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Phylo Darke
03-28-2008, 09:20 PM
Hello
Thanks Larry, for allowing the posts!

I am with Phobia Haunted Houses™ in Houston. We are the Friday night tour for Hauntcon 4/25/08. I have read this blog before, but only post occasionally. After reading the comments about the TW Vegas Tour, I decided to post some info about our tour. We will operate 8 separate free standing attractions at two locations for the 2008 season (six at one location, two at our satellite). Our staff will peak at 250+ in October.
For Hauntcon, we will open 3 attractions, fully staffed, and one attraction ‘lights on’, with a few guides to demonstrate props, etc. We hope to have about 75 to 100+ actors for the event. The actual actor count will not be known until we open, as it is a one night gig in April. Because we have separate haunts on 30 acres, lines should not be very long with reasonable spacing between groups. Convention attendees will probably have wristbands, hopefully allowing multiple trips through the shows. Our maximum throughput is about 700 per hour per haunt. After that, it becomes crowded. We expect 500 to 1500 total customers max. We will be open to the general public for this one night. No buses, no catered dinner; Just a tour of some solid haunts at one location. We will share examples of hiring/employment sheets, payroll forms, etc. Available to answer your questions, our most experienced staff will demonstrate the custom systems we have developed. Phobia™ has more managers to oversee actors, security, parking, payroll, etc. than most small haunts have in total employee count. Our new attraction, Dawn of the Machine™, is under construction. If any of the modules are ready, they will be available for “lights on”. Some of our “Dawn” props are completed and will be shown. Phobia™ will still be under construction during the April 25 tour, but most of the updated elements will be in place. We use containers, buildings & woods (closed) – these various systems – especially our modular container system (tilts,2 stories & upright) are very unique.
We make our own animatronics. We sell some, but it’s too hard to deal with mass production. Phobiaprops will only offer what’s ready to deliver, but our core business is the Haunted Houses. This tour is not about selling props or making money off haunters. We aren’t trying to sell you banners, props, magazines, seminars or any products. We don’t care if just you want to come out and only check the site exterior, without touring inside the haunts. We are offering a true backstage look at our multi-level, very unique modular attraction, ClaustroPhobia™. Hauntcon sells the tickets online. We run the attractions. We are sharing our haunts with the industry. This probably will not be offered again. A few haunters helped us long ago, when we started. Now we are giving back. We are fairly big, we generally do things very well, and we assume most haunters will learn something from this tour. Some will learn a lot. (Preferably useful things – not the “what not to do” kinds of things) We must support conventions like Hauntcon, because we need the suppliers and vendors to survive. Transworld is always great, but Vegas ‘08 was slightly lack-luster. We spent plenty at TW, but the show seemed rather flat. The haunt tour was sold out – we couldn’t go, several prop guys were no-shows and not many new amazing things. Haunter conventions are more specialized and offer more specific help to the Haunt industry. We need them, as they need us.
p.s. Phobia™ does not have any corn, hay or scary pumpkins. We shy from vampires, devils, witches & pirates (some newbie actors might mutter “argh” until we threaten them with termination). We attempt to scare or at least startle most customers over twelve years old. Our target market is a 17 year old male. High gore & startle, freaky originality, lots of actors and distracting animatronics makes Phobia™ a very different haunt experience. Animatronic count for this 4 house tour: 75-100?? More?? I have not counted. Loads of unique stuff - still installing.

The Thursday night tour is at Nightmare on the Bayou. They have a large costume & prop shop, called Party Boy. I think there will be catered food, but I don’t know many details about the tour. At least one of Bob's haunts will be open on Thurs.
The convention site is in a marginal part of Houston, located near the old Astrodome. The Hotel is close to some cool areas and is partially remodeled. It should be a good place to stay for the convention at a fair price. There are lots of great restaurants in Houston along Richmond ave. and Westheimer rd, west of 610 loop & near the Galleria Mall, only minutes away by freeway. Do not drive anywhere between 4p & 7p M-F. Houston is large and has intense rush hour traffic. Downtown is close also, pending traffic, and is laden with hip nightlife and pretty people. We invite you to Houston, Hauntcon and the Haunt tours. Hey, Texas means “Friendly” in an old native language. We are here to oblige.

Phylo Darke
Phobia Haunted Houses™
Darke.com

Darkangel
03-29-2008, 05:08 AM
You guys sound like you have your act together, the haunts sound great!!!

Darkangel

Barry
03-29-2008, 05:41 AM
See you there Phylo! We are looking forward to it. :)

Bill Schnell
04-02-2008, 08:37 PM
Can't wait to see your attractions! We're counting down the days!

GregRoner
04-03-2008, 02:27 PM
Wow, That's different. I love Phobia! Phylo, do you really have 6 haunted houses there? I went before and it was only 4 or maybe 5??? What did we miss? People from far away have no idea how cool Phobia is. You have really great haunted houses. Hope to see you there! oh and, Why only one night?

drfrightner
04-07-2008, 08:38 AM
Good Luck on your tour. If you want me to promote your tour on the front page of the site just send me a logo and press release.

Good Luck!

Larry

Phylo Darke
04-12-2008, 08:12 PM
We will have 6 free-standing separate attractions for 2008.
Only 4 will be available for Hauntcon. We have some cool give-aways planned, too - a bunch of... PHOBIA calendars, T-shirts, etc.