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View Full Version : The most important thing you will ever read.



steve
09-20-2012, 08:24 AM
Okay, so maybe not the most important... but it got you in here, didn't it?

As the owner of one of Illinois largest haunted houses I wanted to take a second to Recognize my roots and thank a few people before going into our 10th Year here at Realm of Terror.

First and foremost, I would like to publicly wish DREAM REAPERS haunted house a tremendous and successful 13th and FINAL year. For those of you who didn't know, Dream Reapers will be closing after this season, Dream Reapers is not only a close friend of Realm of Terror, but is also a close friend to the industry. Being one of the first companies to offer Smells for haunted attractions; Dream Reapers and Nightmares Inc. brought us SINISTER SCENTS, a company many of use have bought from and used to enhance our attractions. It is the new products like these that come out that revolutionize the way we design our attractions, much in the same way that the Video Effects have pushed our attractions and more. More than Sinister Scents, Dream Reapers is important to the industry as for many year they WERE the ONLY TRANSWORLD HAUNT TOUR. How many of us would see and tour and act at this amazing attraction back when Transworld was in Rosemont, IL. Back as we tried to get our attraction off the ground starting in late 2002/early 2003 it was the Tours through the original Dream Reapers that gave many of us new ideas. These guys were innovators, and carried that innovation into their new location as well. These were back in the days when a "Haunt Tour" only cost $10. I am sad to see the Dream Reapers brand go, but the impact that their company has had on this industry will never leave us. Thank you to everyone at Dream Reapers - Your attraction has become a staple of the Illinois/Chicago market, and it will be missed.

Now, I don't post on Hauntworld very much anymore, but if you have been on here for a while you probably remember me. In 2003 when Realm of Terror began, I was the youngest person to start a Haunted Attraction, today at 22 I do not know if I am still the youngest, but it is amazing to see the way things change. It was here on Hauntworld where it all began. Where I got my interest in Graphic Design, and where many of my first clients came from. It was here that I was able to gather the knowledge to run an attraction, and to learn from the success and failure of other attractions. I watched feuds and friends, and was able to get looks into the top attractions in the world, and was one of the first to hear of their eventual falls. I have seen tiny haunts grow into amazing representations of our industry (I feel my attraction falls in this category). It was here that I feel MHC was born, and the haunt-shows that spawned from that as well. What I am trying to say is that Hauntworld was (and still is) a place filled with amazing people with an amazing amount of knowledge, without this website I don't know if my attraction would have survived the test of time and would be carrying into its 10th season.

Going into my 10th year, I realize that a lot has changed about this industry, my attraction, and myself. But there is one thing that has bothered me for a while, the Illinois Market for haunted houses seems to have been swept under the rug. Certainly, there are AMAZING attractions out there - but what about us out here near Chicago (you know that little city out in the midwest) who here knows about the incredible talent that exists out here. Like STATESVILLE HAUNTED PRISON (Run by John LaFlamboy and the Zombie Army) We have all seen their bus, and their guys at the show, but have you seen their attraction? You should. These guys are the masters of Marketing in Illinois and are certainly the top dogs when it comes to attendance, and while I feel tons of people know about them, who in the industry recognizes them? Or how about Ravens Grin in (run my Jim Warfield)? Many of us know the attraction, but if you are new in the past few years and Transworld has been in St.Louis have you seen it? Amazing. A Year round attraction with something for everyone, and easily one of the most innovative places out there. And Jim Upchurch's Eleventh Hour! Jim hasnt been as prominent lately, but have you seen the attraction run by one of the guys who headed up trying to change many aspects of the industry years ago? You probably haven't, and you probably should. Because his show is the epitome of what attractions were 10 years ago, and he has always been a vast source of knowledge. Of course I can't forget myself who 10 years ago, knew nothing about this industry but stuck with it. Who was publicly attacked and embarrassed for my age (on this very forum). Who just to learn, had to SNEAK INTO Transworld back in the day. Have you seen or heard about my attraction, The Realm of Terror Horror Experience? It has been rated as a top haunted house in Illinois for years now. And has even been rated #1 In illinois by BOTH of the biggest review sites in Illinois, HauntedIllinois.com and Hauntedhousechicago.com. Oh yeah, and did you know Illinois has its own dedicated haunt review sites, that is guy who go out and spend their own time and money to see, rate, review and promote ILLINOIS HAUNTED HOUSES.

So why is it that when I look at the Top Haunt lists that I see the same people year after year, and why is it that none of them are from Illinois. (maybe it is because out-of-towners can never seem to pronounce ILL-IH-NOY) Or maybe it was the moving of Transworld, because when it was still here, Illinois Haunts were the talk of the town. So I ask you Haunt industry, how have we forgotten to take a look into the haunts that service one of the biggest cities in the WORLD!

Perhaps I am ranting, but I am trying to take a stand, to represent the Great Haunts of Illinois and to call for those out there - new and old - the ones who I learned from (and continue to learn from) and the ones who can now learn from me, to realize that we are here, and our shows are good, DAMN GOOD. And we all have important information to share.

I am an open book (speaking of books, I forgot to mention my good friend Kelly Allen, a prominent author of the Haunt Industry) call me, lets talk about our haunt, lets ask the questions that have fallen to the way side. I may not post here much any more, but I remember where it all began, and it was on these boards (actually, it was on the old forums, but that is a different story all together).

After 10 years of watching my attraction become what it is, and to be honored with the praise I have received within my own market, I urge you Hauntworld, do not forget where you started, and always push forward, push to become great. At 13 years old, I had no idea that haunted houses would become my lifeblood , and here I am today with (what I and others think is) a world-class attraction.

Thank you to my friends on the Hauntworld Forums and in the Haunted Attraction Industry. We are all what makes haunting the greatest thing in the world.

-Stephen Kristof
Owner
The Realm of Terror Horror Experience
847.363.8799
realmofterror@msn.com
www.IllinoisBestHauntedHouse.com

Front Yard Fright
09-20-2012, 04:15 PM
I'm actually planning on making it out to Dream Reapers this year. Haven't been since 2005! Not sure if I'll have time to check out other haunts, but I will definitely try! Illinois seems to have a lot going for it haunt wise. (Certainly a lot more than here in Iowa!)

Good luck to you this season and perhaps I'll see you in October!

zombietoxin
09-21-2012, 11:35 AM
Amazing accomplishment, well said, and MORE POWER TO YA!