PDA

View Full Version : 7 Floors of Hell was not hell



scarexxx
10-07-2007, 07:47 PM
After going to to 7 floors I left unhappy:( the houses were understaffed,very cheap looking,and overall not scary.The blackout maze needs something to guide you through,and carpet all of the walls not just part of it to prevent splinters:mad:I must say that Insane Asylum was rather good,but thats about it.I dont know if I went on a bad night but it does not deserve the #8 ranking.

Jim Warfield
10-08-2007, 08:33 AM
It sounds to me that it WAS HELL! For the owner(s).
It requires alot of time, money and work to put on any kind of a haunted show whether anyone thinks it's a good one or not.
Trying to accumulate enough reliable employees is half the battle usually.
What is the difference betweem a good, bad or excellant haunt experience for the customer?
You can have a great creation but if a few key players don't show you have nothing. Why didn't they show? Family emergency, sickness, real job (as in their "REAL JOB") considerations, wife said "No!"?..........
I will always believe that everyone is doing the best that they can with what they have to work with. If or how it turns out in the end is always alot of factors coming together which is not always skill showing but sometimes luck too.

MMManiac
10-08-2007, 11:28 AM
No matter how nice you make our house being understaffed can ruin it. but all you can do is work with what u got.

sean

dshaunt
10-08-2007, 02:49 PM
i was at 7 floors there opening night, hopeing for a fun and scary time. the only thing fun was getting cut by a lose nail in blackout and having not a single actor in the crypt.
i know exactly what you mean. 7 floors really needs to step it up i love em to death but the past few years havent been so great.
-Drew

UnDeRTaKer313
10-08-2007, 06:43 PM
yeah i had a similar experience.
i went to cedar point hallo weekends, they spend all that money and it looks amazing, but i never got scared, honestly i went through one of the houses and the guys were just looking at me walking around lesiurly and one of then actually said BOO.

Then i went to chainsaw creek in Toledo Ohio, and has a completely different experience. they had a very simple layout, a couple of really cool animatronics, but not a whole lot of props. BUT THEY HAD THE GREATEST ACTORS I HAVE EVER SEEN.
my god they were spraying down all their actors with blood at the entrance, and they were insane, they had people all over the place and very energetic, it was very nice,

Just shows you that actors make the haunt.
no matter how detailed your haunt is

scarexxx
10-08-2007, 09:54 PM
Being a season pass holder at Cedar Point You'd think that Cedar fair would bring in the team at Knotts Berry Farm to help CP and not just Kings Island:roll:The Fright Zone is very good because the people are private while the houses and werewolf caynon are staffed by groups that earn money for thier organazation and not themselves.

dr0zombie
10-08-2007, 10:19 PM
This thread actually has a great underlying message every haunt owner should take to heart. It makes no difference how cool your sets are or how great the props are, the actors make or break your event.

Sorry for the rant... ... sort of.....

horrorfiend99
10-12-2007, 01:00 PM
I agree with you, dr. zombie! So many haunts that I have visited (and worked on/in) are chock full of great set design and props but sadly lacking when it comes to talent. Usually this is more a matter of manpower than motivation, especially when relying on a mostly volunteer staff (as most haunts do). A lot of said haunts suffer from trying to do too much, in my opinion. Not everybody can be Knott's Scary Farm - they are a theme park (i.e. they have money) and they have been doing this for like 37 years! Too many smaller haunts try to pull off huge houses and multiple mazes when they should really just focus on one or two attractions. A smaller maze with more intense theming and way more scares is generally more memorable and impressive (not to mention scary) than a really elaborate, long maze with 1 to 3 monster to room ratio.
What I used to do was design my mazes in such a way that almost every actor could play at least 2 roles, thus turning 17 solid actors into 34 possible scares! Plus, the actors are never bored!

Brandon_K
10-15-2007, 07:28 AM
I also agree that actors, no matter how big or small your house is, will make or break your attraction.

We have a few really great prop layouts that get everyone all off the time, but those two area's only count for 1/50 of the haunt, if that.

Being a non profit, we rely on volunteers. We have a number of individual actors, but we also bring in groups from local schools and drama clubs. Last night proved that you can't always count on your volunteers, as the entire group we had booked didn't show. Thanks to our faithful individuals we were still able to open our house.

I agree that I've been to some low-budget small scale haunts that interested me more than some of the bigger ones, mainly due to actors. You can tell when an actor really loves what they are doing.

drfrightner
10-17-2007, 03:15 PM
Whenever you're in the industry, you're typically more critical than the customers who are screaming their heads off. I can honestly say that I've had nights where we didn't get a lot of screams on weekdays because not enough actors show up. Its tough!

On weekends at Creepyworld we have 65 actors, and on weekdays we're suppose to have 30 to 35. We had a couple nights where only like 20 showed up and with an attraction as big as ours 20 just isn't enough. It happens!

Should an entire haunted house be judged on one weekday where maybe the attraction didn't have enough actors??? What was the rest of the attraction like, was the detail good, did they have a lot of cool effects, was a lot of effort put into the show? So all of that is ruined for one bad night with actors??? I do not agree.

Larry

screamshow
10-18-2007, 07:04 AM
Whenever you're in the industry, you're typically more critical than the customers who are screaming their heads off. I can honestly say that I've had nights where we didn't get a lot of screams on weekdays because not enough actors show up. Its tough!

On weekends at Creepyworld we have 65 actors, and on weekdays we're suppose to have 30 to 35. We had a couple nights where only like 20 showed up and with an attraction as big as ours 20 just isn't enough. It happens!

Should an entire haunted house be judged on one weekday where maybe the attraction didn't have enough actors??? What was the rest of the attraction like, was the detail good, did they have a lot of cool effects, was a lot of effort put into the show? So all of that is ruined for one bad night with actors??? I do not agree.

Larry


I am surprised to read this.

While I agree that haunters are tougher to please, in many ways we are also the most tolerant audience out there. We don't expect to be scared. We understand the problems haunts experience.

The bottom line is that it does not matter to a customer why the show disappointed, all that matters is that it did. An entire haunted attraction is judged not in a weekend, but in a single trip. It's possible that the entire industry is judged by what a customer saw during the first five minuites at asingle attraction.

If a customer was disappointed then, by definition, it doesn't matter how spiffy the decore was. You can gold plate the faucets in a McDonalds bathroom, but that wont make the place a five-star restaurant.

Barry
10-18-2007, 08:10 AM
I agree completely with Screamshow. As they say, you don't get a second chance to make a first impression. It doesn't matter what the reason was for a guest's disappointment, the fact remains that they were. The only justification I can think of for this kind of reasoning would be if you charge less during the week than you do on the weekend and explain to people purchasing tickets that it is a different show than they would experience on a Friday or Saturday.

screamshow
10-18-2007, 10:20 AM
In hindsight I think Larry is just being nice. Looking at his shows I don't think he accepts anything less than the best he can possibly accomplish, and I suspect that even that is met with questioning and a drive to do better.

I have a laundry list of reasons why this year's show might be less than perfect. We moved from a 100 year old, 45,000 square foot building with an amazing facade to a 7000 square foot warehouse. We had four weeks to get a show up and running, starting with no plans, a building full of garbage, little help, no actors, no advertising, no signs, and a limited budget. We still don't have a sign people can read, we still don't have help, but there it is.

None of that matters to our customers. They are paying for a professional quality show. They give us their money and expect entertainment.

I believe that we delivered. There are problems of course, but nothing too major, and the guest response has been fantastic. We'll open again this afternoon after another week of improvements, and I hope that the guest response is even better. But one thing is certain, if I have to pull a Raven's Grin one man show and run the guests through all by my lonesome, I am gonna do my best to give them a show.

drfrightner
10-18-2007, 10:45 AM
Actually I think you missed my point totally... if you are going to tell me that every customer that went thru your place loved it or wasn't critical, or if you told me no customer never said 'i want my money back, we only seen like 3 actors', you would be telling a fib. Heck I've stood outside a friends haunt and heard someone come up and use those same lines... we all know we had more than three actors, and we know they saw more than three actors, but they say it anyway.

Fact is I've had bad nights, are you saying your actors never let you down, and at the end of the night you had to have a group meeting? Haven't we all had those group meetings to talk about things that are going wrong, and how we need to fix them?

Hasn't everyone?

So my point is this... you can NOT judge a haunt by one night, you judge a haunt for what it does over the long haul. If a haunt can bring in huge numbers year after year after year and stay around a long time that can only mean ONE THING... they're making their customers scream with delight. No bad business stays in business long period.

Everyone or anyone can have a bad night... maybe that night was the night you attended. Do you think it was that bad the next night or the following week or everynight?

If you say 'YES' then tell me how they stay in business???

See what I'm saying?

Everyone has a bad night! If you can get 80% to be happy you're doing something great.

Larry

screamshow
10-18-2007, 11:39 AM
Actually I think you missed my point totally... if you are going to tell me that every customer that went thru your place loved it or wasn't critical, or if you told me no customer never said 'i want my money back, we only seen like 3 actors', you would be telling a fib. Heck I've stood outside a friends haunt and heard someone come up and use those same lines... we all know we had more than three actors, and we know they saw more than three actors, but they say it anyway.

Fact is I've had bad nights, are you saying your actors never let you down, and at the end of the night you had to have a group meeting? Haven't we all had those group meetings to talk about things that are going wrong, and how we need to fix them?

Hasn't everyone?

Certainly.

Universal approval is impossible -- even Jesus couldn't manage it.


So my point is this... you can NOT judge a haunt by one night, you judge a haunt for what it does over the long haul. If a haunt can bring in huge numbers year after year after year and stay around a long time that can only mean ONE THING... they're making their customers scream with delight. No bad business stays in business long period.

Everyone or anyone can have a bad night... maybe that night was the night you attended. Do you think it was that bad the next night or the following week or everynight?

If you say 'YES' then tell me how they stay in business???

See what I'm saying?

Everyone has a bad night! If you can get 80% to be happy you're doing something great.

Larry

I understand your point, and it is a good one. Criticism is easy, and haunters are perhaps the worst haunt critics out there. Perhaps.

You asked the key question: if they suck how are they still in business. But there are many possible answers. Perhaps they only had a bad night....or perhaps they are having a bad year. Time will answer that one. But I will say this, I have been to plenty of haunts that OBVIOUSLY didn't spend a damn thing on the haunt itself and spent their money on a few expensive toys and advertising how scary they are. Nor is this limited to haunts -- look at Scarefactory for a great example.

None the less, your question was a fair one. But I doubt it was a bad night. Three posters in this thread have been there this year. All three stated that the show had problems.

drfrightner
10-18-2007, 03:03 PM
Have you ever bought a product from a vendor that just didn't work and eventually you bought other animations that did work?? You win some and you lose some... sometimes you hit a home run and sometimes you don't.

As for running a haunt over the years I've had plenty of bad nights, talked to the actors to get things back on track. It happens.

Larry

dr0zombie
10-18-2007, 11:09 PM
We all know you can't please all of the people all of the time. But in this case more than one person is commenting. Odds are they didn't all go through as one group, when the best actors were on break..

ANY theatrical performance needs to be the best it can be every time you run the show. As an October event operator (haunted house, corn maze, hay ride, whatever) you are operating a very specialized form of theater. Your guest pays you to interact in a play that is a fantasy that they are at risk in some way. They are getting the same kind of high you get from a good film while in your event. You get their heart racing, blood moving, and simulate all kinds of emotions for them in a controlled environment. NOW..... lets think about this as a movie... if you go to see Pirates and half way though Johnny Depp is replaced with Bongo the Flying fat guy.... would you be pissed??? Guess what, as a haunt owner your not the theater owner showing someone else's film... you are the writer / director / all creator of your event. You own the blame for a bad cast. You are the source of the poor quality experience. If Bongo the Flying fat guy is attempting to scare your guest tonight... be a direct and fix that.

Jim Warfield
10-19-2007, 01:43 AM
Last night I told my wife that I would sure like to have the opportunity to speak with an anonymous nasty critic.
I would say this: "Suppose that I loaned you $3.000 and with this money you were supposed to buy some sort of a property to become some sort of a haunted attraction, of course that small amount of money won't buy you a very prizey portion of real estate, so you had better be pretty good at building, repairing things. Next you are supposed to accumulate your needed money from just house tour moneys, the money that you get from showing people through your haunt (and how much can you expect to realisically expect from this?)
Have FUN!
(Don't forget to pay me back my $3,000 either!)

mindtumor
10-19-2007, 06:19 AM
I went to a couple of big haunts here in Michigan last night (I am not open on Thursday) and they had hardly any actors. One of them claims that you are in their haunt for a 1/2 hour. I literally counted 6 actor scares in that one. Now that doesn't mean I think the two haunts are bad haunts. In fact I think they were both pretty good. It was 11 p.m on a Thursday, they probably just couldn't get the actors on those nights, it happens. Now despite the lack of actors you could tell the haunts were most likely really good when they have a full staff. I have a hard time getting actors every night so I can understand that.

Howie Slobber Erlich
10-19-2007, 07:11 AM
This is my 21st year in the business. Some years my haunts have been better than other years but we always try to put on the best show for our customers that we can. There is no question that you can't please every guest. I think we have a great show every night. We have awesome actors every night. Then a group comes out of the haunt and says something negative. Just when I am ready to go in and start screaming at the actors to pick it up, the next group comes out of the haunt and says it's the best haunt they have ever been to. Different customers like different things. You just need to do the best you can.

As far as what Larry is saying about a haunt that is bad year after year not being able to make it and going out of business, I would normally agree. However, we have a haunted house near us that uses false advertising every year, has the third highest price to get in and according to customers who tell us about their experience at that show, it sucks worse every year. They build their haunt in two weeks. They break many safety regulations. Yet somehow they seem to attract customers year after year. So, even some bad houses can apparently make it for more than 5 years.

Just my thoughts,

Howie "Slobber" Erlich
Deadly Intentions Haunted House
www.deadlyintentionshaunt.com

Ken Spriggs
10-19-2007, 01:11 PM
Well I am sorry....I am just too tired to read all of these posts....BUT I have read enough to say this....

When it comes to opening a haunt to the industry......There isn't much you can do to scare you people. When we opened for Transworld in Chicago, we usually put through at least 1000 of the industries top people. You people don't jump or anything.......and to be honest....some of the worst problems in our history came from haunted house actors or owners.

I have had issues at other haunts....let's just leave that alone for now.

Reviews suck plain and simple.......
What one person sees in the house will be a different show in 2 minutes

People always ask....is it scary?

It all depends on what scares you.

I understand people want to feel fear.....to have the rush

Look around the world today.....shit look at tv these days.
We have become a society that is numb to violence.

Let's take a few recent movies shall we?

1-the hills have eyes 1 and 2
Really people do i need to see freaks of nature raping women? and we call this entertainment?
2-Halloween--rob zombie style
Samething....senseless violence...with yet another rape scene (well it was in the version I saw don't know what was at the theater)

Hell watch CSI once and a while they have some strange stuff there too.

damon carson
10-19-2007, 01:46 PM
This is a very unfortunate thing! The main thing is if your scaring the majority. If you can satisfy at least 98 to 99 percent of your customers your doing a knockout job. That is my philosophy. You cant please everyone no matter how hard you try. And alot of people just want to get a free show. They go through you scare them they scream. Then they come out all brave and say hey that wasnt scary and make up other excuses to get a free ticket or refund. Thats B.S. and Ive been through that a few times. There are alot of lame haunts in this area and I bet they are lucky to satisfie 50 or 40 percent of there customers. Its really sad. Make you wonder how they put up with the complaints year after year. Must be greed and they really dont give a $@*!
Damon

Jim Warfield
10-21-2007, 03:38 AM
Last night as a group was walking from the front room to the kitchen a guy randomly said (not seriously) "Can I get a refund?"
He was walking right behind his "Woman" with both his hands resting on her shoulders.
"You mean get a refund on her?"
(But I didn't sell her to you, no guarantees, no rebates, no warranty work done if her dim bulb finishes burning out! Oh, you want to trade her in now?

Kevin Dells
10-22-2007, 06:55 AM
Back to the original post of 7 Floors of Hell being understaffed, i had a actor who lived a mile from them message me via myspace asking how to become an actor there.
They werent answering any emails he sent or voicemails he left.
I do not know this guy personally but after looking at his myspace page i would have gladly taken him on my staff.

He tried for three weeks to contact them and finally got a message back saying they weren't interested, they had plenty of people.

Is there even such a thing as too many actors in any haunted house?
Jeez we have a nice sized staff this year but hell yeah im going to through everybody that comes in, into a spot just to better the show!

We have a local high school doing Night of the living dead as a play this year. We have been doing seminars on saturday afternoons to help train them better for the play. Saturday i had three girls from the play come in and work as zombies on our busiest night yet, they LOVED it! We now have a few extra full time ZITS!!

A ZIT is a Zombie IN Training just for the record. Great Girls tore it up in the graveyard for 6 hours! Im sure more will show up this weekend from the play after they get a chance to chat at school today!

So no i could never see not taking an actor,especially when from the sounds of it their badly needed,this confusses me because this kid really wanted to work for the best and closest in his area real bad. He never did find a haunt.

Jim Warfield
10-22-2007, 08:43 AM
In the hectic season of October I have missed a couple of fairly important e-mails (and possibly some phone calls?) Of course the energy requirements of the business conspire to do this ALONG with all the e-mail crap-Spam I have to sort through every day.
If someone would like to work here we usually need to know their intentions before the first October weekend.
Maybe too many fans of scaring don't stop to see the actual physical work of it and the necesarry personal restraint that is required so they fall by the wayside too early when the fun has to be earned and requres alot more than they have to give it?
When I would try to create a situation that would offer multiple scare-opportunitys so as to not let the task become too boring, then some would complain that it was too much work to move from point "A" to point "B", even though being tied down to one spot all night long wasn't "Fun" either.
One girl who helped out here for three years once informed me that she was now bored by it all, BUT in a few months she was moving away to work for her Grandmother and that job would NEVER get boring! She was going to be doing accounting work......?????

HauntedWebby
10-28-2007, 03:01 PM
No matter how nice you make our house being understaffed can ruin it. but all you can do is work with what u got.

sean


That is very true! We set ours up with 3 people in each room, so they can break each other (in more ways then one) and if someone calls in sick we still have people.

We only have 33 rooms, but 92 actors. Last night only 38 showed up. Many wanted to go to parties the Sat before Halloween.

I've never been to 7 floors, but I can only imagine the nightmare of staffing!