Monday, October 20, 2008

Say cheese!

One of the biggest challenges in the Haunt business is coming up with new ideas every season. Some haunts keep the same rooms and props every year because they are so popular. Our organization, however, tries to keep our house full of fresh, new things. Sure, we’ve had some favorites we might have used a couple years in a row, and there have also been a few old things we dug out of the closet and gave a fresh coat of paint to, but for the most part we try to offer something different every year.

One of our most successful concepts was the Casket Ride. We took a real casket (a nice looking black one with gold trim, I might add), ripped out the metal spring and added padding and a removable lining, propped that sucker on a long, inclined ramp with industrial rollers and viola. A ride to die for, literally.

We even had a camera mounted over the Loading Zone so that people waiting in line could watch some poor bastard lay down in the coffin, the lid get closed, and the coffin roll off camera. That alone had some folks dampening their drawers.

This year we were inspired by a get-up that occurs at a lot of amusement parks. As soon as you walk in the entrance, some employee and a goober in a big, floppy character costume approach you and your group, snap a picture and hand you a ticket with a number on it. At the end of the day, you report to a booth and, lo and behold, there’s you and your crew with the floppy-costumed critter available in 8 X 10, wallet size and keychain size.

So it if works for them, maybe it’ll work for us. But instead of a cute, furry thing, we could have, say, and evil furry thing.

We honestly had no idea if this would even work, but we will willing to give it a try. The staff got hold of a halfway decent printer and stocked up on ink cartridges and photo paper. Nicograph (who’s been helping out at the Haunted House for quite a few years now) brought her digital camera, tripod, laptop and fabric for a backdrop.

And I brought myself, some furry legs and some big-ass wings.

We just found our next big money maker. We’re averaging about a dozen a night. And that number increases every weekend.

For 5 bucks, you and your pals can get your photo made with yours truly. So, in a sense, I’ve become a twisted version of a mall Santa.

Yes, people are more than willing to plop either themselves or their kids on my lap for a photo. Imagine using one of these for your Christmas Card this year.

So I sit on my big chair all night, eyeing the crowd ominously, while Nicograph solicits potential subjects.

Who knew we could make this much money (and have fun at the same time) and still keep our clothes on?


Anonymous said...

DUDE!! That's freaking GENIUS!!! I'm going to have to get my picture with you this weekend! ;p @}---

judygraham said...

I enjoyed reading your accounts of scaring the many deserving (some more so than others) in your haunted house. Very entertaining. Wish I were close enough to see you in action in person. You go, girl!