Marketing Lessons We Can Learn From a Haunted House

Have you ever thought about the elements of a haunted house? How all the details combine to create those frightening experiences?

Let’s analyze the components that make haunted attractions so terrifying, how they affect your behavior and what you can take away for your marketing strategy.

Consider the Senses

Sight. Sound. Smell. Touch. Taste. A successfully spooky experience will kick your senses into high gear.

Elements that accomplish that include tight spaces, flickering lights or total darkness, mysterious fog, and eerie sounds. Combine that creepy environment with spiderwebs, bats, rats and the occasional scary goon and you’re in for a spine-chilling good time.

Some haunted houses even incorporate scents, like decaying vegetation and moldy odors. (Click here to read how one Denver attraction creates the smell of fear.)

At more extreme haunted houses, like McKamey Manor in Huntsville, Alabama, actors may grab you, cover you in fake blood and expose you to extreme heights and live insects for several hours. You could even leave with a fresh buzz cut.

Why It’s Successful

Our brains are wired to constantly scan our surroundings to assess ease of escape.

So, when you walk through a haunted house, all the above factors trigger your hypervigilance and make you feel unsafe, which sets you up for the next spooky element around the corner.

There are other psychological factors that impact the experience, too, like a hair-raising backstory. Some haunted attractions use supposedly true stories to terrify visitors. For example, the Dent Schoolhouse in Cincinnati, Ohio is based on the murder of several students in the 1950s. You can learn more here.

At other haunted houses, the crew will learn about your deepest fears to personalize your terror.

The Takeaway

The smallest details make the biggest difference. If you swapped the dim lighting with bright lights, would the haunted house still be scary? If you replaced the eerie sounds with classical music, would you still get spooked?

Now consider the elements that may be missing from your customer experience.

How do you want your visitors to feel? Welcomed? Important? Excited? What details can you incorporate to make your guests feel that way?

What do visitors see in your lobby? Signage? Local television? Branded tv content? How is your lighting? Are chairs available and are they comfortable?

As guests wander your location, do they hear music? Does that music relax or excite them? Are drinks or snacks available?

When you’re ready to explore the details that can improve your customer experience, give us a call – 419.725.9100.