Hey everybody and welcome back to Haunt Hacks. On day 22 of the 61 day Hauntathon, this is Scott Swenson with A Scott in the Dark Periodic Podcast for Haunters and Scott Swenson Creative Development. Here is another chunk of information, or just in this case, a wacky idea that might be beneficial to haunters as we approach or happen to be into the haunt season, and this one is all about rubber stamps.
Scott Provides a Past Example of How Hand Stamps Were Used
Let me give you a little back story on this. Back when I was working at a theme park when I was doing Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens in Tampa, one of our haunts was based on a nightclub, and kind of a Gothic style nightclub where if you got into the VIP area, your body parts might be harvested to create artwork, so it was gross and dark and wonderful. One of the things that we did there is we actually created a hand stamp when you went into the nightclub itself and on the hand stamp, it said, “music plus pain equals art,” which was the mantra of the club. It was a great way for us to not only have physical contact with the guests, but also to reinforce the back story of this particular haunt.
Hand Stamps, or Rubber Stamps, Can Save You Money
I’ve been thinking over the last couple days about how we can continue to use rubber stamps and hand stamps. The first thing is very practical. If you want to use it in place of ticketing, you know where you just stamp somebody’s hand, get your logo and stamp somebody’s hand, you can save a bunch of money on tickets, because I promise you a custom rubber stamp is significantly cheaper than a roll of tickets. You can use it year after year it also is very logoed for you, it’s not just a generic ticket. If you’re concerned about people licking their hand and sticking it on somebody else, first off, if there’s any writing on it, it’ll be backwards when they do that, and secondly, if you have real concerns, alternate hands throughout the course of the weekend, or even change the color of the stamp pad that you’re using so you know that today’s stamp pad is green, tomorrow’s is orange, the next one is Black, et cetera, et cetera.
A Fun Example of How Hand Stamps Can Elevate Your Guest’s Experience
Another way to use these, and I’ve done this in a hunt that I created that wasn’t ever produced exactly this way, but one that I wrote, and that was that everybody got their hand stamped as they came in with a blacklight reactive stamp, so they couldn’t see it until the blacklight turned on and come to find out there were two different stamps. When the black light came on, it divided the audience into two separate groups, or two separate clans as the case may be. Then they went off in different directions because it was a multi-run haunt, so the two clans had slightly different experiences based on the stamp on their hand.
The final thing I want to talk about with hand stamps is, if you have multiple haunts and you use a different stamp for each haunt, then your actors will be able to tell just by looking at their hands which haunts they’ve been to, and they can make reference to it, or it gives them additional information about the guest that they can share with them.
There Are Two Different Kinds of Hand Stamps
Now you don’t just need to use, the stamp pad which has the ink pad and then just the rubber thing on it, you can also get self-inking stamp pads, and this is the kind that we used at Busch Gardens that said, “music plus pain equals art.” That’s nice, because you don’t have to hold a stamp pad and juggle it and drop it. The other thing about using stamp pads that’s kind of cool is, if you’ve got a character, if you have a famous character who people want to have photos taken with, and if it happens to work out right, you can actually do an autograph, and maybe it’s a thumbprint or a claw mark or whatever, of this character that they can stamp on things, they can stamp on people hands on their foreheads, whatever.
So, I realize this is kind of a random thought, but I just I just got a brand-new stamp with my logo on it, and the nice thing about it is I can find a bunch of different ways to use it and make sure that everybody gets to see my logo. So, I figured if I’m going to use it, why not you guys? So that’s this haunt hack, as strange as it may be.
If you’d like to learn more about how I feel about how haunts should work, or some of my other wacky suggestions, you can listen to my podcast, which is called A Scott in the Dark Periodic Podcast for Haunters, you can go to ScottSwenson.com and sign up for my monthly newsletter, or you can get one of my books, which are available pretty much everywhere fine books are sold. So, until next time this is Scott Swenson from A Scott in the Dark saying, happy haunting.