Conventions & Mixers
The Texas Haunters Convention takes place this upcoming weekend – July 15th & 16th – at the Mesquite Convention Center in Mesquite, Texas. The event will feature over 50,000 square feet of family-friendly vendors, events, demonstrations, and classes targeting Halloween and cosplay enthusiasts. The fun begins the night before the convention with a Haunt Tour of Dark Hour Haunted House and Thrillvania Haunted House Park. Weekend Programming Highlights includes: Haunt Sliding 101: The Ins and Outs (Saturday @ Noon), Home Haunt Videography Part I & II (Part I – Saturday @ 1:00 p.m., Part II – Sunday @ 11:00 a.m.), Marketing Your Attraction (Sunday @ 1:00 p.m.), and the Chamber of Haunters Annual Board Meeting (Sunday @ Noon). The annual Costume Ball will take place Saturday night, featuring a live DJ, Costume Contest, Prizes, Giveaways, Cash Bar, and more. Tickets are still available online, with Weekend Show Floor Passes starting at $25 per adult, $10 per child.
Halloween Horror Nights is returning to Universal Studios Japan from September 8th – November 5th, 2023. Be surrounded in terror by more zombies than ever in the “Street Zombies” scarezone. Houses include: “Chucky’s Carnival of Chaos,” “Universal Monsters: Legends of Fear,” and the interactive “Biohazard: The Extreme+.” Join a wild and bizarre dance party in “Zombie de Dance,” featuring music by pop star Ado. Thrills continue with “Sadako’s Curse: Dark Horror Ride,” taking over Space Fantasy the Ride from September 24th to January 8th, 2024. Halloween Horror Nights is included in general USJ park admission and occurs every day from September 8th to November 5th. Halloween Horror Nights Express Passes are on sale now starting at ¥7,800 – ¥10,800. The R.I.P. tour will also be available for fans who want to skip the lines and enjoy a dedicated tour guide, Zombie Greeting, special viewing area for Zombie de Dance, and a limited edition gift.
Haunted Attraction Association
The Haunted Attraction Association has launched a survey for their next 3-year strategic plan. Three years ago, the HAA drastically changed the rules of its operations for the better based on industry feedback. Member satisfaction has risen to nearly 92%, and they have welcomed an increase of over 42% of new members from home/charity haunts to high-volume attractions. They are now looking again to the future with this anonymous 2024-2027 HAA industry-wide survey. The survey will only take 10-20 minutes, but it is vital in helping the HAA better evaluate where they have been and where you would like to see them go. The survey is open to the entire industry – HAA members & non-members, owners, staff, vendors, media, scareactors, etc. Survey results will be reported in aggregate to HAA membership and the broader industry in 2024. The survey can be completed here. The deadline to submit your responses is Thursday, July 20th, 2023.
U.S. Haunts & Events
Join the Festival of Fears (Fort Walton Beach, FL) for their first-ever Summer Scream event. On July 14th – 15th and 21st – 22nd, experience “Cryptid Hollow,” a new attraction that will only be open for summer. This is the first haunt they are opening in their new location, which features an all-new expanded midway, multiple mini attractions, a new horror gift shop, a bar, food trucks, and upgraded amenities throughout. General Admission tickets are on sale now for $20.
The Horror Project (Denver, CO) is making its chilling debut at JADS Mile High Smoke Lounge on Friday, October 13th. The event will have the unique option to enhance the movie-watching experience by offering cannabis for purchase. Attendees can elevate their senses and immerse themselves in the terrifying world of horror flicks like never before. Aside from the spine-tingling movie screening, The Horror Project has an array of vendors lined up – from terrifying collectibles to spooky art; fans will have the opportunity to take home a piece of the horror magic. Tickets will go on sale soon. Follow the event’s official Instagram account for more information.
Pumpkin Hollow (Piggott, AR) used smart technology to plant the corn maze for their 31st annual event. The event collaborated with local equipment distributors and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture on a new precision ag approach to construct their maze. This new planting process saved a week’s labor and reduced waste. In previous years, corn was planted, and then when it reached about a foot tall, the team would go out in the field, measure out and mark the design, and then cut the design in the corn with a mower. With the new precision ag approach, the pathways of the corn field that are usually cut out were never planted in the first place. The smart technology turned the tractor planter on and off in accordance with the digital design of the maze. To learn more about Pumpkin Hollow’s 2023 event, visit their official website.
Turn on the Dark Entertainment, LLC (Casper, WY) utilized a Wyoming program for entrepreneurs to launch a crowdfunding campaign for their 2023 event. In a recent interview with K2 Radio, Owner Nicholas Johnson described how he wanted to start a business that specialized in Halloween attractions, but he was always told that Wyoming “wasn’t big enough” to support such a venture. In 2021 Johnson entered the Visit Casper Business Challenge, which offered seed money for tourism-related businesses in the Caper area. Although he did not win, his business placed in the top five entrants and he continued to search for funding opportunities – finally discovering Advance Casper & The Local Crowd Central Wyoming, which offered a platform for the crowdfunding campaign. With less than a week to go in the campaign, Turn on the Dark Entertainment, LLC has raised nearly $4,000 towards their haunt funding goal. Johnson plans to open Caper, Wyoming’s first haunt on October 20th, 2023. Follow the crowdfunding campaign and all of Turn on the Dark Entertainment, LLC’s events on their official Facebook page.
Upcoming Events: July - September 2023
July 15 – 16: Texas Haunters Convention (Mesquite, Texas)
July 21 – 23: HorrorWeen Con Idaho (Boise, Idaho)
July 28 – 30: Midsummer Scream (Long Beach, California)
July 29 – 30: Ghosts of Summer (Portland, Oregon)
September 16 – 17: Creep It Real OC Expo (Santa Ana, Californa)
September 23 – 24: West Michigan Halloween Expo (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
Auditions / Casting Calls
Arx Mortis (Killen, AL) – Ongoing
Blood Prison (Mansfield, OH) – July 30, August 13
Crawford School of Terror (Connellsville, PA) – July 29
Creatures of the Night at ZooTampa (Tampa, FL) – Ongoing
Crooked Descent (Herkimer, NY) – Ongoing
Dark Nights at Hershey Park (Hershey, PA) – July 14 (Orlando, FL), 26 (Atlanta, GA)
The Darkness (St. Louis, MO) – August 16, 17, 28,29, September 5, 6, 9, 16
Darkside Haunted Estates (Middlesex, NC) – Ongoing
The Dent Schoolhouse (Cincinnati, OH) – Ongoing
Demon Acres (Hannibal, NY) – August 27
Eloise Asylum (Westland, MI) – July 14, 15, August 11, 12
Erebus Haunted Attraction (Pontiac, MI) – August 19, 26, 29, 30, September 1
Extreme Fear ScareGrounds (Kinston, NC) – Ongoing
Field of Screams KY (Brandenburg, KY) – August 19
Fright Nights WV (Daniels, WV) – Ongoing
Hinterland Haunted Attraction (Ashley, MI) – Ongoing
Nightmare Cleveland (Cleveland, OH) – Ongoing
Scream Dreams (Thomasville, NC) – July 15
Scream Hollow (Smithville, TX) – Ongoing
Southern Screams (North Charleston, SC) – July 28, 29
Terror Vault (San Francisco, CA) – August 6
UNDead in the Water (Tampa, FL) – July 27, 29
Woods of Terror (Greensboro, NC) – Ongoing