You probably know about my fascination with the productive -preneur suffix ("Enterprising Language," Sept. 1). Everyone, it seems, is a specialized entrepreneur these days—a mompreneur, solopreneur, warrior-preneur, or journopreneur.*
Here's a new-to-me -preneur, just in time for Halloween: Hauntrepreneurs International (tagline: "Haunted Attractions for Sale!").
That's a dandy coinage: It's witty, it echoes the sound of entrepreneur, and it instantly communicates its meaning.
The website, however, is short on wit and long on get-'er-done:
Hauntrepreneurs® International is the only broker specializing in selling previously owned Haunted Houses, Haunted Hay Rides, Haunted Trails, Dark Rides and Haunting Equipment for the Haunted Attraction Industry. Formed in 1987 the company has sold hundreds of attractions to Amusement Parks, Family Fun Centers and individuals all over the country.
Working as a middleman Hauntrepreneurs® International hammers out price negotiations, prepares contracts and makes sure that both parties act in good faith throughout the process. In addition, Hauntrepreneurs® International can provide services to the buyer/seller including Installation Assistance, Event Consulting, Refurbishment and Attraction Redesign.
“We put our reputation on the line each time we bring a buyer and seller together, and strive to create a ‘Win win’ opportunity for the clients!”
"Win win"? Ugh, ugh.
Which is not to say there aren't treasures to be found here. Do, for instance, take a few minutes to check out the "attractions" for sale. Here is a very partial list of the props included with the Haunted Estate (15,000 square feet; "only $175,000"):
20 Tiki Torches
1 Old Style Dryer
1 Body Bag (real)
3 Medical Back Boards
10 Soft Stuffed Bodies
1 Resuscitation Annie
1 Defibrillator (real)
1 Electric Typewriter
1 Exercise Bike
2 set Funeral Parlor Curtains
1 Electric Leaf Blower
1 Electric Sparking Chain Saw
Check, check, check ... hold on: Exercise bike?
Hauntrepreneurs International is based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Operators are standing by, no doubt cackling ghoulishly.
* I have searched in vain for manurepreneur, a coinage in search of a business plan.