exit scare –
Our haunt is outdoors, in a 10 ft tall cornfield maze that we fog heavily, but we have our actors (with chainsaws - we're in Texas, and for some reason that scare is almost mandatory for some folks), about three or four guys dressed all in black, criss-cross through the dimly lit path and alongside our patrons. Our customers can hear them rustling through the crop, smell the chainsaw fluid smoking, and feel as though they are being stalked...then, we give them a break. Things get eerily quite and still. The guys turn the saws off. The only thing you can hear is the wind in the cornstalks, footsteps, and a low hissing/whispering soundtrack we created (my 10 year old and some friends!) They wander on a bit into a predictable scare, they think they are home free -- by then, there's usually a nervous giggle or two (Gotta love the 13 yr olds!) and our huge, bubba of a guy, 6ft actor all bloodied and nasty, crazy looking in his hillbilly garb fires up the chainsaw on the path in front of them, back lit by a red light. We shoot compressed air at them at the same time and they RUN SCREAMING to the only exit they can see, just behind the chainsaw guy. It's a classic, yes even cliche -- but something about it gets a great response each time. People tell our ticket girls that they're back and bringing their friends for the chainsaw guy....
"Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~