Remember that the United States has 50% of all the lawyers in the world and they are all looking for ways to make money. In a haunt that allows touching, the first time some girl screams that one of the actors molested her, that haunt has NO legal legs on which to stand. "You allowed your actors to grab women in an inappropriate manner" they will state at the trial. And they will be right. And you will be out of business, having lost everything.
I just wonder how bad an idea it realistically is. It seems like its easy to criticize it and there's certainly potential for lawsuits, but you'd think if it were that easy to suffer a lawsuit from something like this, we'd know of a case where it had already happened. I feel like it's likely not as hard as it seems to obtain coverage as it can be made out to be. Any thoughts? Given the amount of haunts that touch, you'd think at least one of them would've gotten sued by now.
Looks like this subject is going to be touched on in two seminars coming up at Transworld. Does anyone have any insight into the "hooded" concept?
Extreme Terror! - Pushing the Limits of Fear in Your Attraction
Friday - 2:00pm - 3:00pm, Room 101
$50/attendee (pre-registration), $60/attendee (on-site registration)
Speakers: Scott Simmons, The ScareHouse; Brett Hays, Fear Fair; Ed Terebus, Erebus
Every year patrons seem to need even more intensity from haunts to scare them. But how much is too much? Join our panel of experts as they discuss effective techniques to freak out your guests without going over the line - and what matters more to the guest experience - entertainment or terror?
Hooded- A New Horror Attraction Concept from England!
Saturday - 4:30pm - 5:30pm, Room 104
$50/attendee (pre-registration), $60/attendee (on-site registration)
Speaker: Stuart Beare, Screams Attractions Ltd UK
Developed in England, this new concept in haunting deprives customers of their senses and exposes them to a multitude of terrifying new sensory experiences. This idea developed over several years will be discussed in detail by Stuart Beare of Screams Attractions, Ltd UK and often ranks as the most terrifying attraction at their multi-element scream park. Looking for something new and extremely scary for your attraction? Then this is the class for you!
If the imagination of the patron cannot be stimulated, it is probably because they are presently being herded via a cattle chute a little too quickly.(Which could still be effective if the guy above them was swinging a real sledge hammer!)
Shouldn't any Haunt with very realistic, bloody, gory scenes be rated "X"? Think of the "Children!" (Who aren't supposed to be there, but usually seem to be.)
If the audience is made up of "Janets" "Touch-a touch me, I wana be Dirty", huraah! Until one turns suddenly power-triping psycho and reverses course. ("Oh that could never happen! " Don't bet the farm on it not hapening because "They" are out there! )
How many totally trust-worthy employees do you have if you begin touching?
The whole lure for some I have met is the old "You can get away with anything in the dark of a haunted house -mentality-Never a happy ending .
Even just reaching around a corner with a latex Octopus arm in Your hand to atempt to scare the person following you STILL has to be careful to make a mental note as to how talL that person is or have a way of knowing this, like a smalL drilled hole in the wall (Buy my over-priced "How To Dril helpful and Effective holes In your Haunt walls" pamphlet.
I believe many haunt patrons do not appreiciate getting grabbed, touched? If everything is set up and presented just right it CAN happen , which requires an investment in time,energy, thought. And, you can't just randomly grab anyone or everybody without consequences..
I also think that one of the reasons people Don't want to be grabbed is because they have no clue as to who is doing it.
"Danger-Stranger!" Kid's program....Most girls are told:"Don't let that Man touch you!" Most Boys play grabbing games like Football, they are much less likely to get upset.
Was the one touching you an actual pervert ? Scary.
All fear starts out as a merely mental thing. Eyes, ears,the mind responding to what we say, do, show them.
There remains a whole large "world" of things to say and do short of touching them, if any thought is given to this at all.
I know, "Throughput" must be served , but that quickness can and will severely diminish their possible experience, as if we don't already know that.
I know that I am on the total opposite end of "Haunting". Last night after escourting five young women through the house tour spending maybe 90 minutes with them, even I was surprised when at the exit I opened a hatch in the wall to show them my wrecked car in the backyard, I said, "Yes, this is the car that I was killed in."
Of the five , I believe three of them began loudly screaming in terror!
Like I often tell people'" I'm open every night , if you come here and I have died, come on in, i'll be waiting for you.'
It's a "Haunted" Haunted House. (Original definition)
It is too much responsibility to give to haunt actors (no offense). Would you give all of your actors your ATM card and your pin number? Do you trust them that much? Because if you give them permission to touch patrons, that's what you're doing... One lawsuit, and kiss your assets goodbye. I mean you already have to trust your actors, but telling them to touch, but "only in appropriate ways" is one step too far. Even if you train them like a drill sergeant, and the actors all do exactly what you taught them to do (every time, with no exceptions), how do you know that YOUR interpretation of appropriate touching will match your patron's interpretation of appropriate? You don't. We all know that even in "no touch" haunted houses, sometimes patrons get brushed and bumped by actors and props, but let's not let a national "grabbing" haunt trend start. Please.
AMEN Tiki. I can read the headlines now ". Local haunted attraction actor charged with groping teenage girl"
I don't disagree with any of the millions of reasons not to be physical with guests at our haunt. I'd love to hear from someone who does touch at their haunt. They're still in business... but of course, they're also in Pennsylvania, a commonwealth state, (whatever the hell that means) where you can run through a haunted house naked... being touched... groped or grabbed in the dark... or have actors lighting fires with aerosol cans (true story)... HUGE fireballs... you get the gist. Why does it seem like there are 1000000 ways not to touch, and some of our industry competitors seem to do it anyway. Just fuel for discussion, that's all.
You touch some people, it really sets them off, Right Now! "Dukes" Up. looking for whoever touched them!
Having it dark makes it scary, but I think having more light on makes retribution scarier for the customer who feels the need to punch out someone, because there will be more witnesses as to who did what to whom first.(Which should be in favor of the haunt-person if they were basically behaving themselves .)
I found out just today that about 10 years ago I had quite a number of employees here who "worked " probably less than 10 minutes out of every hour I was paying them for. They would all be sitting in an empty room the rest of the time!
I've been looking into this and most comments are right on. You can't trust actors to not break your props...now you're going to put someone's LIFE in their hands??? Talked insurance aspects. Waivers...not worth the paper they are printed on! If these extreme blackout style attractions delineate themselves as "Haunted Houses" we are ALL screwed...period!! It is not a matter of IF someone is going to get a major injury or killed, it is a natter of WHEN! IF these attractions tout themselves as a haunt the settling of the million to multimillion lawsuits will have to be paid by SOMEONE...if they claim to be haunts, guest whose insurance goes up!!! EVERYONES!! Now let's talk about licensing... overly stringent fire rules are the results of previous mishaps. What new regulations do you think someone dying is going to bring???
Now I am sure someone that does the extreme attractions is going to claim that they fully train all their actors and it is safe. And every haunt ever started was profitable their first year!!! You can't keep actors from breaking your props because they get over zealot! Now you have an actor hold someone's head under water for a recommend 3 seconds... well if 3 seconds is scary...how about 4 or maybe 5 seconds...so how fast do we count??? IS every actor going to be a trained professional? IF so what "trained professional" is going to really chance their livelihood ???
If the simply touching creates issues. If ANYTHING can be construed as sexual in nature, YOU as the haunt owner are screwed period! And who is going to complaint about someone touching their arm??? You have a teenage boy..in the dark..touching a female patron... does ANYONE see any issues with this??? Even if you had a female employee who accidentally grabs a women's breast...how do YOU prove it was a female employee? And who says the patron is OK with another women grabbing their breast???
This is road that only a few are taking and it WILL effect all of us...detrimentally...guaranteed 100%!!!
My suggestion at this point in time... NO extreme attraction should EVER be called a HAUNTED HOUSE...period! We need to put a BIG separation here. It is NOT a haunted house or a haunted house experience. We need to claim that these added attractions are no different that someone bringing in a carnival ride. It's not a haunted house. Hopefully this is a fab that goes away quickly. I agree with the comments that these type of attractions are merely people that can't design a good haunted house. Attitude is...gee you mean I have to actually build rooms that are realistic enough to be believable??? Naw...let's just put them in a black room and grab them!! That THAT takes a lot of creative talent!!!
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