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Empressnightshade
02-14-2008, 06:14 PM
My lights are currently on and someone is home -- in other words, I'm thinking haunt again. Those thoughts are heading toward a haunt that has a "Deliverance", "Motel Hell", "Ed Gein" type feel.

Question: Do you allow your actors to use profanity? I never have, but if I go with this type of theme this year and we continue with our signs that say we're a "PG13 Rated Haunted House", I'm seriously considering it. Maybe not the "S" word and definitely not the "F" word, but the "D" word, "H" word, "B" word and "A" word. The "P" word, too. :D

Killer Katie
02-14-2008, 08:46 PM
In the past 5 years as a cast manager - we have a no swearing policy, besides swearing is so much a part of everyday language, I've found it really has no shock value anyhow. Besides, all it would take is one customer who may be "offended" and that's the end. I think that your actors would be much more effective by being creative, something like "cutting off your face and asking your Daddy to dance", "wearing your skin as a bath robe", or I'll hump you just like my momma" (deliverance, hillbilly speak). I personally don't swear the times I act, because I am of the old school of thought that swearing just means you aren't creative enough to think of something else. Of course, i swear in everyday life so what does that say about me? LOL

xxxdirk
02-14-2008, 09:27 PM
Because I have my 12 year old working in the haunt, I ask my actors NOT to swear. I guess as I think about it, I really see no need for it and as was stated, swearing is so easy today, it might be not as powerful as some other twisted stuff you can say.

gadget-evilusions
02-14-2008, 09:40 PM
In the past 5 years as a cast manager - we have a no swearing policy, besides swearing is so much a part of everyday language, I've found it really has no shock value anyhow. Besides, all it would take is one customer who may be "offended" and that's the end. I think that your actors would be much more effective by being creative, something like "cutting off your face and asking your Daddy to dance", "wearing your skin as a bath robe", or I'll hump you just like my momma" (deliverance, hillbilly speak). I personally don't swear the times I act, because I am of the old school of thought that swearing just means you aren't creative enough to think of something else. Of course, i swear in everyday life so what does that say about me? LOL


You forgot, "I'm gonna put you on like a pair of pants!"

I guess my answer must be the same as Katies, seeing that she was our cast manager.

Jim Warfield
02-14-2008, 09:48 PM
If the customer is swearing we tolerate certain levels of it then sometimes ask them to stop or they will have to leave. (No "F" word)
People reacting to really being scared is something else all together though, we all know that)
Of course sometimes I listen for awhile then artfully return the same to them, making it sound really stupid, ignorantly repeating what they just said, making them sound VERY stupid.

If I was the customer and alot of swearing was what the haunt workers were purposely engaged in (for "entertainment" value??), I would be wondering why I had paid an admission for this kind or a show? Just go to a roudy tavern, get the same "show", nurse a Pepsi and get it all real cheap!
"I paid $12.oo for this? I could have nursed a Pepsi for a buck and got the same show!"(And had a soft drink too!)
If you are a adult show, then go for it, but don't the majority of us try to entice all ages from 12 on up, hoping familys and youth groups show up by the van or busload? It's called making that necesarry money-thing.
Of course most swearing comes from the drunky customers, keep a leash on them and automatically eliminate alot of problems.

MDKing
02-14-2008, 10:02 PM
Absolutely, positively no swearing at all at my place, at any time. Lke Dirk said there is no need for it and it's just plain low brow and reflects poorly from your haunt. As an industry we need to work on cleaning up our acts, appearance, and put our best foot forward. There are already enough preconeived notions on our industry as it is. Train your actors well enough that they can convey their message in a scary way without being crude.

Empress, I know you benefit a great cause with your show. I strongly discourage you to allow swearing at your show....

Allan

actiondeath
02-14-2008, 10:34 PM
Hahahaha... The BEST "PG-13" line I've ever heard in a haunt was "C'mon! We ain't got all night, get yer fuzzy little crotches in here!". I spent the next 5 minutes or so clearing my drink out of my nose.

Nightmaretony
02-14-2008, 11:00 PM
Planning a no swear with the caveat that they can PLAY at swearing in a laugh manner to elicit comedy. For example, someone can use a noisemaker to censor themselves so they don't have to say such words, or as another fun one, huge angry type, "I'M GOING TO BEAT YOUR" (then they turn sideways, pull out a cigar and do a Groucho Marx impersonation and say in a comedy voice "biblical beast of burden" then back to the roaring angry voice. Or a total non sequitor of an innocent word instead, for a SAY WHAT? kind of response.

shawnc
02-14-2008, 11:36 PM
I think if you could filter out the hour of cussing there might have been an interesting movie in there somewhere.

Jim Warfield
02-14-2008, 11:39 PM
To make it more clear, if a group of college kids or older teenagers slip out a few bad words, I see it as no harm, no foul but if it's a large group that may include some younger teens or children, then there is a no tolerance policy.
If you don't divide up into groups, just have a continious feed of customers , then it would be alot more difficult to make any allowances at all for bad language .
Bad words never helped me to ever get any allowance!
We had a young woman making complaints during her house tour because of what she called questionable lanuage then about two minutes later her boyfriend mooned everyone in that group!?
He just couldn't resist the temptation of that 4' by 10" piece of plexiglass with everyone on the other side ..the lights were "on"!

bodybagging
02-15-2008, 03:36 AM
I dont believe theres a need for swearing in a haunt, ActionDeath That was definitely a great line,

Warren Vanderdark
02-15-2008, 06:39 AM
At The Baxter Avenue Morgue, we make it a point to try to keep obscenity to a minimum among both the customers and cast members, although we do realize that when a customer gets a sudden fright that they'll sometimes let fly with a few choice words. It's the ones who come in already swearing like a bunch of longshoremen with Tourette's that we seriously try to muzzle...

MDKing
02-15-2008, 07:11 AM
I think she was referring more to her own staff using profanity, not the guests...

Empressnightshade
02-15-2008, 08:43 AM
Empress, I know you benefit a great cause with your show. I strongly discourage you to allow swearing at your show....

Allan

Yes, the haunted house benefits the nonprofit, but is not the nonprofit. Most people that come aren't coming because it benefits children. They don't give a care -- they are there just to get their scare on. That's a fact that took me some time to come to grips with which is why I don't plaster my marketing tools with that fact -- I put it there once on the bottom and that's that. What we say and do at the haunt, does not reflect on the nonprofit other than some what to know "Did you turn a profit??"

You're forgetting that these are actors. Actors portray their parts as closely to the real thing to make themselves believable to the audience. If you watched the video of my haunt on another thread, you'll see how fast pace I create my haunts -- there's no time to say a long sentence like the ones suggested. On TV, I'm hearing "A" this and "D" that ALL the time -- regular TV. I was told yesterday that the "B" word was said in Harry Potter!

If I was giving a theme about broken bedtime stories or going with a clown theme like last year, cursing wouldn't be something those characters would do, but the theme I'm tossing around.........yeah. I'm not talking about every single character in the haunt -- give me a break. But, one or two tossing it appropriately...we'll see.

MDKing
02-15-2008, 10:01 AM
I understand Empress, however for sake of running a professional haunt, I wouldn't advise it. I know for a fact that if your actors are using profanity many people who spent their hard earned money to tour your show with their family will make their feelings known. I know, I've seen it before with a local haunt near me. People think by swearing they make themselves seem more "edgy". I think they sound more stupid myself....


Of course, that is my opinion. Best of luck with whatever you decide to do!

Allan

Empressnightshade
02-15-2008, 10:13 AM
I understand Empress, however for sake of running a professional haunt, I wouldn't advise it. I know for a fact that if your actors are using profanity many people who spent their hard earned money to tour your show with their family will make their feelings known. I know, I've seen it before with a local haunt near me. People think by swearing they make themselves seem more "edgy". I think they sound more stupid myself....


Of course, that is my opinion. Best of luck with whatever you decide to do!

Allan
Thanks for the well wishes, Allan. :)

Gahaunter
02-15-2008, 11:18 AM
Empress,

Here's my take on your suggestion. Please understand I'm not criticizing you and I totally support your haunt and your non-profit. I think it's awesome what you do.

However, I think you should totally axe that idea. The reason being is that you represent the charity with your haunt by making contributions to it. Also, if I'm not mistaken you run both. Legally, you are two seperate entity's but the people who see you in charge of both events might not be able to differentiate.

Those who see your non-profit's logo on advertising might question what kind of charity it is that they are supporting, especially the media. It could be a p.r. nightmare.

I know I would highly suspect what sort of organization I was helping if I heard such language. Look at it this way. Would the MDA, March of Dimes, or Children's Miracle Network support a fund raiser with langauge like that? I highly doubt it.

As others have suggested, the use of profanity shows lack of creativity. It's being creatively bankrupt on an actor's part. I know in my past haunts I would allow my cast to say 'damn' and 'hell', both in the literal sense. Such as being 'damned to hell' for all time. Any other words are strictly off limits. You have to remember you have kids and families coming through your attraction.

On the flip side it is very tough to monitor your customers language. Most of the time if they are swearing out of fear I let it go. If the langauge continues in a way that's verbally abusive to the cast then the group is warned and possibly thrown out.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong but most of your cast are younger kids. I don't know that the words you've suggested are PG13, at all. Bordering closer to R. Just becuase some appear on T.V. doesn't mean they are age appropriate. How would other parents feel about hearing their kids and teens swearing? Especially, if as you say, your actors don't have time to speak lengthy dialogue. Simply throwing out profanity as people pass is not entertianment....It's only insults.

Also, I own all of the Harry Potter Films and books and am pretty sure the b-word is not in there at all. I'll have to re-check.

Hope this helps,

Gahaunter

Empressnightshade
02-15-2008, 11:30 AM
Gahaunter,
Most of my actors this year ranged from 16 on up, more adults than any others. Teenage actors were there because their parents were part of the haunt, as well. I've heard words flying out their mouths like crazy while construction of the haunt was going on in front of their parents, so their own parents being turned off by it isn't an issue. However, using them in a haunt hasn't been an issue, either. BTW, when's the last time you paid attention to a PG13 movie and it's language?? Stuff that was considered "R" back in my day.

The reason I started this thread was to get different opinions on the subject of profanity in haunted houses. So far, I've only heard from those who are against it. But I KNOW there are haunters here who allow certain words to be spoken by their actors....where are you? Speak up! I want to hear both sides.

xxxdirk
02-15-2008, 11:34 AM
Funny true story. Last year I happened to talk to a young family in line. Nice looking family, Dad, wife, 1 kid that was 9, and two teens. So I decide I want to follow this group to see how my crew is doing. They hit this real good startle scare. All of sudden the 9 year old sreams loud "Holy F&#K"!!! Mom cracks him along side the head and spends the remainder of the haunt screaming in his ear. I had to stop as they exited cause I was laughing so hard. REally wish I would have been taping the tour!

MDKing
02-15-2008, 11:51 AM
Dirk, that reiterates my point. That parent was being what is surprisingly enough harder to find these days, she was being a good parent. And being the good parent she is, I'm sure she would have walked right up to your ticket window or staff member and complained profusely if she heard actors hurling profanities so freely.

Allan

Jim Warfield
02-15-2008, 11:53 AM
Yes, Dirk, I once had a cute little 10 yr. old girl swear using every word imaginable , just to impress her friends on the tour.
Very strange.
When some he-man gets scared and screams "F+$#*! ME! I calmly say, "Not right now, I'm pretty busy."
I hope the humor of it defuses the potential growling by anyone offended by his outburst.(and from my bored tone, they know I'M kidding!)
Another outburst of "God help me!" I sometimes tell them God won't be helping them because I just saw him having a beer, taking his break in Charlie's (next door tavern) Sorry.
I used to have a really messed-up dummy hanging from a tree-climber's harness dressed in a yellow raincoat with "Ravens Grin Rescue" painted on his back, so he wouldn't be helping them either!
Help is NOT on the way, just relax and scream!

Empressnightshade
02-15-2008, 12:03 PM
Dirk, that reiterates my point. That parent was being what is surprisingly enough harder to find these days, she was being a good parent. And being the good parent she is, I'm sure she would have walked right up to your ticket window or staff member and complained profusely if she heard actors hurling profanities so freely.

Allan
But, Allan....
Where do you think this 9 year old got his use of language from in the first place? On the school yard in elementary school? I seriously doubt it! This kid more than likely picked up this language from home -- his parents. She was probably embarrassed that others heard it slip from his mouth and screamed in his ear because she didnt want to look like a bad mother.

MDKing
02-15-2008, 12:18 PM
If he learned it at home from his parents then that's a bigger and much worse situation. My father is a real tough man that was also in 101st Airborne in Vietnam so he's been around a lot of cursing. He would curse all the time around the house. My mother on the other hand rarely cursed at all. Despite my father's poor choice of words sometimes, if me or one of my brothers so much as even hinted at saying a curse word, we'd be getting an old fashion butt kicking from my father. And God help us if we ever said something in the presence of my mother, that was the ultimate sign of lack of respect. To this day, I never use profanity.

Look nobody is perfect, but we should still strive to be. Some haunts may choose to use profanity but even they would honestly say it probably isn't the right thing to do. Why not take the high road and just make the show more scarier? They are paying to get scared, not hear profanity.

Allan

shawnc
02-15-2008, 12:26 PM
she picked it up on the elementary school playground? Have you ever been on a school playground? Those kids will put sailors to shame trying to impress each other! But I still don't think cussing is appropriate in a haunt. The reason is that patrons won't expect it (yeah, I know - always do the unexpected) and may think that things are getting too serious and that the actors have some personal problems that the patrons may not want to be involved with. We're supposed to provide scary fun, and this changes things too much. They will concentrate on what they are hearing and tune out the rest of the haunt.

Empressnightshade
02-15-2008, 12:37 PM
If he learned it at home from his parents then that's a bigger and much worse situation. My father is a real tough man that was also in 101st Airborne in Vietnam so he's been around a lot of cursing. He would curse all the time around the house. My mother on the other hand rarely cursed at all. Despite my father's poor choice of words sometimes, if me or one of my brothers so much as even hinted at saying a curse word, we'd be getting an old fashion butt kicking from my father. And God help us if we ever said something in the presence of my mother, that was the ultimate sign of lack of respect. To this day, I never use profanity.

Look nobody is perfect, but we should still strive to be. Some haunts may choose to use profanity bit even they would honestly say it probably isn't the right thing to do. Why not take the high road and just make the show more scarier? They are paying to get scared, not hear profanity.

Allan
Allan, they are paying to see a show...period. And if lots of blood, guts and profanity is there, that's part of the show. I'm usually the first person they encounter and I'm asked all sorts of things: "Is it scary?" "Do they touch you?" "Are there emergency exits?" "Is there a lot of blood?" Never have I been asked, "Is there profanity?" Now, that may be translated into profanity isn't the norm in a haunt or that it's just not a concern to be bothered with -- they don't care.

Asking if profanity would be acceptable in a haunt is a great question to put on customer surveys because after all, THEY are the ones we answer to.

MDKing
02-15-2008, 12:40 PM
Hey that's fine Empress. By all mean add it to your show. To each their own....

I wonder if Six Flags, or Universal Halloween Horror nights, places like that would ask the same question on their customer surveys.....

Allan

Empressnightshade
02-15-2008, 12:54 PM
Hey that's fine Empress. By all mean add it to your show. To each their own....

I wonder if Six Flags, or Universal Halloween Horror nights, places like that would ask the same question on their customer surveys.....

Allan
Allan, CHILL! LOL!! Dude, I'm only asking questions. I want to know everyone's opinion. I'm not saying for sure profanity will be included which is why I brought my questions here. Heck, I haven't even taken this idea of profanity to my core crew -- they will probably nix the whole thing.

I'm not Six Flags or Universal, not striving to be, probably never will be and don't want to be, to be honest. Asking that question on a survey isn't beneath me -- it's just a question.

MDKing
02-15-2008, 01:04 PM
Empress, no worries! Please don't miscontrue my last message as me being upset. I can only worry about my own show. Feel free to do as you please I'm just sharing my own views to the industry abroad on the foum. I'm happy to see almost all share the same opinions as I do, which shows the industry is serious about quality, even family, entertainment.

Seriously though, if your group apprives it let us all know how it works out for you at season's end!

Take care,
Allan

Empressnightshade
02-15-2008, 01:08 PM
Empress, no worries! Please don't miscontrue my last message as me being upset. I can only worry about my own show. Feel free to do as you please I'm just sharing my own views to the industry abroad on the foum. I'm happy to see almost all share the same opinions as I do, which shows the industry is serious about quality, even family, entertainment.

Seriously though, if your group apprives it let us all know how it works out for you at season's end!

Take care,
Allan
I will and no worries back atcha. In fact, I won't even be offended that your last remark made it seem that if I do use profanity, my show isn't "about quality." ;)

xxxdirk
02-15-2008, 01:34 PM
Gwen, as I thought about your original post, I would be worried about opening up a Pandoras Box if you tell your cast it is OK to swear. In other words, be REALLY careful if you tread down this path. All of a sudden you might have the majority of cast swearing or trying to out do eachother. If you do OK it, I would inform the cast that you are going to use it VERY stratigically by ONE actor in one specific room and this actor will say $%&* as a shock value.

As far as a haunt being PG 13, my haunt is also rated PG13 and I have a sign saying it is for Blood, gore, simulated violence and some intense situations.

Good luck!

Empressnightshade
02-15-2008, 02:01 PM
Gwen, as I thought about your original post, I would be worried about opening up a Pandoras Box if you tell your cast it is OK to swear. In other words, be REALLY careful if you tread down this path. All of a sudden you might have the majority of cast swearing or trying to out do eachother. If you do OK it, I would inform the cast that you are going to use it VERY stratigically by ONE actor in one specific room and this actor will say $%&* as a shock value.

This too, is my concern, Ron. Very much so. IF I choose to allow profanity, it will be only one adult actor and it will not be profanity addressed at the audience themselves. "Get movin', B&tch!" NO WAY! No customer of mine will be insulted by being called out of their own names. You hit what I've been thinking, but just didn't say -- IF I okay this, it will not be widespread through the entire haunt. It will be spoken by an actor with good judgment who sees his audience at the time and decides if the language is appropriate or not.

MDKing
02-15-2008, 02:38 PM
I wasn't directing that to you specifically, I'm just proud the industry is seeing the big picture.
I had to laugh when I read your "Get movin', B&tch!". I'm glad you woudn't be saying that. If in our haunt we said that we wouldn't have one tour without seeing a fight!

Allan

Empressnightshade
02-15-2008, 03:27 PM
I wasn't directing that to you specifically, I'm just proud the industry is seeing the big picture.
I had to laugh when I read your "Get movin', B&tch!". I'm glad you woudn't be saying that. If in our haunt we said that we wouldn't have one tour without seeing a fight!

Allan
LMAO! Which brings up a point, Allan -- It all depends on your clientele and demographics. It's different for all of us. If my customers entered a scene where a guy is strapped to a table with a leg amputated and says, "Have you seen my B&tch of a wife?!" And a horrid female with a skill saw runs in on them from the opposite side, I don't see a problem with using the "B" word in that sentence. It's appropriate to the scene and the characters. Judging from my clientele this past season, they would not be offended by that in the least little bit.

Barry
02-15-2008, 04:34 PM
Well Gwen, I guess I won't be of much help as I am siding with the majority here. My reasons against it would be:

1. I don't know that it really adds anything.
2. The negatives outweigh the positives.
3. Just because people hear things in other parts of life does not mean that it needs to be perpetuated.

JMHO

damon carson
02-15-2008, 04:43 PM
I never allow swearing. And espesscially tell actors not to cuss back at customers who might cuss at them. Its all about keeping it at a professional level.

Damon

Empressnightshade
02-15-2008, 05:27 PM
2. The negatives outweigh the positives.


Barry, could you please list for me what you would consider the "negatives" and "positives?"

All I've read are negatives and one positive (shock value).

Jim Warfield
02-15-2008, 07:04 PM
I have done and said many things that made some people ask.
Of course as adults we all know that many times it is the way something is presented that makes the end result a positive or a negative outcome.
If one is trying to funny and everyone is laughing or if you are trying to scare or startle and they are jumping, jerking, then I guess that we did it right?

When I was 12 I met an very elderly man who wheezed when he talked, he spoke very weakly and quietly and every other word was a swear or obscenity!
Who could have taken offense at this? It was a character study, it was hysterical!
Anyone would be very hard-pressed indeed to ever imagine that he was actually being obscene or trying to be aggressive or nasty , it was just the way the old guy talked. He put no "Umph!" into any of it so it all flittered down harmless like dandelion fuzz .
But it was funny.
My Uncle worked for a large corporation whose top salesman selling computers to industry swore with every third word but he had a easy-going southern drawl that I guess difused any negativity or offensiveness plus he was gushing friendship with his mannerisms ans demeanor.
There are exceptions to the norm, successful exceptions sometimes too.

Greg Chrise
02-15-2008, 09:53 PM
Cursing at least in comedy has been siply saying in public what the baser people are thinking anyhow. Some have the courage to just let it all out. I have been told there are two different worlds. One is adult world and the other is mommy and child world where such a thing should never be experienced.

The whole purpose is swearing is simply expressive or using words in a combination that is not routine to gain attention. If you truely have issues with other people and you swear all the tie you can get down and dirty and personal and they do not realize it and re not offended as it has been masked. The jibe has even been taken away as yet one more very well done comedy routine rather than you literally are planning on taking an individual out and hanging them on the fence by the skull, displaying the dead body so others that are their kind do not come onto the property.

In the real world and haunt world I wander about every day and alternatives to swearing have just the same outcome. If you use words like Vampire Werewolf or any number of horror fantasy speach in a reglar environment, you are either taken for entertaining or an idiot that really should not be given a $10,000 project abd a dead line.

In my life of telling people how I really feel, ranting just to interject a comedy relief to building situations or seeing if people have any attention span at all, I have had inquiries as to why is it necessary to be so abrasive, advicarial, caustic? They say you are inteleegent and certainly could do otherwise.

So now adays we have entire mini cultures foring that are abrasive, advucarial and caustic and if you are that, you speak their language and are listened to.

In a haunted house though, it is much better to use the ulternative language of horror because there is only a 20 second exposure to what ever this reference is and the only thing they will remeber is that some one really didn't need to use that X word and the authorities really shold be given this complaint.

In a longer theatrical presentation of say 5 to 7 minutes you can begn totally elloquint and digress to great effect but reading an audience reaction as it piles on a little more is an art. Or such a presentation is simply labeled as blue.

I might have been years old and with my grandmother and grandfather's big trip to New York City, we went to a club where Tottie Fields came out on stage and immediately began cusing and refering to female anatomy. This wasn't meant to be for the general public and the next day she could be on the Mike Douglas show, circa 1966 and be funny in an entirely different way, just not using spcifc terms in day time TV.

I've never gotten the children should neve hear the F word thing or any of those other letters of the alphabet, I have always heard them my whole life but, I'm not toally sure where. Totie Field? At 8 years old I sipped on my shirley temple and laughed, understanding 90 percent of what she was really saying. I wasn't offended but, I may have become a little animal as a result?

Basically the venue of the haunted house is asking the wide public attend and so it is the Mike Douglas show of 1966 and can find shock in entirely different concepts and environments. Pretty much every attraction that has decided to go full adult with swearing, half naked girls and what ever has a limited audience. There is nothing wrong with a limited audience but, a stage show in Las Vegas is $150 and might seat 300 limited seating versus a haunted house that is well done that can charge $18 a pop and see $35,000.

And you can see it in tapes of Haunts that have tried and failed like Madison Square Garden had dancing girls in the Lobby and techno music. It lasted what 2 years? Why pay to endure something that is done to a much higher quality down the street and is part of every day culture. But, it was supposed to be hip?

If you have limited how many are going to be your customers or who might return in the future it better be an everynight well defined affair. Sure an adult club makes lots of money but, it makes a limited amount of money every day. If you just had weeks of that action it might not be worth doing for all the hassles.

If someone has been effected by seeing a bloody saw blade, it is easy to take that out the following year and be advised of the type of customers you have. If you have used abrasive tactics it speaks that the people involved might be of the base level and that haunt is no better than the sex shop or tattoo parlor or crack house down next to the school.

So you just don't go there.

I swear all the time continuosly every day and translate it to a wide range of PHD level speak and intermixed with the latest research but, At my haunt, even off stage I have only used one swear word and it was wrong. That is how I know it was wrong, there was only one. It was over looked but very wrong.

Empressnightshade
02-16-2008, 08:24 AM
My Uncle worked for a large corporation whose top salesman selling computers to industry swore with every third word but he had a easy-going southern drawl that I guess difused any negativity or offensiveness plus he was gushing friendship with his mannerisms ans demeanor.
There are exceptions to the norm, successful exceptions sometimes too.

Ya know.....

If the only thing my customers can think about after having experienced my haunted house is the one or two choice words an actor says, then I have something much more pressing to worry about....I HAVE FAILED -- failed at presenting an entertaining and scary haunted house -- that's not going to happen.

Greg Chrise
02-16-2008, 12:52 PM
It doesn't matter how entertaining the rest of your show is, or that you feel it has so many rich wonders of entertainment value. Swearing is just one of those things a lot of people look for to judge you or their approval.

No customer is going to tell you honestly in an exit survey as they just want to exit, not offer responces that require more explaination.

I'm in a dry county with easily 60 churches, 40 bank locations and only 9 clubs of various types. If you wander the area and listen to others, and see who you think would be and perhaps who you would want to be your customers, that is how you determine your tone. I have no idea what your town is like.

However there is a great percentage of the population that snap at crude words ad behavior just like you snap every time I make a reference concerning the special olympics. What has that happened about 40 times now?

SO if I was swearing all the time like the insane clown posse, They did teach us how to misspell swear words and get them past the Hauntworld we love jesus detector, would you love me?

Just one swear word makes some people just plain psychotic and on a mission to have you corrected. Even if 80% think it is fine, you scooped off the other 20% of potential customers and that 20% might be your entire profit. The same reason you don't use credit in some business, the intrest being 20% means you are working and the profits go out the door.

Whatever, 12 good people have advised completely against it but, you insist it will be okay. The daily news is looking for every swear word slipped by every celebrity every day! This kind of hightens the sensitiviy right now. It is sort of a country wide game of point out the swear word or even words that might sound like swear words.

Broadcasters are being suspended and fired over any one single slip to the tune of like one a week. This means someone out there doesn't like it. They don't like it so much that lude things can now be fined $150,000 per occurance per affiliate that broadcasts one word that is on a list.

The C word Jane Fonda just uttered on Good Morning America, even in a context, even with several appologies went out to 345 affiates and you do the potential mathat how much that may cost. At haunt level it breaks down to negative word of mouth for return customers where even 100 people refusing to participate can be bad and you did it to yourself.

Dark Attraction
02-16-2008, 12:53 PM
NO swearing.

Your two primary objectives when running a haunt are to scare people and to ENTERTAIN people.

Shock has it's place in certain haunts... Hell Houses for example. But personally, I've never been a real fan of the gross-out or "let's see what kind of outrageous stuff I can do to get your attention" type scenes.

I went through a haunt this year in Georgia... the two scenes I remember were the shower scene with smoke coming out of the shower head (Auschwitz?) and the scene where the guy was eating feces out of a bedpan. Both pretty shocking, yes...? But not scary, and for me, not very entertaining.

Then again, Fear Factor had an audience, so some people like that stuff. But do you really want to cater to the lowest common denominator in your haunt? Or do you want to have a professional attraction that families will want to come back to?

Jim Warfield
02-16-2008, 02:17 PM
"Order up!"
"Baked chocolate bedpan treats, family sized!"

I had a plastic bedpan that resembled a cowboy hat, so I used it as a cowboy hat in a video. It had a curled "brim".
"I can't figure it out, it seems to be raining inside of my hat?"

Empressnightshade
02-16-2008, 03:28 PM
It doesn't matter how entertaining the rest of your show is, or that you feel it has so many rich wonders of entertainment value. Swearing is just one of those things a lot of people look for to judge you or their approval.


Uh, yeah...right. :rolleyes:

Empressnightshade
02-16-2008, 03:51 PM
NO swearing.

Your two primary objectives when running a haunt are to scare people and to ENTERTAIN people.

Shock has it's place in certain haunts... Hell Houses for example.

Who says?? Where is this Great Haunting Bible you are pulling this from or some Statue of Haunting Limitations I don't know about? To give me your opnion on what you do in your haunt and to pass along your personal experiences when it comes to using profanity is what I was seeking -- NOT for someone to tell me what my job or objectives are for my own haunt. The decision is mine and my crew's alone. And IF we decide we are going in that direction, what is this industry gonna do? Cast me out? Turn your backs on me because I don't follow this line of haunt etiquette that some of you have set up for us? Ya gonna look at my haunt as trash or below quality? How judgemental and high and mighty of you!

Obviously, I'm a different type of haunter -- thank goodness! I don't want to be a cookie cutter haunt. I wanna try new things -- experiment. This will be my 4th year haunting professionally, but I've personally been in the haunting biz for over 30 years. Times have changed. I can see it practically everyday dealing with my teenage and young adult children.

Am I a rebel? Yup!! Always have been. But, I have a cause -- to give my customers a great show and to keep them coming back. And if you think a few words is going to turn them away, I really honestly to my very core feel you are completely and utterly down right wrong.

All through this thread I have been saying, "IF" I use profanity, but I tell ya...it's mighty tempting to do so to prove those who are so judgmental wrong.

mindtumor
02-16-2008, 04:05 PM
i know there is at least one haunt here in michigan that does and adult night where i assume they swear and what not. I heard they have done pretty well on these nights.

Empressnightshade
02-16-2008, 04:17 PM
i know there is at least one haunt here in michigan that does and adult night where i assume they swear and what not. I heard they have done pretty well on these nights.
You just reminded me, mindtumor....
We gave a children's Saturday last season and it was so well received that we will be giving several more chidlren's Saturdays this year. So...THERE'S the opportunity for parents to bring their kids to a "cleaner" more "acceptable" show.

mindtumor
02-16-2008, 04:26 PM
You just reminded me, mindtumor....
We gave a children's Saturday last season and it was so well received that we will be giving several more chidlren's Saturdays this year. So...THERE'S the opportunity for parents to bring their kids to a "cleaner" more "acceptable" show.

How did you do it? Last year we had a ton of parents bring their kids and want to go through with out being scared. We let them but it really disrupted the flow of the show. Do you advertise like some earlier hours for something like this or do you just dedicate the whole evening to it?

Dark Attraction
02-16-2008, 04:53 PM
Who says?? Where is this Great Haunting Bible you are pulling this from or some Statue of Haunting Limitations I don't know about?

Who says?

The people that buy your tickets.

Take a close look at who buys your tickets. Is it teenagers? They are a large part of your audience, but if you look closely, you will find that FAMILIES make up the majority of your audience.

We had an employee this past year who thought it was cute to use sexual innuendo with the customers waiting in line. We received several complaints from customers. One was close to punching the guy out. Was he thinking outside of the box? Sort of. Will those customers that were offended come back next year? Probably not.

But you seem hell bent on doing this, so I agree with Allan... it's your show, so try it out. You might find it works for you.

MDKing
02-16-2008, 04:59 PM
Empress,

I could be wrong, and if I am I apologize in advance. But it seems you are merely hanging on to this thread alone to stir the pot. I know you've had a rough go at it lately, is this "I'm a rebel" slant a way to get the blood boiling again to get yourself back interested in haunting? It almost seems as if you are exibiting your personal frustrations for last year's haunt difficulties by turning on the industry itself by bucking the trend and making a controversial stand. If you have to force the love of haunting on yourself, then you maybe you should question where your heart truly lies for the business.

I respect your are searching for meaning and uniqueness for your show, but you asked a question and close to a dozen fellow haunters all gave their opinion which differed from your own. Does our opinions not matter? You asked, and this is how we all feel collectively, apparently. So, take what has been said with a grain of salt and do wat you feel best exemplifies yourself and your show's direction.

Again if I'm wrong I apologize, and good luck with whatever you choose!

Allan

Barry
02-16-2008, 05:00 PM
Since you wanted me to gives some pros and cons, here is what I am thinking:

Cons:
Potentially alienating customers

Actors taking it too far and/or other actors deciding for themselves it is OK to do it too

As was mentioned, upsetting sponsors or potential sponsors

Pros:
Realism?


As with any controversial topic it all comes down to where does one draw the line? I believe that is referred to as moral relativism. We have certain lines we don't want to cross. Where you choose to draw that line is entirely up to you. Good luck with whatever you decide. :)

Empressnightshade
02-16-2008, 05:16 PM
Empress,

I could be wrong, and if I am I apologize in advance. But it seems you are merely hanging on to this thread alone to stir the pot. I know you've had a rough go at it lately, is this "I'm a rebel" slant a way to get the blood boiling again to get yourself back interested in haunting? It almost seems as if you are exibiting your personal frustrations for last year's haunt difficulties by turning on the industry itself by bucking the trend and making a controversial stand. If you have to force the love of haunting on yourself, then you maybe you should question where your heart truly lies for the business.

I respect your are searching for meaning and uniqueness for your show, but you asked a question and close to a dozen fellow haunters all gave their opinion which differed from your own. Does our opinions not matter? You asked, and this is how we all feel collectively, apparently. So, take what has been said with a grain of salt and do wat you feel best exemplifies yourself and your show's direction.

Again if I'm wrong I apologize, and good luck with whatever you choose!

Allan
You are wrong, Allan and I accept your apology. :)

Empressnightshade
02-16-2008, 05:17 PM
How did you do it? Last year we had a ton of parents bring their kids and want to go through with out being scared. We let them but it really disrupted the flow of the show. Do you advertise like some earlier hours for something like this or do you just dedicate the whole evening to it?
mindtumor,

we had seperate postcards made for that event and it was during the day only. That way, there was no disruption of our regular show.

Empressnightshade
02-16-2008, 05:23 PM
Who says?

The people that buy your tickets.


I don't even know what my own customers would say, so I'm wondering how in the world would you?

Here's my original post:


My lights are currently on and someone is home -- in other words, I'm thinking haunt again. Those thoughts are heading toward a haunt that has a "Deliverance", "Motel Hell", "Ed Gein" type feel.

Question: Do you allow your actors to use profanity? I never have, but if I go with this type of theme this year and we continue with our signs that say we're a "PG13 Rated Haunted House", I'm seriously considering it. Maybe not the "S" word and definitely not the "F" word, but the "D" word, "H" word, "B" word and "A" word. The "P" word, too. :D

All I asked was if you allow your actors to use profanity. Not to condemn me if I do or give me your thoughts on what kind of show I'd be giving if I do. I'm not sure if you even have a haunt. But, it doesn't matter. You've made your feelings known and thank you.

actiondeath
02-16-2008, 05:33 PM
Condemned? For asking a question or suggesting something?? On this board???

Get right outta town...

;)

badass
02-16-2008, 05:34 PM
i say..hats off to you Empress..the world has to many walmarts already...you be true to your art and watch your fans multiply........

Empressnightshade
02-16-2008, 06:52 PM
i say..hats off to you Empress..the world has to many walmarts already...you be true to your art and watch your fans multiply........

Like your choice of names. LOL!! Thanks, Sweetheart.

Even though I became rather hot under the collar there for a moment, I want to thank those who answered my question on whether they allow profanity in their haunts. It's going to be quite interesting to see if my crew agrees with it's inclusion and if so, the outcome.

Again, THANKS! :)

SpFXChic
02-16-2008, 06:59 PM
We've never allowed profanity from our actors...though we hear tons of it from scared customers. We never try to tone the customers down, unless they are directing profanity-laced threats at our cast or crew. But we don't let the actors cuss.

I've been through a few haunts where the actors have used profanity and honestly, it didn't bother me, because I myself can curse like a sailor sometimes (outside of business, of course). A friend went through a haunt in Tennessee this year and she said they were slinging dirty-wordies throughout the whole thing. Didn't bother her or her hubby. But the group behind them came out and the mom was a little perturbed that her 10 year old was subjected to that. This could go either way...bad parenting, or marketing that haunt as a family event? Who knows.

I say it's up to you. If you think it'll benefit the haunt's theme, try it. No one said you have to continue it if people get upset. It doesn't work for us, but that doesn't mean it won't work for you. I don't think that you need our approval or disapproval, as you asked for opinions. You can see where the majority is leaning...but that by no means says you have to follow suit.

Jim Warfield
02-17-2008, 10:06 AM
Whatever happens within a haunted venue will always be more up to the people working within it more than the person who owns it or thinks "they" run it.
We have to trust our people possibly more than we wish to because of the dark settings and the emotional level of fear, scares and personal historys when it comes to fearful experiences.
As the ones making the basic decisions we try to accurately communicate our thoughts and wishes to our workers but how they understand us and impliment them will always be abit different.
How different? It will always depend upon that employee.
Does one employee actually hate women?
Does one actually mistrust the rest of the population of the planet?
Does a worker come from a backround of violence and criminal activity?
Sometimes things change just with the addition or loss of a single word if your helpers are to be talking.........for instance....Jim said:" Never buy a bomb from a guy on a bycicle."
My one helper changed my wording for his group that he was leading:"Never buy a bike from a retard."
"?????"
Needless to say, I wasn't happy with this........