Who Knew You Could Make $200K in a Month by Scaring People?

halloween business
Jennifer C under Creative Commons

When’s the last time you went to a haunted house? While you were screaming your head off, did you give any thought to how much money the haunted house was earning off your fear?

Probably not. But like the zombies popping out of dark corners, the numbers may shock you.

David and Nathan Polanco make an incredible $200,000 in one month scaring people at their two Fear Overload haunted houses, reports The Hustle. The California brothers, 29 and 23, charge $25 to $40 for individual tickets.

Want to Open a Haunted House?

If you love all things spooky and Halloween, running a haunted house might sound like the business for you.

Before you invest in thousands of gallons of fake blood, though, take an insider look at their business, as provided by The Hustle:

  • The startup cost was significant: $200,000. If you’re wondering how a 16- and 22-year-old came up with that kind of money, the article explains: “David used money he’d raised from a drop-shipping venture he’d started in college. He sold that business and used the proceeds to invest in a catering company and haunted houses.”
  • They weren’t profitable until their third year, so this probably isn’t the industry for you if you want to get rich quickly.
  • Though the haunted houses are only open from October 2 to November 1, they rent their buildings year-round and start working again each summer (designing sets and hiring actors).
  • Once the scare season is over, they each take home around $100,000 — not counting the extra money they invest back into the business.

Pretty impressive, right? Though most of us probably don’t have $200,000 to invest in a haunted house, it’s always inspiring to see how people have turned their passions — no matter how unusual — into profitable businesses.

To learn more about the Polanco brothers and their scary biz, visit The Hustle.

Your Turn: Do you love Halloween? Would you enjoy scaring people for a living?

Susan Shain, senior writer for The Penny Hoarder, is always seeking adventure on a budget. Visit her blog at susanshain.com, or say hi on Twitter @susan_shain.