Haunted Attraction Face Labor Shortage - Make the Future The Present

Tue, September 28, 2021
Haunted Attractions Face Labor Shortage -  Make the Future the Present

The entire country is wrapped in a labor shortage because people simply don’t want to work.  After the government has basically paid people for almost two years NOT to work, clearly some aren’t ready to return.  The government has stopped all pandemic payments and yet business across the country can’t find workers to keep their doors open.  Consider when a fast food establish offering up to $15.00 an hour can’t get enough workers how would a haunt which needs upwards of 100 to staff the attraction?

Consider a fast-food establishment needs maybe 5 to 8 workers, and they can’t staff where does that leave a haunted house?  Haunts typically don’t pay well, some don’t pay at all, and on top of that some need everything from ticket booth, parking lot attendants, security, ushers, and tons of actors.  What do you do?  For starters here at Hauntworld, we warned you over a year ago against operating your haunted houses in your traditional fashion.  Did you make the change?  We hope so because right now you’re facing operation with a subpar experience due to labor shortage.      
Make the future today and start operating your haunted house with 40 to 50% fewer actors.  We’re going to go over how to make your haunted house operate more efficient while at the same time more profitable.  Let’s start with a realty check you started your haunt from a passion for Halloween.  Remember despite the passion this is a business one which can put you six feet under!


I have a friend with a 45,000 square foot haunted house and I explained to him reduce the size of the haunt by 15,000 square feet.  Simply by reducing the size you reduce the dependency on actors.  But what to do with the 15,000 square feet?  Simple answer!  If you can remove the back end of you haunted house and for the sake of the argument, we’ll go removing 10,000 square feet.  What use to be 10,000 square feet of haunt should now be a business that can operate YEAR AROUND!!   The obvious is building escape rooms, axe throwing or even consider a horror themed mini golf with an arcade.  You may also squeeze in a massive gift store for your haunt, haunted photo ops, roaming monsters, food, drinks, whatever but anything but dead space 10 months out of the year.   



The 8,000 or 10,000 or whatever square footage you pinch out of your haunted house is now an attraction which can be open every day of the year.  Furthermore, this new business will get a major boost in October.   Guests don’t pay you based on how long your haunted house is but rather how incredible the experience is!  Whether you want to admit this or not today’s guests want social experiences with their friends, which means places to take tons of photos.  This new space you build will create new revenue, new excitement and new buzz about your venue all while reducing the dependency on staffing.



In 2010 it was all about how long the haunt was today it should be all about how much you’ve diversified your business.  Now your haunt can operate with at least 30 to 40% less actors, hiring just the best of the best actors, while creating new revenue streams.  Haunts need to take other steps to secure better reviews despite lower actors and here are some suggestions.
  1.  Reduce the Size of your haunted house.  If you’re an outdoor screampark eliminate whole entire haunts.  At Creepyworld we’ve removed several haunts to make the experience shorter and less dependent on staffing.  While at the same time we’ve been improving the overall experience adding a midway, pumpkin barn, and even a video mapping show.   Again, focus on the overall experience not on how many haunts you have!
  2. Create Multi Point Scare Boxes:  We learned this creating haunted houses from clients all over the world.  The common theme from clients is they don’t want many actors.  We created these boxes with multiple access points that touch on totally different points of the maze.  You would do yourself a favor by making some of your scenes SMALLER to create a box between two or three scenes with access to all those rooms from one space. 
  3. Air Cannons:  Forgot super expensive animations go after AIR CANNONS because they are just what the doctor ordered.  Air Cannons are CHEAP and are by far the scariest single item you can install into a haunted house.  We have installed 25 air cannons into Creepyworld and Darkness.  Last year we had the fewest actors ever but had better reviews… we thank in part installing more air cannons.
  4. Animations:  If you can afford animations go after animations that actually have sudden movement with sound and light.  The combination of the three get better scares.  You can also install this animation in your all-new scare boxes.  Always try to install jump out animations in area’s where the customers walk right into them! 
  5. Visual FX:  Filming actors and triggering them with motion coupled with loud sound by default adds another actor.  Once inside The Darkness you will encounter at least 20 of such visual fx actors.  Some companies actually sell digital actor animations.  
  6. Noise Makers:  Haunts had the opportunity to buy those cattle rods with light and sound, or loud horns.  We’ve even bought maracas or created rattle cans with tin cans.  Anything that helps your actors create more noise the better.  Lastly on this point at The Darkness we installed several foot pedals with quick scary sounds.  The actors can trigger these with a simple tap of their hand adding to their performance.
  7. Create Midway:  Try creating a midway with 5 minute escape rooms, zombie paintball or a horror themed mini golf.  Basically, add attractions which create a last impression that is positive and Halloween fun. Don’t have your haunt be rated solely on scares but how much fun they had at your event.
  8. Pumpkin Display:  There are attractions popping up around the country where guests walk thru displays of carved pumpkins.  Why can’t you do the same thing just on a smaller scale.  At Creepyworld we added a Pumpkin Barn as the final attraction.  We hired a pumpkin carver to create over 200 famous faces carved into pumpkins.  Guests will leave thru the pumpkin barn giving them the opportunity to take a ton of photos.  What a lastly impression! 
  9. Ultimate Photo Opportunities:  Again, focus on FUN your guests want to take photos and that is hard to do inside the haunted house.  Create photo opportunities prior to and after the attraction. Fill these areas with ICON monsters who scare but also pose for photos.  Some of these photo ops can showcase your logo, Instagram pages and more. Remember don’t’ focus just on scares focus on giving your guests an experience they can share on their social media pages.
  10. Create Actor Less Attractions:  At Creepyworld we replaced our largest haunted house which required 10 to 12 actors with a new que line featuring an 8 minute video mapping show.  Again, think outside the box its not all about haunted houses and actors its about giving your guests the ultimate Halloween experience. 


 
The future is NOW and the days of having the longest haunt, way too many actors is over.  You’re living in the social era and people want memorable experience they can capture on camera to share on social media.  Create those magical Halloween moments at your attraction by thinking outside just the scare.  Next year you don’t need to buy tons of new props, or building new scenes and screams you need to focus on creating a more profitable and successful attraction.

Have a great season and keep checking back to Hauntworld.com for all the latest haunted house news and happenings.

Happy Hauntings
Hauntworld.com

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