What Makes a Good Haunted House?
As the air starts to get nice and crisp and as our calendars start to inch closer and closer to Halloween you may be considering visiting a haunted house to get you into the Halloween spirit. You, my friend, are making a wise choice. Haunted houses are an awesome experience for everyone looking for a good scare or a fun night with friends. You may be wondering, what exactly separates one haunt from another? What makes a good haunt? Let’s dive in by giving you a few key things to look for so you know that you are getting your monies worth and the best scares possible.
We’ll start with the most important element of any quality haunt, the people. It is the people that will make or break your experience. First on the list of people is, of course, the actors. The actors bring a room to life. Believe it or not, scaring you is a science and a good actor has a phd in scaring.
Actors know the best places to hide in their rooms, what to say to get a reaction out of you, and when exactly to make their move. Unlike an animatronic, an experienced actor can determine who in your group is going to react the most and will target them specifically. This attention to detail is what truly scares your group. Actors are even trained to use cues from other actors or even animatronics in the haunt to time everything perfectly. A good cast of actors will set a quality haunt apart from the others.
Design Team and Build Crew:
Next, it’s the people behind the scenes that ensure a haunt is built correctly. The design team and the build crew plans out, designs and constructs each room to have a unique look that will play on a specific fear you may have. They take months meticulously going over themes, props and designs to ensure that each room will work seamlessly with the actors within them. The most important indication that a haunt is designed and built correctly is the experience of the people on the design team and build crew. The more years of experience they have the better. You also want them to have acting experience in their past so that they know what it is like from the actor’s perspective.
Design and Layout of the Haunt
Now that we have introduced you to the people who are in the haunt and the people who designed and built it, the next thing to discuss is the haunt itself. Some elements that make a haunt stand out is first, did it change over the years? You can find this out by reading reviews or just by going each year but why does this matter? Changing the design and layout of the haunt means two important things.
First, that they care about your experience in the haunt. Chances are, if the crew is willing to change the haunt each year, you know they are dedicated to making sure you have a better time than last year. Crews that have this mindset tend to have experience and passion which usually reflects in the final product.
Second, by changing the design and layout of the haunt each year this shows that the crew has learned what works and what doesn’t. Change means they are applying lessons they have learned from previous years by eliminating rooms that don’t work or aren’t as scary and replacing them with rooms that have been tried and true. Additionally, this means that they are actively experimenting and are always looking to make your visit as awesome as possible.
Now that you know what to look for go out there and find the best haunts. Before you go, maybe our haunt is the best fit for you.
Schmitts Farm Haunted House
With over 23 years under our belts we have learned a thing or two about what it takes to “scare the Schmitt out of you.” Our cast includes veteran actors that have been with us since our opening year. You can’t replace this much experience. They are great mentors to the newbies that are just joining us and help them adjust to haunting much quicker than if they didn’t have that leadership to guide them.
One thing we pride ourselves on is our family atmosphere that comes from our family farm roots. Although our cast is a bunch of spooky characters, they come to the haunt each day because they love what they do and they feel like they are part of the family. This boosts moral and means that the actors are that much more dedicated to scaring you.
All of the members of our design team and build crew have spent years as actors themselves in addition to years creating and designing the haunt. They are some of the most dedicated and passionate haunters in the industry and we are lucky to have them.
Each season we build the 10,000 square foot haunt from scratch and we fill it with the latest and greatest props, animatronics and illusions as well as favorites from previous years. Every year we attend the industry’s largest trade show to make sure we have the best the industry has to offer.