PDA

View Full Version : Question for all you owners?



graystone
11-26-2012, 10:36 PM
I have seen several haunt owners posting here and on facebook about building this or that and redoing or buying or whatever so my question is........ Am I the only one that gets burned out and need a few months to get away. I mean I love it and it's fun but I can't take it 24/7. Along with my coach company I do still have a Christmas division that I enjoy that makes things a little different. But I just can't deal with Halloween and then jump right back into it. Come on I want some feed back on this! Shane and it's pull up a chair and tell me!

Allen H
11-26-2012, 11:50 PM
Haunted houses are all I do. Mask making, costumes, writing classes, making props, practicing make up I don't really do anything that is not haunt related. No other job, no other real interests. I am in a different situation than most, but being able to bounce between things like costuming, make up, mask making, set work, and even writing classes and filming videos keep any one facet of the business from getting stale for me.
Allen H

Wolfman13
11-27-2012, 12:26 AM
Hi,
I live for this stuff! My first experience in haunted houses was in 1977 as an actor, and I've been doing it ever since. I work on my current haunted house literally 12 months a year. If I'm not building props or something like that, I'm doing conceptual sketches, buying antiques, always looking out for music / sound effects, working on the floor plan, taking reference photos of different architectural textures / features, and if nothing else, thinking about it. I've loved classic monster movies since I was very little. To this day I continually watch old B&W monster movies! For me, the haunted house is like creating a living, breathing, three-dimensional, interactive horror movie; and I want to do it 365 days a year. I'm counting the days until TransWorld, as well. Can't wait!

I formerly worked in film, TV and theatre, but don't do it much any more unless a play or other project comes along that I really feel like working on. I'm a returning adult college student, working toward a Master's Degree in Theatre Arts, so I do have course work and so on, but I try not to let that get in the way! :D

Mark...

screamforadream
11-27-2012, 12:28 AM
Yes!!! But not Halloween burnt, but haunt burnt lol. I ALWAYS love seeing haunt stuff others are doing any day of the year but come the last weekend I am DEAD! Haha. So I invested a haunt company, something new! I love seeing my artists work and see new things come to life! I would love to do this for a living eventually but we'll see how it all goes! I'm just looking forward to Transworld! Lol

nightmareproductionz
11-27-2012, 01:53 AM
Yeah, I pretty much NEED it all year round. The only "break" I take is the week after we tear down, and the space from Thanksgiving til New Years. But even then I'm jotting down ideas all the time. Like scream said, I can't wait for TW (so mad I missed IAAPA this year...)

drfrightner
11-27-2012, 02:31 AM
Shane,

I'll be honest with ya... this is the ONLY THING I"M EXCITED ABOUT! Creating new stuff is the magic for me! I'm not so much a fan anymore of running the haunted houses, I like creating new and fun things. So for me this is the most exciting part of everything. I love creating!

Larry

mindtumor
11-27-2012, 07:25 AM
We do it out of necessity, it just takes us this long to get ready. I quit having fun 5 years ago and wanted to quit doing it all 3 years ago to concentrate on other interests. But I am having fun with it again so I'll keep plugging along for awhile.

graystone
11-27-2012, 08:28 AM
Shane,

I'll be honest with ya... this is the ONLY THING I"M EXCITED ABOUT! Creating new stuff is the magic for me! I'm not so much a fan anymore of running the haunted houses, I like creating new and fun things. So for me this is the most exciting part of everything. I love creating!

Larry

I see the creative side and feel you there. But I think and maybe it's just me I am just burned out I hate the haunt being open and dealing with all the complaints about the waits or this or that I just want to say get the hell out...... Wait I have did that!!!!!!!!! If I did it 24/7 I would just be sick. I like dealing with the coaches and customizing them and then the Christmas Decor gives me something new to do for a while. I think with me is I just can't do the same thing all the time! Shane and it's looks like it's just me LOL!

freak 'n' stein
11-27-2012, 08:40 AM
Haunted houses are all I do. Mask making, costumes, writing classes, making props, practicing make up I don't really do anything that is not haunt related. No other job, no other real interests. I am in a different situation than most, but being able to bounce between things like costuming, make up, mask making, set work, and even writing classes and filming videos keep any one facet of the business from getting stale for me.
Allen H

I AGREE!! Don't keep doing the same thing but keep the "theme" the same...HALLOWEEN!! hahaha

In addition to Allen's list I also like watching the Halloween TV specials time and time again. Never gets old to me. That and surfing YouTube/Forums for other inspiration...Horror movies and their special features...Halloween is the ultimate theater geek gone rogue's guilty pleasure!!!

Moxley Manor
11-27-2012, 08:56 AM
The first 2 years were non-stop for us and to be completely honest this past March I was just burnt out when it came to building the haunt. Keep in mind that we were opening for Christmas, Valentine's Day and every Friday the 13th. I was just done with it and needed a few months away. Each event I had changed up several rooms and in most cases much of the layout. This year I have taken a different approach by not putting as much on my plate. We will do 2 nights for our Christmas event, instead of the four that we have done in previous years. I didn't do any significant changes other than Christmas decorating. We will still do a night or two for Valentines Day but other than that I am keeping the doors closed until September. I debated not opening at all for Christmas this year but my crew was a bit disappointed when I threw that idea out.

MDKing
11-27-2012, 09:44 AM
Shane,

I'll be honest with ya... this is the ONLY THING I"M EXCITED ABOUT! Creating new stuff is the magic for me! I'm not so much a fan anymore of running the haunted houses, I like creating new and fun things. So for me this is the most exciting part of everything. I love creating!

Larry


I agree with this! I enjoy this time of year and these holiday months are very productive as the attention is off and I'm "back in the lab" developing new ideas and concepts! The creative is much more exciting to me than operation at this point.

Allan

Blade-of-the-moon
11-27-2012, 09:52 AM
I remember last season after tear down I was exhausted and DONE. Just wanted to rest for a few months. This year though for some reason I've already started 3 big projects...though that will ground to a halt in January I guess unless we have a mild winter. I think it has to do with just how much stress and /or work you get before and during the season itself. I kick into gear about August, up to that point I have the Dino Park to work on. It does help to decompress and try something else for a bit, gets you fresh and new when you come back.

badass
11-27-2012, 11:05 AM
october is my second favorite time of year...

November is number one

elowther
11-27-2012, 12:42 PM
Yes I love this time of year. I usually get burned out in September after a whole year of building and just work through it, lol! This is the time when I can take the time and think about what new creations we can build and how to improve for the next year while it's still fresh in my mind. While the show is going on I am already planning for the next year. It's great to have the stress of the season behind us so we can focus on major improvements. This is the most important time of year for me. Everything must be well thought out so our build will go smoothly once the snow is gone in the spring. We only have so much time and money and I like the challenge of coming up with something new that makes a huge impact but doesn't break the bank. It forces me to think more creatively. I have many ideas that have never seen the light of day for one reason or another, it all boils down to time and money. We have to drive two hours to Maine this weekend to visit my mother in-law. I will have my wife drive so I can use the time to sketch out new building and prop designs.

Looking forward to Transworld this year, see you at the party Shane!

Eric

drfrightner
11-27-2012, 01:59 PM
Yes I think this best describes it ... you build build build which again in my mind is the best part, then you get into the marketing end, hiring cast, going through inspections, blah, blah or lets say the BORING part, then you head to the running the haunt part where you deal with complaints, things breaking, bad weather, issues, problems and more... I think and lets say building a haunt is THREE PARTS!

Part A: Design and Rebuild plus buy new stuff go to the shows, seminars, and again buy new toys.

Part B: Hire staff, marketing, inspections go through all the nightmares of getting open

Part C: Operations run the haunt deal with all the problems that come along with it.

Now can someone please pick the best one? C'mon Shane you know part A is your favorite because you love spending money on new stuff, your party is in that mix and just the time when you have time to catch up with everyone post on forums or just do whatever you need to do!

The ONLY PART that I like about part C is getting the money back to pay all the bills! LOL

Larry

Mistress DeSade
11-27-2012, 02:06 PM
Work is work, and no matter how you look at it-it is still a 4 letter word. I never get tired of creating, planning or testing ideas-but YES, dealing with the public can be a total p.i.t.a.!!

I'm a total mainliner I guess...There's rarely a day I'm not thinking/talking/doing something haunt related. Even doing black tie events I find my mind wandering to "could I incorporate a particular element of this into the business"?

Workaholic :(

Kathryn

Jim Warfield
11-27-2012, 07:03 PM
I am given a pile of lumber, old boards, whatever? I get strange items cast off into my yard from people meaning to help or inspire me. I can not begin to count the items or the people who have done these things, and they have helped me, much moreso than not.
I have gotten some of my ideas from a half-waking state as the mind starts waking up from a full night's sleep.
I build parts of things that will sometimes set for many years before the other half (As I see it) happened to show up in my realm of influence.
I have drawn plans for things, lose the plans, even forget about the project, build it later, find those old plans to see I have duplicated what was on that first rendering.
I wanted just the backend of a classic hearse. Eventually a friend who knew this, happened to run into a person who "HAD" to get rid of several hearses and I got what I wanted. I just had to drive 80 miles, cut off the parts, load them and drive back home. If my Brother had not been with me, the "part" would still be there! Very heavy!
So I have an idea, I spy some parts to make it, I work on it til maybe 5pm, then I rest, shower, eat Supper and wait...people show up, I take them through the house and most of the time I have a lot of fun doing this! Last night just three were here, two women , one man. they had driven maybe 3 hours just to get here. The women have been here before, the one three years ago.
As adults I gave them the more adult tour. When the house lights went up, the one woman was tending to tears in her eyes, she explained how when she laughs hard, she gets tears.
As I lead them through here I point out numerous props, items ,I have made or have a story about and I usually will be telling about some past customer's experiences here which proved to be very entertaining! (And Still is, second, third-hand!)
Seeing and being right there to see how something I built works on real customers helps me adjust sometimes small things to make it more effective. Some of my customers have helped with this too and not just from a reactive position.
Last night's tour for 3 went on for 3 hours, not uncommon (Except in October)They were having a good time as was I. I did ask them while still in the first room if they were on a "Time" consideration and had to be out of here or someplace else at a certain time?
They did not, so inspired , I delve deeper into my material (stored between my ears) and explore what aspects of my house they may be More interesting in hearing about, along with what I may wish to tell them on this night?
At last night's conclusion the guy (the first-timer) said he was coming back here.. "For revenge?" I asked. (Which unfortunately does happen when haunt/October customers leave pisst, in my opinion)
"I'm bringing so many people here!" There was a slightly evil twinge in his diction as if ..... well, I don't really know..
I used to work outside, next to the house all Winter long, the sun could find me there and a tarp and other windbreaks helped sustain the ambition to be out there, "Doing", but as I get older, standing out in the cold trying to do fine finger and hand work is really not pleasant on the aged body.
I can become somewhat burnt out on customers who are idiots and some employees who do it "Their Way", which becomes an entertainment Black Hole often times.
Only holding a very effective prop up to your own neck and saying stupid things was found to not "Make IT" as compared to the methods I had already determined to be the best from all standpoints,which created screaming customer I have moreover a Great Time haunting, building ,figuring things out and I do everything year-round!
Shoveling snow, raking leaves, trimming limbs does become boring though

Motograter
11-28-2012, 05:59 PM
I tell you what I was down in Orlando during the Thanksgiving Holiday visting the Disney parks. All I could think about was my haunt the entire time and was busy observing the fine details of certain rides and how I could re-create something like it.

wickedfarmer
11-30-2012, 09:36 PM
Headed to Disney end of the week. Taking my wife and meeting my Mom and Dad there. Taking in all the Christmas decorations there while there is still time. I'll ponder day in day out about haunting when I'm dead; and not until. Sure I'll scan HauntWorld a few times each week (except when on vacation). Haunting to me is a sideline to farming. April - end of harvest (early till late Nov. depending on year) is many 100 hour weeks. Haunting during fall harvest and wheat planting is just f'n nuts! Early nov. tear it down..label it..store it. Drop a couple deer Nov. 15th here in Michigan and get a hair cut a few days before thanksgiving. Then slowly transform back to human for a few months.

Come April the beast returns. And he tears up ground belching diesel exhaust and slashing the coutry side with steel machines cutting 30 foot wide swaths. And he is likely head banging to Ozzy's "Crazy train".

Wicked farmer

mindtumor
12-03-2012, 07:50 AM
I tell you what I was down in Orlando during the Thanksgiving Holiday visting the Disney parks. All I could think about was my haunt the entire time and was busy observing the fine details of certain rides and how I could re-create something like it.

Well you had plenty of time to think about haunt ideas while you were down there because your too tall to ride any of the rides. You should have walked the hogwarts que line and moved their lights...

Motograter
12-04-2012, 04:43 PM
Well you had plenty of time to think about haunt ideas while you were down there because your too tall to ride any of the rides. You should have walked the hogwarts que line and moved their lights...

I wasn't able to move any lights this time because they are permanently installed. :(

mindtumor
12-04-2012, 05:44 PM
I wasn't able to move any lights this time because they are permanently installed. :(

I'm guessing that means you tried, lol! I'll have to go with you next time.