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View Full Version : going into college, pro haunting?



Floor8Horror
11-08-2009, 09:19 AM
Someday I want to become a professional haunter I have operated a charity haunted house for five years and I am only in high school. We are very successful and some patrons have told me that my haunt is better then the local Factory of Terror (semi pro haunt, I would call it). I thought that set design for theater and film would be my best bet and give me a lot of information to help with making a professional haunted house. but my parents told me I could not go into this field. So I am looking into going into some engineering field, does anyone have any suggestions about which type of engineering would give me the most help in becoming pro haunter? Thanks

legendsofthefog
11-08-2009, 09:41 AM
I am a young haunter myself. I graduated in '06 from Salisbury University in Maryland. I took up a business management/marketing degree, and it has paid off tremendously. In my position, I spend less than 10% of my time designing the haunt, and more than 90% of the time managing and preparing for the haunt. From my personal opinion, I would look into business school... if the haunting profession doesn't work out... you'll have a solid background to fall back on. Good luck!

monsterwax
11-08-2009, 10:48 AM
Good advice Patrick. Get an education in a field you can do well in independent of haunting, then apply it to haunting if you want to have a go at it anyway. I find that other areas of education help haunting a lot, areas that may not seem very related at all, like writing, advertising, business, engineering, accounting, construction, and management. Above all, it is a small business, so even an MBA would be a great help. But the important part is you're not putting all your eggs into one small (niche) basket. It is possible haunts will eventually get run out of business by Personal Injury lawyers, some new technology, or who who knows what, and then where would you be? Flexibility is a must in this biz.

BruiseMuse
11-09-2009, 01:37 PM
I agree with business management, as well as marketing, theater (especially stagecraft, costume design, lighting), graphic design, english/journalism, and accounting. Almost all majors can be applied to haunting in some way and college really is a great chance to take as many courses in a variety of subjects as possible.

Rocky Mountain Terror
11-09-2009, 06:06 PM
I am a young haunter myself. I graduated in '06 from Salisbury University in Maryland. I took up a business management/marketing degree, and it has paid off tremendously. In my position, I spend less than 10% of my time designing the haunt, and more than 90% of the time managing and preparing for the haunt. From my personal opinion, I would look into business school... if the haunting profession doesn't work out... you'll have a solid background to fall back on. Good luck!


I would love to hear how you got started in the business. I have a VERY similar background education wise.

Rocky Mountain Terror
11-09-2009, 06:09 PM
I have a Bachelor's degree in Business Management, and will be starting on my MBA in January. It has helped me tremendously in putting together my business plan!!!

dshaunt
11-10-2009, 11:13 AM
I am also a high school senior, and hoping to major in industrial design at Ohio State. That major might be an option?

also where are you located, you mentioned factory of terror nearby and there was a kid in the paper doing a haunt a few weeks ago. wondering if it was you.

Nightgore
11-10-2009, 11:40 AM
I have my B.A. in Theater, but if I had to go back and change it... I would major in Business and get a minor in theater!! I think this would be the winning combo to better help you to become a pro haunter!

Take theater classes like... stagecraft, costume design, make-up, acting and even one or two theory's!! Also get some production credit by actually helping on a show!! Nothing beats hands on experience. -Tyler

mikeq91
11-10-2009, 12:14 PM
There are two kinds of entrepreneurs- an artisan entrepreneur and an opportunistic entrepreneur. The former is a person with purely technical skills related to their field that starts a business (for example an auto mechanic who starts his own garage) and the latter is a person with both sophisticated managerial and business knowledge as well as specific technical knowledge of their field. Unfortunately, it seems like many people that start haunts are simply artisan entrepreneurs who have in some cases incredible talents, however to really become successful, you need to have that other component. Therefore I'm with Nightgore, go for business and do as much theatre stuff as you can, as well as working for other haunts, doing your own, etc to gain as much experience as you can.

I'm currently working on an undergraduate degree in Entrepreneurship, which includes essential skills like how to write a business plan, accounting, marketing, etc. that all come into play with running a haunt.

And not to sound pessimistic, but try not to put all your eggs in one basket. Consider the fact that you might have to get a job for a while before you have enough money to open a haunt, and therefore you'll want to have a degree in a field in which you would like to work in. And if for some reason things don't work out, you'll want to have something that you can fall back on. Don't take this as a "it's impossible to become a pro haunter, so don't even try" lecture, just be prepared!

Good luck!

deathofdave
11-11-2009, 07:29 PM
I too am an 18 year old starting college. I've done a home hant for the past 6 years but this tyear after the fire marshall has been cool with it for the past 5 shut us down. I am now being pretty much forced into going into a pro attraction whether charity or not.

dshaunt was the paper the Akron Beacon? cause i had a big story in that this year?