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Gambit
09-15-2007, 12:26 PM
I am a young entrepernure looking into creating a commerical business within the haunted attractions. I have been to all the sites ( including the SBA ) looking for material to help build a detailed business plan. Grant it be that I am a 21 year old who dropped out of high school ( currently working on a Adult High School Diploma ), but I have been within the retail and services market for over 6 years. I have always been an halloween buff and I have been a haunted house fan for years. I guess my question to you guys is help... I know that some of you are haunting houses every year and 9 out of 10 chance you guys are successful both with financial and non-financial goals, how would I achieve knowledge to create a decent commerical haunted attraction and where would be the best places to gather knowledge in the haunting community about haunting a place?

Nightgore
09-16-2007, 10:26 AM
http://www.eurekascreams.com/halloween/hauntbook2.shtml

^ Read that book SEVERAL times and LIVE by it. Kelly wrote down his entire "method" of opening his own haunt and does it ever come in handy! This is THE BEST haunt book about starting a haunt from a BUSINESS stand-point.

You NEED this book! Kelly is a member of this forum, maybe he'll respond to some of your questions! -Tyler

Lord Barnabus
09-17-2007, 12:22 AM
Get any book associated with haunted attractions that you can get your hands on:
"So You Want To Be A Haunt Entrepreneur", by Kelly Allen
"How To Operate A Financially Successful Haunted House", by Philip Morris and Dennis Phillips
"The Do It Yourself Haunted House Guide", by Michael B. Tucker

Subscribe to the haunt industry magazines:
"Haunt World"
"Haunted Attraction"

Get the videos put out by various companies:
Haunt World
Dr. Lady
and others that I can't remember off hand

If you have the time and money, you can attend haunt trade shows, such as:
Haunt Con
Trans World

And obviously, ask all the question you want on these forums. Most of us here are willing to help others, as we try to get our industry out in more places.

SteveR
09-17-2007, 12:25 PM
>>"and 9 out of 10 chance you guys are successful both with financial and non-financial goals"

Fun Goals? Sure, every year we do that and have a blast!
Financial Goals? Ugh, just lucky to break even! But worth it for so many other reasons.

MMManiac
09-17-2007, 12:32 PM
if your looking to make tons of $$ this is the wrong business. You really have to love doing it to be in it. Most of us do it as a side side cause we love to haunt not to make $. Although if u do it right u can make a small profit.

Sean

haunter112
09-17-2007, 01:24 PM
Don't be fooled by the whole "Haunt Industry" spiel.

That phrase was created by some poor guy trying to talk his wife into letting him mortgage the house so he could open his first haunt.

Seriously though, some haunted attractions do bring in big money, but that's gross not net.

There are very, very few people making a living from simply running a haunted house.

Those people that do, work a ridiculous amount of hours for well below minimum wage.

My advice: Stay in school and haunt for fun.

Gambit
09-18-2007, 10:45 AM
I appreciate the advice. I am more along the lines of looking into doing a bit more than a annual haunt, I plan to open the first year round halloween/ comstume shop. There is only online businesses where I live and they do not even offer a decent selection of goods. The closest Party City is 90 miles away. I live in a large community grant it be ( 170,000 strong ) but our community cannot get large companies like Party City to bring there company down here. We have all sorts of stores like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Target but nothing that has decent halloween stores nor a place to rent/buy costumes nor buy cosmetics.

screamshow
09-18-2007, 11:45 AM
The costume and halloween supply business seems rough to me. You have to buy dirt cheap and plan for a lot of product to not sell. For example, which "teenage cute witch" costume do you buy, and how many, in what sizes? If you guess wrong you just lost the money you invested.

Haunted attractions can definately make money, many do, but the first thing you need to understand about running a haunted attraction business is that the haunted part of it is the easy portion -- for many haunters the trick is finding a location that complies with zoning, size, parking, and safety regulations while remaining affordable (and in a location people might go to).