Thursday, October 10, 2013

Operate a Haunted House! (PART ONE)

How to Operate a Financially Successful Haunted House by Philip "Dr. Evil" Morris and Dennis Phillips is an awesome book published in the mid 80's by Image Inc. Over 120 pages of incredibly helpful, detailed advice on how to make your spooktacular attraction really scare the heck out of people through a bevy of great step by step illustrations and photos. The first half of the book is a bit more text heavy and focuses on the financial concerns of it all, also: finding locations, legal and safety precautions, advertising, etc. But for us, we'll skip right to chapter 6 for ROOM DESIGNS and pulling off visual concepts, tricks, and atmosphere with pro level degrees of eerie expertise! There's so much good stuff here, I'm not sure how many posts it will take to cover everything-- so hang tight, and sit back for a true, one-of-a-kind Halloween event here at AEET!

(to be continued...)


Mr. Cavin said...

Man alive, this is magnificent, Karswell. What an excellent find. I can't wait to see more of it. Of the volumes and volumes of magic and make-up books I've owned and read over the years, somehow I never even suspected there were books on making haunted houses. A lot of these effects come, of course, from magic books--and I've seen a number of these tricks used in shoestring film-making guides too--but this is the first ever dedicated haunted house manual I've ever seen. Fantastic!

I really dig the woman-headed spider room, and would love to turn the corner is somebody's decorated house and see that freaky shit with a red light on it. And the black zoo is pretty great too. I think a great way to improve the maze is to add an effect for those very customers who think to put one over on the operators by bringing a flashlight: write desperate pleas for help, incorrect directions, and terrifying threats to the walls in black, where the usual victims won't even see it. Those clever flashlight jerks will be extra creeped knowing that what they are seeing is behind the scenes of the regular experience.

Crafty C said...


Mr. Karswell said...

The next post has some great, and very gory, tricks for everyone to enjoy! Plus photos-- eeek!

Mr. Karswell said...

You just like that I purposefully tilted the tilted room page

Crafty C said...

you're talking to yourself again, aren't you

JMR777 said...

This is so great I don't even know were to start.
Give me a few seconds to collect my thoughts.

OK, the art reminded me a little of Count Morbida from Dynamite magazine (anybody remember that as a kid?)

The setup reminded me of old Brigantine Castle, a major haunted house in Brigantine New Jersey. Sadly I never had the chance to go and it is closed down now.

This brought back memories of watching a program conerning Japan's version of haunted houses (leave it to the Japanese to really take it to a frightening extreme, think The Ring for willing paying customers)
This booklet is All and I mean ALL of Halloween goodness (or if you prefer, badness) for lovers of the haunting holiday. Its like a HUGE bag of Holloween candy that you just want to gobble up til sunrise.
A Halloween sweet treat indeed!
Great find as always Karswell!

Mr. Karswell said...

Glad you guys are digging it... I think I have it broke down into 3 or maybe 4 posts total, and each part just gets better and better! Part Two up next, see ya in a few!

KL from NYC said...

On to part II.

Atomic_Scout said...

So many great ideas! I've read the whole series and I feel confident that next Halloween I can be a very productive member on the local haunted house team. Visitors better look out! *heh*

Thanks for this - it was fab!

Mr. Karswell said...

Right on, Scout! I hope you share your photos here on this post next Halloween too!!