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Hey everyone, we're in the planning stages of our haunt this year. We're thinking about doing a Jack the Ripper theme. There isn't a whole lot out there that I can find of other haunts doing this theme. I have spoken to a few folks though, and if anyone HAS done a Jack the Ripper theme, I'd love to chat with you! Otherwise, I'll go ahead and throw out my ideas so far. I would love to hear feedback and constructive criticism!

So, first things first - our haunt is built around a roughly 100 yard length gravel driveway that goes through about 2 acres of woods. The driveway ends at a garage. Power (light, fog, etc) is limited to extension cords, and the woods are pretty thick. The garage is really the only building or structure on the haunt.


I have done some very basic planning/brainstorming for the haunt this year. The basic plot is that visitors will work with a detective who is on the trail of Jack the Ripper. They will journey down the path and find witnesses, a murder scene, and eventually Jack the Ripper. At the start of the trail, there will be two detectives. One will remain and control the line into the haunt, the other will walk down the trail with each group. There will be a gravedigger that will make comments about burying another victim, or something similar. I will probably base the character design around the Haunted Mansion gravedigger. Further down we'll come across some citizens heading home for the evening, and will warn the group not to stay out late for fear of Jack.

After this, we'll find either prop corpse or some other sign of a murder. Maybe a blood pool and some body parts. From there, the garage will be the final stop. We are going to try to make it feel like a Whitechapel alleyway. Here we will find Jack the Ripper. I am still unsure about how to end it. I don't want to have Jack chase the group, because sometimes people just freeze and it gets awkward for the scare actor. I was thinking of maybe making the final area Jack's "lair" or something similar. Maybe the detective can separate from the main group and they have to find their way back. On the way back out maybe Jack can appear.

Again, looking for any feedback or ideas. Thanks!
 

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There are all manner of approaches that you can take, and I'm pretty sure you'll find the ones that will work for the area you have to plan the haunt. But one thing I would suggest. Whatever you do to create your Jack, be it one or more people or props, don't let your guests anywhere near him. You're going to spend quite a bit of time working to rile up a crowd over this evil man, so come his appearance, make sure that those who get the shock of seeing him can't lash out at him as a response. It's not uncommon to see people hit the people or monsters that jump out at them, and Jack is both. So, keep the scare at a safe distance for the sake of those who play the part of the killer. :)
 
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