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It's Just a Haunted House... How Hard Could It Be?


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While it may be true that anyone can design a haunted house, what sets a great haunted house apart from an okay haunted house? Learn the process that leading attraction designers use to develop an attraction that is on the cutting edge on haunt design in this quick paced seminar from veteran Haunted Attraction designer Leonard Pickel. In this thought provoking session Pickel will explain how he uses his Architectural education and 35 plus years of professional haunting experience to design terrifying Haunted Attractions, and how you can use these methods to strike terror into the hearts of your patrons. Take your attraction to the next level by taking this exciting class. Check out for more design tips!

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It's Just a Haunted House... How Hard Could It Be?

  1. 1. By Leonard PickelHauntrepreneurs® HauntDesign and Consultingwww.hauntrepreneurs.com972-951-5100hauntrepreneurs@gmail.comTweet Your Notes and Questions to #itsjustahaunt
  2. 2. The Goal of Any Successful Business is…To Make OBSCENE Profits!To Make OBSCENE Profits!
  3. 3. Great SetsGreat ActingGreat Creativity
  4. 4. Great Marketing$2-$3 Per Person Spent in AdvertisingTelevision 30%Radio 25%Cable TV 15%Internet 10%Billboards 5%
  5. 5. Great CapacityThroughput Equals ProfitDesign for Maximum CapacityPlenty of Ticket SellersScare ForwardEase of AccessPlentiful ParkingMulti-ElementTimed Ticketing
  6. 6. Great ExperienceShow Quality Equals Customer SatisfactionComplete EnvironmentsWell Trained ActorsHigh DetailBig Props
  7. 7. “A Haunted Attraction is a Play That YouWalk From Scene To Scene!” - LeonardPickelWhy is This Place Haunted and By Whom?Create Your Own CharactersWhy Are WeGoing in?
  8. 8. Form FollowsFunctionDesigning From theInside OutIt’s All About The Scare!Uncomfortable SpacesHarsh Lighting
  9. 9. How Do You Scare a 21Year Old Male?HIGH STARTLEHIGH STARTLE
  10. 10. Eminent InjuryDropping CeilingFalling BarrelsChainsaw
  11. 11. MenacingLine Entertainment
  12. 12. CamouflageDot RoomCamo MonsterHockey MasksShadows
  13. 13. MisdirectionCryptAnimations
  14. 14. IllusionsBottomless PitEndless Hallway
  15. 15. Don’t Forget the Endof the GroupActor Separation
  16. 16. Drop PanelPortraitDoor PanelWall PanelBrick
  17. 17. Slap Down
  18. 18. Crash Doors
  19. 19. Pop Up
  20. 20. Twists and Turns Cut Down Sightlines
  21. 21. Egress Pathway/Actor Substitution Route
  22. 22. Enter And Exit in the Same Area
  23. 23. Best Scares First and Last
  24. 24. Darkness is your friendUse Practicals and LEDsSoundscape for the Whole HauntSpecialty Noises for RoomsScare Track For Actors
  25. 25. ZoningEntertainmentAgriculture
  26. 26. Special Amusement Building CodeMandatory Sprinkler SystemHard Wired Smoke DetectionAlarm to Stop All Confusing Lights andSound
  27. 27. Assembly Occupancy Requirements“A” Rated Flame Spread All SurfacesPerimeter Egress CorridorAll Doors Swing in the Direction of TravelEmergency and Exit Lighting
  28. 28. ElectricalAll Wiring by Licensed ElectricianNo RomexMetal BoxesNo Extension Cords
  29. 29. Electrical SolutionsElectrical DropsOpen Wiring12-3 SJO Cord HarnessLow VoltageExternally Lit Exit SignsAdd a Switch to Your Emergency Lights
  30. 30. Modular Construction - Taller is betterThin Wall PanelsTriangular GridProps as WallsBracing
  31. 31.  Step 1 - Create storyline that defines the characters, setting and roomthemes Step 2 - Designate each scare and what is needed to facilitate them. Step 3 - Logically order the rooms to tell the story; best scares first andlast Step 4 - Design each room with backstage area and variations Step 5 - Draw building/location to scale/locate entrance and exits Step 6 - Layout perimeter egress pathway and set the wall grid Step 7 - Place rooms to maximize travel distance (less hallwaytowards the end) Step 8 - Redesign for better order, better fit and/or longer traveldistance Step 9 - Sleep on it and repeat step 8 until the best compromise isreached
  32. 32. “Today’s teen and young adults are not easily frightened. “Not Scary Classic Monsters Witches Ghosts Bats Insects Rats Snakes Skulls and skeletons Sci-fi Gore
  33. 33. ScaryVery Realistic ImagesHigh Set DetailOutlandish ImagesWeird people lurking or staringCharacters suddenly appearing unexpectedlySudden Disappearance was also disturbingNot Feeling SafeFear of the UnknownScary MusicSound and NoisesScent and Texture
  34. 34. Thanks ForListening!Leonard PickelHauntrepreneurs® Haunt Design and Consulting FirmHauntrepreneurs@gmail.comwww.hauntrepreneurs.com972-951-5100