SLUSHING MOLDS – Horrific Props in Progress

by on Feb.22, 2014, under Haunting Ideas, NETHERWORLD Haunted House, Uncategorized

Making Halloween is a dirty job, but haunted houses, and the people who work there, are happy to do it! Each year new frightful props are created to scare the guests who visit haunted houses during the Halloween season. One way that props are made involves a process known as slushing.

Slush molding is an excellent method of producing open, hollow objects. It is a process used in many industries, and with multiple types of molding materials, to create thin skin-like coatings. In haunted house prop making, the material often used is latex.

Starting in liquid form, the slush latex is poured and painted into a cast or mold of the prop. Latex does not require heat to turn into a solid; it sets and cures at room temperature. In the video below from Netherworld Haunted House, the prop being created is a large skull. The mold has been made in four pieces that assemble to create the completed skull.

The first few coats of latex are poured and brushed into the mold and allowed to dry. These first coats will capture all the detail of the skull. After those have set, a thicker layer is laid down and strips of burlap are used to reinforce the latex. This will provide strength and durability for the finished skull.

Once the multiple-step slushing process is complete, the latex will be pulled from the molds and the four pieces sealed together to create a complete skull “skin”. Later, this skin can be filled with expanding foam to form the completed prop.

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Haunted House Industry’s Historic Top 13: NETHERWORLD Ranked #1

by on Feb.07, 2014, under Haunted Houses, Haunting Ideas, NETHERWORLD Haunted House

NETHERWORLD #1 Haunted House

Haunted House Industry’s Historic Top 13

This list offers the most influential haunted houses in the history of our industry. These haunts have made an impact for one reason or another and some even make the list despite the fact they are no longer existing businesses. However, their impact is still felt to this day. There are many great haunted attractions in our industry’s history, but none have made a bigger impact than these next 13 haunted attractions. Keep in mind, these may not be the best currently operating haunted houses, but they are the haunted houses that made the biggest all-time impact on the haunted house industry in dated history. Haunt owners have left full time jobs in droves to make owning and operating a haunted house their life! With that being said, many haunt owners like touring haunts in the off season and many haunts open for special events. These haunts have helped inspire, teach and develop the industry and have expanded the limits of what is possible in haunted houses today.

1. Netherworld Haunted House in Atlanta, GA – Netherworld has set nearly every record in this industry for attendance and national publicity and is one of the best haunted houses in America. Netherworld has been visited by haunted house owners across the World just to get a glimpse at their unique show which features tons of actors both inside and out and even roaming the parking lot to get those overall scares. Netherworld helped show the haunt industry that haunted house actors can be iconic horror characters, and costuming should go beyond simple face paint & rubber masks. With the most amazing collection of special FX artists, icon characters and more, you simply must get the opportunity to attend Netheworld. It won’t disappoint, but even more importantly, the haunt industry has learned so much from this attraction over the years.

2. The Darkness Haunted House in St Louis, MO – The Darkness is so important to the haunted house industry, because it hosts annual industry tours in March. This amazing haunted house has been featured on national television more than any other haunted house in history. It is also the scene for over 25 how to haunt instructional DVD’s. Additionally, The Darkness was a first in many things: first to use CGI effects, the first to build multi motion sets, the first to use Chromodepth 3D technology, and much more. The technological team behind The Darkness builds the most creative multi motion animations, and their talents are showcased in the incredibly detailed sets. The main reason why this haunt has been so important is because it has the opportunity each year to show the haunt industry how far you can actually take a haunted house. The producers of this haunted house have been great ambassadors for the haunted house industry over the years and always put the industry in a positive light. The Darkness is celebrating its 20th Year of Fear this haunt season!

3. The 13th Gate & 13 Necropolis in Baton Rouge, LA – This is a newer haunted house than some on this list and with perhaps not as large of an impact as say Spookyworld or Rocky Point, but with bonus points for still being open as an active haunt, that reason alone throws them up in order to #3 on the list! This haunt has set the new bar for the new generations of haunters on set design & special FX, and for defining what over-the-top truly means to a haunted attraction. There is no haunt in America as detailed or over the top as 13th Gate.

4. Thrillvania Verdun Manor in Dallas, TX – This attraction was originally created by Lance Pope who unfortunately died several years ago, but his legendary attraction and influence in the haunt industry lives on. Now under the control of another one of America’s greatest haunts, Cutting Edge Haunted House, the attraction continues to terrorize it’s victims! It was one of the first haunted houses to combine incredible sets, amazing make-up artistry, detailed costumes and pyro FX. Haunted House owners knew, loved and visited Lance’s haunted house every year from all across America. Fortunately, the attraction lives on better than ever!

5. Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses in Ulster Park, NY – Is one of the most influential attractions in the haunted house industry, because they were really the first event to build a haunted hayride with spectacular sets, costumes, and special FX within a hayride. Prior to Headless Horseman, most hayrides where nothing more than jaunts through the woods with the occasional actor jumping out, but Headless Horseman changed the way the industry builds and designs hayrides.

6. Rocky Point Haunted House of Utah: Rocky Point HH located in Salt Lake City, UT closed many years ago. However, the impact of this haunt is still being felt today. Owner Cydney Neil was one of the first charity haunts who broke nearly every record for attendance, sponsorship, award winning set design, and national recognition for her haunt. Cydney worked with Hollywood special FX designers to bring guests one of the best haunts that ever haunted!

7. Terror on Church Street of downtown Orlando, FL: This attraction is no longer in operation. However, the impact was profound on the haunt industry due to their incredible detailed costumes, make-up and well-trained actors. This haunt operated year-round, not seasonally, and was actually the first real attempt to operate a major haunted attraction year round, proving it can be done! Today, there are a hundred or more year round haunted attractions. Terror On Church Street had it all… a great location in Orlando, an incredible haunted house, terrifying actors, and a gift store that inspired haunters. Back in the day, nearly every haunted house in America was started ONLY AFTER an educational visit to Terror on Church Street.

8. Spookyworld: The original Spookywood, now closed, was the first MASSIVE screampark ever created with multiple attractions in one location for one price. Spookyworld also was the first to make national news, bring in horror celebs to sign autographs, and view the haunt industry as more than Halloween, more than just making people scream. It was billed as America’s Horror Theme Park. Haunt attraction owners in the New England area purchased the name and have fortunately reinvented it in conjunction with their event Nightmare New England for all to enjoy once again! Spookyworld, previously owned and operated by David Bertolino, was the first true industry wide inspiration for all haunted house owners.

9. Haunted Schoolhouse and Lab in Akron, Ohio – Haunted Schoolhouse started in Ohio in 1974 back when there was nothing but Jaycee haunt attractions, and it was the first to ever attempt a high level of detail for their haunt sets and scenes. The legend of the Haunted Schoolhouse spread across the industry long before there was ever internet. America wide, haunters would visit this attraction, and all were left inspired by the Schoolhouse.

10. Haunted Overload at Demeritt Farm in Lee, NH – This attraction started as a home haunt that outgrew the neighborhood and had no choice but to look for a bigger location. Today Haunted Overload is one of the industry’s most marveled attractions with all custom built props, some of which reach 50 feet or more in height. Haunted Overload might be the most incredible outdoor haunt in America, and it especially lends inspiration to all home haunters with dream.

11. The Edge of Hell and Beast Haunted Attractions in Kansas City, MO – These haunts created urban legends of multi storied haunts with live animals of lions and more, but at this particular haunt, it’s all true! Their haunted houses have been around for over 30 years and feature 5 stories of fear with slides that descend patrons all the way back down to the first floor. The Edge of Hell was the haunt industry’s first true mega haunted house, and it inspired hundreds of haunts today.

12. Haunted Happenings of Hartford, CT: Haunted Happenings, once located in Hartford Connecticut, is now closed. It was owned by millionaire, Arnold Chase, who bought anything and everything a designer could dream up. Haunted Happenings had more animated FX and inspired more haunts to animate their Halloween attractions than any haunted house in history. When the attraction closed, it hosted the biggest haunted auction the industry had ever seen at that time.

13. Kevin McCurdy’s Haunted Mansion in Poughkeepsie, NY – Kevin McCurdy’s haunted mansion is very important in the history of the haunt industry, because Kevin was one of the first to make how-to instructional DVD’s for haunt owners. These videos were created while he renovated the Haunted Mansion in action, and they gave many haunters great ideas on detailing a haunt before it was even popular to do so!

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NETHERWORLD HAUNTED HOUSE Best Haunt Actors for 2013 by Hauntworld

by on Feb.07, 2014, under Haunted Houses, NETHERWORLD Haunted House

Best Actors

Best Actors 2013

Which haunted houses in operation today have the best and scariest crew of actors, monsters, zombies and creatures that make you SCREAM? Hauntworld unveils the best places to find the scariest actors in America, so be warned if you dare enter these attractions and prepare to see the most realistic make up, monsters, acting and scream machines on EARTH! What makes a haunted house great is their staff. It’s the actors who make unbelievable believable. The actors are the ones who make their victims’ skin crawl. They can make you run for your life, begging for mercy. They are the ones who make a haunted house the legend they have become! Some actors are so extreme and over-the-top, they have the ability to instill such fear that results are blood curdling screams, panic attacks, and even wetting of the pants! If you are brave enough, we dare you to entertain the idea of attending every haunted house on this list. But if you do, prepare to donate your soul at the door, because these actors will certainly rip it from your body! The scariest haunted houses with the scariest actors in America…here is our list:

1. Netherworld Haunted House in Atlanta, GA – Netherworld has the wildest actors in the industry with an over-the-top make up department, custom icon characters, sliders, actors running the parking lot, and 100’s more actors inside all to make you scream! Netherworld has the best actors in America.

2. House of Torment Haunted House in Austin, TX – House of Torment takes pride in their actor group with their own band of icon characters, custom costumes and crazy actors making some people so scared they never attend a haunted house again.

3. The 13th Gate/Necropolis in Baton Rouge, LA – 13th Gate features some of the best makeup artists in America, plus icon characters, custom molded masks, and theatrical costumes. What makes them most unique is all the different style actors, because they have to fill 13 different themes within the attraction.

4. Thrillvania Haunted House Park in Dallas, TX – Thrillvania has some of the oldest actor troops in America serving Verdun Manor for over 20 years. The same faithful groups of actors return each year to haunt the fears of Dallas Texas.

5. Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses in Ulster Park, NY – Located outside New York City, Headless Horseman features the best costumes in America with their own year round costume department of make up FX artists who create unique costumes for the attraction year after year. Their best and most notorious haunt actor is of course the headless horseman who rides up and down the hayride haunting the town of Sleepy Hollow.

6. The Asylum Haunted House in Denver, CO – The Asylum in Denver also features some of the best custom costumes with horror monsters and icon characters. The Asylum has built its reputation on stopping at nothing towards making their guests have nightmares!

7. Erebus 4 Story Haunted Attraction in Pontiac, MI – Erebus has a limitless haunt where the actors and animations are allowed to touch their customers for the ultimate “hands on” approach to scaring, and this takes unique training on the part of the actor management staff. Their victims LOVE this extreme approach to haunting!

8. The Darkness Haunted House in St Louis, MO – The Darkness is celebrating its 20th Year of Fear and some actors, like Scary Gary, have been there haunting all 20 years long! In order for any haunted house to be successful for 20 years, their actors play a huge role. The haunt now features year around actor training that includes hands on costuming training too. The Darkness staff believes awesome costumes lend great assistance toward achieving the ultimate screams out of its victims.

9. 13th Floor Haunted Houses – These attractions are located in three different cities including Denver Colorado, San Antonio Texas and Phoenix Arizona. The actors are very well trained year round, and in each city, they bring a fear factor unlike anything the cities have seen before. With the best actors and actor trainers in America, these haunt promoters are dead set on making their haunts ROCK!

10. The Haunt House in Dallas, TX – The Haunt House is a haunted house created by a group of extremely excellent actors of another local haunted house. In other words, these owners are living their dream of owning their own haunt and making people scream. Operated by actors…so you KNOW you’ll get a good scare at The Haunt House!

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by on Sep.15, 2013, under Haunted Houses, Haunting Ideas, NETHERWORLD Haunted House

Two New Haunts, THE DEAD ONES and BOOGEYMAN | Opens Friday, September 27

ATLANTA: Do you believe in the superstitions that revolve around Friday the 13th? Well, Netherworld has been bringing those superstitions to life for more than 17 years! With bigger special effects, more terrifying monsters and two new haunts, Netherworld announces 13 reasons their 2013 season will leave attendees screaming for more:

1. The path through NETHERWORLD is LONGER than 6 football fields!

2. There are more than 250 special effects and animatronic creatures at NETHERWORLD including a 40 Foot Long Spinning Tunnel, more than a Dozen Giant Monsters, a 20 Foot Rocking Room and in 2013…more than two dozen ghostly projections!

3. The Museum at NETHERWORLD features a rare collection of skulls and bones from around the globe, Crypto zoological Artifacts, and real 2,000 year old Mummy Wrappings!

4. NETHERWORLD contains many sets and props for major movies including Chainsaws from “Zombieland,” Massive Candelabras from “Van Helsing” and a complete Basement Set from the soon to be released “Prisoners” movie featuring Hugh Jackman. Additional props from movies such as “Pet Sematary 2,” “The Mummy” and “Saw” (to name just a few) can be found in the aforementioned museum.

5. NETHERWORLD is one of the most famous Haunted Houses in the world and has become a regular destination for those traveling from each of the 50 states and abroad.

6. In the 17 years since it began, NETHERWORLD has produced 35 uniquely themed haunted attractions!

7. NETHERWORLD icon creature creator Bill “Splat” Johnson’s handiwork can been seen in dozens of movies and TV show’s including “Eight Legged Freaks,” “Halloween 2,” “Zombieland,” “The Sleepaway Camp” sequels, “The Hunger Games Catching Fire” and “The Walking Dead.”

8. NETHERWORLD employs well over 300 people every Halloween Season.

9. NETHERWORLD chief make-up artist and creature fabricator Roy Wooley was a fan favorite on season 3 of SyFy Channel’s Face Off…so much so that he was asked back to compete again this year on season 5.

10. The owners of NETHERWORLD are some of the most well known designers and producers in the Haunt Industry, having written numerous articles, given dozens of seminars, developed and managed countless special events and have founded and sat on the boards of every major Haunt Association that has ever been formed.

11. Many Celebrities have visited NETHERWORLD including Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, CM Punk, Chandler Riggs, Evander Hollyfield, Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins, three-time (eight nominations) Oscar winning makeup artist Ve Neill, Andre 3000 of Outkast, Jermanie Dupree and Bow Wow!

12. NETHERWORLD is widely considered one of the Scariest and Best Haunted Attractions in the world and has been included in countless top haunt lists over the years including Number One Rankings in Fangoria, USA Today and Hauntworld Magazine.

13. Many of the costumes, creatures and special effects at NETHERWORLD are absolutely unique and cannot be seen anywhere else in the world!

Opening weekend for Atlanta’s top haunt is September 27 & 28, then open nightly from Friday, October 4th through Sunday, November 3. For more information and to purchase tickets visit:

ABOUT NETHERWORLD Haunted House: NETHERWORLD is a self-guided, dark attraction known for its over-the-top special effects, intense make-up, elaborate costuming, skilled stunt actors, unique monsters, unusual themes and chilling detail. Since it began 17 years ago, NETHERWORLD has been voted by industry peers such as Hauntworld Magazine, Fangoria and USA Today as the top haunt in the nation and has received national attention from local and national media such as CNN, The Today Show, The Early Show, The Travel Channel and Wall Street Journal. This innovative horror experience continues to improve and expand every Halloween season, drawing legions of thrill seekers to discover what new nightmares lurk in the twisting corridors of Atlanta’s ultimate haunted house! Visit or call 404-608-2484 for more information. Follow NETHERWORLD on Twitter: or Facebook:

Media Contact: Tara Murphy | Brianna Wagenbrenner – 360 Media, Inc. – 404.577.8686 or

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The Character Matrix: A Clear And Simple Way To Help Haunt Actors Develop Characters Fast!

by on Feb.04, 2013, under Haunted Houses, Haunting Ideas, NETHERWORLD Haunted House

The Character Matrix:
A Clear And Simple Way To Help Haunt Actors Develop Characters Fast!

Ben Armstrong – NETHERWORLD Haunted House 2/4/13

As we know, the most important and difficult thing to develop in a haunted attraction is a well trained staff. The goal of the CHARACTER MATRIX is to give your cast the tools to get up to speed on their characters fast!

The act of building and opening a haunt is an out of control roller coaster ride and for many the last thing we do is hire a staff, get them looking scary and send them into the gloom to await the first customers. Even when you have the time for training there are always mid-season actors that have to be brought on line without delay. So once assigned to a position what are your actors supposed to do? Well certain things are obvious. Any basically designed room has some sort of obvious place for the actor to hide, or a clear place for them to be seen doing whatever that room requires them to do. Almost anyone you hire (Well almost anyone!) will understand that if you dress them like a clown and put them in a clown room they are supposed to “act” like a clown. So say for example we have a drop panel for them to use in the clown room. It is pretty clear they are supposed to slam down the panel shocking the patrons and do something “funny“. But the next step is the tough one: how do they interact AFTER that?

So let’s begin with some of the basic haunt acting descriptions from the Ohio/Bloodview/Scab 5 school of thought to set the stage for the discussion.

A) PRESENTATION: How the actor looks: the make-up, the costume , the mask, etc.

B) APPROACH: How the actor reveals to the patron, i.e. a drop panel, curtain, pops out from around a corner, was in sight the entire time (for atmospheric characters, trapped people, actors working at a task, like a butcher chopping meat, et al)

C) INTERACTION: What happens between the actor and the guest – The “act” of delivering lines, startling the guest, etc.

The CHARACTER MATRIX is designed primarily to help your actors with the INTERACTION but it can also affect the PRESENTATION and the APPROACH.

First comes the obvious: what is the TYPE and OCCUPATION of the character? What I mean is for example the TYPE could be a CLOWN, the occupation could be a DOCTOR. So we have a clown doctor – that alone gives your actor much better guidance than just being a CLOWN.

Now we go to the MATRIX. Pick One PRIMARY TRAIT and one or two SECONDARY TRAITS that make sense. That may even be too much, it really depends how elaborate you want to get with the act.


A) Determine actor TYPE (Vampire, Werewolf, Clown, etc.)

B) Determine actor OCCUPATION (Doctor, Cook, Gravedigger, Butler etc.)

C) Pick one PRIMARY TRAIT and one or two SECONDARY TRAITS that do not conflict with each other.

Find the DESCRIPTORS under the TRAIT and use them to flesh out your act.


Self Sacrifice

Kill for Fun



Talk to themselves
Gibberish Nonsense
Self Mutilation
Nonsensical Motivations
Motivation/Personality Shifts
Be Afraid of Nothing/Everything

Scared Brave


Share Knowledge
Pass Judgments
Order people around
Gather Data
Espouse Science

Act Clumsy
Ask Dumb Questions
Talk/Move Simple/Slow
Be Affectionate/Angry
Be Easily Fooled

Now let’s take our CLOWN DOCTOR. Let’s say the PRIMARY TRAIT is he is SMART. The SECONDARY TRAIT is that he is INSANE. Now go to the DESCRIPTORS under the Trait and pick out a few that work for you and go to town! Our Clown Doctor can be very Bossy (Smart characters tend to order others around) but since he is insane his orders are nonsensical. For example when folks enter his scene he might say, “The operation is about to begin! You will be my assistant. Give me the rubber chicken. I wish to make the incision!”

The goal is to give FAST direction to your actors, to give them something to work with that can really help flesh out a character in no time at all. So if they are playing a Ghostly Butler, make them OLD and GOOD, so now maybe in a very slow and cranky way they are trying to warn (Help) the patrons about the horrors ahead.

Someone playing a WEREWOLF might play it differently if they were told to be a YOUNG werewolf. You could play a GOBLIN as ANIMALISTIC or as COMICAL. Even within a Trait there could be many differences. Our ANIMALISTIC GOBLIN could be cowering, i.e. afraid of the patrons or it could be stalking them or putting on a show of intimidation.

Dialogue will naturally come once you merge the TYPE, OCCUPATION and several TRAIT SETS, but in many cases BODY LANGUAGE and or the APPROACH is the thing the actor will understand as many characters won’t even have dialog in their act.

So there you have it… a very SIMPLE EASY way to give your actors something more to go on than just the room and costume. Do you have a Zombie horde and you want to make them different from each other? Easy! Make some YOUNG, some OLD, some STUPID and some INSANE. Now you have variety! The CHARACTER MATRIX is by all means not finished. You can add endless TRAITS and DESCRIPTORS to it. It is more of a shorthand way of thinking to get the crew rolling. When your actors come to casting to get assignments you can hand out a few TRAITS along with the costume, and it will help a great deal with the performance.


There are certain trait sets that lend themselves to certain Haunted House Characters. Here are a few obvious ones to start with but you can make up a million of them… use these as an example and have fun!

Nazgul /Wraith Trait Set

Werewolf Trait Set

Demon Trait Set –

Goblin Trait Set –

Clown Trait Set

Creeper Trait Set

Zombie Trait Set

Monster Trait Set

Vampire Trait Set

Victim Trait Set

Greeter Trait Set

Camo Creatures Trait Set

Statues/Golems Trait Set



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Visit the NETHERWORLD Giftshop for your Christmas Goodies!

by on Dec.19, 2012, under Haunted House Merchandise, Haunting Ideas, NETHERWORLD Haunted House

The Netherworld Haunted House gift shop will be OPEN Saturday, December 22nd and Sunday, December 23rd from Noon till 5:00pm. Need a quality skull toilet brush? How about a Collector bobblehead, or maybe some vintage style Halloween decorations? Lots of weird and unusual stuff to choose from…apparel, jewelry, household items, accessories and so much more! We even have Halloween inspired Christmas tree ornaments, Krampus stockings and other holiday related items.

We know this is last minute notice but we hope to see you this weekend…please help us spread the word!

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11Alive at NETHERWORLD !

by on Oct.12, 2012, under Haunted Houses, Haunting Ideas, NETHERWORLD Haunted House

NORCROSS, Ga. — Chesley put on a brave face Friday morning to give 11Alive viewers an inside look at Netherworld.

“I don’t do scary well,” he said.

Even with the lights on, the popular haunted house still proved scary. Experts consider it one of the best in the country.

Netherworld is located in the Georgia Antique and Design Center off Jimmy Carter Boulevard, near Interstate 85 in Norcross. It’s open nightly through November 3. Tickets start at $22.

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