13th Floor Members Discuss LA Haunted Hayride and Delusion For 2021

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Philip: Earlier this year, 13th Floor Entertainment Group quietly acquired a new property, one that was very different from their other properties. Delusion, known for their immersive horror shows, joined the 13 Floor Brand with Jon Braver becoming the Director of Immersive Entertainment for all 13th Floor. When the largest haunted attraction company in the world makes a move like this into immersive shows, it’s a big deal. Today on the show we’ll hear the backstory behind the merge and what 13th Floor Entertainment Group has planned for their properties in Los Angeles, including LA Haunted Hayride. The following is a panel presentation for Midsummer Scream’s event, Awaken the Spirits.

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Chris Stafford:
CEO and founding partner of 13th Floor Entertainment Group

Ted Dougherty:
Writer and live entertainment director for the LA Haunted Hayride

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Jon Braver:
Director of Immersive Entertainment for 13th Floor Entertainment

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Jon Cooke:
Creative Director for 13th floor entertainment Group

Listen Here

 

Chris Stafford Explains How 13th Floor Entertainment Group Got Started

Chris Stafford: So, backstory at 13 Floor. I started out just like a lot of the people in this room, I was a Halloween fan, I worked at a haunted house. I had a friend that called me when I was 15 years old, “Hey, you want to go scare some people tonight?” And that sounded like fun, so went and did that. Actually, I met one of my business partners working at that haunted house, and how this company started was basically he and I sitting at that haunted house and talking about what would it be like if we did our own haunted house one day. What would it be like if we did this professionally?

And that’s what we did. In 2002 we opened our first haunted house, and really just as a hobby. I mean, it was how we celebrated Halloween, it was what we did. So, we wanted to be able to give that experience to other people, I wanted my kids someday to be able to work in the haunted house. Started as a hobby, but then in 2008, we started to get serious about looking at it as a business and kind of scaling it outside of our own market and what we had been doing.

In 2008, Warren and I started another haunted house in Denver, which was the original 13th Floor Haunted House, and really just used all of the knowledge that we had kind of gained from bootstrapping that business up to where it was and kind of hitting the fast forward button a little bit on what we wanted to do. You know, kind of when you think about what’s the next thing you want to do in your career.

So, we did that in 2008, then in 2009, we met a couple of guys from Austin, Texas that were doing a haunted house called House of Torment, an amazing haunted house in Austin, and they were looking to scale the business outside of Austin as well. So, rather than compete, we teamed up, and in 2010, we opened our first joint venture, which was 13th Floor Haunted House, San Antonio. That was really the genesis for the 13th Floor Entertainment Group, is bringing those companies together and opening new businesses.

And that’s what we’ve been doing ever since, whether it be through new haunted houses ground up, or through acquisitions as in some things out here like the LA Haunted Hayride. That’s what we’ve been doing, and we really haven’t been looking back since. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of these events out here and couldn’t be happier share with you guys what we’re doing this year.

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Image Credit: 13th Floor Entertainment

How And Why Did 13th Floor And Delusion Team Up?

Chris Stafford: I can keep it simple. I couldn’t get a damn ticket to the thing. So, I figured this was the best way to do That

Jon Braver: That’s right, and he threatened my family. That’s the only reason I’m here. Please help me.

No, Chris and I have known each other, I think since 2017. He came to a show called, This Crimson Queen, I think, it was the vampire show. We’ve just been teasing each other with the idea of, you know, collaborating in this new medium of interactive theater.

I still consider it new, but they do big, large scale events, whereas Delusion is more of an intimate, higher ticket price, lower capacity kind of event. So, things just started, our conversations evolved over time about 13th Floor getting into this kind of world. Evolving into these more intimate experiences, and so, the pandemic came around, and then in January, I think it was January when I hopped on board, but we started talking about it early at the end of last year. It’s  just funny how we’re talking about a lot of events during a pandemic, but we were looking farther ahead.

That’s the idea is that, people want to do these things, people are going to want to be in this, like we are right now. We’re striving to get back together again. So, the long game I came here is to create a new division within the company to create these experiences, with Delusion’s big return this year kind of launching the whole thing. So, stupid excited about it. I’ve never been so excited about Delusion until this one, for sure. But now, to have Chris on board, and to have the apparatus and these brilliant, amazing family—they become family very fast—it’s a dream come true.

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Image Credit: Delusion

Jon Braver Explains How Delusion Began And Grew

Jon Braver: 2011 was the first year, that was a pilot year for me. I was working on film, I was a stunt man for many years, still do that kind of work from time to time, but I decided to take all my context from the film world and create a living horror movie where you are a character inside of a story. So, we did it for 11 nights that year, and it just blew up. There was nothing like it. There was Delusion and then there was Sleep No More on the East Coast, and ours was the narrative adventure with branching storylines, and theirs was like an open-ended kind of world. But anyway, that was just euphoric, like to see people come out of this experience, it was just unreal.

That’s when Neil Patrick Harris came to the show, and he loved the show, and he was going nuts about it and call me during the play, actually, in 2011. That was funny cause I was hooking somebody up to one of the stunt rigs, and then I got a call and it was Neil, as I got the phone on my shoulder like this he’s like, “Hey man, I just came to the show. It’s so cool. We got to do something.”

So, 2012 came along and we produced the show together. Then at that point it sort of took off, after 2012. So that became like a drug for me. I was like, this is so cool. I just got to keep doing this. I’m a big time Delusion fan, and just like other people, I just want to see this stuff evolve. So, the whole idea behind it was creating original stories. It was very, very much centered around the story, getting amazing actors and stunt people and our original score and creating these live movies, basically.

So, 2012 was Neil’s show. Then 2013, we did it in an old church. That was an annoying experience, because we got shut down. In 2014 it was called Delusion Lies Within at this really cool old mansion. Then 2016 was His Crimson Queen. Then I got into my Raiders of the Lost Ark fix, I had to do like an Indiana Jones, sci-fi adventure. So, I did that with the Blue Blade, Chris’s favorite show.

Kidding.

Chris Stafford: You’ll be happy to know that our first conversation was, all right, this is going to be scary this time.

Jon Braver: Yeah. So, during Blue Blade, I knew that when we come back, and this was before I joined 13th Floor, so I was like, I gotta write like the most terrifying show I can. So that’s this years show. So, we’re back to horror, for sure. It’s evolved, and yet, now it’s finally reached the place where we have the support. The 13th Floor takes chances, and they’re rolling the dice.

What I love about them, they’re just very confident, and again, they take the chances. So, with this new endeavor, we’re all in it, we’re in it together on this one. So, this is sort of a new era for Delusion, and we’re going to try to bring about things that we haven’t, that I’ve wanted to do all these six previous shows that I haven’t been able to do yet, and this new venue is allowing me to do that. This new format, the open world and narrative that we’ll get into, is pretty special.

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Image Credit: Delusion

Where Did The Inspiration For Reaper’s Remorse Come From?

Jon Braver: Well, yeah, I did touch upon that, that I had to get back to some kind of horror show. The inspiration came from, finding this venue. I actually found it a couple of years ago and it stuck with me. I didn’t end up doing a show there, but it stuck with me, and it was this old like museum kind of space where they had strange little artifacts around, and I revisited it late last year. As I was sitting in it I started thinking about this woman named Esther Phillips. She lives in this house, and she was a real character, little known wife to Louis Phillips, who was the richest man in LA many, many years ago. But I liked the idea that not much was known about her, so let’s give her a story here. it’s quite a tragic one I have to say.

So, she basically lives alone in this mansion where she has these artifacts, that house the souls of the dead that were attached to that certain artifact. So, she protects them and she watches over them as they sort of linger in our world, not quite ready to move on. I thought of this idea where she had this one artifact that is so personal to her that she can’t even approach it, she doesn’t want to go there. So, she decides to invite guests over to help her face this fear. And so, if you’re going to come to the show, then you are a guest of Esther Phillips and good luck. Let’s put it that way.

This one moves, it’s definitely terrifying.

Delusion Is An Open World You Can Live In For The Night

Ted Dougherty: Yes. In addition to [the haunt] it’s not necessarily just going to be limited to just a couple of different rooms either. There’s going to be open world experiences and VIP experiences for Delusion.

Jon Braver: Some of you guys know Tommy Houghton, he’s a game designer, so bringing him on board to help out with flushing this whole world out.

This kind of began with, Chris and I talking about it, how he’s come to the shows and he’s always wanted to live inside these worlds longer. Make a real big night of it. So that’s this year, this is our first endeavor into that hybrid model.

So, the open world, you will explore these artifacts I’ve just mentioned before, where you will able to piece together more of the story by listening in on the voices that are trapped inside of there. You can think of it kind of like a mini scavenger hunt, and it helps supplement the main narrative of the play. So, that’s kind of scattered around certain areas within the mansion, along with food and beverage, themed drinks and all that stuff.

So, if you spend the time there, you’ll peel back the layers of the story even more; it’s really exciting. So, it’s really fun to be able to explore this because now we can finally have you live in this world longer. So, if you have an eight o’clock show, we want you to get there early, hang out before, stay there after. Basically, you can spend the whole night there if you want; eating, drinking, exploring, scavenger hunts, and then getting up to the VIP experience, if you’re able and to do that.

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Image Credit: Delusion

Her Private Collection, Delusion’s VIP Experience

Esther Phillips has an area of her estate that is off limits, unless you buy tickets for the experience. So, she has very personal items that you can explore where one of her darker secrets will be housed. So, I highly recommend this experience as well, too. It’s on the second floor of this mansion, and then there’s a dark arts theme lounge, where again, themed food and beverage with a strange mystical resident that you might encounter, along with a parlor and a game room. So, it’s just this whole world has been flushed out in the way that I’ve always wanted to see it.

Chris Stafford: As a fan of Delusion—which is really how Jon and I got to meet, because I went to the show and I was just blown away by it—I always felt like I wanted more, right? Or at least at a minimum, when you were done with Delusion, you wanted to kind of hang out with your group and talk about it and kind of be more in the moment. So, I’m excited for people to be able to do that this year. Even though Jon might not think that the location is desirable, the actual facility itself, I was completely blown away by it, and I think you guys will be as well.

Jon Braver: Yeah, it’s timeless. You’re going to go out to this industrial park and all of a sudden, you’ll see this home that should not exist. And if you took the long drive out there, any of that traffic or anything will just sort of melt away when you find this place, you will be sucked into this world. It’s unreal.

A Few Of Jon’s Favorite Things From Reaper’s Remorse

Jon Braver: But the play itself, I talked a little bit about it, so I won’t get into crazy detail. But it is a production designed by Kevin Williams, who’s been my production designer for quite some time.

We really pride ourselves on living in the site-specific nature of whatever place we’re in. This is a really cool venue that lends itself to the story very well, and Kevin just helps flush out this world and visualize it the ways that I don’t, I mean, I write down on paper and he comes up with unbelievable stuff.

So, lots of very strange things happen. The best thing about Delusion, for me, are the actors. If you’ve been to the show, these are some of the most stellar actors in this immersive theater world you’ll ever encounter.

1953 is our year. So, feel free to come in that kind of attire, if you wish.

I will say this [year’s haunt] is 12 and up. It’s still the scariest one to me. So we’re digging into, like every other show, the other worldly nature of all these stories gets realized and practical, creature effects, all that kind of stuff. So, be prepared for really letting go and getting yourself, let yourself get into this dark, dark place when you get to the show.

delusion
Image Credit: Delusion

Get Your Tickets For Delusion

Chris Stafford: I know that a lot of people tried to get tickets that couldn’t get them, we very quietly added a bunch more shows yesterday. So, if you tried to get a Delusion ticket and you could not, you may want to check back on the days you were looking at it, cause we did add quite a few more shows, actually

Jon Cooke Talks About Being Creative Director for 13th Floor Entertainment

Jon Cooke: So, when I took this job and Chris brought it to me he was like, “yeah, you know, mostly we’re going to focus on LA stuff, you can kind of help have a say in the creative for the rest of the locations.” He lied.

It’s been really cool growing up here in Southern California, growing up going all to these events, and now be able to extend my reach to other places in the country, and bring my team from California out there to do these events has been awesome.

Chris handed us the keys to a hundred-year-old prison in Chicago that we just got back from, called the Joliet Haunted Prison. Then, he sent us out to Phoenix, Arizona in the middle of August when it was 118, into a dirt field,

Chris Stafford: Because there was no humidity there. There was in Illinois, Phoenix was much drier.

Jon Cooke: But, the treat to that is then get to come back to Los Angeles and put together the LA Haunted Hayride, which brings us up to now. But other than that, we’re also working to develop with a really amazing team that’s pieced together from a creative collection all around the country, to work on themes in maze overlays and new attractions that spread across the entire 13th Floor Platform, which I believe is 15 locations across the country. So, it’s a lot, but it’s amazing. It’s very, very rewarding, very fulfilling to be able to have that kind of career.

Chris Stafford: I think when Jon and I first start started talking about him coming to work for 13th Floor, he made a comment about a bigger sandbox and more things to do. So, I just wanted to give him as big of a sandbox as we could.

Jon Cooke: You did. Thank you.

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Image Credit: LA Haunted Hayride

What Makes LA Haunted Hayride Different?

Ted Dougherty: Well, you know, before we get into like the creative and writing phases for any of these attractions, we land on the concept. What better concept for Halloween and then an actual good old-fashioned hayride. I always kind of looked at hayrides as more of, kind of like a Midwest kind of thing, maybe East Coast, New England, fall weather, there’s a chill in the air, people are bundled up sitting on haystacks, you know, drinking apple cider type of thing. So to have something kind of like that here in the middle of the concrete jungle of Los Angeles, I think, is pretty cool, and spectacular really, but it also has its challenges, its differences.

Jon Cooke: I’ve mentioned this before, but the Hayride essentially is a pop-up event, since it happens in such a massively visited park, like Griffith Park. In 2019, we had 10 days to set up the entire event, start to finish, which we have now, luckily, got a little bit more time, so that’s awesome.

But, I think the biggest thing that I personally learned going from focusing on very detailed walkthrough haunted attractions where you’re right up against the sets, you’re now in a hayride 20, 30 feet away from the set. So, what I learned, the size of the sets and the spectacle is what really, really reads and is impactful on the Hayride.

So, that’s what’s great, we learned so much in 2019 about producing something like the Hayride and we’ve now had, unfortunately or fortunately,  two years to reflect on that and then be able to go back to the drawing board, redesign, and be able to implement into 2021, right?

Ted Dougherty: You know, and the Hayride, it also kind of works as a perfect backdrop for us to tell a story. A story about a strange town named Midnight Falls. Midnight Falls is strange because it’s always trapped in 1985. It’s always celebrating it’s the 13th annual Halloween Fest, and its always Halloween night. So, when guests arrive to the event, they walk right into the middle of the Midnight Falls Town Square and into this fall festival.

I totally remember, [Jon may not] remember this, I remember we were driving around Rancho Cucamonga, if you know where that is, it was nighttime. We were driving in Jon’s old car, and we’re getting something to eat, we’re just kind of throwing around different ideas of what we can do for this event. I remember like yesterday, Jon’s like, “I got it. What if we make this whole thing into a town?” And that was kind of that initial spark, and I also think a lot of it has to do with our shared passion of a traditional Halloween.

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Image Credit: LA Haunted Hayride

What Is The Concept Behind Midnight Falls?

Jon Cooke: It is crazy to think back to when it was just a spark of an idea, and then it’s now into a full-fledged, event.

But, yeah, I mean, what I love about Midnight Falls is it’s all come together so organically, and it’s one of those things where it almost has like some sense of being home almost, in these weird little Halloween lives that we live. So, I think that’s kind of what, to me, ultimately, Midnight Falls represents, the love for Halloween and being able to create a town where all of these creatures and characters can live and they all have a sense of purpose, but also are there to scare you as well.

So, that’s kind of the way we wanted to approach it, was just make sure that Midnight Falls feels like a living, breathing town. And I think it’s going to, it’s something that we’re able to build year after year. That’s what makes this such a great concept, we can visit different areas of the town, can bring in different characters in, it can always be evolving.

Ted Dougherty: Yeah, and you know, the story of Midnight Falls spreads throughout the entire event, which I think is pretty unique for this region for an event this size, because all the attractions tie back to that narrative. Then in 2019, in addition to town square and the Hayride, we had three walkthrough attractions.

Side note, you know, part of the inspiration behind having these radio broadcasts going throughout the event, Jon and I were huge fans of Jon Carpenter’s the Fog, if you’ve ever seen that. And there’s the Adrian Barbeaux character, she’s a DJ and you can hear her voice throughout the movie almost like as a narrative. And they did something kind of similar with, QB Halloween. If you saw that.

Jon Cooke: Greatest movie of 2020.

Ted Dougherty: Yeah, but we thought, well, how cool would it be to have these radio broadcasts kind of going out throughout the event? So that way people can hear and learn more about Midnight Falls and the happenings around this place and this festival.

So when you’re at the event, listen to some of those radio broadcasts, that way you can learn more about this strange town of Midnight Falls.

The 2020 Pivot At LA Haunted Hayride

Ted Dougherty: Then in 2020, despite the changes in the world, people were still able to visit Midnight Falls with our live drive up experience.

Chris Stafford: It was a major pivot. It was, we just wanted to do something for Halloween. We didn’t want Halloween to be canceled, you know? So, definitely it was outside the box, but I think that was one thing that Jon and I were on the same page about the whole time. We were going to do something. We didn’t know what it was, but we were going to figure it out.

Jon Cooke: I think we had like a chart of things we could do as things progress, and we got all the way down to the live drive up experience. That’s where we were at when we had to like pull the trigger to make something happen. But no, it was awesome to be in that same mindset of like, no matter what happens in this world, we’re going to figure out a way to celebrate Halloween with our friends and people we love. So, that’s kind of where the live drive up experienced came from. But, like Ted was saying, we wanted to make sure that the tale of Midnight Falls lives on for the season. In the spirit of that, we decided to take the Towns old drive-in, that was recently purchased by a certain Mr. Ravolta, who wanted to take it over and trying to bring some new life or death into this place. And that was kind of the general concept that we built off of.

Ted Dougherty: Yeah, and I always kind of described it as like a drive-in movie theater but like on steroids. You had these at live at Midnight Falls monsters accosting the poor guests seated in the socially distance safety of their parked cars.

Image Credit: LA Haunted Hayride

But What Is Happening In 2021 With LA Haunted Hayride?

Ted Dougherty: So, you know, the spirit of Halloween is tightening its stranglehold on this at town of Midnight Falls, and of course, yes, Jack Vincent will be back, the local Midnight Falls radio DJ, in his booth broadcasting from MFAM radio.

Now, speaking of the town returning, of course for 2021, our town square characters, these are the kind of your stereotypical small town, like Mayberry trope kind of characters, but they’ve been stricken by Halloween.

Jon Cooke: So real quick, I guess, a mini announcement that hasn’t been public yet, but I’m sure you put it together. The event is returning to Griffith Park. However, there is a small construction project, so we are moving within Griffith park to a different location.

And the good news about that, it’s allowing us to sprawl out a little bit more and expand our town of Midnight Falls. So, the town square will be bigger. It’s going to have more offerings as far as like food beverage, and more sets, and more characters. And, the characters are really are the lifeblood.

The Actors Are The Lifeblood of LA Haunted Hayride and Midnight Falls

Jon Cooke: Like Ted mentioned, we do have the voice narration. That’s kind of the thread that ties it all together. But if you take a minute to interact with the characters, they will offer you the deep dive into what’s going on. So, I really, really urge you guys take a minute, engage some of the characters. they’re a lot of fun and that’s kind of what Ted is really, really great at, is being able to come up with these really deep backstories and train the actors in a way to really offer a nice deep dive into the stories.

Ted Dougherty: Even though it’s the main kind of Midway Area of the event, I’ve never really considered it like a scare zone, because if our characters are out scaring, the natural reaction to everybody would run away from them screaming, and that’s what you want in a scare zone. Well, we don’t want that, we want you to engage and interact with these different characters, that we can learn about them, you can learn more about like the deep secrets behind Midnight Falls, and that way you become part of the adventure and part of the story, which is really kind of critical in all this.

Now, what town is complete without its mayor, and we have a new mayor in Midnight Falls this season. The one, the only the late, the grade Monte Ravolta, who will be returning. Yes. We love Monte, let’s talk about how much we love Monte.

Jon Cooke: I can’t say enough amazing things about Monte Ravolta, so much that, I guess we’re making him the mayor. But, you know, we really liked the idea, last year, like kind of like this like sleazy salesman is going up and buying these old establishments.

And, to the point to where he wasn’t even voted in, he’s just declared himself the mayor and he’s just taken over. And so it’s kind of a fun, a fun theme that we wanted to continue to build upon. Is Monte going up and taking over the town.

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Image Credit: LA Haunted Hayride

The Walkthrough Attractions Of LA Haunted Hayride

Ted Dougherty: First up, the return and the re-imagining of the Midnight Mortuary. Yeah, this represents like that dark house at the end of this street. It’s a family owned and operated business here at Midnight Falls. It’s owned by the Marlow family, and I’ve always kind of blamed the Marlowe’s for all the crazy things going on at Midnight Falls, because these folks are into some pretty dark things in those back rooms, and the basement, of the mortuary. let’s talk about what’s going on for the mortuary 2021.

Jon Cooke: So, you know, when we approached it, the four attractions at the Hayride, since we only have the four attractions we wanted to make sure they’re all very, very different in feel. The Midnight Mortuary is our traditional, as far as the layout, traditional Haunted House. And for this year we have rebuilt the entire thing. We kept some of the same themes with the Marlow family, but it’s going to be completely different scenes as well as a pretty expansive outdoor cemetery that the, the punk vampires have taken over and are throwing a big Halloween party out there.

Ted Dougherty: Next up is the return of a fan favorite Trick or Treat. These are the neighborhoods of Midnight Falls, so people can, can see that the residents and their homes.

Jon Cooke: You know, Trick or Treat, from when I was visiting the guests at the Hayride was always one of my favorites. It’s just such a simple, yet fun concept. You’re trick-or-treating on Halloween night.

And what we wanted to do was kind of take that a step further and create the neighborhood where all the monsters live that are celebrating Halloween, so you’re going to see monsters that are dressed up as their favorite monsters essentially. Just gives it a fun little spin. What we did this year is, we got two new house additions, as well as every single house will have a pretty large scare, which is different.

So, be careful when you’re pressing the buttons, just a little tip there. Make sure you send the person that’s annoying you all night to go press the button. So, the doorbells, they’re not only going to trigger the monsters to come out and greet you, but each one will trigger a cool scare.

Dougherty: Next up is the debut, brand new for 2021, The Dead End Diner. All right, this is another local business of Midnight Falls, but I think with this, people are going to be kind of exploring maybe some of the darker back alleys, the back alleys behind the businesses of Midnight Falls.

Jon Cooke: So, this all kind of started as we wanted to create an old, I don’t know how to politely say this, but crappy rest stop that we pull off too when you’re traveling across country. So, it’s this old, like trucker rest stop with the cornerstone of it being this diner. So, as you get into the diner and you see they’re obviously eating human meat for dinner, it then takes you on a path of how that food made its way to the table.

So, you’re going backwards through the establishment, back into the kitchens, and then, you know, out to where they’re slaughtering their dinners. But, one thing we want to do with this, to make it different and fun, and it’s in the name Dead End is there’s actual dead ends throughout the maze where the actors can trap you back there.

It’s a good way to sell it, but I know it is fun. That’s what I love about the LA Haunted Hayride, we’re able to have fun with the themes. So, you will come across a pack of biker werewolves. You’re going to come across the back alley, you know, the… can’t say it…

Ted Dougherty: Don’t say it

Jon Cooke: The lot lizards hanging out at the truck stop. But, you know, it’s a really fun experience. It’s got a few surprises in there.

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Image Credit: LA Haunted Hayride

LA Haunted Hayride, The Actual Hayride, Has All New Scenes This Year

Cooke: One of the things we wanted to try and do, like I said, by learning from 2019 and what we’ve found to be successful, and things we could build upon, is takes certain scenes and either really amp them up or create all new scenes. So, I would say at least 80% is brand new on the Hayride this year, and it’s going to take you to different places throughout the town, different establishments, as well as out to the Midnight Lake, which was there in 2019, but like I said, it’s, re-imagined all new, bigger sets, more scares, more actors. And it takes you on this journey throughout the backwoods.

Ted Dougherty: We will also see a couple of other types of businesses out there.

Jon Cooke: So, one of the questions, as a designer, I always get asked is where’s the inspiration come from? And I got to give a huge shout out to my five-year-old on this one. “Dad, it would be so cool on the Haunted Hayride if you go into a pizza place and this animatronic band that comes to life and attacks you.” I said, “yeah, that would be pretty cool. Let’s do that.” So, just as fun little note, inspiration literally can come from anywhere. Thank you, Mason, that was a good idea. So that’s one of our fun new themes we’re visiting, the Midnight Theater and this band of animatronic characters that come to life.

Retail Spaces Have Expanded And Environments Are Even More Immersive

Jon Cooke: One of the things you want to do is every year is, continue to build onto the town itself and make the entire experience become this immersive environment you’re walking through. So, something as simple as our retail store, facading that and making that part of the experience. You’re going to notice a lot more of that this year and in the following years, we’re always going to be continuing to build and build and build to make this real life immersive environment. So, we got some really cool new sets coming out in the town square, including this, and some other…

Chris Stafford: Jon’s on a mission to eliminate any signage on the site that doesn’t look appropriate to fit. So, he’s getting there.

Jon Cooke: As well as really looking at the food and beverage program as well, you know, that’s one of the things where, when we took on this project, we want it to feel like you’re out there on Halloween night.

So, food and beverage is another thing we really looked at. Like, I want to be able to go and get a candy apple and some hot chocolate and hanging out in the fall environment. So, those are the way we’re approaching the town square and the event as a whole. Maybe a pumpkin spice coffee or two.

Ted Dougherty: That is pretty much what we have. We’re so excited in the can’t wait for you. And as we say in Midnight Falls, Happy Halloween. Thank you.

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