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Haunted House Discussion

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Lex DeVille

Lex DeVille

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So to flesh this out a bit more.

Lets say your overall story is "You just got kidnapped by a psycho and now you must escape!"

The first week of the month would be "Chapter One." The would go through a series of escape rooms and deal with whatever scary stuff you come up with.

Throughout this some guide takes them through this scary story and journey.

By the time they escape there should be some sort of cliff hanger. Now they are encouraged to come back to participate in Chapter Two which is always held the second weekend of every month. Then chapter three and four on the third and fourth weekends.

The grand ending would be your halloween event.

I guess I'm saying to design a big horror story and allow people to be the real life characters. Nothing like that (as far as I know) exist but I would do it over and over again!
Yeah, that's why it makes sense to build up over months instead of just being seasonal. Stories don't even need to be tied to the haunt location. They can start online and involve the local community. Plus stories can change from year to year so it's not redundant and doesn't grow stale. That's one thing I always like about watching American Horror Story. Each season uses the same cast, but tells a completely different, yet equally terrifying tale.
 

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Primeperiwinkle

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So to flesh this out a bit more.

Lets say your overall story is "You just got kidnapped by a psycho and now you must escape!"

The first week of the month would be "Chapter One." The would go through a series of escape rooms and deal with whatever scary stuff you come up with.

Throughout this some guide takes them through this scary story and journey.

By the time they escape there should be some sort of cliff hanger. Now they are encouraged to come back to participate in Chapter Two which is always held the second weekend of every month. Then chapter three and four on the third and fourth weekends.

The grand ending would be your halloween event.

I guess I'm saying to design a big horror story and allow people to be the real life characters. Nothing like that (as far as I know) exist but I would do it over and over again!
This idea is fantastic but for a completely different concept I’ve been tossing around.

Group Dating. See, all the cool chicks I know don’t want to just go out and feel awkward on a stupid bumble hookup date and the cool guys I know are all worried about coming across as creepy so they don’t even use dating apps. Both groups would prefer to have something fun to do AS A GROUP.... if you could tap into the local dating pool and make this a fun monthly event that would be awesome. (At least for ppl who like scary stuff which I do not so feel free to make tons of money off of this idea, lol.)
 

minivanman

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I don't know the specifics but right at 20 years ago in Omaha a guy put up his house ($200,000 loan) because he wanted to have a haunted house. His wife told him that if he lost their house, she was leaving him. So he had himself a haunted house and charged $12 to get in. He said by October 14th he had enough profit to pay back the loan. I think it was the next year he raised the price to $15. He had the haunted house about 5 years and then never did it again.

My thought on a haunted house is.... is there any way to make it where you have a virtual tour guide? Make it so there is a ghost leading the way. Maybe I am ahead of the game.

I think after Halloween, they should go in to Christmas and make it a North Pole with a work shop, stores that sell Christmas stuff (It IS Christmas ya know) and 1 line that leads in to a room. This room is divided in to 3 and has a Santa in each room. That way the line doesn't get so long for the kids waiting on Santa and they don't realize there are 3 instead of just the 1 REAL Santa ;) . Sleigh rides (instead of hay rides). Christmas light maze, just an over all fun atmosphere with multiple things to do.

@Primeperiwinkle Events And Adventures would be a good one to hook up with for what you are talking about.

When we were in St Augustine, Florida last Christmas we went on a ghost tour. They have like 10 tours a night and the buses are filled. AND, there is more than 1 company that does it so I have no clue how many people take a ghost tour in just that 1 town EVERY day. They are open year around.
 

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I imagine an app can be a perfect virtual tour guide! What if you could setup RFID points that the app responded to as well?
 

foodiepersecond

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I've had an unscratched itch for a while and thought someone might have experience. Whether you've run a haunted house or just want to chat about it, let's open up discussion. There was also a Shark Tank episode of a horror company setting up a haunted house that may break down some info for you.

Here are some questions for anyone who has done it:

1. What was the startup investment like?
2. What do you wish you knew going into it?
3. How did you advertise and what worked?
4. Was it worth your time and were you profitable (within 3 years?)
5. What else?

If you haven't run a haunted house but are curious, what are your thoughts? Would you do it? How would you approach it? How would you stay top-of-mind throughout the year? How would you make it profitable in the off-season?
Super relevant since I just got back from Universal Studios Halloween Horror Night. Also, Atlanta has had the best haunted house in the nation for several years, Netherworld. HHN was great because the haunted houses were based on a show or theme, such as Stranger Things, the classic monsters i.e. Dracula, Frankensteins monster. Netherworld simply has the best theatrics, makeup, set displays, and overall production. I can't tell you how to set up a house but I can point to very popular and top of the line houses that did it.
 

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:rofl: Now I am hoping there is a haunted house near us this year!

For a year-round option, what about something like a minigolf/putt-putt area that could be designed and changed to fit the different themes?
 
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Lex DeVille

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:rofl: Now I am hoping there is a haunted house near us this year!

For a year-round option, what about something like a minigolf/putt-putt area that could be designed and changed to fit the different themes?
Does anyone still do minigolf?
 

Sheens

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:rofl: Maybe? I really don't know.

What do parents take their little kids outside to do all year?

Amusement parks, parks, swimming pool, paintball, corn maze, pumpkin patch, frisbee golf, bumper cars, an old school arcade (do those still exist?) ...
 

Primeperiwinkle

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:rofl: Maybe? I really don't know.

What do parents take their little kids outside to do all year?

Amusement parks, parks, swimming pool, paintball, corn maze, pumpkin patch, frisbee golf, bumper cars, an old school arcade (do those still exist?) ...
Yeaaa they all exist but now parents are so frazzled we walk like zombies to air conditioned indoor places like buildings where the children can run around Iike hooligans and we end up paying $250 for F*cking tokens so they can buy large pikachus and feel content in their little materialistic souls.

I’m not bitter, I told my kids if they want that freaking charzar they better get a job.
 
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Lex DeVille

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Saw this on the news last night. Thought it was a neat idea with a Fastlane twist. If you already owned a car wash, then this would be a novel idea to pick up a nice payday at the end of the year. Much lower investment than going all in with a $50k - $100k+ haunt.

 

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Real Deal Denver

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I don't know the specifics but right at 20 years ago in Omaha a guy put up his house ($200,000 loan) because he wanted to have a haunted house. His wife told him that if he lost their house, she was leaving him. So he had himself a haunted house and charged $12 to get in. He said by October 14th he had enough profit to pay back the loan. I think it was the next year he raised the price to $15. He had the haunted house about 5 years and then never did it again.

My thought on a haunted house is.... is there any way to make it where you have a virtual tour guide? Make it so there is a ghost leading the way. Maybe I am ahead of the game.

I think after Halloween, they should go in to Christmas and make it a North Pole with a work shop, stores that sell Christmas stuff (It IS Christmas ya know) and 1 line that leads in to a room. This room is divided in to 3 and has a Santa in each room. That way the line doesn't get so long for the kids waiting on Santa and they don't realize there are 3 instead of just the 1 REAL Santa ;) . Sleigh rides (instead of hay rides). Christmas light maze, just an over all fun atmosphere with multiple things to do.

@Primeperiwinkle Events And Adventures would be a good one to hook up with for what you are talking about.

When we were in St Augustine, Florida last Christmas we went on a ghost tour. They have like 10 tours a night and the buses are filled. AND, there is more than 1 company that does it so I have no clue how many people take a ghost tour in just that 1 town EVERY day. They are open year around.
You ARE a flippin genius!
 
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Lex DeVille

Lex DeVille

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Just bought this book on how to start a haunted house
Thought I'd update on this book in case anyone is curious.

It took over a week to ship and I had to contact the seller about it. The seller said he didn't get the notification. He shipped it Priority the next day. If you order this, then I would shoot the seller an email to confirm receipt.

The book is 172 pages. It feels thin and short. It is not a hardback (which the photo on the website appears to be).

It starts with general info on creating a business plan and describes different types of business setup options.

Despite some vagueness in key areas, there are a lot of gold nuggets with regard to the industry. Some of the info is dated since the book was written in 2006 (with three revisions), but a lot of the material is still relevant today.

One of the most useful aspects of the book is the example documents. So far I've seen industry-specific examples of the following:

- Business plan
- Press release
- Phone script
- Radio advertisements
- Coupons and flyers
- Other stuff I forgot

Also, there are a number of factors I may not have considered without reading this. For instance, the reasons why a tent-based haunt might not be a good option.

Another area of value is in the author's approach to developing relationships with media companies, local business owners, banks, insurance companies etc. Every time he proposes interaction it comes from a place of showing what value his haunt will bring them.

Overall I'm pleased with the content. Although there are areas that could be expanded on, it's enough to get started and offers more than what I've found by browsing Google or reading forums and I do not regret the purchase.
 

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Hey @Lex DeVille,

Back in college, a club I was a part of volunteered at a haunted house for an evening and it was a ton of fun!

This is how it worked, the company got college students that were a part of some type of club. The company would then donated (I believe it was $200-$300) to the charity we represented as a club. We had around 15-20 people show up for about 4-5 hours worth of volunteering/work. We got in, they gave us the instructions, then prepped us with makeup and costumes, and then given our lines and stations. Then as people came through the haunted house, we'd just do as instructed.

The makeup artists and other staff (which was way smaller than our volunteer group) were the only ones getting paid actual wages. The volunteers were paid minimally for the number of hours spent. But overall, I felt that it was a win for everyone. We had a cool volunteer event to recruit new members, we supported our charity, and we all had a ton of fun doing it!

Overall, I remember someone mentioned they had talked to the owner and the haunted house brought in ~$1mil in revenue for a 3-month window.

I just wanted to pass the volunteer experience along, as I thought it was a pretty sweet system the owner had going on.
 

minivanman

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This type of volunteering works. My friend who owned a dirt track used to schedule a demo-derby. Then he would get the local cub scout pack to come out. Give them free admission, free food and after the nights events, they would set up tents to camp on the infield. Then the next morning they would wake up and clean all the debris off the race track. The Nascar tracks do the same things so someone that does this might want to keep something like that in mind. Great post @FullTimePreneur
 

MTEE1985

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So....yeah. No thanks. This place has a waitlist of 24,000 people. I’d venture a guess that even if he did charge that number would stay the same.
 

Entre Eyes

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I never believed in ghosts until I went to Google Street View of a 3 Story building I Lived in as a child and the face of the woman that was stabbed to death as her 4 kids were in the next room was plastered on the window like a pancake.

I did not realize it til later what I was seeing and when I went back to screen capture Google had driven on that street again. Now beautiful clear window.

Google has an archive of real ghost proofs as well as a ton of fake The Grudge pics I can imagine. :)
 

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