Here is the Haunted Attraction Industry News for April, 5th.
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Registration has opened for this year’s Midwest Haunters Convention, taking place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois on June 11th – 12th with the pre-con Haunt Tour on June 10th. Early bird rates are available through Monday, April 4th at 11:59 p.m. CDT. Basic Registration is $50 ($55 after April 4th) and includes weekend trade show floor access, 2 Early Bird Seminars, new entertainment, competitions, and demonstrations throughout the weekend, and access to the Kid Zone. The Weekend Package is $385 ($405 after April 4th) and includes all the Basic Registration inclusions along with access to the Saturday party, and all 50-minute seminars on Saturday and Sunday. Children under 12 years old are admitted for free on the trade show floor. Attendees must register to attend the Midwest Haunters Convention before they can purchase tickets to individual tours, events, or seminars.
Attendee registration is now available for the Texas Haunters Convention. The event takes place at the Mesquite Convention Center in Mesquite, Texas July 16th & 17th. Adult Weekend Show Floor Passes are $25, Kids 12 and Under Weekend Show Passes are $10. VIP Passes are available for $120 and include show floor access, all classes, Meet N’ Greet with an included meal, ticket to the Costume Ball, T-shirt, psychic reading, escape room attempt, axe throwing, and more.
Tradeshows can be a wonderful way to network with peers, view the industry’s latest products and services, and learn new techniques. In a recent episode of A Scott in the Dark, Scott Swenson shared insights and audio from his experience at TransWorld’s Halloween & Attraction Show 2022
Haunted Attraction Association
This year’s OSCARES awards took place on March 19th at TransWorld’s Halloween & Attractions Show. View the list of winners and listen to the event recording here.
Five new members are joining the HAA Board of Directors in 2022. In the coming days, the Haunted Attraction Network is releasing a series of podcasts to introduce each new member.
First in the series is Brent Wilson, General Manager of Planet Doom in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Brent’s areas of expertise include fire and building codes and lease negotiations. Brent shared four important tips regarding leasing a space for your haunt:
- When drafting your lease, include an attornment and non-disturbance clause. If your building is sold, you are not forced to move out.
- Before signing a lease, give yourself 20 days for due diligence to contact the city building and zoning departments to make sure the building is properly zoned for a haunt.
- Get an indemnification for any pre-existing hazardous materials (including asbestos).
- Try to negotiate at least one option to renew your lease – which is like a right of first refusal.
Next is Benjamin Gagne, owner of The Thirteenth Hour Haunted Attraction in Indianapolis, Indiana. Starting out as a home haunter, Benjamin has recently navigated the process of transitioning from a home haunt to a pro haunter. He also brings expertise in logistics from his full-time career at Amazon. In his interview, Benjamin shares some strategies he has used for throughput, including implementing an “A” and “B” mode – allowing for longer spiels and performances when attendance is lower and faster delivery for the busiest nights close to Halloween.
Immediately following the 2022 State of the Industry Presentation at TransWorld’s Halloween & Attractions show, members of the HAA Board of Directors hosted a Q&A to address attendee questions. The Haunted Attractions Network has the full Q&A available here.
Haunters Against Hate
Submissions are now open for The Book of Haunters Volume 8. Volume 8 will feature haunters, behind-the-scenes crew, and haunt owners. Interested parties should e-mail high-resolution pictures to [email protected] for consideration. If accepted, participants will receive a photo release form and questionnaire. Pre-orders for The Book of Haunters Volume 8 will begin on the Haunters Against Hate website once the book is 70% full.
U.S. Haunts & Events
Lake Hickory Haunts (Hickory, North Carolina) released their 2022 Halloween season schedule. The haunt will operate for 20 nights from September 17th to November 5th. Special events include photo-ops with the original screen-used Jeepers Creepers movie truck and Creepers Cousin meet & greet on October 14th & 15th. October 21st & 22nd will feature special photo-ops with the original Green Goblin head from Maximum Overdrive – signature card included with admission. Tickets are on sale now starting at $30-$38 for General Admission, $45-$54 for Fast Pass, and $65-$68 for VIP Pass.
Job Postings at the Time of This Post
InPark Magazine has posted a variety of job listings in the themed entertainment field. Companies that are currently hiring include: Animax Designs (Nashville, TN), Disguise (London, UK; Los Angeles, CA; Quebec, Canada; New York, NY), Electrosonic (Abu Dhabi, UAE; UK; USA), Denver Zoo (Denver, CO), FORREC (Toronto, Canada), Gateway Arch Park Foundation (St. Louis, MO), Intamin (Schaan, Lichtenstein), Monterey Bay Aquarium (Monterey, CA), PGAV Destinations (St. Louis, MO), Rousch (Orlando, FL), RWS Entertainment Group (New York, NY; Cincinnati, OH; Remote), and TechMDinc (Burbank, CA).
The American Horrorplex (Louisville, Kentucky) is currently hiring scareactors for their 2022 season. Actors/Actresses (18+ years old) will be trained by award-winning staff members to scare and entertain thousands of fans each weekend this fall. Benefits include employee discounts, meals, and on-the-job training.
Recently Home Depot has become a hot-spot for Halloween yard decorations with hits like their 12ft skeletons. While their collections do not typically go on sale until July, there has been a leaked preview of the Home Depot 2022 lineup. Those 12ft skeletons will be receiving new friends this year – a 12ft Werewolf with sounds and light-up eyes and 12ft animated Witch. Other Halloween highlights include a “life-sized” Oogie Boogie and 15ft glowing Graveyard Phantom. It is important to note that these leaked items are not part of an official press release, and therefore subject to changes in design and price until official announcements are made. They do, however, give insight into the company’s plans and provide a little inspiration to home haunters and Halloween enthusiasts as they start to think about their upcoming displays.
Stiltbeast Studios debuted their new Stiltbeast Boo-tanicals line at this year’s TransWorld’s Halloween & Attractions Show. The line features costumes, props, puppets, and more featuring a nature-oriented theme. From a Pan costume, fungus zombies, a nature witch, and the “Vineling”, all the offerings have a plant and botanical theme. Unfortunately, orders for the 2022 haunt season closed with a very successful TransWorld show, however, keep a lookout as if they run ahead of their delivery schedule, they may open orders back up for a small window later in the Spring/Summer.
For over 20 years, Ghost Ride Productions has created hyper-realistic props for the haunted attraction industry. In a recent Haunted Attraction Network interview, Michael Chaille of Ghost Ride Productions discussed the company’s history, featured products for 2022, and supply chain difficulties of the past year. Orders for the 2022 Halloween season have been filling up fast – as of March 18th, first-come, first-serve ship dates had already reached early August. Be sure to place your order soon if you would like products to arrive in time for your haunt season.
It was “the year of the pumpkin” for NightScream Studios during this year’s TransWorld’s Halloween & Attraction Show. In an interview with the Haunted Attraction Network, NightScream Studios’ Rodney Geffert said that the company’s new Evil Pumpkin wall panels were by far this year’s most popular product, with waitlist orders beginning by mid-day Friday of the event. NightScream Studios tries to ship all products by June 15th, so orders must be placed early in the year to guarantee delivery. NightScream Studios’ quality, customer service, and dedication has been noted in the industry, with the company receiving one of this year’s HAA OSCARES Vendor Excellence Awards.
The next Fear Expo Live event will take place this Thursday, April 7th at 8:00 p.m. EDT: “Vendor Spotlight with Dan Henry of Henry Monster Designs”. Tune in live at Fear Expo’s Facebook page.
Upcoming Haunt Events
Halfway to Halloween
Podcast Episodes You Might Be Interested In
Curation VS Community
After a round of Quick Hits, we discuss the recent string of acquisitions and Universal’s new housing project.
Hallucinations Creations: DIY Mechanisms for Your Animatronics
Over the past 10 years, Hallucinations Creations based out of Orland Hills, Illinois, has developed into providing the backbone for your animatronics. Today, we’ll hear about the 14 new DIY mechanisms they brought to Transworld. This is part of our vendor showcase series, in partnership with the Haunted Attraction Association; this interview was conducted by Maximus and features Mike Yazumbek.
Dapper Cadaver: The Death-Related Prop House
Founded in 2006 by BJ Winslow and his wife Eileen, Dapper Cadaver is a death-related prop house. Based in Madison Wisconsin they’ve provided props to thousands of film and TV productions, top haunted houses, and exclusive Halloween parties. Today, we’ll hear how the Transworld show went for them, and how they’re expanding their diversity of characters. This is part of our vendor showcase series, in partnership with the Haunted Attraction Association; this interview was recorded by Darryl from HaunTopic Radio and features BJ Winslow.
Alternating Show Modes with Benjamin Gagne of The 13th Hour
This new pro-haunter is using his background in logistics to grow his show year after year. Benjamin Gagne is the owner of The Thirteenth Hour Haunted Attraction in Indianapolis Indiana. As a tween growing up in Connecticut he got involved with a local haunted house. That inspired him to start a home haunt – The 13th Hour – which he continued throughout high school. After college, he settled in Indianapolis to work for Amazon, but couldn’t shake the Haunt Bug. Here’s Ben to pick up the story.
Leasing Tips with Planet Doom’s Brent Wilson
Fire codes, Building Codes, Zoning, and leases – every haunter will face one of these issues. It’s complicated but there are some big pitfalls you can avoid. Brent Wilson from Planet Doom has over 30 years’ experience with these, and today we’ll outline some common issues. We’ll also talk about Planet Doom’s Halfway to Halloween event. Brent is one of the 5 new Haunted Attraction Association board members, and we’re doing this series to introduce each new board member to you.
SPECIAL: The 2022 OSCARES
Presented by The Haunted Attraction Association at TransWorld’s Halloween & Attractions Show in St. Louis, the OSCARES awards are the highest achievement in the Halloween and Haunted Attraction industry. Today we’re taking you to this year’s award ceremony. We recorded this live on March 19th – you’ll hear the winners and their acceptance speeches, plus some bonus interviews we caught after the ceremony.