I’ve been working in the haunted attraction industry since 1992, roughly, working for brilliant people, never feeling a need to move into the world of the haunt owner. This means I’ve been heavily involved in construction and operation, and I’ve spent more time with black paint in my hair, on my skin, on my fingernails…well, you get the idea. Haunting is hard, exhausting, rarely glamorous, certainly rarely profitable work, but I love it fiercely, and for a few years it’s what I did pretty much full time. I just never aspired to be a haunt owner.
Then I met, and married, someone with a lot more ambition than I possess.
Some of our first dates involved him driving me around to his dream haunt locations. We discussed the logistics. He poked at fantasy budgets. I watched ghost movies and thought about whether or not it might be easier to just spookify our FutureHouse.
..And then Bones’ local Chamber of Commerce asked him to put together a proposal to create a haunted house as a fundraiser event.
Which is, ya know, GREAT! But where are we gonna find a location that…
“There’s a car dealership building up for sale. The owner’s gonna let us use it for free.”
I started sending out emails to haunter friends, trying to feel people out for stuff they might not need this season. Which is kinda silly, right? I mean, who the hell just has a hundred or so wall panels not being used? It’s August. Everyone’s frantically working on their own shows. No one would…
“I know a guy,” said my friend George.
Well. Alrighty, then.
Bones and I whipped up a few options for him to offer to the Chamber, along with estimated costs of what it would run us to use these borrowed walls VS buying plywood and building our own VS using alternative materials like fire-marshall-friendly plastic.
Despite the disadvantage of not owning much of anything at the end of the project, the Chamber decided to go with the borrowed panels and a small budget to work with.
And then there was a key.