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How do you set EXPECTATIONS in visitors before they enter your haunt?

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  • How do you set EXPECTATIONS in visitors before they enter your haunt?

    Hello fellow haunters,

    I have been thinking about this for a while and I wonder what you think..

    I want to give people a scary and memorable experience.

    What is the best approach - to create high expectations in people in terms how scary it is before they enter the attraction or to downplay it and allow them to be shocked?

    I run a haunted house attraction and we sit down with visitors before they enter the attraction and give them instructions. We deliver the instructions so that we scare the people as much as we can. Example: "(serious and concerned face) Are you sure you want to enter this experience? It is really intense... Do you have any medical conditions? .... You may get in contact with some living creatures...". Sometimes people get really worried to the point of hesitating whether they can handle it. I believe that is a good thing and that it makes our haunt more scary. So in short we set the fear factor expectations as high as possible.

    Another approach would be to deliver the instruction is a mild way with smiles, vagueness and irony. Example: (friendly, ironic or joking manner) "Don't worry, we had children go through... You will have fun... ". This way people can be more surprised as to how scary it actually is.

    What do you think? What is your experience?

    I am particularly interested in hearing about the second way - downplaying it. Do you have some experience with that?

    Yours Horribly

  • #2
    Personally I don't think most people care about getting scared or shocked as much as having a great time. People are doing everything now to take pictures or content for their own instagram, snapchat story, etc. I think the focus has to be on how much fun they're going to have ... however you don't advertise hey come to our haunted house and have fun! LOL

    I think more so now you need to market how many things are happening at your location such as photo ops, escape rooms, outdoor scarezones, your haunted house, zombie paintball or just whatever you have. I think people are more interested in hearing about the WHOLE PACKAGE than one point of shock or scare.

    Remember most people won't come to your haunted house because you scare them... see the point?

    Your goal is to attract more people not less.
    Larry Kirchner


    • #3
      Anything it will take, Promise them the world. Deal with it Later!
      I'm Very Experienced Marketing Agent for Haunted Attractions!
      Aidan P. Finnegan
      Grave Gear Studios

      Specializing in Custom Audio and Music for the babes of the Haunted Attraction Industry!


      • #4
        Haunted Houses have become more sophisticated over the last several years. Customers expect outside line actors, backstory, facades, and possible preshow. Much of expectations can be created thru your marketing on social media. I also think customers should understand upfront how you expect them to act inside your haunted house very important.