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Extreme touching... new direction for the industry?

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  • Extreme touching... new direction for the industry?

    Every year we have more and more disappointed customers in exit polls who weren't "touched," or poked, prodded, grabbed, groped, etc. I have noticed a trend moving towards touching lately, especially at places who didn't touch in the past. Scare House is now offering an "R rated experience" in their new Basement addition. Eastern State Penn and Pennhurst both touch (although I think they always have). Leading the extreme touching trend is Blackout haunted house in NY among others. Is this something that will come and go with the first successful lawsuit? Or do you think we consider moving into this direction? We are considering touching "marked" customers, who opt into being touched. Any thoughts?
    Patrick Barberry
    www.legendsofthefog.com
    sigpic

  • #2
    Its a cheap gimmick for uncreative minds. Think of it like zombies, it will be hot for a few years then it will drop off for a while. I've been to McKayme Manor and trust me, only a home haunt would get away with this stuff. People do these blackout things because they have no throughput, no props, and they are hurting the reputation for all haunts in the process. If these type of "haunts" grow, we all will have some serious problems. Mark my words on that.

    Jake
    Last edited by Deathwing; 01-26-2014, 09:18 AM.

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    • #3
      Although I agree it can become a gimmick, there is no denial that there is a definite market for an elevated experience. No offence to the naked haunt... but that is a gimmick. It received major national attention and it reached way into the mainstream news. I wonder if we will see special extreme attractions pop up at big haunts.

      Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk
      Patrick Barberry
      www.legendsofthefog.com
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Deathwing View Post
        Its a cheap gimmick for uncreative minds. Think of it like zombies, it will be hot for a few years then it will drop off for a while. I've been to McKayme Manor and trust me, only a home haunt would get away with this stuff. People do these blackout things because they have no throughput, no props, and they are hurting the reputation for all haunts in the process. If these type of "haunts" grow, we all will have some serious problems. Mark my words on that.

        Jake
        I think all in all, the question to ask is not whether or not haunters like being touched in haunted houses, but whether the patrons themselves like it. For me, I could take the touching or leave it, but the fact of the matter is that to most haunts' target demographics, being touched adds a lot to the experience. Remember, haunters and patrons have a history of disagreeing on what makes a good haunt; we may never understand what makes chainsaws seem so scary to the masses, but the important thing is that we recognize that our audience likes them.

        I think another key distinction to make is that a haunted house that employs touching does not automatically constitute a Blackout or McKamey Manor style attraction (in fact, most touching haunts aren't at all like that). From what I've seen at least, touching haunts have just as many props and detail as any other haunt and the toughing just serves as an icing on the cake. Also, to say that touching haunts are "hurting the reputation for all haunts" undermines a lot of evidence to the contrary. Being a Colorado native, I've seen the explosion of the 13th Floor franchise over the past half-decade or so, all stemming from an audience who has grown up hearing rumors of a legendary 13-story haunted house where patrons would hypothetically be touched, grabbed, and even thrown out of windows onto acrobats' nets. If the idea of touching gives all haunts a bad reputation, why then have the 13th Floor haunts become so popular almost overnight?

        Going back to the original question asked, is there potential for growth, I think absolutely. The question to consider here is not whether, as a haunter, we would like to be touched in a haunted house, but whether the patrons would like it. Touch is a very powerful sense. Movies and video games can desensitize the eyes and ears of our patrons, but only we have the power to assault their touch. Patrons want that full immersion effect! So I would argue that over the next decade or so, we're going to see a huge increase in touch-style haunts.

        Just my $0.02

        -Collin
        *Sigh*I can't wait til' October

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        • #5
          Patrick, I would strongly advise you not go that route. You know how tough they already are on us in Maryland. One terrible mishap and they'll shut us all down, and for what?

          i agree with jake on this one, it's more of a marketing stunt and not ideal for pro haunts with real throughput.

          I get asked three questions the most.

          Is it scary? In which I say yes of course.

          The other two are do you have clowns and can the monsters touch you? Both of which I say an emphatically, NO.

          Allan
          Last edited by MDKing; 01-26-2014, 11:34 AM.

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          • #6
            Only thing I'll bring up that I haven't seen yet, insurance! I know some of us already have HUGE insurance premiums, just imagine how much they would go up, if your insurance would cover you at all.

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            • #7
              I don't think it's a gimmick just people have different thesholds. They become jaded towards the scares an want more extreme. If you do wish to do it offer it as a 2nd experience aside from your main attraction. Insurance issues would be resolved via waiver.

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              • #8
                Waivers don't mean anything and insurance companies know that. I guarantee they would still raise your rates quite a bit, and probably still require a piece of paper that means nothing.

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                • #9
                  I think its a great idea, if you enjoy getting sued.
                  Really dumb concept and done by people lacking talent and creativity.

                  When I visited your haunt, you had a ton of children as actors, I don't think the parents of those children would approve of this concept, do you?

                  You will get some people who will do it, but is it worth it?

                  DA

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                  • #10
                    No doubt in our earlier years we had a number of young actors in our orphanage haunt. Luckily they have grown up with us. We are always looking for ways to push the envelope.
                    I don't think as a haunt we are going to do an 18+ r rated haunt anytime in our forseeable future. .. but are we going to see more of these experiences offered as a side haunt at major attractions?

                    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk
                    Patrick Barberry
                    www.legendsofthefog.com
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      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.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Infoamtek View Post
                        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.
                        Exactly!

                        DA

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                        • #13
                          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.

                          -Collin
                          *Sigh*I can't wait til' October

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                          • #14
                            Covered at Transworld...

                            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!
                            Patrick Barberry
                            www.legendsofthefog.com
                            sigpic

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              "No Imagination" Yes, but who's?

                              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)
                              hauntedravensgrin.com

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