Haunted House – Do’s and Don’ts
Photo Courtesy of the Daily Herd
It’s that time of year again when many will dress up, trick-or-treat and of course…visit haunted houses to be scared and have a good time while doing it. Some even go out of their way to create their own haunted houses and create enough scares to last the whole year. With that said, some people tend to go overboard and realize that while scaring is fun…some situations are not. That’s why the staff here at Toolbarn have come up with several Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to haunted houses.
DO: USE SPECIAL EFFECTS TO CREATE A CREEPY ATMOSPHERE!
Photo Courtesy of YouTube
It’s okay to use special effects to create a cool atmosphere! Fog machines, strobe lights, black lights, sound effects are all awesome to use. Just make sure your guests know what’s in store for them. If something like a fog machine causes someone to cough a lot or strobe lights cause issues for people (like people with epilepsy)…please make sure they are aware before you let them in. The last thing you want is to run people to a hospital.
DON’T: RUN ELECTRICAL CORDS THROUGH YOUR HOUSE
Photo Courtesy of Karen Frillmann
Be smart with your electrical cords or other wires. You may have no choice and have to run your cords along floors and walls. But, try not to if you can help it. If people are walking along in the dark, the last thing you need is to have them trip over something. They could hurt themselves and it holds up the rest of the line. If it has to run along the floor, use black duct/electrical tape. It secures your cords and prevents people from taking a tumble.
DO: MAKE SURE PARENTS KNOW YOUR HOUSE IS AGE APPROPRIATE
Photo Courtesy of Something Awful
It’s a haunted house and there is no reason kids can’t get enjoy it too. But, ask yourself…how old should someone be when going through your haunted house. Is it okay for children under 10? Is there lots of gore or freaky actors “killing” their victims? If so, you may want to set an age limit.
Nothing is worse for the guests or your actors than having a little kid get so scared, that it backs up the line and causes a jam. If you run into this problem, have a separate exit for the child and their family. Keeps your line moving and gets the traumatized guests to a safer mindset.
Speaking of gore…
DON’T: OVERUSE GORE OR BE TOO GROSS
Photo Courtesy of Jaded Viewer and Haunted House NYC
Okay, we all know Halloween is supposed to be scary. There should be some creepiness, but some people like to push the limit when it comes to what’s scary and what’s not. Gore seems to fall into the category and some seem to think the more gore you have, the scarier your haunted house is. That’s not necessarily the case. There’s a difference between scary and disturbing.
Like the DO above, think about what kind of audience you’re going to attract. If it’s little kids, do you really want to freak them out by suspending a lady from the ceiling and slitting her throat so another lady can bathe in her blood? If it’s targeted towards adults, you’re fine. If not, better let parents know what the kids could be getting into. (BTW, if you want to see the uncensored, NSFW pic above, click here.)
DO: USE PROPS AND ACTORS TO SCARE YOUR GUESTS
Photo Courtesy of Halloween Asylum
There’s a whole market dedicated to Halloween props and if you’re hosting a haunted house, it’s not a bad idea to buy props. If you’re especially talented, you can build your own props for dirt cheap. Whether it’s using chicken wire to create ghostly dances or soft fabric ghosts, props help the atmosphere and help your house at the same time.
This leads us to…
DON’T: USE REAL WEAPONS OR POWER TOOLS
Photo Courtesy of Online Athens
This should be common sense, but sadly there are people who have done in this in the past. Some people think using real weapons or power tools “add to the effect.” Folks, using real swords, axes, knives, chainsaws or other cutting implements is a great way to get someone hurt. DO NOT and I mean DO NOT use real weapons or power tools in your haunted house.
Even if your actors know what they’re doing, your guests may not and they can be unpredictable. Last thing you need is someone handling one of those objects and your guest gets cut or impaled on something that never should have been there in the first place. Buy props, guys. They’re safer and in a lot of cases…look a lot cooler.
DO: HAVE FUN ON HALLOWEEN
Photos Courtesy of CBS Baltimore
Remember, haunted houses are meant to be fun. No matter what happens, the actors can’t hurt you. It’s not real. So, why not enjoy the show? Remember our tips above and you’ll have a great time. The actors want to have fun too and so suspend your disbelief. After all, Halloween only shows up once a year!