How to Start a Haunted House Business

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Haunted houses are a popular form of entertainment for people of all ages, especially during the Halloween season. It is estimated that 80 percent of the haunted houses in America that charge admission bring in approximately 7,500 paid customers, according to the Haunted House Association. The average price of an admission ticket is estimated at $13. It is no wonder many entrepreneurs are interested in opening their own haunted houses.

Things You'll Need

  • Capital
  • Haunted house location
  • Accountant
  • Lawyer
  • Vendors
  • Employees
  • Gather funding to purchase or rent a location for the haunted house, to buy materials, and for miscellaneous expenses. The money must cover a down payment on the location, actors' salaries, vendor expenses, bills, taxes and most importantly, safety checks.

  • Scout available locations that are within budget. The location must meet safety regulations and still have numerous areas in which to place spooky scenes and actors.

  • Complete legal requirements for opening a business; hire an accountant and lawyer for assistance. Register a business name, register for taxes, and obtain licenses.

  • Contact and make deals with vendors for equipment and materials needed. Hire actors and other employees such as tour guides (if necessary) and cleaning and set-up crew.

  • Set up the haunted house decor. Have the crew put up the scenes and place the scary tricks in their proper places.

  • Obtain safety clearance. This is essential for a haunted house as it must comply to safety standards before opening. Each night, staff must check the haunted house for any safety hazards before opening.

  • Select a grand opening date and have actors rehearse until the opening.

Tips & Warnings

  • Save extra money for incidentals to prevent unpredictable financial problems.
  • Set up a date for safety checks well in advance of your grand opening to allow time to make necessary changes.
  • A haunted house is a great business for the autumn season, but it may struggle financially the rest of the year. Financial preparation for this is essential.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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