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Thread: First Impressions

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  1. Default First Impressions 
    #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Escondido, CA
    Posts
    1,325
    Along the lines of the other thread regarding "perceived value", I'm interested in feedback from other haunters, haunt Actors and haunt lovers. When visiting an attraction, what gives you the impression that you are arriving at a good quality attraction that will provide great entertainment value? Some things that come to mind are:

    *Cue line entertainment (visible quality Actors entertaining the crowds)
    *Great looking facade
    *Outdoor entertainment (please list types of entertainment you enjoy seeing outside a haunted attraction)
    *Light show
    *Music
    *Video, either on TV's or projected on screen

    I'll stop there and I look forward to the input and insights of others!

    Kel

    Kelly Allen
    Raycliff Manor Haunted Attraction
    www.RaycliffManor.com
    www.Facebook.com/RaycliffManor
    www.HauntBook.com
     

  2. Default  
    #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lexington, Ky.
    Posts
    2,960
    First and foremost... a KICK ASS facade and just a great, creepy enviroment! Have some roamers outside, play the creepy music, add some fog, have your lights up and aimed at the facade... then the awesome facade. That's the very first impression because it's was seen first, even before getting out of the car! -Tyler
     

  3. Default  
    #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Newburgh, NY
    Posts
    42
    Horseman wrote an excellent article a few years ago..

    It all starts in the parking lot!

    It's the first thing your customers will encounter when they arrive and the last thing they'll see when the leave.
    Ken Darrigo
    ClearCut Operations, Inc.
    ClearCut Operations | http://www.clearcutoperations.com
    TerrorDome Haunted Scream Park | http://www.terrordome.com
     

  4. Default  
    #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Mount Pleasant, MI
    Posts
    349
    A "low rent" facade immediately lowers my appreciation (and expectations) for a haunt. If the facade clearly looks like a large flat painted board, in my mind I immediately classify it as "amateur". I realize that most haunts don't receive much walk-up foot traffic (but rather people drive specifically to the haunt), however on nights when there is a line, the facade (and other outdoor elements) can determine if casual haunted house patrons decide to stay and wait in line or not. If there is a low rent facade, and a long line, some people will decide it's not worth the wait.

    I think lighting design plays a large role in the outdoor elements of a haunt. A few well placed lights can make an average facade seem good, and can make a good facade seem great. I personally also like to see at least some kind of technology out front. Seeing a well set-up video display, or a good animatronic out front makes me believe that the haunt will have more to offer inside than just kids in masks jumping out at me.

    Erebus haunted attraction in Pontiac, Michigan can have very long lines, depending on the night. In the outdoor section of their cue line area, they have horror movies projected on a wall. In the indoor section of their cue line, they have video monitors every several feet broadcasting "newscasts" relating directly to the story (back story) of the Erebus haunt. These newscasts are very professionally done. In fact, it reminded me of the cue line videos at the "Back To The Future" ride at Universal Studios Florida. For me, if you toss some technology out front, I start to think of your haunt along the lines of a theme park attraction.

    Lastly, sound design for the outdoor area is important. A lot of the people standing in a cue line are trying to imagine what horrors must await them within the haunt. Exposing them to scary sounds and/or music helps to fire their imagination. If you hear the horror, but do not yet see it, your mind can create horrors of its own that are far more terrible than anything a haunt owner could build in reality. As a pro Sound Designer, I personally like it when the outside area of a haunt is loud (pumping up the energy level), and then once you enter the first area of the haunt, everything gets dead quiet (and very dark). That kind of transition makes you feel as if you're leaving the land of the living, for the land of the dead. You also become very aware of the fact that the horrors can hear you coming. The fear level rises in the silence, until the first scare hits them with an accompanying wall of sound. It's all set-up by the sound design outside, and how the transition is made to the indoor area.
     

  5. Default Funny 
    #5
    You can have the best facade and the worst haunt!
    And the people would still come!

    We have a warehouse entrance...thats it
    No facade at all........
    Gee could it get any better than this?
     

  6. Default  
    #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Mount Pleasant, MI
    Posts
    349
    I think having no facade is better than having a bad facade. Besides, most warehouses are naturally fairly spooky at night, right?


    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Spriggs View Post
    You can have the best facade and the worst haunt!
    And the people would still come!

    We have a warehouse entrance...thats it
    No facade at all........
     

  7. Default The Raven's Grin Inn 
    #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ravens Grin Inn, 411 carroll st.mount carroll ill.
    Posts
    12,840
    96969696969696969696
    Last edited by Jim Warfield; 06-22-2009 at 11:18 PM.
     

  8. Default  
    #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Escondido, CA
    Posts
    1,325
    Thanks for the responses to this topic! I really appreciate gaining the perspectives of others. If there are others willing to share your insights, I'd love to hear what you feel helps to increase the preceived value in the first impression at a haunted attraction. Thanks!

    Kel

    Kelly Allen
    Raycliff Manor Haunted Attraction
    www.RaycliffManor.com
    www.Facebook.com/RaycliffManor
    www.HauntBook.com
     

  9. Default wahsssssssssssssssssuuuuuuuupppppppppp 
    #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    208
    kel you have both an awesome facade and an awesome haunt from what i have experinced and q line entertainment is good as long as you dont scare them so bad that they dont buy a ticket and that has happened to me several times my friend in the past we have every thing from metal bands playing on the roof of the event to huge 20 by 20 movie screens which draws curiosty as well but what ever you do man dont make the mistake of having clowns on a pro banner that we keep people from buying tix now i have this huge professional 10 ft by 30 ft banner that cost 700.00 and cant even use it but live and learn and then you buy a hummer H2 lol well hope that helps man ttyl brother
     

  10. Default  
    #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Escondido, CA
    Posts
    1,325
    Thanks Greg! We hope to have the next phase of our facade improvements going soon. It seems difficult to get contractors to follow up with us right now. They must all have work right now, which is a good thing! Since youve seen our place, in addition to the facade, is there anything you would recommend we could add to improve the outside of our attraction and the perceived value for our guests? Come on, you can be brutally honest with your own brother! We're hoping to make it up to your neck of the woods this year for a visit. I still can't convince Mom to go through ours or yours! Talk to you soon Bro!

    Kel

    PS. That reminds me, did you get Grandpa's ashes/urn back to Mom? I've been afraid to ask, especially after the spill!

    Kelly Allen
    Raycliff Manor Haunted Attraction
    www.RaycliffManor.com
    www.Facebook.com/RaycliffManor
    www.HauntBook.com
     

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