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
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 pendragonscastle.com and at pendragonscastle.com
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 pendragonscastle.com. After
the visitors purchase their tickets they should enter the foyer
area where they will sign a waiver a great one is available at
pendragonscastle.com. 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
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 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
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
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 liability
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
Paul " DragonMaster' Sharp is owner of DragonMaster
Inc. and DME Hauntmasters www.pendragonsncastle.com
he is co-designer of The Fright Factory, House of Pain and Horror
Hollow haunted attraction and has been designing Haunted Attractions
and Home Haunts for 35 years.
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