That is Lovely! Gravely!
I can't stop doing this either, that's how a tour through my house ends up taking 90 minutes!!
Too much FUN for JIM! hahahaha!
Distracting them, calming them, this is mainly resetting them for the next one, making it a roller coaster ride.
I keep finding new ways to have this fun. This winter has been very extreme. I saw 5 inches of water on the floor of the wine cellar, then it froze the first inch making walking over it like walking on glass, breaking glass! Fun! Lucky I got rid of this by the next night before the word got out and everybody would be demanding the breaking glass-effect for their tour!
So we were walking through the exit tunnel when a customer sees a push button mounted on a box above his head.."what does that do?" "Go ahead and push it."
He pushes it, the lights go out and in this quick darkness I scream!
Of course everyone jumps!
All this from an 89cent push-button !
Simple scary fun bordering on the immensely idiotic!!!~~
After 20 years I still laugh a lot during each tour of my house!
Fellow haunters or people who just want to be scared? Yes, it's a cliche but it is effective. It doesn't fit with the last and next theme I have so I won't be using it, but I would if I could. I don't care if anyone looks down their nose at me for being uncreative. It works, people expect it, and are still scared by it. So the reason not to do it is........?
I also agree that the idea of a chainsaw weilding marathon man is old; very old to us haunters. To customers that come one once (or twice, or any other single digit number) a year to experience the haunt, the concept isn't so..."stale". Hey, as long as actors get reactions out of people with the gig, I doubt it'll fade. Since it hasen't already, I guess patrons still get a kick out of it.
But between you and me, I'd like to some "variety" with those saws.
In my small town my business partner, Terry, and I started helping the Lions over 10 years ago and they had no chainsaw...they did use a circular saw (no blade obviously...or not so obviously...)...
My first year they asked us young'ins to do the final room and we promised to send them off with a bang...so Terry got the Leatherface outfit made up and grabbed his saw and I was the distraction/victim...it was a small room (walk in...sheet for a wall and turn left...small table with head body/parts on it and immediate right...) and I'd be in the corner or behind the sheet...I'd get behind them and scare them forward and Terry'd be in the doorway out...well, they'd jump back and smash into me...so he hid behind the sheet and I'd be in corner in front of them...they'd think I was going to get them and he'd jump out behind them and out the door, through the 15 foot dark tunnel exit...most would keep running the 20 plus feet smack dab into the wall of the building...it worked!
They kept this year after year until they sold the stuff to us...
Well a local charity started a haunt 2 years ago (we started our own one last year) and they had a guy who helped us as the room evolved into a full scale dinner scene from the Texas Chainsaw movie...he told them he created the chainsaw scare and scene (he did fill in for Terry once or twice a year) and they did a copycat thing...
This past year they were doing it again and we did ours...Terry's nephew brought his chainsaw and it had no muffler on it...you could hear it a mile away...the folks loved it and said ours was better than the other...that was a nice compliment...
But it works here in my 'hick town'...hehehe...
We have people at the door jump and look like they almost wet themselves when they hear the saw inside...
We also utilized an electric one halfway in a foggy body part room with a light pointed at the customers...lean forward with it into their vision and they scream...thinking the chainsaw bit is over...hehehe!
We're trying to not use it this year, but people stand outside yelling "Hey Chainsaw Guy!" We don't want to disappoint!
That's my take!
"I just drove 100 miles to get here and I only have a dollar left. If I can't see your house for a dollar, I will go home disappointed. You don't want to disappoint me now do you?"
So what if you guys came up with something a lot better than a chainsaw ballet?
Will you have enough time to come up with something else if you spend all your time copying that old movie for the next ten years?
This is where the real loss or personal tragedy of human life falls, we find our comfort zone, what seems to "work" and we all get lazy, life passes us by, we are forced out of being an active, inventive person and then it's too late.
You will know that you have done something right when you discover that others are copying you..and if you hadn't done it first..nobody would have been able to do the particular thing, figured out by you!
I have quite an advantage here being open every night. I think of something, I try it, if it doesn't work or work as well as I had hoped I can try it with slight variations and sometimes the final success comes into the picture from a customer's response to it, inspiring me to respond with something I normally would not have thought of or seen it quite that way.
our lives CAN be as stimulating or as stale as we want them to be, the theater of haunted performing is such an incredible place for expression..yet too many waste time simply trying to be that other guy, you know, that guy from that movie, whatshisname?
Is that also your name? whatshisname?
Too many whatshisnames already.
Well put Jim!!! I believe that MOST haunted attractions I have visited are very predictable (to some degree) in what I expect to see. I believe this creates a comfort zone that is counterproductive to the intent of the haunt. Let me just say there was very little comfort zone at Raven's Grin when I recently visited. I am a big fan of keeping people off balance - utilizing the idea that almost anyone's imagination inspired by fear is scarier than any prop created.
On that note, thanks Jim for an outstanding evening at the Raven's Grin Inn. We appreciate your effort and had a great time!!!
Thank You Very Much!
You just invented a new haunting term, or maybe it should be just a popular abbreviation? VLCZ
Very Little Comfort Zone.
Let's all say this abbreviation quickly a few times , feel how slickly it rolls from your tongue(using someone else's tongue is cheating,especially if you have a whole pan full of fresh ones!)
My style of diminished customer comfort zone doesn't rely upon deafening noises (for the most part) or blinding strobes or real guiliotines. My method may require much more time and effort but after their long drive to get here I'd better be doing the best that I can to give them a memorable experience:
"It gives you something to talk about when you are locked up in the nursing home someday."----My Motto. Promising future fun conversations, something to regale in one's old age.
I thought of a few ideas that could put a twist on the old chainsaw.
1)Have the customers enter a room where they see a leatherface type character desperately trying to start a chainsaw. He quickly gets frustrated, and the customers laugh at him. He takes his worthless chainsaw and smacks it against the wall. A loud crack is heard, the actor looks at the customers and says, “oops!”. Then a fake wall or ceiling fall scare occurs. This would freak people out cause they would think it was a real accidental set failure.
2)How about having a chainsaw guy trying to start a chainsaw, but it won’t start. Just as he gives up in frustration someone in a giant fluffy evil bunny costume comes out and attacks him with a carrot.
3)Build a fake giant chainsaw that is big enough to have an actor pop out of it
4)Just before chainsaw room post a sign with the current gas prices, and then have the chainsaw guy chasing people with the chainsaw while just making chainsaw noises with his mouth.
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