I've read for years where haunts have bragged, "We lost a HUGE percentage of people through the emergency exit" or "Our floors had to be mopped constantly." Reading this, I thought these haunts must have been killer "over the top" haunted houses - a level I probably would never reach.
This year, a woman fainted on us. It was due to her eyes rolling in her head that it all came clear to me.
It is NOT necessarily the haunt itself, but the CUSTOMER! This woman did not want to go in. Her friends begged her. She said, "I always pee on myself in things like this. I can't handle it!" She was right.
Did we loose people in the exits? Yup. Did people pee on themselves? Righty-O. Did people including adults cry? Check-a-rooney.
We also had children go through and run out laughing. We had adults who went through, jumped in their cars, went home, grabbed their children and brought them to go through, as well. THIS is the way we desire our customers to leave. I find them to be our trophies and our reason for bragging. Not the ones who met with a tragic haunted experience.
I only know of one time customers said they would not come back and that was from a girl who bags my groceries. She brought two of her friends (The Soda Guy and Deli Gal) who also happen to work at the store I've been shopping at for over five years. It was their first time ever going through a haunt and all at the tender ages of 18 - 20. It normally takes me 90 seconds to tell the story to the group, ring the dinner bell and send them on their way. It took this group FIFTEEN MINUTES!! I coudn't get them outta there. They kept screaming at every little wind that blew through the curtains - at every little sound. I finally had to promise them that I would follow in order for them to continue. Thank goodness they were the last group. It was ridiculous! I had to keep my hands out in front to protect myself from them injuring me. When it was finally over, this is how they looked:
The Bagger: on her hands and knees on the cold, cold concrete. She stayed there for quite awhile trying to collect herself since she was the one driving.
The Soda Guy: Eyes as big as quarters. He wouldn't speak and that's when I noticed something....he was having an asthma attack! Big dummy! We warned them of fog machines and such before they went in, but he went anyway. When I asked him about it, he pulled his inhaler out and got to pumping.
The Deli Gal: Bent over catching her breathe, BUT laughing. She was the only one who truly enjoyed herself.
I doubt we will ever see The Bagger and Soda Guy here again. Of course, I'll see them at the store. I just hope the bagger doesn't squeeze my bread....on purpose.