Halloween Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Before I begin going over an observation that I noticed at a pro haunt over the weekend I would like say to that that I am in way no bashing pro haunts. I just noticed something and I am wondering how it will impact attendance for the current season and in future years. Actually I am a big fan of pro haunts and what they are able to pull if done correctly.

Now on to my observations and questions. Over the weekend I went to a pro haunt that I have attended in past and have really enjoyed. In the past this haunt has embodied everything that I enjoy about Halloween, In some respects I would say it's almost an art haunt. It was very well put together and even though they do not have the latest and greatest props the owners seemed to have a true love for the season.

I think it's important to note that this is their second season at this location. The first season was amazing, when I walked into what would be considered the courtyard it was like into Halloween. It instantly got excited for the season and to see the their haunts, which I thought were very good. Long story short, in my opinion they really took their haunt to a new level last year and it was over the top.

This year on the other hand was not quite as impressive, but still pretty good. I could tell that level of effort put into this year was not close to the amount of the previous year. However because of the amazing haunt last year I think that word got out around the community and the numbers of people that showed for a mid October weekend was very impressive. When I compare this to what I saw from last year which was closer to the end of October the haunt has had a big increase in attendance.

Now here is where I ask myself, why would someone spend all that time and effort one year to increase your numbers and then not maintain that level of effort the second year? If I were the owner I would be afraid of losing not only returning customers, but I also having one time only customers. I understand that sometimes haunts have better years than others, but by having inconsistency in the level of haunt that you have are you setting yourself up to be just an average haunt or even worse a haunt that has to close it doors. Anybody have any thoughts on this?
 

·
Monster Collector
Joined
·
3,385 Posts
I guess there could be a number of factors that has caused this. Maybe not enough time to set up. Not enough help. Money. Health. Who knows.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I agree and I'm sure that there are many factors in play when it comes to something like this. But it just seems like so much energy is expended to grow a haunt that you would always want to keep a forward momentum going. And when the day comes where you just do something like this because it's a business is the day you should think about finding a new business. I say this because I don't think that most haunted houses are truly that profitable. I think many people get into them as a love of haunting more than anything else and if your heart is not in it any longer there has to be more profitable ways to earn money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I guess that's one reason why the idea of opening up a pro haunt is not very appealing to me . I have seen to many friends get into the industry and it seems like every time it turns something that they love into just another job with lots of financial stress.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,392 Posts
I think your answer can be found in your statement "In some respects I would say it's almost an art haunt." Most efforts of these nature are something that people really want to do in order to see their vision come to life. Once it does, it doesn't hold the same affection for them it did the first time. Most likely their minds are already focusing on some other effort they would like to bring to life.
 

·
Seer of All
Joined
·
2,940 Posts
I think your answer can be found in your statement "In some respects I would say it's almost an art haunt." Most efforts of these nature are something that people really want to do in order to see their vision come to life. Once it does, it doesn't hold the same affection for them it did the first time. Most likely their minds are already focusing on some other effort they would like to bring to life.
I think this is an excellent observation and explains why many of us are not satisfied with putting out the same display every year. Once that endeavor is achieved, it's time to start the creative process al over again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,015 Posts
I'm sure the owner would appreciate any help you can offer. Stop by early November when they're taking down and exchange information. Maybe you can help take it back up a couple of notches next year.
 

·
Somewhat Eccentric
Joined
·
2,278 Posts
I think it's similar to what I see happen with many small businesses. The owners are "gung ho" in the beginning. It's fresh, it's new, it's exciting. Then the realization that it's also a lot of work kicks in. What once was fun becomes a burden and is no longer is a passion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
I run a 'pro' haunt, I'm in my second year, and I can tell you this, it is more work than I imagined. I spent 6 hours today just dealing with a sound system that keeps failing. It's still failing, I had to stop for the night.
I think my haunt is as good or better than last year but the high cost of starting up has to start being offset by income or I can't add more or change a lot next year. (even though we've had good attendance, it hasn't touched start up costs yet)
I fell last October on the stairs racing to get to one of my scene's to get it finished and injured my shoulder, I can't do as much this year as I did last year.
Etc, etc etc. It's everything, everyone has said it is.
I haven't lost my passion but the bloom is off the rose, just a little bit.
And on the other side of things, with all due respect, one person might think the haunt isn't up to par and the next person will say it was 100% better than last year. We all have to weigh out the critiques and comments and then come to a conclusion about what needs changing and what doesn't.
It is quite possible this particular haunt owner gave it everything and it just didn't click. It happens to everyone, what looked great on paper, didn't play well to the public.
Now I'm done, I'm tired...:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
259 Posts
My observation at the pro haunt right down the road from me is the $35 entry fee. I went last year when it was 25 and it just so so. Mainly just gore.
They're bigger now and probably better, but at such a steep price, I'm gonna have to pass.
 

·
The Big Kahuna of Fright
Joined
·
4,329 Posts
No pro Haunter here, but for the first 7 years that I've been doing this, I felt that each successive show had to surpass the previous year. And we pulled it off. But the challenge just starts to overwhelm you. New, fresh ideas become harder to come by. I mean, we did "Sweeney Todd" back in 1992! We had 3 TV remote reporting crews at our place at the same time doing live feeds for the evening news!
Since then we take it a year at a time, cutting back some years, ramping up others. Way more fun this way...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
As a home haunter in the UK now progressed to pro haunt productions I feel there is a vast difference between the too (even over here where we are still in the haunt industry infancy). The prices are rising at a alarmingly rate. We have just taken over a building we can have permanent so this year are keeping the prices down to hopefully generate foot flow. But even I have started to be very selective of which haunt to visit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
First off, pro haunts are hard work. Extremely hard work. Everyone involved in the haunt has to put in 110% to be a successful show. It takes awhile to get a good core group of people that will actually stick with the show. So many people sign up to act or build, realise just how much work is involved, then walk. This leaves the haunt scrambling to fill spots in the middle of the season. There's a reason Pro Haunts refer to their crew as family. The people who stick it out are special. You hang on to those people.

Don't be so hard on the show if it's only their second season. They are doing the best they can. Sometimes you hit, sometimes you miss. You just try to learn and build for the next show.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top