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View Full Version : Chainsaws - Yes or No?



Front Yard Fright
10-27-2009, 12:21 AM
Ever since I started my haunt I've always been against chainsaws. I personally think they are overdone in the haunt industry, and are, in my eyes, a cheap scare. However, the more I visit haunts, and the more I hear about what people like, it seems like chainsaws are just the way to go.

I'm in the process of planning my pro haunt for next year and I'm looking for your opinions on this. Are chainsaws needed in a pro haunt?

The Forsaken Crypt
10-27-2009, 03:35 AM
Chainsaws are great! From the ones I went to the haunt that used ONLY ONE chainsaw scare that is strategically placed is amazing! Yet I went to another and they used about 5 and it just wasn't scary.

ZodiacWarrior
10-27-2009, 07:29 AM
I think as long as it's one, maybe two and outside or as the scare out of the maze and it's fine. Anymore than that and it just ruins the build to it.

JamBam
10-27-2009, 08:03 AM
We have used them but these days they have to be outside or one of the fake ones you can buy at the tradeshows.

Our story line is set in 1904 and since they hadn't been invented yet, they are not in our haunt.

hauntedyardofdoom
10-27-2009, 08:41 AM
I felt kind of like you do. They're overdone, however... All the feedback I get is that people LOVE them. I took it out of the haunt one year and all I got asked was "where is the chainsaw?" so it's there every year now. Like the other person said though, don't overdo it. Use it in one scene - one, maximum two chainsaws - and that's it. It's one of the bigger scares too, so don't use it up early either.

Also it's a good way to get people to move out the exit. It usually sends them running, so make sure there aren't a lot of things that they can run into, knock over, or trip over.

WelchWitch
10-27-2009, 09:16 AM
We use them. To me it is all in how it is placed and if it fits the overall scene of the haunt. If all the haunt is clowns or aliens, then a chainsaw would be stupid. I agree with no more then 2. Over that and it is just overkill. I like them hidden to where you can hear them but have no clue where they are at until its too late. Our guy at our haunt who works the chainsaw, has been doing it for years and he is just twisted. He has it down to a science. We have had so many compliments on how they see him and he still gets them every time. So it helps a lot when the actor knows what they are doing. It would be a serious buzz kill to have a group ready for the attack to only see it fizzle because someone doesn't know how to start it right without busting it.

Todd Shumansky
10-27-2009, 10:35 AM
I think chainsaws are almost always associated with haunted houses. They are a necessity. Its simple and it works. Why mess with it.

Unfortunately we can't use any real chainsaws inside the haunt due to firecode so it cuts down on ability to use them. We always station one at the exit so they can scare people when they exit.

freak 'n' stein
10-27-2009, 10:36 AM
It is a delicate balance type thing. I don't think a haunt NEEDS a chainsaw, but they can be fun if used in proportion and with creativity. I was just asking myself last night what could be the NEW chainsaw. Not sure what could replace such a staple, but there HAS to be something, right?!

This year in our last room we have 4 doors and the guests have to choose a door. When they enter the room it is empty with just a rocking chair that is still rocking. Granny comes around the corner and asks the guests if they've seen "Jr." They are then asked to pick a door. The first two doors and the fourth are tricks and the third has a character who bangs a chain against the door when it's opened. They slam that door shut and granny yells "Jr!!!!!" in which a guy with the chainsaw comes from behind a black curtain and chases them through the third door. It gets em every time.

Some nights we do a variation on this where Jr.'s saw "won't crank" and when everyone laughs and begins walking out of the door we had another chainsaw who chased them out...THAT GOT THEM!!!!

Mike Goff
10-27-2009, 10:40 AM
If you want to build a haunt to impress other haunters, then the answer is no, it will cost you points among the creative originality class.

If you want to provide good entertainment to your customers, then it's hard to beat the bang for your buck that you get from a chainsaw. Even the customers that are not scared by the saws, will get a good laugh from watching thier girlfriends bury thier face in thier arm and scream.

My take is this, there are really very few among us who have invented something completely new. Most good scares are a spin off of something that has been around for years. I have never seen a haunt that is composed of nothing but original props and scare tactics.

When an effective tool that is readily available and cheap is put on the shelf, I believe that you are imposing a senseless handicap upon yourself.

The only way I would not use chainsaws (note the plural) is if they did not fit the theme of the attraction.

BTW lawn mowers work pretty good too

skullman79
10-27-2009, 10:46 AM
Chainsaws are great! From the ones I went to the haunt that used ONLY ONE chainsaw scare that is strategically placed is amazing! Yet I went to another and they used about 5 and it just wasn't scary.

House of Horrors in Buffalo, NY incorporated their chainsaw in a great spot in their Haunt! Kudos to Tim bunch and his staff!

Todd Shumansky
10-27-2009, 11:24 AM
Pretty much anything that makes a lot of noise is good if used in the right spot. We've had good success using a pneumatic air chisel hammer tool on the side of a barrel. It makes a ton of noise, uses compressed air, is very compact, and is easy to use. I just bought a new one at a hardware store for $19.99. They will typically last about two seasons.

Badger
10-27-2009, 12:53 PM
There's a haunt down in SC (which I won't name) that goes completely over the top with chainsaws. I think they use one in EVERY scene for the pop scare. It may be a local thing because they draw decent numbers, but I also think it's a cheap scare.

I used to use a leaf blower for noise and I found it just as effective.

freak 'n' stein
10-27-2009, 02:51 PM
There's a haunt down in SC (which I won't name) that goes completely over the top with chainsaws. I think they use one in EVERY scene for the pop scare. It may be a local thing because they draw decent numbers, but I also think it's a cheap scare.

I used to use a leaf blower for noise and I found it just as effective.

Do name! Do name!! I'd like to pay them a visit. Our haunt crew visited Phobia here in Columbia two weekends ago and they didn't have one at all - show was NOT good. We visited Gilbert's #1 House of Terror this past Sunday and they used a few in different places but their show was AMAZING!!! We use one for the main scare and our show gets rave reviews. Where is this haunt, cause I wanna visit...PM ME?!

Badger
10-28-2009, 06:52 AM
Check your IM...

ZodiacWarrior
10-30-2009, 02:45 AM
We use them. To me it is all in how it is placed and if it fits the overall scene of the haunt. If all the haunt is clowns or aliens, then a chainsaw would be stupid. I agree with no more then 2. Over that and it is just overkill. I like them hidden to where you can hear them but have no clue where they are at until its too late. Our guy at our haunt who works the chainsaw, has been doing it for years and he is just twisted. He has it down to a science. We have had so many compliments on how they see him and he still gets them every time. So it helps a lot when the actor knows what they are doing. It would be a serious buzz kill to have a group ready for the attack to only see it fizzle because someone doesn't know how to start it right without busting it.

Alien's I agree with, but clowns can work if put in the right area with the right actor. I mean, there's a couple of the clowns at Halloween Haunt at Knott's that use it to great ends and it works because it compliments their costume design.

I suppose theoretically it COULD work with an alien themed haunt/area, but the outer appearance would have to look much less earthly for it to not look goofy in the hands of a visitor from another planet.

Jim Warfield
10-30-2009, 11:52 AM
I see many customers who come here Because I don't have a chainsaw.
Thanks to all of you guys using (and over-using) chainsaws I do a routine involving a "chainsaw" which either makes people laugh or scream and twitch..all in anticipation of the chainsaw attack! (sans chainsaw)
I have no trouble advising potential customers who want or need their chainsaw "fix" to simply take a short drive to a house that has a chainsaw, since most do.
My newest display in my backyard does excite many customers when they see it. It's a trike with handlebars which happen to belong to a 1949 Mall two-man chainsaw.

Frightguy1
10-31-2009, 08:39 AM
I run a small charity haunt in NJ and we were totally against the use of chainsaw. It didn't fit our theme and there didn't seem to be a reason we would need it however..our que line runs right up against some woodlands and we deployed a chainsaw actor from out of the woods up to unexpecting que line guests and they seemed to love it so I think it is all in how you use it. You can't please everyone but it's hard not to take advantage of a scare like that when you have a group of huddled teenagers that are already scared waiting in line!

www.grimlocmanor.com

ZodiacWarrior
10-31-2009, 02:40 PM
I run a small charity haunt in NJ and we were totally against the use of chainsaw. It didn't fit our theme and there didn't seem to be a reason we would need it however..our que line runs right up against some woodlands and we deployed a chainsaw actor from out of the woods up to unexpecting que line guests and they seemed to love it so I think it is all in how you use it. You can't please everyone but it's hard not to take advantage of a scare like that when you have a group of huddled teenagers that are already scared waiting in line!

www.grimlocmanor.com

I wholly agree with you. I think haunts just need to be mindful of whether it works for an area or with a character or not.

Jim Warfield
10-31-2009, 04:36 PM
Then amid all that noise and confusion, do the totally unexpected, attack of the toilet plunger!
(Of course to the thinking customers, they might see this as an insult calling them bothersome waste product!)

thehauntedhollows
10-31-2009, 07:56 PM
I remember 5 or 6 years ago when chainsaws first started making their ways into haunts, everyone was scared of them. Everybody couldn't beleive they were chased out the haunt with chainsaws. Now I think most everyone is desensitized by them, they have just seen them too many times. We still use one in our haunt but don't get the same response we used to.... that is until one night when we had a group of French students who were visiting America... when they heard that chainsaw they BOLTED- just like Americans did years ago.

We need to take it up a notch and bring something even better into the haunt world- thats a whole different discussion though.

freak 'n' stein
11-04-2009, 08:07 PM
We need to take it up a notch and bring something even better into the haunt world- thats a whole different discussion though.

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree...I'm over all the gas/electric powered home improvement/gardening tools haunts use to try and scare people...

...funny and contradicting story: Last night I went to Walmart at around 10 when the crowds start to thin out and the cleanup and stock crews appear. Well, I was leaving and outside I could hear a loud noise which at the time I believed was a passing truck, exited the doors and it turned out to be a leaf blower and it actually startled me because as I was walking out of the exit the guy with a leaf blower turned the corner into my path. I was a bit embarrassed internally because a leaf blower had just shocked me, but thought how simple a scare that is...haha

Jim Warfield
11-04-2009, 09:07 PM
A maniac opens the door, allows them in. The same maniac controls all the light in the room as he tells them about the house.
"This house has been haunted since 1925."
He sincerely continues the involved story which spans several decades and happened in numerous parts of the house.
Also explained are his reasons for bothering to tell it all, building to the eventual possible death of the storyteller!
They finally leave this room.
They aren't sure if the storyteller was acting or not or just a very disturbed indivual?
They might debate whether or not it was "acting" or not?
I usually add some attempted humor to deflect or soften the truth:"They are in a house that has quite a haunted history/reputation."
(And everything I told them has actually happened here.)
I practise telling the houses's story in an interesting style or fashion but it is all true.
"Acting?"
Who is doing that?
Not me.

monsterwax
11-05-2009, 03:39 PM
Unfortunately, we're not allowed to use chain saws in Tallahassee haunts anymore because of a stupid ordinance they passed after that retarded kid actually hurt someone in his home haunt eight or so years back. I'm sure others have already posted this story before, or you saw it in the news, but he nearly cut some dad's arm completely off near the elbow. (They were able to reattach it, but he couldn't write with it or use it for work after that.) The plaintiff supposedly won $1.7 million in court, but I never heard what how much they actually collected. The family had home owners insurance but the liability limit was just $200,000.

The tragic part is that the guy just stood there while the retarded kid came at him with the roaring chain saw. His kids ran out of the way like everyone else had during the night, but their father had to be "brave" and prove to everyone he knew the gag and that haunted house chain saws didn't actually have chains on them. Well, as he (and the rest of us) quickly learned, not everyone follows the rules. He should consider himself lucky that the kid was shorter than he was, otherwise he might have lost his head! (And good luck reattaching that!)

Personally, I think the parents are to blame because they knew their kid was limited mentally and yet they still let him be involved with such a dangerous stunt. (They claimed they gave him another saw to use but he switched it when it started having trouble starting up.) The truth is, I wouldn't trust a regular 15-year-old to operate a chain saw, and I never would let a retarded guy anywhere near one, even without the chain. Heck, if he just hurt himself, it would be a lawyer's wet dream!

Oh well, bad things happen when people stop using common sense, and that includes when otherwise intelligent people see someone coming at them with a running chain saw and they decide they are going to just stand there and not get out of the way. My advice: Duck when people fire "blanks" at you, dodge when they swipe "plastic" knives at you, and when you hear a chain saw getting fired up at night in a spooky place, RUN LIKE HELL (especially if its a haunted house). Because you never really know who's behind the latex mask.

hsmag
11-06-2009, 06:05 PM
I think chainsaws are almost always associated with haunted houses. They are a necessity. Its simple and it works. Why mess with it.

Unfortunately we can't use any real chainsaws inside the haunt due to firecode so it cuts down on ability to use them. We always station one at the exit so they can scare people when they exit.

While I'll agree that yes, they are overdone, chainsaws have become a staple in haunted houses, much the same way clowns have become. It may not be original but the formula still works after how many decades??

Jim Warfield
11-07-2009, 12:03 AM
That many people will never return because they don't want to see or hear another one..ever!
If anyone thinks I'm kidding about this, think again.

monsterwax
11-09-2009, 11:54 AM
Including chain saws in the haunt for me are like being a rock musician who is expected to play their number one hit in every concert, even though they are SICK to DEATH of it. It's so cliche, and yet, if you skip it, the audience feels cheated.

And for the record, I was kidding about the earlier post on the chain saw ban here in Tallahassee. That "retarded kid who used a REAL chain saw" story is a variation of one I sometimes tell in the haunt if people are backed up before the illusionist room. They are sometimes waiting a minute or two in the London Town scene and we stall them by telling an atmospheric ghost story that prepares them for what they are about to see. They've been in the haunt for about 15 minutes at that point so they are pretty jumpy and suggestible by then. Telling a good horror story when they are psychologically primed like that is really a delight. You get wonderful results, even from people who would normally laugh it off. The story of the real "fake" chain saw is one I sometimes tell just to mess with their minds so when the guy charges out with the saw, they are far more likely to BOLT. Plus, it's a reminder that you never can never safely assume anything, especially in a haunted house. After all, if YOU were a maniac and wanted to kill people, what better place to sneak into, put on a mask and slash away than a haunted house? Everyone would ignore the screams and assume the attacks were all part of the act. (Not that I want to give the psychos out there any ideas!)

phreakout
11-10-2009, 09:52 PM
I have worked a chainsaw for a haunt for 2 years now, and its a hit and miss with some people.

When it was used outside, it worked most of the time, but what killed it is that our exit dumps directly into the parking, so people heard and already saw me go after others with the saw and they expected me when they reached the end.

The haunt I worked at is a wharehouse that was used to paint and fix cars, so theres a room that has massive ventilation fans that allowed us to use the chainsaw inside the haunt, where noone expected it. What really caused the scare was the way our lighting was set up, as customers walked towards a strobe where I stood behind it, so I clearly saw them but they never saw me until they heard the roar of the saw. it worked great.

I will agree that chainsaws are becoming the norm and that people need to change things up. I really like the leaf blower Idea, and If im correct a have seen a few haunts use pneumatic drills to cause loud noises against walls and such.

Jim Warfield
11-12-2009, 12:32 AM
"Chainsaws have become a staple of haunted houses"
This is your mission:Go to a hardware store..buy a box of staples...take them home...now dump the box open on a table, break them apart, stir them up...they kind of all look the same don't they?
Raise your hand if you want your artistic, personally expressive haunted house creation to just be a "Staple".
"Pretty, shiney, all the same...all cranked out by a machine, all the same...?

Lcox
11-12-2009, 12:11 PM
Our daytime business is all about family friendliness so we decided make some rules for our haunt. One of them is not traditional weapons. Chainsaws are on the fence in my opinion and my sister didn't think they should be incorporated into our haunt because every other haunt has one. I racked my brain all year to think of something else that has the same impact, Loud, looks real, feels real, smells real, IS real, ingrained in us to be afraid of, and makes people actually run away. We ended up using one in our finale and I am glad we did. People were like mad trying to get away from it. If someone knows of another simple tool that is that effective, I would really like to know.

leaf blower is a neat idea...

monsterwax
11-12-2009, 01:48 PM
How about an electric knife? A really rusty and noisy one?

But seriously, it's hard to beat the noise and murder/ mutilation connotations that chain saws have built into them, thanks to various movies. Plus, they are very dangerous even in the hands of experts. I knew a fellow who could only whisper because his chain broke and whipped around his neck and ripped out his voice box. He had a big nasty scare too, but was lucky to be alive. And while living near some California public lands, there were several lumberjacks who were killed or mutilated when Earth First (environmentalist extremists) pounded metal spikes deep into the trunks of trees scheduled to be harvested. The saws hit the spikes and bounced back into the lumber jacks. I never heard they caught those responsible for it either.

Terrible events seem to happen where ever I lived. While in San Francisco, we had the big Earthquake. It's like being Typhoid Mary or something, leaving a trail of death and destruction in one's wake. The latest tragic news item was learning that five Mormons raped and murdered little kids in Lexington, Mo., about 30 years ago (but were only now discovered). That's the exact time and place where I went to high school. We had a Mormon math teacher, and he was nicest guy, really REALLY kind. In fact, I've never met a Mormon I wasn't impressed with. But what's chilling is that three of the rapist/killers were lay ministers at their local church, and I'm sure if I had met them, I'd have thought they were great as well. I guess it all goes to show you never really know who's behind the mask!

RJ Productions
11-13-2009, 01:19 AM
Chainsaws....love 'em....hate 'em!!! I personally do not like them, I think i is a cheesy scare and it costs me a lot of money each year in broken chainsaws.

However... you do need to be responsive to your audience, and like it or not they LOVE the chainsaw!! IF you don't think so,, run a chainsaw for a few groups and watch their reaction. Then skip a couple groups NOT using the chainsaw.

People will have a great time in your attraction, the chainsaw is not realy a surprise (they have been listening to it for two hours in line) but if it misfires and they don't get the saw they want their money back!!!

I looked into the sound chip ones, but my actors break several REAL chainsaws, they would destroy the electronic one in less than an hour!!!

Jim Warfield
11-16-2009, 08:21 AM
If I can not or have not impressed my customers with everything I have done here , a chainsaw "ballet" wouldn't make any difference.
Impressing the customer has always been my main concern/mission since so many of them drive specifically to come see my house spending many hours over the road, often in the dark.
Impressing people need not require hours of constructing something, although I do have many such items like that here as a part of the tour.
Someone could load my main props into a car trunk and there would still be plenty of room for a few real cadavors.
The total cost of those props would average out to less than $1.00 each and none of them use electricity or gasoline..yet people are jumping, screaming, twitching, reacting!
What is my amazing secret with all of this? How can these things possibly be that effective?
I operate on human speed. Communicating (usually) to be understood and comprehended, allowing the time for the customer's ears and mind to contemplate what they have just heard and seen giving their imaginations the opportunity to weigh in and wonder and anticipate...THEN the real fun and possibilitys can happen.
Of course groups of screamy, shrieky 14 yr. old girls fight this process of comprehension, that's why I prefer the older crowd, usually.

SiouxFallsHaunt
11-16-2009, 03:54 PM
When it was used outside, it worked most of the time, but what killed it is that our exit dumps directly into the parking, so people heard and already saw me go after others with the saw and they expected me when they reached the end.

I really like the leaf blower Idea, and If im correct a have seen a few haunts use pneumatic drills to cause loud noises against walls and such.

I had the same problem, due to fire code our gas chainsaw (electric one sucked) had to be ran outside or right by the back door. Our back door also dumps into the parking lot so everyone seen it. This year we didn't use it and then customers started asking about it so we used it. We then decided to scratch the idea and I am not sure we will be using it next year...
I too like the leaf blower idea and due to the fact we are considering a haunted school theme next year we may have the maintence man try the leaf blower out

Raycliff Manor
11-19-2009, 06:38 AM
I mentioned this on the thread about clowns, but yes we do use chainsaws. We have one in each attraction. We got rid of the chainsaw at one point and the patrons let us know their feelings on it! They were very disappointed when it was not there. In the Raycliff Manor attraction, this is the one area that doesn't stay true to the time period represented in the storyline and character back-stories. We use the chainsaw (Spookyprops) in the last scene in Raycliff Manor, which is made to look like you are outdoors and walking past a mausoleum. The Actor gives chase with the chainsaw and the guests usually run screaming out the exit right past the guests waiting in line. I learned the hard way that it's not about satisfying my purist tendencies when it comes to the theme, it's about delivering what the guests want. Of course there are always a few purists who visit the attraction and make sure to point out that the chainsaw doesn't fit the theme and time period, but I try to satisfy the majority of guests overall. ;)

Kel

Don_OfThe_Dead
11-25-2009, 01:43 AM
BTW lawn mowers work pretty good too


Never use a pull start mower. We tried this variation and in the excitement people got snagged fingers and cracked knuckles (myself included.) Push start is the way to go on anything motorized.

monsterwax
12-12-2009, 11:05 PM
We have real good luck with those older air plane engines. You can buy them cheap when they have run over 100,000 hours and the body is rusted out. But the trick is to wire them to run backwards, so instead of sucking the customers in and cutting them into chunks, it blows them away and only startles them. Remember, "Clockwise=NOT wise. Counter clockwise= SCARES, not TEARS"

Jim Warfield
12-12-2009, 11:53 PM
Do you give them eye protection first?
Or is the place constantly blown clean of debris, maybe?
I could use one of these in my parking lot to "sweep" with.
It might make one heck of a ceiling fan too, I betcha!

newhorror2010
01-09-2010, 10:45 AM
I too think that chainsaws are over used, UNLESS there can be found a new way or ways to use them. I believe chainsaws themselves don't scare people, the noise they make...different story!

PAT MATTHEWS/HOUSE OF WAX
01-13-2010, 10:32 PM
On the topic of chainsaws I will add my say as im a self appointed expert. If you want major wow factor and something new do a chaisaw duel in the que line. Have a killer come out with a victim as if hes gonna execut him and then at the last second have the victim break free and find a hidden chainsaw in the que line. All hell breaks loose as the 2 fight to the death with 2 saws. Think of it as a combination of a gun fight and sword fight with chainsaws. The crowd gos nuts for this

Jim Warfield
01-14-2010, 04:59 AM
Especially if some of them are wearing hats or coats that say, "STIHL" on them!
(It could be like Race Day!)

Terrorknight
01-14-2010, 07:32 AM
Only if I build a set that a chainsaw would fit into. I would never use a chainsaw just to get a scare. A really scary haunt is a believable haunt, in most cases.

scattered screams
01-14-2010, 10:31 AM
How do you hide the noise thats made from a chainsaw inside a haunt Im going to have another room on the other side of the chainsaw scare and it would take people about 4-5min to get to the chainsaw scare but I dont want them to know its up ahead?

Also I say its not a bad idea to have aleast 1-2 of them in a haunt

Andrew

Jim Warfield
01-18-2010, 07:44 AM
Have the sounds of someone trying to start a chainsaw, it starts, runs for just a few seconds, then a scream, then have an actor run into the room with blood pouring out of a sleeve.
The easy way to effect the big scare os to copy the "Chicago" style of special defects, hire an amputee. It will look "so Real!"

cheeseboy33
02-26-2010, 11:07 PM
we use one in our haunt and it is the last thing in it so it gets people out quickly and leaves a great lasting impression. Plus when people come sprinting out the house, past the people waiting in line to go in and into their cars it makes the people waiting wonder and nervous.
HOWEVER I have seen many haunts with good potential ruined by just using chainsaws no matter what the room theme was. So yes it can be done but in moderation it is very effective.
Also I believe that many many people have come to EXPECT a chainsaw so having one also keeps the people who expect it happy.

Jim Warfield
02-27-2010, 12:18 AM
And show up every year...kind of reminds me of the crowd at the Fourth of July Fireworks.
"Boom!"
"Aaahh."(the crowd says)
"Boom!" (the fireworks says)
"Aaah."
"Boom!"
"Aaaah!"

......but...what IF you did something totally new, different and unexpected?
The crowd might be different next time, it might be bigger because the word spread, "We saw something new!"

Why do so many of us change displays then? .. but not the saw?
I know, I sometimes feel the temptation too to just tell myself that since customers really seem to like things to not change them and some people do find comfort in returning to find the same-ol, same-old favorites. But doesn't that fly in the face of what they may be coming to you for? Are they appearing at your door for a totally knowable, comfortable time?
Oh, well?

TrailHaunter
02-28-2010, 09:22 PM
Yes yes I agree with everyone saying you need only 1 chainsaw or maybe 2 at the most. I currently operate the chainsaw at my haunted house and I have been for the last 6 years or so and based on customer surveys, my character tends to get a lot more votes than most of our other characters but its not solely on the fact that I have a chainsaw. For example, we have one out in our line area but he is only there a couple of times through out the season so he doesn't effect me much but we let a 2nd chainsaw roam around in back and by the time they go to me, the customer's reactions were "another one?". This is why haunts only need 1 chainsaw if any. Also, a haunt can do very well without because, when you think about it, all the person who is operating the saw is doing(if he/she is doing it right) is a glorified version of popping out and making a loud noise. Granted it is on an extreme level but it is still the same thing and that's what I tell most of the newbies who we bring on during the off season that the simplest scares are the best scares and the chainsaw is pretty much a simple scare but again on an extreme level. This is why haunts really don't need a saw but I must say it is quite a rush to chase someone who is completely terrified of you. :)

Jim Warfield
03-02-2010, 10:05 PM
Scaring someone. I guess it sort of says:"I'm smarter than you?" Maybe :"I'm braver than you." (Because to effect that scare I had to lay in a real coffin, or stand in a dark, scary place waiting for you.?)
So going with this ego-line of thinking, imagine how it feels to scare someone by just saying a few, choice mellow words followed by silence. A silence that gives their brain time to fumble in it's repair tool box, pull out the wrong fix-it tool, drop it on their own foot and scream!
If you can take enough time to set people up and give them the time to stew abit, a fun scare can be coming from anything, even something as simple and cheap as slowing walking across the dark room, dragging your feet, taking possibly 4 minutes to do this, covering only maybe 8 feet in distance, building their anticipation by stopping , waiting, going completely silent.
This might sound totally nuts to most of you, BUT I have had So Much Fun doing what I have just described and such reactions from people too! Wow!
Maybe this works so well because it is so different and unexpected? Or maybe it works so well because the act itself is so basic and ties into a very common imaginative fear.

chuck weber
04-30-2010, 04:41 PM
just ask Dr. Yank'em. That high pitched, winey sound is enough to give most people the shivers. Saw it used in a haunted house scene once and it went over BIG. Not overdone like chainsaws, which is a good thing.

DDJR
11-02-2011, 09:38 PM
you know its funny this year out of all the stupid question those dumb--s I mean patrons asked the one i heard the most was is there going to be chainsaws in there. Its an oldey but it gets them every time

Jim Warfield
11-02-2011, 10:33 PM
Whether they were looking for "chainsaws" because they wanted them or because they didn't want them?
98% of people asking me about them don't want to hear, see, smell them or be the victim of a faux-attack from one.
I create happiness when I tell them we don't do that.

DDJR
11-02-2011, 11:07 PM
Most of them are from females from the age of 12 to 18. No these are direct questions i usually just smile and say i don't know. They usually start saying i hate chainsaws and start recanting some stupid story about how scared they got from chainsaw. Hey it works for me. Just Watch
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=LaLToBLQwBo

HauntedMemphis
11-03-2011, 12:56 PM
you know its funny this year out of all the stupid question those dumb--s I mean patrons asked the one i heard the most was is there going to be chainsaws in there. Its an oldey but it gets them every time

The only question I recall hearing over and over in lines more than "is there chainsaws" is "is their clowns?"

Mr. Haunt
11-03-2011, 02:00 PM
Being our first year of operation we went without the chainsaw for half of the month, but I just felt like we were missing some thing and I felt like it was needed and I must say we scared a lot with because a lot happened around and in the area it was used.

I would agree though it's something that very well could be over used.

Brian
Axdahls Haunted Farm

hauntedkimmy
11-04-2011, 07:54 PM
There is nothing better than watching the chainsaw weilding crazy looking, blood covered guy come chasing after a group of unsuspecting teens with a chainsaw and watching them scatter, screaming in fear and running into the chainlink fence in an attempt to escape. Best scare, hands down. I don't get it, chainsaws are sooo not my thing, but that is comical to watch and the queue line gets a kick out of watching the patrons scramble away in fear! ;)

Kelly Allen
11-10-2011, 01:54 PM
Our folks love them and if we don't have one or two in the haunt, the patrons are disappointed. Clowns and Chainsaws..... who knew.
Humboldt House of Horrors

Frightener
11-10-2011, 02:16 PM
As a professional hauntee (like that? just made that up) I'd like to say I appreciate BOTH sides of the grave. I mean, c'mon how much more classic can you get? CHAAAAINSAWWWW. Now, than again, I do see the side of trying to be as original as possible.

I say go with the CS! I bet if you took a toll, MOST PEOPLE will say they like the Chainsaws. Again though, as been said x's over, 1 or 2 max.

We went to one this year, first one of theirs we'd been to. (2nd year for them I believe) OMG man, they had so many CS's it was weetodded. Wasn't even funny, in fact, was kinda annoying. We were so tired of hearing that buzz we were just ready to gtfo. after 3 rooms. AND THEY WERE DIFFERENT ACTORS doing it. If I had to guess they had like 7 or so going.


my nickel's worth.

~{Frightener}~

Jim Warfield
11-11-2011, 05:44 AM
Last night the Husband, Wife and teenage Son drove almost the entire length of Illinois to see The Ravens Grin Inn, they drive everywhere half of Sept. and all of October to see every haunted house they can, taking off a lot of time from work to do this.
The Wife told me her Husband "Loves" chainsaws! Then she told me:"They get pretty sloppy with them sometimes and I don't like them, I was "slapped" across my legs by chainsaws several times this fall and one time I had trouble even walking the next day when I went to work."
They saw many little "$10.oo Haunted Houses" this is where this happened and the entire $10.oo venue bought them very little in the way of any kind of entertainment, they stated.
They exited here being impressed by how different my whole place and show was and then stopped to buy a tee-shirt which gave me the opportunity to tell the Husband that the next time they come here I will do My Chainsaw Routine for him. I didn't do it this last October at all because I have so many routines I do in that first room already.
Like almost everything else here, that routine is very different and it has been copied by other haunts which is a burr under my saddle, "Oh,Well?"
This post is simply informational and is presented here simply because last night the subject was talked about by these new patrons of mine. Sometimes I get a whole new persprctive from listening to the customers. I try to talk to as many of them as possible.

elowther
11-11-2011, 08:23 AM
We have a few chainsaws roaming all over the attraction so they never know when it is coming. It's great to hear them in the distance also. I am one of the guys that has one. When you start it up right behind someone in a dark tunnel they freak out and it's an awesome scare. It's all in how you do it. Having a light saw that is loud and starts right away is key. I have one that starts on half a pull, it's awesome!

Here is some footage that shows a lot of chainsaws and the effect they have on people.

I was never into clowns years ago but now have a huge circus section in the haunt because that is what people want. Chainsaws and clowns. We have a lot of other scares as well but the chainsaw and clowns are what get the best reaction from people and is what I hear people talking about when I see them on the street.

VaAP9SYZs5A

BigT
09-27-2012, 05:54 PM
I have thought about this for several years. I have never used them because I didnt want to do like everyone else. This year we are opening a new attraction outside, and I am using a Chain Saw as the climax scare. Its in the woods, body parts hanging in teh trees, so this should work great.

Max Melton
09-28-2012, 07:34 AM
Chainsaws are something I have done in the past and thinking about having again. It really adds that stimulation factor hearing that epic sound of someone trying to start one then revving it up. And that sound effect doesn't have the same effect when used on a recording.

Trail of Terror
09-28-2012, 07:40 AM
Ever since I started my haunt I've always been against chainsaws. I personally think they are overdone in the haunt industry, and are, in my eyes, a cheap scare. However, the more I visit haunts, and the more I hear about what people like, it seems like chainsaws are just the way to go.

I'm in the process of planning my pro haunt for next year and I'm looking for your opinions on this. Are chainsaws needed in a pro haunt?

I feel the same way toward the Vortex Tunnels... I think they have nothing to do with a haunt or scare ...But people love them... So yo just have to give them what they like if you want repeat customers.

Just my thought

Allen H
10-02-2012, 08:48 AM
If I were a single stand alone haunt I would have one. My haunt is in a park. Clowns and Chainsaws are covered for me by the other haunts in the park. I rotate five themes and none of them will support a chainsaw. They are to fun to do to change also.
Allen H

Badger
11-02-2012, 06:14 AM
I just went to a haunt last night that is famous for having chainsaws...LOTS of chainsaws. I assumed that the folks I talked to meant about 4-5 actors with saws but I saw 5 within the first 5 MINUTES of the hayride and that was before I went on their trail. I lost count after about 40. Frankly, I was bored of them after a few minutes. The haunt has been around more than 15 years and is in a (for lack of a better term) redneckish area. However, that's what they think their audience wants to see so that's what they do.

One of the managers has contacted me about lowering the number of chainsaws down to about 10 within a couple years as they want to go to a more actor-based haunt. I feel it's going to take a lot of work to get their actors to accept not using them and actually (gasp) ACT in the haunt. I have already scheduled an entire weekend for them next season so I have my work cut out for me.

Marr Branch
11-03-2012, 06:25 PM
Which haunt was this Badger? I would love to know. By the way I only have 2 saws at the same time.

Jim Warfield
11-04-2012, 10:29 AM
Sure everybody within a 100 feet can hear what it is "saying".. but isn't it always saying the same thing?
I often do a "chainsaw" routine in my first room but I do the "saying", acting, speaking, spreading dread and aticipation, then the finale which is extremely character based and I am the character not the chainsaw.
This could be the several "step" program to ween a chainsaw mechainic into becoming more of an "Actor".
(No actual chainsaws were heard from in the making of this entertainment)

Many potential customers will not buy your ticket if they hear, smell or see a chainsaw first. I know this because I spend the time to talk to most of them.
Of course some of these patrons of mine had that one chainsaw interlude and decided to always miss that boat again.
My customers span all age groups including young familys with Grandma and small kids. This is where my "gravy" is all the rest of the year.
We control and modify tours to suit the group looking at us.
25 years, open almost every night of the year and Sat, & Sun. afternoons.
Located in the world's worst location for a haunted house (But I think that it is BEST!)

BigT
11-05-2012, 09:35 AM
Okay so the jury is in. I rode tram through Camp Nightmare several times to check out what was effective and what was ineffective, and I will admit that the chainsaw worked every time. It works better with someone that is convincing as I did notice one of my actors was very reluctant to get close with teh chainsaw and simply waved it around in teh air. The older actors were very aggressive with it and ran the chain bar along the side of the tram, and along the hand rails. Worked great. It will be back next year ...... after I make repairs to the chain saw!! (Advice - have plenty of spare parts and a back-up. They take abuse).