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View Full Version : The Weird the Wacky the Haunt Industry



drfrightner
10-14-2008, 04:09 PM
Hey report everything you see or hear post a link to every haunted thread you can find about our industry... we want to report the top 10 most bizzare stories we find in the next magazine.

Lets hear it...

Also did you visit a haunt and it just blew you away good or bad...lets hear about it and why.

Give us the who what and where.

Larry

UnDeRTaKer313
10-14-2008, 04:16 PM
Chainsaw Creek Haunted Attraction in Toledo Ohio blew me away!!!

the reason it was so amazing was that first off they construct the entire thing off site and reassemble it in a parking lot of our mall under 4 huge tents. now you would think that this would be very poorly detailed, and not a great value, but it is hands down the scariest haunted house i have ever been to. there are 4 haunted houses and they have tons of animatronics and effects. These guys hit the nail on the head when it comes to a fun place to visit and a scary attraction. Ive been to every haunted house within 2 hours of it and nothing compares. They keep the atmosphere upbeat and intense and there actors are the best i have EVER SEEN!!!
check them out at http://www.chainsawcreek.com
you should totally put them in your next magazine, these guys work there asses off all season and are also extremely friendly and helpfull.
CHAINSAW CREEK = 5 stars!

drfrightner
10-16-2008, 01:53 PM
Okay check out this one...

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-10-16-halloween-controversy_N.htm?csp=34

drfrightner
10-16-2008, 02:36 PM
Here is another one... check this one out.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-talk-haunted-houseoct15,0,3087423.story

shawnc
10-16-2008, 05:15 PM
"Not family friendly? As opposed to cannibalism, chain saws, axes and body parts?"

I love it!

Killer Katie
10-16-2008, 08:01 PM
OMG... people are way too serious! LOL

Haunting Copy
10-16-2008, 08:23 PM
Here is another one... check this one out.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-talk-haunted-houseoct15,0,3087423.story

I agree with Gary Kessler that those guys have no sense of humor. I thought the idea was hilarious!

Sarah

UnDeRTaKer313
10-17-2008, 05:05 AM
wow thats rediculous,
i have no idea how they actually justified fining the cross burner.
and WOW who cares about a stupid painting on the wall, theres like thousands of those type of painting on the internet.lol

JackoWcko
10-17-2008, 09:25 AM
I'm not a haunt owner, or professional haunter in any way. I just enjoy going to haunted houses and look for new scares online when I'm bored at work.

With that said, here's my opinions of haunts I've visited this season:

Land of Illusion, Middletown, OH: Nice attractions, with detailed sets and animatronics, but they need to change their attractions up year to year. I'm tired of seeing the same thing. They also could stand to up their customer service area.

The Dent School House, Cincinnati, OH: One of my favorite attractions. Actors are intense, humorous, and entertaining. Detailing and theme is phenomenal.

USS Nightmare, Newport, KY: This one's pretty fabulous but not worth the ticket price in my opinion. They totally stepped up their game this year compared to my visit last year. Make-up, lighting, and detailed sets are what they excel at here.

Kings Island Halloween Haunt; Not the scariest attractions, but an overall great night of fun and scares. An entire night's entertainment cant be beat for a $20 online ticket

Ohio State Reformatory: My favorite of the season. I've never been more scared in my life. The authenticity and sheer creepiness of this place is simply fabulous.

Dead Acres: After all the hype, I was kidn of let down. True, the actors are beyond intimidating, the animatronics are top-line, and there's something around every corner to startle you. However, they really need to work on their through-put. I visited on not a very busy night and was pushed through with a line of easily 50 people

Lewisburg Haunted Cave: This place is simply awesome. Creepiness factor of being 100 feet underground in a real cave cant be beat. They have the HARDEST maze I've ever been through. Took me an easy hour to get out of this one.

I'm hoping to get out to Louisville on Halloween night, and hitting up Fear Fair in Seymour, IN on the way.

brad
10-17-2008, 10:28 AM
That sounds great Wacko!


Let us know what else you find good this year.

drfrightner
10-17-2008, 01:40 PM
The guy who thought political murals was somehow scary and anything put a PR stunt is something else... however after watching all the discussions about politics ahhh yeah I guess it is scary but not in a Halloween way. LOL

Bottom line I think some things are just tasteless like making a Dahlmer kitchen or this newest episode. Gimmicks do not and will not make your haunt successful!

Larry

JackoWcko
10-20-2008, 09:32 AM
Ask and ye shall receive..

Hustead House of Horrors in Springfield, OH is flippin phenomenal. It reminded me of the haunted houses I used to go to in High School.

Old School, in your face, haunting at its finest. True its all clowns, but these clowns could've been dressed up like Celine Dion and I would still be terririfed of them.

Throw multiple chainsaw chases, claustrophobia tunnels, a "slide of death", and a shocking crawlspace tunnel and you've got a haunted house thats near perfection.

DarkTikiEntertainment
10-20-2008, 10:28 AM
I recently attended "Fright Dome" (here in Las Vegas) for the first time. The first surprise was that the entire dome was haunted. I knew there was going to be five haunted houses in the Adventure Dome (the indoor theme park that hosts Fright Dome), but I thought they would simply be added to the existing park; I didn't realize that the entire dome would be dark, fog-filled, and Halloween-themed. There were even wandering actors with chainsaws, and actors flying over-head. I found the general atmosphere of the dome to be excellent.

Unfortunately, I was not impressed with the haunted houses themselves, at least at first. Being a temporary, seasonal event; the houses were mostly constructed out of black plastic sheets, with the occasional "scene" (set) here and there. I moved to Vegas two years ago from Michigan, and I'll admit that I'd been spoiled by yearly trips to the amazing Michigan-based "Erebus" and "Realm of Darkness". They are both easily contenders for "Top 13" haunts any given year (though "Realm of Darkness" never quite seems to get the ranking it deserves, but that's a topic for another post). They both also have the advantage of being housed in permanent structures, giving the opportunity for gigantic rooms, and elaborate sets throughout. Fright Dome does not have this luxury, and it showed.

As my time at Fright Dome neared its end, I had decided the dome had great general atmosphere, and mediocre haunted houses... but then I entered the last haunted house on my list: 'Hex-Mas Nightmare". For years I had been thinking about how great it would be to have a Christmas-themed haunted house, and suddenly there it was. The first room starts with walking into a cozy, traditional Christmas scene, complete with falling snow. Suddenly there is a crack of lightning, the lights blink out, and the scene is instantly transformed into a Christmas nightmare, complete with an actor who appeared out of nowhere. Things only improved from there... snow wolves, demented snowmen, and an attacking Christmas tree (all far more scary than they sound----the Christmas tree scared the crap out of my friend!). It was original, and fantastic! If you combine the general haunt atmosphere of Fright Dome, with the excellent "Hex-Mas Nightmare" haunted house, I think it was well worth the price of admission.

damon carson
10-20-2008, 10:43 AM
Thats all very funny and humorous! Thanks for posting that Larry. And everyone knows if you were really trying to detail that cross you wouldnt do it that way in your front yard. This guy was obviously trying to make a wrong kind of statement.
Damon

shawnc
10-20-2008, 03:02 PM
A good addition to this forum might be a review section where people can talk about the latest haunts they have been to. It's always interesting hearing someone else's perspective, or finding out about a new haunt that has been done right.

Pumpkin King
03-14-2010, 01:46 PM
It's called "Field of Corpses," and it is by far the best haunt I've ever been to. The thing that makes it great is also the reason that they aren't nationally recognized- they heve a guide take you through the haunt. Throughout the haunt, the guide interacts with the actors. After meeting your guide, the first thing you're asked is your name. Now, all the guide has to do is tell the actors that and they can get personal with you. Many guests end up offended by the fact that the male actors borderling harass the women, and how every actor and guide will point out that you're being a tough guy when you refuse to act scared. I think about a quarter of the general public takes it personal, but those who don't give it an easy 10 out of 10.
The sets themselves are fantastic, though they don't change much from year to year. It takes a good 20-30 minutes to get through. The overall theme is a farm full of zombies. The lighting, sound, and smells are fantastic. At one point guests cross a bridge over a pond with a prop holding a fishing pole. At the other end is a fish carcas that smells completely authentic.
The scares are near flawless. Two scares that stick out are the shovels at the begining and the redrum room. At the begining, you crawl through the back of a hearse and are then led to a set of two wooden sheds. After looking for actors on the inside, you exit the building. Just as the leader of the group walks out the door..."Wham!" An actor slams a shovel against the outside wall, causing a great startling effect. After the next shed, it happens again and gets the same results.
Later on, the guide leads guests through a bloody room and points to the word "REDRUM," written in blood on a mirror. The guide then says "Hewp, I cain't read, I'm i-iderate. Wha's 'at say?" After someone in the group says "Redrum," the lights go out and the guide rushes through a curtain to the next room. Before you can follow, the lights come back on and a large male figure is standing inches away from you.

Their website is http://www.fieldofcorpses.com/

I truely think Field of Corpses is a HW Magazine quality haunt.

Whew, got carried away there.

The Nightmare Factory
03-14-2010, 11:16 PM
Other than the Nightmare Factory (LOL) I have to say last year I was blown away by the 13th Door in Portland and Fright Town in Portland.

The Crew at Fright Town does an amazing job with set and props and quirky thns you don't find at other haunts. This is a three haunt event, my favortive is Baron VonGoolo's, what a twitsted attraction. Very detailed.

Then there's the 13th door. How in the heck is Raymond getting all that stuff into that space?!:confused: Very freaky, very detailed and a hella good haunt!

I am sorry to day I didn't make it to Milburn's Haunted Manor tis season, I love the country setting of this two attraction haunt, always raes high on everyone's list. I will get to go this year for WCHC, they are doing a lights on tour and a full on actor loaded Wicked Forest for us! sould be good fun for all.

Haunts that piss me off are like the one that opened in Portland that claim to be adult orintated, or X rated? WTH! There is no need. I know people are able to do what ever they want to and it's a free world, but this really makes it hard on the rest of us.

My .02

Great Thread BTW.

www.westcoasthauntersconvention.com

Badger
03-15-2010, 06:59 AM
I don't want to sound like I'm tooting my own horn, but I think one of the more unique haunts I saw this past season was the "Ghost Ship" on the battleship USS North Carolina. (of which I was the design consultant). Last season was their first year as a 'real' haunt and they had a lot of challenges.

Not only did we have the issue of putting together a quality haunt on a state war memorial, but everything had to be put up after the ship closed for the day for regular tourists (at 5pm) and everything had to be taken down at the end of the night. The captain made it absolutely clear that there would be NO props, lighting, or anything haunt-related visible during the day. We had to use the natural creepiness of the ship plus only having 25 volunteers for it's entire run to make it a scary and fun attraction. We were also lucky that the expected protests from veterans groups never materialized.

This upcoming year will be a larger challenge as they are doubling their days being open and hopefully double the number or volunteers. I'm looking forward to working with them again (already been hired back) and making it even better than before.



Back on topic: I think NetherWorld, Woods of Terror, and Hundred Acres Manor all blew me away in terms of an all around great haunt experience. I applaud Ben, Eddie and Brandon for doing what they do at their respective haunts...

The Haunted Enthusiasts
03-24-2010, 12:55 AM
Hello! My name is Jim Patton and this is my first time at the forums.

I want to thank all the haunters out there who make our lives worth living! I started visiting haunts in the seventies and 11 years ago my wife and I made a concerted effort to start travelling the country and seeing as many haunts as possible.

We started The Haunted Enthusiasts and now travel the country each year visiting approximately 10 states and 40+ haunts. We have had groups big and small join us and we thank all the haunts that have made it more than worthwhile.

This year was a real special one for us as we hit 3 of the best we've ever attended: Fearfest in Columbia, MO - The Dungeon Haunted Ride 3D in Oklahoma City, OK and Raycliff Manor & Carriage House in Joplin, MO.

Raycliff Owner Kelly Allen invited me to join the forum recently so since Raycliff is one of our recent and best haunts attended, I will focus on Raycliff Manor & Carriage House here. Our website www.hauntedenthusiasts.com went live about an hour ago so you should be able to read our first round of reviews by Thursday 3-25-10.

We've never stopped travelling long enough to document our travels but this year we are trying to do reviews, post pics, and give you haunters a national comparison as well as a national voice for enthusiasts/attendees.

We follow your typical scale of 1 to 10 like most review sites, but in honor of the great movie THIS IS SPINAL TAP, we have amended our scale for the very special haunts on our list and have developed a scale that goes to... 11.

Raycliff Manor in Joplin, Missouri definitely meets that grade. As we hit approximately 40 haunts a year and have only given four 11's EVER, you can understand that, like Fearfest, Dungeon Ride and Brooke Hills Spooktacular (Wellsburg, West Virgininia), Raycliff is a pretty special haunt. Our review from our website is below:

RAYCLIFF MANOR & CARRIAGE HOUSE - Joplin, Missouri
RATING: 11 OUT OF 10!!!!
We saw things at Raycliff that we have never seen before, but are certain will become industry standards for higher end haunts. First off, let us say we rarely see such a cohesive crew and well coordinated set up as Raycliff. From the security to the staff to the actors, everyone is top notch and amazingly polite. Polite at a haunt is one of the rarest of attributes. In all that, we were impressed.

But that is not why you go to a haunt and is not what you remember most about Raycliff. First off, they do something most haunts don't know how to do: They casually enter into your personal space and regularly engage you in conversation. So many haunts think you run at the attendee, scream and run away. That is expected and is at best "startling". You want to really make an attendee uncomfortable? Invade their personal space by opening up a casual dialogue. It's not expected, so it is actually more startling than the scream attack. Raycliffs actors have not only mastered this, they should teach it!!!

Raycliff is the rare haunt that we see being good enough to bring in attendance year round. The rare haunt that transcends October, and we do mean rare. An example of such a haunt is Ghostly Manor in Sandusky, Ohio. Another is Mysterious Mansion in Gatlinburg, TN. Both bring in year round attendance because they are good enough that they are cool no matter what time of year it is. Take it from a guy that walked through 33 haunts on the trip on which we visited Raycliff, they're that good!

Thank you to The Raycliff Family for operating one of the premier haunts we have had the opportunity to attend.

Jim & Stephanie Patton - The Haunted Enthusiasts
www.hauntedenthusiasts.com

Raycliff Manor
03-24-2010, 03:16 PM
Thanks again Jim and Stephanie for the postitive feedback on the Raycliff Attractions! You really pumped up the team with your review! We're very fortunate to have such an awesome team who share a love for haunting! Your website is looking fantastic and it was awesome to see my bro's haunt Fearfest rated at the very top! :D I am envious of all the awesome places you guys have been to and seen! Thanks again!

Kel