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Mr. Haunt
10-16-2011, 10:29 AM
We love the screamers, the runners, and the people that can't even start or get through the first part of our haunt. But what is up with the people that pay money to get scared and they are like trying to scare a cement wall??? They don't flinch, talk, scream, or run in terror they just kinda look at you like your not even there.

These people bug me, but I guess they are paying costumers....LOL

Brian

hauntedkimmy
10-16-2011, 11:25 AM
They bug me too. I often wonder why they even bother going to a haunt just to walk through with as much enthuisium as walking through the mall. Who knows, maybe its a macho reflex or something. Good thing there's plenty others to scare to make up for this segment of customers. :)

zombietoxin
10-16-2011, 02:20 PM
Should give classes on how to enjoy yourself at a haunt out in the queue line.

Rule number one: Check your disbelief at the door- if you don't know that it's ok to do that once in a while, you don't belong in a haunt. If you have a hard time doing that then be second in line, hold on tight to the first person and close your eyes when you think the scare is coming- you'll be suprised then!
Rule number two: Come with friends that are fun to be around and laugh out loud a lot- preferably screamers.
Rule number three: Practice dancing and singing while your in the haunt- you might suck at both but it'll look like you're having a great time anyway.
Rule number four: No reaction = no action- You get what you give to the actors.

Just makes you enjoy and have fun all the more, with those that do, I suppose.

I think I'll refine that and make a banner to hang out front...

Mike Goff
10-16-2011, 02:59 PM
Interesting topic of discussion. I have a theory. I think that anyone can be broken. I have witnessed this many times. You get a group that does not seem to respond to anyone. They are imune to the creepiness, the high startles, everything. Each encounter with an actor is slowly chipping away at them and as long as your actors stay in character and keep hitting these groups they will usually break down and give you a reaction. It took me a while to figure this out, because usually one of the actors would get frustrated and break character. Once this happens there is no chance of scaring these people. When I finally got through to the actors, to not look for that immediate gratification of a reaction and keep plugging away, interesting things started to happen with these men of steel. They broke.
This happened to me at Fear Fair, I have been going to haunts all of my life and I just don't get scared. I was walking through Fear Fair a couple of years ago and the actors kept on me, even though I wasn't scared. Eventually they had me kind of unnerved and one of them caught me off guard. I jumped. I was so impressed, I told the actor, good job, but the fact is it was an accumulative effect of all of them, that finally got me to react.

Allen H
10-16-2011, 03:22 PM
Mike is right- it is important and vital to give these guys a full show, to break a rock you chip away at it.
On another note- I think you guys might have to adjust your perspective a bit. They didnt come to the haunted house to get scared- that is never the guests goal even when they think it is. Their goal is to survive- to test themselves under stress and endure- to survive. We arent challenged as individuals anymore- nothing tries to eat us, the biggest obstacle in most peoples day is paper work or computer work of some kind or another, they need the struggle and stress of a haunt to feel alive. Antelope never feel more alive than when they just escaped a lion, the fear is a part of the challenge but not the reason for coming.
In the past few years I have had his rolling around in my head while I work and the more I watch the more I see its pretty true.
We are Lions testing the antelope- the ones who go through stone faced mistakenly think they are lions- we just have to show them.

Mr. Haunt
10-16-2011, 04:14 PM
My actors and myself were both frusterated with the lack of reaction, but I also know there are thoughs that need a little bit more work to crack their shells. Not sure what the end results were, but I do know it was the topic of the night after we closed.

I know that there will be the groups that are built like rocks, I get a bigger kick and personal satisfaction when there are sreamers that you can follow from start to finish just by listening, makes me proud of my haunters!!!

Mr. Haunt

HauntedMemphis
10-16-2011, 04:49 PM
I go to haunts to be entertained, not scared. For some people, getting scared is entertainment.

I'm entertained seeing others getting scared.
I'm entertained seeing actors do a good job, even though they aren't going to scare me.
I'm entertained seeing well constructed sets, lighting, and sound.
I'm entertained seeing cool effects.
I'm entertained seeing original stuff.

Bottom line, there are others like me. Not being scared doesn't mean a show can't be entertaining.

Badger
10-16-2011, 06:01 PM
I go to haunts to be entertained, not scared. For some people, getting scared is entertainment.

I'm entertained seeing others getting scared.
I'm entertained seeing actors do a good job, even though they aren't going to scare me.
I'm entertained seeing well constructed sets, lighting, and sound.
I'm entertained seeing cool effects.
I'm entertained seeing original stuff.

Bottom line, there are others like me. Not being scared doesn't mean a show can't be entertaining.


I couldn't have said it better myself. It has been years since I was truly 'scared' at a haunt, however I enjoy watching the reactions of those in my group as well as studying the haunt itself. I really enjoy watching a good actor who's having a good night. That entertains me and makes it worthwhile...

hauntedkimmy
10-16-2011, 06:42 PM
Good points. And Allen I think you hit on something. There's been many groups I've heard leave a haunt singing "I will survive" or we made it. I do think some people take it as a form of stress relief, feeling alive, whatever.

soultrkr
10-16-2011, 09:57 PM
lots of good points I am gonna steal a Line heard once think of a groups experiance as a ballon every area they hit fills the ballon with air until eventually it pops. as an actor in haunts and stage staying in character is one of the most important things you can do. always remain in character.

monsterwax
10-16-2011, 09:58 PM
I just move on to the next fellow, and treat the brick wall like a brick wall. They get to see how other people react, and hopefully, learn a thing or two about participation. They are too worried about looking foolish to react, and are unaware that trying too hard not to show any emotion makes them look the most foolish of all!

DarkTikiEntertainment
10-17-2011, 12:28 PM
I sometimes feel bad for actors when my brother and I go through haunted attractions. It is extremely rare when we get startled, and we never get scared. It's not a macho thing, it's just a matter of being desensitized by decades of haunted houses, horror movies, and building our own haunts. So we don't get scared, but we LOVE seeing the artistry of the sets, props, costumes, audio, acting, and special effects. In fact, we often yell out "Awesome!" when we see something cool. Unfortunately, I know this isn't what the actors are looking for. Some even take it as an insult. To me, the whole point of a haunted house is ENTERTAINMENT. I hope actors realize that some of the "brick walls" ARE being entertained, and are quite happy to be there, even if we're not scared.

HauntedMemphis
10-17-2011, 12:53 PM
Sounds like Darktiki is a lot like me going through.

Some things I've done to be entertained in haunts:

1) I've held up conga lines for a few seconds at choke points in the Darkness to make sure all the actors got to be reset in rooms before my group came in. (My Dad and I even let actors know who easy targets were behind us since easy targets are few and far between when it's all haunters going through.)

Result: We got to see actors actually get some scares where they weren't getting any most of the time. My dad and I actually had a good time entertaining ourselves with that, especially when it took 3/4 of the haunt for the person behind us to realize she was continually getting set up by the guests of the haunt, not just the actors.

2) Several times on haunted trails or corn mazes I found a nice dead end or spot that was away from a scare (after a scare) where I could just sit and watch an actor or group of actors at work for a while. A few instances I recall include:
-A fairly elaborate scene with several actors working off each other, and I wanted to see how much things change with each group of patrons that came through. Seeing good adlib to react to different audiences is much more interesting than only seeing the actor at work once.
-One actor was doing two scares in two parts of a maze (with an actor trail between). He'd run to one side and do a scare, then run to his other position, switch masks, and fire up a chainsaw for a second scare. It was a blast watching how hard he was working to man both stations using different masks for each.
-A girl in a corn maze where the acting in general was really really bad by my standards stould out greatly. She used body movement, awkward postioning, and level changes to great effect to scare people, not hardly even having to speak. I watched her work for 10-15 minutes from a position where I wouldn't ruin her scares.

In all of these instances, something I always try to do is let the haunt manager know of my observations, so they know when they have a great asset like some of these actors. I've found a lot of the time, they didn't even know what they had. (At other haunts like the two Columbia haunts during TW knew exactly what they had in actors, so the owners weren't surprised one bit when I had great things to say about some of their actors.)

If I measured good haunt acting by whether they scared me or not, all actors are terrible. If I measure them by hard work, unique approaches, good timing, and ability to entertain the crowd (usually by scaring them), then I find a lot of really good actors out there. I hope when I let haunt managers know what a good job someone is doing that it gets back to the actor as well.

Frightener
11-14-2011, 04:27 PM
I agree with a few here. It's not just getting scared. It's the whole entertainment. We do the same, the brother and I. Now we take our neices and my wife as well. They get hit a LOT. So I feel at least a little better knowing that the actors are going to still have fun.

I do the same thing. I'll hollar out "good one!" or "Awesome" as well. I just don't get startled, and although the actors are... well ACTING.. i came to get entertained, not ACT! The last thing I'm gonna do is ACT scared. I'm sorry.

We still get very entertained, even at the smallest of haunts, with nothing but white make up and black plastic rooms, we still enjoy every bit of it!

So although you guys may be right in being annoyed by the "macho beasts" out there, the "brick walls" ... check to see if they're at least smiling, if they are, you're doing your job!! And yeah, don't break character, EVER really, but still, don't just because if you do, and IF the guest thinks it's because he's noticed as a wall, it makes them feel bad. To be honest, I bet you guys probably 75% of the walls, don't realize they're giving a bad vibe, and if they're like me or "us", that's NOT our intent.

Jim Warfield
11-14-2011, 05:19 PM
Like the guy who scuba dives in the murky Miss. River down by the dam where the ancient catfish are as big as a small whale!
Or the German who told me about going through a practice town for war games, stepping in the front door and a trap door released under him and he fell straight down ten feet , landing on the concrete basement floor! (While wearing a pack, helmet, carrying a gun!) Then he had to find his way out in total darkness through a maze hammered together out of wooden ammo boxes.
My 60 to 90 minutes I am leading people through my house I remain in character which happens to be very close to who I actually happen to be, which does scare some people more than it should.
When I under-play this "Jim" character, speak slowly, ex cetra I seem to scare them more....they might also be realising that I seem to have all -the-time-in-the-world to do whatever I am planning upon doing to them!? (Quite an advantage the rest of you probably don't have.)
I usually take the time to explain that I am Not trying to terrorize them, give them phobias, bad dreams or make them POOP their pants infront of their friends. But if they do happen to become startled, yell, scream, I always hope that right afterward that they laugh because what got them was So cheap, common, mundane, simple, non-aggessive. (Which then may build my ego since "Look what I scared you with!!")
I do pay attention to who is getting "the scare", and I pass it around, next time working the second person, next time the third...this way everybody moreso gets to have a good time they will want to talk about later.
These are a few of the concepts that happen to work here, work for me.
Very possibly the house itself and the ancient down town they pass by to get here adds to the success I have so far enjoyed.

Duke of Darkness
11-15-2011, 02:52 AM
I have given this top a lot of thought, and several things occur to me.

1- First off, as several others have pointed out, it is not necessarily all about scares, but about entertainment. That is why my philosophy has always been to design my haunt not only to startle, but also to creep people out, and -- importantly -- make them laugh.

2- Don't assume that "stone faces" are not enjoying themselves. I can't count the times when I would get groups like that, and would comment about it to my barker or ticket taker, only to have them tell me that the person came out raving about the show. That is simply how some people react to stress. For others, like many of us here, they derive their enjoyment of the haunt from something other than being scared.

3- In the big picture, those who don't openly react are not that big a deal. They don't compare to the smart smart ass types that mock actors, touch props, tip scares, and in general do everything they can to ruin the show for everybody. And as the original poster said, Mr. Stoneface paid for his ticket, he deserves the same show as everyone else.

Just the rambling thoughts of someone addled from to many hours tearing down a haunt...

Dave

Madhaus32
11-15-2011, 10:21 PM
Don't assume that the stone faced people aren't scared or entertained. I truly think that the lack of expression is an involuntary reaction to their fear and the ownknown situations that they are immersed in. As we all know, there are a myriad of reactions to fear or being startled. Some people take a swing, some people laugh, some scream, some pee, and some throw up a wall that turns off their expressions. When you see these people, remember that they aren't like that naturally, you are CAUSING them to shut off their emotions even if they don't know why. We've all heard of fight or flight. But it may be more like, fight, flight, or freeze. And these people are freezing. Then again, some people are just arseholes.

Jim Warfield
11-16-2011, 06:29 AM
Those young boys who give away the scare before the rest get the chance to get it. I have seen a "Boy Scout" mentality in this, an innocent look as they try to "Help" by pointing out those fearfull experience waiting just around the corner.
Of course I mention this to them and still ask them to stop doing this since it is possibly ruining the tour those others have paid for!
Sort of like going to a movie and having someone sitting near you be talking telling everything that is about to take place on the screen! (And they ARE NOT simply "Psychics" either!)

Frightener
11-16-2011, 07:37 AM
Those young boys who give away the scare before the rest get the chance to get it. I have seen a "Boy Scout" mentality in this, an innocent look as they try to "Help" by pointing out those fearfull experience waiting just around the corner.
Of course I mention this to them and still ask them to stop doing this since it is possibly ruining the tour those others have paid for!
Sort of like going to a movie and having someone sitting near you be talking telling everything that is about to take place on the screen! (And they ARE NOT simply "Psychics" either!)


Exactly, that's a theory for adults as well! I think that a lot of folks get into it all and to them, they're not harming anything, or at least don't realize it. And thus, the MAIN reason I do NOT like being first! I WANT to be scared, startled or entertained, but the thing is, I'm so "LOOKING" at everything, and trying to learn, it's hard for me to not guess or "know" So sometimes I find it hard to NOT look at the actor that we're not suppose to see. Most of the time I cut my eyes, so my head doesn't turn, and if I think they see me, I wink or smile to let them know.

No matter WHAT is said here, you're STILL gonna have the arsehats that don't care and are there for a front, showing how "cool" or macho they are. W/E i say. I hate fake ppl and I hate ppl like that. I understand that, but I really think there's more innocent ppl that have the walls up than the ones "TRYING" not to get scared, because it's less manly to. Hope you see what I'm trying to get at.

James Wilson
11-16-2011, 11:22 PM
In my case, I've been working haunts for almost 14 years now, and I don't usually pay any attention to the actors. I'm too busy checking out the scenery, lighting, FX, and sound scheme. Those give me ideas, or inspiration. I've spent most of the last four haunt seasons going to haunts and teaching myself to ignore the actors while I check out the things that are cool to me. I'm not a pro haunt owner, but I consider myself a pro haunt patron. This is just my 2 cents on the subject at hand, though. Please take it with a grain of salt.

krazedklownkilla
11-17-2011, 05:48 AM
As a Haunt vet I walk though the haunt looking at the props. But what I love the most is how GOOD actors try different ways to scare me. It really shows how good of a haunt team they have. I tell my actors try your best to scare them and if its not going to happen then make them laugh. they paid money to be entertained so do it.

Jim Warfield
11-17-2011, 06:28 AM
the customers are allowed to "settle Into" physically and most of the rooms here are very well lit which also makes settling in more possible, all creating distractions of being able to see everything . There are no sound tracks playing here .. all is pretty calm (before the storm)
Myself or my crew are narrating the show pretty much non-stop not just growling , no screaming, which does also tend to engage most people's minds via their ear-holes, right before the brain.
All these distractions and odd statements do distract to the level of making most people's sense of time passing becoming very skewed and surprise is a common reaction when the tour ends that so much of that "Time -Stuff" has escaped their notice from everything else here around them.
The time factor also allows most people to calm before the next "Thing", a reset (for most, not all)
Just when they anticipate the tour coming to it's finale, the next passage opens and a foreboding long tunnel opens up before them, a tunnel with no visible exit, just when they assume they have probably seen this entire property.
First timers here can use all their previous haunt experience knowlege ... and they still won't anticipate how the tour and travel through this house will be.

Frightener
11-17-2011, 12:12 PM
DAMMIT BOY! Yer just gonna have to stop doing this crap to me! It feels like you're targeting ME everytime you post here lately haha. Like you've seen my post where I wanna come out and all you do is keep antagonizing me. :D

Man your place keeps sounding like what I'd want my haunt to be, except for the fact that it doesn't seem feasible on the time issue. I keep thinking "get em in, get em out" or at least put enough space between the groups so the chain doesn't buckle. The only way to move a chain w/o carrying it is to PULL it, so no kinks happen, amirite? But your haunt seems / sounds to break all the rules lol.

Can't wait Jim! Joo better have some free time after the haunt btw, I wanna meet / talk with you too :P

BTW:
" I tell my actors try your best to scare them and if its not going to happen then make them laugh. they paid money to be entertained so do it."

I couldn't have explained it better myself. THIS is what I was trying to think of. THAT'S the way it should be, really. If you can't break them with fear, break them with humor! Let me tell you about an experience. We were in the Horror in the Hollow one time, the Dead Mine or w/e it was. We were unbreakable. Then one guy jumps us with a scare and did ok. Got a jump... still though, "Silence" then the freaking monster goes "Giggedy" like Quagmire from Family Guy. Dude, we busted out laughing so hard I almost passed out. Was great. ... THAT was entertainment.