What amazed me the most was how quickly the time went once we opened the haunted house. There was a constant stream of visitors for about 3 hours straight and chances are we could have moved more people through the haunt if we would of had more lights for our guides (the 5th graders) to use. Unfortunately, this was a failure to plan on our part and probably added to the confusion while waiting in line. With that said, we had a constant line all evening long waiting to get, many people going through multiple times with many chills, thrills and scares.
We weren’t ready for the haunt, then again are you ever truly ready? There were areas that looked a bit incomplete or thrown together. This was due to time constraints on our part and the fact we used much of our prep time building the PVC framework and hanging black plastic.We really should have started adding props to the haunt much sooner than we did. Not sure if that decision alone would have corrected all our problems, but it could have improved the scare factor.
There were lots of details that were left out because of time. It was all we could do to get the non-essential stuff we used to build the haunt out in time to close the doors and turn the lights off for our first guests. It just felt rushed, especially the last few days, as I spent much of my time painting sheets for the dot room, while Mark, my partner in the haunt was doing what he could with prop placement and adding lighting and effects. I am probably being over critical when it comes to actual haunt. In fact I didn’t leave the dot room for about 3 hours, so I didn’t get to see the full effect of the haunt.
So what about the good, bad and ugly of The 6th Fright at Vintage Parkway? There were many positives, even with my dreary outlook. First the staff and administration were very pleased, that alone made it worth it. The smiles, screams and crying of kids made the haunt worth it. Raising more money for the PTA made it worth it. So even if the haunt was not as good as it could have been it was good enough for this year.
The ugly, again teenagers, most former students of Vintage, who have zero respect when it comes to the work of others. Many of these asshats acted stupid. We were left looking for 2 kids who sat on the coffin in our graveyard area trapping a scarer inside. A stupid move. I personally threw 2 kids out for attempting to pull down my sheets in the dot room, as they protested with a dumbfounded look on their face. Taking inventory we also had a wall that was broken and 2 props that were torn. While it’s principle only, we probably weren’t going to use these next year, but still have a bit of respect for the time and effort put forth.
With a solid performance this Halloween we will be looking to take scaring to a new level next year, with new ideas, new haunts and even more scarier. Hopefully those expectations will lead the PTA to make even more money next year. As for this year no matter how you look at it, The 6th Fright was highly successful. Thanks to the school staff, teachers and administrators, as well as all the kids and parents who dared to enter.