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drfrightner
12-05-2008, 01:51 AM
Who uses them?

Snakes, rats, anything?

We are considering building a new room in the Darkness where real rats can crawl around in the walls.

Larry

scareshack
12-05-2008, 05:05 AM
We are considering building a new room in the Darkness where real rats can crawl around in the walls.

Larry

That sure would be creepy seeing live rats moving through the walls.
Very awesome idea!!!! Look forward to seeing it if you do it.

REDRUM
12-05-2008, 05:21 AM
Larry,

We feature over 400 live tarantulas from around the world, several live snakes (one is 17 feet long) and lizards at our show.

The guests really enjoy them year after year.

In this thread there is there is an ongoing disscussion about live animals. http://www.hauntworld.com/haunted_house_forums/showthread.php?t=6778

I have some great contacts for animals if you need any give me a ring, Patti has my number.

graystone
12-05-2008, 06:12 AM
Many of you know I have owned and raised exotic animals for 20 years. I have used tigers in my haunt before. I don't recommend going out and buying one. First off its illegal and second it takes years of training. But you asked and I told you. Shane and its Lions, Tigers and Bears for real Shane this time!!

Howie Slobber Erlich
12-05-2008, 08:05 AM
I did the rat thing a few years ago. One thing to keep in mind. Rats do not act on command. Sometimes they just lay there and sleep. In fact a lot of the time. We tried everything to get them to move around a bit more. We tried adjusting quantity of food, type of food, temperature and lighting. Nothing really sparked them to move around a lot. Most customers thought they were fake. I even tried offering the rats nightly cash bonuses. LOL! The fact is, at least in my experience, live rats are not very affective in a haunt. You have to constantly clean their cages or the smell will knock you out. Also, if they get too stressed out, they die. I think you will end up very disappointed using live rats.

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

UndeadProd
12-05-2008, 09:32 AM
We worked with the first USS Nightmare when it was docked in Pittsburgh in 1998, and they used younger rats who were a little more active -- but also grew quite large by end of the run.

As Howie said, they do require someone who can really be compassionate and attentive to them ... cause they won't act on command but they will occasionally fight, f**k, and eat each other.

The cages will need regular cleaning. I remember the smell in the "rat area" by month's end was quite impressive, particularly for the poor girl inside the room with them.

Having said all that, people certainly seemed to love it (Universal's "Rat Lady" has been a popular fixture of their event every year) - it just requires some extra planning and TLC.

Nightgore
12-05-2008, 09:40 AM
Yeah, USS Nightmare uses the rats and has a snake room with air/ankle blasters for scares! Ugh... I freakin' hate snakes!

I think 13th Gate also uses live snakes.... I've heard that with snakes, if you keep them fed and FULL... they are VERY calm and well, "friendly"? IDK... -Tyler

SomeThingInTheIce
12-05-2008, 11:16 AM
Every year Halloween Horror Nights uses the RAT LADY, they put into diffrent things with rats, it's cool. I saw once that she had little tiny snacks that she would put in her hand or sit on her chest so the rats would move to were the snack was. She does it every year , I think the rats are hers so she spends a lot of time with them.

Speculo
12-05-2008, 04:04 PM
A few years ago I wrote a story for Hauntworld called WHEN HAUNTS GO WILD! It was about some over the top crazy things some haunts have done. One section was all about animals, including RATS!

If you want to know how one haunt owner (who shall remain nameless) motivated his rats, dig into your ancient haunt magazine stack and learn the awful TRUTH!

Good Luck!

jason
12-05-2008, 04:10 PM
A few years ago I wrote a story for Hauntworld called WHEN HAUNTS GO WILD! It was about some over the top crazy things some haunts have done. One section was all about animals, including RATS!

If you want to know how one haunt owner (who shall remain nameless) motivated his rats, dig into your ancient haunt magazine stack and learn the awful TRUTH!

Good Luck!

for those who do not thave that particular magazine; is there anyway to paste he article ben?

umm tyler, the ussn did not ankel tickelers where the snakes are. something tells me you went on a day when a real sanke was loose.

Nightgore
12-05-2008, 04:46 PM
J,

Was it the snakes or the rats that had them? I do remember them! hahaha... -Tyler

jason
12-05-2008, 05:13 PM
tyler, there is an air blaster in the rat lady's room.

shawnc
12-05-2008, 06:21 PM
I wouldn't us real rats. You just know some of them are going to get loose and start chewing on expensive things you would rather they didn't chew on. I would bet that with the new construction you already have quite a few rats running around that you don't know about.

Speculo
12-05-2008, 08:18 PM
Took me a moment but I found it....

Enjoy!



WHEN HAUNTS GO WILD!
Ben Armstrong

Some people are just crazy! And some of these crazy people work in haunted houses! How do I know this? Over the years I have built some haunts, been to dozens and heard tales of hundreds. I love hearing about haunted events, and while interesting marketing plans, clever concession ideas and the latest make-up tips get my attention, nothing grabs you more than the stories of really crazy haunted houses. When fevered imaginations, motivated crews, and the urge to terrify come together twisted things happen….what follows is a loose narration of just a few of the crazy things that happen when Haunts Go Wild!
Disclaimer: Some stories may have been altered and embellished over the years just like any good urban legend. To protect the innocent (and the guilty!), haunts and individuals will not be named. The tales that follow are not recommended, and in many cases are actively discouraged. Some of the events herein are gross, weird, or just plain dangerous! Some may horrify and offend so beware! If they freak you out too much…tell yourself it’s just a story…no one would do that!

Animal Actors

Quite often animals get into the act at haunted houses…..why should humans have all the fun?

Rat Girl- Years ago a theme park advertised that they were looking for an actor that would lie down in a glass covered coffin filled with live rats! Well they found people to do the job and patrons got to enjoy a bloody actor swarming with rodents. And you thought working with children was bad!
Scare Me! - After the season one owner was taking some rats across the road to be “freed” in a nearby field. Some patrons drove up, unmindful of the November date and demanded to be scared. Without missing a beat the haunter tipped over the plastic container containing the creatures. A moment later he flashed his light on the horde of creatures swarming past the guest’s feet. The hours he spent afterward wrangling the rats back into the box was worth the last and best scare of the season! Note: All the rats he dumped in the field came back and infested his haunted house.

Twitchy Rats - One haunted house built a scene with Plexiglas walls with live rats on both sides of the path. Well the rats were pretty boring so they crushed No-Doze alertness pills and mixed them with Mountain Dew. Every night the rats were fed this tasty concoction and they freaked out…twitching and running amok in the scene! The crazy part was that after the season the rats were sold back to a pet shop. I bet the poor shop owner never realized he was getting caffeine super rats that were also dyed to glow green under a black light!

Hungry Rats - One attraction had rats separated from the guests by a chicken wire cage. Thinking they were fake, someone stuck his finger in and was bitten, and he actually had to be treated for rabies! Apparently the insurance company paid a massive settlement - I guess the moral is…make sure to have your rats tested for rabies before you put them in chicken wire cages!

Tasty Treats- One haunted house actor grossed out his guests by eating LIVE meal worms off a pizza! I plan to stick with pepperoni.
Horsing Around- Everyone has heard of hayrides that have live horses on the trail, but one large indoor haunted house upped the ante. As guests entered into a western scene they marveled at the lifelike horse props scattered about. Needless to say it was quite a surprise when the props started to gallop! I am guessing they did not need to purchase the “barnyard” smell from Sinister Scents!

Deadly Distractions - Some haunters have kept real snakes and large spiders in containers for guests to gawk at. But the big payoff happens when a fake snake or rubber tarantula is suddenly lowered onto the viewer’s head!

Something Fishy - One haunt owner keeps a pond filled with massive black catfish. All year long he fattens them up, and then puts them in a shallow pool in his Haunted House. Patrons crossing a rickety bridge attract the fish that think it’s feeding time! The writhing black mass of “things” in the water gets quite a reaction, and he doesn’t ever have to worry about their switch mat malfunctioning!

Mechanical Nightmares

What is scarier…an actor in a mask or a car driving at you full speed? You be the judge!

Golf Carts From Hell- One haunter owned a golf course so it seemed like a natural…let guests drive golf carts down a dark trail and have actors jump out and scare them. Apparently the actors were the ones getting scared as teenaged guests played Death Race 2000! I wonder who is worth more points, a killer clown with a rubber chicken or a serial killer with a rubber machete?

The Terror Taurus - Gets ‘em every time! Imagine a pitch black room in a haunt and suddenly a full sized car is driving at you! There were safeties in place. Welded guard rail, the car was chained to a tree outside, and the exhaust was pumped out of the building. But if the driver hit the brakes too late or his seat belt wasn’t tight enough…WHAM !..Cracked windshield! Might have been even more fun with an airbag!

Happened Up North - Not to be out done, one northern haunted house scares guests in the haunted house with a snow mobile!

Buried Alive! - An infamous gag created years ago and recreated by a big name haunt. Crossing a suspension bridge, guests are told they would be buried alive. They are plunged into darkness and sure enough they feel themselves being covered up to their necks! A mechanical rig dumps thousands of plastic balls submerging the guests, and then lets the balls fall away for one mind boggling gag. Captain Kangaroo, eat your heart out!

Lake O’ The Spook House - In a stunning intro scene one haunt had guests ferried across a lake by a cloaked figure. Unfortunately one night the “Lake” burst, flooding thousands of gallons into the dressing rooms and beyond. I think they got it repaired before they opened the next night, but if they hadn’t, a “gone Fishin” sign might have been appropriate!

Corpse-a-pult! - Not to be outdone by the craze of animations throwing bodies toward guests, at least two different haunts decided to go all out. They hurled soft foam bodies ONTO guests! “That’s not going to hit me. That’s not going to hit me….AAAHHGH!” Some have dropped stuffed animals onto people’s heads in total darkness for a similar effect.

Vortex Spin Cycle - One haunted house had a guest fall in the ever popular spinning tunnel and roll around until the operator hit the emergency shut off. Reportedly he smelled “downy fresh” afterward.

Squeaky Clean - Several venues have tried “The Foam Room” a scene filled with soap suds at times almost over the heads of guests! Now if we could combine that with the aforementioned Vortex we might just have something!

Slides of DOOM! - Many haunted houses have thrilled guests with massive slides in the darkness. Multi story spirals, straight pitch black plunges, or even one that starts with you tucked into a bed terrorize their victims time and again. I have heard some owners “wax the slides” or use other methods to make the trip even faster!



PART 2 IS NEXT

Speculo
12-05-2008, 08:20 PM
PART 2

WHEN HAUNTS GO WILD



Intense Haunt Actors
You know the ones…Over the top, hard core, absolutely crazy!

Foxy Lady - At one haunted house I saw a member of the cast made up like a really attractive female approaching guests, befriending them, and getting involved in some major smooching! The scary part came when they found out he was a guy!

Chainsaw Flame Out - Last year a chainsaw operator at an outdoor haunt damaged his saw. Apparently he smacked it on some barrels and a strange fluid started leaking from it. Well since he was in a dark area he pulled out his lighter to see what the fluid was and surprise, surprise… it was gasoline! Once they put him out (no injuries fortunately!) he was even more “fired up” to keep scaring!

That’s Gotta Hurt! - True story…I kid you not! I worked in TV for 18 years. A few years ago during October I was in the offices of our “I-Team” the investigative reporters who use hidden cameras, etc. Anyway one of the investigators told me a story that made me cringe! She said she had been at a party the week before and had heard about a haunted house actor that had been firing blanks from a starter pistol. Apparently he had discharged the pistol in his pants, injuring his “equipment”! She finished up with…“Was that your haunted house?” I denied any knowledge and spent the rest of the season worried about hidden camera invasions of Atlanta haunted houses!

Puke-Zilla - Hardcore actors go pretty far for a gross out sometimes - one chowed down on raw beef bones and lost his lunch earning the above title. Some use real hog guts for scares, and one carried around a bucket he repeatedly fake vomited into, and then drank the contents. It wasn’t long before the act became real. Last year an actor scared a customer so effectively she copiously regurgitated, only to have another customer immediately slip in the puddle and flounder about, essentially bathing in it! Who says haunted houses aren’t lots of fun!

Up, Up and Away! - Many haunts have flying actors on bungees, tracks and zip lines, but one really wins the prize. They had an actor fly over the audience on a zip line swinging a working chainsaw!

Dirty Diapers - One legendary haunted house had actors chasing visitors with dirty underwear filled with melted chocolate! After the success of 13 Ghosts, many actors ran around in dirty diapers offering vile treats and having guests eat baby food. One amazing actor dresses as “Granny” and wears multiple pairs of granny panties. He removes them with great fanfare, offering them to visitors complete with a phone number written on them and copious “skid marks” in place. Another haunt has crazy hicks that chase the crowd with a chamber pot while eating the gooey contents!

What will they put in their mouths next? - I think the guests are crazier than the actors! You can offer them “old dirty butt scabs” (Beef Jerky), rubber worms and “pills” in bottles and they will eat them, sometimes with no hesitation! One door man did his act then pulled a rubber earthworm from his mouth to offer to his patrons. Often they would take it put it in their mouths and return it! Those worms were not “recycled” needless to say!

Say What? - A haunted house is a tough place to hear dialogue sometimes, with all the screaming and carrying on. One audio intro in a science fiction themed haunt warned of the dangerous “Xenomorphs” Apparently more than one puzzled guest asked about the “semen dwarfs” after misunderstanding the word! One haunt actor was having a great time telling folks to beware…“There are maggots about”! His massive fangs made his M’s sound like F’s, and well…some confusion ensued!

Trick or Treat? - One line actor had a great gag… Approaching a group of guests he would brandish a large bag and say “Trick or Treat?” If they picked treat he would slowly produce a piece of candy from the bag…if they said trick he would blast them with a concealed air horn!

Got any spare change? - One haunt in an almost too realistic scene has actors playing homeless guys aggressively panhandling patrons to the haunted house. Apparently many are willing to part with a dollar or three to escape the creepy scene! Homeless characters can be very scary in urban settings especially on slow nights outside the haunted house. One actor uses a shopping cart full of gory surprises to share with his audience.

Interactive Adventures
Guests remember interactive experiences at haunted houses for years, and sometimes the memories (or nightmares) last for a lifetime!

Bottoms up! - I once went to a haunt that admitted adults only. At the bar before you went in they gave you shots to better “enjoy” the experience. Scenes began pretty normal, but by the end there was lots of bare flesh, whips and dripping candle wax! Kind of made me rethink the whole need for a costume room!

Excuse me! - At least one haunt uses areas of absolute darkness with actors in night vision goggles messing with the patrons. But in many pitch black haunts, both actors and guests often have unexpected and sometimes planned “personal” encounters! One haunt reported having to do regular sweeps of its black maze when guests started using it for a “rendezvous” point!

Mutant Ape - One haunted attraction had a mutant ape “puppet” on a boom arm that would “run” up to guests and grab them with pneumatically locking arms. Guests would fight the thing, struggling to escape, and later report to the owner about a tiny actor who got fresh with them!

Let Me Out! - Cages have been used by some haunts to interesting effect: You “capture” a small group in a cage and don’t let them out unless they “do” something. Of course if they demand to be released you let them go…no one wants to be arrested for kidnapping! Common games include making them sing or do other ridiculous actions.

Eaten Alive - The same house with the mutant ape has another amazing gag…A huge dragon like monster that actually eats people! Leverage and soft foam teeth allow a puppeteer to drag guests screaming in to the darkness.

Slimy shake - One Haunt actor got me good in a Chicago haunt. In a morgue scene the doctor wearing slimy wet gloves greeted me warmly and extended his hand. I shook it automatically… feeling the wet nasty rubber glove! The same actor later told me how at another haunt he had pretended to give willing guests “injections” …he had hypos full of ice water he would squirt them with in the soft part of the throat…for a millisecond they were sure a needle had gone into their skin!

The Mark of Evil! - Some actors approach a guest and ask if they want to be marked…many will agree…the guest then has a blotch of blood placed on a forehead or arm. Later other actors will reference the mark as a sign of good or evil…never letting the guest know exactly what it means. I have seen another actor do this asking if guests wanted viruses. He would mark them in various types of UV make-up that would later appear in black light.

Part 3 Next....

Speculo
12-05-2008, 08:21 PM
Part 3 WHEN HAUNTS GO WILD


Crazy Concepts

The Old House a Block from the Bar - This is a twisted place every haunter should experience! Located FAR off the beaten path is a ramshackle house filled with crawls, slides, unexpected scares and weird folk art! It is the home of a wonderfully different performance artist and several “real” ghosts who have been known to help out from time to time. If you think you have seen it all, go here, you won’t be disappointed!

13 Story Haunted House - In recent years a haunted house actually called itself this, playing off the old urban legend. When guests arrived and saw the event, a large tent show in a parking lot, they were still asking about how many levels it had!

Money Back Haunted Houses - Several haunts have tried to use other parts of “the Legend” in their marketing; guests are usually required to find a hidden door or a” golden ticket” to get their money back. Not that it ever happened, but one can imagine a discouraged guest, unable to solve the puzzle and beaten by the haunts clever design, going back to the ticket booth and ironically demanding their money back!

Game Haunted Houses - Based loosely on role playing scenarios, a number of haunts have experimented with a “game” format wherein guests must interact heavily with the cast and solve riddles and puzzles as they navigate the house. Some events have even offered major cash prizes for those who win the game. Sounds like a renaissance festival after dark!

XXX Haunted Houses- Several of these have sprung up over the last few years taunting guests with the promise of “adult “ content to accompany the blood and monsters. I have never heard too much said about the success of these events, but they do tend to gather a lot of publicity, much of it bad, very quickly. If you go, be sure to bring a few extra dollar bills!

Hell Houses - The other side of the spectrum has church run haunts showing ghastly reality skits about drug use, violence and other mortal sins. At the end patrons choose Heaven or Hell as an exit point from the house. I wonder which door this crowd would choose?

Texas Gamer Maker’s House - Stories about this place have been flying around for years. In the 90’s a guy who made a fortune on computer games changed his house every year into a haunt full of wild stuff! Guests crawled, swam, paddled boats, were grabbed by creatures and experienced tons of very realistic scenes. The actors had top notch costumes and make-up augmented with voice units, flying rigs and other cutting edge technologies all aimed at making the experience more amazing. Guests would line up outside the gates for weeks to get in, eager to navigate the manor and solve the interactive puzzles it presented. Rumor has it the owner plans to open his creaking doors once more in the near future…Better start lining up now!

Wild Locations - Haunters put scary events everywhere, in caves, prisons, ships, historic landmarks, forests, old schools, greenhouses, trailers, parking lots, theme parks, breweries, funeral homes, theaters, hospitals, warehouses, meat processing plants and their own backyards. Some people it seems are destined to weave a web of terror much like a spider, in any dark place they can find. It is this desire to create places of fear that links us all together!

Some of these stories are funny, some are crazy, some are dangerous and some are amazing! Call them what you will, they are a testament to the warped creativity that boils to the surface when we seek to scare our fellow man, and what can happen When Haunts Go Wild!

drfrightner
12-06-2008, 01:25 AM
Thanks Ben... I remember that article wasn't that in a Hauntworld Magazine?

LOL

Larry

jason
12-06-2008, 08:31 AM
thank you ben

Jim Warfield
12-06-2008, 09:31 AM
All right you new-bees and wanna bees, remember to do as Ben does, not as the article says...(kind of twisted that old saw around didn't I?)
I have been told numerous stories from my customers over the years of some pretty fantastic stuff happening in haunted houses. I wonder if it often just has something to do with their perceptions and mood and being influenced by the night they were there?
I mean, really, by day my house is just a turquiose and white 1955 camping trailer hooked up to a 1951 Dodge 4-door..but at night people seem to see something else here?
Thanks Ben for not mentioning Mr. Tuxedo's name in the article but then leaving it sort of anonymous it would have all the possibilitys of being made into a haunting board game.
The ancient computer game called "Maniac Mansion" (which I had never even heard of before I met my Wife Jessica), seems to have alot in common with one of those places that you mentioned.
"The names have been changed to protect...the gulity!" hahahah!

hsmag
12-08-2008, 02:56 AM
My advice on this subject is DON'T DO IT! Or if you do do it, make sure that the animals are well contained. 4 years ago I worked at an outdoor attraction and they had an area with rats. Guests would weave in and out of a maze made up of wood/steel mesh cages filled with rats (Think back to the "bug boxes" you would make as a kid out of wood and screen material. That's what they looked like) and the guests would also walk past a plexiglass box that had a girl inside with live rats.

The rats kept biting the girl and causing all kinds of problems and the lock on one of the mesh cages came undone (I don't know if a guest unlocked it or if it wasn't secured right to begin with and just came undone). Pretty soon the rats were able to push the door to the cage open and were escaping.

I've heard stories of one woman going through who actually stepped on one of them accidentally. I can't confirm this, but what I can confirm is when I had to pick the rats up and get them back in their cages and one of the ones that had escaped was running loose in the park. I was crouched down, hiding for the next group when it scurried by me.

Needless to say that was the last time the haunt ever used live rats.

I don't like them nor do think they are sanitary. Perhaps if done right it wouldn't be such a problem but thats my experience as an actor having to deal with live rats.

(WOW! My first post on a haunt forum in over a year!)

JamBam
12-08-2008, 07:46 AM
I talked to a guy from somewhere in the deep south that I cannot recall who it was. He said they bought 1000 snakes and dumped them in a room. The people had to walk through them to continue stepping on them and such.

They lost half to being stepped on, and the other half escaped by the end of the month. The next year and each year since, they have not let loose any snakes, but the reputation continues.

They now have a character simply lift two handfuls of snakes from two buckets, and the customers still expect snakes on the floors.

We are looking into some live snakes and animated ratsvfor next year.

Jim Warfield
12-08-2008, 11:38 AM
Yesterday my brother told me about a house around here somewhere that has quite a population of Bullsnakes living behind the basement walls.
The guy living there took a woman friend of my Brother's down to the basement to watch the snakes when they wake up.
Numerous slow-moving large snakes came slowly out from the seams between the rocks, sticking out into the air quite some distance, exploring the air, moving from side to side.....sounds like the ones in my head!
Watch my ear holes very carefully..........Don't touch my Zipper!

Dr. Giggles
12-08-2008, 12:04 PM
I have an old rattle snake ((THe fangs have been cut out since he was a youngling)) whos very docile. Well he is around me he still has his rattle and everything. Scares the bajesus out of all the neighborhood kids because when im do the lawn work ((Which is very often, im a perfectionist when it comes to my front and back lawn, there....now you all know my weakness. GAH GARDENING!)) I always keep him around my shoulders or sometimes he would just slither down, and his and rattle at the kids. He has never bitten anyone. Until i got him (His name is Monty by the way...i know its corny but my girlfriend named him) he was an angry little bugger but i just let him bite the hell out of me (Knowing full well that he wouldnt kill me because of lack of fangs and venom saclike things, but i kept the countermeasures in place just in case) and he got sick of biting people after almost a week of straight biting me. So now he just slithers around my condo, and chills with me. Sometimes i take him into the haunt, it works great. People are like "Dont worry the snake is fake!" and Monty almost on cue raises his head and starts to rattle and his at them. They usually freak out. But yeah if the proper measures are in place animals can be a great scare...wouldnt recomend rats though they are untameable and can carry diseases and all that. However i wouldnt recomend snakes either, maybe one or two. I use one but i have a bond with mine, i know it sounds crazy but 8 years together we became pretty close buds. Hahahaha

Jim Warfield
12-08-2008, 02:49 PM
Sent me an e-mail telling me he has a trained human. Monte does get nervous sometimes hearing the news, watching the History Channel seeing all those absolutely terrible, crazed things humans are capable of doing to everyone and everything.
For now Monte will just keep pretending like he totally trusts you just to stay on your good side, you "human", you!
(Your fangs get removed next week, he hopes you can handle it, nobody will touch your poison sack, don't worry about that.)

Dusti
01-24-2009, 12:58 AM
Scare Me! - After the season one owner was taking some rats across the road to be “freed” in a nearby field. Some patrons drove up, unmindful of the November date and demanded to be scared. Without missing a beat the haunter tipped over the plastic container containing the creatures. A moment later he flashed his light on the horde of creatures swarming past the guest’s feet. The hours he spent afterward wrangling the rats back into the box was worth the last and best scare of the season! Note: All the rats he dumped in the field came back and infested his haunted house.

Twitchy Rats - One haunted house built a scene with Plexiglas walls with live rats on both sides of the path. Well the rats were pretty boring so they crushed No-Doze alertness pills and mixed them with Mountain Dew. Every night the rats were fed this tasty concoction and they freaked out…twitching and running amok in the scene! The crazy part was that after the season the rats were sold back to a pet shop. I bet the poor shop owner never realized he was getting caffeine super rats that were also dyed to glow green under a black light!

Hungry Rats - One attraction had rats separated from the guests by a chicken wire cage. Thinking they were fake, someone stuck his finger in and was bitten, and he actually had to be treated for rabies! Apparently the insurance company paid a massive settlement - I guess the moral is…make sure to have your rats tested for rabies before you put them in chicken wire cages!

Oh, Ben..I really really hope these are exaggerated stories.

Releasing rats is bad for the rats, the neighborhood, and the reputation of the haunt.
Drugging rats to cause crazy behavior is inhumane.
Having a public enclosure that allows people to get that close to the critters inside is just trouble waiting to happen. Not to mention the very real possibility of having customers with allergies, asthma, etc have a health issue with those live animals.

Considering that, for the most part, people don't get a good look at what the scare actually is, using live animals seems to me more trouble than it's worth. There's cleaning, feeding, health care...are you getting the most bang for your buck?

The few times I've seen rats used in haunts, their enclosures were almost always disgusting - the one exception was Spooky World Foxboro - or there weren't enough animals in the cage for the patrons to really be able to tell there was anything alive in there.

I worked for an attraction that had a 'rat hallway' - pitch black, with plastic piping coming off the walls to simulate rat tails, and a recording of rodent noises playing overhead. It was a consistently effective scare...much more than any live animal display I've ever seen, and obviously more cost effective as well.

Larry, I've no idea if you're still considering using animals, but I (obviously) don't recommend it.

Aren't fire and safety inspections enough to deal with? Why invite trouble and hassle by bringing animals into the mix?

Jim Warfield
01-24-2009, 07:17 AM
Eventually right through almost anything, even concrete sometimes I have heard. (weak mix?)
I think after today's headline everyone will be booking that car thief who turned into a goat, but the cops in Nigeria caught him anyway!
Turning into a goat is not smart since they could probably execute a goat with less legal work (if any) than a human....
Several people in Mount Carroll have turned into goats, old goats, it took them years but they got there!

mindtumor
01-24-2009, 12:21 PM
I don't much care for live animals in haunts at all. I don't really find it scary just annoying. Plus I think I read a story about one haunt who had some real tarantulas escape and they had to shut the haunt down to find them.

Jim Warfield
01-24-2009, 08:30 PM
But it seemed to me that some of my employees snuck critters in here, mostly ants in their pants!
(Their Uncles had carbunkels)