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Thread: Extreme touching... new direction for the industry?

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  1. Default Extreme touching... new direction for the industry? 
    #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Aberdeen, MD
    Posts
    235
    Every year we have more and more disappointed customers in exit polls who weren't "touched," or poked, prodded, grabbed, groped, etc. I have noticed a trend moving towards touching lately, especially at places who didn't touch in the past. Scare House is now offering an "R rated experience" in their new Basement addition. Eastern State Penn and Pennhurst both touch (although I think they always have). Leading the extreme touching trend is Blackout haunted house in NY among others. Is this something that will come and go with the first successful lawsuit? Or do you think we consider moving into this direction? We are considering touching "marked" customers, who opt into being touched. Any thoughts?
    Patrick Barberry
    www.legendsofthefog.com
     

  2. Default  
    #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    393
    Its a cheap gimmick for uncreative minds. Think of it like zombies, it will be hot for a few years then it will drop off for a while. I've been to McKayme Manor and trust me, only a home haunt would get away with this stuff. People do these blackout things because they have no throughput, no props, and they are hurting the reputation for all haunts in the process. If these type of "haunts" grow, we all will have some serious problems. Mark my words on that.

    Jake
    Last edited by Deathwing; 01-26-2014 at 08:18 AM.
     

  3. Default  
    #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Aberdeen, MD
    Posts
    235
    Although I agree it can become a gimmick, there is no denial that there is a definite market for an elevated experience. No offence to the naked haunt... but that is a gimmick. It received major national attention and it reached way into the mainstream news. I wonder if we will see special extreme attractions pop up at big haunts.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk
    Patrick Barberry
    www.legendsofthefog.com
     

  4. Default  
    #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Lafayette, CO
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    229
    Quote Originally Posted by Deathwing View Post
    Its a cheap gimmick for uncreative minds. Think of it like zombies, it will be hot for a few years then it will drop off for a while. I've been to McKayme Manor and trust me, only a home haunt would get away with this stuff. People do these blackout things because they have no throughput, no props, and they are hurting the reputation for all haunts in the process. If these type of "haunts" grow, we all will have some serious problems. Mark my words on that.

    Jake
    I think all in all, the question to ask is not whether or not haunters like being touched in haunted houses, but whether the patrons themselves like it. For me, I could take the touching or leave it, but the fact of the matter is that to most haunts' target demographics, being touched adds a lot to the experience. Remember, haunters and patrons have a history of disagreeing on what makes a good haunt; we may never understand what makes chainsaws seem so scary to the masses, but the important thing is that we recognize that our audience likes them.

    I think another key distinction to make is that a haunted house that employs touching does not automatically constitute a Blackout or McKamey Manor style attraction (in fact, most touching haunts aren't at all like that). From what I've seen at least, touching haunts have just as many props and detail as any other haunt and the toughing just serves as an icing on the cake. Also, to say that touching haunts are "hurting the reputation for all haunts" undermines a lot of evidence to the contrary. Being a Colorado native, I've seen the explosion of the 13th Floor franchise over the past half-decade or so, all stemming from an audience who has grown up hearing rumors of a legendary 13-story haunted house where patrons would hypothetically be touched, grabbed, and even thrown out of windows onto acrobats' nets. If the idea of touching gives all haunts a bad reputation, why then have the 13th Floor haunts become so popular almost overnight?

    Going back to the original question asked, is there potential for growth, I think absolutely. The question to consider here is not whether, as a haunter, we would like to be touched in a haunted house, but whether the patrons would like it. Touch is a very powerful sense. Movies and video games can desensitize the eyes and ears of our patrons, but only we have the power to assault their touch. Patrons want that full immersion effect! So I would argue that over the next decade or so, we're going to see a huge increase in touch-style haunts.

    Just my $0.02

    -Collin
    *Sigh*I can't wait til' October
     

  5. Default  
    #5
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    Oct 2003
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
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    Patrick, I would strongly advise you not go that route. You know how tough they already are on us in Maryland. One terrible mishap and they'll shut us all down, and for what?

    i agree with jake on this one, it's more of a marketing stunt and not ideal for pro haunts with real throughput.

    I get asked three questions the most.

    Is it scary? In which I say yes of course.

    The other two are do you have clowns and can the monsters touch you? Both of which I say an emphatically, NO.

    Allan
    Last edited by MDKing; 01-26-2014 at 10:34 AM.
     

  6. Default  
    #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    18
    Only thing I'll bring up that I haven't seen yet, insurance! I know some of us already have HUGE insurance premiums, just imagine how much they would go up, if your insurance would cover you at all.
     

  7. Default  
    #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Hartford CT
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    769
    I don't think it's a gimmick just people have different thesholds. They become jaded towards the scares an want more extreme. If you do wish to do it offer it as a 2nd experience aside from your main attraction. Insurance issues would be resolved via waiver.
     

  8. Default  
    #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    18
    Waivers don't mean anything and insurance companies know that. I guarantee they would still raise your rates quite a bit, and probably still require a piece of paper that means nothing.
     

  9. Default  
    #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,587
    I think its a great idea, if you enjoy getting sued.
    Really dumb concept and done by people lacking talent and creativity.

    When I visited your haunt, you had a ton of children as actors, I don't think the parents of those children would approve of this concept, do you?

    You will get some people who will do it, but is it worth it?

    DA
     

  10. Default  
    #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Aberdeen, MD
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    235
    No doubt in our earlier years we had a number of young actors in our orphanage haunt. Luckily they have grown up with us. We are always looking for ways to push the envelope.
    I don't think as a haunt we are going to do an 18+ r rated haunt anytime in our forseeable future. .. but are we going to see more of these experiences offered as a side haunt at major attractions?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk
    Patrick Barberry
    www.legendsofthefog.com
     

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