Buyer Beware: Haunted Tavern


  • 6/8/2023 – More details from Tea Room.
  • 6/12/2023 – Tea Room has officially been reserved.

UPDATE: This event, which was selling tickets to a venue they didn’t have reserved, has now reserved it. Fortunately, no one snagged their date before they did 😉 Things are looking more legit now.

The Haunted Tavern cocktail/storytelling experience that is selling tickets for two nights in July does not even have the venue reserved for those nights.

No, someone inquired about holding a story telling event here, but they have not paid a deposit or signed a contract yet.

Tea Room response

Buyer beware. Even if they are just disorganized, selling tickets for a date and venue that is not even reserved is problematic.

UPDATES: The Tea Room has heard from the organizer, and they want to proceed with the event. No contracts have been signed yet, but we will update you when this happens.

Please note the Eventbrite listing is “no refunds” — you have to contact the organizer for any refunds. If you buy in advance, also keep in mind Eventbrite keeps their service fee, which is almost $6 per ticket. We assume you’d get the $3.49 in tax back.

Haunted Tavern – four drinks and ghost stories for $53 coming in July

6/6/2023 UPDATE: Sadly, this may be another “America is Haunted” thing. We contacted the Tea Room to see if such an event was coming there, and they have no agreement.

“No, someone inquired about holding a story telling event here, but they have not paid a deposit or signed a contract yet.”

Tea Room response

BUYER BEWARE. They could just be disorganized, but selling tickets for a date and location without actually having that location reserved on that date seems … problematic. Original posting below:

A friend sent me this link:

While initially I thought it might be another “America is Haunted” thing like we had show up here in 2014, I have been able to find a few YouTube videos from this event in other locations. “Seems legit.” I have written the organizer and the host (Tea Room wedding venue downtown) to get confirmation and based on what I hear back, I’ll add them to the index and share more details.

You get four small cocktails, with ghost stories told on stage in between. It’s an interesting concept, and with places charging $10+ for a tiny cocktail anyway, it seems like a reasonable price (even if the drinks looked tiny in the video I watched).

Depending on our travel schedule, we may try go down and get an interview with the organizers.

Here’s one of the YouTube videos to give you an idea on what it is:

New must-have haunt gadget: DMX-RT4

A few years ago, I posted a demo video of the Chauvet DMX-RT device. This tiny $100 box could record DMX lighting information and then play it back later without a computer. It even had a trigger input so you could have an entire show scene activate when a guest entered the room (via pressure mat, motion sensor, or actor pressing a button).

We created some generic looping light patterns which allowed a haunt operator to plug in a DMX, and select any effect they wanted just by changing the address on the back of a DMX light. Want pulsing green for the swamp? Set the two DMX lights in that room to channel X. Want flickering candlelight in the king’s chamber? Switch those lights to channel Y. This made changing fancy lighting effects easier than switching out a light bulb.

Chauvet DMX-RT4

I am pleased to announce that Chauvet has the new DMX-RT4 unit available for sale. This unit adds multiple trigger inputs (four instead of one) as well as an audio player! Put one of these in a room, and when the guest enters, sounds start playing as well as DMX lighting effects. The whole room can come alive without any actor control, OR, there could be up to four different scenes that play based on what is triggered… Hit the low scare button and less scary music and brighter light patterns play. Hit the extreme scare button and the lights go to near darkness with super scary music. There are many uses for this tech.

And, for haunts on a budget, you could have one box control an entire haunted house by daisy chaining all the lights over cheap DMX cables (as with the DMX-RT) BUT use this box to play the overall music loop for the entire haunt. The four inputs were designed so you could run a whole haunt like this, using the triggers for modes:

  1. Standby Mode – worklights are on (white lights) and no audio.
  2. Startup Mode – an audio message plays telling actors to get in to place as the lights fade down.
  3. Show Mode – show lighting is on and music loop plays.
  4. Emergency Mode – bright lights, and “please go to the nearest exit” message plays.

This device could replace the PC and expensive software in several haunted houses I helped with years ago. And, unlike a PC, the box should be far more reliable than Windows 😉

For more product details, here is the official page:

I need to check and see how much I can share about the development of this box, so check back for more updates…

See also: Des Moines Parent

This is just a quick shout out to Des Moines Parent. While my site focuses on the part of October meant to make you pee your pants, DMP covers a much wider range of Fall activities that are fun for rest of the family that wishes to stay dry.

Consider following them on social media. I learn alot about great events happening in the area throughout the year.

They are also a great place to advertise family events — we’ve used them in the past for other projects and they always get results.

VOTE: Will you go to a Haunted House this year?

Do you agree?

We have a survey in the “Haunted Houses around Des Moines, Iowa Reviews and Discussion” group on Facebook. We are wondering what conditions have to apply before you would go to a haunted house this year.

So far, it looks like only 10% won’t be going at all, while 74% will go just like normal. Others have conditions — like only if mask usage is enforced.

What say you? Drop by and vote.