Flying Rigs for Haunted Houses - The how to fly or not to fly

Wed, May 27, 2020
To Fly or Not to Fly - That Is the Question!

by Ben Armstrong

Flying rigs in Haunted Attractions can be very impressive and something to consider adding to your event. However, there are large risks when adding aerial stunts (or any time you have an employee raised above the ground).  Let’s discuss the various ways you accomplish such an effect.
  • Air Powered Lifters and Droppers - In most cases, these are considered the safest as they usually start on the ground and lift an actor into the air. This is good because the actor doesn’t need to strap into the device up high on a platform somewhere in the dark. Also, these usually move somewhat slowly which is also a bonus. There are a few companies that make these, but generally they are not cheap, as they require massive cylinders to safely lift a person’s weight and a large amount of steel to support the rig and the actor. The downside is that the faster they get the more dangerous they become, and the amount of energy required to lift a person can be problematic if an employee gets a costume or hand caught in the works. As always, the method used to safely secure the actor to the rig is critical. These rigs are prone to the same sort of wear and tear as normal animations, so it’s very important to have an inspection system in place when using these devices.
 
  • Bungees – These can be very effective ways to get fast scares. With this sort of stunt, it is essential to have professional equipment meant to take the weight of a person for both the bungee system and the harness. Also critical is the method of attaching the bungee to the overhead structure and the overhead structure itself. This is not recommended unless the equipment & rigging are supplied and installed by a professional. There are bungee systems that can be purchased as stand-alone units. These are very good. The downside is the potential for coming into contact with a patron is high. Careful positioning and training on this stunt are required to make it safe enough to use. Another issue is the athletic ability needed to perform this on a continuous basis. Bungees can be used all night by actors trained to use the bungee as the propulsion for the stunt, but even then, a high level of athleticism is required. Another factor is how the harness fits and the potential for rubbing or bruising.  This is a factor in any stunt when the weight of the actor is held by a harness.
 
  • Tracks – Tracks are stunts whereby an actor wearing a harness is secured to a trolley on a track and flies out over the patrons. This can be quite effective but has its own unique set of problems. As always, the appropriate rigging of the equipment and track installation is essential. A new factor to consider is how difficult it is for the actor to get into position to attach to the track. The factors of darkness, height and attaching the back of the harness to the rig are all very serious. A mistake along the way could lead to an accident. Another issue is the possibility of kicking a guest as you pass overhead or being grabbed or punched while being held in the harness. If the track is set at the appropriate height and the actor is carefully secured in place this can be a very safe & effective stunt, but an extraordinary amount of planning and safety considerations must always be in place. Downsides are the hazards in attaching to the effect, the proper wearing of the harness to prevent rubbing, and the potential for the guests grabbing at the actor.

 
  • Zip Lines – Most of the factors involved in a track stunt come into play with zip lines but in an even more expanded way. Zip lines are more for show than for a scare, as the actor is often seen during most of the flight. All of the same issues of harness safety, professional installation and successfully getting onto the platform exist as before, but with this stunt the platform is usually higher, and therefore the actor will have even greater inability to stop once they commit to the zip.  No chance of impact with guests or other objects should exist, but even more care should be taken when mounting this stunt. To purchase & install the correct cables and trolleys for this sort of flight is quite expensive, and this should be considered one of the most advanced stunts you might undertake despite its seeming simplicity.
 
As you can see flying stunts are not easy or cheap to do safely. Here is a checklist for what you should look at for every stunt you install in your attraction:
  • Anchor Points: The structure must be strongly secured, so I always recommend hiring a professional rigger.
  • Mounting: Ladders and platforms need good traction and handrails.  Rails and safety clip on cables to protect the actor before they are clipped in are also required.
  • Harnesses: Get professional harnesses recommended by the rigger you hire. Make sure they are correctly adjusted to prevent chaffing or bruising. In stunts like air powered lifters where only a belt is needed, make sure it is a belt designed to do what it is doing and one that is properly attached. Harnesses must be periodically replaced. They may only be usable on certain sizes of actors.
  • Bungees & Cables: They need to be rated for the use desired and properly installed. They must be replaced, sometimes every season or sooner if they get damaged.
  • Casting & Training: Your flying actors needs to be athletic, safety-conscious and smart. They must make sure everything is correct with the stunt to always take safety seriously. They must be very aware of their surroundings and what the guests are doing, especially if any possible contact could occur while performing the stunt. They need to be tough, but not oblivious to pain. If they pull a muscle or are dehydrating or are being hurt by the harness, they need to know when to stop.
  • Carabiners, Trolleys & Other Rigging Gear: Professionally recommended and installed gear that is often inspected and used for what it was designed for is the only way to go.
  • Cover the Mechanisms: Especially with air powered lifts, tracks and zip lines, make sure to design things in such a way as to keep your actors’ and guests’ hands off of the tracks and out of the linkages. A finger caught in a trolley will not make for a happy radio call.
  • General Safety & Care: Your stunt actors may need extra breaks, and they need to checked on by staff frequently. It is very easy to dehydrate on stunts and often hard to access water while attached. They need to be able to release themselves in the event of an emergency, for example if the haunt needs to be evacuated.
 

So, there you have it…Stunts can be amazing, extremely effective at scaring your guests, and have a huge WOW factor, but they require an unending dedication to safety, doing things the correct way, training, and a serious dollar investment. If you are mindful, willing & committed to these issues then flying rig stunts might be for you. Good luck!

Trending blog

Go behind the scenes at Transworld Haunted House Tradeshow - Day 2 of the Set up.  See a sneak peek of all the latest Haunted House props, costumes, animations and more.  Watch the video bel

The Darkness haunted House announced a behind the SCREAMS tour of The Darkness Haunted House during the Transworld Haunted House Tradeshow.  The Darkness will open for ONE NIGHT ONLY February 3rd

Transworld annual Haunted House - Escape Room - Christmas Attraction show is just around the corner February 2 thru 5th, 2023.  This will be the biggest show in their history.  Learn all the

Hauntworld recently visited the Halloween and Party Show in Las Vegas.  See the latest Halloween costumes, masks, party supplies and everything between.  Watch the full POV video where we go

We visited the famed 13th Floor Chicago and got a behind the scenes tour.  13th Floor Chicago featured a massive haunted house, gift store and several mini escape rooms.  We go way behind th

Hauntworld takes you behind the SCREAMS at Hells Gate Haunted House near Chicago Illinois.  Learn every secret as we take you thru their adventure park, haunted house, haunted trail, costume room

Hauntworld once again visited another behind the screams haunted house this time INTERNATIONAL MONSTER MUSEUM in Salem Mass.  The owner John Denley gave us a full  tour of the best monster

Hauntworld takes you to the best and scariest haunted houses and attractions in America.  Now take a behind the SCREAMS video of FRIGHT KINGDOM in New England one of the oldest running haunts in

Hauntworld takes you on another journey behind the SCREAMS of Haunted Overload. The owners and staff take us thru every square inch of Haunted Overload and teach us  the tricks, screams and how

Famous Youtubers are now realizing that visiting Haunted Houses is BIG VIEWS!  In the past haunted house owners would focus on things like luring Travel Channel or Discovery Channel but now in 20

Trending Articles

Top Ten Icon Haunted Attractions in America Ranked - Best and Scariest
Article Logo

Icons of The Haunted Attraction Industry - Hauntworld Names the Top 10 Icons of the Haunted House Industry.  See which haunted attractions currently in operation are named the ten biggest ICON haunted attractions.  

America's Top Rated Scariest Haunted Houses 2022 - Top 13 Rated Haunted Attractions
Article Logo

Hauntworld ranks the top scary places in America to get SCARED and Scream 2022.  The best and top rated haunted houses, and Halloween Attractions in America.  Did we rank a haunted house near you find out by clicking on this article.  

The Darkness Haunted House - Review 2022
Article Logo

Are you ready to experience the best haunted house in America? How deep into the depths of The Darkness can you plunge before your next breath is your last? The all new Darkness Haunted House, located in Soulard, off South Broadway in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, has been rated as America's BEST haunted house.

America's Top Rated Scariest Haunted Houses 2021 - Top 13 Rated Haunted Attractions
Article Logo

Hauntworld ranks the top scary places in America to get SCARED and Scream 2021.  The best and top rated haunted houses, and Halloween Attractions in America.  Did we rank a haunted house near you find out by clicking on this article.  

America's Scariest Haunted Houses 2020 - Top 13 Rated Haunts
Article Logo

Hauntworld rates the top 13 best and scariest haunted houses in America.  Hauntworld rates and reviews the scariest, best, longest, haunted houses and Halloween Attractions in America 2020.

America's Best Haunted Houses 2018 - Top 13 Scariest Haunts
Article Logo

Hauntworld rates the top 13 best and scariest haunted houses in America.  Hauntworld rates and reviews the scariest, best, longest, haunted houses and Halloween Attractions in America 2018.

Headless Horseman Haunted Hayride New York - Rating and Review
Article Logo

Read Review and Ratings of Headless Horseman Haunted Hayride located in New York.  Headless Horseman features hayrides, haunted houses and much more. 

Creepyworld Haunted Screampark - St Louis Missouri Haunted House Review Rating
Article Logo

Creepyworld Haunted Screampark is America's biggest haunted attraction with over 13 attractions including a haunted hayride.  Learn more and read the review click here. 

Escape From Blood Prison - Mansfield Ohio Scariest Haunted House
Article Logo

Escape From Blood Prison in Mansfield Ohio site of one of the single most famous Prisons in Hollywood History ( Ohio State Reformatory) famous of the film "The Shawshank Redemption".  Now its one of the biggest scariest haunted houses in America.  Read about Escape from Blood Prison! 

The Queen Mary's Dark Harbor California Best Scariest Haunted House
Article Logo

Haunted House Review The Queen Mary's Dark Harbor is Los Angles California's biggest, scariest and most haunted real haunted house.  Read the full review of this haunted attraction click here. 

Find a haunted house near you by state, city, zip code, rate, review and share all types of haunted houses, hayrides and everything Halloween.  Hauntworld rates and reviews more haunted houses than any other website on the web now featuring over 200 haunted house reviews and over 5000 haunted attractions.  Find a haunted house to hayride near you.
All images, content and information contained on this website is © 2019 Halloween Productions/Blacklight Attractions. Developed and Maintained by iSummation Technologies. All Rights Reserved  Condition of Use | Privacy Notice