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Jim Warfield
08-22-2007, 09:29 PM
The 35 yr. old home-haunter asked of the owner of his local Halloween store.
Without the least hesitation the reply was "Ravens Grin."
"Where's that?"
"Look on line, you will find it."
14? Years ago the Halloween shop owner was in the first bus from Transworld and I guess he was trully impressed?
(Notice there will be no names or refrences that could lead to someone determining the people in this incident)
Today I was up on the roof of my newly accquired property replacing the roof when this home haunter found me, middle of the afternoon. We are really trying to get alot of work done..but I agreed to show him some of the house, sort of quickly since he lives about 2,000 miles away and had to be somewhere else at 7pm. (Business trip)
Yes I had planned upon a quick, cursory showing ...but when I opened the front door...his fearfull reaction got me going....
I did a quicker front room routine, touching on the basic points, scaring him numerous times, he making rather extreme reactions but then laughing....
this continued throughout the house albeit a much shorter tour experience...
Very close to the end of the tour my wife , Jessica even got to overhear him as he walked , scared towards the evil darkness that only being trully under the earth can create...he was pleading with very child-like tones in his manly voice.."Jim?.........."Jim"....(then he whispered) "Jim?" begging for me to gentily expose myself from the darkness(NOt That kind of exposure!) Of couse another big scream would be forthcoming from him.
He was extreme in his compliments of the house and my performance,"It went way over my expectations!"
Then he said there are now cheap, direct flights from where he lives to an airport 60 minutes from here , and that he will be returning, bringing others with him!

The best advice that I could give to beginning haunters:Make your place a one of a kind experience then put alot of effort into it every time and then give every patron your best performance because people will appreciate it, remember it and this alone may just be there to carry you through the lean times.
This is a "people" business, those people are your customers the first time, they can be your patrons tommorrow and for many years to follow.
I know that he will never forget his afternoon here.

Empressnightshade
08-23-2007, 08:06 AM
Jim,

first I want to congratulate you on your success -- a halloween store owner referring to your haunt as "The Best" is an awesome compliment! :D

The best advice that I could give to beginning haunters:Make your place a one of a kind experience then put alot of effort into it every time and then give every patron your best performance because people will appreciate it, remember it and this alone may just be there to carry you through the lean times.
This is a "people" business, those people are your customers the first time, they can be your patrons tommorrow and for many years to follow.

I yet consider myself a beginning haunter. This season will mark strides we've never taken before.

I look at successful haunts like yours, Dream Reapers, Terror on the Fox, The Realm of Darkness and more and just shake my head -- will I EVER be on the same level? Furthermore, will I ever think on your level -- more "severe" in nature, in the face and harcore. I have actually put myself down at times calling my haunting style "Mickey Mouse." But....what's wrong with that....huh, Jim? I actually like the rep of having something for everyone -- of being a community haunt with flair. After being "Pro" for nearly three years, I've come to the conclusion that this is the type of haunter I am.

No, I don't do gorey scenes well and this I know. So, why beat myself over the head for something that is just not in me. I felt that the older I got, perhaps I'd change. Well, I'm 43 and at this point, I doubt it. But, I do have a flair for the dramatic and that comes from my acting/public speaking days. My haunts are usually story-based and I've found that my growing clientele like that about us.

I don't want to be a "cookie-cutter haunter!" I don't think I could be no matter how hard I tried and I'm counting on my uniqueness and "Mickey Mouse" way of haunting to give folks variety. Positive uniqueness brings in traffic!

Jim Warfield
08-23-2007, 11:14 PM
A restaurant/bar once had familys coming there, packing the place, Dad and Mom had a beer or drink or two, the kids had pizza while the adults could have steak or sea food.
Then a new owner took over , the old one retired after 43 years!
The new guy thought it was ok to have a bunch of loud, vulgar/loser drunks sitting at the bar, a few feet away from "Dad, Mom and their kids...
Guess which scenario showed more income?
Guess which one was less trouble?
To define ourselves is the trick. What do we want it to be? What do we like or tolerate or not tolerate so well?
Go with what feels right to you.
I told two people here tonight that I decided to really eat up any compliments , because some people don't like my style and sometimes they let me know that too!
Oh well? I'm comfortable doing as I do and have alot of fun and laughs too!