To give a rough estimate, you should make plans to spend anything from $150,000 if indeed you want to start a haunted house that features a series of themed rooms or scenes.
The concept of haunted houses brought a new concept into the entertainment industry and the business is growing in leaps and bounds. Although haunted houses are not so popular, but trust me, if it is well-planned and positioned, they can fetch the owner a steady income.
A haunted house is a facility that is deliberately designed for people who want to experience an atmosphere of fear, suspense, and paranormal experiences.
Haunted houses are designed to resemble old, eerie, or dilapidated houses or buildings, or even an environment that is associated with horror. Starting a haunted house is quite capital-intensive, but the total cost of starting such a venture will vary and this will be based on certain factors that we will discuss in this article.
7 Factors That Influence the Cost of Starting a Haunted House
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Purchasing, Rent, or Lease of Property
When it comes to starting a haunted house, one of the major areas you will spend a major part of your start-up capital is acquiring, leasing, or renting a property for the haunted house.
Please note that if you opt for rent or lease, you are going to spend far less than someone who opts for outright purchase or mortgage. Of course, the size, location, and of course, the available facility in the property will determine the amount you will spend in this regard.
Please note that you should budget about $65,000 or more if you want to rent a decent facility for your haunted house in the United States of America.
The Required Renovations and Modifications
Another factor that will determine the amount it will cost to start a haunted house is the required renovations and modifications to be carried out on the property.
If you are fortunate to get a property that requires little renovation, then you will spend less, but if you are not too lucky, then you must create a robust budget for renovations and modifications. The truth is that no matter the type of property you acquire for your haunted house, you will have to spend money to make sure that it meets your requirements.
The Cost of Securing the Needed Licenses and Permits
The cost of securing the needed licenses and permits is yet another cost that can influence the overall cost of starting a haunted house. The licenses and permits required to start a haunted house can vary depending on the location and the specific regulations in your area or state.
However, if you are looking to start a haunted house, then you need to get a general business license that allows you to operate a haunted house in your area.
This license is typically obtained from the local city or county government. Aside from general business licenses, you should also make plans to get zoning and land use permits, fire, health, and safety permits, and state or provincial licensing and permits.
The Cost of Staffing
Another major cost that will add up to the overall cost of starting a haunted house is the cost of staffing. The fact that you cannot operate a haunted house alone means that you will need employees to work with. In essence, if you want to start your haunted house, then you must create a budget for employees who will occupy various positions in your organization.
You should consider the cost of hiring a haunt director or manager, creative designer or set designer, actor-manager or scare actor coordinator, operations manager, marketing and promotion manager, administrative personnel, and support staff.
Please note that the number of employees you are expected to hire for your haunted house will depend on the size of the facility and the additional services provided.
The Cost of Furnishings and Supplies
The cost of furnishings and supplies is yet another major cost that can influence the overall cost of starting a haunted house.
You should make plans to furnish the haunted house with essential items such as props and decorations (fake cobwebs, skeletons, coffins, tombstones, chains shackles, and creepy portraits), lighting and effects (strobe lights, fog machines, black lights, flickering candles, and dimmable lighting), sound effects (eerie soundtracks, creaking doors, screams and howls, and whispering voices),
Set design elements (curtains and drapes, tattered wallpaper, broken furniture, and abandoned rooms), costumes and makeup (scare actor costumes, makeup kits, masks, and prosthetics), and safety equipment (fire extinguishers, emergency exit signs, and first aid kits), etc.
These are just the basics, and you may want to go the extra mile to add additional themed furnishing that can portray animatronics, jump scares, Pepper’s ghost illusion, pneumatic props, etc.
The Cost of Insurance Policy Covers
In the United States of America, it is considered illegal to operate a business without having insurance. So, part of the cost that will add up to the overall cost of starting a haunted house is the money you will spend in purchasing insurance policy coverage for your business.
You should make plans to purchase general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, property insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and fire insurance. Please note that the cost of insurance for a haunted house will depend on various factors, including the size of the facility and the services offered.
The Cost of Organizing Events and Programs
Lastly, another major factor that can influence the cost of starting a haunted house is the cost of organizing events and programs. The fact that different haunted house comes with different events and programs means that the cost of organizing such programs and events will vary.
In essence, if you plan to provide additional services like Halloween celebrations, or educational programs, you will need to budget for the necessary resources and materials needed to carry out such programs.
It is important to note that apart from the factors discussed above, there may be other factors not listed in this article that have the capacity to influence the overall cost of starting a haunted house. Some factors may just be unique to your country, city, or state hence you must make sure you first carry out your due diligence and conduct your feasibility studies before drawing up a budget for starting a haunted house.