View Full Version : Clean up this business....
10-04-2010, 07:33 AM
I made a post about attendance now I have a post that may not sound nice to the industry. There is another trend heading our way and it WILL kill this industry or turn it into something most of us will want nothing to do with. Ready? Here we go.
These are things parents and patrons are saying they are starting to see in haunts:
Stripper Poles with girls in bra and panties (put some make up on and it's a haunted stripper pole. Right.)
Young girls with little clothing in near rape situations or extreme violence
Okay haunters is this where the industry has to go? Do we need to go this route to get more customers? Forget about saying 18 and older disclaimers, they never are enforced. I saw a quote from a haunter of a photo with a zombie and 3 strippers in his haunt "blood sluts and gore" really folks? Haunted houses are a family affair. If we go this route the industry is done for. Parents will not allow the kids to go, news stations will have negitive press and soon we will go back to the dark ages of the 70's...an obscure shady attraction that only creepers go to.
Let's take a hard look at ourselves, use our imaginations and keep the clothing on our young women in the haunted houses. Taking the easy way out to attact crowds by adding strippers is wrong, for a time people will come to see it but it will bite not only you but everyone else in the end. Think creatively, think of the kids coming through, would you want your child to see a girl being defiled in a haunt or being tortured while half naked?
Yes we all have violent scenes in our haunts, blood and guts. That's fine when done right.
Pushing the envelope in good taste and sex is a recipe for an industry wide DISASTER.
What are your thoughts? Experiences?
10-04-2010, 07:42 AM
all I've got to say is amen to that brother..amen
10-04-2010, 08:07 AM
I disagree, while you will not have the child element, you will increase numbers in the 18+ demographic, which any business student will tell you is the demo that has the most expendable income. Granted from a moralistic standpoint, it may appear wrong, but I for one find nothing wrong with "pushing the envelope". In fact I'd love to see more risque, "disturbed me so bad, i can't get it out of my mind" haunts. I'd shell out 20 bucks for the shocking before i'd give over 20 bucks to see some cobwebs and child actors in raccoon makeup.
10-04-2010, 08:12 AM
And perhaps haunted houses are a "family affair" for you and yours, but from an actors perspective, I'd rather have a bunch of adults coming through than a bunch of tiny children.
And another thing, I do not feel it is the haunt owners responsibility to censor his/her haunt. If you don't want your kids to be "offended" or "compromised morally", then take them to a disney movie.
It's the parents responsibility to keep those things out of their childrens eyes, not mine, yours or the haunt owners.
Don't like the displays? Don't take your kids!
thats my opinion.
Everything else in this world is liberal-pussified, lets keep the sanctity of one of the last refuges we have to offend and shock.
10-04-2010, 08:41 AM
We don't have cobwebs and no we don't have racoon eyed monsters. We are edgy and and cool and the teens come to see our show. That isn't the issue. I'm asking us to take a hard look at what we are doing. If it's morally wrong then why do it? Saying that parents have a responsibility is right they do but a haunted house in their mind shouldn't take them by surprize and see a naked girl being tortured. Parents are being blind sided by this trend. You will not grow an audience this way. Haunts like theme parks grow a new audience every year by keeping it clean.
I suppose you can push the envelope and that's fine. Art is about pushing the envelope. I predict that the city you are in will allow you to spend a ton of money getting your haunt set up and then come inspection time you will be surprized when the fire marshall or building inspector gets you for something and you are shut down. This happend to Spookyworld years ago. I remember they tried a haunt that had pushed the envelope as you say. The township found them in violation of a sprinkler system and that was all she wrote. One of my favorite haunted attractions was shut down for years and has yet to see the glory it once had. This will eventually happen to you if you are not careful.
All I'm saying is we are going to have an industry wide publicity meltdown if we decide to go down the easier path. I don't see Universal Studios going in that direction, do you? When they start adding stripper poles and naked women then I think the industry is ready for the next step. Until then I'll make my city government happy so I can stay in business.
10-04-2010, 09:19 AM
Maybe everyone would like to see some naked politicians tortured? Maybe some torturing of Wall Street shady types? Maybe the guys responsible for some extremely hurtfull business decisions that left you 401s out in the rain?
There you go! A whole new creative concept/way to go!
Paying good money to see a 4 ft. tall "Frankenstein" is customer torture, or so I have read, but then almost anything might "entertain" a paying customer if done right.
Is the main entertainment on-line still porno?
Seems like that is what it used to be.....
We all have choices to make and the people making most of the choices will always be parents of small kids and teens.
Howie Slobber Erlich
10-04-2010, 10:08 AM
I am not sure if this was a picture from my past haunts that you are referring to but, for the last few years, my haunt offered Adult Only Nights. We did them on Thursday's. We charged a couple bucks a ticket more than on a regular night to get in. Everyone who entered had to be 18 or over and show picture I. D. plus sign an entrance waiver. We did not let anyone under the age of 18 in period. On these nights only, we allowed foul language and partial nudity. The last two years we hired some professional dancers as well. Yes, they brought their own poles. Our customers loved these nights. It took a weekday where we may have only seen 150 - 200 customers and increased it to 400 - 500 customers. Sex sells! This year, we decided not to do the adult nights because of another promotion we are running. It was a big mistake. We have already had over 200 emails and phone calls from bummed out customers, asking why we are not doing the Adult Nights this year. Give me a break on the morality issues. Kids see worse than any of this on TV everyday. ever notice all the "hidden" sexual innuendo on the Simpson's? Or how about Stewie trying to kill his mother on Family Guy? Maybe Sesame Street should be pulled off the air because Bert & Ernie are gay? The fact is, I am a haunter because I love this industry. However, it is a business and I will continue to try and come up with creative marketing ideas that my customers enjoy and can bring in additional income. I am sick and tired of haunt owners that try to tell me what is good and bad for the industry or who think their way of haunting is the right and only way to do things. This is my 24th year haunting, I must be doing something right!
In nudity I trust!
Howie "Slobber" Erlich
Deadly Intentions Haunted Attraction
10-04-2010, 11:13 AM
I applaud you howie. I personally feel that your adult only nights are an excellent idea. Morality is relative to the speaker. I think that as a free will human being, if you are offended by a haunt, then dont go....but to expect others to "tow the morality line" because it "hurts the industry" is foolish. Thats the sort of "if I don't like it, others shouldn't be able to enjoy themselves" attitude that outlawed smoking in bars. Just because certain individuals do not like, nor accept the happenings in the industry does not give them the right to chastise or tell others that what they are doing is wrong. From the other postings of the original poster, I see that his haunt is having a rough start to the year, ive seen others that are having incredible starts. Perhaps the OP's house is stagnant due to bending to the "status quo". And as for saying "i will continue to make my city departments happy", good for you, keep the righteous aspect alive...without those that will do what is told, there would be no one else willing to throw the normal expectations to the wind and push the envelope towards a possible new dawn of non-politically correct haunts.
To each their own, but in my world, and the world I want to be a part of, there is no "do it just because its the moral thing to do". There would be more, "if you dont like, it, dont come". I bet 95% of the paying audience would be interested in adults only nights. Id risk the decline in children for a boost in adult attendance, as is pointed out by the above poster.
If you rely on the younger audience for your profits, by all means continue the family friendly atmosphere, but its not fair or your place to condemn others for thinking outside the box or making progress towards something that you personally do not believe in.
Judge not lest ye be judged.
10-04-2010, 01:05 PM
Anything, in moderation and scary is a good thing...however....
I agree with the original post, but form the perspective it"s not always being done well, and it's gratuitous.
Naked or violent for no other purpose that to be naked or violent.
I personally, don't find that type of haunted house particularly scary or entertaining.
I'm not a prude, I love gory houses (my preference actually) but I have been to haunts that are just ridiculous.
I feel that as long as there's a balance in the industry between adult only and family fun, the industry will survive, it just may split. As long as those who "pigeon-hole" themselves into one category or the other don't complain about their attendance or advertise themselves as the other, it should all work out.
bert and earnie are gay? noooooooo im never watchin seseme street again
10-04-2010, 01:51 PM
I think you can have adult only nights without having to resort to nudity or sexualizing the haunt. You just have to be more creative.
You see this kind of 'cop out' in horror movies all the time. Hi, I can't write an original screenplay with genuine scares so I'm just gonna use shock value.
If you want to do that in your haunt then by all means, it's a free country. It's just not my cup of tea.
As far as it hurting the reputations of haunts in general, it might create some bad publicity but I think those haunts who do not have overt sexual themes will be sought out because of it and get MORE business.
Like I said before, I mean no offense to anyone. Just putting in my two cents.
10-04-2010, 02:34 PM
I'm not here to change people's minds. My haunt did great last year by the way. This is Michigan, ground ZERO for this bad economy. Anyway, what is being missed, and I'm not condemning you haunts. I think we should all have free speech ect. I think Howie did it right by making it clear what people were getting into. What's wrong is that other haunts and I mean alot of other haunts are not making it clear. Epsecially to their local governments. THAT's a problem. Could the industry split? Who knows but if it does I'm betting the naked haunts with fetish rooms will win out. The problem is that the industry very well could become KNOWN for having that kind of show. A reputation like that might kill it for everyone who loves Halloween.
If we don't have opportunities for young kids (12-18) to experience a well produced theatrical haunt then nobody will benefit. If it's all about $ and nothing more then fine, there will always be that kind of fly by night operation. Pitch the tent show some flesh get run out of town, not the life for me nor a way for the industry to head. All I'm trying to illuminate is the fact that parents are being, and I'm serious here, blind sided by this tactic. They take their kids out for a nice evening of Halloween fun and end up at a stripper zombie club, not good for the kids, not good for the industry. I'm hearing it more and more that people are saying "I'll never go to another haunt the experience was so bad." All it takes is one time for some people. We need to grow an audience.
A word about our haunt. We've been around for 16 years and are doing fine. Yes we are slow at the moment and no I'm not complaining about other haunts taking business away. No we are not stuck in the dark ages with cob webs. We will survive.
Our competition is actually shrinking. The bad one's are going out of business or going someplace else under another name, common when you have a bad reputation. You can do this a couple of times but soon they all vanish. I've seen it happen to several haunts over the years. All the while we are still here. We have a solid rep for producing a great show. I've been in show biz for 25 years and know how to produce a show. As far as government politics go, Octoberella your comment tells me you've never owned a haunted attraction. You honestly can't talk to local officials that way. You can't tell them how to do their job and certainly you can't be a jerk to them. This business is all about jumping through hoops, fire inspection, building, electrical and in some cases applying for an entertainment permit that HAS to be approved by city councel. You can't fight city hall if they don't want you in their community.
I think getting beaten up over this online is facinating. I was only pointing out that we all have to watch our P's and Q's to make this industry better and keep thriving. Pushing the envelope of decency won't do it. Let's not do anything stupid out there people. Let's think before we leap. $$ are fine but like anything, one bad apple CAN and will spoil the bunch if we are not careful. I am not judging anyone here. I'm creating a dialogue to spark change before it becomes a major issue and it will if we are not careful. Can you imagine if we have be become regulated by the governement on show content? Don't think for a second that it can't happen. You get enough people with deep pockets and connections crying "indecency" trust me they will create change for us and it will not be fun to be in this industry not by choice but by red tape and lots of it.
10-04-2010, 03:23 PM
How amusing for you to assume you are way more intelligent about "city matters" than I. For your information, I have gone head to head with city officials over floorplans, regulations etc for a haunt...if you know the law and what they can and cannot do, you will never be "pushed out of business". and in my day to day job I deal with not only inspectors, police officers, city and state prosecutors and city officials, but also with the court systems and "the permit givers". I have spoken ad nauseum with some of these about the haunt industry and about local haunts that have been shut down for one reason or another and it always comes back to cutting corners....you dont want to be shut down on a technicality like a sprinkler system? Then get one. Problem solved.
you mentioned nothing about being shut down because of risque-ness...your original post speaks only about "making the parents want to bring the kids" and you say the industry should "clean up this business".
You want to clean up the business because you think the morality is not what you feel it should be and that parents are being blindsided.
How is it that a child seeing a human body split open and bleeding is less detrimental to their psyche than a half naked demon on a stripper pole?
Youre talkimg out of both sides of your mouth. One side says we need to clean up the industry or risk losing clientele base, and out of the other side you are saying it is because haunts run the risk of pushing the foul button with local governments for not being pc enough.
I for one remember the Nightmare in Painesville having a furnace that you walked into with orange lights and smoke while Hitler speeches played. Was that too far? Some thought so and made a stink. They owners changed the room and the season went as business as usual. If they would have kept it would they have been shutdown? Probably not. Would they have lost a portion of the younger audience? probably. Did a ton of people including myself go to see what all the hype was about? Absolutely!
Point being, if you dont want to offend or bother YOUR local government, by all means do not....stay the course.
But again, its a very holier than thou philosophy to tell others how they run their business is wrong because you run yours with angelic hands.
10-04-2010, 03:56 PM
I'm not here to argu with you nor attack you personally as you are doing to me. My thought is in bettering this industry. I don't know what your beef is with kids but it's disturbing. I'm an on call firefighter with the city and have been for 11 years. I know my city hall and they are all different. I can tell you that a temporary show such as our industry is noted for is coming under heavy scruteny. If it hasn't found you yet it will. I honestly don't know how you think I'm talking out of both sides of my mouth? I suppose yes I am but haunted houses are expected to have blood and gutz. We all know those are rubber props and have seen plenty of horror movies with actors getting killed in one way or another. That is called SPECIAL EFFECTS. Now Octoberella let's look at your argumnet about a kid seeing a rubber prop and a half naked woman on a stripper pole. That's a REAL woman. NOT FAKE. Those are REAL BREASTS (as far as real goes). That's what is the problem. Parents are taking their kids to a HAUNTED HOUSE NOT A STRIP SHOW. Got it! Do we have the message now? Okay then now that you understand my point we can move on and have our cake.
I'm done trying to make you see my point. I see yours clearly and understand it. I'm not condemning you and I'm not trying to make you become angelic. Be who you are be the artist you are. Just listen to the point I'm making. It's causing a stir because it IS becoming a problem. We either split the industry into Porno Haunts or Family Haunts. A line has to be drawn and distinction made. Are we a gentleman's club? What about naked men? Is that next? You bet it is. I'm sorry I'm sticking to blood and gutz. All that other stuff is going to pigeon hole us into obscurity. Look back in entertainment history and you'll find that it will.
I'm done argruing with you.
Anyone else feel free to continue this thread...the strangeness and ignorance is astounding.
10-04-2010, 04:05 PM
And one more thing, I apologize if my last post came across condescending or confrontational, it was not meant that way.
If the tables were reversed and someone was posting that your haunt wasn't risque enough, I would 100% defend your haunt and reasonings behind why you do what you do,they way that you do.
I fully believe that there will be a change in the industry, perhaps to more confrontational haunts with vitriolic situations and that those haunts will not be for the faint of heart. In those situations, I hope the owners are caring enough to warn potential customers about what may be seen and heard in the haunt, thus dissuading parents of young children from wasting their time and money.
Again, im just debating for the sake of debating. I personally feel haunts should always be pushing the limits of what will and will not be acceptable. You on the other hand seem to feel the polar opposite. Are you right? Maybe. Am I right? Maybe.
Either way its neither of our rights to judge others on how they run their attractions.
Best of luck this season, I mean no ill will towards you, your haunt, or your opinions.
10-04-2010, 04:17 PM
One final thought towards your last post. At no time did I say that you were wrong for your beliefs or how you do business, but you are without a doubt telling all other owners to tone it down for the sake of the industry.
Perhaps that would be good for the industry, theres no telling....maybe the house that they have in NYC where you need to walk through alone after signing a waiver will be the wave of the future. Only time will tell.
10-04-2010, 11:18 PM
After I read these first few posts today and left mine, I had an appointment with a college photog student. She told me she had lived in Ken. and purposely stayed away from a haunt there that advertised itself as "Exotic".??
Then she told me about a haunt in a small Iowa town (6,000 pop.)about 50 miles from me that scared so many small children so much that the city banned any haunts from ever being put on there again!
She also told me an interesting ghost story. She lived in a haunted house where her brother sat in a chair, then the cushion between his legs sank and there was the sensation of someone sitting between his legs! He never came back to her house again!
The house was built on the location of a previous house which burnt down, killing the Marylin Monroe impersonator who lived there.
So the ghost of a woman who looked like a sexy actress sat on his lap? And he didn't like it?
Wait a second, she never said if the impersonator was a man or a woman..never mind.
10-05-2010, 01:35 AM
Hopefully you aren't running a haunt that amounts to much. I agree with the others. I can scare the hell out of people without using employees from "Sluts R Us"
10-05-2010, 01:38 AM
I find your whole attitude offensive. I'm not telling you how to run your business but I hope it doesn't catch on. Maybe you should look into the Porn Industry. I'm sure they'd welcome you with open arms.
10-05-2010, 01:40 AM
I always think it is funny when someone goes on a rant against someone and then that person replies back and eventually they are both appologizing to each other and they kind of makeup lol. It happens on almost every board I have been on. You can say almost anything to anyone as long as you paraphrase it with all due respect, as in with all due respect.....you are an @$$hole lol.
Anyway on the subject of sex in haunts, I think to each his/her own, As long as you let people know it will be in there before they enter. Then they can make the decision and you will know at the end of the season if it worked or not.
10-05-2010, 01:44 AM
You're looking for someone to argue with and to justify running a house that most don't agree with, plus you're hoping to impress everyone with your intelligence level by talking down to them. It's not going to work. Most of the people on here have been doing this for many years and are not concerned with your opinion or your single digit IQ. Please spare us all any more of your posts with your inane babbling.
10-05-2010, 08:03 AM
if you are referring to me, you need to stop while you are ahead.
He asked for thoughts and opinions in his first post in case you didn't notice. If he wanted confirmation opinions, he should have asked for them. I am in the dissenting opinion, so does that render mine pointless? If so, then I shouldn't even bother with this forum.....apparently debating is frowned upon....agree or dont speak. Sounds like Nazi Germany.
First off, i wasn't even addressing you. You must be the tiny kid that sticks his head in between the adults as they talk. Trying to throw in a witty statement to rile it back up.
Secondly, it was a debate between me and another member, I was respectful of his thoughts until he told me "you must not have ever dealt with..." then we had our spat, fairly civilized I would say as well.
Furthermore, you are the one that has drudged up a conversation that ended with us apologizing....so who's the antagonist?
Go away child, your thoughts are wasted.
We agreed to disagree. which makes your thoughts on our conversation moot. Also, your statement,"single digit IQ" is humorous...this coming from someone with "extreme" in his name...it hurts..haha
Howie Slobber Erlich
10-05-2010, 08:50 AM
Please don't stop posting your opinions. You are one of the few who does not always agree with the masses. It is pathetic how many people on this forum have no guts or balls. Most of the time, all they are are little sheep just following the majority. It is refreshing to see someone post their true feelings instead just going along with flock. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one who ever speaks his mind on this forum without regard for who might disagree or what other people may think about me. I speak the truth and am not afraid to say what's on my mind. I can listen to peoples opinions without getting angry or over defensive but most on here can't. I am used to getting bashed for everything I ever do. I come up with creative ideas all the time that people are afraid of or don't like. Most of the time I truly believe that they are jealous or wishing they would have thought of it first. It is nice to see posts from people who are willing to stand up for what they believe in without being pressured to agree with everyone else. I say hooray for you!
Howie "Slobber" Erlich
Deadly Intentions Haunted Attraction
10-05-2010, 08:59 AM
I appreciate the words Howie. I've lurked on this site for years and never spoke up about anything. Recently some old haunt friends popped up and I joined the site to bounce ideas, opinions etc off the community, but lo and behold, its like most forums...If your opinion isn't the same as ours, we'll flame you.
Like I told the OP, if someone was bashing his house for not being risque enough, I would be the first to jump to his defense.
I thought this was open for debate but apparently the bashers "know whats good for the industry".
I'll go back to the shadows and not post on here, not a big deal to me...i'm a fairly good observer...I'll just keep my thoughts to myself.
Hopefully one day I'll get the chance to work at your haunt on an adults only night :)
talk to ya soon.
10-05-2010, 09:21 AM
:) I'm a bad boy!
10-05-2010, 10:03 AM
Next time you have an adults night I wanna be there
10-05-2010, 11:26 AM
omg gore and seductive vamps in a haunted house..thats horrible and disgusting and has no place in this industry...
until its for sale at the convention
and anyone who doesn't have a creative bone can purchase it..
then its don't be upset..
its just how business is done...
peace to all on here who agree or dis agree..
this board spent 2 years putting the Hooch down..
for its over the top attractions..
til you come and experience it..
and see its not just gore..
its not just seductive hillbillys with chainsaws..
its a mixture of thousands of ingredients that sells tickets..
its a passion for following your own personal dream
and making it come to life..
we all have different taste..
and the Hooch tries to please them all..
and i think thats what adds up to a successful event
10-05-2010, 12:04 PM
I realize that a lot of haunt goers are becoming jaded. What used to work well at scaring a decade ago does not seem to be as effective. Do I blame haunts like house of shock or haunted hoochie for racheting up the level of intensity or pushing the boundries of the norm? Oh hell no!
Haunts are a form of art and art is not "safe"
10-05-2010, 01:22 PM
My 2 cents and not that it means a damn thing but I applaud anyone who is
willing to push the envelope a bit. I have been to Deadly Intentions on Adult
night and it was off the hook!!! I don't own a haunt but have been working in them for the past 15+ years. I hope one day to be a owner, and will probably have a "Adult Only" night.. Just because I believe there is a market for it..It's not for everyone but this is why we have freedom to choose... If you don't like it don't go!!! On the same token don't come walking through a haunt that I'm working at and ask me to take it easy because you decided to bring your child out at 11pm on a weekend night. Anyway just my ranting I just don't like it when a few people like to decide what is good for the whole.
10-05-2010, 01:44 PM
It is very simple. Live up to your marketing. It you want to be extreme let them know and there should not be a problem. Extreme gets a certain crowd and cuts out a lot of folks, just like in the movie business, if you want to go down that road take it.
Last year I got calls about Hoochie, and I told them they are extreme and they don't hide it! Anyone going to that show should know before they walk in that door exactly what they are getting into. No problem.
None of us wants to be content sensors since we are all artists and don't want to be censored ourselves.
Now on the greater scope of the industry as a whole a lot of effort has been taken to elevate what we do in the eyes of the public, that we are professional, safe, and fun ways to spend an October evening.
A few "extreme" events don't really hurt that, they might in fact add zest, but we all should be mindful that we are in this together, and that we want the world to view us in a positive light.
So IMO just let em know WHAT YOU do and hopefully you won't get in trouble...
10-05-2010, 05:24 PM
Sex sells, we all know that, even Halloween horror Niights and Howl-O-Scream use sexy men and women in the event. If your market is little kids then don't use it but if you have a older crowd then by all means go to it.
10-05-2010, 06:09 PM
Hot toppic, not sure what I would do.....but to me Halloween is all about candy, pumpkins, costumes, hauned houses, and scary movies......
Did I say scary movies????? All of us know that all of those slasher movies have sex and nudity in them. Not sure why that is? But to me I think haunts should stick to being scary and not rated adults only.
Here is my two cents, now that I have thought about it while typing. For those who wish to use the term "sex sells" they should keep their naked haunts at a differant location....to me, doing something like this is asking for lots of trouble and it takes JUST ONE BAD INCIDENT to turn the whole haunt industry upside down. Oh here is another thing, DO YOU HAVE A PERMIT FOR THAT? All srtip clubs require a permit, don't they?????
Keep haunted houses fun and safe, and don't incorperate nudity with haunted attractions. I think it makes the industry look bad.
10-05-2010, 08:24 PM
again, why is it another "Do this because I feel it's right, and i know the industry better than you because i've been open 'X' years"?
I see no reason for it to be so cut and dry. The top grossing horror movies have no gore?...perhaps that is true, I would have to look into it and verify.
But does that mean that there are a lack of people out there that enjoy over the top horror movies?
Hostel, High Tension, Saw....all movies that were violent to the point of cringing and still made money at the theaters.
All I'm getting at is that I understand that there is a family friendly element in the industry...I accept and appreciate it, it is good for everyone.
But for the haunts, owners etc. that are not striving to be a family friendly affair, but are still looking to put on an awesome show, why are they expected to "tone it down for the sake of the industry"?
I'm not just an opinionated teenager. I've been working at and managing houses for going on 18 years, so I have seen the family friendly events and attractions and the over the top elements. Both are equal and appreciated in my eyes and I feel they are both excellent destinations, be it for a night with the family or an "adults only" night at a haunt willing to provide an over the top show.
I just may never understand the reasoning behind condemning those that look to push the envelope strictly because you don't agree.
10-05-2010, 08:46 PM
I respect your opinions. First of all, I do not advertise that I am family friendly, actually I put a pg-12/13, so to speak. But not for all the previously mentioned attributes, but because we actually create the sense of realism that makes one wonder where they are. Far scarier than the other way; and again, far more talent involved with that. For the record, Hostel, Saw etc barely measure in the box office. Here's what I don't get: the "gore" fans typically will come to a non-gore attraction (especially if u r the leader in your market), but the "non-gore" fans will typically not attend the blood-n-guts shows. So why not appeal to the masses?? Once again, look at the movies I referred to...who's banking more??
What I find disturbing is that the over-the-top gore fests are being catergorized as haunted attractions and therfore we get 'stereotyped' into one category. Not so....try this then. Ask a number of people what words come to mind when you say the word "politician". Crooks, thieves, liars, cheats etc etc. Really??? I know plenty of politicians who are good people but fall into the category with the others.
10-05-2010, 09:47 PM
And I respect yours, believe me, I am fully aware that there is no right or wrong. I understand why those that do not necessarily approve of the shock/gore houses would want to distance themselves from being lumped in.
But I feel its unfair to the ones that push the boundaries to try and tell them how to run their show.
It's also not fair to say that because you use little blood that you are better at what you do ie: entertaining an audience. I personally would like a mixture of both the excellent non-vicious scares, actors, theatrics etc. along with a good amount of shock and awe. But those that do shock to an extent are doing well...look at the Hoochie. I don't feel that because you don't use blood and gore that your show is automatically better.
A great actor could take a banana and make it appear threatening. The same actor doused in blood could be threatening as well as horrific. Just because the actor doesn't have the blood on, is he a better actor? because he's less bloody?
I agree with other posters too that maybe it comes down to advertising. A warning in the ad about the outrageous content. But then I wonder if it would be construed as a gimmick or a ploy to seem outrageous instead of taken seriously.
Either way, I have realized its like arguing God vs. Evolution...neither side is going to budge so both sides might as well just go along their seperate ways.
I'm just going to watch the industry and see what unfolds. I guess time will tell.
10-06-2010, 03:29 AM
The Ravens Grin Inn in little Mount Careless, Illinoids might end Saturday night with an adult content show, then at 2 O'Clock Sunday afternoon do a small kid's show as Grandpa & Grandma watch and marvel at the personalized attention the kid's receive to calm them and entertain them in ways geared to not terrorize them or give them phobias. We actually make them a part of the show, they get to excite and scare their own family.
We have no gore or bloody displays here because I myself don't care for it and it is MY House.
This all works here, for me. Whatever works for "You", works for You.
There you go!
But then again, maybe my joke about my 2 foot tall (Short) Greatgrandfather wanting to be the world's foremost gynecologist isn't really considered "extreme" by most people anymore? "Aren't Jewish people offended by that large swaztika?"
"I don't know, I'll crank up my Oui-Ja board and ask my Greatgrandfather KATZenburger."
We all have our critics and some critics have never done anything themselves..because this keeps them safe from criticism.
It is difficult to be entertained or learn anything from really, really safe things.
For instance, without auto racing we would all be driving cars with a 30mph top speed because we still had steel cable mechanical brakes.
Yes we would.
10-06-2010, 06:44 AM
I came here to express my opinion and it's starting a firestorm. The reason for this is not freedom to do what we want it's about the insurgence of depravity into the Haunt business. We can push the envelope all day long here but where does it stop? Eventually something will put the breaks on these haunts, it's inevitable. Art is subjective yes but if we think that our customers have seen it all means going over the top to keep the doors open means one thing and one thing only. This business has seen it's lifecyle. When "artists" resort to the sex button to keep people coming to their attaction it means we've hit the panic button. We've lost our creative way and resorted to a base mentality. Anyone and I mean anyone can take there clothing off, pour blood on them and pretend they love having a knife put to their throat or tease young men. I just saw a photo of a haunt that has a zombie chick with a baby zombie, so do we but this chic has her zombified breast exposed. Gross yes twisted yes inappropriate yes. Guess what? It's on the net and ANYONE can view it. There is no disclaimer. Why does my business have to be associated with this garbage?
History lesson: Does anyone know how all this started and I mean haunted houses? Not the Jay C's but a little theater in Paris called The Grand Guignol or theatre of blood. People were raped, tortured and mutilated there for 60 years. Naturalism theatre in a purist form. That little theater spawned, horror movies, effects industry, horror shows (magic shows will horror illusions) ghost shows and eventually haunted houses. They didn't come into another market's base audience and start to titilate them bit by bit. They created a new genre Theatre of Horror. They didn't mask it they came right out and said this is who we are and this is what we are all about. They didn't go into a childrens theater district and open shop. Nor did they build next to an "adult upper crust opera house." No it was next to the brothels and bars in Paris. It was strangly a converted abandoned church. That's what gave it it's hook. They stole from no one, hid from no one and didn't disguise themselves. They were on the edge and remained at the top of their craft until world war 2.
Now that we know our roots I'd like to point out something. They didn't call their show a haunted house. It was called the theater of blood, the grand guignol, theatre of the grotesque. Just about anything happend on that stage, even nudity. But here is the point of it all, they didn't call it a haunted house.
The way I see it and I know I'm right, it's all about money. You folks in the no holds barred give em what they want camp saw our haunted houses making a lot of money. We were doing fine before you came into OUR WORLD. That's right it's our world you are in now. This is how a lot of nice people have been making a good living on for well over 20 years now. Haunted houses have helped save farmers, occupy abandoned buildings, raise money for charity and even give the kids a healthy activity to do as an actor or patron.
Now you come into our world and we have to appologise for you. You came into our business world and are trying to change how our model of doing business is perceived by the public. You call your business a haunted house just to pull in the cash from our audience. You can use the argument that everyone is jaded so we need to push the envelope more. I'm all for that but not by becoming indecent.
Our industry isn't into what you are serving. All we are asking is that you stop and I mean stop calling yourself a haunted attraction. The pole dancing, strippers and nudity is NOT part of our playbook. Feel free to call yourself something else.
I have a challenge for those of you who feel depravity, nudity, violence to women, sexual fettish rooms, gouls gone wild and zombie lap dancing is what our industry needs. I bet you won't take the challenge but here you go.
Don't call your show a haunted house or haunted anything. Call it something different. If you do that then we are all good here. You can start your own trade organization, have a convention and grow an audience.
All we are saying is that you have mislabled yourself and are not doing anyone any good. In the end if you stay in our industry we all loose. We will become "one of those freaks." The kind of business no one wants in their community. It will kill everyone's business and if you think you will be the last one standing you won't. Those that have stood the test of time and have developed good working relationships with the schools, theatre departments and charities will remain. It's about money yes but you must remember it's also about community.
Everyone and every show has it's place. Shows like yours have a place too. You'll find your place but you can't win by saying you are one thing and being another. A wolf in sheeps clothing is soon exposed.
10-06-2010, 07:10 AM
And I respect yours, believe me, I am fully aware that there is no right or wrong. .
Yes there is right and wrong. If there were no right and wrong then why do we have laws? That is the worst argument I've heard yet on this topic.
10-06-2010, 08:04 AM
I find great joy in the fact that you refer to your opinion as the RIGHT one.
And as a matter of fact, just because YOU think there is a right or wrong in this equation, does not make it so.
Do you own the term "haunted attraction?" Didn't think so.
I wonder if the owners of 5 star restaurants get so irate over people calling McDonalds a restaurant as you do about the shock-sters using the term haunted attraction.
I never realized that one guy is the watchdog for the entire industry.
Maybe we should make you a little sheriff's badge and perhaps get you a book so that you can write "decency infraction" tickets for all of those haunts and owners that you dont approve of.
Thank god the world isn't run by egotistical, self righteous, self important people like you. We'd all be sitting home on saturday nights watching Barney and Friends.
I live in a world where people with pseudo-authorative babble mean nothing to me.
Don't tell me how to get along fine in "your world".
My world is fine with or without you.
that's the last I'll type on this matter. You seem to always go for the personal digs instead of sticking to the facts. a sign of immaturity and lack of debating skills.
Good Luck with your Haunted Attraction. I hope the Haunted Hoochie Haunted Attraction keeps pushing the boundaries in "your world"
Howie Slobber Erlich
10-06-2010, 08:24 AM
So, now I guess I am non-creative, depraved, twisted & innapropriate. I guess I can handle the twisted part. It seems like the businesses you want to promote are called "Fun Houses" not haunted houses. "A building or an attraction in an amusement park or a carnival that features various devices intended to surprise, frighten, bewilder, or amuse." Maybe you are just in the wrong line of work.
I think it's ridiculous that I am being told that blood and guts doesn't belong in the haunt business. Are you kidding me. I am not artistic if I use over the top displays that push the boundaries of good taste? My attraction has been known for it's "unconventional" rooms and themes and our intense, in your face approach to haunting.
Real life is often distasteful. We cannot even come close to the true horrors that we see on the news every night. We have had rooms depicting dead babies, monsters eating the family pet, suicide, murder victims in garbage dumpster's and a staged shooting of our customers as the final scare. And yes, "Adult Only Nights." All of these things and many more have been loved by our customers. They ask us for this type of event. They can visit 60 other haunts within a two hour drive for a more friendly show but few others that are not just simple copy cat, cookie cutter family friendly haunts. So, maybe I should stop listening to my customers and take the supposed moral, easy route. Like monsters hiding behind curtains who jump out and say "BOO" or simple drop down windows. Maybe all my actors should be in cheap Don Post masks and black robes.
Now, because I offer this type of attraction as an alternative to the traditional "safe" family event, I should not even be able to call my show a haunted house?
I have a great relationship with my city. They completely understand the type of haunt we operate. They have never voiced any concerns about our content. In fact, we have one inspector who comes through the haunt every year and brings his son. He also came out last year on one of our Adult Nights and loved the show!
I think what is hurting the industry is not haunts that offer some shock value by offering extreme scenes of blood and torture or some minor sexual content. I think what is hurting the industry is the fact that most haunts take the safe route offering the same type of scares and startles. Haunted attractions that copy everything they see from other haunts and place it in their attraction. Haunts that claim they are scary and disappoint their customers every year.
I take serious offense to saying that it is all about money. Obviously, none of us would be in the business if we were not trying to make money weather for charity or personal gain. But, I do not make a fortune from my haunt nor do I need to or want to. I still do this because I love scaring people. I love coming up with creative ways to shock or amuse my customers. I love seeing people come running out the back door screaming "Oh my God that Sh*t was scary" or seeing that wet spot on their pants. I will continue to introduce new ideas and concepts that will cause controversy and get bashed. I guess that's just my way!
There is room for all types of attractions. I applaud any haunt for taking some chances and straying from the crowd. I think the industry needs more haunts that are attempting to go places that are different with their shows. It is not for me to judge them. It's not for you to judge them either. Why not worry about your own haunt? We are not hurting the industry. If anything, we are just giving haunt visitors more options.
Howie "Slobber" Erlich
Deadly Intentions (Very Inappropriate) Haunted Attraction
10-06-2010, 08:54 AM
Howie, I like the name Deadly Intentions (very inappropriate) Haunted Attraction. It has a certain air of coolness
Howie Slobber Erlich
10-06-2010, 09:10 AM
Why thank you! lol
10-06-2010, 12:13 PM
BARNEY AND FRIENDS......ahhhhh, now thats scary! I guess I should tell Ratechel to stop riding the cadver in the autopsy room before she gets a ticket.lol.
10-06-2010, 12:48 PM
if it wasn't for tits and ass I would have got out of this business a long time ago , LOL
10-06-2010, 02:36 PM
Oh my freekin god....... The morality squad has invaded the haunt industry......(rolls eyes)
10-06-2010, 05:32 PM
Stu, while I appreciate you leaving my name out of your posts, you may as well call a duck a duck. In regards to some of your concerns.
YES I have Blood Sluts Gore and More, Makes sense seeing how my FX companys tag line is BLOOD GUTS GORE and MORE.
NO I do not find it inappropriate, what I find Inappropriate are the thousands of haunted Houses claiming to be the biggest and bestest
Yes I have scantily dressed females in my Haunted House,
NO I do not have young girls in Near rape scenes
Yes My General audience is 18 and above
No My actors do not MISBEHAVE when a Child is in a group, EVER
Yes I have a Dancers pole,
No I do not have a young girl in her bra and panties on said pole,
YES I do have a Young Boy on said Pole, whose Parents thanked me for accepting him for who he is, and allowing him to express himself.
No I do not have STRIPPERS
Yes My haunted house is a Haunted Attraction, as I have been Haunting my entire life and My Haunt is set up to knock you on your butt, not once but all the way thru.
NO Im not single handedly destroying this Industry,
Yes I am Cutting edge and some of the things I do this year will be duplicated next year at other haunts as have been done in years prior.
NO I do not have Nudity in my Haunt.
YES its true that 99.9% of our customers leave our Attraction saying that it is the best attraction they have ever been to. EVER!
NO I have not gotten one complaint that we are inappropriate.
YES I do Extreme in your face FX makeup and Costuming and set design,
NO I do not jump out and go BOO.
YES you pointed something out on my website that I was unaware of and will be corrected by days end.
NO I am not doing it because you disliked it, Im doing it because I was unaware it was there and am correcting it...( on that note Thanks for pointing it out.)
Seriously I could go on for days on my Yes and No Rant, But there is no reason to continue it. My Haunted House is designed to be scary and entertaining to my customers.
Stu, I dont want to get into a pissing contest with you over why you feel my Haunt is so bad for the industry, I can tell you that I have Haunters from all over the country come here all year, and during season and love my attraction, to the point that they are willing to camp out in tents to guest act during our frigid October nights.
One more thing, Im concerned that you think you know so much about my attraction yet I do not recall ever comping you as a haunt owner a ticket or meeting you while you were here. Have you visited my attraction? or are you getting this information second, third, fourth hand? (on that note please remember that DarkSyde Acres always is willing to Comp a haunt owner and guests if they let us know they are here, and not go all special~ops on us)
With that said I hope you have a great season and invite you to visit anytime.
Rob Johnson ~ BodyBag Entertainment ~ Darksyde Acres Haunted House
10-06-2010, 11:49 PM
I do love you, your haunt and Atalie a great deal infact in my book you always get a gold star...this guy is just here to start shit it seems like. Hell his next post just might be, Do Funny characters belong in your Haunted House. It seems like the same thing going on here.
Mad Wax Sculptor
10-07-2010, 01:18 PM
I agree with everyone here. Whats amazing is everyone is pretty much on the same page and don't realize it. I am big on freedom of expression and creativity as long as its controlled . I think you can be as hard core as you like as long as there is a way to either warn or filter out customers who shouldn't see it. There is a market for hardcore that I see growing each season. I do understand you don't want to ruin the trip for a family who wasn't expecting to see a simulated sex act. I build my haunt at about a pg 13 rating with the ability to turn it up or down depending on the situation. I have had hardcore groups walk up and say the want it hard core. ill Tell the actors were about to amp up and we go from there. Only If I'm asked will I ever intentionally touch or cuss a customer. We will space that group and move them thru so they are far enough away from other groups to see it. My biggest concerns are unwilling guests seeing or hearing objective material. As long as they request it or are warned in advance its all bets off. I do feel haunts may be offering too much, too fast and desensitizing them to the point we have nothing more left to give. Compare haunts to porn one minute topless is cool the full nude then videos and so on and so on. Its progressive and always must go a step further to satisfy the urge. Haunts are the same way until we have something more to offer we need to slowly trickle this out so we don't paint our selves in the corner to where extreme and hard core are barely cutting it for our fans. An example is chainsaws even 5 yrs ago the chainsaw was king it took down 95% of the haunt fans . Its still good but its getting hard to get the same effect as before as they are getting used to it and expect it as a staple. Im sure if haunters put their heads together we can take this to the next leevl and beyond.
Howie Slobber Erlich
10-07-2010, 03:45 PM
Hey Mad Wax Sculptor,
Chainsaws can still be effective. Just come up with a way to leave the blade on like we are doing this year! LOL! I'm not kidding :)
10-08-2010, 12:03 PM
My chainsaw has a blade on it, check it out.
Hey Mad Wax Sculptor,
Chainsaws can still be effective. Just come up with a way to leave the blade on like we are doing this year! LOL! I'm not kidding :)
Howie Slobber Erlich
10-08-2010, 01:43 PM
Cool. Ours has the actual blade spinning. We even show them it's real by cutting into some lumber!
10-08-2010, 03:22 PM
geez howie....thats soooo inappropriate. I'm writing you a ticket. lol
10-08-2010, 03:46 PM
The "Lumber" is actually styro foam and the blade has a heater in it? Sounds defects provide the awe and wonder. (Acting too!)
I love to entertain the patrons by scaring them , then making them laugh or vice/versa. Sometimes I have to really backpedal when someone becomes too scared and scared deeply by them realising this is a haunted, haunted house and the stories I am telling them are 100% non-fictional.
I just found out a few minutes ago that a haunted acting award has been created in my name!
I am very honored and humbled.
How about that?
Howie Slobber Erlich
10-09-2010, 02:46 AM
Nope! Real lumber, real chainsaw, real blade real fun!
Mad Wax Sculptor
10-09-2010, 03:04 AM
Thats awesome!!! youll have to tell everyone how you guys did it after your done using the gag. I use the hell out of the saws in TX you have to. I have done a flaming chainsaw a few times. Its just for exhibition out side but its running and the bars on fire, When you rev it the flames shoot out off the muffler and bar
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