September 7, 2015

The Halloween Season Draws Nigh: Tis Shockingly Scary

photo from rebelsmarket.com
It's that time of year again. One of the world's most lucrative industries will begin its stretch of welcoming visitors from all around the world. What am I referring to? The haunted house industry of course! Halloween season is undeniably the most lucrative season for theme parks such as Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, and just about any of them that participate in the annual festivities.

For those who've never visited a theme park or stand-alone haunted attraction in October, you wouldn't know. If you think I'm referring to the typical ghosts and goblins spooky house then you won't find many. That's for children. We're talking about grown-up stuff.

In the twenty-first century you'll find the most technologically advanced animatronics, movie quality make-up and wardrobe, and the creepiest set designs leaving anyone wondering if their experience is actually real. Haunted House developers have very creative minds to design the most entertaining haunted attractions for their audiences. Year-round they attend a variety of trade shows like Transworld Halloween and Attractions Show in St.Louis, traveling events like HauntCon, and more.

No matter where the attraction, just know it takes a lot of hard work and creative juices to bring it to life. Now that my maternity hiatus is over, yours truly (a twenty-year-plus veteran haunted house connoisseur) will be at it again. This year I'll be bringing you reviews from some of the best haunted attractions in the Southeast. Don't just take it from me.  During my annual haunted house crawls, I invite some of the bravest thrill-seekers that get to share their experiences too.

If you're new to the whole phenomenon, I'd suggest visiting a theme park first. At least there are more people around to help alleviate you from being a constant target for the scare actors. If you just want to ease into this craze and you're looking for family fun, visit Six Flags. Why?  Because children are allowed inside the park. Believe it or not, I have never visited Six Flag's Fright Fest after all these years just because of that very reason. However, this year I have decided to include it on my review list just so I can provide the best feedback for those who are interested. After all, new night crawlers should know where they should start, at least for their children's sake. 

For all others, start with Halloween Horror Nights 25 at Universal Studios. This year's haunts range from Freddy vs. Jason, to the Walking Dead, Insidious, The Purge, and many more. Though I don't normally endorse haunted attractions until I've reviewed it first, I'll share Halloween Horror Night's event overview in celebration of its 25th anniversary. Here's a link to this year's video.

photo from pichost.me

Or, if you don't want most of your scares ruined by large crowds, go to Busch Garden's Howl-O-Scream and its new tale entitled Unearthed this year. Its haunted houses include Scarlett's Revenge, Circus of Superstition, Dead Fall, and others. 

FYI, Over the years I have found that due to HHN's popularity, the park tends to be too overcrowded to really enjoy the experience. However, at Busch Gardens, you can usually get a bit more bang for your buck.

Overall, the best thing about visiting any of the theme parks is that it's a great way to see how your favorite scary movies, television shows, and sometimes your worst nightmares comes to life. The professionals that put these attractions together are usually the same people that work on movie sets.

Now that the Labor Day's festivities have come to a close I am officially scheduling my visits for this year's haunted review season. To kick things off, I'll be sharing some videos and write-ups for your enjoyment. Though I've visited attractions many attractions over the years, even to include Virginia's King's Dominion and Ashland Berry Farm, I will primarily be visiting attractions in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and Florida this year. It all depends on how much we have time for on our schedule.  If you know of any places that you like that I may have missed over the years, definitely bring them to my attention or simply have the attraction contact us. 

Lastly, I hope this will at least help you gauge where you might want to start.  Either way, just make sure you save your dollars. The cost of visiting theme parks and stand-alone haunted attractions in one season can really bust the bank. However, I hope I can help direct you to the best attraction that best suits your budget and scare tolerance.  Happy haunting!

To read a previous haunted house crawl review, click this!

To include your haunted attraction in future columns contact us at:
info@exclusiveremediesstudio.com



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