I have to agree 100%. I keep reading posts that people say "I don't charge any money, so I don't need any insurance". Any time someone steps on your property, you are liable. Now combine that with an atmosphere of scare and low lights and fog, and now the possibilities of increased. We have our home owner policy and I also buy an additional policy for the nights that we will be open.It's kind of funny/scary how I went all those years with a full walk-through haunted house in the basement of my parents house without even thinking about all the potential rules I was breaking.
I mean, we always made sure safety was the #1 priority. We would keep a fire extinguisher or two on hand, post lots of safety rules, have actors posted all through-out the haunt with flashlights just in case, I would even follow EVERY SINGLE group through to keep an eye on things (in costume of course) with only 1 group of 4-5 people allowed in at a time, PERIOD.
I suppose we must have been lucky NOT to have been inspected. Maybe because we were raising money for crime stoppers, nobody wanted to complain (good cause, plus run by cops).
Come to think about it though, it was awfully dark in the haunt... no way of turning on emergency lights and if you don't know where you are it would take a few extra seconds to get to the exit.
All the more reason I dont want to take on that headache at my own house.
Now that i'm a home-owner myself, I think "wow, my mom was NUTS to let us do this in her house and take on the risk"
I find that, if you want to truly go pro, there are too many hoops to jump through and there simply isn't enough money to be made in haunted houses to justify the cost it would take to run (and I HATE haunted houses that charge UN-GODLY amounts like $15-$20 person) when you consider that you're only IN there maybe 10 minutes (if that).
Besides, the main reason I would want to build a haunt in the first place is for FUN, not as a business venture.
Ah well, good thing I took LOTS of pictures.
We run a haunt for charity and we don't make a profit. If we were to charge more to cover our expenses, we would turn away a lot of people. I do everything possible to make sure there are no accidents. We monitor the people, and control the situations.
As much as I enjoy building my haunt and scaring the &%# out of people, this will probably be our last year. I have improved our haunt since the first time scaring. When I look back at the older photos and compare to the new scares and scenes, I'm proud of the work. I don't like to think of giving this up, since I work on it year round and it is left up year round. I just don't want to see someone come through and take it all away. So, this last year will be the best year for us.
Good luck and happy haunting.