The Weeknd Is Joining Forces With Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights

the weeknd
Here is the Haunted Attraction Industry News for August 2nd.
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Theme Parks

Multi-award-winning artist The Weeknd is joining forces with Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights to inspire all-new, terrifying haunted houses based on his record-breaking “After Hours” album. Beginning September 2 at Universal Orlando Resort and on September 8 at Universal Studios Hollywood, guests will spiral into the twisted mind of this mysterious artist to experience “The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare.” With the eerie sounds of “After Hours” reverberating throughout the experience, guests will step into a surreal living nightmare filled with grotesque characters and themes inspired by The Weeknd’s music and short films. As they’re stalked by slashers, bandaged maniacs, gruesome toad-like creatures and other unfathomable horrors from the mind of the artist, guests will be challenged to survive the night while trapped within the terrifying, unexpected world of “The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare” – a place that only exists in The Weeknd’s vivid imagination and from which one may never escape. Learn more and purchase your tickets today at HHN’s official website

Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream (Tampa, Florida) has announced another haunted house for this year’s event: The Residence will return for 2022 – but with a special holiday twistThe Residence: Home for the Holidays sees merriment turn murderous at a suburban family home. “Christmas arrives earlier than ever this year at The Residence, and all-new horrors are eager to be unwrapped,” according to a description of the house on the Busch Gardens website. “Holidays are best spent with loved ones, but there’s no guarantee you’ll survive this silent night.” Howl-O-Scream runs select nights September 9th – October 31st. Tickets are on sale now on the event’s official website.

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Conventions & Mixers

Midsummer Scream took place this weekend and saw record-breaking crowds at the Long Beach Convention Center.  “It feels like going back to the gym after not being there for about two years,” commented Co-Creator and Executive Producer Claire Dunlap in a KTLA 5 interview. Many local haunted attractions set up 2022 season previews in the Hall of Shadows, while others took to the stages. During the Halloween Horror Nights presentation, John Murdy confirmed that Scarecrow: The Reaping is coming to this year’s event in Hollywood; it’s based on the house of the same name from Universal Orlando Resort’s HHN 27.  Slasher also made a guest appearance to greet fans. Winchester Mystery House announced ‘Unhinged: Nightshade’s Curse’ will return for this Halloween season. In addition to the maze, guests will tour her Spirit Carnival and spookeasy. Winchester is partnering with Straite to Hale Productions and Hollywood haunter to make the maze longer and scarier. The 13th Floor Entertainment group spoke about their plans to eliminate the ‘haunt lines’ and create a family-friendly atosmpsphere in their new Shaqtoberfest at the Queen Mary. With 350 vendors and 100s of hours of programming, there was a lot to cover at this year’s event. Over the next several weeks we will be releasing recordings from some of the sessions at this year’s event.

Watch the Full Panel from the Winchester Mystery House here. Watch the Hall of Shadows highlights here. Preview Fear Farm here. Preview the Circus of NIghtmares here. Preview Creep it Real OC here. See the new Wolf Skull from Inferno Effects here. New props from AdamJessFX here. Day 1 recap here.

Portland, Oregon’s newest Halloween convention, Ghosts of Summer will take place this weekend (August 5th & 6th) at the Oregon Convention Center. The event will feature an exhibit floor with over 60 vendors, game room, horror theater, panels, and 3,000 sq.ft. scare zone with mini haunts, escape rooms, featured displays, cash bar, and more. Have some hands-on fun with Make & Takes including “Watercolor Skulls” (Friday @ 12:00 p.m.) and “Crafty Witch Hats” (Friday @ 4:00 p.m.). Sit down and play some horror genre tabletop games courtesy of the Portland Game Library, then preview area haunts in the Scare Zone. Ghosts of Summer strives to bring all creators, patrons, and Halloween enthusiasts in the Portland area under one roof. Tickets are on sale now starting at $12 for a one-day pass or $20 for a weekend pass. 

Halloween Candy

Don’t wait until the last moment to buy your Halloween candy this year. Candy manufacturer Hershey has stated that the company will not be able to meet Halloween demand this year. Year-round demand for sweets remains high and interest in Halloween has steadily grown each year as well. In addition to supply chain shortages of ingredients, Hershey uses the same manufacturing lines for its regular and seasonal products, which means that it cannot continue to increase production on both lines – they must prioritize one or the other. “We had a strategy of prioritizing everyday on-shelf availability,” CEO Michele Buck said during an analyst call discussing the company’s second-quarter results. “That was a choice that we needed to make.” Hershey is adding more manufacturing lines and hopes to be able to meet demand in future years. Other candy manufacturers will still have candy on-hand, but for die-hard fans of Hershey brands (like Reese’s, KitKat, Kisses, Twizzlers, and more), stock up early or risk not having enough of these beloved treats. 

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.

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Auditions / Casting Calls / Job Postings

Howl-O-Scream is back at SeaWorld San Diego for its second year select nights September 16th – October 31st. To prepare for evenings of howls and screams, SeaWorld San Diego is seeking enthusiastic performers who can give attendees the scariest of scares to join the Howl-O-Scream team as scareactors. Anyone over the age of 18 who is passionate about Halloween and loves to frighten and startle is encouraged to apply, regardless of performance experience. Scareactor roles include haunt performers, pathway scare performers, and M.C./Event host. Auditions are being held at Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute on select dates now through August 14. Interested participants are required to sign up online in advance

Spirit Halloween has announced that the company is searching for enthusiastic associates and managers to join its team for the 2022 Halloween season. As the Halloween retailer prepares to open its doors for another season, it’s looking to fill more than 35,000 seasonal positions at over 1,450 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. “Our store associates and managers are the backbone of what we do, and their enthusiastic dedication is the reason our guests have amazing experiences every year,” said Steven Silverstein, CEO of Spirit Halloween. “Whether it’s a flexible associate position or a seasonal management opportunity, we have fantastic opportunities available at our Spirit Halloween retail locations and look forward to welcoming new and returning members to our team this year.”

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) – 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
SeaWorld San Diego Howl-O-Scream (San Diego, CA) – August 2-4, 6, 9-11, 13-14
SHAQTOBERFEST (Long Beach, CA) – Various Dates
Sir Henry’s Haunted Trail (Plant City, FL) – August 7
Southern Screams (North Charleston, SC) –  August 12 – 13
Stalker Farms (Snohomish, WA) – August 17
Thrillvania Haunted House Park (Terrell, TX) – Various Dates
Undead in the Water (Tampa, Florida) -August 13

Upcoming Haunt Events

Summer Haunts

Saunders Farm FrightFest  (Ontario, Canada) – August 12 – 13
Valley Fright Nights (Woodland Hills, CA) – August 4 – 7, 11 – 14, 18 – 21, 25 – 28

Podcast Episodes You Might Be Interested In

The Best Way to Surprise and Delight Your Superfans This Halloween Season
Coming up, Scott Swenson explains why you should design easter eggs into your haunt to engage your superfans. 

The NOPE Experience at Universal Studios Hollywood
USH has added a section to the studio tour for the first time in a long time. Jupiter’s Claim is the actual set from Jordan Peele’s new movie NOPE, and it was added to the studio tour to correspond with the movie’s debut. Today, we’re joined by Horrorbuzz founder Norm Gibney to discuss the film and the in-person immersive event that universal put on to launch the film.

Visiting Spooky Friends at San Diego Comic Con 2022
Today we’ll hear from three haunters at San Diego Comic-Con 2022 vending. Featured in this episode: Garner Holt, President of Garner Holt Productions; Doug P’gosh, Creative Director of Retro-a-go-go; Tabitha Barron, Composite Effects.

Haunted Attraction Industry News for July 26th
Read more here.

Knott’s Chaperone Policy, ICON Theme Recall, and Universal Japan Halloween
Scott and Philip go on an extended discussion about chaperone policies at your attraction and preparing for violence in the Fall Season. Then, we discuss the ICON park theme recall and the new Halloween announcements from Universal Studios Japan.

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