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View Full Version : Awesome New Idea's and Concepts 2009...Read On!



drfrightner
10-16-2009, 01:55 PM
Okay I think now is the time to start sharing some thoughts and idea's about things we've seen or heard that could help our business maybe not only this year but next year and beyond.

Remember haunted houses aren't about scaring perse they are about entertainment if you entertain then no matter the fashion they will be back for sure!!!!

If you haven't heard Six Flags now offers a parade at the end of the night a blacklight one... people stick around to watch it, as they do at Disney and so on and so forth.

Well this might be one of the best idea's I've ever heard but...

I know of a haunted house who bought EVERY SINGLE Full Size costume from Gore Galor to everyone else out there and started their own haunted parade...Parade of the Dead.

He does it three times per night, they play music and all these full sized costume monsters do a Parade and he claims this is one of the main things people want to see.

I think that is a pretty cool idea...that has me thinking thats for sure!

Larry

Darkangel
10-16-2009, 03:16 PM
Would the 10's of thousands of dollars invested in those costumes pay off for a free parade? That's a budget killer!

Darkangel

graystone
10-16-2009, 03:34 PM
Before its time for our customers to enter the Manor we have free horror movies, band, gift shop and concessions. We always let and encourage our customers to come back in chill and listen to the band and eat and shop and do all kinds of things its been great for us! Shane and its sure you can come back in and chill ( because I know your gonna spend even more money) Shane this time.

drfrightner
10-17-2009, 08:56 AM
How much would you spend on renovations of your haunt, if you said NO we won't do any upgrades this year and did the parade instead it would all average out just fine additionally you could advertise something usually reserved for someone like Disney and well now Six Flags does that as well.

To me at least it sounds like an awesome idea.

Larry

Gore Galore
10-21-2009, 07:56 AM
Larry,
that is one of the ideas behind our Costumes.

Getting Giant Creatures in front of a huge audience is a great way to promote your event.
That is why when we talk to customers we tell the the investment comes out of their marketing budget not their prop budget.

We recommend taking our creatures to Street fests, festivals, sporting events, concerts, beer gardens, etc..with permission from the organizers of those events of course. Any place that tons of people are gathered that you can get their attention with our creatures and hand our flyers or coupons.

It is just amazing to see how captivated people are by our creatures. I love looking out from a costume and seeing people staring up with their moths gaping open.

Nightmare_Trance
10-21-2009, 08:04 AM
Larry,

You could use some of the giant creatures or stalkers up around the stadium. Bring the hearse and Garry and promote away.

Shane,
I think that the band would really be a big hit! It would help draw more people to the attraction and keep them around...

Slain
10-21-2009, 09:14 AM
A parade? Come on guys!! Isn't that what the haunt business is all about? Anticipation of what's inside? This will only work if it's Disney or something like that.
Yes it is about entertaining the crowd but if its not scary they won't return.. How many people here have ever been scared at Disney?
Oh that's right they don't have a haunted house they have a haunted ride...

Allen H
10-21-2009, 10:06 AM
Halloween Horror nights has been doing a parade for years, its pretty cool. Its a great atmosphere.
Slain,
as soon as I pass disney in ticket sales I will stop looking at their model.
Allen H

bhays
10-21-2009, 10:22 AM
as soon as I pass disney in ticket sales I will stop looking at their model.
Allen H

Amen brotha!

Raycliff Manor
10-21-2009, 10:40 AM
We've been having a number of our characters perform the Thriller Dance at opening each night and it appears to be catching on. Each weekend there are more people arriving early to see it. Of course we don't have the entire cast doing the dance so there are plenty of character surprises inside. Our challenge with two attractions and providing outside entertainment mid-show would be our parking. It looks like we're going to need to address this for next year. :D

Kel

scattered screams
10-21-2009, 10:58 AM
We now have a building on a main street here in town and my wife gave notice to what a great location we have, that in May we have a parade down this street and we could open our doors maybe do some sidewalk entertainment scares that kind of stuff, hand out candy to the kids. I know its not during the season but its get people thinking ahead. Just my 2 cents.

Andrew

Gore Galore
10-21-2009, 12:47 PM
Slain,

How it is a bad idea to get thousands of people's attention at a single moment in time. That is what I call maximizing your investment. Maximum exposure for minimal effort.

You have something that is bigger than life demanding people pay attention to what you are doing and it is a bad idea? I just don't understand.

It is only a teaser to your event. When people see this teaser, they just want to know what else to have to offer. How is that not peeking their interest in your event? How is that NOT good marketing.

thanks

drfrightner
10-21-2009, 01:06 PM
I think its a great idea actually I think its an awesome idea and once I heard about it that was all I could think about was if I should do something like that. In the past I have considered doing a parade something that entertained the lines and always thought about how could I pull that off.

Once I heard someone simply bought all the big oversized costumes that seems like an easy way to do it... me personally I couldn't just do that I would have to go another step or two but still he's onto something here with all those oversized costumes.

The problem is ... and yes I agree there is a MAJOR problem here is that it would take a TON of labor to do it. Secondly what if people sat around waiting to see it and didn't free up parking spaces, and well the cost the investment would be high.

Those are major hurdles to overcome for sure however would it be worth it if you figured the whole thing out. Does Universal or Knotts do things like this do they aim to entertain or simply scare. I say entertain and they have 40,000 per night while we struggle to do 40,000 in an entire season.

I think the whole industry should move more and more towards entertain people give them everything including the kitchen sink if you can and your crowds will grow bigger not smaller.

NO one is saying DO NOT SCARE THEM inside the haunt, simply entertain them from start to finish. I think its a fantastic idea personally but with all great idea's there might be a problem or two.

I have to think it through more before doing something like this but I am at least considering it as a viable option to offer a level of entertainment that no one else offers!

Larry

Nightmare_Trance
10-21-2009, 01:38 PM
Not only the oversized costumers, but you could incorporate sliders and other entertainers into the mix.

WelchWitch
10-21-2009, 02:12 PM
At an amusement park that I used to work at we would do a walk from one end of the park to the front of the haunt. We would all follow a hearse. It wasn't all the actors but most of them. We had people lining up along the whole path to see what they would soon see inside. We did it to announce that the park was no longer for kids and non scary, the park had now turned scary for adults.We had our sliders, guys on stilts and few others. Lots of pictures taken, way to promote your costumes and scare people in the daylight

Then beginning this month in honor of the movie Zombieland, we with few other haunts did a Zombie crawl through downtown. We started at one location and ended at one of the haunts about 2 miles later. It was early in the day. At the end we had a costume contest that the people watching voted on and the winner won tickets for themselves and 10 friends with a limo ride to 6 haunts. People from the movie were there and handed out swag for everyone.

Slain
10-21-2009, 03:01 PM
Slain,

How it is a bad idea to get thousands of people's attention at a single moment in time. That is what I call maximizing your investment. Maximum exposure for minimal effort.

You have something that is bigger than life demanding people pay attention to what you are doing and it is a bad idea? I just don't understand.

It is only a teaser to your event. When people see this teaser, they just want to know what else to have to offer. How is that not peeking their interest in your event? How is that NOT good marketing.

thanks

Have you ever been to our haunt? Do you own a haunt?
We do entertain all of our guest although we don't put together floats and shut down state highways to let people know we are open for business..
If your don't have a place with plenty of acres to do such a show (which most haunts don't) this will never work...
This would cost thousands to do.. Just the labor would cost a bloody fortune.. I suppose I'll just keep our patrons guessing and let Disney and Universal do their thing...

robos99
10-21-2009, 03:26 PM
Secondly what if people sat around waiting to see it and didn't free up parking spaces...

If you only have a haunt and nothing else (no side attractions or merchandise/concessions) then people waiting around could be a major concern. But whenever you have something else for them to spend money on the idea is to keep the guests inside. This is what Disney did that was so revolutionary. Rather than people spending a few hours inside a park, Disney got them to spend entire days there. Now a full day at a haunt might be a stretch if you only have 1 or 2 actual attractions, but getting people to stick around and watch a parade just might result in them craving some food or drink. Or if you have a parade at multiple times during the night people coming out of the haunt might stick around longer knowing the parade is coming up, and then they need to do something to pass the time, like browse through the merch shop.

Slain I know you think Disney is just for the kids but you do need to remember that Disney created the theme park industry, and haunts today I think are closer to theme parks than the haunted houses of years ago. Disney knows how to make money, and they've been doing it for a long time. Being kid friendly isn't a business strategy, it's just their audience. You can still apply the same principles to any other entertainment venture.

Gore Galore
10-21-2009, 04:07 PM
Slain,

I understand your perspective. I don't understand the anger in your tone though (Large font and BOLD).
Since you asked,
I have been involved in designing and building haunts and props and costumes for haunts for OVER 25 years. I have been in business as Gore Galore for 11 years and I have been hired to wear our costumes and puppets at others events throughout the course of that history in addition to making thousands of oversized costumes for Haunted Attractions and Theme Parks. So, I not only understand how to use them, but I use them regularly. We would not be doing this had it not been for my being a part of running a haunted house for over 20 years. Gore Galore stems from my experience at that Haunted Attraction.

But I get it. It might not work for you or your haunt.

That doesn't mean it isn't a good idea.
Our (Gore Galore) perspective isn't exactly about doing a parade on your own grounds but attending events hosted elsewhere to promote your event.
This just fits into that idea.
Again, I can understand why it wouldn't work for you.
And thanks for sharing your thoughts.

spookhaven
10-22-2009, 08:07 AM
Kevin is correct! We purchased three large costumes last year from him. We actually used two of them in our haunt last year. This year we had to take a look at where to put our advertising monies. I listened to everyone here and went back to grass root advertising and internet for the most part. Guess what got us the most attention at the events and fairs? The Gore Galore Giant Costumes and our Spookywoods Skeleton Costumes. I even have people emailing me wanting to know if they are going to appear outside so the kids can see them.

Just because some of these folks like Larry are big haunts and his ideas are larger than life ideas (LOL) because his haunt is one of the biggest, doesn't mean that us smaller/newer haunts can't take their ideas and scale them down to work for us.

Allen H
10-22-2009, 08:50 AM
Absolutely Spook,
Im director of a Scream Park, we have five haunts and several other attractions. We could do a parade no problem , If I timed it right it might help me alleviate some line issues. I have 11 roaming actors, and If I pulled two from each house thats 10 more, plus two more from the pumpkin patch, thats 23 people to do a small parade or procession, universal throws halloween beads, hmmm just thinking out loud here. with a float or two and our hearse that could be kinda neat. If the parade happened at the right time it could really help the lines (which are my biggest problem). If I try it next season I will let you know how it goes.
Allen H

FablesStudios
10-22-2009, 10:57 AM
I think parades are great ways to entertain lots of people. Me as a newer smaller haunt I don’t know if it is possible but def something to think about in the future.

This is my opinion but I believe people do not get scared at haunts. People come to haunts for entertainment!! Startled yes, grossed out defiantly, but truly “Like my life is coming to an end” NO. I have read many books on Walt and how he wanted his parks to bring people into another world. It really opens your eyes to some new ideas. “How can you plus it” he always said. So I guess this is a way of +plusing+ your outside entertainment. I agree Disney is on the tamer side and yes I very much dislike all the high school musical stuff and Montana stuff but they are defiantly banking on it.

I think Larry was just shooting an idea out there to see if anyone else has done it. Thanks for the idea, Ill keep it on the back burned.

Peter T
FS

Slain
10-22-2009, 11:24 AM
Slain,

I understand your perspective. I don't understand the anger in your tone though (Large font and BOLD).
Since you asked,
I have been involved in designing and building haunts and props and costumes for haunts for OVER 25 years. I have been in business as Gore Galore for 11 years and I have been hired to wear our costumes and puppets at others events throughout the course of that history in addition to making thousands of oversized costumes for Haunted Attractions and Theme Parks. So, I not only understand how to use them, but I use them regularly. We would not be doing this had it not been for my being a part of running a haunted house for over 20 years. Gore Galore stems from my experience at that Haunted Attraction.

But I get it. It might not work for you or your haunt.

That doesn't mean it isn't a good idea.
Our (Gore Galore) perspective isn't exactly about doing a parade on your own grounds but attending events hosted elsewhere to promote your event.
This just fits into that idea.
Again, I can understand why it wouldn't work for you.
And thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Yes I have two (2) of your creatures about $8000 dollars worth. So yes I am also a customer. If were talking about years I been doing this since the early 80's and have seen it all. I also have four (4) stalk arounds. Most of the people thought hey looked cool but agreed that they are not for a haunted attraction. Maybe it's just the market we are in.

Evilution Unlimited
10-22-2009, 11:27 AM
I think there are a lot of crappy haunts out there that are put on by people that are just looking to make a quick buck. These (IMO) hurt the industry. I have long thought that a group like the HHA or IAHA should have a set of standards and market it like crazy. The public should know about these standards and haunts should display something that they are a member of this group and lives up to those standards and include it in their advertising. People that go through the attraction and see that they fail to meet those standards should have a place to report them and have their membership revoked.

This is how they treated the meat industry long ago before the FDA. People began to only buy meat that had this logo that they allowed the facility to be inspected.

Local haunt reviewers could play a HUGE roll in this.

Gore Galore
10-22-2009, 12:08 PM
Slain,
I am sorry to say but I don't know who you are. I haven't connected the screen name with the customer.
I would be very interested in talking off the board sometime. Maybe we can figure something out.
Investments like that are NOT to be wasted especially when they have so much potential to make a profitable impact on the surrounding market.

Or if you are not happy to have them maybe Gore Galore can post a used costume section on our website for our customers.

mindtumor
10-22-2009, 12:29 PM
I think there are a lot of crappy haunts out there that are put on by people that are just looking to make a quick buck. These (IMO) hurt the industry. I have long thought that a group like the HHA or IAHA should have a set of standards and market it like crazy. The public should know about these standards and haunts should display something that they are a member of this group and lives up to those standards and include it in their advertising. People that go through the attraction and see that they fail to meet those standards should have a place to report them and have their membership revoked.

This is how they treated the meat industry long ago before the FDA. People began to only buy meat that had this logo that they allowed the facility to be inspected.

Local haunt reviewers could play a HUGE roll in this.

So are you saying haunted houses should be forced to join an organization that tells them what to do? And exactly how will this work with local inspectors and the licenses and requirements our own cities put on us? Do you own a haunt? Are you willing to be subjected to the standards of a special interest group? I see a difference between meat standards and how good a haunted house is. I will fight this sort of thing to the end as I would expect most other haunted house owners would as well. We already work with our state and city officials and do what they consider necessary to open and operate, now we need to take it to some sort of national level in your opinion? Is this what you are saying or am I getting the wrong idea here? The moment HHA or IAHA tries to become some sort of a controlling organization that forces haunts to do what they say is when these groups will fail.

robos99
10-22-2009, 12:51 PM
I think there are a lot of crappy haunts out there that are put on by people that are just looking to make a quick buck. These (IMO) hurt the industry. I have long thought that a group like the HHA or IAHA should have a set of standards and market it like crazy.

I think you have the right goal, but it's just impractical. Quality in a haunt is rather subjective. How would you write up these standards? All haunts must spend X number of dollars on scenery and X number of dollars on props? It's just too hard to accurately define a set of quality standards. meat quality is not subjective. There is actual science involved in determining the quality of a cut of meat. Whether a haunt is "good" is really just the opinion of those in it. What you could do is come up with a set of safety standards that all haunts in an association must follow (if it isn't already that way). A crappy haunt I don't think hurts the overall industry much, because people know there are also good ones out there. But a dangerous haunt does. A tragic story spreads like wildfire. I think most of the professional haunts would already be in compliance with any set of safety standards, since I'm sure most of these people know that safety is #1, so the real challenge would be marketing this to the public so they'd know that a haunt without this "seal of approval" either didn't meet those standards, or just didn't want to join the organization.


Peter I could not agree with you more about haunts being about entertainment. When you look at the people being scared, they tend to laugh at themselves (or their friends). They're enjoying being startled. While I'm sure there's still some people who really do get truly terrified (sometimes to the point of pissing themselves), these people are not the majority and would probably not go bragging to their friends that your haunt is so scary they pissed themselves. But on the other hand, us haunters sure do enjoy scaring the crap out of people. haha.

By the way, slightly off topic, if you haven't already read it, Vinyl Leaves is a great great "Disney" book to read. One of my favorites and should really be a must read for anyone in the themed entertainment business.

Slain
10-22-2009, 01:50 PM
When us normal haunts start doing parades that's when I figure I will get out of this business

Allen H
10-22-2009, 01:59 PM
Slain,
I have never once had a desire to run a normal haunt!
Allen H

Slain
10-22-2009, 02:04 PM
I am so happy for you...Do you also go trick or treating?

Allen H
10-22-2009, 02:09 PM
I hope you catch the gnome that pisses in your cheerios each morning.

Slain
10-22-2009, 02:39 PM
I hope you catch the gnome that pisses in your cheerios each morning.

Allen our group traveled to your place back in 2001 . Gave us a lot of inspiration. Still doing the renaistance stuff?
We had a blast and you have a great venue for entertainment. Verdun does not have that atmosphere. That's what I call a normal haunted house....

lurker
10-22-2009, 03:04 PM
How about a parade of gnomes that piss on cheerios? That would be entertainment!

People love the giant characters, but the draw back for smaller haunts doing a parade is having the man power to pull it off.

Kevin, maybe a remote controlled cart/costume combo might be an idea for the future.

JamBam
10-22-2009, 03:09 PM
While a parade during our event would not be feasible because of our situation, we have considered starting a local zombie walk with our characters leading it and making sure we get poenty of publicity with it.

We did put our big character (similar to Gore Galore Giants) in our local festival parade along with many of our characters walking behind a truck and trailer. Our sound cube was out for rejuvenation but just the character walking down the street got great repsonse. I was driving the truck and I could hear all the comments of people as they first saw it. It was cool to hear young and old respond very positively to it.

I know that at one time the Niles Scream Park did 30 + parades each summer and fall for promotion. They have a huge trophy cabinet in the entrance to one of their events. Niles is one of the nation's BEST events even though they don't get the respect.

Allen H
10-23-2009, 12:41 AM
Slain,
If you get a chance please come see us again, I was not director there then and the haunts have gotten way better since then! Screams has a great atmosphere it has always seemed to me to be one incident away from a riot. We have Halloweened up the atmosphere and toned the tension back, I love the environment now. I also Credit our great roaming cast.
Come see us again,
Allen H

damon carson
10-23-2009, 01:20 AM
I like the whole idea and all but how would your average haunt be able to pull this off? Even your larger haunts just dont have the space. Theme parks have the space. They have abundant parking as well. And it doesnt matter if people stay till they close. For most haunts I think this would turn into trouble unless they did it everynight say right at dark. The only haunt that I can even think of with even the amount of space would be Verdun Manor. There may be others but Lance was building his to be a Halloween theme park. Just my 2 cents.
Damon