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OgeXam
11-01-2006, 09:03 AM
I was wondering what precentage of people you get that start the haunted house but are unable to continue and have to take one of the exits to saftey?

So if any of you pros out there keep statistics or at least an estimate of out of every 100 how many fail to make it to the end I would love to hear your results.

You can look at it as a bragging right.

11-01-2006, 09:56 AM
We had over 460 people not make it all the way through the haunt. More than 400 never made it past the first hall. We also had 41 confirmed pissers, 6 poopers and 9 vomiters, and 67 line outs (Never even made it inside).

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

SSP
11-01-2006, 10:24 AM
Oh my

Veneficus
11-01-2006, 11:40 AM
I am the greeter in one of our houses. Last night I had like 5 people not get through my room and have to leave. In a way its good and bad. Good, you think "Wow, I scared them out of their minds." And bad, "Crud, now those people won't get to see the house."

OgeXam
11-01-2006, 11:52 AM
We had over 460 people not make it all the way through the haunt. More than 400 never made it past the first hall. We also had 41 confirmed pissers, 6 poopers and 9 vomiters, and 67 line outs (Never even made it inside).

Those are pretty big numbers, how many total people came to the haunt though. So a precentage can be calculated

Jim Warfield
11-01-2006, 01:15 PM
I had one little girl need to leave the first room even after we brought out the "puppy" and she semed calmed greatly. The happy ending is , she returned with her Grandma about ten minutes later and she was still somewhat upset but made it through.
I just rescued a future patron.
I also saved giving them or arguing about any refund.
$

I was 25 miles from here today buying some new shoes and the woman who has been seling me shoes for the last ten years told me she and her daughter were "lost" ended up driving passed my house as I stood next to the front door.
Her 23 yr. old daughter took one look and said, "That's enough, Mom! Get me outa here!" and away they sped.
"Mom" has been here a couple of times and loves the place.

11-01-2006, 01:36 PM
OgeXam,

I am not about to give our attendance numbers on a public forum such as this. We had a pretty good year. Not our best numbers but far from our worst. We we up 1100 people over last year. I will say that the number who did not make it through went down by about 70 this year over last.

Howie

Jim Warfield
11-01-2006, 02:46 PM
My October was down this year. Down during world Series Friday (just like many others that night) and down, I think, because of a cold October and some cold rainey nights.
The Spring and summer was feast or famine from month to month, highest month ever followed by worst month ever following the price of gasoline. Grr! Of course we all know getting 4 "F"s on your report card and one "A" doesnot an honor student make.
The good month didnot overcome the loss of the bad month(s)

scare
11-01-2006, 02:50 PM
This was my first year doing a pro haunt, I went for a high scare factor and ended up with about a 10% chicken out rate. To many people were chickening out so we started doing custom scares where people could request a low scare, no scare or escorted scare.

Jim Warfield
11-01-2006, 02:59 PM
Potential "Chickens" are told to remain in the back of the group.
I encourage people bringing small children here to be here early in the night or on Sat. & Sun. afternoons.
Sometimes I have a couple of afternoon tours filled with parents, grandparents and little kids....they all paid the same admission, $10.oo
Usually a group like this is not drunk or abusive so I just made a small percentage more profit not needing to repair things.
It is more effort trying to be all things to all people but if I wasn't doing it this way I would have to figure on getting by with probably 20% less income.

Chris
11-01-2006, 05:58 PM
The haunting paradox, people pay us for entertainment in the form of scaring them, and if we are REALLY successful then we potentially lose them as a future customer.

For example, consider the numbers Howie posted. 56 confirmed "accidental discharges" and another 527 people who purchased tickets and failed to see the entire show. For the sake of easy math, instead of the 56 confirmed accidents, lets pretend that the staff missed a few (easy enough to imagine) and round that number up to 60. Let us further assume (for the sake of arguement) that all 60 will never return, and that 25% of the failures (or 132) were so traunamtized by their experience that they too are now ex-customers.

This gives us a grand total of 192 lost year 2 customers. Let's round that up to 200 to make the math easy. Assuming that the rates above hold, and that each customer spends $12 total, Howie will have lost the following customers and revenue:

Year: ONE
Lost Customers: 200
Total Lost Customers: 200
Revenue Lost: $0

Year: TWO
Existing Lost Customers: 200
New Lost Customers: 200
Total Lost Costumers: 400
Revenue Lost: $2400

Year: THREE
Existing Lost Customers: 400
New Lost Customers: 200
Total Lost Customers: 600
Year Revenue Lost: $4800
Total Revenue Lost: $7200

Year: FOUR
Existing Lost Customers: 600
New Lost Customers: 200
Total Lost Customers: 800
Year Revenue Lost: $7200
Total Revenue Lost: $14,400

Year: FIVE
Existing Lost Customers: 800
New Lost Customers: 200
Total Lost Customers: 1000
Year Revenue Lost: $9600
Total Revenue Lost: $24,000

This Haunt then enters year six knowing up front that they have sacrificed 1000 customers that they MIGHT have had (in a perfect world). Of course, the above generously assumes that these lost customers wont negatively influence anyone else into not attending, but in the real world they do.

This is obviously the big haunt delema. How do you provide an entertaining experience for the majority without overscaring the minority? If you tone it down to the point at which the terrified become calm, then the average person will be bored. But if you don't then you need to rely on a steady influx of new faces that exceeds the number you lose each year.

Jim Warfield
11-01-2006, 06:55 PM
Smacky, It sounds sort of like the tavern business. Sell booze to make money but you want them not to be aggressively drunk, sick or kill themselves driving home(This costs customers, perminently!), then you tell them to stop drinking and get out! Goodbye income.
Maybe having food in the tavern would spread the profit potential?

Smacky, you need to just add another dimension to your show, such as humor, maybe some history? Artifacts? More human interaction (this takes alot of time and energy, admittedly)
People coming here may get scared, thrilled, inspired, entertained. some people think they see a real ghost here, some do! Some laugh their butts off all the way through the 90 minute tour!?
The majority of people respond well to be treated as "people", versus numbers or shadows running passed you down a hallway.
I have the advantage of leading most customers all the way through the house so they know me, sort of, and respond "in-kind" to the way I relate to them.

11-02-2006, 01:55 AM
Smacky,

I understand your point but we have found that many who chicken out will still come back the next year to try again. If nothing else to prove that they can do it. Some even come back the same year, so now they have paid twice.

Also, it is great word of mouth for people who are looking for a very scary show. Just imagine the talk around the water cooler when the chicken tells everyone at the office that they were too scared to make it all the way through the haunt. Or even better when the friends the chicken came with tell their friends how the guy the went with last night could not even make it past the first room.

We have had a lot of people not make it through the entire haunt the last four years since we opened. Yet every year except one, our numbers have increased. So, our very intense type of show seems to attract more customers rather than lose them.

I look at it like this, there are several dozens haunts in the area that cater to a "family friendly" consumer. We are one of the only around that go for the old school, in your face approach. It sets us apart from the crowd and gives us our unique customer base who are looking for the thrill that comes from being terrorized.

The few that we lose to the "extreme" experience ultimately translates into more customers in the long run knowing they can't go anywhere else for our type of haunted house.

We hear all the time that we went to this haunt or that haunt and it was very pretty or well designed but it had no scare factor at all. When it comes down to it, I believe that most haunt visitors while wanting to be entertained also want the biggest scare for their buck as well.

Just my 2 cents,

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

mindtumor
11-02-2006, 11:06 AM
Smacky,

I understand your point but we have found that many who chicken out will still come back the next year to try again. If nothing else to prove that they can do it. Some even come back the same year, so now they have paid twice.

Also, it is great word of mouth for people who are looking for a very scary show. Just imagine the talk around the water cooler when the chicken tells everyone at the office that they were too scared to make it all the way through the haunt. Or even better when the friends the chicken came with tell their friends how the guy the went with last night could not even make it past the first room.

We have had a lot of people not make it through the entire haunt the last four years since we opened. Yet every year except one, our numbers have increased. So, our very intense type of show seems to attract more customers rather than lose them.

I look at it like this, there are several dozens haunts in the area that cater to a "family friendly" consumer. We are one of the only around that go for the old school, in your face approach. It sets us apart from the crowd and gives us our unique customer base who are looking for the thrill that comes from being terrorized.

The few that we lose to the "extreme" experience ultimately translates into more customers in the long run knowing they can't go anywhere else for our type of haunted house.

We hear all the time that we went to this haunt or that haunt and it was very pretty or well designed but it had no scare factor at all. When it comes down to it, I believe that most haunt visitors while wanting to be entertained also want the biggest scare for their buck as well.

Just my 2 cents,

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

I agree with you, I also believe that people will come to your event just to see what was so scary that people couldn't make it through. I also believe that some people that couldn't make it through the first time will try to challenge themselves to see if they can make it through the second or third time. I know most people don't enjoy soiling themselves but I have heard some people laugh at the fact that they soiled themselves at a haunt and considered it a good haunt because they were scared so much the soiled themselves. And besides for every person that says it was too scary for them to make it through you get probably get 2 or 3 that WILL now come out to your attraction to see if it really is that scary.

Jim Warfield
11-02-2006, 05:21 PM
This live- haunt-entertainment field is a "nich" business at best compared to other businesses and finding your own customers within this nich is quite an accomplishment whether they are scared 9 yr. olds or college kids or whatever?.......
Whatever "works",...works.

Chris
11-02-2006, 09:10 PM
Smacky,

I understand your point but we have found that many who chicken out will still come back the next year to try again. If nothing else to prove that they can do it. Some even come back the same year, so now they have paid twice.

Also, it is great word of mouth for people who are looking for a very scary show. Just imagine the talk around the water cooler when the chicken tells everyone at the office that they were too scared to make it all the way through the haunt. Or even better when the friends the chicken came with tell their friends how the guy the went with last night could not even make it past the first room.

We have had a lot of people not make it through the entire haunt the last four years since we opened. Yet every year except one, our numbers have increased. So, our very intense type of show seems to attract more customers rather than lose them.

I look at it like this, there are several dozens haunts in the area that cater to a "family friendly" consumer. We are one of the only around that go for the old school, in your face approach. It sets us apart from the crowd and gives us our unique customer base who are looking for the thrill that comes from being terrorized.

The few that we lose to the "extreme" experience ultimately translates into more customers in the long run knowing they can't go anywhere else for our type of haunted house.

We hear all the time that we went to this haunt or that haunt and it was very pretty or well designed but it had no scare factor at all. When it comes down to it, I believe that most haunt visitors while wanting to be entertained also want the biggest scare for their buck as well.

Just my 2 cents,

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

Don't get me wrong Howie, I am not being critical at all. I was only pointing out the obvious paradox and using your numbers as an example. Haunted Houses are probably the only business in which dramatically exceeding customer expectations risks losing their business. No one ever says, "Disneyland was way too fun, I'm never going back there!" or "This Lobster tail is too big; I want a tiny shriveled up one!"

I will say this though. I think we both have met MANY people, even adults, who were so terrified by a past haunted house experience that they will never (or rarely) try one again -- even years later.

But what's the solution? Obviously the intensity level cannot be lowered to match the desires of the overly sensitive, or not if you want to stay in business.

Xeverity
11-03-2006, 04:38 AM
Last year I had a whopping 25%-30% not make it through but it was due to chav-baby-pram-teenage girls and their latest fling bringing toddlers in past family times... After 8pm it is for adults (13+) but not strictly enforced....

they had to make a hastey exit when the kids would start wailing!!

But with with young mothers as young as 12 themselves and their spotty boyfriends who look like 13 it is easy to see why they make these decisions... ;-0

But this year - the crowd was normal - more middle class /older and everyone bar 4 or 5 didn't make it through...

we also had a lot more families during the day and really nice customers!! No problems at all during the day or night!

However another bigger but not as good haunt about 15 miles away had three 13 year olds carrying knives, an actor punched in the face, and about 4 fights per evening (in the ques) - several props and sets destroyed... sounds like the chavs went some where else ... ;-)

I couldn't be happier

Jim Warfield
11-03-2006, 07:03 AM
An old mystery may have been figured out here.
I'm open almost every night of the year and I am the one leading customers through the house , the only one during the off-season, any month except Oct. the end of Sept. and the first few weeks in Nov.
I have some excellant helpers here in-season but they can't get away with doing everything that I normally do during a tour because when I am doing the entire show the customers sort of get to know what kind of person I am and possibly do not over-react to some of the things I normally do, in a physical way, whereas my helpers are only seen and heard for a very short time during the tour so they don't have the same trust or knowledge of them, thereby aggressive reactions sometimes are forthcoming from the customer that I do not see ever coming my direction.

If you need customers to behave better :

1) Just say , "NO!" to Drunks (No admittance)
2)Invest in video cameras
3)Have customers go through in small groups
4) Make it a guided tour, one guide leading and one following
5) Have your haunt a little more well lit than more dark
6) Be as human, nice, civil to the customers as you can be , at least most of the time. This can have an extra advantage of setting them up for the scare.

Greg Chrise
11-03-2006, 11:30 PM
I just imagined the front room routine being the viewing of Gone with the Wind, the full 4 hour version with no pee breaks. Please Mister let us out of here! No this is the best part!

Jim Warfield
11-04-2006, 08:51 AM
Controlling another person's bladder , yet promising them relief "soon", yet continuing, is one of the tricks cults start out doing to get that old mind-control going.
Yep! Read that years ago.
I think I might have also heard that "Gone With The Wind" was one of A. Hitler's favorite movies?
Can't you just imagine the urine turning into sweat and popping out the pores as nobody wanted to get up in the middle of that movie and anger Adolf.

Empressnightshade
11-04-2006, 09:55 AM
I've read for years where haunts have bragged, "We lost a HUGE percentage of people through the emergency exit" or "Our floors had to be mopped constantly." Reading this, I thought these haunts must have been killer "over the top" haunted houses - a level I probably would never reach.

Well.....

This year, a woman fainted on us. It was due to her eyes rolling in her head that it all came clear to me.
It is NOT necessarily the haunt itself, but the CUSTOMER! This woman did not want to go in. Her friends begged her. She said, "I always pee on myself in things like this. I can't handle it!" She was right.
Did we loose people in the exits? Yup. Did people pee on themselves? Righty-O. Did people including adults cry? Check-a-rooney.

BUT...

We also had children go through and run out laughing. We had adults who went through, jumped in their cars, went home, grabbed their children and brought them to go through, as well. THIS is the way we desire our customers to leave. I find them to be our trophies and our reason for bragging. Not the ones who met with a tragic haunted experience.

I only know of one time customers said they would not come back and that was from a girl who bags my groceries. She brought two of her friends (The Soda Guy and Deli Gal) who also happen to work at the store I've been shopping at for over five years. It was their first time ever going through a haunt and all at the tender ages of 18 - 20. It normally takes me 90 seconds to tell the story to the group, ring the dinner bell and send them on their way. It took this group FIFTEEN MINUTES!! I coudn't get them outta there. They kept screaming at every little wind that blew through the curtains - at every little sound. I finally had to promise them that I would follow in order for them to continue. Thank goodness they were the last group. It was ridiculous! I had to keep my hands out in front to protect myself from them injuring me. When it was finally over, this is how they looked:

The Bagger: on her hands and knees on the cold, cold concrete. She stayed there for quite awhile trying to collect herself since she was the one driving.

The Soda Guy: Eyes as big as quarters. He wouldn't speak and that's when I noticed something....he was having an asthma attack! Big dummy! We warned them of fog machines and such before they went in, but he went anyway. When I asked him about it, he pulled his inhaler out and got to pumping.

The Deli Gal: Bent over catching her breathe, BUT laughing. She was the only one who truly enjoyed herself.

I doubt we will ever see The Bagger and Soda Guy here again. Of course, I'll see them at the store. I just hope the bagger doesn't squeeze my bread....on purpose. :wink:

Xeverity
11-08-2006, 10:15 AM
It is true for us as well.

I one of my early postings I did a poll "How far do you go?" because previous years we got so few people completing it and yet by "certain standards that cannot be named" it is so tame.

The 3 year old next door went through the first year and came out laughing but grown men were crying!!

We don't have anything viseral - the clown was doing 'snakes in a can'. However content only plays a very small part.

What got the biggest reaction and laughs was a personification of well known UK figure 'P'. But we are in the entertainment industry and because of S-------- I---- and P---- & J--- it is what the public here expects.

After reading this forum for awhile I can see that there are some fundamental differences in approach.

Greg Chrise
11-08-2006, 03:53 PM
I would like to buy a vowel. Is it Peanut Butter and Jelly?