Halloween Forum banner

21 - 35 of 35 Posts

·
Grand WaZoo
Joined
·
844 Posts
Going Pro you say? How about this novel idea that just might help you out. Go out and talk to some owners of professional haunts. Maybe your lucky enough to have people who might be from your same town or in your general area or farther out in your state and beyond. All you have to do is a website search and give them a call and ask them if you can come by for a meeting. Pick there brains, get there advice! Better yet tell your friend that has the farm lets get a business plan in place that we can develop over the year and open up the haunt not this year but next! Go and get a job working work for a professional haunt, profit or non profit, and see first hand what is involved. Sorry this may spoil your fun but running or working for a professional haunt and doing an amauture haunt are two different worlds, I know been there and done that and enjoyed both. To my rotted brain all that you have said sounds like pie in the sky and a giant step into the unknown. If you want to get impelled when you hit the bottom go for it and if not well get a education and then develop a plan. Best of luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,257 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
This is the farm, both sides of it....gives you an idea what I'm working with
730259
 

·
His name is Roger Clyne
Joined
·
9,772 Posts
This has nothing to do with the haunt, I'm just curious, what do they farm? If you've said I missed it, just wondering.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
While I put up a good sized display in my yard and have for years I can say with 100% confidence that I don’t know squat about running a pro haunt but I’m really excited for you!! Great suggestions from everyone. I have nothing to add but COOL! Please keep us posted. Will you still decorate at your home? I’d assume you are going to be a bit busy this year!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
When I was a kid (early 80’s), my dad was a member of an Optimist club that used to put on one of the best Halloween haunts in Portland. It was an old house that they converted to a complete dark walk through and maze.

Thousands of people each year. And this was before all the rules for lighting and what you could and couldn’t do as far as personal space. It was pretty impressive and took a small army of people to run each year.

Well, one year, a girl slipped and fell walking up from the parking lot/field and banged herself up pretty good. The lawsuit that followed ended it. Their liability wasn’t enough to cover, and that was that. They settled, and the haunt ended, never to be resurrected..

Even back then, all it took was one person getting hurt and looking for a pay day and they were done. Sadly, it’s only gotten worse (and I go running with a couple lawyers every morning, so I hear how litigious people are almost daily!)

CYA. If the owner doesn’t care, then walk away.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
499 Posts
Aside from liability insurance, I think you can even get event insurance which protects you in case the entire thing has to be canceled. That could also just be part of a liability package though I am not sure. You'll have to do some research.

I am sure there are other resources out there for insuring haunted houses/attractions but this is the first one I ran across.

 

·
His name is Roger Clyne
Joined
·
9,772 Posts
I really do think you need to talk someone in your area who is already doing this as a pro. Find out who does this stuff in your area & talk to them. They'd know more about local rules & regulations & could give you a heads up on the ins & outs of this type of business.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,257 Posts
Discussion Starter #30
The farm owner and I have both talked, at separate times, to the owner of the only local "Haunted Forest" owner. We both agree he is a self-absorbed dick just with the way he comes off. I'd rather email the KCMO pro haunts or the DSM pro haunts and ask them.
 
Joined
·
1,276 Posts
I've found and NOT to be nasty, but most pro haunt owners are self absorbed. We have had the opportunity to get to know a number of pro haunters, some we call friends even and each and every one of the with the exception of 2 come off as being kinda dickish. Being a pro haunter means you're wearing a lot of hats most importantly being the creative vision behind it all ... lets face it creative types tend to be "strong" all about my vision personalities.

We have also had the good fortune to be able to sit in on a number of Leonard Pickle's talks at Haunter Conventions. He always starts out with want to become a pro haunter well DON'T. Then goes into a million reasons why that's good advise.

There's my added advise, alas not the year for it but in the future get thee to haunter's conventions. Take as many of the "classes" as possible... you'll learn a lot.

Lets get into who fronting the start up costs for all this. Will you at least make enough money to pay back that investment or can you afford to spend that kind of money never to see it again? The charity haunt owners we knew that ran their haunt for years before closing down never made back the money they spent to do it. The owners were spending upwards of $10,000 a year to do it even with volunteer help. Heck Tina was spending a few thousand just on pizza, soda and beer to get help setting up, working the haunt and taking it down. Security to work the parking, paying neighbors for use of their land for parking, the haunt was a small money pit. Luckily they were able to afford those kind of loses year after year... so what's the budget and where's the money coming from and who's going to get the profit if there is any and can you afford the taxes that might add to your income. The one year we worked a pro haunt we were promised a certain percent AFTER the land owner's expenses... there was never any after expenses so we spent money, never recouped a penny. We were able to lose that money but we never worked a pro haunt again cause a one year loss is one thing year after year nope.

Also keep in mind 4 months to get a new haunt up and running isn't much time to get the permitting, insurance, deigns done and approved. To get things built, inspections done and fixes made should you not pass inspection. That's a lot of hoops to get through in a few months.

You have been given a lot of good advice in this thread. Not so much to talk you out of it but in hopes you go in with your eyes wide open.

Again good luck and hope it's as much fun as you envision it being.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,257 Posts
Discussion Starter #32
Oh I figure its gonna take a Lot of work. What's the worst that could happen, it doesn't open or happen this year? Just gives me a good excuse to plan and buy and build and and and. I think a good handful of folks/families already know me because of the yard haunt I run. We all know the feeling when cars pull up, let their kids out and then drive away once candy is received, yeah...I'm that guy. I think honestly my biggest challenge will be to find not hired hands but actors/actresses. My town is home to ISU so the college students r everywhere. $10K isnt bad actually, not sounding cocky. I look at this whole opportunity as possibly once in a lifetime, what do I have to lose (besides money). I'd never put myself in a position where I see yellow or red flags financially. The closest, paid, haunted attractions are 20miles south also. The only haunted attraction In town run the same trails every year, I mean last year for their 20th(??) Anniversary they hired a professional makeup artist, or so their website said. After 20 years....that's it? Maybe I'm being naive or ignorant, I guess I'll find out. If it turns out to be a bust then I get to say I have the experience. If it's a hit, hellz yeah.
 

·
His name is Roger Clyne
Joined
·
9,772 Posts
Best of luck no matter what happens & I hope the weather & health stays good for EVERYONE this year, we need it!!

Keep us posted too. I need a distraction from the crapfest that 90 Day Fiance (& reality TV in general ) has become!! :LOL:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
I'm working on a ghost train setup that would work far better with a tractor ride than in my yard. The tractor could stall out at a prop railroad crossing. Train horn in distance. Signal lights starts flashing and bell ringing. Gates drop on both sides of the tractor and wagon. Super loud train horn blares just as a train headlight flashes right beside the wagon. I'm still building my props but here are videos for the first two: Railroad Crossing Signal and Railroad Crossing Gate . Good luck.
 
21 - 35 of 35 Posts
Top