We just finished up another haunt interview this time with Dan from Decimation Haunted House. Make sure to take a moment after checking out the interview to head over to their website at http://www.decimationhauntedhouse.com and be prepared for some very creepy background noise. Loved their site and Dan has provided some great tips to some of the issues they encountered and had to overcome so site back and enjoy the interview and let us know what you thought with a comment afterward.
1.What was your biggest challenge in starting your haunted house and how did you overcome it?
Our big challenge was fairly common, money. We found out that banks have little to no interest in lending to start up businesses. Unless your established for 2 years or more, they won’t take a chance with you, unless you offer some sort of collateral. So we had to get creative, we realized attempting to get the full amount of money we needed from one place was not going to happen. The key was to get bits and pieces from several sources, and that’s what we did. If you can prove to people what your doing will work, your good to go. Not one bank ever even asked to see our business plan, but that was just fine, because others wanted to see it, and when they did, they were more than willing to help out.
2. If you had one piece of advice to give to someone starting out what would it be?
Plan your haunt first. You can’t make a business plan without knowing how much money you need. Start at the bottom of the mountain, not the top. Work your way up. Another piece of advice is to do something different, try new things. If you can’t afford high end props, try making them. If you love building haunts, your obviously creative, so use that creativity, the money you’ll save will be amazing. On the other side of that, if you can create your own props and sets, you’ll be very original at the same time, just try it! Lastly, never ever take “NO” for an answer. You will hear the word NO a lot, as we did, but keep going, you’ll get there if you keep pushing forward.
3. What do you consider to be the most important aspect of running a haunted house and why?
Well safety is the most important, of course. However, there are things that are almost as important. Efficiency, the haunt needs to operate and run smooth. Getting mass trains of guests in your haunt at once takes away personal scares and experience. Sure, lines get long and people get impatient, however, letting in groups of 15 people does not help anyone, customer or haunt owners. Your actors have to help with this process, they have to work as sheep herders at times. There is nothing worse as a customer than running into the group ahead of you, at least in our eyes that’s the case, we strive for a personal experience in our haunt, allowing each group to get that strong scare.
4. What do you think is the key to running a successful haunted house?
Being scary! When we say scary, we don’t mean “boo” scary, we mean make people cry or wet themselves scary. That’s why people pay you the admission price…to get scared. Don’t let them down. Our job is to scare people, if they get what they pay for, they can’t complain. One other thing, be different. Do something that’s out of the ordinary, try not to replicate other haunts or movies. You are just as creative as anyone else, use your creativity and talent, be different on ALL levels!
Some great advice and answers. Once again take a moment to check out Decimation Haunted House to find out about operating times and location and we will be doing a t-shirt giveaway in the near future with one of their new shirts they just came out with. Also want to just say thanks to Dan for taking the time to help out with this interview and for passing some knowledge on to our haunt lovers out there.
Check Out Other Haunt Interviews
Haunt Interview With Author Lynne Mitchell Of How To Haunt Your House
Haunt Interview With Kelly Allen Of Raycliff Manor