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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I truly appreciate All of your comments and like I've stated, once I get my land I'm only going to expand. Its a given, not a fun idea honestly. I'm prolly gonna do 85% of it on my own dollar so obviously its going to take time. Luckily I have a lot of time as I Just turned 37 on April 18th. I've got tins and tons of ideas as do all of you surely, which I can start to implement over the years. Is it a long stretch with big risks...absolutely but I've I've previously stated I get tired of hearing "no" "can't be done" "lots of hard work" etc...I personally take those things like a personal challenge! People find it So easy to just give Any excuse in the book about why a dream or goal isn't achievable...."No" is adopted and accepted easily. I like to response with my personal favorite "watch me!"....and if I fail, then I guess the joke is on me and everyone learns something. If I succeed, well use ur imagination! I dont have any kids, or a wife, or medical issues....there is nothing standing in my way except for me. This goes the same for all of us (not the wife and kids part but the "whose the only person stopping you part).
 

Prince of Arkham Asylum
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The Joker...please re-read the IowaGuy's original post and digest it, then read my orignal comment to his post..... it's about a dream starting with baby steps. IowaGuy stated: "I know that 98% of you guys and gals are gonna gimme the whole "it would be nice" or "just wishful thining" speel which I'm almost to the point of refusing to accept. Its almost like someone saying "thats just the way it is"....I have decided thats not good enough for me and I'm tired of hearing it. " He didn't have to wait long for 2 posters in this thread to prove himself right......
Ummm, not sure why this was directed at me. I read his post. I understood it. I didn't poo poo anything. I wasn't one of the first two posters, but I have no issue with what they said. From a standpoint of starting a thread and asking questions, I question the format. How do you post the question "Is there a way to making a living doing Halloween?", and then tell everyone who might respond that they can't answer in the negative because you won't accept it? I saw honest answers to the question asked whether the OP wants to read it or not.

As for me personally, I didn't say it can't happen, or that he can't do it. I just said, don't eat the elephant in one bite. Try starting with something modest and if you can make it work, expand so you don't lose all your money going big to start.

That said, @IowaGuy, since I believe you're single, I do have one suggestion. Nothing against Iowa in general, or at all really, but you'll never see a "Disney World" in Iowa. If you're looking to build a big attraction, you might want to build it in a more populous area. Perhaps a suburb of a large city? I'm just thinking... more people, more potential customers. Not that it assures anything, but it helps the odds. If you come to the 'burbs of Chicago, I'd definitely visit!
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Oh I'm SOOO moving out of Iowa, as my original posts have stated I'm looking at southern MO. Probably an outstretch of Springfield or Joplin
 

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ZR....Sorry for the lack of communication, you were not one of the posters I was referring to.....Let's make this thread a happy thread and I will be the first to apologize for rubbing people the wrong way. I get encourgaed by the passion of the people especially when it comes to similar passions of mine. The huge list I created can be accomplished with baby steps. Other ideas would be to market the Halloween World where you bring big name franchised attractions in. You do the agricultural pieces and bring the other pieces in from the big boys.....
 

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I think it's amazing and exciting to know someone loves Halloween as much as a lot of us do! I would love to know I could visit Halloween all year long too. Ever think about Georgia? There is a reason so many movies and amusement parks are here. There is great land still for sale and the taxes are very reasonable. I am a critical care nurse and would love to triage and treat you and your crew when the time comes! You'll need a nurse at your town. I'm glad you're single. It takes someone with your exact dreams to truly support you. So take time in finding her. My soon to be ex of 20 plus years acted like he shared my love for Halloween; til he wanted all my treasures gone. Don't let anyone wreck your dreams. There are enough of us on this forum to help guide you. I've already read great responses. Keep the faith my friend! And keep us posted!
 

Jumpin' Jack Flash
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understand that you're really asking two different questions: one, is this objectively a good idea, and two, is it subjectively a good idea.

objectively: to be blunt, if you want investors (which you'll probably need to do it big), it doesn't matter one whit whether or not you can accept naysayers. investors spend money to make money, and they're going to need to see a very clear plan as to how that's going to happen.

subjectively: if you can live with the possibility of the outcome not being all you hope for, do what makes you happy. there are plenty of people who had a "crazy" dream, pursued it anyway, and got rich. there are plenty more who had a crazy dream, pursued it anyway, and spent their lives barely breaking even but died happy because they lived the way they wanted to live. if you can support yourself and anyone who depends on you, then live the life you choose, and don't worry about what anyone says.

to address the big picture: if you're going to go for it, go all the way. if this can be done on a grand scale, you'll have to work your tail off and take every opportunity to educate yourself on matters that seemingly have nothing to do with the dream.

passion is a wonderful thing, but it doesn't always put butts in seats. i'm in a local rock band, and in my mind, every time we play, every local person who loves rock and roll music should be there watching. as you may guess, that never happens, and at times it's frustrating. (you and i are almost the same age, so i read a lot of myself in your post.) i keep playing music because i love playing music and my 9-5 puts food on my table, but if i were counting on music to pay my bills, i'd have to do a lot more than love music.

understand that's not a criticism--you seem motivated and focused on making this work. just realize that it takes more than loving it and wanting it to work. walt disney was incredibly successful, but he was a lot more than a guy who really loved drawing mice. he was a businessman, a real estate developer, and a bunch of other things, probably even more than he was an animator. and frankly, perhaps the hardest pill to swallow, he was also a very lucky man. none of this goes off without a boat load of good luck.

tl;dr: do your thing, follow your dream, but don't let the dream blind you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I asked 1 question, neither of which were stated in ur comment. I didnt ask if it was a good idea or bad. Yes, of course its gonna take a LOT of work and a LOT of money. I won't even care about investors or sponsors because they are a crutch of sorts, I won't let them make or break me...thats a foolish idea. Once my attraction grows and word of mouth is fluent, they will be coming to me. If it doesn't go big...then I still have my own personal Halloween World and I won't owe anyone money. I've been a laborer since I started working...hard work, sweat, scrapes and bruises is part of the game.
 

Jumpin' Jack Flash
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I asked 1 question, neither of which were stated in ur comment. I didnt ask if it was a good idea or bad. Yes, of course its gonna take a LOT of work and a LOT of money. I won't even care about investors or sponsors because they are a crutch of sorts, I won't let them make or break me...thats a foolish idea. Once my attraction grows and word of mouth is fluent, they will be coming to me. If it doesn't go big...then I still have my own personal Halloween World and I won't owe anyone money. I've been a laborer since I started working...hard work, sweat, scrapes and bruises is part of the game.
i'm giving you my perspective of reality. if you get upset at any input that isn't what you want to hear, don't start off with "this is a serious question," because it isn't.

you're right that you didn't exactly ask if it was a good idea, you asked if you could make a living doing it. it's the same question. if you can't make a living, it's a bad idea to try to make it your livelihood.

if you don't care about investors, you're almost certainly thinking wrong. you rightly stated that this is going to take a lot of money--at least 6 figures if not 7. do you have it? if not, can you get it while you're young enough to build this from nothing? if not, you need investors, and even if that's just the bank, they're still going to need some assurance that you can turn a profit. even if you don't need financial investors, you very specifically asked if there were 10-15 people willing to make a life changing decision here. you may not want or need their money, but if you need their time and effort, again, you're going to have to demonstrate that you can make money.

i honestly have no desire to fight with you over this, and i admire your determination to do something big with what you have a passion for. but if you want to turn your dream into a business, you're going to have to stop thinking like a dreamer and start thinking like a business person. if you can't handle constructive feedback on halloweenforum.com, then building a grand-scale business from nothing is a non-starter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Sorry....I was working out and my mindset during a workout is Extremely "Dont tell me what I can and cannot do!". I apologize! I should have not replied until I was done. I appreciate your feedback
 

Jumpin' Jack Flash
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Sorry....I was working out and my mindset during a workout is Extremely "Dont tell me what I can and cannot do!". I apologize! I should have not replied until I was done. I appreciate your feedback
no worries man. i meant it when i said i admire your determination. and in all honestly i'd like to see it happen--seeing someone build a dream is exciting and inspiring. but when the rubber meets the road, there's gonna be a lot more voices saying no than there are voices saying yes. if you've already felt the cold water here (from folks who, to some degree, share the dream) it can help you know what to expect and how to deal with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Honestly, with every No or "you r crazy" I get from anyone...it just drives me harder. People r always saying follow ur dream and/or you can do whatever you want in life but then they flip a 180掳 when they hear of someone's "abnormal" dream. I think people expect to hear "I want to be a cop, doctor, lawyer, teacher, nurse...etc" for which there are obviously schools and colleges for but if someone says "I want to be on Mars, I want to build something special, I want to be a millionaire" (the abnormal ideas) well, we aren't used to hearing that so we have absolutely no idea on how to get there or do that so our mind just goes to "thats gonna be hard". I have the passion, I have the drive....and I'm gonna learn a LOT of things while I get there. I'm gonna fall multiple times, im gonna break a few bones but I'm gonna just keep going. Why can't there be a real life Halloween World? Maybe because no one has tried? Whose to stop me from trying....only me.
 

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As a reference, there is a place in southern Indiana called Santa Claus which is all based around... you guessed it Christmas. They have an amusement park, shops, lodges, etc. might be a reference or something to check out as a similar concept for a different holiday
 

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In Chicago where I grow up we had Santa's Village an amusement park with rides, a skating ring and Santa it opened the year I was born. It was considered the first theme and franchised amusement park in the world. It opened pre-Disneyland. After Six Flags in the 70's moved in nearby the Village hit on hard times and added a small water park to drum up business. The park I grow up with closed after it's 46th season in 2005 It has reopen now as an Azoo-ment and water park, but alas my favorite ride was sold off when the park first closed. The story of the birth of Santa's Village can be found here. Amusement & Water Park History | Santa's Village Azoosment & Water Park
A video of the history can be found here
where my favorite ride is seen at 1:17 Ok I loved the sled pulled by reindeer too.

On a side note there was a second amusement park outside the Chicago area called Adventureland. Typical kinda pre Disney themed park... BUT for a few seasons they did "live action" stories in their train tunnel. They ran 2 trains the "candy cane" decorated steam engine that did fairy tales and the modern engine that had scary Halloween stories and scares... Guess which one I'd ride... Also what is considered one of the first Pro haunts in the US was done at Amlings Nursery again outside of Chicago. It was a huge flower nursery with many green houses. In the 50's they started doing a haunted house in one of the empty houses. They allowed volunteers of various church and charities to be actors to raise money. At Christmas it became Santa's workshop. I grown up doing Amlings Haunted house. As suggested in an earlier post they had a traveling carnival set up shop in the parking lot... which was interesting as the famous Kiddie Land was just a few blocks down the street. Not much on the net about Amling's Haunted house but it was forced to close in the 70's I think due to the ever increasing cost of insuring the attraction.
I would have loved a Halloween theme amusement park.. again good luck on your dream.
 

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First off, this is a serious question. I've been doing a Lot of thinking about where I want to be in 5, 10, 15, 30 years. What I want to be doing, my future home, my future job...blah blah blah. I have Such a passion for Halloween and wanting to Really DO something with it....I mean...can someone make it a living? I mean yeah you have your haunted attractions and obviously its seasonal but what IF someone put all their eggs in 1 basket, tightened their belt and just threw all their energy into making like a real life Halloweentown? Do it sorta the way Walt Disney did in the beginning...buy land and build....then grow it at a pace you can do. I mean, Disney world created its own world with movies, characters, stories. Why can't someone do that with Halloween? I could die a happy old man if I could create something like that. I know that 98% of you guys and gals are gonna gimme the whole "it would be nice" or "just wishful thining" speel which I'm almost to the point of refusing to accept. Its almost like someone saying "thats just the way it is"....I have decided thats not good enough for me and I'm tired of hearing it. Why can't Halloweentown or Spookytown or a Halloween (Disney) World happen?? Of course its gonna take $$$,$$$,$$. Of course its gonna take lots and lots of time. Is there anyone out there that feels the same way? I plan to build my own house down in SOMO (southern Missouri) somewhere in the next 2-4 years, Im looking at land already...1-2 acres to start, Why not start on my own future property? Why couldn't maybe 10-15 of US in this forum make a life changing decision, put our talents together and create something Huge?! I'm not asking, right now, if anyone would be willing to relocate but what if I created something in the near future....would you consider it?
When i get my own place with a year I'm doing Halloween 12 months a year. If there was a street or twon dedicated to promote halloween all year around I'll move in . It's a great concept .
 

Prince of Arkham Asylum
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In Chicago where I grow up we had Santa's Village an amusement park with rides, a skating ring and Santa it opened the year I was born.
Still there! Well, sorta. Not exactly what it used to be. I live about 10 mins from Santa's Village actually. 馃榿
 

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Im late to the replies, but I might have some input for you.
You can absolutely make a living doing Halloween but it wont always look the way you think it ought to.
I make a decent living from monsters (pretty close to Halloween).
My income streams are
I have a youtube channel making DIY haunted house stuff
a separate youtube channel where I go live from my shop with a supporting patreon
A monster museum at a renaissance festival museum type monster displays
teaching classes in my shop about mask making and such (in person weekend camps)
Directing dark hour haunted house in Plano TX as a 40 hour a week job
I own a company that sells costumes and masks to haunted houses and people all over the country
(this only makes decent money because I invest in doing 3-5 tradeshows a year -the big ones the small website sales are driven by the youtube channels)
I do about 5-6 onsite haunt consultations a year and those I charge $2,000 for the full weekend. they are brutal but very rewarding for me.
I can tell you what the gross is for all the business and endeavors and that seems high but the net is pretty fluctuating. I work 12-16 hours a day (every day- not a joke or exaggeration) and love everything I do. I do work too much and need to slow down...but Im getting old lol.
I started on my path when I was 10 years old and never deviated from haunt work. What I have seen over and over is that if you want to keep doing the work then you need to start doing the work. Its out there for sure, and most of the stuff I do is very different from what you want to do.
You are not really asking if you can make a living off of Halloween, you are asking if your Halloween related business idea is viable. Its viable, but it takes start up money and would be a slow grower if you play it safe. Halloween is a harsh mistress but very rewarding. If this is 100% your passion then who cares if you succeed? I do what I do because Im supposed to, Its the only thing that feels right, not because I think it will make money. Money has come. I have a nice house and a nice shop and a good Job at the haunt and I could coast on that- everything else in an iron in the fire in case the haunt dries up. I can keep them on simmer and stoke them when I need it (like a covid year).
Im not a genius or special, I just love what I do enough to be willing to work hard to keep being able to have the privilege to keep doing it. Its a wild ride.
feel free to email or call if you think I can help. [email protected] or 469-337-4929
best of luck!
Allen Hopps
 

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I also think it鈥檚 a great idea to talk to people at venues like Transworld and conventions and attend classes/seminars they offer. Have you thought about temporarily relocating somewhere near Netherworld or a place like that and get a job there for a season just to get a feel for it from the inside? That would certainly be educational. I think it sounds great but like others, I鈥檝e tried to turn hobbies into paying gigs and the fun was lost. Nevertheless, if this is something you feel strongly about, and it seems like you do, you should look further into it. Don鈥檛 risk regret, you can always prep and do everything to make the leap and then decide whether it鈥檚 the right decision after you鈥檝e got more information.
 

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First off, this is a serious question. I've been doing a Lot of thinking about where I want to be in 5, 10, 15, 30 years. What I want to be doing, my future home, my future job...blah blah blah. I have Such a passion for Halloween and wanting to Really DO something with it....I mean...can someone make it a living? I mean yeah you have your haunted attractions and obviously its seasonal but what IF someone put all their eggs in 1 basket, tightened their belt and just threw all their energy into making like a real life Halloweentown? Do it sorta the way Walt Disney did in the beginning...buy land and build....then grow it at a pace you can do. I mean, Disney world created its own world with movies, characters, stories. Why can't someone do that with Halloween? I could die a happy old man if I could create something like that. I know that 98% of you guys and gals are gonna gimme the whole "it would be nice" or "just wishful thining" speel which I'm almost to the point of refusing to accept. Its almost like someone saying "thats just the way it is"....I have decided thats not good enough for me and I'm tired of hearing it. Why can't Halloweentown or Spookytown or a Halloween (Disney) World happen?? Of course its gonna take $$$,$$$,$$. Of course its gonna take lots and lots of time. Is there anyone out there that feels the same way? I plan to build my own house down in SOMO (southern Missouri) somewhere in the next 2-4 years, Im looking at land already...1-2 acres to start, Why not start on my own future property? Why couldn't maybe 10-15 of US in this forum make a life changing decision, put our talents together and create something Huge?! I'm not asking, right now, if anyone would be willing to relocate but what if I created something in the near future....would you consider it?
Anything is possible. I say go for it.
A Halloweentown would be awesome.
 

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First off, this is a serious question. I've been doing a Lot of thinking about where I want to be in 5, 10, 15, 30 years. What I want to be doing, my future home, my future job...blah blah blah. I have Such a passion for Halloween and wanting to Really DO something with it....I mean...can someone make it a living? I mean yeah you have your haunted attractions and obviously its seasonal but what IF someone put all their eggs in 1 basket, tightened their belt and just threw all their energy into making like a real life Halloweentown? Do it sorta the way Walt Disney did in the beginning...buy land and build....then grow it at a pace you can do. I mean, Disney world created its own world with movies, characters, stories. Why can't someone do that with Halloween? I could die a happy old man if I could create something like that. I know that 98% of you guys and gals are gonna gimme the whole "it would be nice" or "just wishful thining" speel which I'm almost to the point of refusing to accept. Its almost like someone saying "thats just the way it is"....I have decided thats not good enough for me and I'm tired of hearing it. Why can't Halloweentown or Spookytown or a Halloween (Disney) World happen?? Of course its gonna take $$$,$$$,$$. Of course its gonna take lots and lots of time. Is there anyone out there that feels the same way? I plan to build my own house down in SOMO (southern Missouri) somewhere in the next 2-4 years, Im looking at land already...1-2 acres to start, Why not start on my own future property? Why couldn't maybe 10-15 of US in this forum make a life changing decision, put our talents together and create something Huge?! I'm not asking, right now, if anyone would be willing to relocate but what if I created something in the near future....would you consider it?
I think there are some very useful thoughts here. I would talk to the pros you have three big haunts in Missouri and I would talk to the owners and get a lay of the land so to speak. As others have said I would go to Trans World and other convenventions and talk to as many people as possible and attend seminars to learn as much as you can about what works and doesn't. You need a business plan and need to work with someone who has experience in writing business plans for haunts so you can bite this off in a ordered manner. The land is key are you near area's that can sustain a haunt and is there enough infrastructure so you can build it up. One thing I would be looking for is land that already has a creepy old Victorian house (for walk through house), woods with a swamp (walk through maze) area and last a large building to build from. With those three things you have up and ready attractions to build off of. Another option is a haunt like Erebus in Pontiac Michigan. Pontiac is 24 miles North of Detroit and is surrounded by many middle and upper middle class towns so there are lots of customers and it is a 125 minute drib=ve from all these communities. Pontiac like Detroit was at one time very rich and when the automotive factories moved out it became a very poor area but it had lots of very large cheap building. The owners od Erebus bought a 3 story factory building and over time kept building and adding to the haunt. Much of the crew that helped build it has done much of the work as a labor of love when they were getting started (good luck finding that kind of help). Now it is one of the biggest haunts in the midwest.
My point is you really need to spend the time and effort to talk to pro's and gather as much info and visit as many haunts as you can so you have a clear vision of how the industry works and what type of haunt you want to build. Good luck, keep us posted!
 
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