The Financial Realities of Running a Haunted HouseThe Financial Realities of Running a Haunted House

Haunted houses have blossomed into a hugely lucrative industry in the United States. Where once consumers found haunted attractions to be cheesy and full of fun scares, now businesses employ elaborate designs and impressive feats of technology to scare visitors of every age. The financial possibilities of running haunted houses have also expanded with their increasing popularity.

Exploring the market

Haunted houses and attractions have gained their own season of popularity. From the end of September to the beginning of November, consumers search for bigger and better scares locally and even across state lines. The biggest attractions use professional special effects artists and state-of-the-art technology for terrifying scares.

There’s even the potential for gift shops and photo opportunities to pose with killers and monsters. Haunted houses have become a form of live entertainment, bringing friend groups and families to interact with their favorite scary figures in terrifying locales.

Ticket prices and revenue

A haunted house’s ticket prices are a key source of revenue for business owners. Many attractions run their prices between $15 to $50, depending on what’s being offered to consumers. Hugely successful venues earn millions each year with the moderately sized houses making around $50,000. Haunted houses are more likely to have repeat visitors during a season if they provide new and unique features that can’t be found anywhere else.

Attractions with low ratings will be less likely to succeed. Larger haunted houses can offer exclusives like VIP status, letting visitors skip lines and access special venues by paying more or buying a season pass. Ticket prices should match what consumers expect from the haunted house. An attraction’s reputation can bring in droves of visitors.

Potential costs

While many business owners are tempted to join in this multi-million dollar industry, there are significant costs to consider. Haunted houses need to constantly be updated with new and exciting scares to keep consumers interested. Successful businesses spend on average hundreds of thousands of dollars upgrading their scares each year.

Scaring adults also poses a substantial challenge to businesses that may not have the resources for advanced make-up, CGI and other effects. Some haunted businesses thinking outside the box have created adults-only attractions where visitors need to strip down to their underwear to participate. Just as Hollywood is always exploring new levels of terrifying, haunted attractions need to provide new thrills to a huge audience.