Opening a Haunted Attraction: Think First (Part 2)

Assuming you’ve confirmed the need for a haunt in your area and are willing to accept the financial struggles inherent in starting your business, you may be excited at the prospect and feel the need to rush ahead.

There are a couple more things to consider as you finalize your decision to open a haunt.

What are the licensing requirements in your area?

  • Contact your city and county offices for information on zoning and necessary licenses.

Do you have a sincere love of the haunt?

  • In a haunted attraction, you’re combining business and production aspects. Each night is a new performance, with all the potential crises that entails. On the business side, things may not look up monetarily for a long time—if ever. Austin’s House of Torment and our own Cutting Edge are the exception, not the rule. First-time haunters need to be aware they’re not going to be making money hand-over-fist, and they will be working many long, hard months for a short operation season. You have to have a true passion for the craft, because the experience will be a large part of your return-on-investment.

Having a business plan is not only required in areas of safety and finances, but sitting down and writing out the details for your attraction will uncover pitfalls and make it easier for potential partners to visualize your dream.  In future posts I will go into detail addressing five key elements of a haunt:

  • Venue
  • Theme
  • Safety
  • Props
  • Actors

With a thoroughly thought-through plan and attention to detail, you’re well on your way to starting a successful haunted attraction.

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