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View Full Version : Racking my brain about size of haunt - post ur thoughts



TheNightMare
03-29-2007, 01:52 PM
Hey everyone,

Before I get into this, I want to say my words for this year are innovation, innovative, and innovational. Those are the 3 words I'm using for my business this year as well as my party and soon to be haunt.

I understand its quality NOT quantity. Is that the correct assumption?

I know I've read on here that some of you want your patrons to feel immersed in the action(feel like there in a scene) of the haunt. I've been to a few haunts and all I seem to be doing is walking in a hallway looking through windows or doors for the scare. I also realize its about misdirection and that a pop window will fall down or an actor will be somewhere around you. I don't know about you all but I would rather have my patron walk through the bedroom, kitchen, area 51 hanger, etc.... and feel apart of the show than feel like "Oh thats Nice" cause hes walking down a hallway looking through windows and such.

I know its about protecting your props from thievery and vandalism, but sometimes I feel like I was gypped or left out cause all I did was walk a hallway. Granted maybe the hallway looked like a cave or was decorated with things, but its not the same as walking through a room.

Lets give an example. Shall we? Lets say I had 20,000SF to play with. Should I turn it into one elaborate haunt or make it two 10,000SF haunts or maybe even 3 at 6,000SF(now even this one seems small to me and would only be hallway walking). I understand with 3 haunts you get more money, but I think one haunt at 20,000SF has value too. Don't you agree?

Also last year I had 8000SF to play with for my party and I built some very cool and elaborate sets. With help of course. Now if I only had 3000 or even 4000SF I couldn't do what I wanted. In this scenario people would just come in and say thats nice b/c they didn't walk through anything to get to the party, but with 8000SF people felt immersed, excited and amazed to be there. (Party didnt happen but they wouldve felt that way, seen reactions from past parties)

So in closing, I know the saying BIGGER isnt always better. So what do you ALL think?

MMManiac
03-29-2007, 03:48 PM
i think anywhere between 4,000 to 8,000 can work for a great haunt. if you have 20,000 make two haunts! charge 10 a peice or both for $15.00

just my thought

sean

Jim Warfield
03-29-2007, 07:59 PM
Here it's one price for whatever I have got . I need to be running the haunt not arguing with people over ticket prices then more arguing about which haunt did they see or nazi? And how much would a partial refund of a partial ticket come to? Nonesense like this I don't need, especially on a very busy weak end in Ocaca-tober!
I could replace all ticket complaints with a roulette wheel of fortune.
"Free Admission" or Pay me twice? Spin the wheel , Johnny!"
"I Won A Free Admission, Mister!"
"Yes you did, and if you would have used that free-bee before my pants mysteriously burst into flames, then you could have seen the whole place, as it is my highly trained gerbil Firemice will be asking you to leave, for your own safety of course."
"What?"
"Don't look now but the squad of gerbils have their telescoping boom/ladder truck about to make itself known inside my pants! Better Run Kid! Don't look back! If that toxic waste stored in there catches fire we evacuate the entire county!
"Next! Spin the wheel Johnny!"

Greg Chrise
03-29-2007, 08:27 PM
It seroiusly comes down to not what you have in size to work with but, what resources you can do well. Are there 20 teams of enthusiastic people each prepared to detail 1000 SF per team on a moments notice or will it all be you.

Is it your quantity of money being spread out over so many square feet or stretched over so many square feet.

In the begining you just generally don't build 20,000 SF overnight or even in just a few months by yourself. Having something that makes money daily taking up your time and resources. Even drilling into bank vaults takes some time.

So to be realistic, You build what you can and open even if it IS only 2,000 or 3,000 SF in a 20,000 SF space and go for it. Then something else must happen, the customers must support it from year to year for them to actually deserve you building more and more.

If there is no support customer wise it is just a big ball of twine that almost got in the Guiness Book but, no one cared while the guy was alive and wrapping twine on it. He died poor and only to be known as odd. If you have a big space you initially fill it with big things to take up the space and the detail and little nookes and crannies take years and real work or they take significant money and subcontracting to happen quick. Or hundreds of people all on the same page. This is as time consuming as building things if not more.

Just having 20 people do something for what ever reason is a start. Divide it up into 4 5,000 SF sections and see what can actually be done and done to a level of completion. Maybe the goal is a great 2500 SF per year or a great 5,000 SF per year versus a lame 20,000 SF.

And be different, maybe 5,000 SF is a haunted hearse car lot? A possesed boat collection? Big things found cheap and haunted out, rather than 20,000 things from Walmart. Things the customer doesn't necessarily see every day or every Halloween.

TheNightMare
03-29-2007, 08:57 PM
Let me reiterate if I can or may. I am NOT trying to do a haunt this year or even next year. As I realize it takes time to get things done and finalized before you can open. I also understand 20,000SF is a lot of space. And I am well aware that BIG things take up a lot of space into a space thats already huge.

I'm just wondering if having bigger sets and making your patrons walk through them instead of a hallway is better. Also it does make the travel time through the haunt longer.

Jim Warfield
03-29-2007, 08:59 PM
Don't knock Wally-Mart, Gregg. If I could hire some of their cashiers to work in my haunted house I would, really scary!
Late one night as we were checking out an elderly checkout said, "We have to see your ID if you are over 100."
I said, "I didn't think I looked a day over 95!"
(She meant $100 purchased)
Bless her heart she laughed so loud and long, opening her mouth SO far! She sacred me, she had no teeth and her bright pink gums looked reptillan to me! (Only need two little pointy fangs and alot of gums, snakey)
I would make them little vests to wear here saying "How May I Scare You?"

Jolly Pumpkin
03-30-2007, 12:02 AM
I think it all depends on the theming of the haunt. If a haunt is 20,000 feet or more, but uses the same theme throughout it gets a little old and boring. If your haunt is 8 - 12,000 square feet I think you should stick to one theme in your haunt. Using a single theme brings realism to your haunt and really imerses the customer with fright. There isn't a moment where the action comes to a hault because it's centering around the same story. So for all the owners of haunts that have 20,000 or more square feet to use I suggest that you create more than one haunt with unique themes in each. Or just use half of the building for storage or your makeup room. Having a lot of space isn't everything, but it could be something.

TheNightMare
03-30-2007, 02:25 AM
Thanks Jolly Pumpkin, thats a great defination of what I was looking for in an answer. Thanks for the clarification, it made perfect sense.