Tricks used at a commercial haunted house


Len Rome's Daily Feature of Little Known Facts

(WYTV)-Haunted house owners use many tricks to crack even the bravest visitor.

The well-planned haunted house creates the illusion of danger but never actually comes close to it.
Most haunts are mazes: guests can find their way through, but there must be enough twists and turns so that they can’t figure out what’s coming next.

If you’re running the haunted house, you have to figure ­out how to move as many people as possible through the attraction in the shortest amount of time to make a profit.

For example, to get 500 people through an attraction in a single night, one haunt owner calculated that groups of six coming in the door every 25 seconds would meet that goal.

You don’t want people coming in too quickly because you’d break one of the biggest rules in haunted house design: Customers must never see those people who have gone in before them.

The idea is to scare people along a path. It’s called scaring forward. The scare must move them forward and not let them retreat. Many of the special effects and actors are come at you from the sides or the back of the group to keep guests moving along the path.

By the way, those hiding places for actors are referred to as scare pockets. And of course, you need several exits for emergencies. Some houses have monsters and such in the parking lot to creep you out so you’re already nervous and on edge when you step into the building.

Now you’re in darkness or blinded by strobe lights in a fog.

Listen for the air horn blasts, you might be forced to feel your way through darkened corridors or push aside heavy curtains or obstacles.

And the actors are the backbone of the haunted house. They never come in contact with customers but they can come mighty close. Then they must quickly scramble back into the shadows.

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