Creative Chrysalis

23 – This way to the egress!

April 20, 2020 By

I’m trying to recall any experience I’ve had with amusement funhouses as I think of how to incorporate their structure with my ideas about fear and fun. A funhouse attraction often finishes, after you’ve climbed through the distorted rooms, with a slide to the exit. It’s an ingenious idea – get people to leave quickly but with a little excitement.

We can thank P.T Barnum for that, here’s an excerpt from the P. T. Barnum site:

Barnum’s American Museum was so popular that people would spend the entire day there. This cut into profits, as the museum would be too full to squeeze another person in. In classic Barnum style, old P.T. put up signs that said “This Way to the Egress.” Many customers followed the signs, not realizing that Egress was a fancy word for “Exit.” They kept on looking for this strange new attraction, the “Egress”. Many patrons followed the signs right out the door! Once they had exited the building, the door would lock behind them, and if they wanted to get back in, they had to pay another admission charge!