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View Full Version : Clown area or no clown area?



SiouxFallsHaunt
11-16-2009, 03:57 PM
For years we have done a clown area. For the past 2 years it has been a clown themed hall, for 2 or more before that it was a full blown room. I am considering getting rid of the clown area next year and just dispersing some of our clown props throughout the house and having clowns up front as crowd entertainers. What are your thoughts?

HauntedMemphis
11-16-2009, 04:10 PM
For years we have done a clown area. For the past 2 years it has been a clown themed hall, for 2 or more before that it was a full blown room. I am considering getting rid of the clown area next year and just dispersing some of our clown props throughout the house and having clowns up front as crowd entertainers. What are your thoughts?

I'm a theme guy...so I like clowns only if they fit the haunt. I hate seeing clowns in haunts (or scenes) where a clown has no business. They are great for carnival, circus, or similar themed haunts though.

soultrkr
11-16-2009, 04:31 PM
I agree about fiting the haunt. Does it fit into your haunts story line? is there a good reason for it to be in there? I prefer to think of a haunt as living a story.

The Doctor
11-16-2009, 07:09 PM
I agree with finding a reason to fit a clown into your haunt, of course some haunts do multiple themes or themed rooms so there are many ways to fit a clown into a haunt, cue line is a great place to put a clown of course you always have to be careful to scare after tickets are bought and not before. In the end if it is working and people are not growing tired of it just play with it change it up but keep you clowns make them more sadistic or more abstract, play with the hall and room idea's to put a new spin on something that has been a good stand by for you. Clowns like chainsaws are one of those things that a lot of patrons expect to encounter, and in the end we are in the business of giving the people what they want.

WelchWitch
11-17-2009, 08:06 AM
I'm a theme guy...so I like clowns only if they fit the haunt. I hate seeing clowns in haunts (or scenes) where a clown has no business. They are great for carnival, circus, or similar themed haunts though.

I agree. We have an awesome haunt here in town that every year is a must see. It changes every year and remains intense. But for the last 2 seasons, regardless of the outside portion theme it finishes in a room that has clowns. To me the last room is one of the biggest rooms to finish the experience. I am pumped throughout to only be let down at that point. It didn't fit the theme at all. I told them this year, that since it is a small room, darken it more, add fog so you cant see then turn it into a tight spaced odd angle maze then make the walls have electric current on them and let people get shocked as they feel their way through it. It would add better then the clowns.

Allen H
11-17-2009, 08:32 AM
I say ditch the clowns, they have become a haunted house crutch that to many people lean on. Then you can add them back in three years or so to spice things up.

TheGreatPhantasmo
11-17-2009, 11:05 AM
I feel that alot of regular customers have come to expect clowns form our haunt. People actually seem to get somewhat pissed when our walkaround clowns aren't there. I dunno if it's just that our clowns have worked up a reputation or if people just ALWAYS expect them but I know at our haunt, we won't get rid of our clowns anytime soon.

I also feel in regards to themed houses that most average customers do not realize if a house is themed. Some reviews we get mention rooms or situations that are so far off from what we actually have happening in the house, it astounds us.

scarygoat
11-17-2009, 01:06 PM
I'm not into the whole 3d Funhouse kind of clown thing, but I do like the more old, creepy carnival style or even have a room like a child's bedroom with lots of dolls and other things that are normally good but can be twisted if done the right way and with that you can add a clown or to with the right costume, not even a clown suit, maybe just a pair of old jeans or flannel shirt. Like Captain Spaulding style. I am designing a room for our haunt next year that will be a child's bedroom and the theme will be the kid has had a continuous nightmare where a crazed clown is hiding in the closet ( kind of the classic monster lurking in the kids closet) and when you walk into the bedroom you will find out that the boy's bad dream is REAL and you will have to walk through the closet with all the clothes racked up (it'll be pretty claustrophobic) and you will come face to face with Huebert the Clown. Anyways I've gone a little off with this, but bottom line is I think as longs as clowns are used the right way and they fit your theme they are great! I don't like the haunts that are ALL clowns though, I don't think you should over use them like that.

WelchWitch
11-17-2009, 01:17 PM
I used to get scared of the small clown that sat in the chair in the movie Poltergeist. When the boy would was scared of it then it attacked, that freaked my crap out. Now not doing the "normal" clown thing would be cool and different.

scarygoat
11-17-2009, 01:34 PM
Ya, lol, that thing still probably creeps me out. I haven't seen that movie in forever, I need to watch it again.

WelchWitch
11-17-2009, 01:56 PM
Not trying to veer off topic, I am telling my age now, but another one that would be cool instead of normal clowns would be like in the 1978 movie "Magic" with Anthony Hopkins. The "dummy" he used while a ventriloquist freaked me out also. Something different.

Raycliff Manor
11-19-2009, 06:26 AM
We had clowns in the past and they were very effective. We justified having clowns because our theme and storyline is "fear" based and people were either encountering their own fears or the fears of others that had been extracted by Dr. Raycliff's fear extracting experiments. We always confined the clowns to one area. When we moved the attraction and renovated we eliminated the clowns and went for a more hardcore Victorian theme throughout. Two things we eliminated that we realized we needed to bring back due to popular demand were the clowns and the chainsaw. This year we brought the clowns back in the new second "Carriage House" attraction. I'm trying to find inspiration pictures of old style and/or Victorian era clowns. If anyone can direct me to some really good sites, I'd appreciate it! Of course in the Carriage House, the patrons are entering into the "Fear Extractor" machine, which was discovered by Professor Widget and re-ignited, so the experiences inside are supposed to be the fears of the patrons, which allows us to have the scenes in this particular attraction represent any time period and offers far more flexibility. :D

Kel

scarygoat
11-19-2009, 07:41 PM
Kel, maybe you could do a more victorian style child's bedroom scene with lots of vintage dolls which you could probably find at a thrift store or even maybe make your own custom one. You could have it filled with some dolls like that and as far as the clown they could maybe be like more doll style clowns. Something like this http://www.blogcdn.com/www.cinematical.com/media/2007/03/2330_d009_00037-(3).jpg ( best pick I can find so far, if I can find any better ones ill post them)

Jake

Here's a few more pics http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BMTYyNDY3OTgxN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNTA0NzU2._V1._ SX304_SY400_.jpg

http://www.legendsalternateuniverse.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/.pond/LonChaneyLaughClownLaughMask.jpg.w300h336.jpg

Both the same character

Jim Warfield
11-20-2009, 02:10 AM
Have an office setting, furniture, phone, swivel chair, official looking framed diplomas on the wall, an American flag on a stand or on the wall, then the clown sits at the desk.
Yes, a common thing in our country they couldn't ever get elected except some Other clowns keep voting for them, I guess?
I know, I crossed the line didn't I?
Nobody really wants this much realisim in their haunt.
hahahaah!

Raycliff Manor
11-20-2009, 08:05 AM
Jake, We did actually do a Nursery this year with puppets in the room and we had Mary Annette shown here in the room http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&friendID=375882486&albumID=1383372&imageID=22965193 The guests were really creeped out by her! I LOVE the Lon Chaney clown pic! That is an awesome inspiration picture! The costume shown in that picture is great for the direction we'd like to go with the vintage clown costume look! Thanks!

Jim, if I ever win the lottery I want to invest in you. You have such a creative and entertaining mind! At the top of my bucket list is still to visit Raven's Grin Inn! You always have me in stitches my friend!

Kel

Allen H
01-26-2010, 11:53 PM
Kelly
I had a few images saved and I poked around for a few more for you. You may have some of these you may not, maybe something you can use. I made a photobucket Gallery for you. Anyone feel free to use them for inspiration. They are not "mine" but they are shared freely and should not be 100% reproduced but for inspiriation.
Allen H
http://s648.photobucket.com/albums/uu201/stiltbeast/Clowns%20for%20Kelly/

drfrightner
01-27-2010, 02:18 AM
I would NOT do a Clown area in your haunted house unless the whole haunt was clowns or somehow you had a story line that involved clowns. I personally don't like mish mash haunted houses meaning one scene is a torture chamber and the next is clowns and the next if Freddy to Jason to a bloody kitchen to whatever...

That is just me... I'd stick to a story line as much as possible.

Larry

Terrorknight
01-27-2010, 06:16 AM
I to hate haunted house that don't follow a story line. I think you should really try to build a haunt that gives the customers the feeling that they are really in the middle of the action/story. And like Allen said clowns just stuck in the middle of a haunt are a crutch. I feel the same way about THE CHAINSAW if it doesn't fit don't use it to get a cheap scare from the sound that it makes. And throw Jason, Freddy and michael Myers in there to, same thing.

I spent alot of time going to Disney and Universal when I was young and that is the reason I started building haunt houses not horror movies ( I do like them ) but it was the way these two place could put you in a building and totally make you believe you were somewhere else. For me it really was E.T. at Universal, your looking at a big metal building on the outside, you walk in the first door they ask you your name at what looks like a cash reg at a store then when you walk into the next room and your in a forest and it feels so real you forget your in just a big metal building. I think thats what every haunter should be trying to reach, ask your self would this scare me , would this make me believe something that I know can't be true, push the limit don't try to just get by. There's no fun in just getting by. And don't blame money for a bad haunt if we make money or go in the whole i'm always going to build something new and try to make it a better haunt because thats where the fun is for me, making people believe.

TheGreatPhantasmo
01-27-2010, 08:58 AM
You also Have to realize that this is what we do so we look for themes and everything to make sense.

However, to the average customer, they have no idea what's going on. Thye don't pay attention or care what comes after what. As I posted earlier, I have seen reviews on our haunt mentioning rooms and things that have NEVER been in our haunt, which just goes to prove that the customers aren't very concerned with how the house is laid out.

Raycliff Manor
01-27-2010, 09:03 AM
Thanks Allen! You're awesome my friend! I really do appreciate your consistent efforts to help your fellow haunters!

I agree with the others regarding the use of clowns. In Raycliff Manor we will not use clowns because they don't fit the theme and storyline; however, if you visit our website, www.RaycliffManor.com and you read the storyline for the Carriage House, you'll see that the guests are passing into the infamous Fear Extractor machine, once used by Dr. Raycliff, and the result is being confronted with their fears. Clowns, being at the top of the list of fears experienced by the public, are a natural fit for this attraction. Of course this is my opinion and I'm not trying to defend or pursuade. We got rid of the clowns that were once inside the Raycliff Manor attraction. This was my call. For the next two years people complained about missing the clowns. Now we give them the best of both worlds, two completely different attractions and all the variety they could ask for. :D

Kel

Dr. Giggles
01-27-2010, 09:50 AM
I would say ditch clowns as a room. But they can be very entertaining and scary characters if portrayed and acted correctly. But yeah they are usually a crutch used by haunts, but they are usually very effective.
So personally i think they make great que line entertainment.
Er my summary on a clown
Good:
*Entertaining
*High Energy
*Creepy
Bad:
*Over Used
*Usually the actors who portray them dont have the energy to keep up the high paced persona of a clown all night

mindtumor
01-27-2010, 11:21 AM
The way we worked clowns into our haunt so it meshed with the continuity of the rest of the house is we had a birthday party scene. We had a fake cake, presents, party favors, a fat kid pinata we made, and of course the clown you would hire to entertain a party. Last year was the last year we will do that scene but it always worked well. Just a random clown or clown room in your haunt doesn't always work.

damon carson
02-02-2010, 05:07 PM
Clowns are not scary to me. But some people are freaked out by them. I guess if you like them use them. But the only one I think was ever scary was the clown from IT.
Damon

StackerSteve
04-04-2010, 06:50 PM
I'm all for clowns....especially since I just sculpted a new mask for this year. LOL. I see clowns freaking out more people than anything

Brandon_K
04-05-2010, 01:18 PM
I don't find clowns to be scary, at all, but the simple fact is, clowns and chainsaws scare the bajeesus out of people. Better yet, a clown with a chainsaw ;)

What we find scary is completely different than what Joe Public finds scary. Last June when we had the MHC bus tour come through, I asked numerous people that came through what they though. The general answer was "It was a great haunt, but I hated the maze". A few people followed that up with "But, for whatever reason, patrons love mazes, so you gotta keep it".

As for keeping to a theme, there are pro's and con's. Yes, it's hard to script in a clown house after a hospital and a toxic waste area. But on the other hand, I've been though haunts that follow the same theming throughout and I've found them incredibly boring. 45 minutes of straight clowsns, or aliens or swamps or ruins is just to much.

My 2c.

Jim Warfield
04-07-2010, 06:50 AM
Put the evil clowns in the swamp, chest deep in quicksand , as aliens open their rubber heads(the clown's) and eat their brains.
Who would come to see this?
All the people scared of clowns, that's who!

"The monster in distress" is a good theme that will satisfy many.
The Aliens could be little blondhaired/blue-eyed children from The Village Of The Dammed, which would also serve to make them more likable..to some.
Then others may pick up on the "Poor Monster" theme too.
Trading pure revulsion and fear for sympathy or feelings of justified revenge works.

piercemanor
04-11-2010, 09:15 AM
Have you ever walked into a haunted house about lets just say area 51, and the story is all the same thing, area 51, You don't need a clown room, if your attraction includes a storyline that includes, say a birthday party gone horribly wrong, You could include maybe a few clowns, (it depends on whos birthday it is and how old they are) If its a little girl's birthday, Absolutely! But if its an adult or older teen's birthday in your haunt I would Say NO. My haunt will not include clowns in the main haunt, however, I will have a side attraction, Dr. Pierces Field Hospital That will include clowns because of the storyline. If you would ike to read it please click here (http://piercemanor.webs.com/thepiercemanorstory.htm)

__________________________________________________ _________________

piercemanor.webs.com

MDKing
04-14-2010, 06:51 AM
Clowns are REALLY played out at this point. I may incorporate clowns again is some way in the future, but for so long people just threw in a clown scene for no apparant reason, and it can come off as cheesy!

Allan

drfrightner
04-14-2010, 04:14 PM
Clowns are scary, they might be the single most thing people comment on 'you don't have clowns in there do you?'

So yeah you want clowns but does it fit your haunted house if not no... on one hand can you have a gacy type of character who lives in a real mansion who dresses up like a clown and kills people...sure.

But a clown room in the middle of a mansion or just inside the haunt somewhere no way...

Larry

newhorror2010
04-29-2010, 10:37 AM
For years we have done a clown area. For the past 2 years it has been a clown themed hall, for 2 or more before that it was a full blown room. I am considering getting rid of the clown area next year and just dispersing some of our clown props throughout the house and having clowns up front as crowd entertainers. What are your thoughts?

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE clowns! So obviously I'm all for them! We have our 2 clowns set up in the back of the haunt, & we're making plans to expand the clown room out onto the dock area. It started out in just a hallway, then it became a room, now it grows even MORE which means maybe we aughta hire 1 or 2 more clowns then....
Either way, I'd say HELL YEAH to clowns! People are & do get terrified of clowns, I dressed up as one a couple years back & simply walked out front towards the line. I didn't get even halfway there before people saw me & started freaking out, I didn't have a chance to do my clown laugh, honk my horn, none of that stuff, people just took off all of a sudden! Good for me & my makeup/costume, kinda sad though I wasn't able to get closer 1st though before anyone saw me!

John
____________________
Death Row- Sanitarium of Slaughter
Nashville, TN 37211

unihaunter
04-29-2010, 03:32 PM
I myself don't like them but the customers do so give them what they want.It seems like someone in every group is scared of clowns.I just don't understand it.

Pumpkin King
06-17-2010, 12:36 PM
I'm not into the whole 3d Funhouse kind of clown thing, but I do like the more old, creepy carnival style or even have a room like a child's bedroom with lots of dolls and other things that are normally good but can be twisted if done the right way and with that you can add a clown or to with the right costume, not even a clown suit, maybe just a pair of old jeans or flannel shirt. Like Captain Spaulding style. I am designing a room for our haunt next year that will be a child's bedroom and the theme will be the kid has had a continuous nightmare where a crazed clown is hiding in the closet ( kind of the classic monster lurking in the kids closet) and when you walk into the bedroom you will find out that the boy's bad dream is REAL and you will have to walk through the closet with all the clothes racked up (it'll be pretty claustrophobic) and you will come face to face with Huebert the Clown. Anyways I've gone a little off with this, but bottom line is I think as longs as clowns are used the right way and they fit your theme they are great! I don't like the haunts that are ALL clowns though, I don't think you should over use them like that.

And maybe the clown could come from behind- The kid shaking on the bed warns them... they go into the closet, inching foreward, terrified. Meanwhile the clown opens the secret door and comes into the closet from behind them, honking a horn and screaching at them. I would imagine that would cause plenty of pee-talities. :D

phrase
07-21-2010, 09:52 PM
Only if they fit the theme. We had them when we first started, but have not had one in years. This year we are going to have about five for our circus themed haunt.

zombietoxin
07-22-2010, 07:44 AM
Let me jump in on the tail end of this horse and whip it once too. YAHHH!

I say all areas must be tightly controlled, related and fit a story line.

Because our back story includes a family, we will have the little girl's room (really the doll room) and our clown will dwell there. I think clowns have a real impact, but as wise the men have already stated- you gotta break it up.

It's my thought that the doll room will rotate actor outfits (maybe weekly or yearly) so that returning guests will not know what to expect from that particular room. This time the clown, next time the midget doll, the time after the ghost girl, etc. They will all be there, some prop some live, so the scare will vary.

Personally, clowns out of place are wasted time and money.

<clink, clink> my .02

O"terror
08-03-2010, 03:15 PM
In our haunt, we already have multiple themes (it's a volunteer haunt with different groups taking a section of the haunt)(http://www.fieldofscreams.info/). My wife, a tour guide, mentioned over and over again how people were deathly afraid of clowns and would question her on whether there were any. So, I suggested clowns for our theme, which was not met by enthuisasm. While clowns are scary, they don't seem to get the actors very excited here. So we are evolving the concept more, and it might turn into something very cool with blacklight effects, etc.

P.S. - Many of the actors did not want to do clowns because they themselves are deathly afraid of clowns, and did not want to get scared of their castmates.

jimmyfish
09-22-2010, 02:02 AM
I think if you can make them fit into the story line, then yes. After all a lot of people are scared of clowns and that is what we are here to do.

Sometimes since we are so close to the industry and analyze everything, we think things are burned out. But most everyday people go to a haunt or a few haunts a year and that is about as much as they are exposed to it, but we ofcourse think about it all year and try to get to several haunts or atleast look at videos and get on message boards ect.

Same thing with chain saws, we think they are played out, but most guests expect them.

ResHallHaunter
09-23-2010, 09:56 PM
I use them only because I haunt at a university where it seems the entire football team is terrified of clowns.