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Today's Tip: Don't set zombies on fire. You just create a flaming torch heading right for you!


The Importance of Good Haunted House Sound Design

Sound provides a unique form of signaling. It is Omni-directional, meaning that it can signal an object or event that is completely out of sight and both outside and inside your tactile senses. The goal in any haunted house or escape room is to leave your customers with a lasting impression and memory of the occasion. This can be achieved by stimulating as many of the senses as possible. Our ability to learn and remember is based largely on how many of our senses are triggered.

Some people are even more attune to one or two senses over others Sight, sound, touch, taste and smell all come together to reinforce our interpretation of the world around us. The more we can incorporate into a haunt or escape room, the more likely the experience will be remembered. Because sound is not visible to the human eye under normal conditions, several key effects can be implemented in Haunts and Escape Rooms using only audio and a well placed set of speakers.

This gives you a level of control over a customer’s reaction and how you setup a scare, for instance. You might have a scare that relies upon a distracted customer to get the full effect. By using sound to direct their attention away from the event just before it takes place, it can enhance the effect of the primary scare and leave them terrified and unsure of what will happen next; and where.

Enhancing The Theme
Like a Haunted Attraction, an Escape Room has the opportunity to set the tone for what the customers are about to experience. Arguably, an Escape Room must continually reinforce the theme of the room and immerse the customers in a world for sometimes over an hour. During this time, sound and music can add to the suspense and the urgency of trying to solve the puzzle and escape before the sands of the hour glass; run out. With a unique and subtle atmosphere, the dynamics of a given room can be enhanced and help create an indelible memory of the event.

Emotional Impact
Remember that boy or girl back in high-school you had a crush on? I bet you think of them every time a particular song is queued up in your playlist. mixtapeThere may be a happy or even sad event that comes to mind when you hear a song, or the sound of someone’s voice. The emotional impact you might be having is brought about by a memory that has been encoded in your brain by an associated sound. This might even bring about other memories that are sensory related. You might, at that moment, remember the smell of their perfume or cologne or perhaps remember how they looked when you last saw them.

When working in the world of Haunted Attractions, something jumping out at you visually will scare the living crap out of you. Add to that a sound effect that enhances the motion and look of the prop and you instantly increase the reactive nature of the customer.

Over the long term, they will associate that fear to the sound and sight of the prop and are likely to embed that into their long-term memory. And of course, that’s what we hope for. Because we want them to come back and bring their friends!

In summary, making sound a part of your customer’s overall experience is crucial to encoding the memory of your attraction in their mind. The goal being, of course, is to have them visit you time and again, refer you to their friends and family and ensure that their experience is one of a kind.

You put a lot of thought, time and money into how your attraction will visually appeal to your audience; it should also sound as good as it looks!


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