Legendary Haunt Tour 2016 Headed to Pittsburgh to See Scarehouse & Hundred Acres Manor

by on Nov.23, 2015, under Syndicated from the Web

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The House of Shock Returns for 2015 Season – Get There Before The End of the Season!

by on Oct.21, 2015, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from News & Updates | HauntersDigest.com | Go to Original Post

The New Orleans-based House of Shock Haunted House and Halloween Festival is back for its 23rd installment, presenting “The Resurrection.” Originally set to close the doors after the 2014 season, The House of Shock has been given new life thanks to a spirited response from the local community. It returns on Friday, October 2nd and runs through Halloween night.

For 2015, The House of Shock presents The Resurrection brings two new terror-inducing events to New Orleans. The Bordello of Freaks is an all new attraction in the style of old carny freak exhibitions with a House of Shock twist. Laff in the Dark is an all-out 3D clown assault: a nod to old school fun houses, specifically the Pontchartrain Beach Fun House of the same name. Clown-a-phobics beware, as Laff in the Dark has more scares per square foot than any other event of its kind. Additionally, The House of Shock’s main attraction has been carefully renovated to create a whole new experience that still holds true to the classics that made it unique. This may be best represented by the immense, brand new entrance constructed to pay homage to the infamous LeBeau Mansion – the Arabi plantation home that burnt down in 2013.

“We’re beyond excited about The Resurrection, as there was strong chance that the House of Shock was dead for good. The love and support we received from the community is both humbling and inspiring,” notes Co-Founder Ross Karpelman. “We can’t wait for New Orleans to experience The Resurrection; we’re going big. Fans should prep themselves for major coronary failures!”

In addition to the new Bordello of Freaks and Laff in the Dark, some old fan-favorites have received extreme makeovers. The pyrotechnics show will be back with more firepower, live actors and stunts than ever. The updated stage production will take place twice a night, at approximately 7:45 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. The outdoor Halloween festival offers live music every night with a full service bar and an extensive menu of concessions available at Hell’s Kitchen.

Over 350 volunteers are geared up for the 23rd season. Ashley Fallon-Shenton, House of Shock Production Manager, notes that “not only is this a staple for the New Orleans community, it’s also a home for the volunteers and actors. We are proud to foster an environment for people from all different backgrounds to come together and express their artistic talents and alter egos.”

The House of Shock has always been proud to fashion itself and its storylines based on New Orleans’ own rich history of the macabre. The Resurrection will continue this tradition and move the storylines forward. Logistical information can be found below, as well online at www.houseofshock.com.

WHAT: The House of Shock presents The Resurrection
WHERE: 319 Butterworth St.
Jefferson, La 70121
WHEN: Every Friday and Saturday during the month of October, starting Friday, October 2nd, as well
as Thursday, October 22nd. Halloween week open Sunday, October 25th and Wednesday,
October 28th through Saturday, October 31st.

The House of Shock operates from 8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. (closing time subject to change).

TICKETS: General admission to the haunted house is $25 and VIP admission is $50, allowing patrons
to bypass the line. For October 23rd, 24th, 30th and 31st, general admission is $30 and VIP
admission is $55. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.houseofshock.com
and at the gate at 7:00 p.m. on show days only.

Live music and horror show will be present on all nights. Cash and credit cards accepted at
full service bar.

About The House of Shock
The House of Shock was founded in 1993 by Ross Karpelman, Jay Gracianette, Steven Joseph and friends in 1993. A discussion between these lifelong friends about what Halloween meant to them as children rekindled their desire to recreate that feeling as adults while sharing that feeling with the youth of today. Since then, it has grown into a leader and trendsetter in the haunted attraction industry. The House of Shock boasts a 25,000-square-foot haunted house attraction comprised of three all new events – The House of Shock Haunted House, The Bordello of Freaks and Laff in the Dark. The House of Shock consists of over 350 volunteers that add their own brand of fright to the night. The haunted experience also includes a full service bar, live music and a horror show.

For 2015, patrons will enjoy The House of Shock presents The Resurrection, as a result of overwhelming support from the New Orleans community when the House was scheduled to permanently close after the 2014 season. Over the past two decades, The House of Shock has enjoyed national and international exposure through publications such as Rolling Stone, Maxim and Playboy and was named Haunted Attraction Magazine’s “Number One Haunted House in the Country” in 2014 and The Travel Channel’s “Most Intense Haunted Attraction” in 2007.

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More New Additions to the Legendary Haunt Tour 2015

by on Oct.19, 2015, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from News & Updates | HauntersDigest.com | Go to Original Post

Ed & Marsha Edmunds (Distortions Unlimited) Panel

Ed & Marsha Edmunds will host a panel highlighting scenes from their Travel Channel show “Making Monsters” in which they’re installing custom-built props and animatronics for nationally known attractions like Netherword and The 13th Floor, then discussing the experience with the owners of these attractions and fielding your questions.

These seminars are included in the weekend ticket price.

Saturday Afternoon Visit to Kosart Gallery’s Maleficium Dark Art Exhibition

Legendary Haunt Tour attendees will have the opportunity to visit the 5th Annual Maleficium Dark Art Exhibition at Anthony Kosar’s Kosart Gallery, just hours before it opens to the public, from noon to 1:00 pm on Saturday, November 14th. This unique show blends drawings and paintings by today’s top dark artists with the sculptural work of leading special effects artists. Full exhibition details at http://www.kosartgallery.com/2015-maleficium-dark-art-exhibition.html.

Please Note: You must RSVP for this event. Please use the form below to let us know that you are interested in attending; if we get enough submissions, we can rent a bus to take everybody to the gallery; if not, you’ll have to provide your own transportation. So if you want to go, let us know with the form HERE!

Maleficium Dark Art Exhibition
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The Haunted Attraction Extreme Costume Check List!

by on Feb.02, 2015, under Haunted Houses, Haunting Ideas, NETHERWORLD Haunted House

The Haunted Attraction Extreme Costume Check List!
Ben Armstrong NETHERWORLD Haunted House


2015 Netherworld - Dragoncon Parade 13

So you are ready to buy or build a really cool over the top costume for your Haunted Attraction! We all know that an excellent costume on an amazing actor can do wonders for your show, but its proper use is FAR more complicated than just purchasing a static prop and displaying it in a scene. The fact that an actor has to wear the thing night after night, successfully perform in it, and keep it in functioning order is no easy task.

So let’s go over some of the issues related to keeping elaborate costumes not only being used every night, but not falling apart! The following concepts are presented as a checklist when you are planning a major costume purchase… some basic ideas to consider before taking the plunge.

1) Theme: First and foremost, elaborate costumes serve the function of explaining and furthering the theme of your event. We all design rooms and effects to enhance our themes and supply matching costumes that fit the scene. But themed characters are even more important when used in marketing at off site events or even in the parking lot… they let the customers know a little about WHAT your attractions story is, and can also provide a snap shot of the production value your event brings to the table. Themed costumed actors are important photo ops for your guests and goodwill ambassadors essential in a social media driven world.

2) Emotional Effect: How does the costume make customers feel when they see it? Are you going for fear, disgust or absolute amazement? Often the scariest costumes can be very simple as they are designed to bring up instant emotions in a haunt environment, but they fall apart visually when critically viewed in full lighting. Masks or make-ups with “extreme” expressions or surrealistic looks are great for quick hits but not so much for complex interactions. This is why silicone masks and top notch make-ups are so important for interactive characters as the “expression” of the creature can be changed as the actor goes through his act. Some costumes and characters are downright comical, but that is not always a bad thing. Many of the most popular lot characters have almost nothing to do with Halloween or horror, they are just plain amusing. Ultimately folks come to your event to be entertained in addition to being scared.

3) Level Of Concealment: Many costumes are designed to be invisible until the actor moves (Ivy, Camo, Rock Wall Suits). Some are created to be seen but look like a prop (Statue, Armor, Doll Costumes and such come to mind). But the most elaborate ones demand attention with lots of details that draws the eye. Obviously if you invest a ton in a costume you want it to be seen and remembered by the customers. If you want it to be noticed, look for high contrast, reflective elements, lighting enhancements like glowing eyes or UV paint, and massive size always helps!

4) Ergonomics: One of the most overlooked areas in haunt costumes is ergonomics, i.e how safe and easy is it for the actors to wear. Looking good is not enough when a suit needs to be worn in often extreme situations for 20-30 days in a haunt season. How many times has an amazing costume or mask gone unworn because it is uncomfortable, hot, difficult to see out of or heavy? Always try on costumes when you can before purchase, and look for ways to improve the ergonomics. Once you have a actor or actors selected who will be wearing the suit, work on ventilation, padding and vision improvement. This will make the performance more impressive and cause less downtime due to breaks, training or just refusal of the actors to wear it. Proper storage of the costume is also needed especially if it is delicate or difficult to get into, with racks and hooks to hold it in such a way that the operator can ease into it.

Large stalkaround costumes are always made more effective by having “walkers” who accompany the person in the suit. They can keep unruly guests away, help customers take photos and assist the actor move past obstacles, get water, etc. A stalkaround actor at a busy haunt without a walker will quickly become overwhelmed and might even get injured by tripping or overheating. One way to keep a suit like this going all night is to have actors swap out especially if the costume is heavy.

One thing is for sure. The more complex and difficult a suit is to wear the less “acting” you will get out of it. There is a tipping point where you end up creating a barely mobile photo op that shambles about and suffers.
Make comfort and ease of use a high priority and you will absolutely get better results!

5) Maintenance: Another overlooked area is how to CLEAN the costume. Nightly cleaning is essential, and doubly so if the costume is worn by different actors. Enbac, Fabreeze and other disinfectants are a good start but they can be of limited use if the costume is actually dripping with sweat. If possible wash cloth goods often, and dry clean elaborate cloth goods as needed. Silicone masks should be washed out and disinfected every night, and similar treatments used on latex masks. Foam or porous masks need to get lots of ventilation to properly remove moisture and after spraying costumes it is also good to put a fan on them to air out and dry the suits.

Costumes and masks must be constantly maintained for the run of a show and it essential to have staff dedicated to clean, wash and do sewing repairs. Most masks will need certain levels of repainting over a season as sweat and wear takes its toll. Always use proper paints designed to stick to the type of mask or costume you are repairing or you will find all your work wasted after one night of use. If you plan to have many silicone masks, you will eventually see major damage. This can be lessened by having only one actor wear a certain mask and be extremely careful with it, but in many cases the mask will be so expensive that use by multiple folks is unavoidable if you want it worn every night. The best thing to do in this case is to carefully monitor how these masks are put on and removed, and don’t allow them be worn be actors who show signs of claustrophobia, susceptibility to heat, or general carelessness. When rips or tears develop, get the mask out of use until it can be looked at by your special effects make-up staff. There are many tutorials for fixing silicone masks, simple rips can be repaired by trained artists but for major tears it might be worth it to hold off and send the mask back to the vendor.

The more complex the costume the more time you will spend maintaining it. Without proper care expensive suits can be ruined very quickly, and your attempt to impress with high production value will be useless. If you don’t have the staff to maintain complex costumes another approach can be to only use them for major media events, assuring that they will be in good condition when it matters most. However this is sort of a bait and switch, because if you feature amazing characters in your marketing and they are not seen at your event, it might annoy guests.

Another thing to consider when purchasing is costumes with electronic parts, or mechanical features. Built in lighting or sound units add a lot of POW to a suit, but need care. Actors often rip out wires accidentally especially if the suit rigging is complex, and mechanical movements are subject to wear and tear. I suggest keeping a repair kit with replacement parts at the ready because energetic actors will break these sorts of suits usually just because they are trying hard to be good at their jobs!

6) Add Ons: Almost no costume is 100% complete when purchased. Many need masks, hats, wigs, make-up or contacts to finish the look. Some would be improved by hand props, additional layers or more detailing. Even complete massive suits do better when the actor inside is wearing the proper clothing ( Under armor, extra padding and harnesses) or a hydration system like a camelback. In suits that totally cover the actor you might want to consider a radio so that they can communicate with their handler. Always think about the shoes that will go with the costume especially when it is used outside where they will be seen, they can totally ruin the illusion.

7) Cost: In the end It all comes down to cost. So we have reviewed some of the hidden expenses like enhancing ergonomics, add ons, care and maintenance, and the effort and staff required to keep complex costumes working well and looking good, but lets discuss actually buying or creating the original costume.

So this costume is so expensive why don’t you just make it yourself? Often unless you are incredibly talented this costs even more than buying from a vendor…Why? Trial and error! You might find yourself spending a lot of cash on materials and redoing the steps again and again to get a good result. Time is also an issue.. an elaborate costume can take a VERY long time to make. You need to decide for yourself what the time of the person building the suit and the materials are really costing you – don’t forget the fact if they are working on this costume means they are not working on something else! One good strategy is to purchase elements of a costume and pull them together in such a way as to make them unique. It is always better to do some level of customization to make a major costume unique. There will be occasions where you and your staff WILL want make stuff from scratch and that is great! But you certainly need to consider what that will set you back in time and money before you do.
Another good way to get high production value costumes at your event is to hire folks who have their own suits! This approach certainly has pros and cons: PROS They are happy and comfortable in the costume, It costs you less, It might be totally custom, they might have a complete act already prepared. CONS: You only have the suit when they are working, most personal suits tend to be cosplay based on licensed characters that won’t fit your theme, If the character becomes popular and they stop working at your haunt it is not a good thing, etc. These days many haunt actors will buy $600 silicone masks that they want to wear, if it fits your needs, why not – but giving actors special privileges or roles just because they spent money isn’t always wise.

Extreme costumes can add a TON of entertainment and production value to your event! But like anything else in our industry they require planning and effort to create and maintain them. Treat them well and they will serve you for years and scare thousands! Treat them poorly and they end up being the most expensive pile of junk on the floor of your actor area that you will ever purchase!

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NETHERWORLD Haunted House on Yahoos Best Haunts List!

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


Netherworld is warehouse-sized structure in the suburbs of Atlanta featuring elaborate sets and special effects worthy of a Disney attraction. Guests will encounter unattractive witches, a special assortment of blood-maddened clones, disconcerting flesh vats, and an angry army of corpses, while staggering through fog, crawling through spinning tunnels, and holding their noses against unsavory scents. The intense experience creates what the Travel Channel described as “more scares per square foot than any other haunt in America.” Even better, the building has been declared to be “paranormally active” by local experts, the Roswell Georgia Paranormal Investigators!

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NETHERWORLD Haunted House on Travel Channel’s list of the Best Halloween Attractions for 2014!

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

Exciting news! Netherworld Haunted House just made Travel Channel’s list of the Best Halloween Attractions for 2014!

Here’s what they said: Trick or treat! We reveal our list of the scariest Halloween attractions in the US with help from paranormal experts, including Ghost Adventures lead investigator Zak Bagans – Ghost Adventures Crew (GAC). With more than 200 animated monsters and 100 live actors, Netherworld is one of the nation’s most famous attractions. Having been featured on TV and in movies such as Zombieland, this spooky attraction has amazingly detailed sets!

Netherworld is now open Every Night thru November 2nd. Come See Us Tonight!

For more details check out www.FEARWORLD.com


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9 Best Haunted Houses in Georgia!

by on Sep.23, 2014, under Haunted Houses, NETHERWORLD Haunted House

Brad Smith / GA Follower

October is right around the corner and you know what that means? Costumes, candy, and haunted houses! Haunted Houses are great for all ages. There are a number of haunted houses around Georgia, the trick is to find the right one to be scared of. Here are the 9 best haunted houses in Georgia.

1. Netherworld

Can’t go wrong in choosing to go to Netherworld. One of the most famous haunted attractions in America. Known for its over-the-top special effects, incredibly realistic make-up, costumes, skilled stunt actors, unique themes, and many more. Definitely the best attraction for a scare.

6624 Dawson Blvd
Norcross, GA 30093


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by on Aug.27, 2014, under Haunt Gatherings, Haunted Houses, NETHERWORLD Haunted House

Horror Track

Netherworld Haunted House is ready for another Dragon Con! Who else is? Let the festivities begin already!

To celebrate the impending start of another amazing Labor Day Weekend, Netherworld is offering an exclusive discount to friends of Dragon Con.

Visit NETHERWORLD Tickets and enter the Promo Code “DChorror” to get $5 OFF Any Combo Ticket or SpeedPass.

As fans of Netherworld well know, coupons valid on weekends or on the SpeedPass are rarely ever offered, so get yours now before the discount expires at…you guessed it…the close of Dragon Con.

If you are unaware, Netherworld is an amazing haunted attraction located right here in Atlanta. It’s been featured on the Travel Channel, The Daily Show, The Today show and was even one of the locations used in Zombieland! They are consistently ranked as one of the top haunted houses in America and just last year they were named The Most Influential Haunted House of All Time by Hauntworld Magazine…Now That’s An Endorsement!

Netherworld is once again sponsoring the DragonCon Horror Track and will have a booth with freakish new photo ops on the Marquis level of the Marriott, so be sure to stop by and get your free digital download photo. Oh yeah, and we can not wait to see what they’ve come up with this year for the parade…always a big highlight!


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Shipment of Cool Stuff for NETHERWORLD Haunted House!

by on Aug.10, 2014, under Haunted Houses, NETHERWORLD Haunted House

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Depth Of Experience: Getting Your Customers To Remember Your Haunt!

by on Mar.03, 2014, under Haunted Houses, Haunting Ideas, NETHERWORLD Haunted House

Depth Of Experience
Getting Your Customers To Remember Your Haunt!

Ben Armstrong NETHERWORLD Haunted House – www.Fearworld.com

We haunt owners and actors have a very interesting job. We have to create something new, amazing and terrifying every year while still pleasing our customers – The classic “give them what they want and give them what you want”. We have a very wide playground to explore with our attractions, but the ultimate success of them still depends on pleasing the customer. For example if you had a restaurant you could experiment with a myriad of food choices and flavors but ultimately THE FOOD HAS TO TASTE GOOD for your restaurant to succeed. Since most people want certain things on their haunted house “menu” what is the core set of flavors that folks want? Two things I want to discuss in this article key to pleasing your guests are 1) The Razor’s Edge: picking your content and 2) The Depth of Experience: Creating a rich memorable adventure full of peak moments that leaves your customers thrilled!

The Razors Edge

I call this first concept the razor’s edge. A successful Haunted Attraction has to balance between two core ideas in its themeing and design to have the greatest hope to survive: HORROR and HALLOWEEN.

Horror is a very wide idea that can range from the surreal and supernatural to the most realistic and savage. It attempts to scare you, to disturb you, to make you scream. Horror can be amazingly artistic and high concept or it can be exceedingly simple and lowbrow. In all of its forms it can be very effective or fall totally on its face – depending on the critical choices the filmmaker, artist, or author make with the material and how successfully they executed them. It also has a very wide degree of what its fans enjoy – one man’s best movie ever is another man’s piece of filth.

Halloween has similar challenges. It is nostalgic, traditional and cultural, but paradoxically new, evolving and topical. It can change huge sections of the population into thrill seekers and tricksters for a few short days and return them to a mundane existence on November 1st. It is both a child’s holiday and grownup’s holiday, but those that it touches develop deep emotions centered on fear and fun with a taste of the ancient past thrown in for good measure.

The most successful haunted attractions have learned to ride the razor’s edge, to combine the seasonal exuberant, transformative emotions of Halloween with the fear, dread, excitement and artistic expression of Horror. Go too far into Halloween and an attraction can seem tame and clichéd. And taken to the outer reaches of horror, the violent nasty ultra realistic content becomes soulless and foul.
Too often I think, some producers of attractions and some haunt actors as well seem to be fighting with their own inner demons and the product suffers for it. Most people who attend a haunted attraction want to see cool stuff, get scared and have a good time, not experience content that makes them embarrassed, angry or disgusted. It is of course up to the haunt producer to create what they wish, and extreme or revolting content does have an audience to be sure. But it is a narrower audience and the attraction that goes that route must be content with surviving on a much smaller potential population base.

FEEL and Memory

So based on the Halloween/Horror scale you have selected the sort of theming that you will both enjoy as a producer and that targets your selected demographic. You have written the menu, now how do you make the FOOD TASTE GOOD? First let’s talk a bit about what it takes to make your customers satisfied with your event. I have already written extensively on the concept that you are dealing with a group (Rethinking The Haunted House Guest Experience) now let’s cut to the core of how the individual feels walking out of your show. Many people seem to totally lack the ability to remember ANYTHING about what they saw and experienced in your attraction but they will never forget how you made them FEEL. Are they excited, scared and happy? Are they angry that they didn’t get what they want, or that they had to wait too long in line? It is this overall satisfaction that you as a producer are trying to master. Aside from the obvious excitement and the expectation of its arrival, it is no wonder that the chainsaw is the most memorable event in most haunted houses as it is usually the last thing they face! Maybe if we could actually get them to remember the attraction and all the cool stuff you put in there it would be easier to make them satisfied with your event. We CAN get them to better remember by creating a richly layered Depth of Experience.

Depth Of Experience

How can we get them to remember? Here are some of the top barriers to positive memories of a haunt:

1) Too Much Theme: Let’s face it we have all (myself included) grown totally addicted to theming. But I have recently started to feel that too much of a good thing creates a situation where guests have a difficult time remembering the haunt. Say for example, your haunt has a “Used Tire Store Theme” Well, you have the garage area, the tire storage area, the office, the waiting room, etc. And everyone who jumps out is a greasy mechanic. How can you remember that? It has a “sameness”. In the old days almost every room in a haunt was totally different, jammed together with no rhyme or reason. But you can bet it was easier to remember because every scene was different. Now I am not suggesting that we go back to the old ways, but I am saying that making your scenes different as possible, even within your themed “box” will lead to a situation where guests will be able to remember and thus better appreciate your event.

2) Actors doing the same thing: If every actor looks similar and does the same sort of thing, the customers will grow resistant to them faster and forget them immediately. Different costuming, vocal assaults, reveals (how the actor appears) and types of performance all help to create a richer experience for the guests.

3) Peak moments: You must create as many “Peak Moments” as possible – intense varied effects and experiences that really create strong memories. A classic Peak Moment in most haunts for example is the Vortex Tunnel that always ranks right up there with the chainsaw.

4) Mixing up audio and lighting: If everything is black light it feels the same. If the soundtrack never varies, or the lighting is uniform, or if everywhere is choked with fog you are blending many different moments into one long singular experience.

5) Scares should be from everywhere and everything: Variety of scares is essential! Animations, actors, effects, scares from below above and both sides are critical. We want to hit them with a buffet of unique and shocking events, not a single massive can of chocolate pudding (Sorry Carl!).

6) Highs and lows: The house must pulse, with moments of rest and moments of intensity. A bit of humor now and then always helps make the next shock that much more powerful.

7) Working on difficult customers: If you see customers that stand out – they are not having fun or they are confused or angry, train your actors to spend some time with them. 80% of all haunt reviews good or bad often come down to something amazing or something stupid an actor or a member of the staff did. This is especially true when you find a person on the edge of a bad experience – it is often not that difficult to turn a difficult moment around if it gets caught in time.

The Depth of Experience idea is just like layering and detailing in a room – Construction, paint, props and lighting closely relate to building memories with a variety of different occurrences laid one on top of the other. Long haunts seem short if they are repetitive and short ones seem vast if the experiences are varied and thrilling. Always keeping the customer experience in mind will help you succeed sometimes where money and resources won’t – never forget that!

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