We have a haunted trail tru our woods. We live on a secluded farm and the trail has become quite popular. Our problem, and it started the end of last year, we have two men sneaking on to our farm and scaring the crap out of our actors. (Mostly high school kids). They whistle, throw acorns, and this year have gone as far as pointing red lasers at their heads. We call the county police who show up an hour later and basically laugh it off but in the mean time I have actors quieting left and right. Any thoughts?
I have done the obvious, hired lot of people to patrol our lines but these guys are bold and know the land, may even be white trash neighbors!
But this is a very serious problem. one of the employees who got scared this weeks is trashing us on facebook and threaten to stop all the cars on the way to the haunt and tell them its dangerous, said they won’t stop till they close us down.
Put up no trespassing signs around the perimeter, then go have a talk with the Sheriff and tell him that it is a serious problem that they need to take seriously and that you want anyone who is trespassing to be arrested and charged. Your security team can detain them until law enforcement arrives and make sure you tell the Sheriff that they will do just that. If he realizes that you are serious they will take it serious.
I had this problem a few years back, I solved it by offering them jobs. Obviously they are having fun scaring people so they might be a good fit.
The actor who is trying to shut you down has other issues, they would not do that if it were just them being scared. Talk to them to figure out the root of the issue.
Trail cameras (the kind hunters use) are a good solution. also maybe a decoy actor whose sole job is to get their attention?
1) have your lawyer send a letter to your employee about your intent to sue should the slander and libels top. The morons are messing with your actors not your customers.
2) FENCE. BARBED WIRE. Okay so I grew up as a mild redneck in the suburbs, and spent a LOT of time in the farm country when I wasn't in school. So I know around here anyway, farms and large property owners used 5-6' tall fence(not stockade, but the type where it's one pole with interlocking poles...the name escapes me sorry! I hope you know what I mean). Wrap barbed wire between each row of the poles so that one cannot easily sneak through, and have people stand at posts within eye sight of each other. That way they can scan and still have eyes on each other. Give them large flashlights to turn on only when people act sneaky. This way you can figure out atleast where the morons are coming from or rule out if they are actors just messing around, or if some third party is sneaking in.
3) flood lights or halogen work lights surrounding the maze facing OUTWARDS, to light up everything outside your maze, it may keep the morons far enough away to where they can't do anything.
So in short, have your lawyer/attorney send a letter with intent to sue should the actor not stop and make a public apology about your defamation of character and either fence off the entire maze in a fashion in which no one can sneak in and/or light the place up like a freakin Christmas tree!
We used snowfence ( orange plastic stuff) and a roaming security guard, and had no successful break ins.
Try roaming security guards
Not only are Allen's ideas effective, but they are a reflection of a good person.
As far as getting lawyers involved, I would steer clear of doing this. You need to diffuse the situation, not escalate it. White trash are not afraid of lawyers and police. The justice system is a joke. If the situation escalates, you have far more to lose than they do.
I would first attempt Allens idea, my backup plan would be to press upon them, how it is potentially dangerous for them to tresspass on your property. They obviously don't respect the sanctity of your land, and only you can fix this. It's is always better to try the nice way first, but there comes a time when the strategy of being nice is no longer appropriate. If they are tresspassing on your property, the police are going to lend you much more credability than they will a couple of punks. In most states you can use physical force to defend property. Not deadly force, but physical force.
As for your former employee, you can try to speak to him. I would explain that it looks like sour grapes on his part, and people will see through it once you explain that he is a disgruntled former employee. I would also explain that future employers monitor facebook pages and do google searches of them and that it does not look good when you are a drama queen that likes to stir up trouble for past employers. I would explain that he has nothing to gain by doing this, and I would point out the potential embarrasment that will come when you start telling your side of the story.
I would hire security to be in the fields to find these people and warn them off, or possibly determine where it is they are coming from to get an address or license plate to turn over the the sheriff. Perhaps it may seem a bit extreme, but thoughts of renting thermal imaging equipment may make for a quick end to the the question, rather than drag out the entire season.
I agree- the whiner you have has other issues. IMO its best to at least attempt to get to the bottom of it rationally and try to turn the attitude in your favor.
Last edited by zombietoxin; 10-02-2012 at 11:46 AM.
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