Marketing Currents - Business and Marketing Current Events

The frightening economics of haunted houses


Ian Miller, owner of the Slaughterhouse in Des Moines, Iowa, makes a living out of scaring people to death.

Click here to read the story at

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is the difference between a corporation and a small business?
  2. Which do you think best describes operating a haunted house?
  3. What is entrepreneurship?
  4. How might opening a haunted house business represent an example of entrepreneurship?
  5. Based on what you learned from this news story, are U.S. consumers spending more or less today on Halloween than in the past?
  6. Why might that matter to a haunted house business owner?
  7. According to this news story, it’s as difficult as ever to start a haunted house. Why?
  8. What are some costs associated with running a haunted house business?
  9. Why are costs an important consideration for any aspiring entrepreneur?
  10. What is a seasonal business?
  11. What is an example of a challenge that seasonal business owners face that other businesses might not have to worry as much about with a consistent, year-round customer base?
  12. What is a business plan?
  13. Why is a business plan important to a seasonal business?
  14. What are some common mistakes that haunted-house operators make from a business perspective, based on information from this news story?
  15. How might some of those mistakes also apply to other businesses and what can an aspiring entrepreneur learn from that?
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.