Charging for Home Haunts
We did our 1st home haunt last year, and it was a great success. Being a carpenter by trade I always helped the fire dept build their haunted house for them. Now that our daughter is older we strarted home haunting and we are loving it. I'm sure with all of you, you've spent a lot of time and money putting together your haunts. What are your thoughts in charging for home haunts to off set the costs?
We charged $2 for our home haunt to try to get back some of what we spent, but we still spent more than we got back. We talked to different people in the county like we talked to the sheriff about charging $2 and why we would do it. She said it was alright as long as we weren't looking to make a profit and we weren't (I mean com'on it's only $2) We only did it for Halloween night. We plan on charging the same amount this year and even though we hope to get more people we are still going to just do it for Halloween night because even if we got double the amount of people we would still be able to get everyone in on time and we can always stay open until everyone gets through. So basically if you are looking to charge to make back some of what you spent I would go ahead and talk to maybe the sheriff or something like we did. If you are looking to make a profit than it is probably going to be a No. We did hear of some people complaining that we were charging $2, but anyone who went through knew it was worth it. We had people dashing out the exit and out of our yard.
Safety and permits
Get permits, practice safe buildout, and get insurance. If you charge, you are no longer a home haunt in the goverment's perspective. Zoning will become an issue as well.
Again, SAFETY must be a priority.
Thanks for your input guys. We weren't going to charge kids 12 and under. Last year I had the fire chief come over (after I bulit theirs) and take a look. Saftey 1st. I'll have to look in to the zoning. Thanks for the sound advice
I dont know if this is correct or not but this is what we were told back when we had a home haunt. We were told we could not charge because when you charge it became a business but you can ask for a monetary donation and your home owners insurance was suppose to cover it because they are a guest at your home. I would still get insurance but like they said check into permits. They tried to shut our home haunt (1996) down because the city said I needed electrical permits to run the power for the lighting. I got around that by switching every light over to 12 volt by using the RV bulbs from walmart. Just check first to avoid any problems you may have. Dont put alot of work into it and find out you cant open ruining your halloween.
I have been taught that charging for a home haunt is a form of financial suicide and if you are shut down the news coverage will damage your local industry so, keep it free and just try to have fun.
I figured there would be different problems with asking $2 per person, but when we talked to the sheriff she said it would be alright as long as we weren't looking to make a profit and I think it helped that we were just doing it on Halloween. I mean I'm sure technically it wasn't, but no one really told us otherwise and we talked to a few people including someone at the permit office.
Oh Jake, you are one lucky dude. People have been screwed over completely, in other parts of the country though, I guess.
My bro and I have been doing a home haunt for 10+ years, and after a few years I had the same thought about charging to offset the cost.
Our solution was to search for a sponsor.
We hooked up with a place called full circle. They are part of our social services. What they do is mentor teens in our community.
How it works for us is like this. We Put on the haunt for full circle, and full circle pays us 50 percent of the take for our services. The advantage is we operate under their umbrella, and there are many other pros. We are insured even during the building process. We also have support of the other public agencies, because its social services. We always have a police officer given to us while we are open.
We really don't make any money doing it, but it doesn't cost us out of pocket either.
in florida by law if we charge money then we would need a fire sprinkler system,commerical insurance,tons of permits,and we would be lible(spelling) for any one that gets hurt in our haunted house so we tend to say donations plzz