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Professional Haunt Scares

1235 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  CrypticCuriosity
Was watching some videos of people going through professional haunts for inspiration and after about 15 minutes noticed most (not all) of the haunts are someone in a mask popping out and screaming at the patron.

So I watched a few other sites and basically the same thing, some even have a strange mish-mash of bug costume/clown/alien/butcher and of course strobe light and the obligatory chainsaw. Some didn't even have a "big" final scare, just one more pop-out masked person wearing tennis shoes and then you're out. Is it just me being jaded or are they really not putting a lot of effort into it lately?
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Totally depends on the haunt! It's easy to get into the "jump out and yell" thing just because you are working with a rotating cast of people who are working for free or cheap and aren't always dependable. It's easy to get people to do that. But sometimes you get a good crew, experienced haunters, good managers, and a real theme and that makes for a good haunt. It takes more to get people into a good costume and into their character.

Like the one I'm volunteering at, we have a mix of teenagers and forever Halloween types so there's a decent mix of startle scares and creepy lurk in the shadows and follow you down the hall types.

(I'm like Ickis, I'm a "loomer". Think it in the Gromble voice please, all you Aah Real Monsters fans.)

There's two kinds of haunted house visitors: the ones who want to be scared, and the ones who come to appreciate. Not all haunts get this.

And sometimes, the videos just don't capture the haunt at its best.
I think I've seen the worst "big finish" ever created for a haunt. It was an empty room featuring a mural of a giant rat with a Christmas color wheel aimed at it. A color wheel that was placed right in front of the mural and was visible to everyone. The robed tour guide trying to force everyone out as quickly as possible made it even more disappointing.
I agree with Kakygori. I think it depends on the haunt. We have one of the top rated haunted houses in the country here in Atlanta and it is awesome. But I went through a charity run one a few years ago that didn't have guides or arrows to really direct you. At one point you went into a dark hallway which was made into this tiny tiny hallway that curved numerous times and was PITCH DARK. All you had to direct you was a voice saying "come this way" but you had no idea which direction it was coming from. We ended up back where we started and had to have a guy that worked there create a "train" so that we could follow each other by holding hands. It was awful.
Thanks for the replies, since then I've found some great videos and watched a few of my favorites. You're right about the actors, the ones that get into it are the best but can't guarantee that with volunteers. It's interesting that my opinion of a haunt changes greatly if I have to pay (and how much).
A new one in our area this last year is fantastic. They are open year round with a changing show and I can't promote them enough. It is Dark Hour in Plano, TX. The attention to detail is phenomenal and the scares and yells from the patrons just never stop. Fantastic!!!
Either I have good luck with professional haunts or I just know how to pick them, because the last couple of years I've been to some great haunts.

But I also know what you're talking about. I went to a professional haunt once that cost an absurd amount of money and it was just people popping up and yelling. They weren't even doing anything compelling, just yelling stuff like "Hey!". How is that remotely scary? That's the kind of scare I think to do at the last second when I hear someone coming around a corner in my house.

Of the good ones I've been to, thinking out of the box is really what get people (at least it gets me) I went to a haunt once with a girl who was a contortionist. When you walked into her room she would do some crazy back bends and crawling around exorcist style. I also remember an elaborate haunt that included going through a wax museum where you couldn't tell who was an actor and who was a wax statue. Those are the kind of things that really mess with people, but like others have mentioned, you're typically not going to get that caliber of performance from volunteers.
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