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View Full Version : Money Back Haunt LLC. (BS scheme or good marketing?)



Haunted Prints (EOM)
03-13-2012, 07:57 PM
What's are your thoughts on the "Money Back Haunt" company and what they offer?

For those passionate hard working haunters, do you see this as a disgrace or promising marketing scheme?

Deathwing
03-13-2012, 08:03 PM
Personally I got the scam vibe, and those silky lime green shirts made them seem fake. I mean, eating weird stuff? It's not a true haunted house but rather a gross challenge. This concept could be pitched in a number of conventions but it's not exactly haunted attraction related.

Jake

UnDeRTaKer313
03-13-2012, 08:09 PM
No smart haunt would pay $5,500 minimum when they don't know what they are getting.
If he truly has the patent and trademark, which it seems like he does, there is absolutely no reason they have to be so secretive about it.
He would have sold everyone in there if he would have just stated exactly what the system is.

i can tell you that without knowing any information at all i think it is safe to say it has something to do with Bugs, Creepy Crawlies, or snakes.

Kinda ticks me off he trademarked all variations of the name "money back haunt" lol

HauntedPaws
03-13-2012, 09:13 PM
Why would anyone wanna offer money back? Why go through that trouble? If the movie stinks you don't get a refund you just go to the next one.

Drjkyll
03-13-2012, 09:26 PM
While I was in costume Saturday, I asked one of the 'smarmy' salesmen, "How much for the entire Eastern Seaboard?" he told me they only do territories of 100 mile radius. I insisted I wanted the whole Eastern seaboard, explaining that my plan was to lay waste to it and create 1 big haunted attraction. He referred me to his boss. Made a handshake deal for 13 dollars.

Don't think they quite got the fact I was making fun of them...

On the serious side... Total scam.

MorgueofDoom
03-13-2012, 10:13 PM
After reviewing their site it appears to me to be the same as a get rich quick scheme. If I'm understood the whole concept rely's on doing a second attraction to their specifications in which you can advertise a money back show. You can advertise to get your money back but must complete their attraction after going thru your own show. So you spend your money building a second show only to make them money advertising a money back show. I can't help but think since they have the name trademarked that you will also be making them money without knowing it, and you will have to pay over $5,000 for an untested theory. I work in advertising. I do TV and Radio commercials for a living and have been doing so for over 8 yrs. This smells like a scam. I would never employ a client who couldn't explain to me in detail what him/her was selling. I stopped by the booth and asked what exactly can they can do to help promote my show and was promptly told to talk to someone else. I never once got a straight answer. I'm not getting a good feeling about it and I fear in a year we may see a thread of negative feedback about this business.

RobfromErie
03-13-2012, 10:35 PM
Heres the scam...

Q. Will I get in trouble if I use the “Money Back®” Name in any way (or variation) with my Haunt without an official License?

A. Yes, we have a legal retainer who specializes in Trademark and Patent Infringement Prosecution. We will absolutely sue YOU personally and Your Event. We will aggressively advertise the entire process to the Haunt Industry and Media. DO NOT steal our Intellectual Property or attempt to copy this Idea. We take it very serious, we will make you regret it, and you will be discovered if you do – guaranteed. Buy the License legally, and then enjoy the fruits of YOUR highly-successful Haunted Event.


Sounds to me like if you mention getting any money back in any way, you get sued.

I went to a haunt (a good one) a few years back, and on opening night if you made it all the way through, you got $5 back. Sounds like they would get in trouble.

Bradenton Haunted Trail
03-14-2012, 04:30 AM
Well I talked to this guy at Shanes party (wich was great by the way) he did spill some of the details to me (thank god for beer). From what I understand you build a second attraction about the size of a carport or garage. And the it is more like a fear factor show they make you eat some thing and drink some thing and so on. To me it has nothing to do with the Haunt Industry and it is a scame to your customers. He say they pay to go through your main attraction and then there is the upsell to go through the money back part. He said that there was like a 92% that do not make it through the challanges. I would never do anything like this to me it would just piss to many people who came to see a haunt not puke because of some thing we tried to make them drink or eat.

Shawn

carnagecrew
03-14-2012, 05:12 AM
I'm going to have to go with a scam on this as well. I mean, I think they run a legit business, and while the money back company themselves I don't think is a scam, I think they are sugar coating you scamming your own customers. You might make a couple bucks the first year - but when word gets out its a separate attraction that you have to do something completely outrageous to get through ( not being so scared you don't make it out, which to me is what a money back haunt implies) People will catch on, and stop coming.

graystone
03-14-2012, 05:24 AM
total and i mean total bullshit!!!!shane and it's I also smell bullshit! Shane

wickedfarmer
03-14-2012, 05:47 AM
I'm going to have to go with a scam on this as well. I mean, I think they run a legit business, and while the money back company themselves I don't think is a scam, I think they are sugar coating you scamming your own customers. You might make a couple bucks the first year - but when word gets out its a separate attraction that you have to do something completely outrageous to get through ( not being so scared you don't make it out, which to me is what a money back haunt implies) People will catch on, and stop coming.

BINGO....I talked with one of them for 10 minutes (he talked at me). I am really hoping this just falls flat on its face and no one bites. It appears it is not what is advertised to the public....a money back haunt....but puke or something else unrelated to haunting. I have too good a reputation and word of mouth BRINGS people to my place. Why in hell would I jeapordise that and want to make my customers leave feeling they were duped.

Wicked Farmer

John Eslich
03-14-2012, 06:19 AM
Let's face it, haunted houses are designed for our customers to walk through (or ride, if a hay ride). Sense when are we NOT going to let people finish? Unless someone pulls a weapon or physically stops me from attending the attraction, I'm finishing. If they ask me to eat or drink something...then no way -I'll eat (and drink) before I go; or ask me to swim, walk through knee deep mud or manure, climb a 20 rope, etc. We are not an "eat gross stuff industry" or a "ruin your clothes and get a work out industry" -we are haunted attractions. Unless I advertise those other features, I'm not going to require my customers to do them.

I talked to the money back people and they claim there is no trickery, etc. I don't know how else they can do it. In the end, if the customer feels they were scammed or tricked, then watch out because with social media -your haunt will be know as the big scam and that will take some time to recover from. You will have one good weekend and then nothing but damage control after that.

I offer money back as a promo (as noted in an earlier post). If you want to know how I do it send me a note and I will explain.

jeslich@gmail.com

Howie Slobber Erlich
03-14-2012, 06:44 AM
They do not own any patent on the idea. They have a patent pending on "The Money Back Challenge." I have already informed them that I am challenging the patent. In order to receive a patent on this idea, it must be a new or novel concept. I have informed them that in 2000 and several other years myself and my former partner created the first successful money back haunt in the states. And yes, there was a challenge involved. So by them claiming this idea as their own, it is a completely false statement. My lawyer is turning in all our advertising, all media coverage, copies of all our web pages, articles from around the web and our financial records from each year. Along with past approved Service marks and Trademarks. I do not believe they will ever get the Trademark approved.

The concept works for a couple of years then fades off. I would not recommend anyone doing this idea or for sure not paying a fee to learn how. I can explain exactly how it was done to great success without paying for a territory or license.

Howie "Slobber" Erlich
Slobber Entertainment, LLC.

UnDeRTaKer313
03-14-2012, 06:46 AM
^ Yes to everything John said!

The only way you could do this would be like "Fear Factory LIVE" and award cash prizes if they can do the challenge, other than that your customers will be pissed.
If they have a trademark there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON THEY CAN'T RELEASE FULL DETAILS.

JamBam
03-14-2012, 08:39 AM
This will only hurt those that get into this and then the rest of us sometime later. I said it as soon as I heard they were in the show on Thursday before I even got on the floor.

Maybe we should sue the green guys for attempting to sell something that appears to be similar to a haunted house but is actually a fear factor show (who should also sue them ).


These guys claimed they were not part of the Haunted Castle in Kentucky, but it sounds identical to what they are selling. So it seems to me that they are taking someone else's idea and trying to sell it. The Haunted Castle is in Hustonville, Kentucky and it is these guys who have done this for a few years that should be suing the green guys.

Check out their challenge web page http://www.hustonville.com/panicroom.html for yourself. I called and talke to the guys in Kentucky and he said the three challenges were 1. lay in a casket that has snakes released into it for a few minutes, 2. lay in another casket that has rats released into it, 3. eat something that was brought in from the stockyard that was edible but not very palatable. Now anyone that feels the need to spend money on this idea owes me a beer for finders fee !

A few years ago I learned about trademarks and patents when a guy called me from another similar named haunt and discussed his claim to the name of each of our haunts. It was a trademark in "logo only", or "service mark" as the words were too common just like these green guys. The following comes directly from the United States Trademark website.

Notice the words in the disclaimer below about "no claim is made ..."






Registration Number
4076575


Registration Date
December 27, 2011


Owner
(REGISTRANT) Tennessee Community Enrichment, Inc. CORPORATION TENNESSEE 360 Willow Bough Lane Old Hickory TENNESSEE 37138


Disclaimer
NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE "MONEY BACK" APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN


Type of Mark
SERVICE MARK


Register
PRINCIPAL


Live/Dead Indicator
LIVE



AND here is the other one






Filing Date
June 21, 2011


Current Filing Basis
1A


Original Filing Basis
1A


Published for Opposition
October 4, 2011


Registration Number
4074303


Registration Date
December 20, 2011


Owner
(REGISTRANT) Tennessee Community Enrichment, Inc. CORPORATION TENNESSEE 360 Willow Bough Lane Old Hickory TENNESSEE 37138


Disclaimer
NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE "MONEY BACK" APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN


Type of Mark
SERVICE MARK


Register
PRINCIPAL


Live/Dead Indicator
LIVE

Terrorknight
03-14-2012, 08:48 AM
The Biggest Scam i've ever seen at Transworld and they should have been thrown out of the show. People like this give our industry a bad name with the public and on top of that, they were STUPID enough to come to the industries show and try to scam all there fellow haunters, they should be black balled out of the industry. They are just a group of ASSHOLES

Robert J Dudzieck
All Seasons Entertainment LLC
Fright Factory
The Dead Zone

UnDeRTaKer313
03-14-2012, 08:50 AM
THESE GUYS LIED THROUGH THEIR TEETH!
a service mark means nothing, it means you can't use their "logo" or anything really really close.

Dark Attraction
03-14-2012, 08:58 AM
Somebody at Transworld recommended that I visit www.HauntScam.com for more information on this awesome money-making opportunity

MDKing
03-14-2012, 09:13 AM
The Biggest Scam i've ever seen at Transworld and they should have been thrown out of the show. People like this give our industry a bad name with the public and on top of that, they were STUPID enough to come to the industries show and try to scam all there fellow haunters, they should be black balled out of the industry. They are just a group of ASSHOLES

Robert J Dudzieck
All Seasons Entertainment LLC
Fright Factory
The Dead Zone


Come on Robert, this isn't like you. Tell us how you REALLY feel!

Good talking with you last week!

Allan

Woo25
03-14-2012, 09:53 AM
Hi everyone. I'm the owner of Money Back Haunts, LLC. I developed this idea at my own Haunted Attraction 3 years ago. I feel I'm in a witch hunt here so I'll try not to get too involved with the attacks. If you don't like the idea, that's ok, but what I do works, and it gives customers a reason to spend more money at your Haunt for entertainment, and it has people returning to my Haunted Attraction. The numbers don't lie. With the License, I'm giving Haunts the "boost" they need in Marketing Efforts and Draw. Once they're there, provide them a great experience, including your Haunt, and they'll return - the idea is quite simple, yet effective.

It's not for everyone but it's certainly not a scam. This is an idea that I've adapted and developed and yes, hold all Trademarks for my naming rights. I went to the extent of protecting myself because I know how valuable this System can be because I've seen it work at my place. If it's not for you, that's ok, but we're gonna help alot of Attractions this year. Big and Small. I understand people are skeptical, but "scam" is a little harsh and completely inaccurate.

This idea is about entertainment (we're all in the entertainment industry) and at my Haunt, people want it. Year after Year. And my numbers prove it.

I'll be happy to explain it in more detail and feel free to email me with any specific questions at ChrisMoneyBackHaunts.com. But again, I'm a Haunt owner, like you, who is trying to share my successes with others around the Industry. I'm a Haunter first and am not here to "scam" anyone. I hope after more Haunts use my License this year, others will see the benefits of it, like I have seen at my own Haunt.

drfrightner
03-14-2012, 09:57 AM
The guy who operated this booth/company has registered for the forums. I wasn't following or saw this thread until I got his email asking me to approve his account. As you know we don't approve many accounts to post here fearing spammers. So if you want an account you really need to email me and let me know you need your account approved. He did. I'm expecting he'll be posting his comments soon.

As for my opinion on the subject... its really no different than when this topic has been brought up in the past. Its a marketing gimmick and if it works for you great. I think the first ever concept for a money back haunts started with the urban legend of a 13 story money back haunted house that we all know never existed. In the past I've seen haunts open called Urban Legend where you can get your money back, a 13 Story haunt with a money back system, and several others over the years claiming they operated a money back haunt.

I have no clue how their concepts differed from the new system being offered at the show. I don't think its really fair to say its a 'scam' because if he's offering you a unique marketing 'gimmick' to promote your haunt then that is what it is ... a gimmick or another description marketing tool.

I don't know enough about it to say gimmick or marketing tool... but if it works it works.

I however would like to understand more about what is being offered and how it differs from other haunts who've done the same thing.

Give him a chance to explain.

Larry

Slain
03-14-2012, 10:01 AM
I believe if your already giving the customer what they want why should they buy into this.. My numbers don't lie either.. People keep coming back year after year and it keeps growing.. If your not experiancing this, then nothing you can do or buy can fix it.. You just need to build a better haunt!! Quit trying to fool your customer............

MoneyBackHaunts.com
03-14-2012, 10:17 AM
I have posted for years under my Haunt name (but because my License Business is not my Haunt Business, I now have this account). I wanted to post the previous reply under my Haunter's user name so you understand I'm not trying to hide behind a screen etc.... But for all MoneyBackHaunt posts, I'll be posting with my business name of MoneyBackHaunts.com so people don't get confused. My Haunted Attraction Business and Licensing Business is completely separate and operate independently of course.

Slain, that's like saying that you're ok with your attendance and everything that has been done in the past is the best way to do it. I'm saying this idea brings in people that have never considered your Haunt and gives them a reason to come to you, and buy a general admission ticket. Then once there, they love the overall experience and they can now say "I found the Money Back Haunt!". People don't want to be thrown out of windows in a 13 story building or fall through trap doors etc...They want to be able to tell their friends that they found the Haunt that gives you your money back if you make it through EVERYTHING! We're playing off the tremendous psychological draw of the legend itself - because that is so much bigger than anything we as Haunters can ever do. As an industry, we have an advantage to intrigue our customers with a legend that already exists and SO much bigger than we are. I adapted a systematic entertainment experience that provides this to them. And my customers love it. This is the best advertising available...Grass Roots and Social Media.

Again, it's entertainment and it's giving your customer what they already want and have been looking for - the Money Back Haunted House. It's based on sound Marketing Principles. Again, I'll repost my earlier response comment:

Hi everyone. I'm the owner of Money Back Haunts, LLC. I developed this idea at my own Haunted Attraction 3 years ago. I feel I'm in a witch hunt here so I'll try not to get too involved with the attacks. If you don't like the idea, that's ok, but what I do works, and it gives customers a reason to spend more money at your Haunt for entertainment, and it has people returning to my Haunted Attraction. The numbers don't lie. With the License, I'm giving Haunts the "boost" they need in Marketing Efforts and Draw. Once they're there, provide them a great experience, including your Haunt, and they'll return - the idea is quite simple, yet effective.

It's not for everyone but it's certainly not a scam. This is an idea that I've adapted and developed and yes, hold all Trademarks for my naming rights. I went to the extent of protecting myself because I know how valuable this System can be because I've seen it work at my place. If it's not for you, that's ok, but we're gonna help alot of Attractions this year. Big and Small. I understand people are skeptical, but "scam" is a little harsh and completely inaccurate.

This idea is about entertainment (we're all in the entertainment industry) and at my Haunt, people want it. Year after Year. And my numbers prove it.

I'll be happy to explain it in more detail and feel free to email me with any specific questions at ChrisMoneyBackHaunts.com . But again, I'm a Haunt owner, like you, who is trying to share my successes with others around the Industry. I'm a Haunter first and am not here to "scam" anyone. I hope after more Haunts use my License this year, others will see the benefits of it, like I have seen at my own Haunt.

trahancj
03-14-2012, 10:24 AM
I think it is a scam if the patrons have no clue what they are getting into or the haunted attraction owners are not given enough info before buying in (not that anyone in their right mind would). Otherwise, I agree with Larry, it's simply a gimmick to make some cash, that could be effective.

There are a ton of cash making gimmicks, some that leave your patrons disgruntled and with hard feelings about their experience at your park. In my opinion, "The Money Back Haunt" falls in this category.

-C

Dark Attraction
03-14-2012, 10:35 AM
I just wanted to announce that I have filed for the following trademarks:

Pitch black
Scary
Zombies

So if you are thinking of using these concepts, please get out your checkbooks. Don't even think about using these awesome, original concepts in your haunt without forking over some cash. My army of lawyers is standing by.

I also have a trademark on the word "scam".

MoneyBackHaunts.com
03-14-2012, 10:43 AM
Yes, that's the key. They know EXACTLY what they're getting into and it's completely up to them whether to continue or quit. The decision is theirs. Not a random door, or set of clues you have to find. That kind of stuff takes the control of their hands, and that's when people leave mad. This is not that at all. At my personal haunt, I charge $23 for my 3 Haunts, and then $15 for the optional, additional 4th Attraction (The Money Back Challenge). Last year, 96% CHOSE to forfeit their full $38 AND they didn't leave pissed or mad because 1. They knew what they were signing up for and 2. They stopped on their own accord. It was $38 they chose to spend on entertainment, knowing what would be expected of them.

Slain is right, if you don't have a good haunted house, the grace of God can't help you. But my idea brings more people to your Haunt and maximizes profit from each person that walks thru your gates, then leaves them telling all their friends that they actually found "The Money Back Haunted House" and it spreads like wildfire. I've seen it, It works and again, it's entertainment. We need to convince our customers to spend more money being entertained with us. And this idea does exactly that - and customers love it.

I again developed this System, and this is my baby that I've seen evolve over 3 years. I took it national this year because I'm not competing with your Haunts in others state, so I want it to be hugely successful in other markets as well. We have Haunts signed up this year that I'm sure will be happy to give truthful testimonials about how it worked for them after the season. I know it's gonna help alot of Haunt owners, in both big and small markets. It's a new idea but don't be so quick to dismiss it. I only say that because I've seen it work.

Terrorknight
03-14-2012, 10:55 AM
Hey Allen great talking to you too. And I know I'm the quiet guy but sometimes you just need to speak your mind, lol. I'll give everyone on here the best marketing tool out there, you ready, here it comes ( Build A Great Haunt, give the people want they want ). The Big haunts out there didn't get there by shady Money back promises ( hope I don't get sued for using the name ) they got big and well known because they are great haunts that work hard to be the best, and not by fake promises. And maybe that is my biggest problem with this "marketing tool" it's a cop out. There's no passion in coming up with a trick to get a few more people in the door for a couple of years, it's in building a product that people would spend any amount to go to because it's one of the best. I feel if you would have done it at your haunt whatever, it's still a bad idea and a cop out to me, but when you tried to sell it to other haunts you really crossed a line for me.

Again this is just my opinion , like this " marketing tool " is a good idea in yours.

Robert Dudzieck
All Seasons Entertainment LLC
Fright Factory
The Dead Zone

drfrightner
03-14-2012, 10:58 AM
Couple things...

You said "I'm giving Haunts the "boost" they need in Marketing Efforts and Draw". This I don't totally agree with because you are saying you are giving them something to draw by... however most of us would know the real boost you need is to have a good haunted house. The fact is this simple... if your haunted house sucks no matter this marketing 'boost' or not it still sucks. This is a social media world and people might go because of the marketing gimmick and the haunt sucks next thing you know people are screaming at the top of their lungs all over Facebook, Twitter and everywhere else SCAM SCAM SCAM! I'm not saying your system is a scam I'm saying that customers who attend a bad haunted house then coupled with this marketing tool I see customers screaming scam. In other words they used this as a gimmick to trick us to their haunted house, not focus on having a good haunt, but rather making money.

You can have any type of marketing tool you want be it this new picture marketing, or some sort of grab as many facebook friends as you can, or this and or anything and everything between... it wont' mean much if the haunt itself sucks.

Silo-X was a franchise with incredible marketing, and it failed after some initial success because the attractions where NOT that good.

The only marketing tool you really need is a GREAT HAUNTED HOUSE... if something like this enhances that great, but it starts with a good haunt.

Larry

Terrorknight
03-14-2012, 11:02 AM
OH MY GOD I AGREE WITH LARRY ?????????????????????????????????? But it's just that , build a great haunt

Robert

MoneyBackHaunts.com
03-14-2012, 11:03 AM
I'm sorry I just don't understand the use of the word "scam". A scam is something that is untruthful and intentionally misleading with the intent to hurt someone. If you feel what I'm saying is that, you don't understand the concept. I know this industry is not composed of closed-minded people, the creativity aspect is why many enjoy this work. I personally am less haunt-creative and more financial oriented about the business. If you build a product your customers enjoy and want, they will tell their friends, return, and spend more money with you. This is a great marketing opportunity backed by a systematic process that I've seen make a Haunted House (big) money, with happy, return customers.

What I'm saying is accurate. But again, we have Haunts that will be using it this Fall, so I'll let their testimonials speak for themselves after the 2012 season. It works ;)

MoneyBackHaunts.com
03-14-2012, 11:09 AM
And yes Larry, I absolutely agree. Like I said, if you don't have a good Haunt product already, the Grace of God cannot help you. At my actual Haunt, I have 3 Attractions that people certainly enjoy, before they can even attempt my 4th Money Back Attraction. The complete package is very key. This is why I don't license with Haunts that I don't feel produce a good product or have anything less than the highest aspirations for their Haunt. Again, this is my baby and I have denied some Haunts - not out of meanness, just because I don't think it's a good fit. But if used correctly, it will:

1. Increase Attendance
2. Maximize Profit
3. Get your customers talking and Have them returning with others next weekend

drfrightner
03-14-2012, 11:15 AM
Let me try and explain this to you... I am NOT saying your marketing tool opportunity is a scam, however when you couple something like this with a really bad desperate haunted house, the public will view this as a SCAM to trick them into buying a ticket. I'm not sure you are understanding what I'm saying but there is a difference between calling what you are doing a scam and the public who buys tickets calling it a scam when the haunted house itself is really really bad to start off with.

Look... any really good haunt lets just start with Netherworld and work our way down from there (LOL) would never do this type of promotion because their reputation is built upon the haunt itself not marketing gimmicks. However a really bad haunted house would probably gravitate to a promotion like this because they have nothing to lose because they are only in it to make a dollar... they might not put a buck into the attraction itself and use this promotion. The public could be outraged at how bad the attraction is and single out the money back concept as the sole reason they came... when they don't get their money back they'll scream SCAM!

If the haunt itself is great, and you run this promotion they might not scream scam. However I can see myself now standing in front of the attraction explaining to some people why they are not getting their money back, and then screaming in my face its a scam because there was no way for them to win, I can see that happening as well. Either way for me anyway its a no win situation.

Larry

MoneyBackHaunts.com
03-14-2012, 11:33 AM
Yep, we're on the same page Larry. I was directing that post towards "Dark Attraction" who used the word "scam". PPl it's simple. Have a great Haunted House that you will be proud to offer to large amounts of people, because what I've seen, the customers WILL come to see the Money Back Haunt. They will not leave disappointed because of the Money Back Experience, but all Licensees need to understand that YOUR HAUNT NEEDS TO BE STRIVING FOR EXCELLENCE for any Marketing Package/Draw to work.

The Money Back Haunt License will bring the people, and deliver what it promises. The haunt itself can't let them down. That's when people will scream foul. This idea is my baby, and I will not slap it on a haunt that I feel will not do it justice. That is why I am so protective of my reserved Trademarks also. Thanks for all the good points and questions.

Slain
03-14-2012, 11:48 AM
Maybe it's because of being from Alabama... People think were dumb because we talk funny... This may be the greatest way to promote ever! I just dont understand..
Say on a Friday or Saturday night we turn away thousands of people because we are "Sold Out" how would this help me.. And it may not.. Maybe this is for all of those haunts that are new or trying to be something they are not. I'm agreeing with Larry I would not want to walk out and have to talk to an upset customer that didnt get their money back...
Oh thats right I dont give refunds or money back so that would never happen for me anyway..
Money Back Guarantee.. I do understand the concept its just not good for us..
What I think you saying is if I had multible haunts and they make thru the Money Back part (seperate haunt from the others) they would only recieve their money back on that part...... which drives the total customer experiance to go through all of the haunts which drives more $$$ overall... I get it I just wouldnt use it but I can see it working for others..

Howie Slobber Erlich
03-14-2012, 11:57 AM
I would love to know how you keep calling this a new idea? I wont call it a scam because I know exactly what you are doing and how you are doing it since I already did in 2000, 2001 and a variation of it in 2010. All with great success. As I have already stated my lawyer is submitting all the information needed to appose your Trademarks. Not because I want to run this type of haunt again or want to sell the idea to other haunts. I could have done that years ago. In fact, this is my last year in the business do to health issues. But, because I was the first one with enough courage to try this idea. Many bashed me for it over the years and called me a sell out. The fact is, it was a great marketing tool when we did it. We offered a great haunt experience along with a chance to get your money back. We tripled our numbers and everyone had a great time. Of course in 2001 after seeing our huge success, several other haunts around the nation and in our own state tried doing the same thing or a slight variation. None of them ever reached the same reputation, numbers or national media as we did. And most of those were a scam and cheating their customers just to try and make a buck!

It is just amazing to me that you are claiming this idea as your own. We promoted the haunt as the rumored haunt that everyone had always heard about. We promoted that there was a challenge involved in order to get your money back, we provided proof that many were receiving their money back with a wall of fame that had their pictures on it. All the same things you are doing 9 years after we did it first.

I am willing to explain to any haunt owner who wants to know how to market this idea exactly how to do it for free! I am not afraid of being sued since I have the conceptual rights on this idea to begin with. I will warn anyone who thinks this is a great idea that will make money forever that they are wrong. It may help increase numbers for a couple of years and then the novelty will wear off and your numbers will start to return to normal. If you are only interested in making money short term then go for it. But you better put on one hell of a show or expect to ruin your reputation quickly!

Howie "Slobber" Erlich
Slobber Entertainment, LLC.

MoneyBackHaunts.com
03-14-2012, 12:26 PM
Slain, I understand your view. If you are currently at max capacity (which is great!), then the idea isn't for you. Because it will certainly draw more people. But remember, it gives your customers another reason to spend more money for more entertainment too, so the revenue generation is also there. I know it's a new idea and is tough for people to fully understand without actually seeing it in action. I was skeptical when I started it 3 years ago also, and I created it! That's why I waited 3 years to 1. See if it worked and developed REPEAT customers, 2. See what the long-term marketing advantage would be and 3. Take the time, effort and expense to protect it properly, so I can help other haunts in other markets. And when the 2012 season wraps up, it will either work nationwide for my Licensees or it won't. I have some large markets who will be using it. I think it will, bc I've seen its success firsthand, but everyone is entitled to their opinion and I appreciate the thoughtful dialogue.

Howie, I respectfully have no idea what you're talking about. I was in high school in 2000 and had no idea about what you did or didn't do at your haunted house 1500 miles away. I will defend my Intellectual Property though, I guarantee it, and so will the USPTO. And I will CERTAINLY not pay anyone who has ever invented a chair, just because I came up with a better chair 12 years later. You're very argument basis makes no legal sense. You can't oppose a Registered Trademark, that's what the publication period is for, but I won't give you a legal lesson either. Please consult a licensed attorney privy to Trademark Litigation. I have a Nashville retainer who specializes in Copyright, Patent, and Trademark Law. Intellectual Property Rights in Music City, USA is a big deal anyway. I rightfully own the Trademarks and am very proud of what I'll be offering to Haunts this season. And when the 2012 season wraps up, it will either work nationwide or it won't. And from what I can tell, the Money Back experience you did, is nothing like I've created. So really, I have no idea where you're coming from and don't understand the hatred for my service, other than jealousy.

But Howie I will say this, I have legal rights to sue ANYONE that calls themself a "Money Back Haunt", "Money Back Haunted House", or "Money Back"- anything, within the Haunted Attraction Industry. And I have a fund set aside to make examples out of people who try to steal the Intellectual Property that I took the time and expense to protect. I'm not a bad guy, in fact, many on this forum can vouch for me as I've done prop trades and purchases for my haunt, but I am a businessman first and will defend my property against theft. This will work for haunts and will help lots of people. I WILL NOT let people, who are trying to steal it, against the law, damage my Licensees and their businesses. So within that "packet" you send out, you might AT LEAST want to advise people to not use my trademarks in any way. Or I assure you, they will regret it come October. I will protect MY idea, and those that are Licensing with me, I believe, will be very happy they did.

I'm a Haunted House owner who has a great system that has worked for me, I've protected it properly, and now am sharing it with other markets. Because it will be beneficial to people. It's not for everyone, but it does appeal to most.

Dark Attraction
03-14-2012, 12:31 PM
When you take an old haunted house idea and repackage it and charge people thousands of dollars for a license, it is hard to view it as anything other than a scam.

I think the real money back challenge is is going to be when the people (if any?) who forked over a license fee realize how foolish they are and try to get a refund!

Love the green silk shirts though!

-"Dark Attraction"

MoneyBackHaunts.com
03-14-2012, 12:48 PM
Haha! Thanks! We had alot of offers to buy those shirts! We respectully declined however :)

In the end, it will either make money for my Licensees or it won't. I wholeheartedly believe it will because of what I've seen at my place! As you might know, I don't want a contract for year 1 at all. I want people to see it for themselves, working at their place, and then they can make the decision if they want to continue after that or not. I know they will see the benefits after year 1. I want their testimonials to be the end-all to the discussion though - whether it be good or bad, I think based off my personal experience with the idea, it will be good :)

If this License can help 1 person in the long run with their Haunt, then that will make me happy that I offered it Nationwide. Because it has already allowed me to become a VERY successful Attraction in my area - with my customers loving my entire experience. I want that for others, because my Licensing fees BETTER be alot less than the Financial return they see with this Entire Offering, because if the Haunt Owners themselves don't see a HUGE benefit, then no one will want the License. I understand that fully. The fees are set-up in such a way that they are constant and regardless of how successful this becomes, my rate will remain the same out of fairness whether your haunt currently grosses $100,000,$500,000, or $1,000,000. My service is the same, and worth the Licensing Fees I've set up. And I look forward to seeing how it goes over this season in multiple markets! I know it will again be successful in mine.

Howie Slobber Erlich
03-14-2012, 12:55 PM
One thing I can tell you for sure is that anyone who has ever made a penny from a money back haunt owes me and my ex business partner a big thanks. I would be glad to see any information on any other money back haunts before the 2000 season. Any haunt owner in Michigan knows who started the trend and created the first and most successful one. May I remind you also, that you do not have any patent yet and it is still in a pending state. I see no reason to continue to argue this fact with you on this forum. I have no reason to be jealous of you or anything you have ever done. I have been in the business for 26 years now and have forgotten more about haunting than you have ever learned and my reputation speaks for itself. You have not created a better idea, just stolen the ideas that others worked hard to perfect.

I will however restate that I will be happy to explain this concept to anyone who wants more info on how it works and how to promote it for free. There are at least 17 haunts that I can find right now in the nation offering some type of money back offer. So while wasting time suing everyone or threatening to, I am sure this venture will never take off and there haunt will suffer as a result as well.

Anybody considering purchasing into this "NEW IDEA" should demand to see an audited financial discloser showing proof that his numbers went up all three years he ran this promotion.

Howie

MoneyBackHaunts.com
03-14-2012, 01:12 PM
Howie, I believe you when you say that you at some point did a Money Back Haunted House of some sort. And like anyone who was in the industry before me, I thank you for bringing the industry as a whole, where it is today. But not only did I not steal your idea, I wasn't even aware of your operation in Michigan. I saw an opportunity to capitalize on an existing mythical creation of enormous proportions in TN and then developed a system so My Haunt is now the place EVERYONE wants to see! I capitalized on an already-existing opportunity. And I give my customers ENTERTAINMENT that they want. That's what they're paying us for anyway! But for that rant, please see earlier posts :)

Again, I don't even know what you did nor was I even IN the industry in the year 2000. If you would like to discuss the differences, if it will make you feel better, I'm ok with that, to prove I didn't steal your idea, of which I hold Trademark Rights and Utility Patent-Pending Business Method Protection on the actual separate attraction itself. Again, I'm a nice guy and want to clear up any confusion so just email me at ChrisMoneyBackHaunts.com.

Again, I want this to be highly beneficial for Haunts in other markets, just like it has been for me. Because it will accomplish great things for other haunts - I want it to! It's my baby and you're not competing with me within my market, so I want to see it succeed at its highest potential.

Anyway, The personal attacks and your wishes of failure are not needed Howie, but the thoughtful dialogue is certainly appreciated.

trahancj
03-14-2012, 02:24 PM
Is it really your intention to help and support the haunt community or make 5k the first year, 10k the following off as many haunted houses as you can through a trademark. Let's not get the two confused. The lime-green shirts give you away ;)

MoneyBackHaunts.com
03-14-2012, 03:54 PM
Ya got me with the shirts! haha. If I make that haunt $20k off my idea for $5k, isn't it worth it? :)

Of course I want the business, from Haunts that are a good fit for the License - only. I want to see my idea flourish with other Haunts, as I've seen at my place. Again, this is my baby I developed and implemented at my own Haunt and have seen customers have great fun with it. And yes, I have chosen to NOT License some haunts who applied, because I don't feel it would necessarily be a good fit. I won't put my License on someone in a market, who I don't feel can do it justice - which will ultimately protect all Licensees and my License.

Going back to - this will work, IF you have a good product already within your haunts. YES, THIS IS NOT A WAY TO HAVE A BAD HAUNT AND GET RICH!! AT ALL. AND IT IS NOT A GOOD SOLUTION FOR ALL HAUNTED HOUSES. You must have a good product or aspirations of such already in place. My License will get the customers to come, and the Money Back Attraction will deliver what is promised. But if your Haunts themselves are terrible - then nothing can help you and like anything else, your terrible haunt experience will spread. I have seen the Money Back Haunt License bring the numbers, and I have return customers because my Attraction delivers an entire entertainment experience - not JUST a Money Back Attraction. But I personally get ALOT of people visit me because I convinced them to come to me because I AM THE MONEY BACK HAUNTED HOUSE. This industry is all about you selling tickets and providing great entertainment!

But my job as a Licensor is to allow Haunt owners to see what I offer is WORTH the License fees and MORE. And I certainly believe they will after year 1. But if not, they can walk away entirely. If I make Haunts money in other markets with my idea, then they will want to license with me. Simple Numbers. But I want the testimonials of my Licensees after this year to be the deciding factor.

Cookie Crumbler
03-14-2012, 04:31 PM
How can you own an urban legend by filing a trademark?

MoneyBackHaunts.com
03-14-2012, 04:51 PM
Cookie, A trademark is simply an associative Name or Words reserved to identify a brand, and protected by the US Gov't. It's crucial to the business world and protects intellectual property for the original claim filed. Just like the Music Industry, Restaurants, and countless other businesses have in place, to prevent knockoffs. It's the circle R you see in everyday life, and protected by the USPTO. But the Trademarks (The Ability to call yourself a "Money Back" anything in the Haunt Industry) is only a part of what my License provides.

Haunt
03-14-2012, 05:05 PM
Ya know those people who call in to radio shows and say, "First time. Long time." That's me! I've followed the industry for several years now and LOVE it. So first off, congrats to all of you (especially Larry and Shane) who have made it so great! With that said, this topic is the first time I've ever actually made an account. You people all sound like a bunch of bitter children crying over who gets to go down the slide first. Especially Slobber Erlich, Robert Dudziech and “Cookie Crumbler” Wow. Bitter:Table for 3. From what I can tell, MBH made a product (that seems to work), got a Trademark for it and then said "If you want to use our name and knowledge, pay us a fee." What the heck is wrong with that? How is that different than any other business in America? If I want to open a McDonald's, I pay their fee. If I want to open a Burger King, I pay their fee. If I want to open a Walgreen's, I pay their fee. I don't have to use their names, it's my choice. And I gotta be blunt here, do you really think they went public without the ability to defend it? Whoever the person was that said something to the effect of, "If I want to do, I'm going to. And I'm not going to pay you" is just childish. What is this 2nd grade? Grow a pair kid. Would you say that to McDonald's or Burger King? Of course not. Just because someone thought of something you didn't, found a way to adapt something to work that has failed in the past or had the common sense to protect their investment, doesn't mean they should be vilified for it. For years I've seen Haunt owners (or just industry lovers like me) be stereotyped into some kind of freakish-devil worshiping, animal sacrificing demonic influence when we really aren't. People who create these stereotypes about us have closed minds to things they don't understand so they just attack it. That's common in humans, you attack what you don't understand. (Me included) How many of you people have actually talked with the MBH owner to see what they really are doing? Sure, you may THINK you know, or you may have bits and pieces of information from, "I heard that..." or "Someone said that..." (like I did) but c'mon people, do your own research. Now, before you people jump down my throat for supporting Capitalism, just do what I did yesterday and actually communicate with the owner. When I first saw this subject on the boards, I thought, "SCAM". Why? Because scams have been done in the past and I'm conditioned to think that way. After actually communicating with MBH owner, I found out he's an haunted attraction owner who has used this in his own attraction. What they do is actually pretty cool. From what I can tell, the owner has even gone out of their way to answer every question/accusation that the vultures have lobbed at them on this board and the answers actually make sense. It seems to me like the people who keep whining are the ones who are just jealous or ignorant. Again, people attack what they don't understand. Look, you can be mad at me for my post (and I'm sure some of you are) but the bottom line is: Find out the facts from the owner ON YOUR OWN and if you don't like it, don't do business with them, if you do like it, then do business with them. Either way, make your decision and move on. Quit acting like a bunch of babies.

Haunt
03-14-2012, 05:16 PM
Apparently, I can't have a grown-up conversation with Cookie Cutter. But no, I'm not their new screen name. Sorry you're so bitter, but I stand by what I said. In fact, you just proved what I said. But now that I have an account, anyone is welcome to talk with me anytime! My name is Richard and my home is in Tampa, FL. Go Bucs! I won't hide behind a screen name like others.
Hey look money back haunts made a new screen name and is using it to defend himself.

Haunted Castle
03-14-2012, 05:20 PM
we have done a Money Back deal for the last 8-10 years started with Fear Factor and while its not for everyone it does bring in a crowd, for everyone that comes to try it they will have 8-10 friends who want to watch. No Scam just eat worms drink clabbered milk and lay in a casket with rats, spiders and snakes, try to cater to all the basic fears. If they do go through they get their money back and bragging rights that they made it. We do have app 10 major colleges within a 60 mile radus of our haunt and the college kids love it. Just another side show and draw. And in this economy it's just another way to draw a crowd, Differant strokes for differant folks, first I have heard about someone saying they have rights to it as we were the first to try this in the manner we do it.

Haunted Castle
03-14-2012, 05:22 PM
http://www.hustonville.com/panicroom.html

wickedfarmer
03-14-2012, 05:27 PM
Got to admit I respect your non timid -jump in with both feet on your first post. BUT...as a long time listener I think you know we will chew on anything like ravenous dogs...and nip at it waiting for it to bite back. We do not just let things go...kind of a pack thing. You hint at the reason in your first post...we have by deafault a weird reputation with part of society. And bad things in the industry wheter we like it or not affect all of us. I was asked to go on local news last fall several times because of a person calling 911 in a corn maze 600 miles from my maze.

So if something doesn't pass the sniff test; it gets tore apart here. Now; I think it is safe to say the 'business' is not a "scam". However; I still hope it fades away as I have to believe that the VAST MAJORITY of customers who respond by coming to a haunt from the wording "money back haunt" are under false impression we all know it gives them. That false impression being along the lines "This haunt must be bad ass and worth my money...not a lame place with kids saying boo" Then when they get there...they find that is NOT the case. It is a separate additional fee the customer pays to take the challenge...NOT the haunt at all. It is the bait and switch; false misleading "marketing plan" inside the haunt industry that I detest.

Wicked Farmer

freak 'n' stein
03-14-2012, 05:29 PM
I have legal rights to sue ANYONE that calls themself a "Money Back Haunt", "Money Back Haunted House", or "Money Back"- anything, within the Haunted Attraction Industry.

Based on THIS statement, I think I'll be at TW 2013 marketing the "Cash Return Scare Infrastructure"

HAHA

No, but on a serious note, I'm glad the owner came on here to explain himself...sort of...because I DEFINITELY stopped by the booth and every question I asked that lady was answered in return by ANOTHER question. After walking in circles for all of 30 seconds, I promptly snatched a brochure and walked away seeing as I was getting NO WHERE.

Me: "Is this what I think this is?"
Lady: "Well what do you think it is?"
Me: "Is it anything like the famed myth in the industry"
Lady: "It may be. What myth?"

SERIOUSLYYYYYYY?? Why the hell am I wasting my time with a vendor who is now coming across to me as a person who knows NOTHING about their own product...totally defeating the point of a tradeshow if you ask me!! All personal feelings aside, I'm curious to see how well this all does. If claims here are true then it's going to be interesting to see how this all works...from implementing this business practice down to seeing any legal action run its course. GET EXCITED!!! :)))

In the mean time, Howie, send me that info so we can get started on this Cash Return Scare Infrastructure, yeah?? ;D

Haunt
03-14-2012, 05:36 PM
Got to admit I respect your non timid -jump in with both feet on your first post. BUT...as a long time listener I think you know we will chew on anything like ravenous dogs...and nip at it waiting for it to bite back. We do not just let things go...kind of a pack thing. You hint at the reason in your first post...we have by deafault a weird reputation with part of society. And bad things in the industry wheter we like it or not affect all of us. I was asked to go on local news last fall several times because of a person calling 911 in a corn maze 600 miles from my maze.

So if something doesn't pass the sniff test; it gets tore apart here. Now; I think it is safe to say the 'business' is not a "scam". However; I still hope it fades away as I have to believe that the VAST MAJORITY of customers who respond by coming to a haunt from the wording "money back haunt" are under false impression we all know it gives them. That false impression being along the lines "This haunt must be bad ass and worth my money...not a lame place with kids saying boo" Then when they get there...they find that is NOT the case. It is a separate additional fee the customer pays to take the challenge...NOT the haunt at all. It is the bait and switch; false misleading "marketing plan" inside the haunt industry that I detest.

Wicked Farmer

Thanks for this post. This is just one of the first times I've ever seen other haunt owners rip one of their own so easily. You definitely did a great job making your point without telling me that what a moron I am! LOL!!! Although I don't have a haunt, people like you are why I love the industry so much! My buddy owns a small haunt outside of Tampa and I've been thinking for years about getting in. Why work for a living when you can play for a living! LOL!!! Thanks Wicked!

Cookie Crumbler
03-14-2012, 05:37 PM
And I'm a Cookie, from Detroit.

freak 'n' stein
03-14-2012, 05:41 PM
This is just one of the first times I've ever seen other haunt owners rip one of their own so easily.

Please stick around for a while...this isn't even the WORST example of "let me rip this guy a new one while being only half-informed". Things get crazy every once in a while around these here parts. LMAO!!!

Michael Hoad
03-14-2012, 05:52 PM
Somebody at Transworld recommended that I visit www.HauntScam.com for more information on this awesome money-making opportunity

So glad this got posted.

Cookie Crumbler
03-14-2012, 05:53 PM
Agreed, best post on the thread. Don't miss it!

Cookie Crumbler
03-14-2012, 05:54 PM
IIIIII just wanna tell you how I'm feeeling!

MDKing
03-14-2012, 05:58 PM
coooookie! Where have you been??? Good to see you posting!




Allan

MoneyBackHaunts.com
03-14-2012, 06:01 PM
Wow. Look, make your Haunted House the very best possible and if I can help, contact me. If not, it's ok everybody! I'm not saying I know everything. But I have seen success with my idea I have adapted for my use and I know it can help others. Everything else here is name-calling and drama. This works and will help many Haunts this year, LARGE and small. And I'm proud of it. I welcome the constructive dialogue but am not gonna argue Federal Law Trademark Statutes with "Cookie" who doesn't understand basic business principles, much less Trademark Rights. I didn't come on here to sell my idea, I've only tried to explain my idea, and if I can help others understand better, feel free to email me at ChrisMoneyBackHaunts.com. If not, it's ok everybody!

Ironic, Take this same enthusiasm (except take the jealous, negative tone out) and that's what I see out of my customers at my haunt. They LOVE this experience, coupled with great haunts, and it gets people talking and telling others, and coming back again! Point Proven. But we'll wait for the 2012 testimonials from other haunts that use the License. I believe they'll love the results they see :)

Cookie Crumbler
03-14-2012, 06:06 PM
Mr. Bennett!!!!!!!!!!!

Fantastic to see you again man. I took a pretty long break from the forums, but somebody had to razz this money back guy!!! hahahaa.

Hope you're doin' well good sir!!!

Haunted Castle
03-14-2012, 06:10 PM
money back haunts, where are you located, what is the name of your haunt and web site please would like to check it out thanks Fred

Haunted Castle
03-14-2012, 06:13 PM
PS Cookie as to your post earlier I recommend anything that will draw a larger crowd, lol and you have my blessing copy and print my release or anything else you want to on the Panic Room,

Cookie Crumbler
03-14-2012, 06:15 PM
Haha... thanks Fred!!!!! Too cool.

screamforadream
03-14-2012, 06:39 PM
I really hope everyone on this thread, either reading or posting on it has atleast seen the other thread entitled "Who Buys...." well....WE FOUND ANOTHER! ;)

That was about as classic as the blabbering on this thread. Why watch tv when you can read real people being really upset, instead of real people being pretend upset?

Now who cheated on who again? JERRY! JERRY! JERRY!

Cookie Crumbler
03-14-2012, 06:54 PM
What about a pretend Cookie being pretend upset? hahahah.

MDKing
03-14-2012, 07:18 PM
Mr. Bennett!!!!!!!!!!!

Fantastic to see you again man. I took a pretty long break from the forums, but somebody had to razz this money back guy!!! hahahaa.

Hope you're doin' well good sir!!!

Always a pleasure my friend!! You've come back strong as ever!

Allan

Tater
03-14-2012, 08:33 PM
I too have a Money Back Haunt...but the money only comes back if they make it outta the haunt alive without any STDS,

First I make them have sex with Granny,

Second make them traverse a maze of Razor Wire, Bear Traps, and Loose Gerbils

Third and finally if they make it through all of that I shoot them point blank in the head. This has worked 100% of the time at the haunt, and now because I told you all this you owe me some serious cash

Drjkyll
03-14-2012, 10:19 PM
I still own't be satisfied until they sell me the rights to the entire Eastern Seaboard. I have my $13 dollars in hand....

Skeered
03-14-2012, 11:29 PM
Gawd this is entertaining...


Again, I don't even know what you did nor was I even IN the industry in the year 2000. If you would like to discuss the differences, if it will make you feel better, I'm ok with that, to prove I didn't steal your idea, of which I hold Trademark Rights and Utility Patent-Pending Business Method Protection on the actual separate attraction itself. Again, I'm a nice guy and want to clear up any confusion so just email me at ChrisMoneyBackHaunts.com .

Let me get this straight. "I don't know what you did, but whatever it was it was different from mine, even though I never seen what you did, there just has to be.. just has to be differences, cause somehow the Gubment gave me a trademark, so there were differences cause the Gubment said so, that proves that I didn't steal your idea, and I hope that makes you feel better."

Moneyback... Quit being stupid. In a couple posts you claim ignorance. This is not a defense. Since intellectual property and trademarks are so crucial to the core of your business you should be on the phone with Howie right now getting all the info needed or find out what you can about HauntedCastle. This is so you can protect your business model now rather than being passive and just ho hum waiting for somebody to send you an email if they ever do. With that kind of attitude you appear to think that you will not be in this business long. More like a quick buck type of thing rather than long term. That being said then the word scam is trailing not far behind.

If you have this trademark attorney on retainer then why isn't he listed on any of your 3 trademarks?? The only explanation is that an attorney did not file your trademarks. You did. Research incontestable trademarks. You stated that the only time your trademark can be contested is while it is published for opposition. Boy are you so dead friggin wrong. The lawyer on retainer talk is BS and doesn't jive.




Howie, I respectfully have no idea what you're talking about. I was in high school in 2000 and had no idea about what you did or didn't do at your haunted house 1500 miles away. I will defend my Intellectual Property though, I guarantee it, and so will the USPTO. "and so will the USPTO???? The USPTO doesn't do shit except push paperwork. If your idea was already out there and there is documentation of its prior existence then you are SOL.




Cookie, A trademark is simply an associative Name or Words reserved to identify a brand, and protected by the US Gov't. It's crucial to the business world and protects intellectual property for the original claim filed. A trademark does not protect intellectual property or have claims. It ain't protected by the Gubment either. All the Gubment is is an official registrar. It is up to you to use and enforce your trademark. Quit throwing out this crap about how the power of the Gubment will rain down on a person like in the above quote.

Something else I just thought of and had to edit my post.... A piece of garbage on this whole deal was that one of your guys at TW told me that you have a lawyer who likes to take people to court in the off season who infringe on your trademarks. Hell, your trademarks received registration merely 3 months ago. You ain't had time to take anyone to court yet. Seems like half your sales pitch is to threaten everybody with a lawsuit because you don't have much of a leg to stand on otherwise.

WeAreTheUnion
03-15-2012, 01:21 AM
Moneyback:
I've attended money back haunted houses that you don't own long before you registered these patents. You said yourself you weren't in the business in 2001. I attended Howie's money back haunt in 2001, and I attended another haunt just last year that claims to have a money back challenge. I'm not saying you knew these attractions existed (though I suspect you did), but if you think you can sue people for continuing to do business as they've done for years under the guise that you came up with their business model, I believe you are in for an unpleasant surprise.
This whole "business" reeks of BS. It's an abuse of the trademark and patent systems and, based on what I've seen in this thread, was likely created with the intent to sue anyone who "steals your idea" (even if they somehow stole it years before you came up with it). Shame on you and anyone who conducts business this way.

Pumpkin King
03-15-2012, 05:10 AM
Here's what irks me about this:

1) You did not invent this idea. This has been around as an urban legend for decades, since before I can even remember. You also heard it from Howie; he used this concept back in 2000. So this idea is clearly NOT your intellectual property and I would argue it cannot be anyone's bacause the urban legends are just so widespread. So I think your patent will fall through.

2) The other thing is you liscensing the name rather than the content. As we've stated dozens of times on this thread, there are other haunts who have used this since WAY before you "invented it." What do they do if you get your patent? I think it would be perfectly resonable to trademark the CONTENT of your haunt and sell that, but what pissed me off is the (attempted) patenting of the names and concepts. Macdonnalds can patent the Big Mac, but they can't patent the concept of a burger!

Also, I would like to know what actually happens on the inside of the attractions, no more BS, tell us what happens.

Everything else entirely aside, this October I would like to visit one of the liscenced haunts if there are any near me. Do you have any liscenced haunts in the Denver area? :cool:

mindtumor
03-15-2012, 05:18 AM
Ya know those people who call in to radio shows and say, "First time. Long time." That's me! I've followed the industry for several years now and LOVE it. So first off, congrats to all of you (especially Larry and Shane) who have made it so great! With that said, this topic is the first time I've ever actually made an account. You people all sound like a bunch of bitter children crying over who gets to go down the slide first. Especially Slobber Erlich, Robert Dudziech and “Cookie Crumbler” Wow. Bitter:Table for 3. From what I can tell, MBH made a product (that seems to work), got a Trademark for it and then said "If you want to use our name and knowledge, pay us a fee." What the heck is wrong with that? How is that different than any other business in America? If I want to open a McDonald's, I pay their fee. If I want to open a Burger King, I pay their fee. If I want to open a Walgreen's, I pay their fee. I don't have to use their names, it's my choice. And I gotta be blunt here, do you really think they went public without the ability to defend it? Whoever the person was that said something to the effect of, "If I want to do, I'm going to. And I'm not going to pay you" is just childish. What is this 2nd grade? Grow a pair kid. Would you say that to McDonald's or Burger King? Of course not. Just because someone thought of something you didn't, found a way to adapt something to work that has failed in the past or had the common sense to protect their investment, doesn't mean they should be vilified for it. For years I've seen Haunt owners (or just industry lovers like me) be stereotyped into some kind of freakish-devil worshiping, animal sacrificing demonic influence when we really aren't. People who create these stereotypes about us have closed minds to things they don't understand so they just attack it. That's common in humans, you attack what you don't understand. (Me included) How many of you people have actually talked with the MBH owner to see what they really are doing? Sure, you may THINK you know, or you may have bits and pieces of information from, "I heard that..." or "Someone said that..." (like I did) but c'mon people, do your own research. Now, before you people jump down my throat for supporting Capitalism, just do what I did yesterday and actually communicate with the owner. When I first saw this subject on the boards, I thought, "SCAM". Why? Because scams have been done in the past and I'm conditioned to think that way. After actually communicating with MBH owner, I found out he's an haunted attraction owner who has used this in his own attraction. What they do is actually pretty cool. From what I can tell, the owner has even gone out of their way to answer every question/accusation that the vultures have lobbed at them on this board and the answers actually make sense. It seems to me like the people who keep whining are the ones who are just jealous or ignorant. Again, people attack what they don't understand. Look, you can be mad at me for my post (and I'm sure some of you are) but the bottom line is: Find out the facts from the owner ON YOUR OWN and if you don't like it, don't do business with them, if you do like it, then do business with them. Either way, make your decision and move on. Quit acting like a bunch of babies.

Here is some free advice for "First time, Long time". Split your paragraphs up, son. Do us all a kindness and make reading your post easier.

Secondly, money back haunt seems awful generic to be able to get a Trademark for those terms. Have you just recently been awarded this trademark? Have you sucessfully sued anyone yet for using the money back concept?

Third, (and this a question because I am not sure about this) I thought Trademarks were for logos, brands, and such, not a concept. I would think offering money back would be a concept and you would have to patent that? Does anyone know if this is the case? Also, I thought that even after you apply for a trademark, patent, copyright, or whatever, if a said haunt could prove they used the idea well before you applied to do whatever with it, they could also by-pass your trademark and continue to use that? Is there anyone out there that can enlighten us on that?

And finally, I do believe Howie was the first to use the money back concept. A few people around here have done it after him but from what I have heard from people in the know, is that THOSE people ( not Howie) just claimed to do money back and didn't actually have a legit way you could win your money back. Howie had a legit way and I believe people were regularly winning back their money. No tricks or anything. So I guess if you want to promote that your money back haunt, you better have a legit way of letting them win their money back because word travels fast.

Dark Attraction
03-15-2012, 05:24 AM
I invented socks
and I invented gravy
I made up the cotton gin
but no one ever paid me
Why beat a dead horse
with a career that is cursed?
I'll just sue for royalties
on things I thought of first

Back in Ancient Egypt
many Pharaohs went to jail
for misappropriation
of my Phrygian scale
I said listen Tutankhamen
you're driving me insane
it's obvious those bellies
are all dancing to Bloodstains
I figured out you owe me
and please try not to laugh
but every time I hear it
I get one more golden calf

'cause I invented socks
and I invented gravy
I made up the cotton gin
but no one ever paid me
Why beat a dead horse
with a career that is cursed?
I'll just sue for royalties
on things I thought of first

Dark Attraction
03-15-2012, 05:57 AM
Hey look money back haunts made a new screen name and is using it to defend himself.

http://i51.tinypic.com/2m2clt1.gif


Apparently, I can't have a grown-up conversation with Cookie Cutter. But no, I'm not their new screen name. Sorry you're so bitter, but I stand by what I said. In fact, you just proved what I said. But now that I have an account, anyone is welcome to talk with me anytime! My name is Richard and my home is in Tampa, FL. Go Bucs! I won't hide behind a screen name like others.


Here is some free advice for "First time, Long time". Split your paragraphs up, son. Do us all a kindness and make reading your post easier.


"Haunt" clearly has a pretty good grasp of English grammar. I think clumping his paragraphs together is his idea of a disguise! Brilliant!

HauntedMemphis
03-15-2012, 09:52 AM
we have done a Money Back deal for the last 8-10 years started with Fear Factor and while its not for everyone it does bring in a crowd, for everyone that comes to try it they will have 8-10 friends who want to watch. No Scam just eat worms drink clabbered milk and lay in a casket with rats, spiders and snakes, try to cater to all the basic fears. If they do go through they get their money back and bragging rights that they made it. We do have app 10 major colleges within a 60 mile radus of our haunt and the college kids love it. Just another side show and draw. And in this economy it's just another way to draw a crowd, Differant strokes for differant folks, first I have heard about someone saying they have rights to it as we were the first to try this in the manner we do it.

When I saw that this was being marketed at TW, at first, I thought it must be your haunt marketing it, since I think of you first for Money Back haunts. (I'm even in TN!) Now, my questions.

1) Do you plan on paying $5500 to do what you have already been doing for a decade?
2) Are you ready for a lawsuit since your idea you have already been using is now someone else's intellectual property?

This is where I have problems with this. I don't see where "Money Back" is in any way a new idea even within our industry, so I don't see the grounds for a lawsuit. I actually had a local haunt considering signing up, and I talked them out of it, and let them know how many other haunts have done it over the years (including Haunted Castle as my specific example.) There isn't any secret knowledge needed, it's already been done and the info is out there, just like I'm not going to pay someone who trademarks a pepper's ghost all of the sudden.

RJ Productions
03-15-2012, 10:09 AM
We haven't had this much excitement in years!!!

Someone stated it correctly, McDonald's can trademark Big Mac, but not burgers!

These guys can trademark the individual names, but not the concept of giving money back.

BIG problem here that everyone missed or skipped over is that this is NOT a HAUNT!
This is a CHALLENGE. So it is misrepresented. Here is where the problems, issues and claims
of fraud and scam will take place.

People come to the attraction expecting to go through a HAUNT and then if they can make it through
because they are too scared (point of ging to a haunt) they get their money back. But this is not a
HAUNT...it is a CHALLENGE. If they complete the challenge they get money back.

So promoting it as a haunt is misleading and could result in legal repercussions. THAT is the crtical point.

Like McD's if you want to use the phrases or names they have trademarked you have to pay a fee.
Is it worth it? I would say not yet. You buy a McD franchaise because of the name recognition, the program
they have in place, the support. If you don't like what they have to offer you check out Burger King, Carl's,
Jack in the Box, Ralley's.... or you open your own burger shop! There are new ones opening every day.

DO you really need to buy a MBH franchaise? Up to you. I think they were just a bit TOO agressive. McD's
didn't start off selling franchaises for near a half million dollars, but they do now! $5,000 first year $12,000
every year after for basically a new and untried "name" ?? Again maybe a bit too agressive. IF they had started
with a couple hundred dollars then increase the initial start up cost as the concept grows in numbers and regonition
I think more people would jump on board.

They guys realize that this is at best a flash in the pan. I really do not see them manning a booth selling franchaises
at TW five years from now, (seriously next year is in doubt!) People who did bite will promote it as stated, they may
some money, but then with Social Media beating them up because it is NOT a Haunt but a challenge they will drop it
or continue with an advertise CHALLENGE" so having the trademark "Money Back Haunt" has little meaning.

We have offered challeges for years as line entertainment. We pull people from the audience, they participate in challenges
against each other and the winner gets him or herself and their entire group a line pass and they are ceremonially escorted
to the front of the line. This want I don't loose any money, I may not get any additional income off it, but then again I don't
have to field any complaints either!

So if you think a challenge is a way to increase revenue or exposure, try one. Like McD's if you want to use their phrases,
you pay for them. Like BK, Carl's and the rest if you don't you create your own and if it is as good or better YOU franchaise
it!!

Rich

Skeered
03-15-2012, 10:46 AM
I kinda feel for the guys who sign up for the 1st year with this deal. Worse yet for those who get a bump the 1st year and sign for the high dollar 5 year deal. They agreed to who knows what kind of contract in writing claiming intellectual property. Only after that they realize it is not cracked up to what it is supposed to be. That there is really nothing new than can be protected but got this monkey on their back who they signed a piece of paper with screaming lawsuit all the way if they do otherwise.

craigsrobotics
03-15-2012, 10:54 AM
i too have a money back haunt...but the money only comes back if they make it outta the haunt alive without any stds,

first i make them have sex with granny,

second make them traverse a maze of razor wire, bear traps, and loose gerbils

third and finally if they make it through all of that i shoot them point blank in the head. This has worked 100% of the time at the haunt, and now because i told you all this you owe me some serious cash



lol...rofl....awesome....:)

JamBam
03-15-2012, 12:46 PM
You are an ambitious young man. I heard your pitch briefly at the show,but walked on without your green gift bag. You are new, but only time will tell if you are not temporary. Your idea in my opinion is not a good one for anyone other than 1. you and 2 anyone who promotes their event on a short term basis. After time, the haunt will suffer from reputation issues. The rest of the haunts will suffer too.

I have been in the haunt business since before you were born. Howie is right, he did an promotion like you are claiming to own. Make sure you are protecting the "trademark" (LOGO) when you try to sue anyone. I bet if your attorney would issue a statement to back your claim or give an interview about it, he would be very carefull not to claim the words or concept, but the "trademark", hence the exact artwork.

See my previous post as to the "trademark" you continue to threaten to protect. The font or logo is yours, but I don't think you own the idea. For the simple fact that since before you were born customers have been asking where that urban legend is located. No one knows exactly, but they know someone that knows. We have a reward of $ 100 to anyone that can tell us where the "money back haunt" is located. For nearly everyone out there, that means that the haunt being sought is a haunt that charges a regular ticket and not a surcharge, or bet, to the customer. The concept you present does off the customer the chance to only see the regular haunt.

Again, the Haunted Castle in Hustonville, Kentucky has been doing the same thing you are now selling for more than the three years you have. They do two scares and a fear factor eating thing. You might be sued by them if they hear you are claiming the idea, but fortunately for you the patent and trademark laws have recently changed to first filing rather than first use.

Your comments as to the protection of your trademarks are true only to the LOGO, not the use of the words. You are careful in your statements to make it seem that you own the idea and will sue, but talk is one thing and winning in court is another.

We were threatened a few years ago about using the Haunted Hotel name. When we reviewed it with our attorney, the LOGO was trademarked and we were using our own artwork and not using theirs, so their attempt to get us to drop the name had no weight.

Keep in mind that we are not closed minded rather we have seen "ideas" like this storm the haunt frontier only to fade quickly. Many older events remember the AOL national advertising "idea" that burned many including us. Sometimes that affects that haunted industry so the caution is justified. Only time will tell.

wickedfarmer
03-15-2012, 02:08 PM
[QUOTE=RJ Productions;133220]We haven't had this much excitement in years!!!

BIG problem here that everyone missed or skipped over is that this is NOT a HAUNT!
This is a CHALLENGE. So it is misrepresented. Here is where the problems, issues and claims
of fraud and scam will take place.

People come to the attraction expecting to go through a HAUNT and then if they can make it through
because they are too scared (point of ging to a haunt) they get their money back. But this is not a
HAUNT...it is a CHALLENGE. If they complete the challenge they get money back.

So promoting it as a haunt is misleading and could result in legal repercussions. THAT is the crtical point.



Target bracketed...fire for effect. Pretty much what I said in comment #49 on page 5. We all know what our first thought is and what customers will come "expecting" with wording "Money back haunt". And it is NOT what they are expecting. "Bait & switch" a customer; and they turn into a "Irate & Bitch" customer only too happy to tell everyone they were duped. Sure...there will be those who upon learning what the challenge is to get money back will find it attractive.

So tell me this. Why not call it "Haunt with a separate money back challenge". That IS what is truthfully is after all. It is simple, duping the customer is the magic part of the draw.

Wicked Farmer

BigT
03-15-2012, 02:16 PM
So here is the deal. In order to have patent protection, you have to prove that this is an original idea that no one else has thought of. If someone shows up and provides what is referred to as "prior art" demonstrating that the idea was though of before and was used before, the patent is claimed invalid and cannot be enforced. I know this because I hold several patents myself and have been used as a SME for patent infringement suits. They are selling crap and using the paper to scare people away from using the idea.

I walked away from the sales pitch laughing that they would think we in the industry are naive enough to not smell BS when it was thrown at our feet. By the way, they probably refrained from telling details because they know they can enforce their patents (which I never saw by the way). Another interesting note, it actually takes about 6 years for a patent to be issued once the application has been submitted. They must have filed a long time ago if they have an actual patent!

BigT
03-15-2012, 02:26 PM
There is no mention of a patent when I did a patent search for these guys. Makes me wonder if they even applied. The trademark means no one else can call their haunt The Money Back Haunt (but who would want to)?? You can still claim that you will offer money back if someone makes it through your haunt, as that is not a trademark infringement. As far as the patent goes, they can file all they want and they can sue all they want but it cannot be enforced when there is so much out there of this concept already (just hit Goolge). Any lawyers out there want to pipe in?

Howie Slobber Erlich
03-16-2012, 10:45 AM
I would like to hear from any haunts out there that are actually willing to admit they signed up for this. Anyone? Anyone... I would be amazed from what I have been hearing, if they have actually sold any territories yet. And would also be shocked by the response to this thread if anyone ever will. I believe this was a poor attempt to make a ton of money trying to market other peoples ideas. If it hasn't failed yet, it will by the end of this season.

I spent about 4 hours last night searching the Internet for haunts that do some sort of money back challenge. I have come up with 19 that did one at least last year or before and 8 new ones that have already announced that they are doing it this year. Including three in Michigan alone. I do not believe any of them are associated with this moneybackhaunts.com. That is a lot of law suits coming up in the near future. They better all remove the words money back from their web sites right now before they get in big trouble. lol! Some of them are in even bigger trouble. They are offering DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK! look out!

Moneyback, do you actually plan on suing all of these haunts?

Howie

mikeq91
03-16-2012, 12:35 PM
Not to give these guys any credit (since I do think it's a scam, not a haunted house, etc), but there is something to be said for getting people talking about your business. Granted it's not exactly positive attention, but they have to be one of, if not the most talked about companies coming out of TW. People were buzzing about it at the show, now people are talking about it on here and discussing it. Every time I saw one of those neon green shirts walking around the show floor I knew exactly what they were from. Now is this good for business? Who knows, but their name is certainly out there.

Darkblood
03-16-2012, 01:08 PM
This thread is something...
I keep reading it waiting for MBH to tell us what the name of his haunt is?
I just don't understand all the 'secrecy'?
And I remember waaaaaay back Howie doing the 'money-back' thing...as well as Hustonville...
Hmmm?

Kirk

Howie Slobber Erlich
03-16-2012, 01:19 PM
I believe his haunt is Frightmare Manor in TN.

http://frightmaremanor.com/

If I am wrong, I apologize to whoever owns Frightmare Manor.

Howie

Cavorite
03-16-2012, 01:22 PM
If you do a quick google search for "money back haunt" you will see that the first result is "Frightmare Manor" in Knoxville. $23 for 3 attractions $15 for the "challange."
If you follow the Nightmare link in the header it spells everything out fairly clearly.

I don't see how a customer could see it as a scam as the whole thing is clearly laid out as a "challange" and not a haunted house. Just my .02.

Dark Attraction
03-16-2012, 03:46 PM
SPOILER ALERT

According to several reviews of the Money Back Challenge (R) (T) (BS), you have to eat 3 Madagascar cockroaches, wash them down with Habanero pepper sauce, and handle some tarantulas.



Then you have to punch your Mom in the face, flush a kitten down the toilet, and watch Fox News for 30 minutes.

Haunted Castle
03-16-2012, 03:48 PM
Howie, about three years ago I sold a guy a couple trailer haunts I had, of course he was real interested in the Panic Room and how we operated it, ours is under ground in an old storm shelter-- funny thing is he was from around Knoxville Tn. We have done the Money Back deal (Fear Factor deal) since 2004 and we haven't made $5,000.00 in all those years put together, like I said it's a good draw for some. But need to make it clear that the Money Back thing is for the Panic Room or what ever you want to call it and not the Haunted Attraction itself or that will piss them off.

Haunted Castle
03-16-2012, 05:23 PM
found an old receipt his name was Chris Wooden from Knoxville, Tn if this is the one who says he has the rights to Money Back he got it from us, lol made several trips to Haunted Castle hauling stuff back to Knoxville was so intrigued by the Money Back deal we done, lol if this is the same one who says he has the rights to it he got the idea from us-- not that I care but find it funny he takes the idea then tries to sell to others, but then again that would be the American way lol

Howie Slobber Erlich
03-16-2012, 05:25 PM
Haunted Castle,

They are not making it clear at all. I believe they are stating you must purchase tickets to all 4 haunted events and complete them all to get your money back for just the challenge attraction which from what I can tell is not even any sort of haunt, just the "Fear Factor" type of challenge. I would love to see their signs at their ticket office to see how it's explained when making your purchase. I have no problem with the idea or anyone opening a money back haunt as long as it's legit. My only problem is their claims that they created the idea when you, me and many others have been doing it for years. And trying to make it impossible for anyone to use any version of a money back haunt at their attraction without paying them to do it.

Like I said in an earlier post, I am not running a money back haunt anymore, nor do I ever plan on doing one again. I did 2 years ago offer a chance to get a $10.00 refund for anyone who made it all the way through without chickening out. They had to pay a little bit more for that chance, but they could choose not to participate for a cheaper ticket price. All anyone has to do that wants to operate this type of event is to advertise they customers get a refund of their money or part of their money instead of stating the get their money back and they will be safe. Very easy to get around what they are trying to do.

Howie

Howie Slobber Erlich
03-16-2012, 05:28 PM
I do believe it is the same person. That makes it even more amusing that he is claiming the idea as his own, when he got it from you. I guess I owe him an apology! He stole your idea not mine. LOL!

Howie

graystone
03-16-2012, 05:42 PM
Not see the booth myself hell I did not get to see much of anything. But I know Chris hes a good guy. Maybe he will come here and fill you guys in! Shane and it's are you sure it's Chris? Shane

Howie Slobber Erlich
03-16-2012, 05:42 PM
Just confirmed it is the same person that you mentioned. Wow! That is amazing! I think everyone should completely trust this guy now and buy into HIS IDEA!

Howie

Haunted Castle
03-16-2012, 05:44 PM
Howie, I probably stole it from you, haha or at least the general Idea seems like years ago I read something where you had a Money Back deal - I just put your Idea and Fear Factor together, lol at least I didn’t try to sell it. I will continue to have ours just too lazy to change web site and advertisement, have been a cop for 32 years don't have many friends except other cops and attorneys so get free legal when needed so we'll see what happens I will dig out old e-mails and correspondents with him lol take care

Howie Slobber Erlich
03-16-2012, 05:51 PM
Don't feel bad. A lot of haunts opened a money back haunt the next year after seeing our success. I will admit that it pissed me off at the time but I knew it would happen and that there was nothing I could do about it. Just a shame that someone else is trying to claim it as there own and try to charge people to use the idea. It is a dying gimmick that unless operated to perfection will not work and will cause tons of headaches.

Howie

Haunted Prints (EOM)
03-16-2012, 07:53 PM
Realm of Darkness has had a "Money Back" haunt since at least 2006. Probably longer than that but I am not 100% sure.

While going thru the attraction, you make various decisions and choices to determine if you face the wizard and make it out alive. The concept was phenomenal and entertaining. It added something special to the top notch haunt they were running.

Thank you Hauntcon 2007 for putting this haunt on the your.

http://www.therealmofdarkness.com/legend.htm (http://http://www.therealmofdarkness.com/legend.htm)

Howie Slobber Erlich
03-17-2012, 11:50 AM
Yes, Realm of Darkness has had a $1000.00 reward or some sort of money back challenge for "defeating the wizard" for many years now. I believe it started the year after my haunt offered the chance to get your money back! They were one of the first to try to take advantage of the success we had. Why not? You see it work for someone else, you might as well try it for yourself. At least they attempted to do a twist on the theme and not copy the exact same idea that we came up with. By the way, I have always loved Realm. It is or was one of the most detailed haunts around. However, the owner was very upset with us that we did our promotion. It cost her many customers the first year and they even tried to tell us that what we were doing was illegal and threatened to get us shut down.

Another local haunt to this day, still offers the exact same idea we originally created, only now with double your money back. However, we have had several of their employees over the years tell us that they are totally scamming the public and that nobody has ever received their money back. They offer no proof that anyone ever has other than a statement on their web site the says 533 people got the refund last year. It is a horrible haunt and completely deceiving the public. Their numbers show it. They also close early if they are slow or the weather is bad. We have gained many customers from them over the years for that reason alone.

I love all the stories of successful and failed money back attempts that everyone has been emailing me. Keep sending them to me I am enjoying all of this and it's great talking to so many of you. I also thank everyone who has sent me emails and old media that they have found around the web about our haunt from 2000 and it being the first in the nation. I had forgotten some of the articles that were out there and it's bringing back a lot of great memories. And a few bad ones too!

Howie

wickedfarmer
03-17-2012, 01:50 PM
Mind you I love "Making Monsters" and M*A*S*H* is my all time favorite. But this just keeps getting better and better. Stay tuned....

Wicked Farmer

JamBam
03-18-2012, 02:22 PM
Thanks Howie and Haunted Castle for figuring it out. Where is the response ???

Rogues Hollow did a very good website for Frightmare. They DO have the "challenge" listed as a challenge. However, they headline every page of their website as "the money back haunt" in a specific font. It IS illegal to use their specific font in the U.S. as it is trademarked, but I still think that the use of the words and names about such are still ok to use.

I agree with others that say that this "challenge" needs to be made clear it is not a "Haunt" as we know it.

I googled complaints about the "challenge" and found this page. Interesting reviews by several that tried the challenge. http://www.topix.com/forum/city/morristown-tn/T7IR574RFICETQTAA/p3

Now, since Hustonville, KY Haunted Castle was the haunt that this "challenge" has been used a the source of the idea, they should be able to sell their idea as well, right?

wickedfarmer
03-18-2012, 06:12 PM
Interesting to read through the peoples comments on this place. LOVE THE FACT that there were several discussing this place but wanting to know about haunted corn mazes in the area! Made my day that on the discussion of this place people were looking for a haunted corn field...just what I have.

Wicked Farmer

Jim Warfield
03-18-2012, 09:02 PM
How many ? Remains the question and what will they pay? Will it pay enough to hire another person or more to make this challenge profitable? It sure sounds as if some helpers will be busy explaining, signing paperwork, filing paperwork, helping those who don't handle hot sauce and bugs very well. Sounds like numerous problems of a human and public relations nature , as if a haunt needs more along those concerns... but then, what do I "know"? I'm just in the middle of nowhere doing what I do...

About 23 years ago I was told by someone who I am very Sure knew what he was talking about , about someone's attempt to patent, copyright the words "Haunted House"! But of course they just blew $ out their posterior on that one. (Didn't they?)

When I was first on a computer I read about a lawsuit between two haunts that each had the word "Parkway"? in their names, but these two were several States apart!? This wouldn't be too confusing to anyone who has ever seen a map of the United States, would it?
When we went to buy the rights to our web-name "Ravens Grin Inn" we found a speculator already owned it ! Lucky us, we went with "Haunted Ravens Grin", Thank you Mr. Speculator! This got me a much better placement right where I neded to be in search engines, even the small ones powered by a rubber band!
After working on my house for several years I sent a letter that Fall to The Chicago Tribune and they gave me more ink than any other haunt listed in their haunted house section questioning if I was fibbing or not when I told them my house had seven phyiscal levels and that I had an optional guaranteed Scare-Package... This was my first real busy fall. The "Village Idiot" suddenly became the town hero, bringing Bu$$ine$$ to the small town of my Birth (I wan't born in Nigeria ether!)
Did I actually have Seven levels ? Yes, I most certainly did.
Did I have something guaranteed to scare people? I certainly did because almost none of the people coming out here had never been to my house before.
Problems with my "Brag"? Two odd guys complained to me that they weren't "Scared" by my "guranteed scare". I thoughtfully pointed out that if they came for that, they should have mentioned this to me before They stepped aside and allowed the Girl Scout Troop to do it ahead of the two of them!
The two odd guys got quizzical expressions, then a scary reality settled across their faces as I explained how they would have been given a slightly modified, enhanced experience had they made their quest known to me (their imaginations were churning now), they had nothing else to say,pondering the possible way such an experience would have possibly impacted their emotional well-being.
They drove away in their vintage 4-door Classy Pink Rambler (Borrowed from Grandma?)
Besides doing my haunt in my own fairly "Original" style and being extremely flexible as to the style of show I can give, depending upon the group looking at me,(Which helps customers appreciate me more) I also have always been extremely concerned about the positive impressions and feeling of value for the customer's dollar spent with us.
Without extremely favorably impressed customers I would have had no success at all, no repeat business.. then what?
Go back to living in the drainage tube under the county highway? No thanks, this is Northern Illinois, it can get very chilly here.

(Tater, Do you have a Mother-in-Law Special pass for your incredibly abusive and fatal Haunt?.. just wondering?) Very funny, I laughed long..

Haunt
03-18-2012, 09:37 PM
Just my 2 cents. I couldn't help but notice that this topic has gotten much more fact based and much less mean-spirited over the last few days. Awesome! Opinions and emotions are irrelevant. Facts are what's important. I emailed the owner and talked with him before this topic even exploded and it seems to me like the guy Trademarked the names. If you don't want to use the names he Trademarked, then don't. (Just like you can sell a burger made like the Big Mac but can't call it a Big Mac -speaking just specifically about a Trademark, I mean) Am I wrong?

Howie Slobber Erlich
03-19-2012, 04:54 AM
I don't think it really matters anymore. The fact is Chris has not responded or defended any of the accusations that have been made in the last few days. He has been exposed as not a truthful person. If I were a haunt that was considering signing up and read this thread, I would run away from it as fast as I could.

Here is another fact. Since my ex business partner & I started the first succesful money back haunt in the nation, don't you think we would still be running it 12 years later if the concept worked over the long hall? When myself and my ex partner split and went our own seperate ways he continued with the money back haunt for a couple more years. I think he would tell you that the idea quicky got old and people got bored with the gimmick. His numbers adjusted back down to good average numbers for our area but never receieved the huge numbers like when the concept was first introduced.

If done correctly ic can boost numbers for a couple years. If that is all you want then go for it. If you want to build your reputaion and grow in the business over the long hall I would stay away from the idea!

Howie

MoneyBackHaunts.com
03-20-2012, 04:49 PM
Well, I've tried to be professional and talk with people to try to help explain what my business is all about but I'm not gonna put up with ppl calling out my integrity anymore. So forgive me ahead of time for speaking my mind but here we go...
I decided it wasn't getting anywhere posting on the forum so I took some days off from trying to defend from the "intelligent, fact-finding people on here" :) . You'll have already proven yourselves so intelligent already. haha. Remember, I'm not even posting on here trying to promote my business, because I have enough smart people who see the benefit of what I'm offering. I'm just trying to make people understand how I've adapted and created something to be hugely successful at a BIG Haunted Attraction, and it can make other Haunters Money. But the jealous, ignorant railbirds have diluted that message and turned it into personal attacks, and these ppl don't even know me. If you did, you would be embarrassed by your actions.

But anyway....

Well, I got a phonecall today saying that people are still talking and I'm getting personally trashed pretty bad by supposed "haunters". I'm not gonna go back and read the 6 pages I've missed but from the phonecall, here's some things to clear up....And I must say AGAIN, I'm not gonna argue with ppl on here. Honestly, It's not worth my time - bluntly, some of you are complete idiots and I wonder if you can put a complete thought together. But as always, you can CALL or email me with any questions. At least then you'd be talking directly to me. SO let me make 1 last post to clear up the clear, childish jealousy, stupidity and ignorance flying around, then I'm done with it....

1. I bought alot of things from a guy in Kentucky that owns a Haunt. I bought half his attraction 4 years ago (and he was very appreciative) because he told me he was downsizing, then getting out of the business the year after. While I was there, he went on and on about this thing he does. He took people 1 at a time into an area and put Toy Snakes and worms on people. I told him it was interesting and "if I could try it at my new haunt." He said "Of Course You Can. In fact, Copy and Use my Waiver straight off my website.". (I'm pretty sure I can find email correspondance backing that up too, plus I had someone else present during the conversation. But again, not worth my time to argue....) Not to mention, I think he even told people in this thread the same thing, to copy and use his waiver...so I don't know what the big deal is. I don't even use his waiver anyway! That would of course be stupid, to copy and paste an important document for your personal use. So I hope no one takes this advice, for their own protection.
THIS WAS AN IDEA THAT WAS VERY PRIMITIVE. I ADAPTED IT, ACTUALLY APPLIED A PROCESS TO IT, AND I MADE IT GOOD, then coupled it with a Marketing Campaign that has made me the top-grossing Haunt in TN. There's a reason I bring in big attendance numbers with what I do, and he doesn't.
I'm not trying to be mean, but I'm tired of this BS. I'VE ADAPTED WHAT I DO FOR MASS-THROUGHPUT, ACTUAL SET, SYSTEMATIC, USE IN A LARGE HAUNTED ATTRACTION with tremendous success. So now I guess people are mad that I not only did what was told to me, but I did a much better job by making it much better....this is too funny. Again, just because you build a chair, and I build a better one, doesn't mean you get credit or (even funnier) compensation. I feel like I'm going in circles here on this forum with ppl...

2. I have the Trademarks. Period. I'm sorry if this bothers you but get over it. And I guarantee you, I will protect them. Is there anyone here that wants to continue arguing this? If so, take it up with the United States Government. Because I'm tired of arguing the correct point and people trying to find ways to outsmart my Nashville Trademark Attorney who also represents big country music labels. Again, too funny. Some of these opinions aren't even based on logic. Geez. Get an Education or at least consult someone who does have one. Any monkey with a computer can check this fact. I don't like exposing people's ignorance but again, I have to apparently, in the name of defending my name.

3. If you have any other insults about me or defamatory things to say, feel free to be a man and call me. This is BS. I've tried to be professional and even courteous but I won't put up with personal attacks from morons hiding behind their computers. These forums have some very good, respectable people that I've had the privilege to meet over the years, but also unfortunately some gutless cowards, emboldened by anonymity, who resort to personal attacks. You can reach me at 1-888-611-7975. Please call and tell me directly what you think so I can expose you for the jealous, stupid, scum you are. And I'll do it nicely, by simply pointing out the facts.

Otherwise, if you actually own a Haunted House (I'm beginning to wonder about some ppl on here ), and think this can help you, give me a call also. I'll help you if I can. Because again, and this is what amazes me...I'm telling you the overall system I've used to become a large-attendance Haunted Attraction. It's not the only way to do things - in fact, my idea isn't for everyone! THERE ARE ALOT OF WAYS TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN THIS INDUSTRY! And I learn things every day about this industry! But, I WILL make other haunts money THIS SEASON with my License. And that makes me happy, to see MY IDEA work for others. If you're too stupid to understand that and still think I'm trying to "scam" people, then nothing can help you, and I won't wast my time any longer. And I'm very offended.

Finally, one last point, don't steal my Trademarks. I want to help other haunts within this industry make BIG money with my license, if they feel it would be a good fit for them. I've created this system and I've spent alot of money protecting what I've done LEGALLY and I will enjoy suing each and every punk that tries to steal my Intellectual Property. That is, if you're "haunt' is even noticed enough for me to care - Again, I wonder.... If you're confused with this statement, you better call me so I can explain. Otherwise, you will regret it this Fall. You same people probably download music illegally via filesharing , and buy bootleg DVD's from China. A Registered Trademark is a Registered Trademark and the Court System doesn't look favorably on Trademark Infringement.

This whole thread proves how much MY IDEA WORKS. Take away the jealous, hateful, ignorant attacks and this is the same excitement I see at my Haunt! It gets people talking and is a huge draw! Thank you for everyone for proving the very point of my Business Model.

I also understand this thread gets alot of attention because it's so much easier to criticize someone else's idea than actually grow a pair, and try to create something yourself. So please resist the urge to take the lazy way out. Forgive me, but I'm an innovator. Here's an idea, get off your butt and come up with AN EVEN BETTER IDEA THAN MINE to help this Industry! We are growing and need to continue giving people reasons to come to Haunted Houses. We are here to entertain people! I've done that and am proud of it.

Whew...there I'm done with this thread now. There's probably alot I left out bc I'm not gonna go read everything. I'm sure ppl have bashed me because they don't know me. I appreciate the people that actually DO know me and have taken up for me and called me personally. I have a great idea and am successful with it. I want to share it with others. Period.

We'll let my Licensees success or failure speak for itself after this season on whether I created a GREAT idea or not! I think I have, and want to share it with other markets and transform people's Haunts into a true business for them.

Maybe one day I'll regret not taking the high road and continuing to remain silent on this, but no respectable person would put up with these ridiculous attacks. I'm very proud of what I do in all my dealings in life, especially my Halloween businesses. And my only regret is having to say these truthful, yet possibly insulting, things to clear the air. I'm a nice guy but again, have had enough.

Deathwing
03-20-2012, 05:04 PM
At this point it's probably best you not show at Transwold again. Only Larry can get away with calling Haunters idiots lol

But seriously, your idea is not original and not "haunted", and your smug attitude will have Haunters telling you to kick rocks. The people that bought into this Fear Factor concept deserves what they'll get.

Jake

Haunted Castle
03-20-2012, 06:35 PM
Chris, Your account of our transaction is mostly correct, just as I got the basic concept from Howie years ago and modified it to suit our need, you done the same with my idea even down to using our release form which I have never had a problem with anyone using however, a heads up or even a ” Do you mind if I use your release and idea to make money with” would have been nice, not required -- but nice.

I think what everyone is having the problem with is the trademark, like you said take that up with our Government, from what I see everything you have done is legal, may not be ethical among other haunters but legal is the magic word. Anyway, I will respect your trademark and have removed all reference to our Money Back Haunt and the Panic Room.

I don’t think the way you came about the idea and promoted it as your own is going to help your creditabity. But, haunting is just a hobby to me so I’ll let you and your business associates deal with the integrity issue.

Was good talking to you again I tried to call the number you posted but there was no answer should (show up as 606-669-0312) so I fig I just post it here. I hope your Idea really takes off, lol you really seem so set on been successful at all expense. Take Care Fred PS excuse spelling , grammar I’m a cop not a teacher, lol

Rex W.
03-20-2012, 09:45 PM
Sounded like a total scam

MoneyBackHaunts.com
03-20-2012, 09:54 PM
Fred,

I just got back in and saw your missed call. It's too late to call you tonight so I'll call you tomorrow and we can chat about it. We'll work something out, I don't want to hurt your existing business. I was under the impression you "retired" from haunting a few years back. I guess once it's in the blood, it's just too much fun to stop :) I do appreciate the phonecall and will return it tomorrow.

Greg Chrise
03-20-2012, 10:51 PM
Trade marks and agressively protecting same might work with a product or service that makes 1.5 million to 15 million per year gross. Then you wait until they make said money and sue for a royalty. If a haunt or group of haunts ever got to 1.5 million, the money back part might work as a side attraction. But generally haunts are from year to year on the verge of growing or receeding and any suit what so ever just makes them go into bankruptsy. If you think stopping anyone using this without you is how you make money, you need better attorneys. Like the $375 per hour guys.

Any crap in this industry that takes people to court as considered normal business is just plain bullshit. Everyone that routinely shares all information good or bad just hates you. Simple as that. A little hard to maintain "industry" references for chasing gypsy wagons. The haunts that are succeeding are a little smarter than to accept any predatory licensing. So that leaves you with people that have never done crap before and basically are victims waiting to happen.

So you have a five fold problem. A concept that is for short term. Trying to sue people that have no money. Being able to pay about $6500 per case in legal fees is going to be intresting. Back in the day there were people that thought there was such a profession level of business and got trademarks and everyone hated them and every breath they made. No one recommended anyone do business with them. They hated this or these guys to no end and spent years, hundreds of hours for free per year, making sure no one got taken. So you are going to cost a lot of good people money taking the time away from their own businesses to hate you.

Of course the bad man still managed to corral people with money that had never done an event before and run them into the ground but, they always seemed to not get paid too. Why you would want to live that way is beyond me.

I just can't understand why the bad man won't be my facebook freind. He was so much fun.

Scenic Art Productions
03-20-2012, 11:40 PM
Chris,

If you are reading this I wanted to tell you ( just to try to help and explain in a friendly way ) as Fred tried to say. I do not think the reason everyone on here is upset with you is the "idea" , it is what and how you did to it. You took something that has been around for years in one form or another and made it yours and are threatening everyone that may do anything similar. It would be McDonald's suing Burger King because they sell burgers.

I build Theatrical Props, Sets, and Signage. I had a sign customer (I build signs for other sign companies) that I would do work for that claimed something I have been doing, as well as many other companies was patend and no one else can do that. You cannot own a process. You can sell the work and labor involved coming up with it but not really own it. It would be like McDonald's suing every burger place for putting a burger on a bun. Like you cannot build a house by framing a house at 16" centers. I understand wanting to protect yourself but modesty goes a long way also. One the other hand you can own your name and logo. That is a fact.

I hate seeing all this arguing on here. Life is too short. Why not change this thread to being a question and answer on what you are selling. As I had read this thread, it sounded like you, your employees and or buisness partners were so secretive about what you are selling that you set yourself up to look like a scam. Kind of the way these pyramid schemes are. That is what looks like what started all of this mess. From there it set you and others on the defense. That is what it looks like to me. I hope, if you are truelly trying to do things the right way by being true and honest this will help you out in the future.

Good luck to all,
Robert Travis
Scenic Art Productions
ScenicArtProductions@Yahoo.COM
Http://www.facebook.com/scenicartproductions

icarian
03-21-2012, 12:15 AM
my quick 2 cents: yes, you can trademark your name... BUT if at anytime the 3 words used in your "trademarked name" fall into common vernacular, your grounds for a lawsuit are null. (IE: Frappuccino... originally owned by starbucks, yet the term fell into common vernacular and now starbucks can only defend Frappuccino Blended Creme, Frappuccino Blended Coffee, Frappuccino Light Blended Creme, the font, artwork, and etc. ALL employees are required [yet rarely follow the requirement] to call the beverage by its EXACT trademark term, my job was enforcing this rule for several years.... same story, Band-Aid has now become Band-Aid Brand because Band-aid fell into common vernacular)

If Money Back Haunt wants to protect their trademark, they WILL, inevitably, have to alter the spelling, layout, or wording, as ALL the words are common vernacular for any haunted attraction that offers money back in any way shape or form. None of the phrase "money back haunt" is specific to your brand. The artwork, colors, intellectual property (your ACTUAL process and any documentation that the haunt would recieve) are ALL protected. HOWEVER, the term "money back haunt" and "all variations thereof" are not COMPLETELY protected. They're only yours so long as no one else stands up and defends the fact that you are suing them for using common terms to describe a TYPE of service, not neccissarily copying you or your business model, but for advertising that their patrons can recieve money back.

again, just my 2 cents. I can say that i personally wont be doing business with money back haunt, and my reasoning is simply that the trademarked name itself and the viciousness with which it is GOING to be protected comes across as something exceedingly shady... i cannot get around that first hurdle. If the name were original, i could get over the concept being something that others have tried and your company may have improved on. but the name is so basic that it appears to be a trap set and waiting for the first people you can find who unknowingly used your intellectual property. I am not trying to bash anyone, this is simply the way that this is all appearing to me, a member of your target customer base.

graystone
03-21-2012, 05:20 AM
Yes I am a voice for bad vendors and buyers! I have gotten so many calls and emails that I am like WTF. I am going to say a few things and leave it at that. This is the only time I will say this. Here is a few facts......

1. Chris is a friend of mine ( and FYI if he was doing people wrong I would still call him out like I would anyone) but don't see that he has really did anything other than to draw attention to himself and his haunt and hey that is not all bad lol
2. He's not ripped anyone off... You either buy into his product or you don't
3. This Thread is really pointless and should be listed under the "Industry Debates" Section after all this is a "Debate"


4. Now if this is the problem and again I am really unclear what the bitch fest is about but if the ''Debate" is about using the phrase " Money Back " " The Money Back" " Money Back Haunt" " Money Back Haunted House" or any forums. I talked to a friend of mine yesterday who heads the legal team of another friend of mine who owns over 400 well known stores here in the U.S and he tells me all of these words are common words and YOU CANNOT BE SUED FOR USING THEM. They are apart of whats called common names or english common vernacular. I can't speak for Chris and honestly who in the hell want's to offer money back for their show I mean after all every TOM, DICK AND HARRY COULD SAY I HATED THIS AND WANT MY MONEY BACK even though you may have the best show in the country. Never understood why that's used in our Industry just the same as using $1, $2, $5 dollar off coupons! Hell no one gave me a anything off when I paid thousands of dollars for props. You either want to pay $20.00 to see my show or you don't it's that simple! Anyway back to what this attorney ( who again is the head of the legal team of a multi billion dollar company and they deal with the companies trademark names daily ) and what he said. He said no one can Trandmark common words, names. Now if he did a Trademark on a certain custom fount's custom graphics ect then yes he has a case but it would be on that and not the words. He also said in this country you can do anything you want and any attorney will defend his client whether or not he believes them or their actions. Attorneys are not judge's they are just hired to do a job win or lose. So let's just let this go because there is really nothing to fight about unless your using the things I just listed!

Now let it go and if you think your going to get sued for using the words The, Money or Back your just being silly and I assure you if you do and you go to court I will give you "your money back" if you lose!!! Now someone run and trade mark "Your Money Back"!!!!! See my point? Chris wish you well my friend and everyone else let's bitch about gas prices!!!!! Shane and it's hopefully this will die now! Shane

Frightener
03-21-2012, 06:02 AM
THIS IS BS!!!!!




Cheapest place in town went up .16 cents OVERNIGHT! I thought gas prices couldn't raise more than .10 cents in 24 hours? Maybe I'm wrong but hey.



:D

Not to mention my other car is a 67 Camaro SS and needs super :( that's $4 a gallon as I write this.

screamforadream
03-21-2012, 06:16 AM
$4/gallon for SUPER???? Where do you live?!? (I should probably know lol but whatever)
I pay practically $4/gallon for REGULAR!!!

That's it, screw CT!

Frightener
03-21-2012, 06:18 AM
Arkansas, derr lol. Yeah, we usually get hit mid to late in the game.

Howie Slobber Erlich
03-21-2012, 06:36 AM
Shane,

I Applaud you for defending your friend. I think the main reasons that people are upset with Chris are simple. 1. He is still claiming this is or was his idea. This after admitting he used Fred's concept and was explained how to do it by Fred himself. Also it is an insult to anyone who ever did a money back haunt before him. 2. He is threatening people that if they use Money Back haunt or any variation in their advertising or at their haunt he will go after them legally to try and scare them off. We all know that he will never win a law suit on this issue for the reasons you stated as well as others but he still doesn't understand that. He thinks he'll actually win.

A big part of what he is trying to sell is that he will go after anybody who uses "money back". Because that really would be the only way to protect his licensees and guarantee them any sort of territorial rights. He can't and won't be suing them. As of a couple day ago, I spent several hours searching the Internet. There are at least 27 haunts that have either done or are doing some sort or money back haunt. By your figure, $6500.00 x 27 = $175,500.00 on law suits. Not to mention the time involved that it would take to go after each one of these haunts.

I hope this thread goes away as well. All it is doing now is creating more buzz and free advertising. I think that all points have been made by both sides. We have stated our feelings and he has not changed or admitted doing anything thing wrong or shady. My only hope is that real haunters out there will understand that they do not need him or his license to do a money back haunt. There are plenty of ways around it without the fear of being sued. I would never do another money back haunt because frankly after 12 years since I introduced it, it has been done so many times that very few customers even care about it anymore. And even worse, this concept where they have to do the "Fear Factor" stuff is even worse and possibly dangerous. I wonder what the health department thinks about what he is making people do to get their money back? I think I will make a few calls about that later today.

And it's I don't steal other peoples ideas then claim them as my own Howie this time!

Haunted Yard Props
03-21-2012, 09:47 AM
Screw "Money Back Haunt".

I just trademarked "No Refunds". ;)

Howie Slobber Erlich
03-21-2012, 10:09 AM
LOL! I trademarked (Haunted House, Haunted Atrraction, Hay Ride, Dark Ride, Woods, Trailer, Boo, Terror, Horror, Clowns, Chainsaws & Blood.) Plus I just passed my Bar Exam and am looking to do a lot of suing! So bring it people!

Howie

wickedfarmer
03-21-2012, 10:45 AM
LOL! I trademarked (Haunted House, Haunted Atrraction, Hay Ride, Dark Ride, Woods, Trailer, Boo, Terror, Horror, Clowns, Chainsaws & Blood.) Plus I just passed my Bar Exam and am looking to do a lot of suing! So bring it people!

Howie

I'm still good to go with "corn maze". Please don't register "Wicked Farmer"...it would mean I miss all this fun!

Wicked Farmer

MoneyBackHaunts.com
03-21-2012, 11:08 AM
haha. I'm glad we've found the lighter side now :)

I understand everyone's views, well most at least. We might not agree but we can all live and let live on this. I just wish we could've gotten here without the personal bashing. It has clouded the subject. I genuinely believe I can help some haunts (and have no ill-intentions whatsoever everybody!), but if we disagree, I'm ok with that. And I respect people's opinions in this industry. Btw, I want to thank Fred, for calling me today. Good to talk with you.

And just to answer a question posed, the trademarks are the actual wording without discrimination to style, font, or lettering. So I'll make my final plea to please not steal it. I don't mean to dwell on it but I don't want any confusion. I don't wanna harm anyone within the industry, believe me. I'm not a jerk, at least I dont think so :) But I really think I have something worth protecting. And I need to protect my licensees. That's all. Now, back to haunting!

icarian
03-21-2012, 12:01 PM
LOL! I trademarked (Haunted House, Haunted Atrraction, Hay Ride, Dark Ride, Woods, Trailer, Boo, Terror, Horror, Clowns, Chainsaws & Blood.) Plus I just passed my Bar Exam and am looking to do a lot of suing! So bring it people!

Howie

LOL! posts like this make me wish we had a "like" button. Larry?

wickedfarmer
03-21-2012, 12:05 PM
Well; I was joking with Howie. Unfortuneately I can not say so with owner who licensed the words...(sorry forgot name and didn't go back to look.) Yes we disagree. I never had or probably never will have money back haunt. But there is an occasion once in a while when I do refund for some situation..and yes I believe you are only interested in the "advertisng/displaying" of your registered words. But we get bent out of shape on disagreements. My other hobby is American Civil War. Huge disagreement on how to run a country and for it 2 million died. Well some of us unfortuneately have it in our blood to stand up against what is legal when it is not right. I trace mine all the way back to Benjamin Benjamin who enlisted in Fitches Co. in 2nd Conn. Regiment on Sept 15th of 1777. His son James benjamin served as well. Damn I hope I never get the notion to run a money back haunt. I'm a stubborn SOB who never backs down...sorry just who I am. Good luck in your endevours and I hope you guys and all involved have a smoother transaction than what I forsee.

Mark Benjamin
AKA Wicked Farmer

graystone
03-21-2012, 03:42 PM
[QUOTE=Howie Slobber Erlich;133531]Shane,

I Applaud you for defending your friend. I think the main reasons that people are upset with Chris are simple. 1. He is still claiming this is or was his idea. This after admitting he used Fred's concept and was explained how to do it by Fred himself. Also it is an insult to anyone who ever did a money back haunt before him. 2. He is threatening people that if they use Money Back haunt or any variation in their advertising or at their haunt he will go after them legally to try and scare them off. We all know that he will never win a law suit on this issue for the reasons you stated as well as others but he still doesn't understand that. He thinks he'll actually win.

A big part of what he is trying to sell is that he will go after anybody who uses "money back". Because that really would be the only way to protect his licensees and guarantee them any sort of territorial rights. He can't and won't be suing them. As of a couple day ago, I spent several hours searching the Internet. There are at least 27 haunts that have either done or are doing some sort or money back haunt. By your figure, $6500.00 x 27 = $175,500.00 on law suits. Not to mention the time involved that it would take to go after each one of these haunts.

I hope this thread goes away as well. All it is doing now is creating more buzz and free advertising. I think that all points have been made by both sides. We have stated our feelings and he has not changed or admitted doing anything thing wrong or shady. My only hope is that real haunters out there will understand that they do not need him or his license to do a money back haunt. There are plenty of ways around it without the fear of being sued. I would never do another money back haunt because frankly after 12 years since I introduced it, it has been done so many times that very few customers even care about it anymore. And even worse, this concept where they have to do the "Fear Factor" stuff is even worse and possibly dangerous. I wonder what the health department thinks about what he is making people do to get their money back? I think I will make a few calls about that later today.

And it's I don't steal other peoples ideas then claim them as my own Howie this time!

*************************Howie I feel ya and I guess as much as I like Chris my real point is after talking with an attorney that deals with a multi billion dollar company and it's trademark he says that the use of any of the words will not hold up. I think Chris and his attorney see it different and that's the way it usually goes. So who's right and who's wrong? Honestly I don't see Chris spending years in Court over this I could be wrong but if that's the case the damn courts are in for mass chaos and full blown hell that will only end up being thrown out. I mean hey it can be tied up in courts and appeals for years and I feel the end result will be...... All this was just silly as this is not a new source of wording. Has anyone tried to trademark the term " Guaranteed Scarest Haunt or Scarest Haunt, Longest Haunt, Darkest Haunt, Cheapest Haunt, God this could go on for ever.

I wish you all the best of luck on both sides because honestly I aint giving no damn money back to anyone! I said it before you either like it or you don't and I think it's going to be much like the concept that there will come a time people will just say theres really no way your going to get your money back unless you don't eat dog shit, drink puke, sniff sperm or stick your nose in a fishy twat!!!! I mean come on for real and honestly the way I see it that Fear Factor concept is just not scary but hey to each his own! You guys have fun runnng up huge attorney bills and trying to figure out who came up with all this. I got a Haunt I love and your going to pay to get in and scared or not YOU WILL NOT GET A DAMN DIME BACK FROM ME!!! Shane and it's Howie my tag line now has a trademark on it so don't use my line!!!!!! Shane

Howie Slobber Erlich
03-21-2012, 04:06 PM
I will say this, and it's easy to look up. My ex partner and I did Service Mark the slogan "The Only Haunted House where You Can Get Your Money Back." After we split from each other, at some point he let it expire. So that is still up for grabs. Chris can't prevent the Service Mark from being used. Like I said numerous times, my problem is with him claiming he came up with the idea and trying to threaten anybody from attempting to use a similar idea. I will bet that there will be plenty of haunts that do some sort of money back theme this year and none of them will be successfully sued!

I did do some checking with the Health Department in Tennessee as well as Michigan today. Without getting into to details about what I found out, I can say that both states were very interested in what the "Fear Factor" Style haunts are doing. I was assured there are some serious health concerns involved with the digestion of insects and large quantities of hot sauce. Tennessee told me they will be looking into this matter and I should receive a response within the next couple of weeks.

Howie

Deathwing
03-21-2012, 05:18 PM
Good work Howie, I think what you're doing is a service to the entire industry.

Thanks!

Jake

wickedfarmer
03-21-2012, 05:44 PM
Good work Howie, I think what you're doing is a service to the entire industry.

Thanks!

Jake

I second that. Yeah; that in itself may have adverse consequences. But I made myself known when a youth event my daughter went to did the "milk Challenge" See if you can drink a gallon of milk! You can't. Something in the milk causes your body to vomit before you finish. Nothing like 20 kids puking all over the church. Look at the comments people who went there put... cant see for an hour...a couple made that comment. The link is buried several pages back in the forum.

Howie Slobber Erlich
03-21-2012, 05:48 PM
Thanks Jake!

There will be a lot more to this whole story in a couple weeks. Unfortunately, there may be several haunts that are going to be very disappointed with some news thats coming soon. I am not trying to be mean however, there may be more serious legal issues with this whole thing than Trademarks and intellectual rights.

Howie

Greg Chrise
03-21-2012, 06:08 PM
Shanes resource is a multi billion dollar account attorney. Thinks it isn't noteworthy. However in the small business world, the attorney isn't necessarily that bright, possibly even despirate and will take it to court costing who ever they pick out money to defend themselves even if unsuccessful. Even being unsuccessful or even being thrown out at some point costs money. It costs money just to get the details of what you are being threatened with. Often an insurance deductable has been chosen and so these are out of pocket expenses that would not have to happen.

So what are they gonna get if you could actually close down on someone? Some rotted latex and rotted plywood? Make up supplies with cooties in them?

This whole mind set of people thinking business is normally conducted at small business level like how Yale Law School teaches how lawyer practices should think, is the whole problem. Even this guy paying maybe $600 for all these trademaks has been ripped off by the system. A miss application of business theory. A fear that someone with more money or time is just going to take of with this idea? Or that the government is going to do something or can do something.

I just really wish people could use reality of what a small business is, what it really requires and how it can actually conduct itself. Usually it is very simple, if your work sucks you don't get paid. If you damage someone's property you have to pay for it. If you have made someone a shit load of money they will continue to pay you because they want another shit load in the future. Yet somehow everyone needs to test out the system by talking to some attorney who is not really sure either what can be done. The whole system is guinnee pig territory. Gray areas of peoples egos and pride of ownership and usually with nothing to back it up.

It was a nice booth though. I guess transworld wins for collecting rent.

drfrightner
03-22-2012, 09:47 AM
It is hard to say who came up with the idea of a money back haunted house but I know it is NOT anyone posting on these boards... the concept has been around forever. In fact anyone who has used the concept is copying from the urban legend of a money back haunt. We've all heard the urban legend of a 13 story haunted house, with a lion, and if you make it to the top you get your money back.

We've also seen several haunts over the years use the same concept of a money back haunted house, in fact I think one was called Urban Legends.

The overall concept of a money back haunted house can NOT be trademarked by ANYONE ... so if someone wanted to open up a haunted house with the concept of getting your money back somehow they can! No suit against them would hold up and I believe the trademark could be fought and they'd lose it ... just because you get a trademark doesn't mean you really own the concept. It is up to the person who gets the trademark to ensure the concept is truly unique. If you do a true trademark process it would cost you thousands of dollars, and tons of research.

Many attorney's will tell you up front we can do a cheap version of research or an indepth one... any research on this concept would have come back with other haunts doing the same thing. This trademark would NOT under ANY circumstances hold up in court trust me on that one... the only WAY it would hold up is if is offering some very unique way you get your money back.

Unique to him and his business, something he can prove without any doubt is unique and original to his business.

Fact is Money Back are generic words and can't be trademarked so are the words haunted, house, attraction and well Halloween.

I'm sorry but this trademark would NOT hold up in my opinion and it wouldn't take much to get the mark thrown out... again you must do a lot of homework to ensure you can get a mark. A big company might spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to try and trademark something. Most people who get trademarks spend only hundreds, and again while other companies could spend a million. There is a LOT of research done to protect marks then later in court millions more trying to fend off litigation where people challenge them. This is why you do the research up front and a lot of it.

If I was or most of you in this room where brought to court you'd say yeah we know of haunts doing the same thing prior... boom thrown out.

Here is the real bottom line... he hasn't stated exactly what makes his mark unique to him, and unless you know that exactly you just don't know what he's offering.

So do I know if his mark is generic, copied from past haunts, an original concept, or whatever... no I don't. Do I think the overall concept is something that has been done before...yes I do.

If I wanted to do some sort of money back promotion would I be afraid of his mark NO I WOULD NOT! Like I said without knowing exactly what his business plan is, the overall concept of his marketing plans its unfair for anyone to say his plan is or isn't unique or original and would hold a valid mark. If he has a great idea and he invented it and it could help you business you should contact him and talk to him about it. He just might have a really great idea he came up with, and it could help your business drastically even. I don't doubt for one second that he has a great idea that will help many haunts, and that his concept is original and unique but on the other hand I also know the concept of a money back haunted house is NOT original and its been done before.

So again without knowing the details it really is unfair for anyone to say one way or another.

But if his concept is really no different than what has been done before ... no its old news and not original.

Larry

JamBam
03-22-2012, 10:18 AM
Shane, You did defend your friend but also gave the right scoop on the common words not being able to be protected.

Haunted Castle, you were using it as well as Howie's list of 27 other haunts were using this concept are legal in continuing the same words and business that you were before he trademarked his "font". If you were using the same font,you may need to change it, but the use before his trademark is allowed to CONTINUE.. Even if it were a special word now protected by the law, the previous use by others cannot be taken away from them.


Money back dude, you are correct in trying to protect what you have filed for, but you need to be careful that you don't get sued yourself for threatening something you don't have legal rights to and the precise aspect of that. By the way, you lost credibility by not being able to defend yourself professionally.

Will I ever use the money back haunt or words like it? Probably not. Not seeing this as any future use, but I will not be afraid to use it if I change my mind based on threats of lawsuits. I would have my attorney check it out and decide then. But if I did use the words in marketing, I know that I would probably use it in a traditional haunt actually scaring the customer out the old fashioned way. That is what nearly 100% of customers I have heard from expect, not a add on challenge.

By the way, "money back challenge at the haunt" might be trademarkable.

Good luck!

Howie Slobber Erlich
03-22-2012, 12:02 PM
Larry, you are absolutely correct. Nobody who posts on these boards created the idea of a money back haunted house. Because the rumored one that you speak of, never existed. What I did was take a few things from that haunt that everyone had always heard about and turned it into the first real money back haunted house. My ex partner and I have disagreed on many issues in the past, but I sure he would back me when I say that it was a great idea that worked amazingly well, even beyond what we hoped for or imagined it would do.

We based the entire them around the rumored haunt. We asked "Are you afraid of rats, snakes and spiders?" Told them it was "Multiple levels of fear." And told them if they make it all the way through the entire haunt they would get their money back. We based almost all the rooms on different Urban Legends the first year and it was a very scary, well designed haunt. And yes, we named it Urban Legends Haunted House to play even more on the old story. We Registered the name and Service Marked "The only haunted house where you can get your money back." We saw our attendance almost triple from years before.

We did not have any "Fear Factor" type of tricks either. It was really very simple. They must go through every room of the haunt including finding the secret money back room. We had several rooms that we used so that people could not tell other people where the room was hidden. When someone found the room, the actor inside took a Polaroid of their group and sent them the rest of the way through the haunt. Once they finished the haunt they took the picture to our ticket booth. Sirens and beacon lights would go off to let the crowd know that someone got their money back. The we would immediately place their picture on our wall of fame for everyone to see. The first year aver 2000 people received their money back.

It was a great idea based on the original urban legend. We gave the customers exactly what they wanted and just at the right time. There were no problems with customers complaining because there was physical proof that some people were getting their money back. In fact, we had many customers come back multiple times to try and find the room.

We received tons of local media attention as well as a lot of national attention. It was some of the most fun I have ever had in my 26 years of haunting.

So, in reality, the first real money back haunted house creator actually does post on this forum on a regular basis. ME! This is why it upsets me when others claim the idea as their own or pulls any scams involving money back haunts. Myself and my ex business partner are the creators of this idea of a money back haunt. We were the first ones to ever come up and implement a workable way to play off the mythical haunt and be successful doing it.

Now the whole truth is out there. Any more questions or claims of originating the idea of a money back haunt?

Howie "Slobber" Erlich

drfrightner
03-22-2012, 03:20 PM
Couple more things...

1) No matter if you agree with someones marketing plans, or whatever they are offering there is no reason for name calling. I can't read through 14 pages of this stuff but I've been told there has been a lot of name calling. So lets cut that and stick to just talking about the concepts pro or con.

2) No matter what anyone says about how came up with the concept for a money back haunt... I can't confirm who did it first because its been out there for years and years. I remember several debates on this topic about 5 years ago because several haunts were doing this not just one... I stand by what I've said from then to now... its plain and simple a marketing gimmick. I think its done to cover up or mask that your haunt just isn't that good... at least that would be my impression. If you have a great haunt why would you even do something like this? So me personally I could care less who does this because me personal I would not. On the flip if it works for YOU that is GREAT... really no different than a hayride works for one but not another. Its okay be me either way... I just wouldn't do it.

3) Again and just to be clear you don't nor does most of us doing all the talking knows exactly what he is offering or not offering... so what he's offering could be original and unique. I can't believe there is 14 pages of comments and over 5,000 views on the topic. Might be slightly overblown.

He's selling a concept that overall is not unique but maybe they have a unique spin on it who knows. I know this much for sure his business has gained a lot of PR that is one thing we know for sure!!!

Larry

Howie Slobber Erlich
03-22-2012, 04:55 PM
Larry,

I don't remember there really being any name calling, at least not from me. I have stated that this is not his original idea. He even confirmed it by stating that he took the information from another haunt that was already doing it and tweaked it a bit to better fit his needs. Some people did say he is scamming customers. Again, not me in fact I said just the opposite that I was not saying it was a scam. I did say that this idea was not original and not his idea. That is not name calling.

So you say stop the name calling and then in the next breath tell me and everyone else who has ever done a money back haunt that "its done to cover up or mask that your haunt just isn't that good..." To me that is very insulting and really just saying that our haunts must suck! Thanks a lot for that. I know you have never visited any of my haunts and probably none of the other money back haunts either. I think that is pretty much name calling if you ask me!

Yes, any version of the money back haunt is simply a marketing tool to help increase funds and exposure to our haunts. Not necessarily a "Gimmick" Though. Much like stating you are America's Scariest Haunted House or that you have the Worlds Best 3D Haunt! I think you are familiar with those phrases. They are used to attract more customers. You wouldn't need to do that unless your haunt just isn't that good! Hmm... I know your haunt is amazing, just trying to make a point.

The fact is that the "Fear Factor" style attractions may in fact be very dangerous according to both the Michigan and Tennessee Department of Health. If someone got violently sick or even worse died because of what they must do to qualify for the money back challenge, It would be extremely detrimental to the entire industry.

Respectfully,
Howie

MDKing
03-23-2012, 07:07 AM
What is it that you're supposed to eat in this challenge?


Allan

Deathwing
03-23-2012, 07:10 AM
Probably bugs or raw fish, common on Fear Factor.

Jake

wickedfarmer
03-23-2012, 08:53 AM
UOTE=MDKing;133649]What is it that you're supposed to eat in this challenge?


Allan[/QUOTE]

Posting #99 has a link to several people that tried it last year. A few talk about not beeing able to see for an hour afterwards. One mentions the guy dispensing the "hot sauce" wears gloves as it affects skin. Other tells about skin burning after his vomit gets on his body.

News at 11....is your local hauted house bad for your health. I can hear the news people calling me for follow up stories on this after last years corn maze fiasco several hundred miles away from me. Look at the mass hysteria "pink slime" just caused. Media only fanned the flames there. Now several stores are not going to carry this beef as of the last two days. Kroger even came out and said basically the medias hysteria is silly. They were "butchered" for taking a stance that the meat industry is not out to make people sick by making thm eat gross stuff. And as of yesterday they gave up. They found out public hysteria fed by sensationalism media can not be overcome. Kroger will no longer carry the ground beef treated with ammonia hydroxide to kill ecolie. Ammonia is in almost every food you eat. Like getting rid of food that contains the fire supressant dihydrogen oxide....you can't do it. (water)

The corn maze fiasco of having to call 911 and people being concerned for their safety was such a huge attention draw for the media (their words to me) as it involved the fall activites...I bet if this takes off they will be all over it.

mindtumor
03-23-2012, 09:00 AM
What is it that you're supposed to eat in this challenge?


Allan

Hopefully, this long ass thread, if we could find a way to make that possible.

drfrightner
03-23-2012, 10:59 AM
Howie,

No that is NOT what I said... read the whole sentence because I said that is how it would appear, meaning appear potential customers. Because I think most people with common sense realize there has to be something to not getting your money back and would assume they wouldn't be... because if you gave everyone their money back you couldn't be there in the first place. Listen that is simple common sense period!

So again and in my opinion if you have a really good haunted house you would have no need for a gimmick like this... and I think my assumption if a haunt ran this promotion is that their haunt is not as good as the next one so they need a gimmick promotion to compete. I'm merely stating this can be an assumption and I stand by it.

Fact is most people are not getting their money back and then your attraction needs to stand on the attraction itself. So what if you or a 100 people run this promotion fact is it smells like a gimmick, feels like a gimmick and looks like a gimmick to get more business. Its a marketing tool or a promotional something or other I guess no different than maybe have a celeb make an appearance or giving out movie tickets, or I don't know. Me personally I'm not going to stand outside my haunt and talk to 100 people a night and explain why they didn't get their money back... just would never happen.

But is that an insult to you... no because I've never seen your haunted house its merely an assumption that a haunt who can't compete would try something like this to get that boost. Me personally I'm saying just build a better haunt!

Lastly I totally 110% agree with you about phrases like the best haunt, or whatever... the biggest bullcrap gimmick are those haunts who try to say they have 10 or 15 haunted attractions. I CALL BULL... a black hole tunnel is an attraction, you build some walls turn out the lights you call it an attraction... all non-sense. But yeah some people will do anything, make any claim they know isn't true or they can't back up its all bogus. Its the world we live in! LOL

Larry

Howie Slobber Erlich
03-23-2012, 12:03 PM
Larry,

If you totally agree with me about the "phrases like the best haunt, or whatever," then why do you promote The Darkness that way? America's Scariest Haunted House.

You can have a great haunt and still come up with new concepts to increase revenue. We had a great haunt before doing it the first time. In fact, I would say we were considered one of the top haunts in the state. I just wanted to try the idea to see if it would work. Our haunt was doing fine before the idea but did even better after. We did not do it because we were ashamed of our attraction or that we had a bad show. If fact we had two really good haunts running the year before.

Nobody complained about the idea besides other haunters. Our customers loved it and came back in full force the next year. I do not think anyone could find anything on the Internet that would show people complaining about the haunt or how good the haunt was in either 2000 or 2001 the years I was involved.

Customers loved the show, and the haunt was one of the best attractions in Michigan. I just think your theory and your assumptions are incorrect. We made sure our customers understood the entire concept so they new not everyone would get their money back. I actually think that, that was one of the biggest reasons for our success in the way we did it. They actually bought tickets for the fun of getting scared and trying to find the secret room. They took it as a challenge and came back several times in the attempt of finding it and bragging to their friends. The ones who found the secret room would bring their friends up to show them their picture on our Wall of Fame. We can agree to disagree on this point!

I will agree with you for sure about the haunts claiming to be multiple events, then charging a huge amount to get into all of them. Then you find out it's really only one haunt divided by several facades, a black hole or a short black maze. Now that is scamming people and I hear how pissed customers are about it every year from the several haunts that try to pull that off in Michigan.

Howie
Howie

drfrightner
03-23-2012, 01:03 PM
Howie,

Couple things...

I think we agree on just about everything. So really no issues... like I said your haunted house might be awesome beyond belief however I think the assumption that its a gimmick used to draw in customers stands. At least from my point of view. I'm saying many people will make the assumption that its a gimmick and I think I'm right about that. But then again there are the exceptions. Maybe your haunt is hard for me to say without seeing your haunt so I'm not saying because I don't know.

As for me saying this or that about my haunt... well I think there is a difference when you say something that is just a bold face lie and something you actually believe you can back up. Do I think my haunt is the best in st. Louis ... DUH! You haven't seen the other haunts here so yeah that is a total DUH... do I think its the best in the country??? I will say this that once your haunt gets to a certain level like say The Darkness you can make that claim because I'm not the only one who would state that. On the other hand you might personally think some other haunt is better, and its all an opinion.

Do you like hayrides, do you like outdoor events, all indoor, screamparks, dark rides, whatever your taste will influence what you think is the best.

But should some run of the mill haunt that has never even opened before come out firing with such slogans NO WAY... they do more to hurt themselves than help. But do I think my haunt is the best, well I like it so yeah I do. Do I think that not everyone is going to agree with me sure do... I think you could ask 50 different haunters and you just might get 50 different answers.

So its a matter of opinion really, but when you are not the only one who has that opinion then you have something to base your claim from. Totally different than people who base it off nothing but trying to make a dollar. There is a difference. If Netherworld comes out with a phrase saying they are best who can argue, what about 13th Gate, or what if House of Shock said whatever... the list goes on and on. You can't argue other than say its up there but maybe you don't totally agree with them... again I don't like beer it tastes bad to me, someone else loves it. Its just a matter of opinions and taste...

Larry

MovieRelics
03-23-2012, 07:11 PM
Just saw this story about Facebook trying to claim "book" as a protected trademark and thought everyone in this conversation might find it interesting.


Facebook, as far as we can tell, doesn't have a registered trademark on "book." But trademark rights can be asserted based on use of a term, even if the trademark isn't registered, and adding the claim to Facebook's user agreement could boost the company's standing in future lawsuits filed against sites that use the word.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/03/facebook-asserts-trademark-on-word-book-in-new-user-agreement.ars

Haunted Castle
03-24-2012, 06:41 AM
We don’t advertise the refund from making it through our Haunt, the “Money Back” Deal comes from successfully completing the “Panic Room” which is a totally separate entity from the Castle. The only thing they have in common is that they are located on the same property.

We have taken an old storm shelter and turned it into a dark concrete mausoleum
We let them eat a small piece of limburger cheese placed on a diaper, (smells like baby crap), two small mushrooms and tell them there fish eyes, sardines for fish guts, pig’s feet for road kill, orsters for cow snot and two night crawlers- then they drink a glass of clabbered milk and a small mouthwash cup of hot sauce. (everything is in small quanties there either going to do it or not I can’t eat any of these thing even knowing what I’m eating)

If they get that far they lay in casket with spiders, two real boa snakes along with several fake ones. We put rats, mice, worms, crickets anything we can find at a fish bait shop inside casket,( maggots usually show up on their own after a couple days). We have cameras inside casket to monitor, we dump loads of sardines, stink fish bait, etc. inside the casket for them to lie in and some actually do it.

The Haunted Castle doesn’t even get the Money from those who don’t make it through, the operator of the Panic Room keeps any proceeds paid by Non- Hackers. It is nothing more than an advertising tool for us, the only stipulation to attempting the Panic Room is that they did go through the Haunted Castle first. So for those saying you couldn’t stay in business by giving Money Back didn’t read the rules and requirements for attempting it.

Again this stunt is not for everyone but if you are a Haunt owner you know there’s always that one that says that didn’t scare me after exiting the Haunt and this is where we say “your just too tough for us” maybe you want to try the Panic Room of course all his friends encourage him most wanting to see him fail, because of his huge ego, and most do.

Two things you have to make it a do-able stunt, you can’t just rob people of their money but at the same time you want it to be a challenge Secondly you don’t want to mislead them into thinking that the Money Back comes from the haunt itself. We always stipulated the Money Back ref to the Panic Room ONLY that way there are no misunderstandings.

Larry and myself have not always agreed so I want to watch how I word this as to not piss him off, lol in reality I admire him, his work and what he has done for the Haunted House industry but sometimes I don’t word everything correctly and people take offense so no offense meant to anyone, however you couldn’t be more wrong on your statement about the ones who do a money back show must be compensating for a poor haunt. I don’t think it has nothing to do with the haunt but more with the promotional effect and attention it draws.

Howie made some good points as to the way you advertise your own haunt and the tag lines you use, I have never been but I’m sure from looking at pic it is spectacular. For the area I’m in we have several college and we cater to them and their age group so what better way to draw a crowd (money) then to offer a challenge to these guys.
As far is too what they eat everything is a food product (except the worms) attorneys say as long as their of legal age and sign release they can eat anything they want to freely. Again ours is food but sometimes the power of suggestion overrides common sense and merely tagging it with another name or in the way it is presented is enough for most to drop out, and if they do get through the eating and drinking part the casket is another deal.

Getting in a casket and letting someone that looks like the Panic Room caretaker(see his pic on wall of fame) pad lock you inside is enough to back out - but throw the snakes, spiders and rats on top of that well, not many can do it. Hope this gives everyone a better understanding of our challenge as we will now need to change everything for this year.

As for the Money Back trademark I get mostly free legal advice and representation but have better things to do then waste time in court I do that enough with my job . I went to a trademarks link where Chris does in fact have it trademarked will it hold up in court I don’t know and don’t want to waste time finding out so I removed my Money Back deal until Chris called the other day and told me I didn’t have to so I have now re-posted it to our web site for the 2012 season.

I’m not a big fan of Rodney King but I will quote him this one time, “Can’t we all just get along” lol

Sorry, to be so lengthy but wanted to explain what we do, I would say those using a lot of hot sauce or things that can actually harm people I would change that to something else or just a small quantity even with them signing the release we can’t be negligent .

Thanks Fred--- PS Thanks Larry for providing us a way to communicate with each other and I think the “LIKE” button would be a great addition to your site.

Marr Branch
03-24-2012, 12:10 PM
The "Like" button has probally been copyrighted by Facebook.

wickedfarmer
03-24-2012, 05:33 PM
I have posted several comments on this thread about what I see as red flags.

Haunted Castle's way does not raise red flags to me. It is not advertised as a money back "haunt". Their website in no way will cause customers to think they would get money back for simply making it through the haunt. And the owners comment on hot sause...dont think they need to wear gloves just to serve it.

Wicked Farmer

Jim Warfield
03-24-2012, 08:38 PM
Anything written on a piece of paper, that you can get someone else to sign will make anything OK. ? No matter how ridiculous , stupid, self-serving, morally wrong..
So having a stranger put nasty things in their mouth after they sign...
But the FDA did step in to stop a Hell-House Haunt from using rotten meat as a sensory device.. because it was rotten!
Maybe the maggots called up and turned them in?
But then again, "Whatever works... works."
"The proof is in the pudding" (but please don't alert the jury to this fact!)
(More pudding for ME!)

Dark Attraction
03-25-2012, 09:51 AM
Larry,

I don't remember there really being any name calling, at least not from me.

Howie, I found proof of name calling:


It's not worth my time - bluntly, some of you are complete idiots and I wonder if you can put a complete thought together.

Geez. Get an Education or at least consult someone who does have one. Any monkey with a computer can check this fact. I don't like exposing people's ignorance

but also unfortunately some gutless cowards, emboldened by anonymity, who resort to personal attacks.

Please call and tell me directly what you think so I can expose you for the jealous, stupid, scum you are.

I also understand this thread gets alot of attention because it's so much easier to criticize someone else's idea than actually grow a pair, and try to create something yourself.

Actually, all of those quotes are from MoneyBackHaunts. The last one is my absolute favorite! I love irony.

SomeThingInTheIce
03-25-2012, 11:18 AM
Ah.... irony can be a cruel bitch.lol.


Howie, I found proof of name calling:



Actually, all of those quotes are from MoneyBackHaunts. The last one is my absolute favorite! I love irony.

Howie Slobber Erlich
03-25-2012, 11:27 AM
My Bad! I guess there was some name calling!

Howie

Greg Chrise
03-25-2012, 03:13 PM
3 points for jealous, stupid, scum! Yeah!

Greg Chrise
03-25-2012, 03:19 PM
I'm kind of curious about the customer complaints about one big haunt with different facades being considered a rip off. Were they charging lots of money? Like over $20 for the whole event? Was each sub haunt too small or undetailed?

Jim Warfield
03-25-2012, 07:16 PM
Say I have a taxi business. I charge 25 cents a mile. This is for the back seat only(boring) BUT I will allow you to ride upfront with me for 30 cents a mile(not as boring) then for only 60 cents a mile, I will strap you to the hood and you would play the role of screaming, cussing hood ornament.
If you need the trunk for a body or small difficult child this is an extra 10 cents a mile.
If you are Robert Diniro and you will be strapping yourself to the underside of the taxi as in Thunder Bay?
Welll price is yet negotiable.

Haunted Prints (EOM)
03-25-2012, 07:35 PM
Best thread ever, HaHa!

Greg Chrise
03-25-2012, 08:27 PM
Of course since taxi rates per mile are now 10 times that I would be like, what year is this? Where is my regular taxi guy? Who the hell are you? Hell no I'm not sitting up front for another 10 cents!

Greg Chrise
03-25-2012, 08:30 PM
Stop the car right now and I'll give you $2 !!!!!!!

Greg Chrise
03-25-2012, 08:36 PM
Oh my God, what has he done with Ralph the regular driver?

Tater
03-25-2012, 11:25 PM
Gosh Greg...Jim must like you...everytime hes my taxi he just throws my ass in the trunk with a bunch of heavy metal pipes and says Good Luck

Greg Chrise
03-25-2012, 11:44 PM
That's one of his jiggle change out of your pockets techniques. In the future you may find you are in there also with Ralph the old taxi driver!

Howie Slobber Erlich
03-26-2012, 01:08 PM
Greg,

One of the haunts I know about states that they have 5 attraction. Really all it is, is about a 4000 sq. ft. haunt with 3 facades with different themes. Each one is pretty small. Then they have a vortex tunnel which they count as an attraction and the a very short black out maze with no actors. They are charging at lkeast $20.00 to go through. It would be fine is they just called it what it is, which is really just one medium size haunted house. They seperate the themes to convince customers that they are getting much more bang for their buck. Kinda misleading.

Howie

drfrightner
03-26-2012, 01:57 PM
Howie,

You are dead on... there are a lot of haunts out there with false marketing.

Darkblood
03-26-2012, 02:08 PM
We have one about an hour away claiming 8 Haunts and it's 20.00.
The first 2 are about 3 minutes long (up some stairs-around 4-5 rooms-back down stairs)...the next one is mostly dark with 1 decent scare...the next 2 are back to short 3-5 minute haunts then a fogged out maze one and a vortex tunnel is the last one. It's at a small amusement park and the last level is the roller coaster at night (the only 'ride' open).
They don't even start building it until September.
The craziness is they claim to get 20,000-30,000 people a season.

Kirk

wickedfarmer
03-26-2012, 08:15 PM
I have the nerve to actually use the word "best" in advertising my place; Bestmaze Corn Maze & Trail of Terror. I actually claim to have the best maze around. But with all I do; and all the other mazes I see I say it with a straight face. The maze is designed, prepared, patrolled, and rainfall managed for best experience possible.

The location is one mile from a interchange of major Interstate highway. The field has large parking lot with security personel. We installed a complete susbsurface drainage system with close to 5 miles of 4" drain tile under the 20 acre field. Heay rains soak in a get away fast and maze does not become a mud bog. All 3 miles of our maze trails are carefully graded and hand raked smooth, and packed. Wheel chairs and baby strollers easily navigate our trails as if they were a 5 foot wide sidewalk. Besides the subsurface tiling; as trails are built; where trails cross the natural flow contour of the field 10 foot long 4" tubes cross inches under the trails much like culverts do where your driveway crosses your ditch. We design trail layout, trail slope, drainage, and water management so well; that within half an hour of a 1" rain I can jump up and down on our trails (I am 180#) and not sink in more than 1/8 inch ANYWHERE...and usually do not even leave a mark. We hear the horror stories every year of "Last year we went to a different maze and walked in 2 inches of mud".

Maze Design. The maze is designed around 4 security towers that oversee the maze and communicate with each other. Customers are never more than a couple turns from direct line of sight with one or two towers. This allows customers to ask for help at any time and not feel abandoned. Of course this set up also allows for maximum ease and effectiveness of patrolling. Maze cut through and destruction is held in check. Maze quality is as good on Oct 31 as it is on Sept 12. There are not a dozen "customer made" short cuts. Parents who have been here before have learned to relax knowing we can keep tabs on their kids. A paniced parent cant find Suzy...she gives description to closest tower position and it is instantly radioed to the other towers and "leg" patrols. Very quickly the parent hears that Suzy is located and hand signal directions can rejoin them. As closing time comes a thourogh "leg" sweep combined with eyes in the sky assure the different sections are empty.

The maze flow is such that Mom does not spend the night looking for little Billy who ended up on a different side of the field in first 10 minutes. Maze flow is designed so that no one is able to spoil your fun by being able to declare large chunks as "That way is a dead end". Signed optional exits occur every 10-15 minutes. It is designed so it is fun for all aspects of society. It is CHALLENGING for hard core mazers...and manageable for little olf ladies and no one ever has to call 911.

"Laugh in the maze or scream on the Trail of Terror." Spending an hour cursing Wicked Farmer for making you walk back and forth lost vowing not to ask a tower for help not your style? Fine; hit the haunted trail ON OTHER SIDE OF THE FIELD. We never haunt the maze. We haunt a 1/3 mile trail that twists through the corn so you can not see what happens to the group in front of you. Props are rotated yearly except for a vortex tunnel. Never the same show two years in a row. For a $15 combo ticket you can do both events. Or $6 for the maze & $10 for the intense haunted trail.

Wicked Farmer

Haunted Prints (EOM)
03-28-2012, 10:09 PM
Didn't someone used to always teach haunters it was better to split up your haunt into 3 1667 sq ft haunts instead of 1 large 5000 sq ft haunt because you could charge more?

hsmag
06-01-2012, 10:16 PM
Here's what irks me about this:

1) You did not invent this idea. This has been around as an urban legend for decades, since before I can even remember. You also heard it from Howie; he used this concept back in 2000. So this idea is clearly NOT your intellectual property and I would argue it cannot be anyone's bacause the urban legends are just so widespread. So I think your patent will fall through.

I agree with this. Urban Legends Haunted House in the Detroit area was doing this very thing well over a decade ago. I'm thinking they go back at least 15, maybe more, years. I saw these guys at TransWorld and what I read on their printed materials really bugged me - where they claim that they "own" this concept when it's been done before. This is fact. I also didn't like the way they talked about "aggressively protecting" their intellectual property. Maybe to somebody who doesn't know any better these guys seem like a wonderful opportunity. All I see them doing is taking a concept that's been done before, trying to call it their own and trying to convince people that this was their idea. Maybe I should try to patent "Moving Vehicle Haunted Entertainment Venues" then aggressively go after any haunted hayrides that don't license it from me...

Greg Chrise
06-02-2012, 04:49 PM
Sorry, we were doing haunted car trunks back in the mid 70's. It overlapped with how you got into a drive in theater without paying for a couple more people.

Greg Chrise
06-02-2012, 05:08 PM
We also have a patent on crowd engineering, mass population putting soap in fountains at a specific time.

BrotherMysterio
06-03-2012, 01:35 PM
We have one about an hour away claiming 8 Haunts and it's 20.00.
The first 2 are about 3 minutes long (up some stairs-around 4-5 rooms-back down stairs)...the next one is mostly dark with 1 decent scare...the next 2 are back to short 3-5 minute haunts then a fogged out maze one and a vortex tunnel is the last one. It's at a small amusement park and the last level is the roller coaster at night (the only 'ride' open).
They don't even start building it until September.
The craziness is they claim to get 20,000-30,000 people a season.

Kirk

Reminds me of my experience at Busch Gardens Halloween Whatever in VA. Thank Heavens the rides were still open and that they had speed passes, cuz they had hour long waits or worse on some "haunts" that barely would have qualified as an elementary school fund-raiser. Everything literally looked like they threw it up the night before.

C.

Sean Coleman
06-04-2012, 10:09 PM
Cookie, A trademark is simply an associative Name or Words reserved to identify a brand, and protected by the US Gov't. It's crucial to the business world and protects intellectual property for the original claim filed. Just like the Music Industry, Restaurants, and countless other businesses have in place, to prevent knockoffs. It's the circle R you see in everyday life, and protected by the USPTO. But the Trademarks (The Ability to call yourself a "Money Back" anything in the Haunt Industry) is only a part of what my License provides.

FYI a trademark is not a patent and they have very different rights and protections associated with them. Even if you were planning on offering a money back guarantee, you probably still could. You just couldn't advertise it in a way that would be confused with his haunts.




*THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVISE. I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANYONE'S ACTIONS> CONSULT AN ATTORNEY.

Greg Chrise
06-04-2012, 10:46 PM
Forget Attorneys, just slap the shit out of anyone that lies, cheats and steals.

tonguesandwich
06-04-2012, 11:46 PM
I'm not a lawyer either ..nor giving legal advice. They are not trademarking "Money Back" since it had to be disclaimed. In my other world I had to do the same for "fitness" . I had to disclaim it or my Mark would not be allowed so anyone can use it outside my mark. He also Trademarked Money back challenge and money back haunted house... but then again these are service marks and the mark disclaim "Money Back" . With common use in the industry of the whole marks I am guessing it wouldn't be hard to show these terms as generic and not distinctive in a court.
I am not sure why he thinks he can protect the words "Money back" in the haunt industry because he had to disclaim them on all his trademarks... maybe his lawyer didn't tell him?

BTW "money back guarantee" trademark is not owned by him.

Again I'm not a lawyer nor is this legal advice!