DESIGINING YOUR HAUNTED HOUSE / ATTRACTION - THE QUELINE
From decorating your home, to a haunted house to raise funds, to
a haunted house for profit certain things pertain to all and can
help whatever you do be more successfull. In a series of
articles I will attempt to help you design and build whatever
you desire for halloween and make it more successfull, and more
exciting. Remember you do not have to spend alot of money, but
it will take time, imagination, and hard work.
Everyone who has a home haunt always works on the outside the
most, as the outside is what most people see. However a haunted
house as a fundraiser or for profit haunted attraction often
spends more time on the inside then they do on the part of the
attraction people will see first. We are always told that first
impressions mean the most, and that applies in a big way to
haunted attractions. You need to set the stage for your
visitors, and you need to prepare them for what is inside..
The facade is so important as they are what people see first,
and it is what sets the stage and starts the frightning of the
guest. Part of scaring people is the anticipation that something
is going to happen. So your facade and queline should give your
visitors the feeling that something dangerous and ominous is
going to happen. Visitors will be prepared for your first scare
before they ever enter your attraction.
For home haunts most visitors will not enter your house. They
will simply walk up to get there treats so the outside of our
home and the areas leading up to the door is so very important
so that trick or treaters get the feeling that this is the house
they want to visit time and time again.
First you should pick a theme for this halloween year. Between
haunted houses if I am going to be home for halloween I always
pick a theme. And of course if I am designing and building a
haunted house the theme is so very important. In a home haunt
you are decorating for the season, in a haunted house to raise
money or for profit you are telling a story. Without the story
your visitors will be more confused then scared as to what is
going on in your attraction.
QUELINE / FOYER
The queline is the area where your visitors wait in line prior
to going into the attraction. For some haunts this is outside
prior to buying tickets. For those haunted see my article on
decorating the facade available at both
http://www.pendragonscastle.com and at
http://www.pendragonscastle.com/hauntmasters For those home
haunts / and haunted attractions where there is an inside
waiting area lets continue.
Ensure that prior to buying tickets you have a sign with a
warning for visitors to read. The sign should state who should
not enter the attraction and that you are not liable for
accidents etc. A great sign idea can be found at
http://www.pendragonscastle.com/hauntmasters. After the visitors
purchase their tickets they should enter the foyer area where
they will sign a waiver a great one is available at
http://www.pendragonscastle.com/hauntmasters. If your attraction
is in chromographic 3-D here is where they will get glasses etc.
If your attraction has guides this is where they will pick up
there guide. My policy is this, if they have not left the
queline/foyer area I will give them their money back, once they
enter the attraction there are no refunds.
Depending on your theme I like to use a funeral parlor theme for
this area. You can have a queline video that goes over the rules
which also should be posted as a written signs, an example can
be found at http://www.pendragonscastle.com/hauntmasters. Again
try and ensure that there is 36 to 40 inches of walking space
for wheelchairs and to ensure there is no trip hazard. Ensure
all props are properly secured. Make sure all actors stay in
character while in this area.
In all my years of doing haunted attractions where there are
volunteers this queline area always fills with actors wanting to
have a smoke while everyone waits for the next car to drive up.
You need to discourage this as much as possible. When a car
drives up if they see a bunch of actors half in - and half out
of costume it ruins the affect.
Also actors will have a tendency to follow visitors out to the
parking lot so they can get that one final scare. This is also a
practice you need to discourage. Chasing visitors out to the
parking lot can cause accidents and falls which can cause a
Decorate your foyer with scene setters. Lots of low lighting,
etc to give it an ominous look. Have your table for signing
waivers with a couple of the rules and the warnings above it.
Try not to use strobe lights in a way that they could trigger
seizures or panic attacks.
About the Author: About the author:
Paul " The DragonMaster " Pendragon is co-founder of the highly
successfull House of Pain Haunted House and founder of
Pendragons Castle. He has been designing Haunted Houses for
close to thirty years more ideas can be found at www.pendragonscastle.com/hauntmasters