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Thread: Just starting out - in need of some direction please

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  1. Default  
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Mesquite, TX
    find a place to do a haunted trail- this year only one weekend or two. maybe a public park or someone who owns a patch of wooded land. start small and work your way up- I would not go to the city and tell them they should start a haunt- If they had the passion and drive for it, then they would be doing it.
    find a park and propose a plan to haunt it for a few weekends.
    Allen H

  2. Default  
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Ok, so everyone has given great advice BUT here's some important stuff to note as well.

    1) business plan. How much money can you put into it and how much do you need to do it right? Where will the funds come from and where specifically would you like to house your attraction.

    2) ZONING. This is FIRST. Make sure the space you choose is or can be zoned appropriately, keep in mind parking and the surrounding community. Once you get zoning approved you can move on to building and fire.

    3) this will go back to step one, are you a charity or a business? An if you are a charity, do not forget it is still a business, it takes money to make money and you must make money to be able to donate money, don't overspend and make sure your market is right for a haunt (maybe thats why there's none near you?) Your market has to be able to support the business. Yes some haunts are OUT there, but they do everything else right and know how to get people to show up.

    I wish you the best of luck and please keep us all posted so we can help and pay you on the back when it's all said and done! Good luck pal!

  3. Default And it is all a whole bunch of w o r k ! 
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Ravens Grin Inn, 411 carroll st.mount carroll ill.
    The hours and days and weeks will zip passed you at an alarming rate as too little happens or gets done with that clock ticking off the hours and days..
    If you can't do it all, if you can't partner up with someone who also has the passion and the talents needed,talents that maybe you do not have... well THEN how will it ever happen?
    The absolutely simplest way to do this would be to have a piece of ground you could just use, have a haunted grave yard, dig up some dirt here and there make some headstones, this could be made to work, as long as the weather is agreeable, of course.
    Nature would be providing most of the "set" and the real hazards,like tree limbs rotted , about to fall, tree roots to trip over,slippery muddy paths and wild critters on-patrol, all things need to be considered and delt with, even in such a simple setting.
    This smalltown here finally sent the City crew to cut down some very tall, rotted trees that boarder the parking lot infront of my house. The one tree had a live Poison Ivy vine that had curled around and up half of the tree!

  4. Default  
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks View Post
    I live in a one bedroom apartment, its nice and cozy with an office that i can put these crazy ideas together...

    Thank you for your ideas and your help

    Very much parallel to my experience, only I have a business to fund my madness. The point is- it is VERY easy to become romantically involved with crazy ideas and fantasies spawned from the seat of comfort. The reality is that once you pass that line of borrowing money or sinking life savings into a haunt the "honeymoon" ENDS and the shit gets real. Extremely stressful if you are not experienced or a quick and nimble learner.

    As long as you can spare the funds, for whatever size venture, out of your income without incurring debt- you can continue the wild indulgence. Not to say that many a business was not started and grew to fantastic heights from this path- but it is the MUCH longer journey- often a much less stressful one at that.

    As I did and you will likely find- the true friends found here will usually say- start small. If 5 years from now are still small and loving haunting- you have found happiness. If in 5 years you have lost interest and moved on- you have found happiness. If you max out your borrowing on your first attempt- you might find happiness, but you will know sorrow too.

    Good luck!
    How can a man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers and the temple of his gods.

    What you put into your mind- you put into your life.


  5. Default  
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Personally? I'd consider a charity haunt to get up and rolling. Just my opinion. Charity haunts don't mean you can't have a stipend that you use to survive, and if you want to partner with public figures and make an impact on a town, that's the way to really drive it home.

    Not saying a profit haunt won't work, but you'd have less support from public figures, etc. in my opinion.

    Glad you're being smart about this and starting now. I might do as Allen suggested: start a small one or two day trail, maybe even tie it in with the area's trick-or-treat times and days. Start a Facebook page, a website, advertise with local businesses, maybe if your area has a Halloween parade work with someone who is building a float and hang banners and a location up in exchange for a little cash? Who knows. As many have said already, professionalism lies on the person who is pursuing the dream. I may not always be liked, but I try my hardest to be professional with all of the haunts that I have worked with/for. And you should do the same.

    You need to inspire the locals, or at least entertain them. Have them bring two canned goods and 5 bucks for a 10-15 minute trail. Give it all to the local foodbank, etc? Just an idea. Many people are easier to part with a donation when they know its going to a good cause and they get something out of it. In this case the "something" may be them peeing themselves. Who knows?

    Some may disagree with me, but I really do know that if I can ever find the TIME after my degrees to start a haunt, I have been heavily considering not for profit. Would love to better the industry and the community....

    Just my two cents.

    Good luck!

  6. Default  
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Mount Pleasant, MI
    As many times as the "How do I get started?" question has been asked, maybe one of the moderators could add a sticky thread to the top of the forum?? Then we could refer new people to that thread, and keep it going with everyone's great ideas?

  7. Default  
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    So here we go, I am a home haunter and have been for over 10 years now. I haunt on Halloween and only Halloween, but like most I have dreams of haunting at a little bit bigger level.

    I once tried approaching the local city officials to see if they would allow me to use some of their wooded trail to start haunting. I sat down with the parks director and told him what I wanted to do and I was basically laughed at. So they have left a bitter taste in my mouth.

    I have also managed to haunt as a commercial haunt with a local farm business who knew nothing about haunting and then got stomped on, so they too have left a bitter taste in my mouth.

    And I have been looking for a charity or non profit to work with, but so far I have not been able to locate one that was willing to help or get their fingers dirty.

    BUT I DO KNOW IT'S POSSIBLE so like me don't give up!!!

    Mr. Haunt

  8. Default  
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Fall River Massachusetts
    i find urban areas much friendlier to haunters then rural or suburban areas

  9. Default charity 
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    you have to be smart about it a charity can stomp on you just as hard on you unless you get all the terms out there in writing in the first place. been there. think of everything including damage to your equipment and props. been there not fun the made a lot of money and I lost a lot.

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