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View Full Version : Calming down scared little kids



Travis Macabre
08-24-2012, 01:00 PM
I was wondering how people help little kids when there scared if at all. The ones that are to scared to even enter the haunt. My buddy gave me a wonderful idea of having a box of cheap $1 masks laying close by. So when there scared hand them the mask and say now your one of the monsters to anytime they scare you they are actually just saying hi to you. It reminded me when i was toddler, I actually did say hi monster anytime they would growl at me. whats your guys input?

BrotherMysterio
08-24-2012, 01:26 PM
I was wondering how people help little kids when there scared if at all. The ones that are to scared to even enter the haunt. My buddy gave me a wonderful idea of having a box of cheap $1 masks laying close by. So when there scared hand them the mask and say now your one of the monsters to anytime they scare you they are actually just saying hi to you. It reminded me when i was toddler, I actually did say hi monster anytime they would growl at me. whats your guys input?

I like that. I also thought of having a lot actor be a sweet fairy (female) or a cute clown ( keyword: cute, and, again, female, and with no white-face) who would help the kids feel better, and maybe even give them a lollipop.

Also, any actor who purposefully scared a little child would be disemboweled, strung up, and used as lifelike decor . . . not to mention fired on the spot. Not only is it bad karma, it's also bad business, as not only would I probably have to smooth things over with the parents, including refunding the family's ticket money and giving them free drink coupons at the concession stand or something, but that kid will probably grow up to never be a haunt goer, and I just lost a potential life customer, not to mention all the bad word-of-mouth we would get.

All because some dorky kid in a mask making $7 an hour thought he was going to be clever.

Something else I have in mind for when we do a multi-attraction event is having scare zones, where the lot actors and house actors have to stay in a certain area, so the kiddies at the kiddie area would only see them from a great distance, if at all. If a scare actor crosses into the kid friendly zones, they are either given a warning or fired on the spot.

Also, actors will only go after the parents, not the kids. Not only is it more entertaining for the kids, but they feel safer, while the house and overall experience is still just as spooky. Yes, they will acknowledge the kids, and give them attention, but we don't need to traumatize them to entertain them.

C.

Marr Branch
08-24-2012, 07:07 PM
If they are under 13 I dont want them in my haunt.

BrotherMysterio
08-24-2012, 09:55 PM
If they are under 13 I dont want them in my haunt.

Well, you'd think so, but what if a family of 6 shows up, with all the kids being of age, except one that's 10? Do you turn away a group worth $100? Or do you allow for that one youngen in?

Aye, there be the rub.

C.

DDJR
08-25-2012, 01:11 AM
i do not recomend children under the age of 12 i repeat i do not recomend children under the age of 12. If mom and dad are stupid enough to bring there child through my haunt i will gladely take there money NO REFUNDS if the child wants to go stand by my uniformed police officier fine i will not alter my scares for anyone i have had 8 year olds go through and get scared but nothing major and i have had grown adults come out crying so its up to the adult on what is approipriet (by the way i cant spell) if i change the scare for a family when 14 year old billy AKA older brother goes to school monday and tells his friends that the haunt wasnt good. Thats potiential money down the drain. Also the level of actors that we are getting sometimes cant or shouldnt think for themselves giving your actors mixed messeges about who they should and should not scare is in my opinion a reciept for disaster.

Marr Branch
08-25-2012, 08:05 PM
http://marrbranchhauntedhouse.comIf there are 6 paying guests and the youngest one is 10 they can go through. But I am not responsible for what might freak them out . I've seen stupid parents force their kids to go thru haunts that the kids were terrified of. It says on my website we are not you're local pumpkin patch we are the MARR BRANCH!

Badger
08-25-2012, 08:15 PM
While I do not recommend younger children in the haunt. I always put on an act when I see them in the queue. I go up to scare the parents and suddenly when I see the child, I immediately cower down and act scared of them. Usually the parents 'get it' and act like the kid is protecting them. The kids tend to start growling and acting scary towards me. I will continue to act frightened and run away from them. They usually have a smile on their face, everyone is entertained and we all wind up having a great time which is the entire point of working a haunt.

I also do this to elderly and handicapped people in the right circumstances. Obviously it varies with the situation, but I would rather make them laugh than have them crying in fright...

HauntedPaws
08-25-2012, 11:13 PM
I was wondering how people help little kids when there scared if at all. The ones that are to scared to even enter the haunt. My buddy gave me a wonderful idea of having a box of cheap $1 masks laying close by. So when there scared hand them the mask and say now your one of the monsters to anytime they scare you they are actually just saying hi to you. It reminded me when i was toddler, I actually did say hi monster anytime they would growl at me. whats your guys input?

Even better the mask makes them a monster or makes them invisible.

rfsystems
08-26-2012, 12:58 PM
While all the warnings and disclosures of age suggestions are needed to warn customers before during and after they pay, the way your cast handles each circumstance will determine how good they are at doing what they do. Some times horror and comedy can go hand and hand.
Here is a good test for your actor... line up an elderly couple, two parents with a child and a group of teenage girls. See if they can entertaint each of them without upsetting or offending one of the others...

Gulch
08-27-2012, 07:35 AM
What if you have a group of 5 a mother father and a child and two other adults? If you come out of character you stand the chance of ruining the other guests experience. I feel that you should never come out of character. Parents should know before going in if their children can handle it or not. Once in the haunt if the child just can't go thru we have a room where the parents can drop them off. We call this room the Cup Cake room. It's a regular room with candy on the table and we usually have a child friendly movie on the TV. After the walk thru we take the parents back to their children.

monsterwax
08-27-2012, 02:13 PM
We suggest teens age 13 and up only, but I was a kid once and I would have LOVED to go to our haunted house-- so we can't say "no" to them without being total hypocrites. If they do come and they are really spooked at the entrance (which kids with any good sense are), I give them a special glow stick and tell them it's enchanted and will keep the monsters at bay. "Just hold it out in front of you and it will prevent them from grabbing, biting or eating you, I promise! It's magic, you see! The rest of you, however-- well, good luck. (You'll need it!)" The kids like it and we advise our terrorists not to target anyone with glow stick. (So it actually serves two purposes-- since they can see that stick as some distance.)

BigT
08-27-2012, 06:36 PM
First, I'm a parent (three times) and you can bet I watched where my kids went and what they did even (and especially) during their teens. That being said, I have seen parents drop off 12 year olds at an all night rave without even inquiring about what went on inside! I usually recommended they go inside and check out the drug-induced sex going on upstairs, which usually resulted in kids being taken home but the large majority stayed.

I don't recommend kids under 12, but I am not parenting somebody else's kids. If they want to let their kids go through its their decision ( poor kid). Usually the kids end up having a great time though watching Dad piss himself and scream like a little girl!

Jim Warfield
08-27-2012, 08:41 PM
Many will drive hours just to see the place. Many are Summer tourists, familys, it's just "something to do."
It does take time to entertain a group comprised of adults and children and we eat up a lot of time here by any other haunt's "clock".
Parents really often do not "know" their kids as evidenced by what I have heard hundreds of times:"My child won't be afraid,(He/She) watches all of those bloody, gory movies all the time..."
Guess again Parent, that kid is the first one to scream and refuse to enter my house, usually.
When small kids are outside and we are selling tickets we talk to them first, we promise them what we will NOT be doing to them in here, and then we keep that promise. Very simple, huh? They appreciate this whole-heartedly and so do the Parents who will not be awake at 3 am with "Nightmare Niki". (If the Parents don't like your tactics they won't be opening the wallet next time.)
My Wife is Very good with children, I'm too old and scary looking to accomplish things the ways she does with them.
We often allow the small child to become a part of the show, operating some of the "Effects", often times actually scaring their family members! (Now They Are In To IT!! We just created a Halloween-Haunt Fan! Watch out world! Here's gunna be ANOTHER ONE!
Ten, fifteen years ago when a van puled up there might be 10 customers getting out. Now a small subcompact pulls up with two people. I need everyone getting out of the car to buy a ticket, but more than that be enthused to return and buy another ticket some other night.
I will gladly run the risk of being called "Not Scary", I can live with that. We trade "Scary" often times for hysterical fun, laughs, goofy things, ideas and fabulous ... memories, which when shared sell my house again and again with no advertising bills! (Pure Profit?)
"Not Scary?" Ask the October helpers who ran out of here screaming to never return when "things" happened here right before their sober eyes! (It is a haunted, haunted house)
When talking about such events here I do run the risk of totally terrifying some people in deep , non-reversable ways, something I Do Not Want To Do, for all the obvious and right reasons , besides it is bad for business.
I talk about those odd events with attempted humor added, most of the time, and yes own flexibility as far as what audience is sitting there does make the experience here multidimensional, we also do late night "adult" tours, no nudity, no foul language, just a fun place to bring your date for laughs and bachelor-ette party outings (much fun!)
We are OPEN every night of the year plus Sat. & Sun. afternoons. going on 25 years.