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Matthew DiRoberto, June 12 2018

The Art of the Scare and the 7 senses

June turns into July, Aug, September and then October!  Obvious right?  Halloween seems to come faster and faster every year.  For months we've been planning on how to take our event to the next level and scaring our customers is at the forefront.  We are thinking about upping the ante on our VR experience that would make it feel much more Immersive.  We are also creating a very unique never before done scare zone in our line which is going to be amazing!   The goal for us is to make people feel like our event is a totally new event from year to year.  Just by the nature of us taking the attraction down every year we can never put it back the same way.  And we don't want too.  But I digress, back to scaring and the point of this post.  We think about Immersive experiences in a lot of different ways.  One of the key points to what we are doing and how we do it is thinking about the 7 senses.  Yes there are 7 senses and some say even more.    For the purpose of this we will talk about 7.  We were all taught growing up that there were 5 senses right?  Sight, Smell, Taste, hearing and touch.  I'd like to add two more, Proprioception and Vestibular.  Here's a little chart below for reference.

When we think about the experience we try to make sure that we are thinking about the different senses that we are trying to effect.  We don't try to load up on all of them all at once although sometimes it might feel that way.  We try to hit on different senses at different times and in different scenes in the haunts.  Like when we had a carnival scene in Fear no Evil last year.  We had custom audio (Hearing), Lighting (sight), and cotton candy scent (smell).  We wanted to make you feel totally immersed.  We love scents because sometimes they are subtle but sometimes they can be overwhelming.  Each instance can give you a different feeling.  

Another example of this was in our swamp scene which we got a lot of great feedback on from customers.  We had vines hanging down as you were walking through (tactile), lasers with fog haze creating a swamp like effect (sight), squeeze tunnel for your lower body creating an uneasy balancing feeling (balance) a custom smell to replicate a swamp (smell) and of course some great swamp noises (audio).  All of this created an Immersive haunted house experience that really makes you forget where you are for a moment in time and actually makes you think you a trudging through a muddy swamp.

There were a lot of things that we didn't do our first year in 2016 that we did our second year 2017 that really made our event better.  A lot of it has to do with how we were more thoughtful around making sure we hit these senses, and hit them hard.  The goal in 2018 is to even go at them harder and more often.  We have tons of new props, ideas and themes that we will be incorporating in 2018.  It is going to be our best year yet hands down.    

Haunted house Massachusetts | Senses in a haunted houses | The art of scaring |  Boston Haunted House | MAhauntedhouse |

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Written by

Matthew DiRoberto

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