Countdown to Halloween with our 61-Day Hauntathon!
September 1st - October 31st we will air daily podcasts to help haunters navigate the unique challenges of this upcoming Halloween season.
Our programming includes: State of the industry check-ins with the Haunted Attraction Association and Green Tagged; Owner interviews and trip reports from correspondents around the county; haunt hacks; last minute marketing; and prop making. Finally, relax and celebrate the season with scary stories and haunt memories.
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Zombie Army Productions & HellsGate Haunted House have teamed up with the Will County Department of Health to host a Pop-Up COVID-19 vaccination site from 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 4th. Cast, crew, family, and friends can stop by for their vaccination and then enjoy games, food, and backstage tours. In an August 23rd social media post, Founder/Director of Zombie Army Productions, John Laflamboy stated Zombie Army Productions' goal is to have the majority of their paid staff vaccinated for the upcoming Halloween season. They are offering a $100 vaccination bonus to all their staff this season.
Vinyl dividers will separate guests and scareactors at Universal Studios Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights. In an effort to keep actors and guests safe as COVID rates rise in the surrounding area, Universal will once again install the dividers in "key locations" of their haunts to allow for safer interactions between scareactors and guests. Additionally, all actors will be required to wear masks. Guests, however, are not required to wear masks indoors - in keeping with the current overall policies for the Orlando resort.
Oaks Park in Portland, Oregon has canceled their annual Oktoberfest due to COVID-19 concerns. The event typically included a crowded Festhalle with singing, dancing, and lots of eating and beer drinking. In a recent press release, organizers stated that "safety precautions like wearing masks or keeping a distance are hard to enforce in the festival environment.” Organizers hope the event can return in 2022. Oaks Park will remain open for amusement rides with limited capacity during the fall season.
The Brazilian theme park Hopi Hari will celebrate a milestone with The Hour of Horror Season 20: Dejávu. Thematic elements of past years will be featured throughout the event - including "Blood Love" - a live performance of former Horror Hour soundtracks, returning iconic characters, and a continuation of the connecting storylines from the previous seasons. New for 2021 are daytime activities starting at 1:30 p.m. and a nighttime tour. COVID-19 protocols including mask wearing, temperature checks, and reduced park capacity are still in place. The event runs Fridays through Sundays September 3rd - November 28th. Tickets include park entry and are on sale now.
U.S. Haunts & Events
The Krewes of New Orleans will once again work together to create Swampus Returns, a series of events celebrating the Halloween season for the local community and visitors. The Haunted Swamp Tour Drive Through Parade allows guests to drive past performers each in their own designated "Bayou" area to show off their version of Swampus. Writers and artists will pair together to create short stories filled with clues for the Scavenger Hunt Hidden Art Game where followers can hunt for the art throughout the city. Finally, homes throughout New Orleans can participate in the Halloween House Parade by showcasing their spooky decorations for all to drive by and see. Prizes will be awarded for the best decorations. And for all of you wondering "What is a 'Swampus'?": according to their official website, a Swampus is "any character that has been living in the swamps for too long, morphing into a scary swamp monster cursed to haunt the streets every Halloween."
The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, one of the leading science centers in the country, will transform the museum into an immersive, festive, and spooky atmosphere this October with Franklin Fright. October 1st - 31st young witches, warlocks, ghosts, and goblins are invited to trick-or-treat by knocking on decorated doors in exhibits throughout the museum. New for 2021 are three live science shows featuring Dr. Victoria Franklinstein and her latest creation who will guide audiences through fun science experiments with frighteningly funny results. The event is free with museum admission.
The annual Bronx Halloween Parade will return for its 36th year on October 23rd, 2021. This year's theme is "Day of the Soul - Celebrating Our Loved Ones". The event will also feature a costume contest with special prizes for toddlers and cash prizes for Children (age 4-17), Adults (18+) and Seniors (55+).
Midsummer Scream has released the 2021 edition of their annual Southern California Haunt List. The list catalogs various Yard Displays, Walk Through Haunts, Haunted Shows, Paid Attractions, and Drive-By Haunts in six different Southern California regions. Starting on September 19th, printed flyers will be available in Phantom Halloween stores as well as other spooky businesses around Southern California. Haunters who would like to be listed can submit their attraction for consideration via a form on the website. In conjunction with the Haunt List, Midsummer Scream is hosting their 2nd annual SoCal Haunt List ScavengerHAUNT. Starting Friday, October 1st through October 31st, Halloween enthusiasts can start to visit as many locations from the 2021 Southern California Haunt List as possible and post photos on Instagram tagging @socalhauntlist and using the #scavengerhaunt2021 for a chance to win prizes. Rules and guidelines can be found on the official SoCal Haunt List website.
After pivoting to a drive-through attraction in 2020, Freeform's Halloween Road returns as a walkthrough attraction from October 1st - 5th at Heritage Square Museum in Los Angeles, California. The event has doubled the number of trick-or-treat stations from last year and will feature a Nightmare Before Christmas village and areas themed after Hocus Pocus, Ghostbusters, and The Addams Family. While last year's event was free, tickets this year will cost $37 with prepaid beer & wine packages available. Tickets go on sale September 1st and are expected to sell out quickly.
The 13th Floor Chicago will open at a new location for its eighth year of operation. The new 40,000 square foot venue in Schiller Park will house the haunt's two new mazes: Bad Blood and The Spirit of Halloween, as well as a carnival-like midway of games, photo ops, food, and beverages. The event runs select dates September 10th - November 13th. Tickets go on sale to the public on August 30th.
On the topic of new locations, have you updated your records for 2021? The Scare Factor released this fun PSA as a reminder to make sure all your information is current for the upcoming season.
Universal Studios Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights debuted first looks at this year's Specialty Food & Beverages and Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store. This year's menacing menu will pay tribute to some of the iconic characters and original haunted houses at this year's event. Universal described the menu in a recent press release, “From meat dishes sliced to perfection as a nod to the demented Leatherface to black-and-white treats reminiscent of the classic 'The Bride of Frankenstein' film, this year’s selection of more than 20 mouthwatering items is so unique, they are as much a 'must-do' as the slate of haunted houses, scare zones and shows,” The Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store also features intricately themed nods to this year's returning icons with decor and photo ops, turning the shopping experience into an attraction itself.
After canceling their Halloween season events last year, Kennywood Park has announced that Phantom Fright Nights will transform for 2021 into Phantom Fallfest. With the tagline, "Play all day, scared all night", Fridays through Sundays in October guests will be able to enjoy the park's family friendly activities during the day and the scarier haunts at night. This event will combine the previous Phantom Fright Nights and daytime Happy Haunting event for children into one celebration.
Disneyland has released a video teasing new villains coming to this year's Oogie Boogie Bash. Sid's scary doll spider creation from Toy Story, one of Cruella's signature dresses from the 2021 live action film, and a director's chair for WandaVision's Agatha Harkness appear in the teaser.
Food & Drink
Eeeek! Coffee celebrated their 1st anniversary this week. The Pittsburgh-based creepy coffee brand is created by Christalee Lema of Scarehouse. Coffee lovers can choose from horror-themed blends such as "Frankie" House Blend,"Thirteen Pennies" Southern Pecan Blend, or "Zombie Ballerina" Decaf. Seasonal blends are also offered throughout the year. You can purchase your coffee today via the online shop.
Pumpkin Spice season has officially begun in stores and coffee shops around the country. Both Dunkin' and Starbucks have set company records for their earliest rollout of their pumpkin flavored offerings. Grocery chains such as Trader Joe's and Albertsons are also starting to stock the shelves with their popular seasonal fare.
Haunter & educator Steve Koci passed away this week after being diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer earlier this year. His DIY animatronics educational videos and book, The Ultimate Guide to Animatronics, were valuable contributions to the haunt industry and will continue to inspire and assist haunters for many years to come. We at the Haunted Attraction Network send our deepest condolences to Steve's family and friends during this difficult time. Steve was an asset to our industry and will be greatly missed.
Auditions / Casting Calls:
The Dent Schoolhouse
(Cincinnati, Ohio) - August 31, September 2
Fear Factory SLC
(Salt Lake City, Utah) - August 28, September 4, 25
(Seymour, Indiana) - August 28-29
Halloween Horror Nights
(Alberta, Canada) - Apply by August 30
LA Haunted Hayride
(Los Angeles, California)
The Old Joliet Haunted Prison
- (Joliet, Illinois)
Pirates of Emerson
(Pleasanton, California) - September 11-12
(Redcar, United Kingdom)
Scream n' Stream
(Dade City, Florida) - August 28
Six Flags Great Adventure
(Jackson, New Jersey)
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Stalker Farms Haunted Attractions
(Snohomish, Washington) - August 29
Check out a list of over 25 haunts hiring in the Illinois area at HauntedIllinois.com
Want to have your listing included in our newsletter? Simply reply to this e-mail with your audition/casting information and link.
Superfans: Friends or Foe?
This week’s big news is the unveiling of Disney Genie. The service puts Disney one large step closer to the ‘park sharing’ model of peak efficiency. While the service democratizes concierge planning for every ticket holder, the lightning lane marks another set of ‘velvet ropes’ to get more spend per guest. Disney’s walls climb ever higher by adding technology and cash to the chasm. Will the service discourage passholders? How will other attractions compete? Does this kill vacation spontaneity? There’s a lot to discuss.
Watch on Youtube, Facebook, or IGTV. Listen on Spotify, Soundcloud, iTunes, or your favorite player
Haunted Attraction Association: August Update
In June, we shared the association’s new strategic plan. Well it’s been a few months, so how are things are shaping up? Coming up, Spencer Terry the new President gives us an update. Several programs are ready to go, and there’s even content available free for all haunters. Member group and website.
Watch on Youtube, Facebook, or IGTV. Listen on Spotify, Soundcloud, iTunes, or your favorite player.
Upcoming Events: September - November 2021
September 12: Creep It Real OC Expo (Santa Ana, California)
October 8 - 10: Son of Monsterpalooza (Burbank, California)
November 16 - 19: IAAPA Expo (Orlando, Florida)
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