Friday, October 23, 2020

Haunt Hunting Virginia 2020

Haunted Highway Tour 2020

Leesburg, VA
- Haunt Hunting Virginia 2020 is broadcasting live on the Haunt Hunters App with Speed by Chuck Mound presented by Blood Manor, NYC.  Some great Haunted Attaractions reside in Virginia and you can start with the famous Shocktober. One of the aspects that boosts Haunts is authenticity and at Shocktober you have it comes off the walls. 

In 1879, Dale Carlheim built Carlheim Manor, in Leesburg, VA, for his family home and estate. Shortly after the family moved into the mansion, Dale was touring the grounds and discovered a series of large caverns, including an underground lake, below the house. During his exploration of the caverns, he stumbled upon a group of unmarked graves and inadvertently disturbed the bodies. Soon afterward, his family began experiencing strange occurrences that became more violent with each passing day. Within a few months, his wife and children had all been killed by unexplained accidents, and Dale himself disappeared, never to be seen again.

Over the course of the following century, Carlheim Manor was used for many purposes. But everyone who lived and worked in the house died of mysterious or unexplained causes, or simply disappeared. Eventually, the mansion and grounds were abandoned, and the grisly stories of murder and horror were forgotten.

Some of the other Haunted Attractions in Virginia Include the great Red Vein Haunt in Richmond, which follows an amazing story line that brings fans from all over the state.

The Haunted Highway Tour 2020 will be broadcasting live on your smartphone on the HauntHuntersApp

Check Out the Haunt Hunters App Your Tube Channel

www.youtube.com/haunthuntersapp



Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Kim's Krypt Haunt 2020

 

Kim's Krypt Haunted Mill
Kim's Krypt

Spring Valley, PA - Kim's Krypt Haunt 2020 offers 3 solid Haunted Attractions that will bring Halloween happiness to any Haunted House Fan. Most of the Haunted Houses in the state are usually competing to provide customers with the most amount of Attractions offered at a site. Covid has changed the rules of the game and now if you are a Haunt Owner, you are forced to cut back on everything and to do more with less. "We have had to cut down from 6 Haunted Attractions to 3 Attractions this season" say's Kim's Krypt Haunted Mill owner Kimberly Yates, "who knows maybe we will be able to do it at a higher level this year"

This brings up an interesting point, can you do more with less in the world of Haunted Attractions? After experiencing Kim's Krypt, the is a possibility that need to be explored. 3 Haunted Attractions are offered at Kim's Krypt, the Haunted Mill, House of Eyes and Terror Trail. Each Attraction offered a high amount of scares, but above all offered sensory overload. So much is thrown at you with the actors and sets, the question remains, can or do you need more?  Kim's Krypt has a solid formula for the 2020 Haunt Season with 3 Haunted Attractions that will bring all of the scares you will need for the 2020 Halloween season. 

Broadcasting live on the Haunt Hunters App powered with Speed by Chuck Mound.

KimsKrypt.com

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Haunts Fight Covid

                                                     HAUNTS FIGHT COVID

by Pat Regan - President of the National Haunters Association

Columbus, OH-- Trying to operate a haunt under normal circumstances is hard enough. The list of challenges is daunting. Add in the problems of a pandemic and constantly changing local health requirements, and it can appear scarier than your worst nightmare!!

Outdoor haunts face the variability of weather. Haunt actors face the challenges of balancing the close scare with a jump scare or touching vs props. Make-up artists have to nail the look on constantly changing ‘canvases’ under immense time pressures. Security faces the challenges of unruly guests. Production faces the challenge of making all those phenomenal ideas realistic. And owners face ALL these challenges with so many more the list would take up this whole article! Indoor Haunts (or sections) only magnify the problems. Yet, Actors and Production and MUA’s and Owners and Security come back with such passion year after year. Add in this stinking pandemic in, and it’s easy to see how hard it’s going to be to pull it off one more time!

My hope with this forum is to be a place for those still desiring to keep their haunt delivering frights to customers and not infections. With that said, there are two ‘classes’ of challenges I’m hearing – those faced by Indoor Haunts vs Outdoor Haunts. (I know many haunts have both types of sections, but they present different opportunities.) There have been almost universal considerations, so I will present those first.

 

Haunt Hunters App

GROUP SIZE/CROWD CONTROL – the most common plan to handle this is for spaced Queue lines (a security monitoring situation) and Timed ticketing. Owners will have to balance the amount of time between groups so as to allow the full experiences and avoid back-ups – a situation that will certainly cut into profitability!

 

COMPLIANCE WITH LOCALITIES – This one is also on the Owners, to keep in constant contact with local health authorities and make certain that any changing health requirements are handled efficiently and acceptably. In addition to the fire safety equipment and inspections, health inspections will be a key point of contact between Haunts and localities. Local officials are still feeling their way thru, and pre-emptive meetings with them might be helpful in building this critical relationship. Another pre-emptive


Haunt Hunters App


 

CUSTOMER REQUIREMENTS – (This is a serious concern for Haunts, as they are not under management’s “control”.) Visitors to haunts will be REQUIRED to wear masks, socially distance and submit to temperature checks before entry. Here, the most common thread I am hearing is to both require and APPEAL to customers to wear masks, offer hand sanitizer before and after attractions. This is protection not only for them, but for your haunt actors and all staff!

 

STAFF REQUIREMENTS – More within the realm of control of the Haunt, the same requirements for customers will apply here (Pre-Entry Temp checks, Masks, Social Distancing, & hand sanitization). While that sounds simple, SOOOO many challenges arise here. How does an MUA socially distance and still put awesome characters out there? (In record time…) What about shared make-up? (This is a HUGE challenge!) How does a Haunter who is skilled at a gentle touch scare adjust their character? Can’t have both social distancing AND touching….. How does the creative group make a ‘bloody scene’ realistic while keeping all fluids away from both customers AND actors? Can construction build an attraction that is socially distanced AND scary? (I’d have to think ‘claustrophobia’ walls are out – or is somebody going to disinfect between every visitor?) How do you make a hayride that is socially distanced but still generates enough revenue to justify fuel & staffing costs?

 

I could go on and on with these questions, and I’m sure every owner has lied awake at night thinking through these. Below I’ll give you the suggestions I’ve gotten in my feedback, and would LOVE to hear more so we can try to keep as many haunts open this Fall.

 

1)      One owner is planning on eliminating all indoor sections – smaller scares pulled off at a distance, with absolutely no touching. This is a great suggestion for someone who has the space to keep the scares far enough apart to avoid conflicting/competing scares. But for some haunts, especially in more metro areas, this isn’t necessarily an option. The best example I can think of is Reapers Revenge in Scranton, PA. They are excellent at this method. Owner Paul Kotran and “Do-it-all, right-hand man” Michael Belardi use the side of a mountain to space out some of the best attractions in the industry. And NEVER do you get distracted or are aware of the next or prior attraction. It’s done in the Hayride portion, so that challenge of socially distancing on hayrides comes in…. If owners try to opt out of the hayride, you now have to control the quality of the trail and insure your visitor can handle such potentially challenging terrain.

 

2)      Another owner told me she is planning on reducing both the number and size of the indoor scenes and limiting group sizes to 5 or less. The theory is more intense experiences for a group pulled off by less actors. One point she made was the new freedom to hold so many more themes than trying to tie in a larger section to one theme (ie – laboratory set for multiple zombie scares)  

 

3)      Chase Bellows of Superstition Haunted House, northwest of Washington DC (Only opened on October 31st!) is planning on incorporating UV Sterilizer lights on a timed basis used after a group goes thru a section of the haunt. (Chase was kind enough to give us the link, too: xsterilizerofficial.com) From what I looked at, I can see where this unit can be placed in a room somewhat out of site, and utilized to sterilize the rooms. Chase is not relying totally on this – it is an additional step to the masks, hand sanitizing and social distancing.

 

Haunting Covid


4)      Evan Webb, who portrays ManniX, a character at Field of Screams, MD, is stepping up to the creative challenge by adjusting his character’s scare tactics. An ingenious method he is incorporating is snap pops – throw them near a visitor’s feet while staying socially distanced – a great way to bring the visitor deeper into the experience! Another suggestion from Evan was the use of a hand-held, retractable jack-in-the-box to get close to a visitor from far away. This kind of adjusted use of props can keep the intensity up in the haunt while keeping everyone as safe as possible. It’s this kind of creativity that makes haunting so much fun!

 

5)      An idea I had, especially for indoor haunts, is the use of plastic window insulation coverings to build a physical barrier between actors and visitors but allow it to appear the actors are getting very close. The plastic would easily allow the transmission of sound, so actors can continue the dialogue and banter that enhances the scare. Many of these plastic coverings will appear clear if installed using a hair dryer to heat them. (Duck Brand or 3M, both readily available at home improvement stores and less expensive than Lucite sheets so commonly seen at registers.)

 


Haunting Covid


6)      Finally, offering the potential for contact tracing to health departments might assist the haunts in helping their local health departments, making them more likely to approve the openings. In the words of Chuck Mound, owner of HauntHuntersApp, “The possibility of contact tracing is made easier if everyone is ordering on-line and with scheduled start times.” The information can be retained by the haunt, delivering information regarding any visitors who may have been around any positive cases in a certain time window.

 

The challenges are many - more than in other years - but the people I’ve met in this industry are some of the most resilient, most creative, and most passionate people I’ve met. It was only this past year, but the time I spent with Ernie Romegialli touring The Haunted Graveyard in Lake Compounce STILL energizes me and gets me excited to get back out there and wander nervously thru a darkened hallway towards the eerie screams…. C’mon, we gotta’ save Haunt Season!! 


Haunting Covid



Sunday, August 16, 2020

Haunting Covid 19

Haunt Hunters App
Haunting Covid by Patrick Regan -Trying to operate a haunt under normal circumstances is hard enough. The list of challenges is daunting. Add in the problems of a pandemic and constantly changing local health requirements, and it can appear scarier than your worst nightmare!!

Outdoor haunts face the variability of weather. Haunt actors face the challenges of balancing the close scare with a jump scare or touching vs props. Make-up artists have to nail the look on constantly changing ‘canvases’ under immense time pressures. Security faces the challenges of unruly guests. Production faces the challenge of making all those phenomenal ideas realistic. And owners face ALL these challenges with so many more the list would take up this whole article! Indoor Haunts (or sections) only magnify the problems. Yet, Actors and Production and MUA’s and Owners and Security come back with such passion year after year. Add in this stinking pandemic in, and it’s easy to see how hard it’s going to be to pull it off one more time!

My hope with this forum is to be a place for those still desiring to keep their haunt delivering frights to customers and not infections. With that said, there are two ‘classes’ of challenges I’m hearing – those faced by Indoor Haunts vs Outdoor Haunts. (I know many haunts have both types of sections, but they present different opportunities.) There have been almost universal considerations, so I will present those first. 



National Haunters Association



Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Haunt Fans Sell Out 13th Hour Summer Scare

Haunt Fans Sell Out 13th Hour
Wharton, NJ —By Chuck Mound- The license plates in the parking lot of 13th Hour Haunted House in Wharton, NJ read New York, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, and Ohio to name a few.  Haunt Fans traveled from all over the northeast to attend the 13th Hour Haunted House and Escape Rooms Summer Scare held on August 1st, 2020 in Wharton, New Jersey.


The event was very well organized by 13th Hour Haunted House Owner Steve Bailey and his Staff. The event was well attended by Haunted House Fans as every time slot was Sold Out.  With the Halloween Season quickly approaching, many are wondering how and if Haunted Houses would be able to open. “This was a great success all around” says Bailey “We had nothing but great feedback from all of the customers and it gives us hope that we can provide a good Haunt Season during these times”


Haunt Hunters App



Guests were asked to pre purchase tickets online at 13thhour.com and select a time slot, which were offered every half hour. Time Slots sold out fast as they were operating at only 25 percent capacity based on NJ State Regulations for Indoor Entertainment Venues. Upon Arrival, guests would proceed to the Ticket Booth, which were protected by a thick plexy glass, and scan their tickets for entry. The outdoor Cue lines were all Social Distanced with 6 feet between each group while masks were worn. Hand Sanitizer was readily available as well as gloves for those guests who requested them. 


Haunter Riley Gates of Maryland, who was a guest actor was at 13th Hour playing the Fearleader, greeted the guests as they approached the ticket booth. “With the masks and social distancing rules, you have to really challenge yourself as an actor because you have to try to scare using different techniques” says Gates “It is also hard to get a read on the guests because of the masks, so you cannot see their facial expressions and you have to rely only on their body language” added Gates. Gates got your attention immediately as she would sprint towards you and at the last second would slide across the pavement using her knee pads and hand pads that would provide sparks.



Haunt Fans


You would typically start your 13th Hour Adventure at the highly popular time machine, that is a crowd favorite during the Halloween season, but was not in use for Sumer Scream 20 to avoid any clusters and to keep the groups moving through the Haunted House. The time machine provides that whole back story of the Haunted House based on the Hayden Family that is presented by award winning Haunt actor Matt Byrd, who plays Louey Lazarus. One of the big aspects that Haunts pride themselves on during the season is the amount of Actors that work inside the House, but with Covid, this game plan needed to be modified. “We cut our acting staff in half” says Bailey, “this limited the number of people inside the house at one time”.


Haunt Hunters App
Photo By Lights and Sound Media

 

You would think that this would play a major role in the quality of the Haunted House, but this was not the case. All of the actors at 13th Hour are multi year veterans who have hundreds of hours of Haunt Acting Experience and it showed. Led by acting director Christopher DeTroy the scares were around every corner while all actors in the Haunted House wore masks and practiced social distancing. Perfect placement of Animatronics with the constant audio soundtrack that seemed to pace your every step with anticipation of what was around the next corner. Each Set design was better than the next. So many new set designs for the 2020 season includes the Exorcist set, Church scene and the Swamp that uses an amazing laser effect.


Jeff Gabriele, a Halloween Enthusiast, drove from West Deptford in South Jersey to experience Summer Scare at 13th Hour. “They totally redid scenes and props” said Gabriele “they had a whole ritual scene that was great and an exorcism scene and not to mention Clowns, wasteland, creepy dolls, hillbilly butchers, monsters, marionettes and more” says Gabriele “One of the better indoor Haunts out there and defiantly worth the trip”


Just when you finish the first floor of fears, you go through 2 more Haunted Attractions called the Attic, followed by Darkness where you navigate through the Haunted maze with the lights out. Screams and Scares that provided 45 minutes of constant Halloween entertainment.


Scott Lucas Jr was on the scene as Co owner of Stay Safe Sanitizing out of Hackettstown, NJ to keep the Haunted House highly sanitized. “We have been spraying down the Haunted House every 30 minutes with Hospital grade sanitizer” says Lucas “ We use the best machines in the business that provides a misting spray that covers a larger area upon application”


The Haunt Fans that were in attendance were very respectful of the rules and regulations and went above and beyond.


13th Hour Haunted House and Escape Rooms will be entering its 9th Season in Business.  “We had a great night” says 13th Hour Haunted House owner Steve Baily, “This was an important night for the Haunt Industry to show that we can all be open while practicing the safe guidelines that have been presented”. 


For those who Fear that Halloween will be cancelled this season, you have some hope as the team at 13th Hour Haunted House proved that Haunted Houses can be open during a pandemic by following all of the safe and effective guidelines presented. 


Tapp the App on your Smartphone at HauntHuntersApp to bring the Best Haunted Attractions to your Smartphone.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Mid Summer Scare at 13th Hour

Wharton, NJ —You can say that 2020 has served up more scares than any other year in modern history. But if you are in need of some scares that are more on the traditional sense, with the feel of the Halloween season, then look no further than the13th Hour Haunted House located on West Dewy Ave in Wharton, NJ. For one night only on Saturday, August 1st, 2020 a special event called the Mid Summer Scare will provide a taste of Haunt season 2020 as they will be the First Haunted Attraction in New Jersey that will open its doors since the Covid 19 Pandemic has reared its Ugly Face.

This is a good way to see where we are at” says 13th Hour Haunted House Owner Steve Bailey, “ After being shut down for almost 4 months, we want to make sure we have everything in place for the upcoming Halloween Season” says Bailey

Haunted Attractions Fall under the category of Indoor Entertainment in the State of New Jersey. “We can operate within 25 Percent Capacity and must follow all CDC guidelines” says Bailey. 13th Hour Haunted House has taken many precautions to make the Haunted Attraction as safe as possible for both the guests and actors.

We will be cutting our staff of actors in half to limit the number of people inside the Haunted House” says Bailey. For most Haunted Attractions this might be a big issue, but over the many years in business, 13th Hour has managed to build a Haunted House with 2 floors that is packed with state of the art animatronics, props and set designs that leave customers wanting more. In fact, in 2019 Bailey added a third Haunted Attraction at 13th Hour with a Dark Maze.“This is such a good Haunted Attraction and is always one of the best in New Jersey” says Pat Regan, President of the National Haunters Association, “ The House itself is such a great attraction as it has Hollywood type sets within each room and around every corner”.

Even actors at other Haunted Attractions praise the work that has been done by Bailey. “I enjoyed the sets at 13th Hour Haunted House” says Valerie Wierzbicki, who has been a Haunt Actor for over 7 Years and currently works at the Hotel of Horror in Saylorsburg, PA. “the one room with all of the Mirrors and the floor spinning is always my favorite” added Wierzbicki.

13th Hour has re opened their Escape Rooms this past week and they have been impressed with the customers.

People get it and are defiantly doing their part” says Bailey “ We have had a lot of small groups participate in our escape rooms this past week and they all have been great in following all of the guidelines”.

Some of the other guidelines that are in place include Masks must be worn at all times. If you need a mask, one will be provided by 13th Hour. All of the Actors will be wearing masks and will be practicing 6 feet social distancing. Gloves will be available for any customer as well. Just like amusement parks and theme parks who sanitize rides each hour, 13th Hour will follow the same practices as they will be sanitizing the props and sets every hour.

Social Distancing will be practiced by the actors and is expected by the guests. Timed Ticketing for the event will help limited the number of people that are on lines to enter the Haunted House.

You can buy your ticket on line that will be Timed Ticketing with 30 minute intervals between each of the time slots. 7:30, 8:00, 8:30, 9:00, 9:30, 10:00. Totaling 6 Time Slots that will be available. For more information go to 13th Hour

Article by Chuck Mound NJassociatedpress

Presented with Speed by Chuck Mound on the HauntHuntersApp

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Arx Mortis Presents My Bloody Valentine

Arx Mortis
Arx Mortis Haunted Attraction
Killen, Alabama - Arx Mortis presented my Bloody Valentine 2020 presented by Dead Dave Designs broadcasting with Speed by Chuck Mound on your smartphone on the Haunt Hunters App. Arx Mortis Haunted Attraction will open its doors on February, 8, 14 and 15th, 2020 for a Valentines Haunt Special. Tickets are $15 and $25 for VIP. Call 256-349-9385 for more information, Tapp the HauntHuntersApp to bring the Best Haunted Attractions to your Smartphone.