- As a child, Jeffrey Schiefelbein beloved the Haunted Mansion experience at Disneyland.
- He began a manufacturing firm, bought a home, and recreated the Haunted Mansion in every room.
- Now, he rents his haunted house on Airbnb for $679 an evening in the course of the week and $779 on weekends.
This as-told-to essay relies on a dialog with Jeffrey Schiefelbein, an Airbnb proprietor with a Haunted Mansion-themed property referred to as the Ghostly Retreat in Fullerton, California. It has been edited for size and readability.
I’ve always had a love for Halloween. People ask how I obtained into it, and all of it goes again to when I was youthful and was impressed by the Haunted Mansion experience at Disneyland. I do not particularly keep in mind happening it for the primary time, however I do do not forget that it fascinated me.
As quickly as I rode it, I wished to create ghosts and monsters and all these issues. I went on to discovered my very own manufacturing firm, Sinister Pointe Productions, doing basic manufacturing work for all types of various issues — music movies, TV reveals, movies, and amusement parks. I’ve been doing it for the final 22 years.
Growing up, I thought it might be wonderful to dwell within the Haunted Mansion
As I obtained older, my home was even adorned like the Haunted Mansion. At some level I thought, “I can’t live like this — I’m not The Munsters,” however the thought stayed with me.
I thought having an Airbnb could be the proper alternative for me to create one thing I’ve always wished to create and make it an funding that individuals may come and take pleasure in. I discovered a home in Fullerton shut to the place I dwell and close to Disneyland. It took me a very long time to discover as a result of I wished to ensure it wasn’t shut to any neighbors to keep away from attainable complaints.
It was a dump that wanted a whole lot of work. I used my manufacturing expertise to begin creating my imaginative and prescient. I went on the Haunted Mansion experience and began taking hundreds of pictures to recreate all the weather from the experience. Then I began incorporating them into the home.
I suppose if somebody had referred to as a manufacturing firm and contracted the renovation out, it might have value $1 million. Luckily, I was in a position to get my household to assist me. My brother is a basic contractor, my cousin is a cupboard producer, and my uncle is an electrician. I nonetheless had to pay folks to do the work and for the supplies, so I would estimate we put about $250,000 into renovating the home and yard. Then I in all probability put one other $200,000 into the manufacturing, like the particular results, lighting, the sounds, customized wallpaper, and furnishings.
All the doorways are precise replicas of doorways on the experience
I used my graphic design expertise to recreate all of the wallpaper. I used my particular results data to recreate the altering portraits on the partitions — which I’m actually pleased with. I additionally love that there is a movement sensor so when visitors stroll into the home, the Haunted Mansion music begins taking part in to welcome them.
I have no Haunted Mansion memorabilia. There are not any photos of Mickey Mouse on the wall. I wished it to look like the precise home — not a home with Haunted Mansion memorabilia in it.
It’s been a 12 months and a half since I posted the home on Airbnb, and it has been an overwhelming success. There are greater than 100 evaluations, and all of them say one thing like, “You walk in and your jaw drops.” I constructed it for the followers. For the folks like me who’re obsessive about Disney and the Haunted Mansion. I suppose you may really feel that if you stroll in. It’s nice to give you the option to carry that pleasure to folks.
I anticipated it to do nicely. I was considering if I booked it 50% to 60% of the time, I may pay all of the payments and put a bit cash in my pocket. However, we’re normally booked nearer to 90% of the time, if no more, each month. We had a pair Disney influencers come stick with us once we opened, and it blew up. Other than that, I do not do any advertising and marketing.
We normally lease it out for $679 an evening in the course of the week
On the weekends, it is $779 per night time. Lots of people in my life inform me I do not cost sufficient. When I first launched the Airbnb profile, I was charging one thing like $349 an evening, and bookings began filling up quick. I had to elevate my costs, however in case you look for offers, typically you may nonetheless ebook for one thing like $400 an evening.
This 12 months, we’re establishing a Nightmare Before Christmas overlay with themed decor complementing the Haunted Mansion design, which shall be on show till January 8, so the costs will go up roughly $100 a month on the weekends.
I’m on the home a few days per week for half an hour to do upkeep and test on issues. We have actually wonderful housekeepers who go above and past to ensure every little thing’s good, however I like to ensure all of the particular results are nonetheless working.
Otherwise, it’s totally low upkeep, and it is the very first thing I’ve ever carried out that is offered me with passive revenue. It’s given me the power to solely work on the manufacturing jobs I need to work on, and not have to work 24 hours a day. I’m even planning to open one other property in Florida.
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