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Welcome to the forum :D

You'll need to explain more about what you have as far as props and theme(s).
 

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Welcome to the forum :D

You'll need to explain more about what you have as far as props and theme(s).
Room 1: The Waiting Room (someone will be hiding under a desk, we'll have a TV playing static, chairs, etc.)

Room 2: Morgue (body bags hanging that you will have to navigate through, possibly a strobe.

Room 3: Maze Room (We'll have evil patients in there, it will be a large pallet maze covered with black plastic and will have strobes, some of the walls will be fake and people can pop through.

Room 4: The Butcher Shop (My Shed) A mini-maze in my shed. Bloody arms, legs, etc on a shelf.

Room 5: The "Warden's Office" where we have the director of the asylum (whom we refer to as "The Warden" dead at his desk. It will be designed to look like an office. As the guests are looking and walking towards the desk, I will come from behind them with a chainsaw and chase them out of the haunt.
The chainsaw room should be good.
 

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Here's something I wrote a while ago just to help tell my actors how to scare:



"The components of a good startle:
To sum it up in one sentence, fear stems from a fast, negative, and sensory transition that brings the negative element closer to the person. Now let me expand on that…
“fast”
The monster must make his transition speedy. A lurking, slow moving zombie sets a creep atmosphere, but it’s the fast, lunging zombie that elicits the screams. This speed gives the brain less time to process what’s actually happening and determine if the object it fears is actually worthy fearing.
“negative”
This one’s pretty obvious. Bringing a cake closer to a fat kid through a fast, sensory transition does not elicit fear, but rather excitement. It has to be something that poses a threat to the patron.
“sensory”
The more of the five senses the transition can affect, the better. Our five senses are the only ways we know anything that’s going on around us, so it’s better in a haunt to affect more than just sight and sound in order to stimulate the brain and take it more time to decide whether or not it should actually fear what is happening.
“transition”
Something must happen to scare someone. The bigger this transition is, the bigger the scare (as I said above).
“that brings the negative element closer”
Even if the patrons have already seen a monster in a room, it is still possible to get a scare by just moving closer to the guests. Of course, if the monster was previously unseen, the fear level increases exponentially because the guests did not previously did not perceive the monster’s existence at all. Additionally, it is nearly impossible to get a scare moving away from guests, unless of course your existence in the scene was not previously perceived."



Additionally, I've found that it's always best to design the layout of scenes specifically around scares and then fill in theiming elements rather than vice-versa. As haunters we tend to just focus on creating an awesome scene and then just make actors come up with their own hiding spots, but that pretty much undermines everything that makes a haunt scary.
 

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There are basically two types of scares, though they are not independent of each other.
Physical scares: where you, a prop, or some physical attribute within your haunt startles the guests.
Mental scares: Scares that are more of a mental/intellectual process for the guests.
Mental scares would be having massive spider webs up when you know your guest is arachnophobic, the mental scare would be the webs brushing their skin and the spider dropping down in front of them. Physical scares are fun, but they tend to be short lived and if you use the same kind of scare over and over again, predictable, and eventually, boring. Mixing the two types of scares within your haunt tends to have the best overall effect. It's one of the main reasons haunters tend to use a theme or story-line for their haunt, it lets you focus the mental scares on an idea or theme so that your physical scares will have the most impact.
 

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I don't have any suggestions for you but want to say I like the asylum theme.
 

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Do you have anything playing in the background. Sound effects set the mood and play on the mind. Make a recording of people talking low, IE- a doctor talking about a patient, then have some, not a lot, people screaming, as if being tortured.

If room allows for it, you can have a hallway of doors. Some doors hinge the right way and then, here and there, put a door with the hinges on the doorknob side. This will catch them off guard and slow them down.
In the "wardens room" you can have a scare actor come in as a crazy patient looking for the doctor and causing a ruckus.

Just some ideas to work with.
 

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I know myself, and about several thousand other people, have gotten some real scares out of pregnancy tests. But I'm not sure how you could incorperate it. But it's just what I think of when people ask for real scares. That and police lights in you back car window. Shivers....
 

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:jol: I will leave this questions to the masters....however, my thoughts on really good scares always come back to the one, single person...alone...that is the ONLY way you get a good scare.....in numbers...we are safe....singled out...we are terrified.....:eek:
 

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We got some really good scares with four people going through at a time so while single certainly creeps them out - if you place your scares well you will still get the screams. One of our BEST last year (got a scream from all but one group of four) was slamming a metal gate against the wall (a real clang and you had a sense of the vibration too) while the "guests" were walking through a particularly dark part of the haunt.
 

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One other big thing that scares everyone would have to be a falling wall or ceiling. With something that crashes on top of you, you don't have to believe a storyline, actor, or anything for it to be scary; it just is.
You do, however, have to be careful about anything actually falling on a guest unless you as the haunter want to experience the fear of a lawsuit.
 

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One of my best tactics is to first make the people uncomfortable, one way I've learned works well is to glue nuts and bolts to plywood, and make it part of the path. Once they step on it, the usual reaction is to look down and try to see what it is your stepping on. This takes the focus off of their surroundings and gives the actors time to slide up and startle your marks. It can also be used in conjunction with ankle ticklers, hanging body parts that you they have to push through to get by, dripping water, and so on. As was previously stated, stimulate as many of the senses as possible to get a good scare.
 

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The potential for lawsuits applies to those things people can trip on, fall on, or stub a toe on too. I'd use ankle ticklers or maybe just puffs of air at their ankles to distract them from things that might brush their face or visually startle them.

Stuff falling on you?
Hope you have a really deep treasure chest for the lawsuits that will follow. There's no way the fire or safety authorities, much less the insurance people, would ever allow you to do it, or cover you for that kind of thing if you are doing it on purpose. Why not just pump in poisonous gas, that would surprise them too, then they can trip on the bodies of the people who came in before they did?
Don't give people crazy ideas that things like this are even thinkable. This is up there with fake razors (or real ones for that matter) are okay to put in treats for the TOTs.
 

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You mentioned using body bags. In my haunt, I had 6 body bags, staggered down a hallway (I hope to add 2 more this year). It is the part of my haunt that scares people most BEFORE they even go through them. Many won't. Just to keep it fresh last year I added a little touch that no one was expecting. In addition to having my victim's arms or hands poking out of the bags, I hung a couple of heads in the midst of the bags, about face level. Imagine the ToTs surprise when they came face to face with that. The strobe light is a great idea. It keeps my ToTs from being able to clearly see to the other end of the body bag hallway, and also gives the bags a crazy flashing effect when they swing back and forth.
I love your asylum idea. I hope it comes out great.
 

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My immediate thought about the things glued to the floor was rolled ankles and stubbed toes. I'm not sure I would go down that path. Maybe something that crunches under foot - like peanut shells or even bark chips/gravel just to change the surface. Safety Safety Safety. I'm always looking for the worst case scenario in everything to be on the safe side.
 

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Nothing scares people more at least I think, is plain old darkness. Not being able to see very well, but of course without people getting hurt. I mean you still want them to find their way around. It is the darkness that illuminate's Halloween (if you understand what I'm saying).

It can make the hair stand up on your back, and can send shivers down your spine! It's the fear of not knowing, because you can't see very well. There is nothing more scary than looking out your bedroom window in the darkness and after straining your eyes in the dark trying to see, you realize someone or something is looking back at you!
 

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Working with some major fears is always a good start...
Acrophobia - Fear of Heights
Claustrophobia - Fear of Enclosed Spaces
Nyctophobia - Fear of the Dark
Ophidiophobia - Fear of Snakes
Arachnophobia - Fear of Spiders
Trypanophobia - Fear of Injection or Medical Needles
Astraphobia - Fear of Thunder and Lightning
Nosophobia - Fear of Having a Disease
Mysophobia AKA Germophobia - Fear of Germs
Triskaidekaphobia - Fear of the Number 13
 

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Stuff falling on you?
Hope you have a really deep treasure chest for the lawsuits that will follow. There's no way the fire or safety authorities, much less the insurance people, would ever allow you to do it, or cover you for that kind of thing if you are doing it on purpose. Why not just pump in poisonous gas, that would surprise them too, then they can trip on the bodies of the people who came in before they did?
Don't give people crazy ideas that things like this are even thinkable. This is up there with fake razors (or real ones for that matter) are okay to put in treats for the TOTs.
Perhaps I should rephrase what I said in more detail.

The falling wall or ceiling gag, as seen at many of the country's top haunts (Netherworld, Bates Motel, Factory of Terror), is a mechanism designed to make it seem as if a wall or ceiling is crashing upon guests. However, before said wall or ceiling comes anywhere near close enough to strike guests, it is stopped by either striking a wood beam put in place to stop it or by reaching the end of a strong chain holding it up. This is a fantastic startle for essentially anybody walking through, as long as they see the falling object and don't miss it due to too much darkness (I made this mistake last year).

There are some obvious safety precautions one must make if he or she wishes to create this scare. Obviously, it's important to construct the wall from solid, durable material and to have a sturdy stopping board or chain. I would also reccommend a secondary stopping machanism in the unlikely event that the first fails. It's also important to keep patron's a reasonable distance away from the falling wall as it dose inherently move closer to them, so maybe add a prop or railing to keep guests from directly aproaching the wall. And as always with a haunt, it's better to be safe than sorry so take all the precautions you can.

As I referenced above, I have used both a falling wall (2008) and a falling ceiling (2011) in my haunt, and aside from the times that darkness and poor creative coordination prevented guests from seeing the ceiling, these scares worked great and went extremely well safety-wise.
 
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