Here is the Haunted Attraction Industry News for October 19th.
If you would like to receive this in your inbox, CLICK HERE
Our 61-day Hauntathon brings you to a different haunted house every day from September 1st through October 31st, 2022. Count down to Halloween with daily podcasts and videos from haunted houses worldwide. To top it off, get your adrenaline pumping with six exclusive haunted house experiences in various cities. More info below.
U.S. Haunts & Events
Erebus Haunted Attraction (Pontiac, MI) is offering “Fun Without the Fear Tours” on Fridays & Saturdays from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. for the rest of October. These weekend matinee shows allow guests to experience the sets, illusions, and sound effects without live actors. Strobe lights will also be turned off. “Erebus is known for its intensity and size, where creatures grab you, bite you, attack you and then bury you alive. We’ve had haunted house operators from across the state and around the globe travel to Erebus for a look at our set design, animatronics, illusions, and special effects,” said Erebus co-owner Ed Terebus. “Over the years, we’ve had people tell us they… want to experience Erebus without fear and see what happens without the scare. Now, we’re making that opportunity available to the public for the first time.” Tickets for the actor-free walk-throughs are available online for $15 per person.
This past week Eastern State Penitentiary’s Halloween Nights (Philadelphia, PA) partnered with Haunters Against Hate to celebrate National Coming Out Day (October 11th) by hosting a Pride Night full of special festivities. “This is an opportunity for us as an organization that is part of the haunted attraction Halloween industry to support people of LGBTQ backgrounds in this industry and make sure that they are being supported not only at our event but events across the country,” said Brett Bertolino, Vice President and Director of Operations. The event featured special drag performances in both of the event’s themed bars (Bazaar Bar and Bloodline Lounge) and a cabaret performance in the Speakeasy at Al Capone’s Cell. Haunters Against Hate & Halloween Nights Pride Gargoyle shirts were on sale, with $2 of every shirt purchase donated to HAH.
Haunters Pandora Rose (Darkrose Manor – Aurora, CO), Colleen Delawder (Historic Herndon Halloween House – Herndon, VA), Paul Brubacher (Markoff’s Haunted Forest – Dickerson, MD), Francisco Santos (The Horrorland – Miami, FL), and Thomas Hall (Home Haunter – Richmond, VA) were featured in a recent Washington Post article, “How to Decorate for Halloween, According to Spooky Season Die-Hards”. The group shared tips on how to choose your theme, decorate appropriately for your neighborhood, and save money on supplies. Three quick tips on how to make your house stand out on Halloween night: 1. Start with store-bought skeletons and add liquid latex for texture. 2. Carve pumpkins only a few days before Halloween to avoid rot. 3. Think about other senses – like smell.
Kearney, Nebraska has a new haunt for the 2022 season – Farmer Brown’s Field of Screams. The event features a Haunted Hay Rack ride and a 1/2 mile “Psycho Path” adventure on foot through the river bottom to Farmer Brown’s Farmstead. Survivors will return to the parking area by hay rack. This new scary attraction is open Fridays and Saturdays in October as well as Halloween night. Parking opens at 6:30 p.m. and the ticket booth opens at 7 p.m., with the final tickets being sold at 11 p.m. (9:30 p.m. on Halloween night). Tickets are only available at the door for $20 cash.
Sweet Dreams Haunted House has opened in a new location in downtown Mobile, Alabama. Owners, Ronnie and Katelyn Jordan first opened Sweet Dreams in Summerdale before the pandemic, but decided to move the haunt to downtown Mobile after COVID-19 shut down many area businesses. “We sacrificed a lot [to build the haunt],” said Katelyn, “We sold our house and saved up a whole bunch of money in order to be able to bring it up to code, to bring it to what it is today.” The 30-minute walkthrough haunt now features over 60 scareactors. Tickets can be purchased on the event’s official website, starting at $30 for General Admission and $50 for VIP Admission.
The CU Boulder College of Arts and Sciences Department of Theatre & Dance showcased the scary side of Shakespeare’s works October 7th – 16th with ShakesFear: An Autumn’s Tale. In this immersive theatrical experience, guests traversed the perimeter of the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre and faced the most bloody, ghostly, and ghastly characters from the Bard’s work. “I didn’t realize how much material was actually there until we dug in,” said Kevin Rich, CU Boulder’s associate chair of theatre. “This is our third iteration of ‘ShakesFear,’ and we find more characters and scenes to include every time. There’s just so many witches, ghosts, villains, sprites, dead kings and queens… Immersive theater seems to be getting more and more common, so I’m thrilled to be able to give our students the opportunity to get some experience in this emerging art form.”
Haunted Harbor (Tonawanda, NY) returns to Gateway Harbor this Saturday, October 22nd. This event features trick or treat stations on both sides of the harbor, trick or treating along Webster Street, a Trunk or Treat at the United Methodist Church, and the Haunted House at the Tonawanda Senior Center. Cash prizes will be awarded to the most creative Trunk or Treat spaces. Over 1,500+ children and their families are expected to attend this beloved annual community event.
International Haunts & Events
Never underestimate how leveraging social media can help to promote your haunt. Fort Edmunton Park’s DARK (Alberta, Canada) has been generating a lot of buzz on TikTok with their new Mr. Dark video series. One video alone gained 506.2K views in less than 48 hours and now sits at over 737.9K views, nearly 900 comments, and 61.7K likes. The entire series has generated over 2,581 new followers on their page and led to their highest DARK preseason ticket sale days after their viral video. Fort Edmonton’s Director of Experience Development, Teresa Ryan, said that Tik Tok “has been a great platform to showcase the Park and DARK in a new and unique way”.
Launching in time for Halloween, Global Village (Dubai, UAE) unveiled its new House of Fear attraction. The upgraded attraction features a team of scare actors and nine immersive experiences – including a haunted cemetery, a hospital psych ward, and a screaming tree.
Alton Towers (Alton, Staffordshire, UK) launched its newest attraction to celebrate the arrival of Scarefest – The Invitation. The Invitation is an immersive audio experience mostly in complete darkness. Guests are invited to visit the Lakeside Cemetery mausoleum, where the friendly funeral director is dying to assist you as you descend into the burial chamber. Some caskets have already been filled, but others are still empty, waiting for you. Scarefest takes place on select dates through October 31st. Tickets are on sale now on the event’s official website, starting at £32.00 for all four mazes (theme park admission required).
Conventions & Mixers
In an October 8th social media post, the West Coast Halloween Convention announced the cancellation of their 2023 event. After months of searching, show management was unable to secure an adequate venue for the event, and, according to the post, they felt “attempting to put the show on in only a few short months is not only unfair to our amazing team of volunteers, but also unfair to you, our loyal attendees and vendors who are looking to secure time off and make travel arrangements.” WCHC hopes to return strong in 2024.
Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights added an additional night to their season – Wednesday, October 19th. Face 8 haunted houses, the Terror Tram, scare zones, a live show, and exhilarating attractions. Tickets are available via the event’s official website.
Visit Holiday World (Santa Claus, IN) on Saturday, October 22nd or Saturday, October 29th to witness 300 LED-lit drones take to the Holiday World sky for a unique drone and fireworks spectacle, Halloween in the Sky. This one-of-a-kind, 15-minute spectacle celebrates Halloween with huge designs that fill the entire sky and will end with a special announcement for 2023. “Halloween in the Sky” will begin at 7:45 p.m. each night and is included with general admission. Tickets are available online starting at $44.99 for one-day general admission.
LVCRFT has released their 4th album, Scream Warriors, just in time for Halloween. The album collaborates with composer Christopher Young – known for his terrifying film scores, including Hellraiser, Sinister, Drag Me to Hell, Nightmare on Elm Street 2, and many more. Listen now via your favorite streaming service, or buy the album on Bandcamp. Learn about the making of the album from LVCFT and Christopher Young via our recording of the live panel at the Dolby Screening Room album release party.
They’re back! McDonald’s iconic Halloween pails will return October 18th – 31st. After weeks of rumors and anticipation, McDonald’s officially confirmed the return of its Halloween Happy Meal in an October 6th press release. McBoo, McPunk’n and McGoblin, who first appeared in 1986, will be available at participating locations.
Food & Beverage
CandyStore.com released an interactive map of the Most Popular Candy by State for 2022. The group gathered 15 years worth of data to create the map (2007 – 2021). Reese’s Cups were an overall favorite — with the chocolate peanut butter treat taking the top spot in five states (California, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Wyoming). The next most popular candy was Skittles, ranking #1 in Alabama and Oklahoma and #2 and #3 in a handful of other states. Other candies ranking in the top ten across the nation were M&M’s, Starburst, Hot Tamales, Sour Patch Kids, Hershey Kisses, Snickers, Tootsie Pops, and Candy Corn.
Instacart also released a top-ten list of candy this week. The company tallied candy sales from 2021 to find the most-ordered treats. Unsurprisingly, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups topped the list with over 116 tons of the candy ordered. The other top sellers were: Peanut M&M’s (92 tons), M&M’s (94 tons), Snickers (65 tons), Hershey’s Milk Chocolate (65 tons), Twizzlers (56 tons), Kit Kat (49 tons), Twix (48 tons), Starburst (37 tons), and Milky Way (36 tons).
Krispy Kreme will transform into Krispy Skreme this Halloween season with the debut of their Haunted House doughnuts. Four spooky new doughnuts will be available through October 31st. The “Spooky Spider Doughnut” is an Original Glazed® Doughnut dipped in chocolate icing and topped with chocolate cookie pieces, an icing spider web, and a spider sugar piece. The “Boo Batter Doughnut” is filled with delicious cake batter, topped with neon green icing, spooky sugar sprinkles, buttercream, and a ghost sugar piece. The “Scaredy Cat Doughnut” is filled with delicious KREME™, dipped in purple icing and decorated with green frosting and chocolate icing, topped with a chocolate cat piece. Lastly, the “Neon Orange Sprinkle Doughnut” is an Original Glazed® Doughnut with neon orange icing and topped with a Halloween sprinkle blend. Purchase a Krispy Skreme Haunted House Dozen to receive three of each in a specialty Halloween box.
Tune in for daily podcasts featuring in-depth discussions with masters of fear from all over.
Subscribe on Spotify, iTunes, using RSS, or by searching “Haunted Attraction Network” in any podcast player.
See the scariest parts of the country with daily on-location videos. We’ve gathered a gang of ghouls to bring the sights of Halloween to you.
Watch Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
Get off the couch and join us for exclusive haunted attraction experiences in various cities. Mingle with the creators, explore with the lights on, and then get a VIP seat when the lights go out. These ultimate fan opportunities are available nowhere else and offer unparalleled access to these select haunted experiences.
Oct 29: The Willows, Hollywood, CA (Get tickets here)
Oct 30: Cemetery Lane, Hollywood, CA (Get tickets here)
New This Week
Day 46: The Thirteenth Hour in Indianapolis, IN
The Thirteenth Hour in Indianapolis recently transitioned from an outdoor location to a new indoor building. Today, Tyler is on-location with Ben to learn about the move and this year’s show.
Day 45: Hatch & Kraven’s Slaughterhouse in Dennison, TX
Hatch & Kraven’s Slaughterhouse has moved and expanded over the last few years into a full SlaughterPLEX. Today, we’ll learn all about it.
Day 44: Shaqtoberfest at The Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA
Shaqtoberfest is one of the most hotly anticipated haunt event of 2022 in Southern California. Today, we’re on-location hearing about the event’s creation from Chris Stafford. Chris is the CEO of thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group, one of the producing groups for this first year event.
Day 43: Dark Harvest in Anaheim, CA
Dark Harvest returns to Anaheim in a new location. Pirates Cave Productions joined Dark Harvest this year to bring more technical scenes. Today we’ll speak with Adam LeBlanc from Dark Harvest and Dave Larson from Pirates Cave Productions about the new experience.
Day 42: Disney Halloween Around the World with Dizney Coast to Coast
Today, it’s a cross-over episode! I recorded this episode with Jeff Depaoli for Dizney Coast to Coast. “Dizney Coast to Coast” is an entertaining and informative podcast about anything and everything related to The Walt Disney Company. Jeff and I discuss Halloween in this episode at every Disney property worldwide, and I rank my favorites.
BONUS: Haunted Attraction Industry News for Oct 11
Day 41: Frightmare 2.0 in Gloucester United Kingdom
Frightmare Halloween Festival has been going for 20 years in Gloucester, but they’ve recently moved into testing out scary mazes. Today, Mikey from ScareTrack is on location to explore the new scares.
BONUS: The WTO & Takeaways from Eastern State Penitentiary
The WTO’s outlook for 2023 isn’t great. Scott and discuss what that means for the attraction industry, plus takeaways from Eastern State Penitentiary.
Day 40: All Saints Lunatic Asylum in Apple Valley, CA
Apple Valley is located at the southern edge of the Mojave Desert. Apple Valley’s professional haunted attraction is All Saints Lunatic Asylum. Today, we’re going on location to learn about the haunt and its transition over the last 15 years.
Day 39: Haunted Harvest inside Frosty’s Forest in Chino, CA
Haunted Harvest is inside Frosty’s Forest in Chino, CA. Think of a haunt where each scene is split up and separated by lots of corn. Instead of flats and transition hallways, you have lot of corn and plenty of opportunities for scares outside. But the corn comes with some challenges. Today, we’ll hear about this year’s themes and the challenges that come with this style of haunt.
Day 38: Carnival of Darkness in Ontario, CA
Carnival of Darkness is a new haunt inside Little Rascals Pumpkin Patch in Ontario. Today, we’ll hear from the Owner Kekoa about their theme and what it’s like transitioning from haunter to owner.
Day 37: Basement of the Dead in Aurora, IL
A family of home haunters bought Basement of the Dead 10 years ago, and they’ve been so successful they expanded into another location. Today, we’ll speak to Jason Seneker about their design philosophy and expansions.
Day 36: Distracted Haunted House in Bowling Green, OH
Now in its 7th season, Distracted Haunted House in Bowling Green, Ohio, is known for its original characters and diversity of staff. Today, Max is on-location speaking with owner Scott Francis about this season. Here’s Max and Scott.
BONUS: Halloween Trends with Jeff DePaoli
We’re talking about trends in Halloween events and Haunts with Jeff Depaoli! Jeff DePaoli is a producer and entertainer living in Los Angeles. Jeff hosts the Dizney Coast to Coast podcast and is a writer for Attractions Magazine. We cover many events between the two of us, and this is a fun conversation recapping what we’ve seen so far this season.
Day 35: Halloween on Ambush Home Haunt in Churchville, NY
Halloween on Ambush in Churchville, NY, was featured on Good Morning America and even the Newest Book from Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Last year, the home haunt display featured two full-size pirate ships with show effects. Today, we’ll chat with creator Tony DeMatteo about this year’s plans and some of his challenges.
BONUS: Haunted Attraction Industry News for Oct 4
Read more here.
Day 34: Bones Gulch Haunted Attraction in Castaic, CA
The new Bones Gulch Haunted Attraction in Castaic, CA, is a collaboration of Beware the Dark Realm, Restless Souls Manor, and The Farm Haunt. These three haunts joined forces with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to build Bones Gulch at the Jack Bones Equestrian Center. All funds raised benefit the LA Sherriff’s Department Museum. Today, I’m taking you into Bones Gulch with audio recorded during opening night, then you’ll hear from the museum curator about why this event is so vital for the community.
Day 33: The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride
The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride is once again open in Griffith Park. After acquiring the hayride, Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group established a central narrative to tie the experience together – the town of Midnight Falls. Guests pass into the fictional town of Midnight Falls, and every attraction ties into the town’s story. Today, we’re speaking with Chris Stafford, CEO of Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group, about this year’s expansions and some unique challenges facing the hayride.
BONUS: Hurricanes, Chaperones, and Shootings
While parks have reopened after Hurricane Ian, Knott’s tweaked their chaperone policy, and Kennywood reels from shooting during Phantom Fall Fest.
Hauntathon 2022 Archives
Day 1: Previewing Halloween Horror Nights with John Murdy
Day 2: Unhinged: Nightshade’s Curse at The Winchester Mystery House
Day 3: Shaqtoberfest, Delusion, & the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride
Day 4: Reign of Terror Haunted House: A Retrospective
Day 5: The Scare City Experience opens at Camelot Theme Park
Day 6: 4 Hot & New Haunts Coming to SoCal
Day 7: Evil Intentions Haunted House in Elgin, IL
Day 8: The Fear PDX in Portland, OR
Day 9: Massacre Haunted House in Montgomery, IL
Day 10: Santa Ana Haunt
Day 11: Previewing Knott’s Scary Farm 2022
Day 12: Thirteenth Floor Haunted House Chicago
Day 13: Land of Illusion in Middletown Ohio
Day 14: Sir Henry’s Haunted Trail 2022 in Plant City, FL
Day 15: Planet Doom in Idaho Falls, ID
Day 16: Writing Blood Beckoning for Howl-O-Scream at SeaWorld Orlando
Day 17: Haunted Hotel Haunted House in Louisville, KY
Day 18: Nightmares on the Rogue Haunted Mines & Carnival of Chaos
Day 19: The Vault of Souls in Tampa Florida
Day 20: Howl-O-Scream 2022 at SeaWorld San Diego
Day 21: DARK at Fort Edmonton Park in Edmonton Canada
Day 22: Halloween Nights 2022 at Eastern State Penitentiary
Day 23: The House of Frankenstein
Day 24: Castle Dark 2022 at Castle Park in Riverside CA
Day 25: The Devil’s Attic in Louisville, Kentucky
Day 26: Indy Scream Park 2022 in Anderson Indiana
Day 27: Sinister Tombs 2022 in Eastview, Kentucky
Day 28: Halloween at Drayton Manor Resort in England
Day 29: Vampirates at Pirates Dinner Adventure
Day 30: Delusion in Pomona, CA
Day 31: Terror Haunted House in Times Square NYC
Day 32: The American Horrorplex 2022 in Louisville, KY