A “hauntrepreneur” (haunt + entrepreneur) is someone who makes a business creating scary things, such as a Halloween haunted house. “Hauntrepreneur” was cited in print in 1957, but the term began to be popularly used in the late 1980s.
A “hauntrepreneur” isn’t a ghost, but that has been used in several jokes and riddles. “What do you call the ghost of the founder you should have invested in, but didn’t? A hauntrepreneur” was posted on Twitter on October 18, 2010. “What do you call a ghost who runs his own business? A hauntrepreneur” was posted on Twitter on October 14, 2016.
4 November 1957, Independent-Journal (San Rafael, CA), “Witch Decor Meets Guests At Club-Do,” pg. 12, col. 4:
Planned by Mrs. Roy Laugesen, ways and means chairman, the affair was directed by “hauntrepreneurs” Mrs. Ellis Bell and Mrs. C. L. Griffin with “ghoulish fare” prepared by Mesdames Julian Rice, Kenyon Spalding, Edward Johnson, Russell Mills, Leslie Lowenthal, Max Bergaman and Maynard Sears.
1 November 1989, Galveston (TX) Daily News, “Dallas designer has unusual sideline—haunted houses” (AP), pg. 4-C, col. 1:
DALLAS—(...) When he is not working as a project architect for James Pratt, Architecture, a Deep Ellum design firm, (Leonard—ed.) Pickel is designing haunted houses for his own company, Elm Street Hauntrepreneurs.
31 October 1992, Mobile (AL) Register, “Franchises make hay on haunts” (AP), pg. 5-B, col. 6:
PATTERSON, N.Y.—(...) Ronald Brooks, an accountant, staged his first haunted hayride in 1985 on a farm outside Syracuse. Three years later, he began selling his format to “hauntrepreneurs” like Bob Catrini, a Wall Street sales manager who gives Haunted Hayrides on a hillside in Patterson, north of New York City.
wotd: hauntrepreneur: someone who sells haunted houses or spooky/gory rides; also, someone who markets ghost tours. http://bit.ly/MjW9o
6:04 PM - 25 Sep 2009
What do you call the ghost of the founder you should have invested in, but didn’t? A hauntrepreneur. /cc @davemclure
8:50 AM - 18 Oct 2010
Obnoxious portmanteau of the day: “hauntrepreneur.”
3:38 PM - 28 Oct 2010
Russell Brand Will Try To Scare Up Laughs In ‘The Hauntrepreneur’
Jan 27, 2012 10:24 am
Brand is now set to star in “The Hauntrepreneur,” a haunted house pic from Paramount that Variety reports “revolves around a family that has trouble adjusting to a new town and hires a peculiar man who calls himself the Hauntrepreneur to help them. In an attempt to bring them together, the man creates a haunted house filled with an odd cast of characters.” We’re going to go ahead and assume that Brand will play the eponymous ‘hauntrepreneuer’ (man, that’s a dumb but kind of great title), and it’s a role that we can easily see Brand inhabiting.
Dick 2 Fresh
A ghost that goes to a spookless town, builds his own haunted house and generates his own advertising is a #hauntrepreneur
7:23 AM - 16 Oct 2012
☔️ Jenn Scott ☔️
What do you call a ghost with a successful side business? A HAUNTrepreneur. I’ll be here all week, folks. #HappyHalloween
11:01 AM - 31 Oct 2013
A person who runs a business, taking on greater than normal financial risks and is also a scary, scary ghost
10:38 AM - 20 Oct 2014
Olde City, Philadelphia
Allen Edwin Butt
I’m gonna start calling the ghosts of ambitious capitalists hauntrepreneurs. #ihatemetoo
2:00 PM - 7 May 2015
A ghost businessperson is a hauntrepreneur.
6:42 PM - 28 May 2016
What do you call a ghost who runs his own business? A hauntrepreneur ! 👻 #puns #ImSoSorry #halloweenpuns
11:15 AM - 14 Oct 2016
Word Mark HAUNTREPRENEURS
Goods and Services (CANCELLED) IC 042. US 100. G & S: custom design of haunted houses, dark rides, 3-D make-up and special effects for amusement parks. FIRST USE: 19870901. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19880601
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 74274933
Filing Date May 11, 1992
Current Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition September 7, 1993
Registration Number 1808135
Registration Date November 30, 1993
Owner (REGISTRANT) PICKEL, LEONARD DBA Elm Street INDIVIDUAL UNITED STATES 1001 Elwood Irving TEXAS 75061
Attorney of Record Roxanne Eades
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Cancellation Date December 23, 2000