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A Year in the Life of a Haunted House Owner: June Is Tough

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Norm Glenn of the Mansion of Terror will be chronicling his 2007 haunted attraction season. From buying props, to speaking at HauntCON, and finding a location, you will get to see how the industry works from the inside. So stay tuned as we hear more and more from Norm throughout his 2007 season.

It's now June 13. Too bad it's not Friday also. Last night we had our final meeting before build-out begins 30 days from now. All new theming is finished. All rooms are finished. The pneumatics crew is on schedule for the pneumatics we're building for this year. We purchased eight new pneumatics also that will be tested by the pneumatics crew before we start. Our static props crew is working on all non-pneumatic props or large set pieces for this year. They're on schedule too, so that's great.

They had a large 4 x 8 vacuform table added to their "To-Do" list. That will be exciting to get to use. They've actually already started welding the frame for it. We're starting on getting permits, utilities, insurance, and the works for our leased space. On the marketing front, the website and Myspace pages are under a complete redesign as we speak. We're also securing media sources for all of our other marketing events and starting to speak with sponsors. Our new pneumatic props have been arriving on schedule so far. That's a good thing. We're doing some custom work with Grave Robber Studios also. What an amazing company! I'm glad we plan ahead on everything. It really pays off when it comes to build-out time. It lets everyone breathe a little easier and enjoy the build-out more, rather than running around like headless chickens. One thing that amazes me — each year we say that our goal is to top the year before.

Also each year, at the end of the season, we ask ourselves, How in the world are we going to top that? Here we are again and we have so many new, fresh ideas added to the show that we will definitely top last year. I have the entire crew to thank for that! I'm really fortunate to work with such a variety of talented and creative men and women. I love our planning meetings where I can pose a problem to the group — maybe it's a new idea or new prop — and I lay down the gauntlet and say, "Can we do that?" I love it because I never get just one answer back. I get several and all are usually equally as creative but from different approaches. It's those little moments that fuel my passion for haunted houses!

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