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Show Review

Halloween is a scary

business! 10 trends from Transworld 2015

The Halloween and haunted attractions industry is huge. Latest figures from the American Haunted House Association report that it is worth between $400 and 500 million dollars annually – and that’s just in the US alone. No wonder then that Transworld’s Halloween & Attractions Show is thriving in its 20th year, writes Jason Karl


o service this ever-growing industry, the Transworld show takes place annually for five days and nights at The America’s Centre in downtown St Louis, Missouri. For two decades, the show has offered a trade show floor

where exhibitors, 239 on this occasion, showcase their brand new ranges of animatronics, special effects, costumes and props. Staged this year from March 19 to 22, the event also included educational

seminars, visits to local scare attractions and networking parties. For those looking for new ideas and inspiration in taking their own scare attraction or Halloween event to the next level, Transworld is undoubtedly the place to be. Here are 10 trends, products and things (in no particular order) that caught the eye at this year’s Halloween & Attractions Show:

BURY YOUR GUEST S One of the highlights of the trade floor was a walkthrough haunted house named

Earthquake. Incorporating several standard forms of scare, such as a quaking floor and flickering light effects, the impressive effect here was something I haven’t

These giant costumes from Gore Galore danced with attendees at the Monster Dance Party held at The Darkness during Transworld H&AS

seen in any European haunt. Known as Buried Alive, the scare unloads thousands of lightweight tennis ball sized black spheres from above, literally filling the room and burying the guest.

DIGITAL EFFECTS IN THE DARK ZONE Separated from the main trade floor, the Dark Zone showcases a range of

companies who produce animations and effects which rely on UV blacklight or projection for best effect. On trend this season are digital projection walls which allow operators to create any look on a blank wall, and change up the theme by swapping out the projected media. Whether you are looking to present a gothic mansion or a pirate ship, it’s a simpler and more cost effective way of re- designing your haunt’s look, without physically changing your set.

INT ERACT IVE HANDHELD T ORCHLIGHT Presented as an interactive haunted house, which would not have looked out of

place on a Harry Potter film set, Gantom showcased a unique new torchlight system which allows operators to pre-programme handheld torches to change colour, vibrate or blackout as guests navigate around. Simple to programme and operate, this new way of lighting your attraction means you can precisely control what guests see and when, opening a multitude of new creative possibilities.

LIGHT S OUT Located in the cellars of a nearby brewery, The Abyss at Lemp Brewery opened

its doors to present a new format in haunting. Formerly known as The Haunting at Lemp Brewery, the fright factor has been ramped upsimply by switching off the light and allowing guests to grope their way through the darkness encountering

32 MAY 2015

TerrorVisions 3D at The Darkness

was one of the attractions opened up to H&AS attendees during this year’s Transworld event

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