View Full Version : How many workers did you have to build your house?

09-17-2009, 09:53 AM
During your deconstruction/set design/construction, how many people did you have working on your Haunted House? How many were able to do the heavy stuff, like using power tools, and how many were the "laborers"? This question is mainly for pro Haunts, but anyone can answer.

We started with three heavy hitters and one laborer, who learned enough to start cutting wood for us. We got an additional three laborers, one was useless and the other two ended up working well with power tools, too.

Long story short, we had about 5 people who could actually build things, one who can cut wood, and we use high school students to help us clean up the mess we make.

But that doesn't take into account electrical work, Fire and Safety coordination, our sound department, costumes, prop making, or art. There's like three of us for all of that.

09-17-2009, 10:25 AM
We rebuilt and tore down about 20,000 sf every season.

We had 4 guys on the construction crew standing and supporting all the 4x8 walls, constructing platforms, ramps, and stairways.

We had between 4-8 set designers who would follow paint, theme, decorate, and prop out the scenes.

We had 1 person who did the audio, lighting, electrical, and automated props.

Kelly Anderson
09-17-2009, 04:55 PM
We have 3 guys including myself that do most of the "building" and delegating of the work that needs to be done. Us three are able to build as well as direct others to complete cirtain tasks we need done. Mainly us three have done the layout of the haunt and how the rooms will look and function. We've determined where the scare points will be and how to initiate them. We go over all the safety aspects of the haunt and try and make sure all the bases are covered for when the inspectors show up.

We have 2 other volunteers (adults) that are very good at building, however they are not able to spend many nights at the haunt working. When they are able to show up, we can definatley accomplish alot more than without them.

We have 2 decorators/very artistic painters. We try and use them in rooms that need alot of detail, as they are very good at decoration and are extremely talented painters.

We also have about 15-20 kids in age from 13-18 with different levels of abilities. This group will do anything from cleaning, moving material around, to base painting (like painting a single wall, one color) or mild decorating and construction.

We've got 2 guys that have been redoing our entire house audio system which has been quite the task all of its own. They are both knowledgable in the field so the sound system is their only job to worry about.

We have a couple others that volunteer. They dont build, but they have very creative minds and offer many ideas as well as helping to keep the kids busy with tasks so that us builders can just build and have productive work nights.

Nearly all of these volunteers will work as characters. We will take on probably 20-30 more volunteers to play characters when we open in a couple of weeks.

Jim Warfield
09-17-2009, 06:03 PM
Work on it every day, open for tours every night for these ;ast 20 years...dam! "October" is a long month!
I have enjoyed maybe 20 hours of help from a few people during 20 years.
I'm open in 3 minutes, two women are to be ringing my doorbell then.

09-18-2009, 07:05 PM
Sounds like we've all got close to the same setup, with the exception of Superman Jim(I can't even imagine doing everything myself).

Our main problem is with initiative: Our newest crew members have a hard time thinking for themselves. Not to say they're dumb, but when I say something like, find a hammer and pull all of the nails out of the back hall, They first ask where the hammer is, then which nails to take out, then come back if they're having a problem taking out one specific nail. They tend to be afraid to do anything without first asking a question.

I've taken it upon myself to learn the sound system(kinda, it's a mishmash of digital and analog components), learned a few techniques to build props( anyone heard of Monster Mud? that's the coolest stuff ever) learned how to make costumes with a sewing machine(which is the Devil's invention), and this year I learned how to weld so that I could make swords and a shield for a gothic-styled room. Well, it doesn't hurt that welding is fun, too.

I'm trying to get our staff to feel more comfortable with learning new things, but everyone seems timid... I was hoping that you guys had a huge crew or something, but it just looks like I'm not a better "doer", than a "teacher"...

Jim Warfield
09-20-2009, 08:48 AM
Both my Mother and Father's sides of the family were all mechanics of one ilk or another, all pretty much machine builders.
I was handed a tool kit when I was about 3yrs. old.
Maybe these are some of the places the confidence to turn that screw, pull that nail come from?
I know I have always had a head full of burning ideas that demanded I figure out what tools and procedures I needed to figure out to make them happen..........
I also learned early that you do end up sacrificing real blood and buy these items with some physical pain, which I learned to somewhat ignore. Some people can't begin to do this, for them the price is too high.
But then, our bodies work much better/longer with physical exercise too.