HauntWorld Home - Forums Home - Live Chat - Find Haunted Houses - Hauntworld Magazine - Haunted House Supplies - America's Best Haunts - Find Vendors
Haunted House News - Haunted Tradeshows - Join Hauntworld Facebook - Hauntworld Twitter - Advertise - Contact Us

Thread: The Ballad of a First Time Haunt...

Results 1 to 10 of 55

Hybrid View

  1. Default The Ballad of a First Time Haunt... 
    #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    33
    Hi, I'm Patrick and I'm a first time haunter.

    I've long been fascinated with haunts and scaring people. Back when I was a lad, I used to put on a Freddy Krueger mask and run around a bible camp I used to attend, hiding in bushes and grabbing people's ankles as they passed. Oh what fun those heady days of youth were. I've wanted to do a haunt for a long time. I've volunteered for a few, attended many, but never ran one.

    Then I got my dream job at the local radio stations. I thought perhaps I could convince my bosses to sponsor one. I sat on the idea for a couple years (as management had changed a few times since I was hired), until I had the opportunity last year to present my idea during a company meeting where they were looking for event ideas. I was prepared: I had locations in mind, I had a theme in mind, how we would get sponsors for it, how the money made would go to charity, I felt I was prepared for any question they were bound to ask.

    The conversation went like this:

    BOSS: Anyone else have any ideas for events we could do?
    ME: I think we should do a haunted house.
    BOSS: Okay, make it happen.

    Shocked that it was that easy, I set to work. I gave the sales staff my list of choices for locations and asked them to set up meetings with the owners (as most of the owners were already clients). At the time, only one location got back to us, a farm that would be great for a haunted hayride, (but with Autumns in Wisconsin, that can be a dicey proposition). We passed on that location, and that seemed to be the end of it. Until about 3 weeks ago. While working a remote with the head of sales, I asked if there was any process in looking for a haunt location. "Oh, yeah, we can do it in the mall."

    Um...when did you find this out and why wasn't I notified sooner? And of course, I 'm expected to have everything done and raring to go for October.

    So I have a haunt to put together in a very short period of time. Fortunately, I was planning on starting small and building over the years (hopefully). I'm not going to be able to do everything I wanted, but I think it will be a good experience.

    I found this forum a couple weeks ago, lurking at first, and thought it would be a good place to put down my experiences and get advice from those who have come before.


    More to come soon!
    TC
     

  2. Default  
    #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    33
    To give you an idea where I'm headed with this, here's a brief outline of what I've got so far:


    LOCATION: A vacant storefront in the local mall. I'll have just over 13,500 square ft to work with, but I don't plan on using all that. We'll see on the plans come up. It is actually my first choice of locations, so I'm pretty happy about that. Plenty of parking space, in a controlled environment, centrally located and easily accessible for teens who are limited in their transportations.

    TIMES: Starting off small, the last two weekends in October and Halloween night. One Saturday for a lights on walkthru Trick or Treat event for the kiddies.

    THEME: Archeologist digs up an idol for a forgotten god. Brings to mall for storage until it can be displayed in a museum. Cultists arrive and "activate" the idol, causing death, mayhem, and all good things like that. Going to try to keep it light on the gore, more on the psychological scares, we'll see.


    I get to tour the space and meet the Fire Marshall on Wednesday. Hopefully will get in full swing with construction next week.


    TC
     

  3. Default Congrats 
    #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    276
    Good luck... I did one in the mall 2 years ago and went very well.. I would still be there but they got offered more money for the spot than what I wanted to pay for... I think you will do good... You shouldn't have a problem with the fire marshal.. the building should already be to code... at least it was for me...

    Alabama Asylum

    Geoff
    Last edited by Trail of Terror; 07-24-2012 at 05:12 AM. Reason: spelling
     

  4. Default  
    #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    540
    I think Geoff meant "Shouldn't have a problem..."

    Being a mall, that sumbish better be sprinkled! If not, the mall's got problems!

    Being an archaeological dig stored in the mall, your wall panels can be plain arse jane! That's good. Think of crates and loose static creatures to help set the feel.

    I would definitely spring for some GREAT costumes if you can, if budget allows.

    Mall is great, forget what Pickle said. He disagrees with the mall spots and everyone I've talked to that's done one (that actually marketed their haunt) did very well. However, you will eventually get pushed out. When your sales get up and the mall knows it, they're gonna dig deeper. Plain and simple. I've learned the mall industry is VERY greedy! I learned by airbrushing and putting in kiosks and almost a store. F#%K the mall imo! But for getting started, if you have it, that's awesome, just be prepared for that hike so it's not such a big blow to you. In other words, don't get too comfortable and ONLY make modifications that isn't permanent so you're not giving them free work and stuff, like cabinets that cant' be moved and so on.

    If you're JUST NOW starting, by god do NOT waste any time! We all think we have plenty of time and I"ve been starting my first year this year since November last year. FINALLY got my spot 3 months ago and I've been remodeling the house that's building 1 since then to make it safe for hopefully thousands of patrons. Get to studying and make sure you have a good solid plan.


    That much space, IMO, I'd build a nice break room and make up room first, in a great spot w/ emergency exits on their own. Like, if the spot is long, build it along one wall so each one is close to the rear and one to the front door. PLAN on having a fire / emergency, so you can build around it. Always keep it in mind and don't let the sprinklers make you too comfortable.
    You have plenty of space to start.

    With that, good luck and ask ask ask (after searching :P ) any questions.

    Dewayne
     

  5. Default  
    #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    276
    Quote Originally Posted by Frightener View Post
    I think Geoff meant "Shouldn't have a problem..."

    Being a mall, that sumbish better be sprinkled! If not, the mall's got problems!

    Being an archaeological dig stored in the mall, your wall panels can be plain arse jane! That's good. Think of crates and loose static creatures to help set the feel.

    I would definitely spring for some GREAT costumes if you can, if budget allows.

    Mall is great, forget what Pickle said. He disagrees with the mall spots and everyone I've talked to that's done one (that actually marketed their haunt) did very well. However, you will eventually get pushed out. When your sales get up and the mall knows it, they're gonna dig deeper. Plain and simple. I've learned the mall industry is VERY greedy! I learned by airbrushing and putting in kiosks and almost a store. F#%K the mall imo! But for getting started, if you have it, that's awesome, just be prepared for that hike so it's not such a big blow to you. In other words, don't get too comfortable and ONLY make modifications that isn't permanent so you're not giving them free work and stuff, like cabinets that cant' be moved and so on.

    If you're JUST NOW starting, by god do NOT waste any time! We all think we have plenty of time and I"ve been starting my first year this year since November last year. FINALLY got my spot 3 months ago and I've been remodeling the house that's building 1 since then to make it safe for hopefully thousands of patrons. Get to studying and make sure you have a good solid plan.


    That much space, IMO, I'd build a nice break room and make up room first, in a great spot w/ emergency exits on their own. Like, if the spot is long, build it along one wall so each one is close to the rear and one to the front door. PLAN on having a fire / emergency, so you can build around it. Always keep it in mind and don't let the sprinklers make you too comfortable.
    You have plenty of space to start.

    With that, good luck and ask ask ask (after searching :P ) any questions.

    Dewayne
    You are correct... I meant Shouldn't and I corrected it... I you are hitting the nail on the head about the mall going up on price and pushing you out... That is what happen to me but it was for the best... Now I got a permanent spot and did very well last year..
     

  6. Default Clarification! 
    #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Atlantic City (area), NJ
    Posts
    224
    Just to clarify what Frightener said...I never said anything bad about being in a mall! I'm assuming he is talking about the other"Pickel" (my "e" comes after the "l") LMAO As a matter of fact I just signed a 5 year lease with a cap to extend for an additional 5 years! I'm actually directly behind the mall in their Power Convenience Center (basically a glorified additional strip center not attached directly to the mall). I am stoked we got the deal & extension we got & the mall is one of the busiest within 60 miles of here & they just started a new addition of another 250,000' sq. ft. with two new major anchors & pubs coming in! I personally think the mall scenario can be awesome if it's done right (detailed facades, etc.) Good luck with your new haunt!





    P.

    (as in "Pickle")
     

  7. Default  
    #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    613
    Quote Originally Posted by Frightener View Post
    forget what Pickle said.
    Which Pickle?

    C.
     

  8. Default  
    #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    540
    Quote Originally Posted by BrotherMysterio View Post
    Which Pickle?

    C.
    OHH SHNAPPLE~!

    Yeah, i should've been more clear, I wasn't thinking. Sorry about that. There's another Pickel in the haunt industry that has been / is an advisor and such. He's intelligent but I disagree with his mall statement 100%. He said don't do a haunt in a mall, a mall is for shopping. Man I took so many dates tot he mall.. ok well a few girls but still. EVERYONE in the day it was Mall > Dinner > Movie / Hang> Park. That was it! And kids today STILL want to go to the mall a lot. So that's all I was merely getting at. Sorry for not being clear. Although you can't tell it by the pics, I've been working hard every day for the last week or so. I've been tired.



    Dewayne
    Last edited by Frightener; 07-27-2012 at 10:00 AM.
     

  9. Default  
    #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    33
    Thanks everyone! I'm really excited to get things going, and there's a lot of interest from volunteers, not only for the scares but for construction as well (which I thought I would have to blackmail people for help there).

    Quote Originally Posted by Frightener View Post
    Being an archaeological dig stored in the mall, your wall panels can be plain arse jane! That's good. Think of crates and loose static creatures to help set the feel.

    I would definitely spring for some GREAT costumes if you can, if budget allows.
    Yeah, that was one of the pluses for me for the theme. Works with the location, and depending what kind of financing my sales department can scare up, the sparseness of the set will work with it. A lot of the planned costumes (for now) are going to be featureless masks and robes, for the acolytes of the cult. I'm planning small and will work bigger if time/budget allows.

    Mall is great, forget what Pickle said. He disagrees with the mall spots and everyone I've talked to that's done one (that actually marketed their haunt) did very well. However, you will eventually get pushed out. When your sales get up and the mall knows it, they're gonna dig deeper. Plain and simple. I've learned the mall industry is VERY greedy! I learned by airbrushing and putting in kiosks and almost a store. F#%K the mall imo! But for getting started, if you have it, that's awesome, just be prepared for that hike so it's not such a big blow to you. In other words, don't get too comfortable and ONLY make modifications that isn't permanent so you're not giving them free work and stuff, like cabinets that cant' be moved and so on.
    Oh, I'm aware of that. This particular mall charges an outrageous amount for rent, and is practically a ghost town because of it. (leading to many jokes when I announced to my friends I was doing a haunt there). Fortunately, our radio stations have there sales office there in the mall and we have worked out a barter agreement with them. Basically, rent won't be an issue at all for us. Unfortunately, there is a new store going in that spot this December, so if the haunt continues to next year, it will have to be at a new location.


    TC
     

  10. Default  
    #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    33
    Well, I went and visited my space today (without the FM, as he had something come up, will be meeting with him tomorrow hopefully).

    It's a great space, roughly 72' x 128'. That doesn't include the storeroom in the back, which will be perfect for a break room/costume & make-up area (with bathrooms!) Ceiling is about 12-14' high, and there are pillars going down the middle of the space, 5 of them at a pacing of about 12 feet apart.

    Down side, I only spotted 3 outlets in the whole space, one each on two pillars and another at the front of the store. The mall contact said that she believed there was outlets in the ceiling, as evidenced by an extention cord hanging down. She could not tell me where they might be located though. I'll probably have to run some cords from the back too.

    Also, because it is an interior store, we have to go with Mall Hours (until 9pm on Friday night, which isn't bad, but they're only open until 6pm on Saturday - sucky), or we have to pay their security to stay on longer. At the moment, I do not know how much more that's going to cost us, but I know it's going to cost more than hiring an off duty cop, and probably be less effective.

    I put a call out to the Radio Stations' clients for cardboard boxes, pallets, and mannequins, as that's going to make for a majority of the sets. The Mall's going to help with that too. They're even going to supply the candy for the Lights on Walk through for the kids!

    It really hit me that this is a thing that's happening and I need to get a move on. I've got about half of my rooms plotted out, going to put together a "Scare Cabal" to finish up the rest. So much support on this right now. I hope I don't let them down.

    You really want to scare someone? Tell them they have 2 and a half months to put together a haunt. ( O_o" )



    TC
     

Thread Information
Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •