View Full Version : Thinking about starting a haunt

08-04-2009, 11:32 AM
Hello my name is Christina. My boyfriend and I are thinking about talking to some friends of his that own a Paintball field in creating a haunted house at there place. I was wondering what I should be looking at, what sites, what kind of budget, all that good stuff. So please let me know what I should be doing to get this business plan going!

08-04-2009, 01:00 PM
Hello Christina,

I'm Austin, I've never owned a "professional" haunted house. I've been doing a home haunt in my acre backyard for the last couple years.

Some advice that I've learned, make sure you spend a large amount of your budget on advertisement! the more advertisement you have, the more people will show up.

some ways to advertise:
- myspace
- website
- flyers
- posters
- TV commercials
- radio commercials
- post your commercial on youtube
- soda cans (if you can get a soda to sponsor you) I hear Coca Cola and Pepsi are pretty easy to get sponsored by.
- put up posters and/or flyers in your local fast food resturaunts, and local shops.
- hang a banner outside your haunted house 3 months prior to opening, that way people driving by see it, and want to come back

Thats all I can think of as a home haunt. Hopefully a pro like Larry from the Darkness, or Ben from Netherworld will come in here and give you some better advice.

One other thing I've learned, make sure your haunt is properly lit. Last year I had one little hallway that was a tad too dark, almost everyone that went through the haunt complained about that one hallway.

Depending on the size of your haunt, start building it anywhere from May to August. If it's a huge haunt, you may want to start earlier, if it's a smaller haunt, you may want to start later. You can start sooner so it gives you time to change things up.

I personally use only static props, if youre not fimiliar with that term, it's a prop that just sits there, doesnt move. I think animatronics are a waste of money, because a good actor can scare someone alot better then an animatroic. No offense to all the pros that like to use them, I just personally don't enjoy them.

Since it's your first year, static props might be your best bet. If you like animatronics, and your budget is big enough, by all means use them. I think it's all about personal preference. If you like to have more actors, then use more actors and static props. If you like to use animatronics, then use actors and animatronics. But whatever you do, DO NOT have a haunt without actors, if you want it to be scary, use actors. A live human can interact with the patrons more, and build up suspense. They can talk, keep the patrons entertained, scare them multiple times throughout the haunt etc. an animatronic or static prop stay in the same place all the time, will actors can move around and get multiple scares on the same group of people.

alright, thats enough blabbering for now.
Hope this helps,

08-06-2009, 07:26 PM
Where are you going to start it? Do you know what the local population/market is like?

08-07-2009, 09:08 AM
We are thinking of asking friends of my boyfriends to do it at their paintball field in Taneytown, md 15-20 mins away from westminster, md which is about 1hr away from baltimore. Taneytown had a haunted house and people loved it but it was shut down due to complantes of a chain saw chaser in the house. Anyway I know a lot of the kids/ teens would love to see it again. There was also a haunted hey ride that was in westminster that had also closed. I think they lost their investers. I think if we do start this there will be quite a bit of traffic b/c most other attractions are 1hr to 2 hrs away!

08-07-2009, 07:19 PM
Hmmm if it closed over a chainsaw chaser you could run into the same problems... because that is a pretty common act

08-08-2009, 10:04 AM
I know they got to scared. The man never turned it on even but i do understand that the chain should be taken off its not right to chase people with a real chain on it. I find that if you are going to a haunted house expect that expeact to be sacred if not keep your butt out of there lol.

08-08-2009, 07:07 PM
Oh wow, the chain was on! Not cool