Midsummer Scream Takes Place This Weekend, July 29TH – 31ST

Midsummer Scream
Here is the Haunted Attraction Industry News for July, 26th.
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Conventions & Mixers

Midsummer Scream will take place this weekend, July 29th – 31st at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California. The event features an exhibit floor with over 300 dark vendors, nearly 100 panels & presentations, horror short film festival, “Black Cat Lounge”, Hall of Shadows Mini Haunts, Museum of Halloween, Saturday Night “Deadly Disco” party, and much more. Programming highlights include “Tricks ‘r Terrors: A History of Halloween in America” (Saturday @ Noon), “Spooktacular: The History of Spooky World” (Saturday @ 3:30 p.m.), “Halloween Horror Nights presentation” featuring Halloween Horror Nights’ Creative Director and Executive Producer John Murdy (Saturday @ 5:00 p.m.), and “Spirit Halloween: The Movie Trailer Sneak Peak” (Sunday @ 3:00 p.m.). Midsummer Scream also hosts a wide range of classes and make-and-take workshops for hands-on learning. View their full schedule of nearly 100 panels and presentations and plan your show via their app. The Hall of Shadows Mini Haunts area is almost 100,000 square feet in size and will feature 17 haunts & attractions, entryway design by CalHauntS, Decayed Brigade slider performances, and more. Tickets to Midsummer Scream are on sale now starting at $32 – $47 for Single-Day General Admission, $63 for Weekend General Admission, and $135 for the Gold Bat Pass. 

The Cleveland Haunt Club‘s 7th Annual Haunted Garage Sale will take place Saturday, July 30th from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Weiss Field in Avon Lake, Ohio. The event will feature Halloween & horror vendors, hearse cruse-in, bake sale, food trucks, and more. 

The Texas Haunters Convention had their best year yet this past July 16th – 17th in Mesquite, Texas. The Haunted Attraction Network went onsite to interview events coordinator Cully Franks and volunteer coordinator Scott Freeman about this year’s experience. From over 130 vendors, a sold out haunt tour, expanded educational lineup, and more – this year was a huge success. The Texas Haunters Convention will return July 15th  -16th, 2023 at the Mesquite Convention Center. Stay tuned in the coming months for news and announcements.

Education

The next Haunter’s Toolbox Haunt Master Class is scheduled for Tuesday, August 2nd at 5:30 p.m. PDT. It’s almost time to open the doors to your Haunted House! What are you doing to make sure people find you? Join Haunter’s Toolbox and the Haunted Attraction Network as they discuss 13 strategies to help new customers find out about your attraction and past attendees remember why they should come back.  The 13 general topics include: Local Involvement, Press Releases, Media Nights, Influencers, Newsletters, Instagram, TikTok, Google Business, Websites, Facebook Freebies, Wristbands & Tickets, Customer Content, and Direct Mail. Sign up for Haunters Toolbox Membership to access each month’s live session, past recordings, and more.

U.S. Haunts & Events

Reaper’s Realm Haunted Farm and Trail (Salisbury, NC) is set to return select nights September 23rd – October 31st at a new location following its 2021 permit denial. In a July 12th social media post, the attraction announced their 2022 season dates and new location on Woodleaf Road in Salisbury, NC. Last year, the Rowan County Board of Commissioners ultimately decided to deny the seasonal attraction a renewed temporary permit due to a number of issues raised by the community – including parking concerns, attendees trespassing on nearby properties, and noise levels. Ticket information and 2022 attraction details will be posted in the upcoming weeks on the haunt’s official website

“The Weeping Witch”, a new horror escape room experience, is coming to Cross Roads Escape Games (Anaheim, CA) this August. The Weeping Witch is a spirit that lures people close by mimicking the sound of a woman crying. Once they get close enough, the Witch attacks and slowly sucks the life out of its victims. If you choose to enter Madam Ruby’s study, that is what is awaiting you. Will you be able to banish the evil spirit and end your family curse before the Weeping Witch consumes you too? This experience is a private game for 3-8 players and recommended for ages 14+. Tickets will go on sale in the coming days on Cross Roads Escape Games’ official website

Following the success and demand of the 2021 House of Spirits experiences in LA, Dallas, and NYC, Meyer2Meyer Entertainment and leading entertainment discovery platform Fever, have announced House of Spirits: A Haunted Cocktail Soirée is returning this fall, with a new season, new characters, and new cocktails. The 2-hour immersive cocktail experience, which premiered in Los Angeles in 2019, is a Halloween spectacle that takes place within an eerie, elegantly macabre mansion. Each event experience has a unique, interactive storyline, allowing guests the chance to freely roam the eerie residence, invoke a giant ouija board, and meet mystical tarot readers. House of Spirits: A Haunted Cocktail Soirée will be returning to Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York, as well as opening its doors in Seattle, Nashville, and Houston. Ticket prices range, starting from $70-$90, with 3 ticketing options. The Standard ticket includes four miniature craft cocktails inspired by different rooms in the residence and access to all immersive attractions and show areas. The Plus tickets start from $75 and include five miniature craft cocktails, and access to all immersive attractions and show areas. A new tier this year, the decadent Premier ticket, is “how adults trick or treat” – it includes five miniature craft cocktail tastings, paired with French chocolate truffles curated by chocolate “sommeliers”. Starting at $90, the Premier ticket also includes expedited check-in, first entry into the show and access to all attractions and show areas. Additional cocktails, beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages and food items will be available for purchase at the event. Purchase your tickets online today. 

The Haunted Attraction Network in partnership with Horrorbuzz recently went behind the scenes of Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre in North Hollywood, California to learn about their recent production, Urban Death Cannibal Corpse. They spoke with the director, creative director, and cast about the inspiration for the production and what it is like to be a part of this immersive horror theatre event. 

Man is the Warmest Place to Hide ran June 25th – July 17th at Sugarmynt Gallery (Pasadena, CA) to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Thing, paying tribute to the 1980s filmography of director John Carpenter. The Haunted Attraction Network visited and spoke with curators Mark Tavares and Erin Hagerty as well as artist Kevin Smith regarding how today’s monster makers can learn from Carpenter’s legacy

Max’s Nasty House (North Hollywood, CA) is the new immersive production from Ballview Entertainment. Virginia, the Greatest Real Estate Agent in North Hollywood, will bring you into the beautiful Nasty House and show off it’s many assets including the very people who live there (they come with the house) in order to pull off what some might call an Impossible Sale. What could go wrong? Guests can freely roam the space and interact with the colorful cast of characters. The show runs Thursday evenings at 11:00 p.m. through August 18th. Tickets are on sale now starting at $15 per person. For an additional $5, attendees can opt for the all-inclusive immersive ticket, which includes an entire week’s worth of content leading up to the show – featuring calls, e-mails, photos, and more from the different characters within the house. 

International Haunts & Events

Cool down from the summer heat by visiting these 8 bone-chilling haunted houses in Tokyo, JapanTokyo Weekender put together a list of eight Japanese haunts open this summer. The list includes: Hyuodoro (Yomiuriland Theme Park) open through September 4th,  Endless (Chat Blanc Kagurazaka) running August 1st – 30th, Kyouso Musebiya (Tokyo, Japan) a year-round escape room experience, New Ghost Hall & Dr. Edgar’s Curse Collection Horror House (Yokohama Cosmo World) a year-round dark ride and walkthrough attraction respectively, Ifu Musebiya (Suginami Ward, Tokyo) a year-round escape room, Hanayashiki Haunted House (Asakusa Hanayashiki) a year-round walkthrough haunt, Daiba Mysterious School (Odaiba, Japan) a year-round walkthrough haunt, and Disney’s Haunted Mansion (Tokyo Disneyland). 

After 44 years, Efteling theme park (Holland) will say goodbye to its Haunted Castle, “Spookslot”, on September 4th, 2022 to make way for the new “Danse Macabre” attraction. To celebrate the beloved attraction, the park will sell a special Haunted Castle pin and photo book. Fans will also be able to explore the attraction in virtual reality and via a walkthrough video, both to be published on the theme park’s Youtube Channel. Between midnight and 6:00 a.m. on September 3rd and 4th,Eftling will host a unique “Ghost Night” experience, with 360 winners able to visit the haunted house one last time. The new attraction, “Danse Macabre” is set to open in 2024. 

After 17 years of operations, Spookers haunted attraction (South Auckland, New Zealand) has been sold to the expanding Armageddon Expo. Armageddon Expo Founder Bill Geradts said he was delighted to be involved, and Spookers fans could rest assured that top-quality scares would continue under new management. “Spookers as it stands right now is spectacular,” Geradts said. “You walk through it and you think, oh, this has been around awhile, but it’s terrifying and amazing and just heart wrenching fun… What we’re looking to do is is just build upon that rather than take away from it.” Currently the cast of 120 Spookers scareactors are set to be retained under the new management. Geradts also plans to add new events – such as a haunted evening tour, Dungeons and Dragons events, and themed months. More news and announcements regarding the attraction’s future will be posted to Spookers official website. Learn more about Armegeddon Expo here. 

Join Saunders Farm (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) on August 12th  -13th for “A Midsummer Nights Scream”, a sneak peak of their FrightFest 2022 haunts. The event will feature the newly renovated “Barn of Terror”, “The Coven” walkthrough haunt, “Shambles” maze, food, entertainment, and more. Tickets are available online starting at $35 per person. 

Theme Parks

Knott’s Scary Farm (Buena Park, CA) released their list of returning mazes for 2022. Fans will be able to once again brave walkthroughs of Pumpkin EaterOrigins: The Curse of CalicoDark RideDark EntitiesMesmer: Sideshow of the MindThe Depths, and Wax Works. Knott’s Scary Farm returns on select nights September 22nd – October 31st. Tickets will be on sale starting on August 15th on their official website

SeaWorld Orlando (Orlando, Florida) has begun to announce their haunt lineup for Howl-O-Scream 2022. Two returning mazes have been announced: “Captain’s Revenge – Drowned in Darkness” and “Beneath the Ice”; and three scare zones: the returning “Cut Throat Cove”, the reimagined “Frozen Terror – Alive in the Ice”, and the all-new “Sea of Fear”. 2022 will also feature a new show, “Lurking in the Deep: An Adventurer’s Tale”. Themed bar experiences will include “Longshoremen Tavern” and “Tormented”. Tickets are now on sale on the event’s official website. Save up to 70% by purchasing your tickets before July 31st as part of their Sinister Sale. 

Halloween Horror Nights Scare Zone set pieces are beginning to appear at Universal Studios Florida (Orlando, Florida). While the official scare zone themes have yet to be announced, the constructed set pieces look like brick and stone sections of an old building. Halloween Horror Nights will run in Orlando select nights September 2nd – October 31st. Tickets are on sale now on the event’s official website

Auditions / Casting Calls

Netherworld Haunted House (Stone Mountain, GA) is now hiring all seasonal positions. Job categories include: Entertainment (scareactors, performers, etc.), Games (midway staff), Sales (ticket booth, gift shop, info booth, and food stands), Operations (queue staff, parking, EMT, security, etc.), and Backstage (make-up, costuming, construction, marketing, etc.). All applicants must be 18+ and able to work nights & weekends September – November. Previous customer service experience is preferred for non-actor roles.

Reign of Terror (Thousand Oaks, CA) is hiring scareactors and staff for this upcoming Halloween season. The season runs 17 nights, mostly weekends, late September through first week of November. Applicants available to work most nights will get top priority. Interested parties should fill out the online application on the event’s official website. 

Sir Henry’s Haunted Trail (Plant City, FL) is holding open auditions on Sunday, August 7th from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. The event has volunteers ranging in age from 12 and up. No experience necessary. The audition will take place outside and consist of a group portion and a one-on-one interview. As there will be physical activity, applicants are encouraged to wear workout clothes or comfortable clothing (no nice clothes or jeans). Individuals who would like to apply for staff or makeup team positions (non-acting roles) may attend this open session as well. 

The 17th Door (Fullerton, CA) is holding scareactor auditions August 6th from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and August 7th from Noon – 3:00 p.m. Applicants must be 18+ and must first fill out the online application. Applicants may arrive any time within the open audition hours. Comfortable clothing is recommended.

Retail

Last week we reported on Spirit Halloween‘s mysterious “Experiment 1031” teaser video and countdown clock. On July 20th, we found out what it was for – the new 2022 Spirit Halloween animatronics. These terrifying new “Experiment Specimens” include: Lord Raven, Bog Zombie, Monty, and Lucky Bottoms. At 6′ tall, the Lord Raven animatronic ($299.99) will tower over trick-or-treaters as it lifts its arms and lowers its head to gather a closer look at its next victim. With light-up LED red eyes and 4 tormenting voice lines and evil laughter, Lord Raven will spook you to your core! From the deep dark swamps of the bayou comes the 6′ tall decaying Bog Zombie animatronic ($249.99). This animatronic features a menacing set of yellow light-up LED eyes and a moving mouth that spews several bone-chilling moans and groans. Be careful not to get snatched when his torso comes to life and he tries to grab you with his set of swaying arms. Monty ($299.99) is a 6′ tall demonic cymbal-holding monkey. His yellow light-up LED eyes, moving mouth, monkey screeches, and cymbal crashes are sure to startle your guests. The Lucky Bottoms animatronic ($169.99) is sure to intimidate guests with his evil laughter and wicked circular motions. Sitting at 2.6 feet tall, watch as they shriek in fear at the unexpected sight of the legless clown Lucky and see how he revels in the joy of it all. Shop these new animatronics and old favorites at Spirit Halloween’s official website and at Spirit Stores nationwide this fall.

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Auditions / Casting Calls

The 17th Door (Fullerton, CA) – August 6 – 7
Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream (Tampa, FL) – Various Dates
Creatures of the Night (Canby, OR) – Various Dates
Cutting Edge Haunted House (Fort Worth, TX) – Various Dates
Deadmonton Haunted House (Edmonton, AB) –  August 6
The Dent Schoolhouse (Cincinnati, OH) – Various Dates
Eastern State Penitentiary (Philadelphia, PA) – Various Dates July 11 – August 25
Fear Factory SLC (Salt Lake City, UT) – July 30, August 20, 27, September 3, 24
The Haunted Forests (Newfane, NY) – Various Dates
The Haunted Harvest (Chino, CA) – August 6 – 7
Lake Hickory Haunts (Hickory, NC) – Ongoing
Los Angeles Haunted Hayride (Los Angeles, CA) – Various Dates
Netherworld (Stone Mountain, GA) – Various Dates
Red Vein (Ashland, VA) – August 10, 17, 26
Reign of Terror (Thousand Oaks, CA) – Various Dates
SHAQTOBERFEST (Long Beach, CA) – Various Dates
Sir Henry’s Haunted Trail (Plant City, FL) – August 7
Southern Screams (North Charleston, SC) – July 29 – 31, August 12 – 13
Stalker Farms (Snohomish, WA) – July  27, August 17
Thrillvania Haunted House Park (Terrell, TX) – Various Dates
Undead in the Water (Tampa, Florida) -August 13

Upcoming Haunt Events

Summer Haunts

Carnage Haunted House (Columbus, OH) – July 29 – 30
Saunders Farm FrightFest  (Ontario, Canada) – August 12 – 13
Valley Fright Nights (Woodland Hills, CA) – July 28 – 31, August 4 – 7, 11 – 14, 18 – 21, 25 – 28

Podcast Episodes You Might Be Interested In

Within Our Walls: A New Voyeuristic Horror Experience in Glendale
Within Our Walls mixes voyeuristic horror theatre with haunted house-style sets and effects to create a new experience in Glendale. Created by Sam Kellman, a young home haunter, the experience is open through July 30th, 2022. Today we’ll learn about the show’s design and creation.

HAUNTED Christmas in July: Hall of Yuletide Spirits
This past December, Midsummer Scream presented a new event – Season’s Screamings – complete with a Hall of Yuletide Spirits. Like the Hall of Shadows at their signature event, this was a dark showfloor with holiday-themed haunts and displays. Today we’ll speak with creators from 5 of those displays. Midsummer Scream is next weekend and everyone we speak to in this episode will be involved, making this the perfect preview. This episode features Tim Fowler of CalHaunts, Rix Fowler of Fear Farm, Cameron McGuinness of Insane Haunt Productions, Joshua Roa St. Pierre of Reichland Asylum, and the Dreich Society. Season’s Screamings returns to Pasadena on December 2-4, 2023.

Texas Haunters Convention: The 2022 Recap
The Texas Haunters Convention was this past weekend in Mesquite, and we went on location to find out how it went. Scott Freeman and Culley Franks explain why this year was the best yet for the show.

Haunted Attraction Industry News for July 19th
Read more here

Dark Nights at Hersheypark, Lego Monster Party, & Nope
This week: Hersheypark announces Dark Nights Halloween event with haunted houses and Scare Zones; Legoland’s Lego Monster Party returns; Nope Experience at Universal Studios Hollywood.

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