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Thread: Is there any law?

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  1. Default Is there any law? 
    #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    San Diego, Clairemont
    Posts
    597
    Hey everybody,

    Alright this is what i was looking to do. This year we have secured a loan and we have a huge haunt. We have all the fog machines strobe lights and props that we will need we even have all the actors set up. I was planning on having 1 or 2 people in full costume walk around like the mall or something just scaring people, and kind of getting tourist traffic to lean towards our haunt. Does anyone know iff there are ANY laws against this? Or any restrictions or curfews i should know about? I tried searching it, and it doesnt work.


    Thanks very much guys, really appreciate all the help.

    -Zackary J
     

  2. Default  
    #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,019
    The main law you will probably need to be concerned with is trespassing. I assume that you will be asking the mall for permission?

    If you have anyone walking around in costume anywhere, go down to the police station first (don't call) and tell them what you are doing so it doesn't come as a surprise. A surprise for them will work out badly for you.

    If you get everything worked out, carefully think about the type of scares you are going to do. People going to your house expect to be scared. The person that throws seven dollars worth of ice cream when you sneak up on them at the mall won't be expecting it and will want to be reimbursed.

    I have done this before and set it up with someone dragging along a shackled creature. This gets just as much attention and the person doing the leading can pass out flyers for your haunt (get permission before handing out the flyers since many of them will end up on the ground/floor).

    Think very carefully about having someone sneaking around scaring people. Besides being annoying to some, you need to get the word out about your event. It might be fun for the person doing the scaring but if you alienate potential customers and have no effective way of telling them about your attraction it could be a waste of time.
     

  3. Default  
    #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    San Diego, Clairemont
    Posts
    597
    Oh yes of course, i have already contacted the mall and they have agreed to allow my actors a 3 hours period where they can roam, and pass out flyers. And im thinking that i will probably have them just be creepy and hand out flyers instead of sneaking up on guesst and physically trying to scare them. And i already planned on it, but i was just wondering if there is anything im violatin if i have permission. Like is their any liability with my actors being out there like if they get hurt can they sue me? If someone else gets hurt can they sue me ?

    Thanks for the help, and advice.

    -Zackary J
     

  4. Default  
    #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,019
    Sorry, my comments probably came across as sarcastic. That's because I have seen too many people do this and rather than draw customers in to the haunt they just act totally rude, annoying and obnoxious. Make sure that whoever is in that costume understands why they are in it, what their purpose is and what they can and can't do. Have them walk around the area without a mask on for a while so they can see what the floor is like and if there are any obstacles that they might not notice with the mask.

    Personally I would stay away from the scaring completely. What if the person being scared trips? What if they jump back and knock down an elderly person not even involved in the scare?

    What if the person in costume can't see very well and bumps into someone? "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the defendent sent this employee out knowing full well that there were visibility problems with the costume. His callous disregard for the safety of others demands that you award my poor, crippled client the maximum award."

    Can the actors sue you if they get hurt? I would count on it.

    If anyone else gets hurt can they sue you? Again, they probably will. Especially if they have medical bills. In this day and age you don't even have to win a lawsuit like this. Oftentimes a business will pay money just to stop a lawsuit, and lawyers know this.

    Sorry, I'm sure this sounds pretty scary (How about having a lawyer in your haunt? That would probably terrify some people) but these are the times we live in. I think the best use of a costumed character would be as a walking billboard.
     

  5. Default  
    #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,019
    And before anyone jumps me for being too negative, note that Zackary lives in California - birthplace of the frivolous lawsuit.
     

  6. Default Bad Idea 
    #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    3,830
    Its a bad idea to have them dressed up. I assure you even if the mall allows you three hours or so in an hour you will be asked to leave. I have seen this many times. It surprises me that the mall would even allow you to do this. My company has contracts with many malls here in the south and I guarantee not a one would allow this. People dressed up in public is not the answer you will offend more than you will bring in especailly in a mall. The malls for the most part don't have haunted house crowds. Malls usually are a more of a up scale crowd. What I would do if I was going to do it at the mall is just place flyers on the windshields of the cars out in the parking lot. This way it offends no one and they will see it when they get in their car. Also your annual fair is another great place to do this people who go to fairs go to haunts. You local high school football games is another great place. Bottom line there are much better places to go to advertize than the mall but where ever you go I don't think having them dressed in costume is the answer. Shane
    Last edited by graystone; 07-06-2008 at 09:47 AM.
     

  7. Default "KILL The Monsters!" 
    #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ravens Grin Inn, 411 carroll st.mount carroll ill.
    Posts
    12,783
    We heard someone say as the 5 of us limped out onto the football half-time field. The stands emptied we had to run for our lives!
    After physically fighting off a drunk trying to punch me and my Mummy mask only had one real eye hole, we got into the car , the car was surrounded, the crowd began rocking the car almost upsetting it (A small Mustang), we finally got away.
    This happened right here in little ol Mount Carroll, we were adveertising our JC haunted house.
    The earlier you go out in costume the more people won't like it, or so it seemed.
    Try to get a car or a float into the Homecoming parade instead.
     

  8. Default  
    #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    ClarkLake, MI
    Posts
    594
    That is a great idea Jim!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Warfield View Post
    Try to get a car or a float into the Homecoming parade instead.
     

  9. Default  
    #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Alpine, California
    Posts
    510
    The city of San Diego has a law against the passing out of flyers.
     

  10. Default  
    #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Clinton TWP, MI
    Posts
    836
    I worked for a haunt that was located inside a mall years ago. An I was dressed up walking around in the mall part with a few other actors. I remember a security guard telling us we had to go back to the haunt and not walk around the mall.
    ~Bill Mlinac
    The Deadland Haunted House
    www.facebook.com/Deadlandhauntedhouse
    www.Thedeadland.com
     

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