You can have the greatest haunt in the world, but if it only takes a couple minutes to go through people won't feel as if they got their money's worth. The average haunt lasts between 10-15 minutes.
Many years ago it was widely accepted that haunts used cheap plastic black walls, blood splattered sheets or used heavy fog to cover up a lack of detail and stood by old tired themes. But today is a new day and many haunts have created realistic rooms that look like they are straight out of Hollywood.
When speaking of props I'm not referring to cheap rubber snakes or bats you can find at your local Halloween store. The high quality haunts of today invest thousands upon thousands of dollars on animatronics that Walt Disney would be proud of. But they are not always necessary. Some of the best haunts have decor that costs very little, but blends in with scenes very well. While some haunts create their own props that are impressive in their own right.
Actors are one of the most important aspects of a haunt and if you don't have engaging characters that really love to scare people your haunt will not be effective. A great actor is better than a $10,000 animatronic any day.
The biggest reason you are purchasing a ticket for a haunt is to get scared. Rather it's from a pnuematic prop or an actor dressed up as a monster from your worst nightmares, it doesn't matter. A scary haunt is an experience you won't soon forget.
Customer Service (new for 2009)
This category isn't averaged into the final score.
When you plan to visit a haunt you want to be treated well. Because if the staff doesn't want to be there then why should you. Customer service isn't just how you are treated. It involves how the parking is ran, the different concessions that are available and much more.
Fright Value (This category isn't averaged into the final score.)
There are some haunts out there that charge an arm and a leg, but don't deliver when it comes to scares. People today want to get what they pay for and not feel cheated after they exit your haunt. It's not ok to charge upwards of $20, but only be worth $10. A haunt should charge what it's worth.
After all of the ratings for each category are averaged, the final score will be available in what we call Final Stab. This is the total score a haunt recieves and our final thoughts.