So far, including this entry, eight out of 15 weeks have been dedicated to discussing how to advertise your haunted house. I reference that to point out how important advertising is for success. Over the past seven issues, we have extracted the brain of advertising a haunt through the nasal cavity and are about to wrap this cadaver up tight. Before we seal the tomb; off we go to the realm of random misfit promotional ideas that don’t belong in any one specific category.
Moving Search Lights
Attract people to your haunt like werewolves to a full moon. These monstrous spot lights offer ghostly light beams that reach vastly into the sky and dance across the darkness with powerful illumination that can be seen for miles. Research shows that rental prices are all over the map but start approx. around $200 for three hours of use.
A less expensive approach is to utilize bright work lights found at any hardware store to bring signs and the entry drive of your location to the attention of passerby’s. While motionless and lacking the reach of spot lights, they are much more cost effective at the beginning of a “Slow Burn” process.
We have found our portable blinking arrow sign to be highly versatile. Since dates and times of operation and possibly admission price will change from season to season, it is an easy way to display that information while grabbing traffic from the road. It has also been a valuable tool during off season events helping people find the haunt when other normal traffic attention-getters are not present.
BEING USED AT AN OFF SEASON GROUP PHOTO SHOOT
You can find these new for around $500 on average but used ones are everywhere. Ours was acquired needing minor repair for $100 from someone who was going to throw it out. Letters and numbers can be purchased on Ebay for around $50.
Reach through the silver screen and clutch your audience by the throat. Prices will vary but for approx. $1,300 we had a four week campaign lined up that included lobby monitors and the big screens showcasing our commercial before select films. Even though theater attendance is down on average due to cheaper alternatives, this is a great way to appeal to a large number of people, quite possibly your target audience anyway who during the month of October are more than likely taking in the latest horror film.
For years now, a haunted house in Ashley Michigan, Terror on 27, has stolen my sight from the highway whenever I drive towards northern Michigan, with a hearse doubled as a sign. Hearses are getting harder to come by. I have had luck on both Craigslist and facebook groups such as Hearse For Sale. Ours was purchased for $400 through a friend who runs a scrap yard and utilized as a sign, has definitely paid for itself and then some after one season. Once driveable, it will draw in even more business as constant mobile signage. I can’t wait to get it on the road!
Restaurant Place Mats
How many times have you looked over the local businesses listed on the table place mat while waiting for food at a restaurant? Prices will vary but for a couple hundred dollars, droves of potential customers will become aware of your establishment all while supporting your favorite local eatery.
Homemade vehicle props
A former actor of ours (we had to let him go because as an actor when he dialed it up to 10, he couldn’t turn it off. He got the cops called on us opening night for jumping in front of traffic as a zombie soldier complete with a shotgun and shells hanging from him) fashioned this and attached it to the bike rack on the back of his car. He even completed his creation with ice cream truck music emanating from it!
Vehicle wraps look more professional but can cost an average of $2,000 or more. While the wooden ice cream concoction of death had a crude look, it was unique, fun, unforgettable and very effective. Let your imagination run wild and create your own one of a kind homemade rolling billboard.
I hope some of the ideas we touched on have helped or inspired you. Let’s turn this discussion into a conversation. If there are any other chunks, ideas, or pieces we haven’t exhumed over the last eight Terrifying Tuesday’s please comment below.