What is Feng Shui? It is a system of laws considered to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy. That is the direct definition of it anyways. So what on earth does it mean and what does it have to do with a haunted house? Well, I am so glad that you asked. It literally has everything to do with a haunted house.
Most of the time when people think of feng shui, they think of arranging a room to make it look pleasant, or nice. this is the act of practicing feng shui. When it comes to haunted houses we want to reverse everything that feng shui teaches. This is because when someone walks into one of your rooms, you want them to feel uneasy, you want to feel like they don’t belong. When patrons have the uneasy feeling, they are much easier to scare.
Let’s take a moment to talk about poison arrow. First, let me give some credit where credit is due. I first heard the term and learned about it from Allen Hopps from Dark Hour. He is an incredibly gifted haunter and just by watching his videos and watching the lectures he gave has opened my eyes to the bigger picture. Anyways Poison arrow is a type of negative energy that is emitting from an object that is pointed directly at you. The worst feeling in the world is walking into a room to have a bunch of strangers just pointing at you. Well, little do we know that the same can happen with objects. such as cabinet doors pointing at you, knives on a table, even random markings on a wall. All of this affects us negatively and puts us in a state of unease.
I will let you know right now, I don’t claim to know everything, in fact, I am a firm believer that we are all still learning but applying simple concepts such as this can really improve a scare.
Things that we can do to negatively affect our sets. Well, we just talked about poison arrow, so that’s one part. Obscuring the exits (this is why a maze is perfect for a haunted house). Obscuring the exits gives a sense of being lost, heightening anxiety and increasing the fear response in humans. Even obscuring the entrance can provoke a heightened sense of anxiety. For all those wondering why they didn’t even want to go into the haunt the last few years, I got you ;). Clutter, dirty rooms, No one ever wants to spend more time in a dirty room. The smell, Yes we use the sense of smell in our haunt. there are even smell cans you can buy that smell of blood, trash or anything else unsettling that you are trying to accomplish. Remember you are creating a scene and you want to draw in the guest, it needs to be believable to get a good scare.
Its all about presentation and setup. You are creating a world, an alternate universe if you will. The patron that is going through needs to believe they are part of this now. The only way we can do that is with the detail. They need to believe that all props are real, and its even better if they feel they are actually in danger, even though they will never be. If you are already anxious before stepping foot into any of my rooms, I got you. If you are too scared to go through, I got you.
As always stay scared my friends.
Author: Kevin Butler
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