U.S. Haunts & Events
The new year equals new fear at Dark Hour Haunted House (Plano, TX) with the launch of their newest event, “Dead by Dark Hour”. This survival-themed haunted attraction will transport guests into the world of 1980s-style slasher films, where they must outwit, outrun, and outlast the Slashers stalking the halls. With immersive sets, high levels of interactivity, and a need to keep moving, this show is not for the faint of heart. “We are thrilled to bring a new style of terror to our guests with Dead By Dark Hour,” said Allen Hopps, Director of Dark Hour Haunted House. “This show is sure to be a hit with horror fans and adrenaline seekers alike.” Dead By Dark Hour will debut on Friday the 13th of this January and will be a one-night-only event. Tickets are on sale now starting at $45 for General Admission and can be purchased online or at the box office.
The ScareFactor has compiled a list of 19 haunts that will be open this coming weekend to celebrate Friday the 13th.
Celebrate Friday the 13th weekend with rock music, films, and immersive experiences at The Fear Festival (San Bernardino, CA). Part music festival, part immersive experience, the three-day festival at the National Orange Show Event Center has a plethora of events to engage and excite horror fans – a “Prom Night,” live music, film festival, celebrity guests, costume contests, panels, vendors, a haunt from Bellos Haunts, immersive experiences from Hall of Shadows & Art’s Sideshow, flash mobs, and more. “The biggest difference between us and everyone else is twofold,” said The Fear Faire Event Curator Denise Griffin. “First – the connection between alternative rock music and horror is only natural, and The Fear Faire has a full-blown music festival with over 20 bands across all three days. Second – we don’t consider ourselves a convention or a marketplace. Our inspiration for building this event was actually from the Renaissance Faire. Our goal is immersion and entertainment that can bring everyone horror, humor, and just… fun.” Tickets are on sale starting at $20 – $25 for one-day General Admission and $50 for 3-day Weekend General Admission – all tickets will be an additional $5 at the door.
Eloise Asylum (Westland, MI), the abandoned psychiatric hospital home to a haunted attraction of the same name, will soon receive a $4 million renovation to create a hotel & restaurant onsite in addition to the haunt. The current project is supported by a $695,000 brownfield grant from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE). The grant will aid in the removal of several structures contaminated by petroleum-related compounds in the soil and groundwater and preserve two historic buildings. The city of Westland has partnered with 30712 Michigan Avenue LLC to redevelop the site as part of a multi-phase project. “Right now, we’re currently getting ready to renovate the old firehouse, which sits adjacent to the property. That building was built in 1894,” said John Hambrick, a managing member of 30712 Michigan Avenue LLC and owner of the building. “We’re going to convert that into a barbecue place.” Hambrick said there are also plans to build a 1920s-themed speakeasy later in the development. Renovation on the firehouse will begin this spring, with the restaurant opening in the fall or winter. A timeline for the hotel has yet to be announced.
Celebrate 65 years of Famous Monsters of Filmland with all your old fiends – Dracula, The Wolf Man, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Mummy, The Phantom of the Opera, and more. Join fellow horror fans January 13th – 15th at the Chinese Theatre (Hollywood, CA) for Famous Monsters FilmFest. Sponsored in part by Monsterpalooza, Famous Monsters FilmFest features 13 classic horror film screenings with special guest introductions to select films. Tickets are on sale now starting at $13 – $25 for single screenings, $100 for a Friday FANGtastic Ticket, $175 for a 3-Day Creeper Pass, and $350 for a Super Monster Kid R.I.P 3-Day Pass.
Do you have what it takes to be part of the Sweet Dreams Scare House Team? Sweet Dreams Scarehouse (Easley, SC) is now hiring scareactors and makeup artists for their 10th season. Applicants must be 16 or older, have reliable transportation, and availability 6 pm-close on their operating days. All experience levels are welcome. Learn more and apply via the haunt’s official website.
Hackney Haunts (Westminster, MD) will open its gates on February 11th from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. for a special Valentine haunt. Experience new scenes, new scares, new characters, and more in two haunts: “Love Bites” and “Cupid’s Massacre”. Tickets are $20 per person and will be on sale soon on the haunt’s official website.
Conventions & Mixers
The Halloween & Party Expo takes place this week, January 10th – 12th, at The Mirage Hotel & Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Halloween & Party Expo is a one-stop shopping destination open to all qualified industry professionals looking for the most comprehensive Halloween and party merchandise selection. Get a first look at thousands of new products released from the 125+ exhibitors for the coming season, and take advantage of exclusive show specials and discounts designed to help your budget go further. Flip through the digital 2023 Show Directory to find important information, including exhibitor listings, product categories, show highlights, and more. Qualified buyers can register to attend for free online.
Haunted Attraction Association
The Haunted Attraction Association‘s Transworld Committee is putting together its annual OSCARES ceremony, which will be held Saturday, February 4th, at Transworld’s Halloween & Attraction Show. The event recognizes haunts, vendors, and industry members and features a memorial for those haunted house family, staff, and vendors that have passed away. If you want to recognize an industry individual who passed away this past year, please submit their name, haunt, city, and state to [email protected]. Submissions will be accepted through January 10th, 2023.
Disneyland‘s Haunted Mansion Holiday has been extended through January 29th, 2023. The Nightmare Before Christmas overlay was initially scheduled to end on January 8th, but was recently pushed an additional three weeks. The attraction will close on January 30th and re-open as the classic Haunted Mansion on February 10th, 2023.
Alton Towers (Staffordshire, England) plans to revamp their classic haunted house attraction, “Duel: The Haunted House Strikes Back”. Duel first opened as “The Haunted House” in 1992 and was the largest ghost train in Europe. By 2003, the ride had been redesigned, featuring laser guns, a new soundtrack, and a zombie theme. The attraction has been closed since September to prepare for yet another re-theme. In a recent interview, Mark Fisher (former Chief Development Officer of Alton Towers’ owners, Merlin) said the iconic dark ride would return to its haunted house roots, “It will be more like the original Haunted House, with a completely new story. Some of the old Victorian techniques – the use of mirrors, for example – are still so good.” A re-opening date for the attraction has not yet been announced.
Distortions Unlimited has announced another new prop for their 2023 line, “Pumpkin Witch”. Standing over six feet tall, the Pumpkin Witch roams her creepy pumpkin patch with her haunted jack-o-lantern lit up, pointing the way into your scary scene. The prop is made of latex and is foam filled with an armature inside, allowing for posable arms. The display has a full head and neck but is flat-backed. She comes with a haunted jack-o-lantern with an LED light inside. For a limited time, Pumpkin Witch is on sale for $524.00 (original price $574.00).
Trick or Treat Studios has begun pre-orders for the first three figures in their “Scream Greats” line of action figures: Fatso, Shorty, and Slim from Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Each highly detailed figure is in 8 inch scale and Fatso & Slim both include a cotton candy gun accessory. The figures are packaged on a backer card with a plastic blister. Shipping is estimated to begin on August 7th. Pre-order yours today for $34.99 each.
Film & TV
More Wednesday Addams is on the way! Netflix officially announced Season 2 of Wednesday with a Youtube video on January 6th. In a statement, show creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar said, “It’s been incredible to create a show that has connected with people across the world. Thrilled to continue Wednesday’s tortuous journey into season two. We can’t wait to dive head first into another season and explore the kooky spooky world of Nevermore. Just need to make sure Wednesday hasn’t emptied the pool first.” The release date for season 2 has not yet been announced.
Upcoming Events: January 2023 - March 2023
Podcast Episodes You Might Be Interested In
State of the Industry: Haunted Attractions in 2022
In this episode, you’ll hear the entire Haunted Attraction Association’s 2022 State of the Industry Presentation from Transworld’s Halloween & Attractions Show. The 2023 presentation will be Friday, Feb 3rd, 2023, at 9 AM. Slides are available here.
On-Location at Christmasacre Walsall Scare Maze in England
The ScareTrack team travels to Walsall Scare Maze in England to report on the Christmasacre event.
From 2022 to 2023: 4 Big Theme Park Trends
For our year-end episode, we look at some large stories from 2022 and how they will impact 2023. We’ve broken them into 4 large buckets: Recovery, Supply Chain, Attention Wars, and AI Technology.
Haunted Attraction Industry News for January 3rd
Read more here.