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the live actors and moving animatronics. This is an effective way that operators can use an existing attraction, but present it in a different way.


BEHIND T HE SCENES OF T HE DARKNESS Halloween Productions opened up The Darkness, a permanent haunted attraction


close to the America’s Centre, for several nights during Transworld. Giving operators a glimpse behind the scenes, several new rooms and effects were presented including The Library, which is slated for use as an escape room experience later in the year. Using this business model, operators who invest in scare attractions can use their ‘set’ in different ways to attract different audiences when not operating as a haunted house.


GETTING TO THE HEART


OF THE MATTER Of the thousands of new props, animations and effects on offer, my favourite was the bizarre and unusual Giant Bloody Beating Heart by Decimated Designs (pictured right). Hanging over 5 feet (1.5m) tall, this animatronic prop pulsates via the aid of a motor. Although there were many other interesting animated monsters, ghosts and zombies, it is these more unique items which inspire more out of the box creative thinking, and can escalate your scare attraction beyond your guest’s expectations.


Screaming across the


Atlantic Ocean! Although the European haunted attractions industry is smaller, and known as scare entertainment, there has been a significant growth spurt in the last few years. Already this year several new permanent haunted houses have opened, including Labirinto in Lisbon, Portugal and The House of Nightmares at Grona Lund in Sweden. Author Jason Karl is the operator of Scare Kingdom Scream Park and Horror Camp Live in Lancashire, England.


grab and hold guests while simultaneously being ‘bitten’. Operated by a technician behind the scenes they are mounted on a track which allows them to move towards your guest from a concealed shadowy corner before attacking.


TOP 10 SCARES Ed Gannon, the creative brain behind many American haunts, presented a seminar


exploring the top ten scares all haunted house attractions should incorporate. These included the use of camouflage ghillie suits, drop panels, secret doors, air blasts and old-fashioned Pepper’s ghost style illusions. Scare attractions typically include a variety of scare types, but Ed’s comprehensive list covered all bases.


Decimated Designs’ Giant Bloody Beating Heart is over 5ft/1.5m tall!


ZOMBIES ARE DYING Although the zombie revolution that we have seen in scare entertainment over the


last few years seems to be on the wane, there were several companies at Transworld offering production services in zombie paintball operation, makeup and technical gear. The word on the trade floor, however, was that ghosts and the paranormal will be the next trend in haunts. You heard it here first.


DON’T MURDER YOUR MARKET ING Marketing scare entertainment is a minefield which many operators find hard to


navigate. Several American companies are now offering online marketing packages where they will develop your brand image, post to your Facebook page daily and manage your tweets. With many operators leaning heavily on the creative side, and often overlooking these important marketing activities, you can now farm out your social media management and even your media buying to specialist haunted attraction marketing firms.


GRAB YOUR GUEST S’ ATTENTION Gore Galore, one of the world’s biggest producers of scare entertainment


products, introduced a new line of actormatronic grabbers. Neither a costume nor an animation effect, these products are a mixture of both, allowing operators to


Transworld has confirmed the dates for the 2016 Halloween & Attractions Show as March 17 to 20, full details at haashow.com Jason Karl is the chief creative executive of AtmosFear! Scare Entertainment, which produces scare attractions and scare entertainment for theme parks and heritage attractions all over Europe. www.atmosfearuk.com


Gore Galore’s new ‘actormatronics’ are capable of grabbing your guests! MAY 2015 33


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