Creating an interesting environment that entices guests to be curious and explore the many assets of your facility is half the battle when it comes to setting up a scream-worthy event. Although much of the work becomes necessary after guests have set foot in the first scene, an underestimated amount of a haunted house’s success can be attributed to perfecting the art of waiting to be entertained. Here are five tips that will help ensure you’ll create a creepy and energetic vibe.
1. Rockin’ TunesSound design is key to creating a killer vibe. Add some scary CDs to your haunted supply list, hire a zombie DJ, or get a band like V is for Villians to play in your waiting area. Not only will this strategy result in awesome entertainment, but guests will feel more welcomed and engaged before they’ve even bought their tickets.
Use a techno strobe light or a search light to attract guests from afar (Batman style). Enhance the lighting with a fog machine. Although these can get pricey, they are great for creating a hazy and disorienting environment. When contemplating a fog machine purchase, ask yourself the following questions in order to find the best machine for your location:
1. Is there remote control for flow and timing?
2. Is the machine light weight?
3. What is the maximum time the machine will need to run?
4. How loud is the motor/pump on the highest setting?
3. Detailed Set Up
Creatively designed sets, handmade costumes, and eye-popping makeup may trivial is the big picture of haunted event planning, but these seemingly small details go a long way in customer satisfaction. These are the things that make guests remember your event years after their experience. These seemingly small aspects will force your event to the top of the must-see list.
4. Engaging Actors
Whether someone is juggling fire, or actors are roaming around scaring people waiting in line, it’s never a bad thing to divert guests’ attention away from their wait time. Get people pumped up for your event by giving them a teaser of what they’re about to encounter (sort of like an in-person trailer for your attraction.) If you want to utilize the characters inside the attraction to the fullest, stage your lighting to optimize shadows so actors can lurk deep in the dark. It’s also smart to consider different angles and directions from which actors can sneak up and scare audience members. Often times, there is space that might not be used for a whole scene, but can utilized as hiding/trap door space.
5. Creepy Catering/Cocktails
If you’re looking for an excuse to incorporate food into your event, look no further than these insane, edible ideas. Use cold cuts to craft a human skull, or everyone’s favorite special effect, dry ice, to stir up a cocktail potion. There are a bunch of easy, blood-colored cocktail recipes with which to experiment. Sticking with the theme of blood, a Classic or Spicy Bloody Mary is always a solid go-to.