Auditions are now open for Halloween Horror Nights 2023 at Universal Studios Hollywood (Universal City, CA). Scareactor audition timeslots are available for Wednesday, May 31st, and Thursday, June 1st (appointments required). Applicants must be 18+ years old and will be asked to improvise and demonstrate “scare abilities.” Proof of eligibility to work in the United States is also required. A current headshot and resume are preferred.
ScareCON (Chertsey, UK) announced the winners of their 2023 Scare Awards (SCARs). The 2023 awards were based on events and attractions that opened or operated significantly between April 2022 and March 2023. All 15 categories were judged by the ScareCON and ScareTOUR review teams and were scored on specific requirements for each category, including public reviews. Awards were received by Tulleys Shocktoberfest, Traumatica, Terror Mountain, Satan’s Slammer, Fear Avon Valley, Horrorland, Bloodbath by Screamworks, Walsall Scare Maze, London Bridge Experience, Movie Park Germany, Scream Factory, Psycho Path, The Nightmare Realm, Howl Valley High, and Scream Aloud. Congratulations to all the winners & nominees!
Conventions & Mixers
Get your tickets for the Midwest Haunters Convention (Rosemont, IL) soon as Early Bird Discounts end this Thursday, May 25th at 11:59 p.m. CDT. With pre-con haunt tours on June 8th – 9th and event dates June 10th – 11th, this action-packed weekend is stacked with exciting entertainment, top-notch exhibitors, educational programming, networking, parties, contests, and more. Some recently featured highlights on the event’s Facebook page include: The Chicago Haunt Builders’ Walk-Through Haunted House on the show floor; Kids Zone Ghoul School (limited to 30 students ages 6-12); and MHC Zombie Walk – presented by The Chicago Zombie March. Learn more about all the convention’s events and seminars on its official website.
U.S. Haunts & Events
Dark Hour Haunted House (Plano, TX) has done some spring cleaning, and plenty of things must go! The haunt will host a yard sale on Saturday, June 10th from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. CDT. Check back often on the event’s Facebook page to see pictures of items that will be available at the yard sale.
The organizers of the Centralia Halloween Parade (Centralia, IL) announced the 2023 parade theme contest winner: “Monsters & Mischief.” Fourth-grader Turner Aydt submitted the winning theme. Parade committee members showed up at Turner’s class at St. Mary’s Grade School to present him and his classmates with a pizza party. Turner will be honored at the 96th annual parade on October 28th, 2023.
Spencer’s & Spirit Halloween announced they are expanding their corporate headquarters in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. The project will add 81,000 sq. ft. of office space and amenities to the Company’s current campus, bringing the total footprint to 24 acres – or the size of five baseball fields. The new office area will allow the company to accommodate its growing workforce. The company employs more than 30,000 associates across the country, 700 of which are located at the New Jersey corporate offices. “We look forward to welcoming new members to our Spencer’s and Spirit Halloween family, where our guiding principle has always been to foster an environment of inclusivity, passion, and resilience, embracing differences, authenticity, and fun for all,” said CEO Steven Silverstein. The company is actively searching for skilled and motivated individuals to fill various positions across multiple corporate functions, with half of the current openings being in the tech sector. Those who want to apply for exciting career opportunities at Spirit Halloween should visit the company’s official career website.
Ralph Lee, founder of NYC’s Village Halloween Parade, passed away May 12th at the age of 87. Lee directed the first Village Halloween Parade in 1974 and continued for 12 years before stepping away to pursue other artistic endeavors. The parade began as a theatrical event featuring masked performers, giant puppets, floats, and musicians all marching through Greenwich Village in Manhattan. “Halloween is for the kid in all of us,” Lee said in a 1982 NY Times article. “It gives people, especially adults, permission to act any way they want.” Over the years his Village Halloween Parade has grown, becoming one of the city’s most cherished events, attracting more than 60,000 costumed participants and 2 million spectators. 2023 marks the parade’s 50th anniversary.
History & Folklore
While many cultures wait until autumn to celebrate Halloween, Japan’s spooky thrills and chills occur in summer’s scorching heat. A recent article by Carl Samson discusses the history and legends behind how summer became Japan’s “Spooky Season”.
Upcoming Events: May - July 2023
June 2 – 4, 2023: Monsterpalooza (Pasadena, California)
June 10 – 11, 2023: Midwest Haunters Convention (Rosemont, Illinois)
July 15 – 16, 2023: Texas Haunters Convention (Mesquite, Texas)
July 21 – 23, 2023: HorrorWeen Con Idaho (Boise, Idaho)
July 28 – 30, 2023: Midsummer Scream (Long Beach, California)
July 29 – 30, 2023: Ghosts of Summer (Portland, Oregon)
Spring / Summer Haunts
All Hallows Eve Terror Town (Williamsburg, OH) – June 2 – 3
The Dreich Society (Ontario, CA) – June 3
Eloise Asylum (Westland, MI) – June 3
Frightmare (Chesapeake, VA) – June 2 – 3
Hollerin Haunts Hayride (Clinton, NC) – June 2-3
Riverside Entertainment (Siloam Springs, AR) – June 2 – 3
Scream Hollow Wicked Halloween Park (Smithville, TX) – June 2 – 3, 9 – 10, 16 – 17
Castle Blood (Monessen, PA) – June 9 – 10
Dark Castle (Elgin, SC) – June 10
Wicked World Scaregrounds (Nicholasville, KY) – June 17
Necropolis Underground (Indianapolis, IN) – June 23 – 24
SRD’s Haunted Attractions – Pocatello (Pocatello, ID) – June 23 – 24
Podcast Episodes You Might Be Interested In
Spooky Music in Visual Media
How do music supervisors choose the right spooky music for a soundtrack – and how can you do the same at your haunt? Today we’re continuing the music theme with another panel from last year’s Midsummer Scream. We’re playing the first 30 minutes of “Spooky Music in Visual.” For haunters especially, this provides the insight you can apply to select media for your haunt.
Annoying Sh!t Haunts Do
Join Bryan and Tiph as they delve into the most frustrating pet peeves and irritating practices of haunted houses. With topics ranging from misleading promotions to overbearing management, this episode is a must-listen for anyone looking to avoid these common pitfalls. The episode is courtesy of The Scare Factor, a nationwide haunted house review website and directory, and is from their companion podcast.
News Roundup: Dark Night Halloween World Dates, Hotel of Terror
Read more here.