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Empressnightshade
01-24-2007, 09:52 PM
I'm addressing the following questions mostly to the head honchos of our industry (Larry, Ben, Kel, Ken, Jim and more).

Do you post Warmings and Disclaimers for your customers? Things like "The Following should not enter: Expectant Mothers, Heart patients, etc." Do you also post rules?

If so, how?

I'm asking because we have always read our warnings and rules, but it seems so unprofessional and "home haunt"ish. It also takes up a lot of time.

Please share....

Speculo
01-24-2007, 11:01 PM
All you can do is the best you can do. We put out signs of warnings and rules in several areas. Warnings are best as signage displayed where tickets are sold, rules before they enter the event. We have also used videos and audio tracks to tell them. The best way to do it is to cause a group to totally focus on a human or video that tells it clearly. But the simple reality is that most people know what they should do, and the trouble causing types won't listen no matter how many times you tell them.

Be as clear and as short with what is most important in my opinion, don't drag it on and lose their attention. They are focused on what is behind the door, and want to get in, and not be talked to.

Crowds in various cities and locations are so different you should just evolve your presentation to the method that best suits your event.

IMO the most important rules "Don't touch anyone or anything and NO SMOKING!"


Thanks

Ben Armstrong
NETHERWORLD

Jim Warfield
01-25-2007, 01:10 AM
My homemade front roomvideo used to say "No smoking, it's very hazardous when you go passed the naplam exhibit."
A lawyer might say I'm wrong, but I think inserting a little humour and goofiness in the presentation keeps their attention on the speaker, and the strangeness of it engages the mind.
I read certain statements as a video camera records the customers hearing it. It is all ready printed on the sticker ticket they are all wearing that I have the right to video tape their image and possibly use it later as I see fit to do.
The first year I had the video recording I caught a guy stealing little trinkets from me. He was going to sue me!? "Because I punched him!?"
I got the Policeman there to hear his story, gave him a chance to recant, he stood by his story, then I had the distinct pleasure of telling him that everything that had happened in that room was on video tape! His mouth dropped open, I said , "Take him away , Officer."
The district attorney got a copy of the tape the next morning, he paid a fine, spent the night in jail.
The monitor for the surveilence camera is right there in the same room, how this guy could have possibly missed it is beyond me? He must have been concentrating way too much on his thievery to notice.
I never punched him, of course, I never physically or verbally threatened him, all of it was total fiction on his part.
The camera said so too.
I think it paid for itself in that one night.
We are looking to buy a dvr unit that records about a week's worth on disc, I'm swimming in tapes here!

ClusterOne
01-25-2007, 02:49 AM
Hey Gwen,
As you know, I am by no means a 'head honcho', but I agree with you. We have never read off any of our rules, we just mention the sign, tell people to read it... Most people know what they are getting into it seems, and the ones with concerns have always asked if we are serious about our rules.

I have to say that when we visited your haunt last year, and you read us the rules, it took me a bit by surprise. I had not had any other haunts do this. You did a great job, and your 'fast food' line still makes me smile...but it was a bit long, and to us it came across like you were trying to cover your butt.

Please don't take that the wrong way, you know Scream Extreme is my fav Sacto haunt! Well besides mine :wink: !!

I look forward to checking out your new Klown theme, now if you could just get away for 30 minutes one night and check us out...oh well, maybe this time!?!?

MDKing
01-25-2007, 07:37 AM
We also post signs at the ticket window and sometimes have recordngs at entrance.

Allan

Jim Warfield
01-25-2007, 08:23 AM
Not everyone atending your haunt is able to read English, I bet.
We are not exactly an international stop over here but I still get plenty of people who are from other lands.

Ken Spriggs
01-25-2007, 08:47 AM
I am not a honcho BUT....

We have signs posted EVERYWHERE prior to them going through.
We have a video (that needs to be redone) that says don't do this don't do that...or you will be escorted out blah blah blah

Emp I will show you next month......

01-25-2007, 08:54 AM
We also post warning/rules signs at our ticket booth. Plus a few down our queue line and another right before they enter the haunt. Our ticket taker who is also one of our security people gives them a summary of all the most important rules one last time before they enter. Some years if we haven't sold the back of our tickets to a sponsor we will also print them there. That way, they have plenty of time to read them while waiting to get in. Finally, of course they are posted on our web site as well.

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

Raycliff Manor
01-25-2007, 09:03 AM
O.K., so I am the furhtest from a head honcho of all, but I'll be hapy to answer. :wink: We have signs on the ticket window, on the door as they enter the lobby, on the ticket taker's podium and on the entrance to the haunt. We also have music playing in the lobby, which includes brief interruptions of various character voices telling the house rules. When the patrons enter the haunt, our introduction character reminds them of the rules and asks if they understand the rules. It sounds like overkill, but it's pulled off in a preofessional, yet entertaining way. The reality is, after having a woman actor get her jaw broken by a patron our first year, I'm going to err on the side of caution. We have a zero tolerance policy. If someone strikes an actor with obvious intent to do harm, security is immediately called and the individual is escorted out. In addition to this, the actor is given the opportunity to press charges. We leave the option up to them. It's nice to have police officers on hand.

We conduct extensive actor training and reinforce over and over again, the importance of safety and effectively scaring while keeping ones self out of harms way. We also make sure the actors understand the difference between intent to do harm and an accidental reaction. We don't need "code red" being screamed every time someone accidentally slaps someones hand or arm, if you know what I mean. Anyway, I hope that helps out! :wink:

Kel

PS. If you can have a strong security presence before the patrons ever enter the haunt, it's a great deterent to trouble makers! :) It's also important that your security understand that there's a difference between a presence and intimidation. :wink:

Raycliff Manor
01-25-2007, 09:09 AM
Emp, I agree with Ben. The two most important are the two items that address personal safety, No Smoking and No Touching. I pasted a copy of our sign below. Feel free to copy, edit and use what you like! :wink:

Eureka Screams!TM
Raycliff Manor House Rules

Please be reminded of the rules at the Raycliff Manor Haunted House to ensure everyone’s good time and safety. These rules are strictly enforced by uniformed and plain clothed police in the attraction and by monitoring night vision cameras.

•Please do not touch or talk to any spooks or operators unless the scene calls for it. No scene will call for touching ANYONE.

•Do not touch any props or scenes in the attraction. Night vision cameras assure our spooks and operator’s safety as well as the safety of our props and scenes.

•Upon purchasing or receiving your ticket to Raycliff Manor, you waive all responsibility on the part of Eureka Screams!, or any of its agents in the event of injury or loss. Raycliff Manor Haunted House is not responsible for lost or stolen property. Please secure any loose articles that could be lost in the attraction as we will not be able to look for the item until the next day. Patrons assume all of the risks involved with any activity of this type including, but not limited to, inadvertent contact, rowdiness on your part as well as other patrons, etc.

•No flashlights, lighters, or flash photography is permitted inside the Raycliff Manor Haunted House. Our intent is to scare you and we do not wish to have the quality of the scares in our show inhibited.

•Smoking and Alcohol is not allowed at the
Raycliff Manor Haunted House.

Empressnightshade
01-25-2007, 09:41 AM
You did a great job, and your 'fast food' line still makes me smile...but it was a bit long, and to us it came across like you were trying to cover your butt.

I was a bit long winded and I had had it up to my eyeballs having to read them. I had thought to myself several times "This CAN'T be the way the head honchos handle this." BUT, believe it or not, people really enjoyed them. I tried to make them entertaining.

However, I was not reading the rules to cover my butt. We have insurance every year and when you do, you tend to relax a bit. No, the rules are read because I honestly do not want anyone to hurt themselves or my staff. Not so I can come back later to someone who was injured and say "I told you so...."

For instance, last season, an eight month old pregnant woman tried to go through. She was in the back of the crowd at the time and I couldn't see her. Her husband had bought her the ticket so the ticket booth didn't see her either. When I got to the part about expectant mothers, she stepped out from the crowd and showed her tummy. Her and her husband both said they thought she shouldn't go, but where gonna take a chance. We quickly refunded her money.

The same situation with a young man who has asthma. He went through anyway ingnoring our warning about respiratory illnesses. He came out frantic and wheezing. Thank goodness he had his inhaler with him. The thing is: People are going to do what they want to do regardless to what you say or post.

There's quite a few things all of you have said that is VERY important. Thank you for that!

You wrote you have signs posted. How do these signs look? Are they printed on cardboard, wood, paper? How large are they?

Some of you wrote your rules are also recorded and played to the public. In 2005, we had a guy record our rules in a British accent. I created eleven CDs with all sorts of music and he comes on with the rules between songs. I really like how it turned out, but did not get around to setting up the speakers to have it play this last season. After some of your responses, we will make it a practice to always use those CDs.

BTW, I'll try to make it to your haunt this year, Joel. :) But, I can't promise. When you were there, I'm sure you saw that I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. In fact, the night I had set aside to visit your haunt and a few others, I had to be a monster. (several actors flaked on us) Hopefully, with the new design and more animatronics, that certain situation will not arise again.

Please keep your suggestions on Posting Warnings and Disclaimers coming.....

Nightgore
01-25-2007, 10:08 AM
Gwen,
Here are some links that I hope can help you out:

http://www.oakislandproductions.com/products.php?pid=268

http://www.oakislandproductions.com/products.php?cid=4&page=3

Take Care,
Tyler

SpFXChic
01-25-2007, 10:33 AM
We have signs posted on the two towers before they even reach our ticket booth. Then, they are posted on the cashier's cage, at the back and the front of the queue line and finally, our ticket taker goes through the most pertinent ones before they are let in. As we have been outdoors (in a tent) for the last few years, we had them professionally printed on a heavy card stock and then laminated to seal them. They've held up surprisingly well and have not smudged, streaked, etc. We just roll them up to store them so they don't get wrinkled or dented too badly.

My most important thought on this is to make sure that your signage is lit properly. It's pretty pointless to have rules, warnings, etc., in a dark or dimly lit area. (Hey, I've seen it happen on more than one occasion.)

SSP
01-25-2007, 10:49 AM
As everyone seems to agree on, no matter what you do people will still do what they wish, but my question is even though you post the signs, read the warnings, scan the crowds, what amount of liability do you still have if and when something happens?

Empress, what if you didn't catch that pregnant lady and something happened? What if someone with epilepsy did not see the sign about strobe lights in use? What if there was a heart attack, even though there was a warning about heart conditions? In todays world, is there ever a point when you've successfully "covered your butt"?

Davey J
01-25-2007, 11:50 AM
As a park operator, my preference would be to post a well-worded sign at the entrance to the attraction(s). Keep it as simple and clear as possible, and make sure it's prominently visible. Since I'm after throughput (a conga-line doesn't bother me), I'd rather not stop the flow to verbally explain the rules to each group of 10 that comes through.

One thing that anybody can do to help "cover their butt" is to take photos of every informational and warning sign that you have posted. Take a wide shot to give context so it's clear where it was posted, then take a close-up shot so that the wording on the sign is clear. Do this before you open for the season. Organize the photos, document the date the photos were taken, and create a "sign book" for that season. That way, if anyone comes back to you a year or two after an incident, you'll at least be able to prove the presence of warning signs.

GhoulKraft
01-25-2007, 12:02 PM
Can't you just ask the question with out stroking someones ego? There are plenty of big haunters out there that don't need to pay homage to the "honchos". Have some self respect please. Thank you.

Empressnightshade
01-25-2007, 12:56 PM
Can't you just ask the question with out stroking someones ego? There are plenty of big haunters out there that don't need to pay homage to the "honchos". Have some self respect please. Thank you.

Awwwwwww.....
Didn't mean to hurt your itty - bitty feelings. :roll: GROW UP!
The reason I wrote "Head Honchos" is because they have the experience and the knowledge. If you have something constructive to say on the subject, by all means jump in there and do so. Otherwise, take your sensitive a$$ somewhere else!!!

ClusterOne
01-25-2007, 02:22 PM
Can't you just ask the question with out stroking someones ego? There are plenty of big haunters out there that don't need to pay homage to the "honchos". Have some self respect please. Thank you.

Wow, nice way to introduce yourself to the group! :roll:

Gwen is by far one of the nicest people in this industry, a lot of people will rally behind her..and I'm guessing not so much you.

Why don't you try that again...

Ken Spriggs
01-25-2007, 03:24 PM
Your right.....many of the people that are put on pedastals in this industry.....should not be, BUT it isn't for you to decide.

If Emp wants to think of the people mentioned as honchos....she can.
Doesn't matter what you or anyone else can say.

Jim Warfield
01-25-2007, 05:33 PM
Statues are placed upon pedestals so people can admire them better, but so can the pigeons!
I think that as varied as this haunted field is, that nobody can possibly know it all or be right about everything they think they know, but I also think that 99% of the people doing this are really trying and doing the best that they can 99% of the time. (Why wouldn't we?)
I know that I sure don't know everything and I'm not right all the time about anything, but I hope most think that I am trying to inform or help or even entertain people who have questions or problems .
I'm not sure that "Mom always liked me best", but we should all still be trying to deserve being highly reguarded for ourselves and our talents, knowledge.......... shortcomings overlooked, mostly.

Empressnightshade
01-25-2007, 06:30 PM
In keeping with the thread and the reason that I began it, I took some of the advice given here and went to a site where you can custom make your own signs.

I liked how they turned out and plan on ordering several to be posted on the haunt premises.

On average, how many total do you have posted?

Ken Spriggs
01-25-2007, 07:27 PM
I think we have about 10 sets....3 by the front door....4 by the ticket booth....3 by the entrance....then the video

It works for us

Empressnightshade
01-25-2007, 08:05 PM
Can't wait to see them in person, Ken! :D

Nightgore
01-25-2007, 08:11 PM
^ Me either... LOL! Actually, I can't wait to see the whole haunt, it'll be my first time! -Tyler

GhoulKraft
01-26-2007, 03:42 PM
Can't you just ask the question with out stroking someones ego? There are plenty of big haunters out there that don't need to pay homage to the "honchos". Have some self respect please. Thank you.

Awwwwwww.....
Didn't mean to hurt your itty - bitty feelings. :roll: GROW UP!
The reason I wrote "Head Honchos" is because they have the experience and the knowledge. If you have something constructive to say on the subject, by all means jump in there and do so. Otherwise, take your sensitive a$$ somewhere else!!!

My feelings are fine but, anyway, your question could be answered by anyone from a decent yard haunt to an amusement park. Its as simple as that. The "honchos" have no more or better info than you or I. Everyone here has different demographics to deal with. Just for curiousity, why did you feel the need to open with that disclaimer anyway? Is there some sort of royalty running the haunt industry I am not aware of? I am tempted to tell you to grow up. Thank you!

SSP
01-26-2007, 04:18 PM
GhoulKraft, I believe you are missing the point, to ask for the big names in the industry about their disclaimer policy is to get just that, large traffic attractions, not yard haunts, not home haunts. Look at some of the people who have posted, some people who I would consider big names denied claiming the "honcho" title, it's all a matter of opinion. Empress was simply being respectful and also taking the term "honcho" lightly. It wasn't to insult anyone like me or you, and it wasn't to boost anyones ego, it was simply to address those with much larger scale haunted attractions in a more friendly way.

Odviously you took some offense to a word like "honcho", and this is a professional enviornment here, so public assaulting you should keep to yourself. As Empress said, if you have anything constructive to say, say it towards the topic. If not, don't post.

Side note: A haunt I worked at, the owner knew a guy who did voiceovers for ESPN, some of the major commercials, he did a sound track around 10 minutes long that contained stories and rules that looped again and again.... on top of that we gave the briefing before each group entered, since no one really listened to the recording closely anyway.

Empressnightshade
01-26-2007, 04:30 PM
Just for curiousity, why did you feel the need to open with that disclaimer anyway?
Why do you feel the need to keep harping on something this is already dead?? Why do you care? You obviously do since you chose your first post after being a member here since November 2006 to criticize someone you don't even know. Again, grow up!

I started the thread, you didn't. As I had mentioned before, I wrote "Head honchos" because they are the ones with years and years of experience. I don't know about you, but I would rather someone with that kind of experience be my mentor than someone just starting in the biz. Don't tell me who I can get the information from. You're not me. You don't know what I need and you sure don't know what I desire!

SO, with that said, you get your information from whom you like and I will get it from whomever the heck I desire.

Thank YOU!

GhoulKraft
01-26-2007, 04:34 PM
Just for curiousity, why did you feel the need to open with that disclaimer anyway?
Why do you feel the need to keep harping on something this is already dead?? Why do you care? You obviously do since you chose your first post after being a member here since November 2006 to criticize someone you don't even know. Again, grow up!

I started the thread, you didn't. As I had mentioned before, I wrote "Head honchos" because they are the ones with years and years of experience. I don't know about you, but I would rather someone with that kind of experience be my mentor than someone just starting in the biz. Don't tell me who I can get the information from. You're not me. You don't know what I need and you sure don't know what I desire!

SO, with that said, you get your information from whom you like and I will get it from whomever the heck I desire.

Thank YOU!

I Just think you could be yourself and not worry about titles and who gets their props. Relax.

Empressnightshade
01-26-2007, 04:38 PM
Side note: A haunt I worked at, the owner knew a guy who did voiceovers for ESPN, some of the major commercials, he did a sound track around 10 minutes long that contained stories and rules that looped again and again.... on top of that we gave the briefing before each group entered, since no one really listened to the recording closely anyway.
Okay, so it's looking to me more and more like we should definitely incorporate the Music/Rules we used in 2005 for our 2007 haunt and beyond.
Cool! I'm gonna see if I can download the rules and put a link up.

Empressnightshade
01-26-2007, 04:46 PM
I Just think you could be yourself and not worry about titles and who gets their props. Relax.
See that's the thing.....This IS me. Hang around long enough. You'll find that out. I think you've gotten the wrong impression of me totally. I'm the Founder/Executive Director of a nonprofit for kids with Autism. My haunt, The Scream Extreme, is our fundraising event that supports our field trip program for the kids. I've been haunting for over 30yrs. But, it's mostly been home haunting. Going pro in 2005 was a HUGE jump for me and I still have a LOT to learn. BUT...from the Pros. I have a home haunter's mentality - I already know what they think and do. However, if The Scream Extreme is going to make it, I've got to get my info from the Pros to bring my level of thinking and standards up to their level. I'm not ashamed of that. That's why I am here.

SSP
01-26-2007, 04:48 PM
Okay, so it's looking to me more and more like we should definitely incorporate the Music/Rules we used in 2005 for our 2007 haunt and beyond.

Well, it was a good idea, but what I meant was that no one listened to it, so we had to have a face to face briefing. Our one mistake was that the recording was longer than most people cared to listen, and to most people it just became background noise. I know this topic is about the signs and warnings and all that, but I think if you wanted to actually have the patrons listen and understand the rules, signs take second place to an actual face to face briefing. And it's always best to have more than one method.

Just thought I'd throw somethin in though I'm not who you are really askin' :oops:

GhoulKraft
01-26-2007, 04:54 PM
I Just think you could be yourself and not worry about titles and who gets their props. Relax.
See that's the thing.....This IS me. Hang around long enough. You'll find that out. I think you've gotten the wrong impression of me totally. I'm the Founder/Executive Director of a nonprofit for kids with Autism. My haunt, The Scream Extreme, is our fundraising event that supports our field trip program for the kids. I've been haunting for over 30yrs. But, it's mostly been home haunting. Going pro in 2005 was a HUGE jump for me and I still have a LOT to learn. BUT...from the Pros. I have a home haunter's mentality - I already know what they think and do. However, if The Scream Extreme is going to make it, I've got to get my info from the Pros to bring my level of thinking and standards up to their level. I'm not ashamed of that. That's why I am here.

Fair enough, but you should be well on your way after 30 years anyway. And kudos for the autism charity. I have been involved with haunting for a while now and never really needed the forum. It doesn't make or break a haunt. I understand those with experience but do not feel the need to exhault them.

Empressnightshade
01-26-2007, 04:58 PM
Just thought I'd throw somethin in though I'm not who you are really askin' :oops:
LOL! TOUCHE'! :lol:

Well, I think with postings, the recording which also dubs as entertainment and reinterating it briefly at the beginning, everyone will have had a chance to see or hear them.

Midnight Evil said The Haunted Vineyard had postings, but also briefly went over them at the door, as well. I think the point for me is to keep it simple. KISS

Tattoo
01-26-2007, 05:24 PM
Hi Empress,

We also make recordings that go over all of our rules. Our set up is a bit easier because EVERYONE has to ride our passenger train to get to our event. We play the rules during the ride along with music, knowing that everyone is a "trapped" audience makes it easier for us to get our point accross.

The ride on the train is short but effective. I will not be playing the rules on the night of the Tour because I will be giving everyone a basic run down of how we incorporate the train and our surroundings with Terror on the Fox.

Take care and we'll see you soon!

Tattoo

p.s. We just sold out the third bus! Hello number four!