As part of our ongoing effort to rest on our laurels, we re-present this article from October 26, 2009.
– Do create a lighthearted (but still spooky!) all ages-appropriate affair with an eye on safety that both children and adults can enjoy!
– Don’t take the kids to a homeless shelter, and then call your tour “the horrors of Obama’s America”.
– Depending on the demographics of your neighborhood, don’t advertise the appearance of a “Ghostface Killer”, as it will likely only end in disappointment.
– Don’t just build a tunnel out of old mattresses that leads to your dogfighting pit, unless kids are willing to gamble with the contents of their UNICEF box.
– Don’t try to explain away the epileptic kid’s seizure by saying he “probably just overdosed on fear, it can happen, I saw David Suzuki do a show about it once”.
– Don’t ask the kids if they want to see a dead body, and then just lead them on a life-changing journey of self-discovery. ‘Cause that’s boring as shit; I thought you wrote horror stories, Mr. King.
– Make sure you put on the spooky noises tape, and not your old Radiohead’s The Bends tape, or else everyone will just start talking about what that guy says at the end of that video. Then you’ll say, “Boo!” and they’ll be like, “Nah, that’s not what he says.”
– Don’t dress up as a poet who can’t remember what a simile is. It won’t translate properly, even though it is really scary.
– Don’t design your cornfield maze to be too long – this will deter trick-or-treaters who are short on time. Also, don’t design your cornfield maze to lead to a dogfighting pit.
– Don’t get depressed and say, “Well, my life is a nightmare anyway,” so your haunted house is just you at 3 AM, eating Fruit To Go and watching back-to-back Frasiers on WUTV Fox 29.
– Don’t just bury your cat in that creepy pet “sematary” on the hill hoping it will come back to life, ’cause some third-rate hack horror writer is just gonna steal another of your surefire-hit manuscripts.
– Don’t just spend all week building an animatronic replica of your father. He’s no longer alive to enjoy the tribute, and if he was, he wouldn’t care.
– If you’re Larry David, don’t open a haunted house at all. You’ll run into too many problems, and have arguments with so many people.
– “The Birth of a Nation” is not a Halloween movie.
– Don’t make the hole in your Box of Mystery lead to your dogfighting pit.
– Though frightening, waterboarding select guests will get you nothing (except maybe the attention of the spookily liberal-leaning news media). GLENN BECK 2012.
– Don’t make your “scary tale” about how your surefire-hit manuscript was rejected because some hack, no-talent R.L. Stine wannabe already wrote a book about a killer dog.
That should do it! Keep these tips in mind, and soon your haunted house will be the talk of the whole town!