Halloween’s dark harvest comes to life with AMERICA HAUNTS Halloween Countdown #1!
It is historically believed that the celebration of Halloween originated from the Celtic festival called Samhain, held at the end of each harvest season. Legend indicates that on October 31st, the barrier that separates the worlds of the living and the dead opens up, making crops susceptible to damage by returning spirits. To pacify these ghostly visitors, great bonfires were raised, and masks and costumes were worn with which to entertain them. Participants would walk between the fires as a cleansing ritual, casting the bones of slaughtered livestock onto the flames. A festive Halloween meant a successful harvest.
This connection to autumn’s crop offerings still lives on today, with much of the iconography and color scheme of the holiday based in this origin. Cornstalks, gourds, wreaths of dead vine or fall leaves, and – of course – pumpkins, have all become a traditional staple of Halloween decoration and celebration. It is difficult to conjure images of All Hallow’s Eve without picturing jack-o-lanterns or decor comprised of these recognizable fixtures.
Nowhere is this theme more prevalent than within America’s haunted attractions. Across the country every Halloween, the nation’s top creators deliver a senses-shattering array of frightening fare to visitors hungry for seasonal scares, tapping into a wide variety of chills and thrills. Touching upon both familiar and unexpected archetypes, they are able to invoke the true essence of the holiday.
Ulster Park, New York’s “Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses”, part of the Historic Haunted Hudson Valley, delves deeply into the spirit of the harvest season. Having been voted “World’s Best Haunted Hayride” by AOL News, it boasts a one mile hayride, a labyrinth-style corn maze, six professionally created haunted houses, and much more. From the army of hollow men hidden deep within The Root Cellar, to the mutated reptilian plant creatures who populate Nightshade Greenhouse and Nursery, the fall crop has taken on horrific proportions. A vengeful scarecrow – reanimated with the evil spirit of an abusive husband – stalks the Evil Reaping Dark Harvest corn maze, and the diabolical cult of the Headless Horseman roams the same grounds once traveled by the legendary Ichabod Crane. The very trees around you come alive as Halloween’s dark roots unleash their earthly terror.
“Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride” is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s premier haunted attraction, which Fangoria Magazine calls “a pure cornucopia of terror”. Featuring a 25-minute heart-pounding ride through the dark forest of Arasapha Farm, the Haunted Hayride takes visitors on a mind-bending journey over the rural terrain of its 82-acre farmland spread. The Haunted Corn Maze sends brave souls walking through a tall corn field where danger and unimaginable horrors lie around every twist and turn – such as the dead fisherman who stand silent vigil in a murky swamp populated by hungry alligators. If nature’s wrath becomes too overwhelming, hapless mortals can seek refuge by checking into the Bates Motel, where the only thing being harvested is more lost souls to wander the halls of this startling ‘resting’ place. Autumn’s cool breezes and color changes mark the passing of much more than just summer’s crop offerings on this unhallowed ground…
Further south, at High Point, North Carolina’s “Spookywoods”, the fear of being in the forest at night has never been so powerful as when visitors submit to Nyctohylophobia. The Dark Harvest plunges unsuspecting humans into a field of 10-foot high corn, overrun with the most frightening of creatures. Located on over 50 acres of farmland, the earth beneath your feet is rich with history and legend, as generations of harvest have unearthed nature’s dark wrath. And while the still of night offers spine-tingling chills, the days are also very much alive with fall festivities, including the Kersey Valley Pumpkin Patch, filled with thousands of pumpkins of every shape and size for perfect fall decorating. There is gem mining, fossil digging, and a dinosaur discovery (the first true monsters!) To top it off they have developed one of the largest zip line tours in the world, featuring over a dozen zip lines connected by giant 60-foot sky towers. Running the gamut of autumn’s fare, Spookywoods is certain to provide plenty of Halloween memories for holiday fans of every age and interest.
Humans are what is being harvested at “Creepyworld”, in St. Louis, as living dead scarecrows seek victims alongside zombie pigs, rabid chickens and crazed farmers. Delivering the world’s largest famous faces pumpkin display, this massive haunt is always finding new ways to breathe (after)life into the fall harvest. A typical hayride becomes anything but, as you defend humanity against hordes of the undead on the Zombie Town Paintball Haunted Hayride, and who can say what terror has been reaped and sown in the grisly Silo-X? Featuring NINE different horrifying attractions at one location for one price, Creepyworld offers the longest haunted house experience in St. Louis.
“The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park” reveals what occurs when nature runs amok. San Diego’s only all-outdoor haunted attraction sends the brave (and foolish) on a mile-long journey through twisted, sinister woods while unseen evil awaits. An eerie reminder of why we should not take Mother Nature for granted, visitors are assaulted from every angle as the change in seasons harkens a change in the natural order of things. The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park is no mere stroll in the park – it will leave you begging for shelter from the great outdoors.
Learn how NETHERWORLD Haunted House Makes Silicone Masks and Massive Effects!
Take a look behind the scenes at Erebus in Pontiac, MI – the world’s largest haunted house between August 2005 and September 2009 – and learn about the high and low tech tricks that go into delivering high quality terror!
FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., Sept. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — For all the fear and blood curdling screams induced by America Haunts attractions, the association of elite haunted houses showed that it too has a benevolent side.
The group that delivers fear-based entertainment to more than a million thrill-seekers each Halloween season announced that it donated more than $500,000 in 2011 to nonprofits in the 20 U.S. markets where it operates. It also is already on track to hit the $750,000 mark in 2012.
“Just because our main job is to scare the pants off people doesn’t mean we don’t have a heart,” said America Haunts board member Nancy Jubie. “Creating family-oriented entertainment and giving back to our community just happen to be something we also enjoy doing. Consider us America Haunts with a heart.”
One of the more unique ways in giving back to the community comes from The 13th Gate in Baton Rouge, La. The haunt has been collecting blood weekly for The Blood Center of New Orleans for more than 13 years.
Throughout the entire Halloween season, portions of Full Moon Productions in Kansas City, Mo., and The Scarehouse in Pittsburgh function as nonprofits benefitting local charities. Full Moon makes “Halloween dreams come true” through its volunteer-based attractions The Chambers of Edgar Allen Poe and Macabre Cinema. Both attractions tax status is 501 3c and all proceeds benefit The Dream Factory of Greater Kansas City, making it a trick and treat for all involved. In addition to the variety of events that it hosts to raise money for local nonprofits, The Scarehouse recently launched the red velvet cake-flavored “Scarehouse Shake” (with gummy eyeball), from which proceeds will benefit Make Room for Kids.
Ticket giveaways are another popular initiative. Netherworld in Atlanta donates 3,500 tickets valued at $98,000 during its annual Charity Opening Weekend. Spookywoods in Kersey Valley, N.C., gives free tickets to blood donors and honor roll students. The Bates Motel in Philadelphia also is generous, providing 500 VIP passes to various charities worth $37,500. It also hosts events for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
Cutting Edge in Fort Worth, and Headless Horseman and Haunted Hayrides in Ulster Park, N.Y. are staunch supporters of men and women in uniform. Cutting Edge gives away approximately 700 tickets annually to military, police and fire department personnel. In addition to local fire and police departments, Headless Horseman counts itself among regular supporters of the American Cancer Society Relay “Bark for Life,” among other events.
In Cincinnati, The Dent Schoolhouse hosts several parades in the community throughout the year. It also hosted the first-ever Dent In Diabetes walk to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). The organization’s annual Boo Fest, geared toward younger children, also benefits the JDRF.
For more information on upcoming charitable events, and a directory of individual haunt and attraction websites, go to www.AmericaHaunts.com.
DETROIT, Aug. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The 30 most terrifying, bloodcurdling scream-inducing haunted houses and attractions of America Haunts announced the days each attraction will be opening their doors for the Halloween season. The attractions annually allure the bravest souls thanks to their dedication to providing the most safe, fun and horrifying haunted entertainment in the country.
Unbeknownst to many, each haunted house within America Haunts works year-round to continuously present their guests with a more spine chilling than the last visit. Months of preparation and a high-quality technical crew help provide thrill-seekers the Hollywood-quality scare that they are seeking.
“People from around the country wait nearly a year for the sheer terror that is the America Haunts experience,” said Ben Armstrong of America Haunts. “Each year, the America Haunts attractions create a more hair-raising experience with the use of the most talented actors, Hollywood quality makeup and spectacular special effects.”
Opening dates for 2012 are as follows:
|13th Floor||Denver, CO||September 21|
|13th Floor||Phoenix, AZ||September 21|
|13th Floor||San Antonio, TX||September 21|
|7 Floors of Hell||Cleveland, OH||September 21|
|Bates Motel||Philadelphia, PA||September 28|
|Chambers of Edgar Allen Poe||Kansas City, MO||September 7|
|Creepyworld||St. Louis, MO||September 21|
|Cutting Edge||Fort Worth, TX||September 8|
|Dream Reapers||Chicago, IL||October 5|
|Edge of Hell Haunted House||Kansas City, KS||August 31|
|Erebus Haunted House||Pontiac, MI||September 21|
|Headless Horseman||Ulster Park, NY||September 22|
|House of Torment||Austin, TX||September 21|
|Lemp Brewery||St. Louis, MO||September 21|
|Macabre Cinema Haunted House||Kansas City, KS||September 7|
|Necropolis 13||Baton Rouge, LA||September 21|
|Netherworld||Atlanta, GA||September 28|
|Nightmare on 13th||Salt Lake City, UT||September 14|
|Nightmare on the Bayou||Houston, TX||September 28|
|Pennhurst Asylum||Philadelphia, PA||September 21|
|Scream Zone||San Diego, CA||September 28|
|Spookywoods||Greensboro Winston-Salem, NC||September 28|
|The 13th Gate||Baton Rouge, LA||September 21|
|The Asylum||Denver, CO||September 28|
|The Beast||Kansas City, KS||August 31|
|The Darkness||St. Louis, MO||September 14|
|The Dent Schoolhouse||Cincinnati, OH||September 14|
|The Haunted Hotel||San Diego, CA||September 21|
|The Haunted Trail||San Diego, CA||September 28|
|The Scare House||Pittsburgh, PA||September 21|
For more information, including hours and ticket prices, go to www.AmericaHaunts.com/attractions
With 30 haunted houses and attractions across the country, America Haunts delivers fear-based entertainment to more than 1 million thrill seekers each season. America Haunts has been featured on the Travel Channel and its members recognized by The Guinness Book of World Records on multiple occasions. The organization is committed to providing technical excellence, stunning set design, Hollywood-quality make-up, costumes and actors. Members enjoy nothing more than delivering a good old-fashioned scare. For more information, visit AmericaHaunts.com.
FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Many believe that they have been to the “Wedding From Hell.” But only those who have been to ceremonies like this at America Haunts attractions can say that the fear they experienced is exactly what they wanted.
Members of America Haunts, an association of elite haunted house attractions that delivers fear-based entertainment to more than a million thrill-seekers each Halloween season, do more than simply scare the pants off their customers on a nightly basis. Many host annual special events ranging from weddings to themed conventions to team building exercises for businesses.
“Scaring people nightly is a lot of fun, but to keep things interesting America Haunts members are always coming up with ways to provide our visitors with new experiences,” said America Haunts Board member, which hosts weddings year round at the Edge of Hell Haunted House in Kansas City, Mo.
In addition to weddings, which also are hosted annually at the Erebus Haunted Attraction in Pontiac, Mich., and Headless Horseman Hayride and Haunted Attraction in Ulster Park, NY, other events seen at America Haunts attractions include annual themed conventions. Netherworld in Atlanta recently sponsored Dragon Con, a massive sci-fi convention held over Labor Day Weekend, while 13th Floor in Denver continued its annual tradition of scaring up the group from HearseCon, a national gathering of hearse owners featuring the largest hearse car show earlier this summer.
America Haunts attractions also have become hot tickets for businesses to entertain employees and promote team building. Spookywoods in High Point, NC, takes visitors on its Off Road Segway PT X2 and Zip Line courses. In Philadelphia, The Bates Motel offers corporate picnics and bonfires to such companies as U.S. Airways and Smith Kline. The ScareHouse in Pittsburgh provides an exclusive suite and “Behind the Screams” tours for groups and businesses.
For more information and a directory of individual haunt and attraction websites, including opening dates, hours and ticket prices, go to www.AmericaHaunts.com.
With more than 30 hayrides, and attractions in 20 markets across the country, America Haunts delivers fear-based entertainment to more than a million thrill seekers each Halloween season. The attractions within this organization have been featured on Travel Channel and recognized by The Guinness Book of World Records on multiple occasions. The high-tech attractions within this association are committed to providing technical excellence, stunning set design, and Hollywood-quality make-up, costumes and creatures. Members enjoy nothing more than delivering a good old-fashioned scare to fright fans of all ages. For more information, visit www.AmericaHaunts.com.
Having trouble getting out to see Haunts because you are running your own?
Then The Legendary Haunt Tour is just for you! 3 Massive High Production value haunted attractions held open ONE more weekend, Nov. 10th,11th and 12th. Room rates are about to go up so so get your tickets now! This year’s tour is going to see some of the most amazing haunted attractions in Philadelphia, located in some of the most creepy buildings you will ever enter! The event kicks off with Shoctoberfest Thursday night, followed by Pennhurst Asylum on friday night ,and Terror behind the Walls on Saturday night – also featuring parties and networking opportunities!!! Hotel rates go up after October 12th, so register today to reserve the discounted room rates!!!! Go to www.legendaryhaunttour.com to sign up.
Here are all the details for this year’s Legendary Haunt Tour:
Shocktoberfest Preshow Tour & Party – Thursday, November 10th
5:00pm (buses will be leaving the Crowne Plaza 1 hour prior to event start time)
Just added Shocktoberfest Preshow Tour and Party! The fun starts early on Thursday night when buses depart from the host hotel at 5:00 p.m. and take you to Shocktoberfest Scream Park. You’ll enjoy admission to all the attractions , a catered dinner, open bar all night, a late night after-party at Club Shock and transportation back to the host hotel.
For the first time ever, Shocktoberfest, Pennsylvania’s Premier Haunted Scream Park opens its doors exclusively for the Legendary Haunt Tour guests! Celebrating its 20th year, Shocktoberfest’s reputation has been built on its custom animatronics, unique set design, amazing actors, terrifying scare techniques and cutting-edge computer effects.
Shocktoberfest features Biohazard Hayride which takes you through acres of forest with specialized theme buildings; Prison of the Dead, a 50,000 square foot indoor and outdoor prison-themed mega-haunt compound; The Unknown, a brand new haunt featuring never-before-seen technology; Club Shock, a haunted dance club and The Monster Midway, featuring games, food*, entertainment and more scare zones than ever before!
Pennhurst Asylum Details – Friday, November 11th
4:00pm (buses will be leaving the Crowne Plaza 1 hour prior to event start time)
Kick off your weekend with an afternoon tour of this haunted campus known as one of the most infamous asylums in America. You’ll explore off-limit locations filled with crumbling structures which are reported to have extremly high levels of paranormal activity.
As evening approaches, you’ll participate in a dinner in the company of a round table discussion of haunted attraction industry experts. Following dinner and the round table, you’ll enjoy a full production show of the amazing haunted attractions now housed in the terrifying Pennhurst Asylum. Begin with a hospital themed haunt including many original artifacts from the original Pennhurst State School. The old administration building, dating back to 1908, features a combination of high-tech animatronics, digital sound and motivated actors – with the utmost detail and realism. The Dungeon of Lost Souls (NEW for 2011), features a labyrinth of old cells, drafty hallways and a series of human experiments – gone wrong! All haunts are enhanced with CGI special effects, custom sound and amazing detail.
Next on the ticket is the Ghost Hunt which features a flashlight tour of the original structure reported to be the area with the highest level of paranomoral activity. This building has been left untouched and reflects the institution exactly as it was 30 years ago! The Tunnel of Terror takes you through a 900 foot long gauntlet beneath the grounds of the old State School, first named Pennhurst Home for the Feeble Minded and Epileptic, and notably one of the scariest parts of Pennhurst.
The night concludes with an after party at Pennhurst Asylum with food and drinks while reliving the frightening experience with your peers.
Eastern State Penitentiary Details – Saturday, November 12th
Day Tours run from 3:00 – 5:00pm (buses will be leaving the Crowne Plaza 1 hour prior to event start time)
Night Tours starts at 7:00pm (buses will be leaving the Crowne Plaza 1 hour prior to event start time)
Buses will depart in the early afternoon for the massive abandoned and haunted prison known as Eastern State Penitentiary – one of the most famous prisons in the world dating back to 1829.
A guided tour of this ominous building highlights famous prisoners (like Al Capone and the flamboyant bank robber, Slick Willie Sutton) and offers shockingly true stories of daily life as a prisoner. You’ll explore a daytime prison tour and many areas not normally open, including numerous cellblocks, the baseball diamond, Death Row, Al Capone’s cell and four small windowless punishment cells in the basement of Cellblock 14.
Experience paranormal hot spots and see areas where major movies were filmed on location. After a dinner break (restaurant locations nearby and at your expense), experience the full production show of all the terrifying haunted attractions within Terror Behind the Walls, one of the nation’s largest and most ambitious haunted houses and ranked the “No. 1 Haunted House in America” by AOL. Now in its 20th year, Terror Behind the Walls features Hollywood-quality sets, custom-designed props, animatronics, and digital sound effects within six haunted attractions including Lock Down, Infirmary, The Experiment (in 3D) and Nightwatch to name a few. In celebration of its anniversary year, Terror Behind the Walls will launch two new attractions for the 2011 season – the Gauntlet & Break Out, adding to an already extensive amount of haunted events!
Following the evening haunt tour you’ll have time to hang out with your friends and enjoy the after party at the nearby Urban Saloon Restaurant!
New Frights, Creatures and Technology at Member Haunts Keep Crowds Coming Back
By America Haunts
Published: Wednesday, Sep. 7, 2011 – 8:20 am
FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., Sept. 7, 2011 — /PRNewswire/ — America is ready to get its fear on.
So much so that America Haunts (www.americahaunts.com), an association of elite haunted house attractions that delivers fear-based entertainment to more than a million thrill-seekers each Halloween season, is predicting record numbers of visitors for the 2011 season.
This projection is based on last year’s attendance as well as increased awareness of horror and the generation of fright fans who have grown up attending haunted houses every year.
“The thing I love about fans of haunted houses is that they are a fanatical bunch who appreciate the art of a good scare that comes only once a year,” said America Haunts President Ben Armstrong. “Particularly, as more and more people seek to stay closer to home for their entertainment, it is up to us to provide them with something to do that is cost-effective, provides them with a temporary escape from their everyday life and gives them that rush of both fear and adrenaline that they feel when they get scared. America Haunts members provide all of that and then some.”
Another reason for America Haunts optimism is that it knows fans crave the unknown, which is why the more than 20 haunted houses and hayrides within this association strive to keep their attractions fresh, annually changing their looks anywhere from 40-60 percent. Some ideas spend more than 18 months in development before coming to fruition.
“As haunted house owners, we have an obligation to our fans to keep them guessing,” Armstrong explained. “Our members do have some great annual attractions that people just love seeing every year, but what keeps them coming back is they never truly know what is behind every corner.”
Gone are the days of someone in a bad mask jumping out from behind a door yelling, “Boo!” The attractions within America Haunts are characterized by some of most gruesome, creative and innovative displays to horrify visitors. Each America Haunts member is committed to providing technical excellence, stunning set design, and Hollywood-quality make-up, costumes and creatures. Members enjoy nothing more than delivering a good old-fashioned scare to fright fans of all ages.
As proof to its excellence, several attractions within America Haunts have been featured on the Travel Channel and recognized by The Guinness Book of World Records on multiple occasions.
For more information and a directory of individual haunt and attraction websites, including opening dates, hours and ticket prices, go to www.AmericaHaunts.com.
With more than 20 hayrides, and attractions in 20 markets across the country, America Haunts delivers fear-based entertainment to more than a million thrill seekers each Halloween season. The attractions within this organization have been featured on Travel Channel and recognized by The Guinness Book of World Records on multiple occasions. The high-tech attractions within this association are committed to providing technical excellence, stunning set design, and Hollywood-quality make-up, costumes and creatures. Members’ enjoy nothing more than delivering a good old-fashioned scare to fright fans of all ages. For more information, visit AmericaHaunts.com.