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Cookie Crumbler
05-07-2010, 01:44 AM
...I don't get it.

I know this is a preference thing as much as anything else. And I suppose I mean no real offense with this: But could someone please explain to me why so many people use poo in haunted houses?

Front Yard Fright
05-07-2010, 01:49 AM
hahahahaha

I guess I'm not really sure why we ended up putting it in ours... It just seemed fitting since it was in a bathroom. I think that some haunts go for intense in your face, others are theatrical, and some just want to gross people out with gore and well... poo!

xtremecreator
05-07-2010, 05:40 AM
Im with frontyardfright

. A bathroom seems to be the right place and people do not like it.

However, we had a homeless guy break into our house, slept there and took a dump in one of our scenes........

Bet you never heard of that one..............

John

the ogre
05-07-2010, 06:36 AM
hahahaha. I'm a clown at my haunt I actualy keep fake poo wrapped in a hanky in my back pocket. I ask people if they like icecream. Then I whip out the poo and say " How bout some soft serve!?" poo is fun

Darkangel
05-07-2010, 06:37 AM
Lucky for me I don't think I've seen it in any haunts I've worked or been too. I would rather try to entertain and impress my guests, not gross them out with these types of antics...


DA

MDKing
05-07-2010, 06:41 AM
John,

Sorry to hear that, that's nasty!

No poo for me ever in my haunts, but to each their own I guess...


Allan

lurker
05-07-2010, 07:14 AM
To poo or not to poo, that is the question......that is the question?
This post really stinks. ba-dump-a

soultrkr
05-07-2010, 07:44 AM
ROFL what a post but an interesting character.

I think alot of houses go for it because it causes a very visceral reaction.
now just going and smearing fake poo all over does not a scare make but in the right setting I think it adds alot to the scene in realism. The reaction which is usually shock puts peoples minds out of the logic range which really opens them up for a scare.

How ever for some it could have just the oposite effect. Classify those whom enter your haunt and profile how you think they will react. If you are in a area and most of your clients are fundamentalist or of a higher social standing the idea of poo in a haunt would probally not go over well.

If you are in an area where everyone has that cousin who goes. This smells awful here you smell it. then you are probally ok :)

Also with this many puns and bad jokes in this thread I feel like we need a drummer doing rim shots.

Jim Warfield
05-07-2010, 08:19 AM
From Mr. Tuxedo (spookhouse cat) just reach in the blue box and take one, stick it above your lip, nobody will know you, nobody will WANT to know you! Take two, they're small."
"Some people say I don't give a chitt!"
One of the first times I did this routinea man maybe 60 (well-dressed) reached in the litter box and took one, held it in his hand , rolled it around a few times and asked, "What exactly is this supposed to be?"
"Looks like shit to me!"
Of course a case of diarheaa would have shut down "production" and sales would suffer.
"MMEERRRR!"

Allen H
05-07-2010, 12:55 PM
Soultrkr pretty much hit the nail on the head, It induces a strong reaction.
Fear of disease, fear of the unclean, and fear of the smell.
The facial expression of disgust (a grimace) is very close to the facial expressions for fear and pain. When we have a facial expression that fits an emotion we are more easily swayed to feel that emotion. Crazy stuff but its true.
I dont use it in my shows unless its completely appropriate and unavoidable in the scene. I did a Dante's inferno haunt once and one of the levels of hell Is waist deep waste so to speak. In that room they walked across bodies to get to the other side, as they stepped on the Torsos they screamed, it was fun. Yes, the whole room smelled like poo, as it was in the inferno it was in our haunt. Exhaust fans at the beginning and end of that section pulled air up above the haunt (the hayride actors hated that) but the smell was pretty well contained and never stunk up the park or the rest of the haunt.
That was in 01 and I have not used it since.
Im not into it.
Allen H

nmhollowproductions
05-07-2010, 01:27 PM
I like Allen H's take on it - there's a lot wrapped up in that one little bodily product, haha. If it's used right, in the right place, then the use of poo in itself can reach a near-Cronenbergian height of bodily horror - I might be stretching that a little, but I kinda think it can take on that aura of terror if used right. No one wants to be filthy, and poo in itself is a harbinger of a lot of different bacterias. No one wants to get sick. Just a little bit in a filthy bathroom scene can get the mind reeling...it's the same as if you just stepped in a nasty gas station/department store bathroom that's seen a lot of use in a day, and someone leaves a little (or, in some cases, more than a little) behind somewhere besides the toilet bowl. You're subsceptible to a good scare if you're preoccupied with avoiding what could darn well be unavoidable (going back to Soultrkr's post, as well). The Dante scene sounded magnificent, by the way!

More people use it for comedy than anything...sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I loved the sound of the Mr. Tuxedo gag that was mentioned earlier! A real good creative use of waste in a hilarious, yet horrible sense.

coasterfreak63
05-07-2010, 04:21 PM
You also gotta love poop smeared on the walls with scent packs in the air too.

It adds another sense into the house and whenever I go to a haunt with a scence like that my friends (the non haunt ones) always freak out about it and their faces are always priceless.

Darkangel
05-07-2010, 05:44 PM
Interesting... And we wonder why we don't get much respect.

Just curious, would Universal use poop in their haunts or are they above lowering themselves to bottom feeder tactics like that? Maybe they do...?

DA

Allen H
05-07-2010, 06:16 PM
They use it Dark

Mutant Space Gerbil
05-07-2010, 07:39 PM
They do EVERY year. The most memorible was the house psychoscarepe ( spelled that wrong). Awsome scene in a sanitorium full of escaped loons you had to walk through a restroom with stalls and nut jobs flinging poo and spraying toilets. It was awesome!!!!

Darkangel
05-07-2010, 08:10 PM
I stand corrected then guys, thanks! I assumed otherwise...

BUT, it still does nothing to add respectability to our craft.... I guess we reap what we sew we earn every bit of the lack of respect we've obtained....

DA

Allen H
05-07-2010, 08:32 PM
It takes all kinds Dark, there are as many styles of haunt as there are different types of customers.

unihaunter
05-07-2010, 08:38 PM
Look at all the media poo thats shoved down peoples throats maybe haunt poo is not so bad.

Darkangel
05-07-2010, 08:45 PM
You make a good point Unihaunter.

DA

Darkblood
05-07-2010, 09:59 PM
Hey everyone...don't forget:

Even Disney has an entire ride featuring Pooh!
Sorry I had to! ;)

Kirk

Cookie Crumbler
05-08-2010, 05:38 AM
This is an interesting topic because it’s, quite frankly, weird to talk about, yet so many haunts employ this it had to be brought up sooner or later.

I’m sorry to be the one that did hahaha.

So is poo a legitimate “tool” of the haunting trade as has been inferred by some here?

Or a low-brow, non-creative, cheap way to get reactions? There are certainly those who feel this way.

Well, I’ll say this: I’m quite shocked at how few anti-poo haunters have spoken up.

I want to get out of the way that I am 100% with Dark Angel and Allan Bennett. I’d never, ever utilize poop in a haunted house, and personally, in an ideal world, I’d prefer not to be professionally affiliated with any haunts that do.

But with that said I’m not here to criticize those that do… A good haunted house is supposed to be filled with artistic and creative expression, and techniques to make people feel fearful and in some cases uncomfortable. So who am I, as an advocate of using moderate (but certainly still gory) blood and dismembered latex body parts in a haunt, to say that using simulated poop is wrong?

Nor do I want to sound like a hypocrite when I say I believe Jim Warfield’s example is actually pretty funny. Because even though it’s still poo, it’s cat poo. And for some reason, that seems cuter and less offensive than normal poo. It seems just insane enough not to offend most people, but make them laugh which is the ultimate intent.

And my base argument on the artistic merits, or lack thereof, of “resorting” to poo only holds up so far, as explained in Allen H’s first post… He’s proven that the use of poo can in fact be artistic to convey a sense of integrity in storytelling. I can’t believe I just said that. But I’d also like to spotlight the fact that he ended his post by saying he hasn’t used poop since, and that he doesn’t like it or want to use it again either.

And as for John the Xtreme Creator… not much you can do about the introduction of poo to a haunt in that fashion! That is a weird, weird story John! hahah.

So after all of that, here’s where I finally start to make my point:

I personally believe that a very large segment of the population simply doesn’t want to see or focus on human poo.

I don’t know this for sure, but I know myself, and I know the people I know, and how they’ve responded to poo in haunted houses.

There are two kinds of revulsion, I believe:

-Laughing, “OMG”, “Grroosss!!!” revulsion. Like something sticky, or slimey, or a picture of a worm. These kinds of things I believe are not offensive to most people, they won’t alienate anyone in your audience. It will make them uncomfortable, but in a “fun” way.

And then:

-Angry, embarrassed, TRULY uncomfortable, or even legitimately sickened. This can be effective with some people, but can also have the opposite effect with many others. I believe if you take this too far, it will drive many potential repeat and potential future customers away.

There are lots of people out there who do not want a spotlight shined on the fact that they too are creatures that create poo. When many people are out on the town, they want to feel like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Not poo covered creatures. If I were at a haunt with a female I wanted to impress, I’d be ashamed I took her somewhere that they shoved shit in her face. That’s just me. But I’m speaking as a customer in this instance. Remember this isn’t just about us. It’s about our customers and what they want.

I visited a haunt with a friend last year that was actually one of the better haunts around. However, in one scene there was what appeared to be a busted pipe above a toilet, and flowing out of it was what I can only describe as an out-of-control geyser of what I hope was simulated diarrhea. It was composed in a way where you only had about 1-2 feet along the back wall to traverse- if you didn’t want to literally get sprayed by diarrhea water.

When my friend and I left, after 20+ minutes of haunt, the first thing he said was: “That was cool, but the toilet was ridiculous.” We agreed it was a fun show, worth the money, but ultimately not worth returning to. If I were to say the diarrhea wasn’t a factor in our decision not to return next year, I’d be lying.

Personally, I see poo in a haunt, and I say to myself: “Oh, these people must not be very creative, they had to resort to poo.” I’m fully admitting here that I’m not necessarily right about this, but it is how I feel.

Dark Angel made a point about not getting respect as an industry, and I think it bears repeating. We really don’t get enough respect, considering the talent level around here!

Jeez we’ve got people here who’ve worked in legit movies, television, theater… Making stuff cool enough for movies, television, theater…

I’ve never seen a mainstream movie, or any movie for that matter, where they showed me a piece of poo. Not even the king of low-brow torture-porn, Rob Zombie, has shown me a piece of poo. I’ve never had to smell poo in a theater, they don’t show me poo on television, and I’m pretty sure the folks paying to see Broadway shows and Operas aren’t being shown or forced to smell the performer’s poo. The internet and haunted houses are the only mainstream entertainment-based places to go if you want to see poo. And lets face it, the internet can be a pretty shady place.

Yes, occasional comedy movies will infer actual poo, but it is highly rare and even then almost never human poo. We must, at minimum, face this as an industry: They simply don’t shove human crap in your face anywhere… Except haunted houses!!!

The only mainsteam place I’ve seen poo was in an Adult oriented video game that I’m pretty sure was banned by a group of US Senators.

I would think that to evolve as an industry, we’d want to rise above, maybe match the standard set by R-Rated movies at least. I’m not saying I’m right, I’m just saying we should think before throwing crap out there. Ask ourselves: “Is this poo I’m holding really necessary to what we’re trying to accomplish?” “Does this poo artistically lift the overall presentation of our show?” “Am I doing the overall reputation of my industry any favors with this chunk of human poo?”

Not one of what I consider “the best” haunted houses I’ve personally seen use poo. Now granted my opinion and yours of which are the best haunts is likely totally different. So that only goes so far. But I have personally seen a good 8 of what have been widely considered universally as among the “industry elite.” And these haunts simply don’t have poo.

It seems to me that while there is no questioning the guaranteed visceral reaction of poo, I can’t help but think of what we are sacrificing as an industry for this, dare I say, “cheap pop” from the crowd. In my own personal experience, out of every ten normal people, maybe 2 will enjoy the poo, 5 will react but won’t be overly bothered by it, 2 will think it’s incredibly low-brow and stupid, and one will be incredibly offended and totally put off. These are not scientific numbers of course. This is my experience.

Soultrkr said something like “It depends on your audience.” He’s totally right… but anti-poo reactions can be strong enough to lose many repeat customers. Why bother REALLY putting customers off with poo if you don’t have to? Do you feel the poo really adds that much to the show?

If my numbers are even close to correct, and I’d seriously bet they are, then using poo is actually hurting how haunted houses are perceived by the general public. If my numbers are off… well then I’d bet even more people than we know are thinking using poo is low brow and stupid. I’d personally bet that out of every ten customers who get poo shoved in their faces, anywhere from 1-3 will be so put off, that they will forever think of haunted houses as trashy carny garbage.

Many of these people might not show they are outwardly pissed, or even be truly offended. But they’ll certainly think of haunts as a “low” form of entertainment.

I have SEEN THIS REPEATEDLY firsthand. And I’m not a snob. I’m an average, somewhat crazy, middle-class person with average middle class friends. And I don’t know of one person who enjoys being subjected to live poo.

Obviously some of you do and that’s cool! But you are ignoring the MANY people out there who clearly think it’s stupid, trashy, and pointless!

This is why I initially said “I don’t get it.” Because I don’t get how it’s worth the trade-off.

I have a VERY hard time seeing any arguments “for poo” as being half as good as the arguments against poo.

With all that said, if you know your customers and demographics well enough, and you believe they like this, then certainly disregard my opinions! I’m just thinking about your bottom line in the long run, and all of our standing, collectively as an industry, in the eyes of mainstream appeal!!!

I certainly applaud those who are not ashamed of their poo, and don’t mind using it in their acts. It is really something… to embrace yourself as a poo-creating creature. But not everyone wants to think about, laugh about, or embrace poo!!! Think about your customers too! All of them! In the end, that is the core of what I’m saying.

Could I be wrong? Absolutely. But I think I’ve made some pretty strong points! Also, Disney's Pooh is the greatest Pooh of all.

MDKing
05-08-2010, 06:02 AM
Well said Cookie Crumbler.

And also, you and I agreeing with other on something? That's a shocker! :)

Allan

Cookie Crumbler
05-09-2010, 02:47 AM
Well thanks, Mr. Bennett!!

Yeah... we agree again... shocking indeed!! hahaha.

And I have a feeling it probably won't be the last time!!!!

lurker
05-09-2010, 06:54 AM
Holy scatology Batman! I have never seen such a long winded discourse based on shit that didn't come from Washington DC! And to see two outspoken people agree on shit is truly like watching C-span. Quick, someone alert the media, the haunted house industry has reached a bipartisan opinion on poo. Next week we are going to tackle the tough subjects of blood, spit, and toe nail clippings.:D

Cookie Crumbler
05-09-2010, 07:10 AM
Really? I'd call my post a must-read. Seriously.

Believe it or not, want to accept it or not, this is a pretty serious issue for the industry, lurker guy.

I'd like to know if you can tell me how anything I've said here is anything but exactly what this industry needs to hear?

Cookie Crumbler
05-09-2010, 07:19 AM
While I wait I'm looking at the Darkwood Manor Website!!

lurker
05-09-2010, 07:21 AM
Maybe you are right. How about turn it into an article, and get it printed in HauntWorld magazine.
There are lots of perceived offensive stuff found in haunted houses. I really don't think poo or the lack of poo is going to change perceptions of haunting as a whole. Blood, for example is offensive to some. The implied violence that a lot of haunts use is offensive to many. Where do we stop? I don't think anyone wants to see 1000s of carbon copies of Disney's Haunted Mansion every October. But, I maybe wrong.
I look forward to your article, with illustrations of course, in HWM.

MDKing
05-09-2010, 07:24 AM
Cookie Crumbler, forget what Louis said it is an important topic and the thread presented lots of opinions. This forum has been slow lately, so it at least sparked some debate which is needed to liven it up around here. Otherwise it's shameless promotions and nonsense.

Allan

lurker
05-09-2010, 07:25 AM
I believe my site is poo free. However it is full of BO.

Cookie Crumbler
05-09-2010, 07:49 AM
Hahaha, to be honest, I personally think it would be a very helpful article, because some folks don't know where or when to draw a line. I'm not saying I know where the line is, I'm just saying!

Personally, I'd prefer if we'd all draw the line on one thing...

If I had a vote, I'd say we take a hint from EVERY OTHER MAJOR FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT and draw the line at poo.

I hear you on the blood being offensive thing... but come on that is a silly argument. Movies show blood, video games show blood, TV shows blood, classic art shows blood... And none of them show poo!! Ever!!! That should tell us all something!!!

I don't want every haunt to be like Disney's haunted mansion. My Disney line was in reference to Darkblood's post. Do whatever you want in your haunts! I'm just questioning the use of one thing: Poo. You should too. We should all question those who use it, quite frankly.

I'm sorry, most people legitimately don't like having human poo in their faces!!! They don't think it's funny or scary, they think it's trashy. But somehow our industry doesn't collectively see this! I can't believe I have to verbalize these things. hahahaha.

As for Mr. Bennett agreeing with me, what can I say, he's a solid dude. If anything, he's proven he's less into poo than everyone here!!! If that's something to make fun of, well... that's a world I'm not sure I want to live in.

Haha.

Cookie Crumbler
05-09-2010, 07:58 AM
I'm waiting for a reply from my comedic challenger.

I think we have two diefferent senses of humor hahaha.

You are going with sarcasm and I'm more on the irony side of things.

lurker
05-09-2010, 08:17 AM
I'm not saying it isn't a subject to be discussed. Just never imagined it having so much depth.
As for it affecting the the perception of haunting as an industry, I seriously doubt it. Lets face the fact that Halloween and Haunting will always be perceived in a certain light because of their very nature. Some attractions will play up on the more taboo elements others won't. It will always be so, and thank god for that. I like to see different shi...stuff used in different ways. Vive la différence
As for poo in mainstream movies...well, they don't have to put poo in mainstream movies cause a lot of them are just all poo from the start. However, I could list movies and scenes that use poo to elicit a certain reaction, but I don't want to get that heavily invested in defending poo.
I agree with Allen, forget what I said. Use poo, don't use poo, I don't give a cr......well, ya know what I mean.

Cookie Crumbler
05-09-2010, 09:05 AM
Fair enough! hahaha.

Just a couple things... VERY few mainstream movies use poo, it exists of course, but we're talking like .0001% of legit movies. If that.

But no doubt... most of the stuff coming out these days actually is poo itself, so the number is higher "from a certain point of view." hah.

Your point is well taken- but then again if you would have told me Halloween Horror Nights would become what it has, and that the industry would have multiple shows on the Travel Channel (and other channels)... every year... ten years ago, I wouldn't have believed you. If you would have told me the Scarefactory guys would have their own freakin' cable show 7 years ago, I wouldn't have believed it then either.

Those things alone tell me that our industry is gaining more and more acceptence as a legitimate form of entertainment. Will it ever be high art? Probably not. But to even slightly overcome the unfortunate and dated idea of "shady carnival trash" forever is a pretty awesome goal to set, if you want to see the industry flourish and be more rewarding for everyone involved!!

No question there is something great about seeing all the different shows. I love variety in haunts. I just seriously question the long-term industry benefits of poo as a tool of the trade. I believe anyone who cares about helping the industry gain perspective should ask these same kinds of questions.

Not in a judgemental way, but in an open and honest way.

With that said it appears we agree that the conversation is worth having. Cool!! Wait we're talking about poo? I'm defending the merits of talking about poo? What the hell? hahah.

Even if nothing comes out of it, it's good we've discussed it in an industry forum!!! Even if it's poo!!!

graystone
05-09-2010, 09:06 AM
Or is this a shitty thread! Shane and its LMAO! Shane this time.

Jim Warfield
05-09-2010, 09:06 AM
Haunt next to a hog lot and the smell of the piggies is assumed to be the stench of "Death" by the teens that have never been around real hogs before, quite comical.
Of course this factor gives "Carte Blanche" to those who constantly smell up a room because of dietary choices of drink or food.
My Wife was driving a car load of German exchange students when the smell of skunk filled the car. When they were told it was skunk they began reversing their breathing patterns, sucking in the stinky for the experience because I guess in their part of the world there are no skunks!
You never know?

PAT MATTHEWS/HOUSE OF WAX
05-09-2010, 09:11 AM
I think the poo topic is simple if they want the poo give the customers poo. It may not work for every hauny but I see nothing wrong if its tastefull and everyones having fun

freak 'n' stein
05-09-2010, 09:13 AM
A simple GOOGLE search for "poop in movies" lead me to the FIRST link on the search:

http://www.poopreport.com/Fun/Content/Movies/movies.html

...literally a list of HUNDREDS of movies with poo-related scenes. I just want to say, if you're going to make statements about research, actually bring the research and don't just talk about your perceived statistics...

THAT BEING SAID --

I don't think this comes down to haunts using poo and the "class level" it makes an attraction. I think this comes down to personal embarrassment. You may not want to admit it, but you poo, your mom poo's, your dad poo's, your cat poo's, your dog poo's -- it's just a fact. I think this thread took a serious turn for the worst rather quickly. You make it seem like people are opening up entire poo related attractions. The day Larry introduces "the Poo" or "Creepy Poo" haunted attractions, I will then give you all due credit for the industry hitting an all-time low, however, because someone has a BATHROOM scene and it has a poo-laden toilet, doesn't make or break a haunt...honestly.

When I went to the Fearfest at TW, I believe one of their scenes was after you crawled through the morgue doors you came out a ramp underneath a guy on the crapper. That scene, while disturbing, was also humorous and didn't make me say "I'm never coming back to this shit-hole again!"...In fact, the attractions at Fearfest were a few of my favorites on the tour. The entertainment value of the overall show was GREAT...that ONE scene didn't ruin my view of the whole haunt.

I'm pretty sure more people are going to be offended by blood, guts, gore, violence, etc than walking past a toilet. If that were the case, I'd never set foot in another Walmart, Shell Station, or any business with an unsatisfactory restroom facility!!!

I can see it now:

"Dear Walmart, because someone appeared to have an accident all over your facility, and it was human poo I will no longer be returning to any of your retail locations. If it were cat poo on the other hand, I may consider being a return customer. Just a little food for though.

yours truly, a former customer."


...hell, at least I'd EXPECT shock-value from a haunted house & not a walmart restroom...and I think that's what most haunters bring to the table nowadays, SHOCK VALUE. Gone are the days of simple black walls and cheap masks. We want realism. Terror. Involve as close to all 5 of my senses as you can!!

We don't plan on dowsing our customers in poo juice this year, however, we were so inspired by the Scare Products "Explode Commode" that we built our own for pennies on the dollar. I haven't decorated the toilet yet, however, it was gonna be pretty darn close to theirs...which looks REALLY gross!! Scare House used the exploding toilet in their attraction and it looked like it got GREAT reactions. It's just a simple STARTLE "gag"...

All that being said, I don't mean to attack anyone's personal view...I mean it all in the sake of good clean, non-poo slinging, haunt forum fun!!! Like MDKing said, just adding spark to this somewhat life-less forum...(which is totally understandable cause we are all working on our shows) Hope I sparked a little bit more insight...

Cookie Crumbler
05-09-2010, 10:25 AM
First to Shane and Jim, you guys rock.

To The last couple fellas, You are missing the point!

You are a haunter! Not a customer.

To many people, it DOES make or break an attraction, I've seen it many times. Many. many many many times. It most definitely assigns a CLASS-LEVEL. Whether you want to believe it or not!!!

To quote Larry... PERIOD.

To most people, bodily functions= Low Brow.

Yes of course it's also about embarrassment, I touched on that too!

I've never met a single person who would refer to live simulated poo as "tasteful." In any form, even in a Dante's inferno scene. It simply shows a lack of self awareness as to how a good percentage of your customers view you to assume anything otherwise.

As for the "Google facts":

Poo-related scenes in movies? Yes, there's TONS!!

But actual shots of poo?!?!?!?! Camera shots of pieces of poo?

NO WAY. Very few. You can take that to the bank.

Your site listed general poo references. Inferred poo being most of the results. Huge difference! So yes I've done my homework, and please don't treat me like that much of a schmuck, because I'm not some dumb guy making shit up.

As you can tell I'm running out of energy for this haha.

Look I respect you guys but I don't think some of you understand how this is perceived outside of your respective haunt worlds, because you guys are so close to the business.

I have never met a single person who enjoyed seeing poo in a haunt. Not one. And I've known lots of people. I have no reason to make this up.

If you know people who enjoy it, that's cool! But obviously you're missing part of the picture if there's someone like me who lives for this stuff, and still knows no one who has ever enjoyed poo in a haunt.

I know of plenty of people who think it's sad and kinda pathetic, though! People who have mocked haunts, and been put off over poo scenes. Again, average, middle class people. Not my words, theirs. Don't shoot the messanger.

I've made it very clear that I am not judging! I'm presenting a very well thought-out side of an argument that needs to be made. In the end you do what's right for you, all I can do is present my case with vigor, knowing full well that there will be several people arguing with me no matter what I say, as long as I have an opinion on something involving content that we could potentially change.

But this isn't about censorship. It's about what's best for the perception of haunts, and therefore the industry. I've made it clear where I stand, and I believe I'm right. You won't be able to change my mind, but certainly do share your opinions because poo or not, it's a good conversation to have out in the open!


I'm out of here for now. By all means, keep it going!! But if you're going to try to pick apart and shoot holes in little things I've said, realize I won't be around to defend my well-thought but also human and subject to scrutiny statements. So don't hit a guy too hard while his back is turned, eh?

No disrespect to anyone, keep it cool, see you later, many hours later hahah.

unihaunter
05-09-2010, 10:43 AM
Part turd part pure evil and you thought it was safe to back in the bathroom.

Jim Warfield
05-09-2010, 03:02 PM
Are we gunna talk about urine now?
Pleeze?
Urine trouble now! Big brother always told the little kids.
We had a little girl severely wet herself here, half of her jeans were soaked and she had to walk a couple blocks to get a change of clothing.
She came back a few weeks later, we recognised her of course but didn't say anything about it , not wishing to embarrass her infront of her friends and strangers in the group.
So she with a big smile says loudly,"Hi! Remember me? I'm the one who peed themself when I was here last!"
She was So Proud!
???
I guess it's her talent, not everybody can do that!?
When a fart happens I blame the customer, "Boy you were scared weren't you!"
Then I tell them, "You were So Scared you farted in My Pants!"
One old display here is a book:"2002 Things to Do With Feces"
I recommend those reading this must be only those who really give a shit.
You can use a turd for a bookmarker, nobody will steal the book then! (This was illustrated via my video I made )
Then there is the Scott Grenke film I show once & awhile,"Muddy Water", a very comical 3 minute film about the mishaps of diareaha in the dating scene.
The "Doctor" making his visual exam of the "girl" gives us a perspective look as the waste falls straight down all over his thrashing face (he was trying to be a pervert anyway) They mixed in chocolate milk with corn for the effect! YIIIII!
No I do not show these films to the general public audience, just old fans who might happen to request them on a slow night here.
I give very different and adjustable tours here.
Maybe the flexibility helps keep the audience returning (and not for vengence!)
23yrs. Open every night.
I keep thinking I MUST be doing Something that somebody likes?

MDKing
05-09-2010, 03:27 PM
Thanks Cookie Crumbler.

It's not that I'm anti-poo, it has it's place and funny in movies, I just think it adds nothing to our industry. Sadly, many people expect to see more poop and vulgarity than modern sophisticated technology and cutting edge concepts in haunts because we keep telling ourselves it belongs in our haunts.

All I'm saying is, let's step our games up and make scary haunts that still exude some class. Is that so off base if a belief?

Allan

Jim Warfield
05-09-2010, 03:46 PM
Poop has no moving parts. It's found everywhere, you don't have to attend a trade show to find some.
You won't be waiting for months hoping the vender didn't just steal your money.
You can weld, bolt, glue, nail a pnuematic cylinder to poop..and poop continually elludes being controlled! (Unless you get mad and just catapult it away!)
It's such a free spirit!
"I am poop, hear me roar!" (Actually that roar came from my cousin farty, he announces me at public gathers and social mis-functions.)

lurker
05-09-2010, 05:43 PM
Once while standing in front of a sprawling sewage treatment plant, a friend of mine asked me, "How do you treat sewage, any way?"
And I said, "Like shit."
I really love that joke.

This whole subject boils down to the audience and what haunt owners perceive they want to see.
Cookie, when you say ‘no one I know likes to see poo in a haunted house. They think it is sad’ this is not giving me any accurate portrait of what my audience, by in large, may or may not like. As far as I know you and everyone you know could all be in a mental institution, and enrolled in the germaphobe anonymous program. No offense, but I nor anyone who operates a show should base what they do on the perceptions of a few, and especially not an anonymous few. If a haunt owner chooses to eliminate the use of something from their show they have to do it based on what they think their audience wants and does not want to see. And hopefully base their thinking on astute observations and possibly surveying, but not on opinions of taste of people far removed from their demographic. Or a haunt owner should add or remove things from their show based on their personal taste. Cause in the end you got to please your self as well as your audience.
I’ve been to attractions where they have done things that I find rather tasteless and stupid, but their audience loves it and they keep coming back year after year. So, all I can say is good for them. I’ve also seen haunts that have such easily scared/easily amused audiences that they can get away with some very esoteric stuff. And that is great too.
I feel like I try to cater to my audience as much as I can without offending my own aesthetic. Before I sat up shop 10 years ago, the people in my neck of the woods thought a haunted house was a place of black plastic and strobe lights where people chased you with chain saws and pulled your hair in the dark. I have risen the bar quite a bit over the years, however I can’t just throw the whole package out. I did get rid of that stupid ass chain saw theory. Some, and maybe a lot, of my audience still want a chain saw, but that is my choice. I’m not willing to compromise on that one, however I will give them some of the gross out stuff cause I’m pretty sure they like it. If it was completely my choice and I didn’t have to compromise a little for the sake of staying in business where I’m located, then most likely I would have a haunted attraction that I and only a few sci-fi nerds and David Lynch fans would truly enjoy. It would be very tasteful and very highbrow for sure, but I would be out of business very quickly. I compromise, via that compromise I have stayed in business, entertained my audience and raised the bar in this area for what people can expect in a haunted attraction.
While I’m writing this long winded rant let me add this little bit. Do you know who likes poo and poo humor. Kids! Young kids love it. Maybe cause they aren’t so far removed from the horrors of pooping ones self, or maybe they haven’t realized the importance of being highbrow-ed yet, but they love the poo stuff. Yesterday, the town in which my haunt is located was having their annual spring street festival. I decided to open up and run KID FRIENDLY/NO SCARES tours through DarkWood for the day. A few of my regular actors, and myself, acted as guides through the house. It just so happens that I was acting as tour guide through the section of the haunted house that has our nasty bathroom scene. It is a nasty bathroom with a nasty toilet, but not really any other evidence of the dreaded poo. When I took the little kids through there they just loved it. And oddly enough, the really old grand parent types loved it too. Of course I’m just basing this on the smiles on their faces. Deep down they may have been revolted by it. Who knows?

Also, lets think about this; how classy and highbrow is getting dressed up like a ghoul and jumping out at people ever going to be in our current society? Shakespeare, I think we all can agree is some pretty highbrow stuff. However, during the time that he produced his plays they were considered very lowbrow entertainment. What has changed? It sure isn’t the plays. Only the opinions changed not the art.

Who are we trying to get more respect from? It’s pretty obvious that we still have our audience, and the major theme parks are copying us with their shows…poo included. So, whom are we trying to impress? Is it the folks that don’t go to haunted houses? And do you really seriously believe it’s the poo factor that makes them not attend?

Haunting is fun, dark, uneasy, bizarre entertainment. It is what Halloween is all about? It is why folks come to see us in October. If they wanted a completely tasteful highbrow techno show, they would save their money and go to Disney World on a nice bright clean sunny day.

freak 'n' stein
05-09-2010, 07:41 PM
The ENTIRE episode of American Dad on Fox right now is about poo!!! I bet every fan of the show has turned...haha. Sorry, I just had to.

For the record, you were right...while we saw the "shadow" of Stan's poo floating to the top of the pool, we never actually saw the POO!! We did however see the fish poo and bird poo. <--- I'm changing the channel in utter disgust! BOYCOTT FOX BOYCOTT FOX -- LOL!!!



Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! LURKER, you hit the nail on the head with a hammer!!! [who exactly ARE we trying to be so high-brow for?] I'm SURE the 5 people who refuse to come to our show because of a toilet won't hurt business TOO terribly.

Cookie Crumbler
05-09-2010, 09:01 PM
Lurker, I admire your passion for this subject.

If the kids and grandparents faces are lighting up at the sight of poo and toilets, I’d argue you might not be doing enough to engage and impress them elsewhere. That's not a rip, but it is a possibility.

There are an infinite, infinite number of things you could build that kids would like more than poo. This I know. If they are smiling at poo, they could be smiling at a million other things. But poo is easier. In my opinion, an easy shortcut to a reaction, if you will.

Being anonymous is great, because it allows me to engage you at this level without taking it personally, I am speaking as a dissenting voice of public consciousness. You are right, without the computer screen and fake name, I probably wouldn’t speak so openly about poo. I don’t want to be “the poo guy”.

Why should you listen? I am your customer! My friends are your customers! And just because you only hear the positive doesn’t mean there aren’t dozens, hundreds of negatives rolling their eyes at you while you’re not looking!

There is also a difference between poo on a screen and poo in your face.

Hell, I know haunt owners who think people like their shows, but when people are leaving, the reality is they are making fun of these shows. Then when the owner asks they smile and say “Great,” then return to their cars where they bitch about how crappy the haunt was.

To insinuate using poo isn’t the lowest common denominator is to assume there is no low and high in the world. I think that’s a pretty “out there” way to look at things.

Shakespeare may have been looked down on in his day, but I’m sorry, you will not convince me haunted house poo will ever be seen as Shakespeare. I promise. I guarantee. Never happen.

We aren’t challenging societies conventions. In many cases we are choosing shit over ingenuity.

Who are we trying to impress? Potential customers of course!!!!!!!!!! People who we only might have one shot to impress! People who might never visit a haunt again if they don’t like what they see!

People who will spend money and bring their friends of all walks of life and classes, if we impress them enough!

We absolutely should be trying to impress people!!! You can’t tell me you disagree with that!?!

I laugh at poo jokes. Poo is funny. That is part of why I created this thread. It is very amusing to me to see the word poo as the top post when I open the fright forum.

Jim Warfield you are in a different category than the rest of us! Jim can gauge his audience, one at a time, and then deliver whatever each individual group wants to see in real time!! That’s what he’s doing right. Beyond being a dedicated fabricator, he is a live performance artist. When people go to see Warfield’s place, most are going to see Jim Warfield perform as much as anything else, knowing he will give the audience a show that suits their needs! If he wants to strip down with burlesque performers or give out cat poo, that works because he is interacting personally with his audience and seeing in real time what works with each crowd. Jim’s show does not reflect on the industry. I’d argue Jim’s stuff is in a category of it’s own and can’t be compared to what most haunts do.

Do what you like! I’m trying to make everyone aware that we reap what we sew. We can build anything we want for the customers. If you want to entertain them with poo, and your customers are cool with that, GREAT.

But you are choosing to entertain them with poo, and ---Seriously, SERIOUSLY, you are choosing to entertain them with poo. I believe we can do better.

I personally don’t want to entertain people with poo, and there is a huge untapped market out there who most certainly would agree! Short of going out and getting signatures, no, I can’t prove this. But I know this, and I seriously can’t believe anyone would possibly disagree..

To get these new customers, it would be nice to show we have far more up our sleeves than having to use human waste.

Universal is just as subject to industry trends as anyone else. If everyone suddenly stopped using poo, I believe Universal would too. Can I prove this? No. But you can’t prove the opposite either!

As a haunter, student of the game, and frequent customer, my opinion certainly holds as much water as anyones here! Haha.

Thanks.

lurker
05-09-2010, 10:36 PM
To shit or not to shit that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The stench and odor of outrageous flatulence,
Or to take arms against a sea of turds


Cookie, you are not my customer, and I'm willing to wager your friends aren't my customers either. My real customers make their opinions known my returning year after year in larger numbers. So, they must like my poo.
When you own a haunt and run a haunt, give me a call and we will talk. Hell, I might even listen to your input if you had actually been through my attraction, but until either of those times come to pass I will have to take the opinion of an anonymous man with a grain of salt. And not just any grain of salt, but rather a grain of undigested salt that one may chance upon in a pile of poo at your local low class haunted attraction.

And this is my last shitty opinion on this here sea of turds. Thanks for helping feel like a 5th grader again.

Cookie Crumbler
05-10-2010, 01:10 AM
Funny as your post was,

You’ve done your part to bring yourself back to fifth grade, man! Hahah. By defending the honor of poo, which no one forced you to do! Hahaha.

High-horse is not becoming, because the people in this industry who deserve to talk “shit” are rarely the ones that do!

Would you respect my opinion more if I owned a shit-hole haunt? Because I could go open one this year with some wood, screws, black paint, Jason Masks, chainsaw, a tray full of turds, and about $35k.

Literally anyone could do this at any time you realize!

If I couldn’t do first grade math, spoke like the baby from Full House, but owned a haunt, would you give my opinion more respect?

PWEEAAASE! Harhar.

Lurker, baby, I could easily be your next customer at any time. And there are others LIKE me and my friends who WILL be your customers in the future!!! You should want to put your best foot forward for them!!!

Great that you have customers who come back year after year! But I’ll bet it’s not the poo that brings them back. So why use it?

Is it that magical moment, a shared wink between a child and his grandfather?

And what about the ones who don’t come back, or never show up at all? Could you handle more customers? Yes. So why keep even one customer away with poo when you don’t have to? (And I believe it will be more than one customer.)

Unless you think poo is the reason they come back and support you… Unless you think it isn’t you the customers love, but the poo… In which case I see why you’d defend poo!!!

Jim Warfield
05-10-2010, 08:07 AM
WOW! I Never thought of that! (butt I flush mine one at a time, no wonder?)
What do at least the younger boys like and respond to?" Fart Jokes".
This information not only happens to be my feelings on the matter but was also reinforced by a psychologist who works just with disturbed children. It's a universal "Ice-Breaker" followed by laughter.
I feel most people come to see my house and take the tour because their friends told them about the fun they had here.
Is it "Fun" for most adults to get scared? No, not usually because being an adult is very heavy into predictable situations and Control.
Is an adult in control as they walk into a dark unknown situation having to trust strangers who will be trying to make them jump, scream or worse?
The thrill of the unknown does not appeal to most adults,"The test results will be back in a week to see how long you have left to live." Fun stuff, that unknown, huh?
There are many things that many haunts do on a common on-going basis that I will not do here because I do not want to offend the customer, (well, at least most of them) I cannot afford to send them away forever, just like everyone else here.
So the younger and teenage crowd must be our "Meat& Potatoes"?
Several eons ago I decided they were not mine and I took the personal risk to aim higher for at least the college aged crowd and it was a personally selfish reason on my part. I like them more, usually. Also they are not as likely to suddenly scream for absolutely no reason, piercing my eardrumms, causing pains in my ears that sometimes would not subside for the whole month of October!
I have told jokes in my tour that some people later told me they did not "get" until months later(when they were back home in Colorado) I love seeding the mind with time bombs and my tour is a sensory-mental over abundance for many(Maybe this is what they like?)
So in many ways I am aiming "Higher" possibly?
My one hallway is decorated with second-hand toilet seats. They have sayings and some pictures on them like "A Brown-out is not always electrical."
One has a cartoon carving of a dog wearing a dress and it says:"Mutt Carol" (I'm in Mount Carroll, Ill.) then there is our very own home-made toilet seat, "Order Yours Today!" and it is barely chiseled out of very rough wood, as crude as imaginable. ("OUCH!")
I don't use a real chainsaw or chase anyone . I don't have strobe lights. I don't have super loud sound defects, I'm trying to not deafen, sicken, offend or bore the patrons.
Maybe they feel this too?
I try to create some anticipation, maybe even fear, then it all usually ends with a startle and/or a laugh. Everybody survives.
Hopefully no new phobias, no angst to take home.
This house has been haunted for a long time and I tell it's haunted history but with attempted humor inserted for all the right reasons. Some people are already very afraid without my influence.