure, prices. I've already gotten information on 7 different locations with good size lots. Great for a temporary tent structure. Oh look I've priced out 4 different companies and decided on price to quality ratio and picked a final solution. Now what prices on props, masks, electrical, etc. I've done that. I compared paying for Larry to do it all for me to me doing it all myself with my(i said 3 before) but its actually 6 I've been building my house for 6 years. And havent stopped since. For props I've priced out scarefactory, unit 70, gore galore, and some other companies. Than I compared. Then I calculated how much it would cost me to make all the props myself. Then I tried to read on how to make the props myself. I'm doing this all on the fact that I'm not allowed to spend ANY money what so ever that is Halloween industry related or else I get kicked out of the house. Then after that happens I have no job, I cant afford school, and I have no place to live.
I ask about the $8,000 fake fire things and all other sorts of things that normal haunt owners only think about after 2 or 3 seasons because every little bit of progress keeps me sane.

You know tchaunt is young and everyone says he has passion and admires him for it. Believe me I've got nothign but love for him and I'm trying to help him make it happen this year. But I've been at this since his age. I've got passion squirting out of every bloody orface in my body. You guys need to cut me some slack on the words I choose to use and just remember that I'm crazy and I just want to make this happen. MORE THAN ANYBODY.

That all being said I've learned alot from all of you guys. Don't think I don't appreciate it all just cause I'm 18. Remember I'm Italian in and Italian family if you don't appreciate the tings others do for you, you get into trouble the Italian way.

02-06-2009, 08:23 AM

What I would suggest yo do... is keep planning, keep dreaming, write down every idea you have... BUT GO TO COLLEGE!!! Go get a theater degree in Scenic Design... also, minor in business. That is your best bet to get started in this industry on a good foot! -Tyler

02-06-2009, 09:44 AM
I would just like you to be honest. This "i'm the best", "I'm the bomb", "I'm an architect" stuff is what is driving us nuts.

Tell us, "hey, I'm 18 and wanting to start a haunt in a few years, what should I be doing right now". Don't hint that you are doing a haunt if you are not.

My advice, Start up a home haunt in your parents garage. Grab some buddies, and actually do one. That is how I started. I made a grid of rope all the way down my driveway to give me support for tarps to be hung, made a maze, bought a few props, got some buddies over and scared the kids. By the 4th year of doing this, we had 300-400 kids lining up at our house on Halloween.

Now I do the same thing on a larger scale for a youth club for which I serve on the board.

You can learn so much from just doing a small one in your neighborhood.

02-06-2009, 09:45 AM
Tyler - right on, that would be my number one suggestion too.

Vince - passion is a good thing, misplaced passion only leads to trouble. Cant spend money, no problem. Do you have storage? Continue creating practical rooms and watch craigslist for free stuff to fill them, garage sales too. I have picked up loads of foam, plywood, lumber, wire, TV's, lockers, and more and missed out on a ton more. All for free or little $. I have even been offered costume stuff. Put a wanted listing up.

No one is going to give you an $8,000 fire effect, but you may very well come away with lights and a fog machine. Hit the retailers after the season and negotiate a deal for there leftover stock. I walked away with 110 gal of fog juice from walmart at $1.00 a gal. I am now dumping it at $5.00. Stuff like that can fund you also.

No shame in starting small. Another kid, Nick, worked his ass off building a home haunt till he is able to go pro this year. Many of the big dogs here started small and built on that. Tyler is one of the lucky few with a money man. Thats not reality for most of us.

02-06-2009, 11:48 AM
I would listen to him, this is how so many got started and you will learn so much.

I would just like you to be honest. This "i'm the best", "I'm the bomb", "I'm an architect" stuff is what is driving us nuts.

Tell us, "hey, I'm 18 and wanting to start a haunt in a few years, what should I be doing right now". Don't hint that you are doing a haunt if you are not.

My advice, Start up a home haunt in your parents garage. Grab some buddies, and actually do one. That is how I started. I made a grid of rope all the way down my driveway to give me support for tarps to be hung, made a maze, bought a few props, got some buddies over and scared the kids. By the 4th year of doing this, we had 300-400 kids lining up at our house on Halloween.

Now I do the same thing on a larger scale for a youth club for which I serve on the board.

You can learn so much from just doing a small one in your neighborhood.

02-06-2009, 02:43 PM
Alright guys. Thanks for being patient with me. You its rare that I see people actually help eachother even though one of em(i.e. me) has been a jackass. Thanks for the help. And I won't stop looking and writing down my ideas.

Vincent this time.

RJ Productions
02-06-2009, 04:15 PM
Bravo Vincent, you get it!

Everyone here is enthusiastic; the business sort of dictates it. Take the last couple of suggestions to heart. Excitement and determination are important but so are experience, knowledge and finances. Unless you expect to receive a large inheritance, you just can't afford to finance a haunt yourself at 18, period. Without proper experience and financial background no one would lend you the money necessary to build a haunt, heck you can't even get money to buy a house with excellent credit!!

Just like athletes, you need a “real job” to fall back on. Do NOT forego an education to build this business! Something unforeseen could happen in the next ten years that renders our business obsolete or impossible to do (it could happen!) so what would you do then??? Those of us full time in the business have a prior career to fall back on, coupled with the years of experience running our own businesses allows us to shift gears into other pursuits. Have that business degree in at least a minor to that you are covered no matter what you do in the future.

Go to TW , take the seminars, meet and greet EVERYONE. Tour the Darkness, preshow and with actors. If you start complaining about the cost of this, how would ever even afford the basic supplies to run a haunt? I own two finished attractions, yet I’ll spend $40,000 a year just on materials, supplies, and minor upgrades!! Add major animations and it skyrockets. Larry spends upwards of $250,000 on an existing attraction!! You can’t even make enough “working a haunt” to even buy the hardware to build a haunt!!

The home haunt angle is by far a win-win scenario. You gain experience, knowledge and if you plan it right you may end up with some usable equipment. Local people will be more willing to donate stuff to you if you are building a yard haunt as opposed to a commercial haunt. If it gets big enough, you ask for a “donation” and give a small percentage to a charity. You do a good thing and get a couple bucks out of it. You would be amazed at the number of pro haunters that started out as yard haunters, myself included. I did a yard haunt for almost 20 years before going pro and it still didn’t prepare me for everything, but it did help.

Many of us missed the part about you being 18 and the posts implied you were in the process of building now which is why some of us got upset. We are working on our own attractions, we take time out to help a fellow haunter we think under construction, and then find out it is for a possible haunt 5 years from now! Don’t get me wrong, no one would shut you out, just not treat the request with as much urgency! We all like challenges and coming up with new ideas, its just people don’t want to be used and you inadvertently did that. Realizing that and apologizing for it carries a lot of weight.

Again, get the books, DVD’s, magazines, take the seminars, it will answer a lot of the questions you have and create the proper new questions you will need to know.

Good luck!

02-06-2009, 10:51 PM
Wow this has been the most entertaining thread on these boards in a while...Ive been following Vince's posts for quite some time and I gotta say that at least he seems determined about what he wants to do! But Vince, the guys are right...baby steps man, Rome wasnt built in a day. Hang in there and best wishes.