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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey There! My name is Noah Schatzline and I'm the Owner of the Annual "Trail of Darkness"! I build it every year in my backyard with a different theme each year for around $200-$300. Now here are some great ideas for Properly Building a Backyard Home Haunted House!

:voorhees:1. Building Material
Of course before you start building your haunted attraction, you MUST know what to build it out of! The Basic and ,mostly, cheap material I build it with are 6-8 foot tall garden stakes and 200ft x 6ft Black Plastic Sheeting. I usually buy my stake at Lowes for around $2.50-$3.00 PER stake. Now, you can either blow your money away at a store for Black Plastic Sheeting (BPS), or you can take your time and search for cheap kind online. I got Cheap BPS online for $24! GET YOUR BPS HERE: http://www.packsecure.com/servlet/the-156/plastic,-plastic-sheeting,-polyethylene,/Detail
You can also search for more building material for even cheaper maybe at Craig's List.

:jol:2. Managing your Attraction
Now before you buy your Building material,props,etc., you must know how much it will cost you for everything. ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE CHARGING FOR YOUR HAUNTED HOUSE! So you don't lose money, you might want some Consulting. Find a consultant on the internet who could really help.
Also! Remember this! If you want profit Calculate everything through this formula:Ticket Price X ATTENDANCE(# of attenders expected)=Total Income
Total Income - Total Cost(to build it)=Profit
Remember that your profit needs to be more then how much it cost to build.

:xbones:3. Props
Now, you can either make your own props, or buy props. It usually cost less to make you own, but I buy props because they usually look more professional. <edited by moderator> Buy from professional stores online such as the following:
www.hauntedprops.com www.monsterguts.com www.thehorrordome.com www.frightprops.com
www.frightcatalog.com www.thefrighteners.com
You can also Buy prop making supplies from these ^^ websites!
You can also buy even sometimes CHEAPER supplies at craigslist.com such as styrofoam for gravestones or buy pnuematic supplies for making airblasters and water spitters!

:ninja:4. Lighting and sound
Lighting is EXTREMELY important! The best things to use are Blacklights, strobe lights, and sometimes even pure Darkness! You can buy these items cheaply at the stores ^^ up there! Sound is ALSO important. When you go through a haunted house, would you rather have Spooky woods music or Broadway Music!? Spooky Music sounds a lot BETTER!!! It sets the mood for haunted houses. Even using Metal Music for chainsaw rooms makes it scarier!
Don't waste your money on Haunted House CD's!!!!!!!! Instead, download Lime-Wire or Frost-Wire! You can get any type of FREE Music including haunting music from them! These programs are also FREE! I use Frost-Wire for it is Virus-Free!

:cooleton:5. Backstage props
You will also need things like Smoke Machines, Air-Blasters,water spitters and Sensors for your Haunted attraction. Don't waste your money on $50-$100 Smoke Machines! Get them on EBAY!! THEY ARE ALOT CHEAPER THERE!!! Air-Blasters and Water Spitters are great! Although they can be VERY Expensive so I suggest making your own by looking up a tutorial for build one and then buying the Pnuematics for it! Sensors are optional for you animated props, BUT I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THEM! They are used to set off your electric props at the EXACT MOMENT when someone walks past one. When someone walks past one, the electrical magnetic waves trigger the Animated Prop to set off and scare the living Heebie-Jeebies out of you!

6. ONE LAST THING!
If your Haunted Attraction is Outdoors and at Night Time, Then I suggest to have bright lights at the front of the Gate/Entrance facing the line of People. The attender's eyes will then adjust to the bright light, so that when they enter the attraction their eyes will not be adjusted to darkness which makes them see pitch Black and makes it harder to go through the House and also 50% Scarier!!!!

HAPPY HAUNTING!!!
 

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How much is the insurance for a haunt in your back yard. Do you have to get it inspected by the Building Inspector and Fire Marshall. What would be a safe estimate of these cost. Also do you have to use fire proofing on the black plastic? I have never tried to charge. I figured this stuff was more then I could afford for my yard haunt.
 

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If you are charging a fee and you are running a non-licensed, non-insured pro haunt in your yard, your Home Owners policy could be dropped :eek:

If you are doing it for free or charity you still need protection. This year we did a garage haunt. I had fire extinguisher, and a garden hose on stand by.

Sorry to the OP'er but I would be very careful on what you put out about this. It has been talked about lots and opinions vary...just do your homework....may cost you more in law suits then you could ever imagine.

-PB
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
To the watcher: I wouldn't worry about insurance. What I do is Have a small contract saying that we arent responsible for injuries and such and make them sign it!
Sincerely,
T.O.D.

To PropBoy: Thats why you charge SECRETLY. I you don't want to do that, then take donations, tips, and maybe even do a raffle ticket auction!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just dont use fire!
 

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The opinion's expressed here are of the TrailofDarkness only. Please do your own insurance and inspection research to protect yourself from liability.
 

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But, DO NOT BUY FROM HALLOWEEN STORES THAT ONLY OPEN DURING HALLOWEEN SEASON Like "*********"! These stores will RIP YOU OFF!
Please do no bash vendors on this forum - especially a vendor that is a SPONSOR of Hauntforum. Thank you.
 

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Lets see what you got!

I think for the advice that you are throwing out there you should have some thing to show you know what you are talking about. I see no pictures of any of your work or displays. As far as I'm concerned there is no value to any of your statements.
 

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No offense meant but your rules are pretty basic. Lets see:

Use building materials that are inexpensive, use light and sound, build or buy props and do it all as cheaply as possible and then make sure that your income exceeds output?

And personally I like monsterguts, as well as a few of those other stores. I would rather buy a new motor that might be a little bit more expensive than hope I might find a used one for less, that I am not sure will work. But thats just me.
 

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Hey ToD, I understand your just trying to post some useful information, but the knowledge your posting is known by the most novice of haunters. <edited by moderator>
 

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This thread seems to be getting confrontational so I'm going to close it.
 
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