HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS GO INTERACTIVE FOR 2015; Haunted Attractions Using Technology and Audience Participation to Raise the Fear Factor

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Haunted Attractions Using Technology and Audience Participation to Raise the Fear Factor


WINNETKA, Ill., Sept. 25, 2015 – A trend towards using advanced technology and heightened scare tactics is taking the interactive element of “Haunting Season” to a new level in 2015, according to the Haunted Attraction Association (HAA). As a result, visitors are seeking to be in the center of the action like never before as they satisfy their craving for thrills.

The HAA, the only official association of the haunted attraction industry, is seeing guest engagement as a staple of the 2015 season. “This generation is constantly looking for what I like to call ‘Participatory Entertainment.’ They like to be a part of the attraction rather than just watching others,” said John Eslich, President of HAA. “Our members are pushing the boundaries creatively with what they are offering guests this year. Incorporating engagement into the attractions is not only raising the bar, but also pushing the fear factor off the charts.”

Below is a sampling of what’s trending in terror throughout the country in 2015:


Get Out Safe

Part puzzle, part game and full thrill, this season more haunted attractions are introducing highly detailed and meticulous “escape rooms” that contain visitors into a designated area and pose them with a challenge that must be completed before freedom is granted.

Shocktoberfest, in Reading, Pa. introduces the “Prison of the Dead” Escape, an escape room experience located in a 50,000-square-foot prison-themed haunted house that requires guests to escape from multiple rooms by working together and solving a series of clues.

The creators of the 13th Gate Haunted House are presenting a new concept of interactive entertainment at the 13th Gate Escape in Baton Rouge, La., where visitors are trapped in a highly realistic series of themed rooms. With only 60 minutes to escape, they must work together as a team to explore their surroundings using logic, instinct and critical thinking to find secret passages, solve puzzles, crack codes and uncover hidden mysteries that will ultimately lead to their escape. 13th Gate features four differently themed escape rooms including The Collector, Death Row, The Tomb and The Asylum.

The Enigma Project at Hundred Acres Manor in Pittsburgh offers two horror-themed escape rooms featuring multiple levels. Hundred Acres Manor adds a new twist to the thrilling live-action game by including an “unwanted” guest in the room that visitors must avoid while solving the puzzles.


Adding Interactive Experiences

One of the most frightening aspects of attending a haunted attraction is the feeling of vulnerability. “People usually feel uneasy going into a scary attraction. They feel protected by their personal space and often try to distance themselves physically from the walls or actors,” says Eslich. To capitalize on this fear, three haunts in Pennsylvania are breaking down that barrier and truly engaging their patrons.

For the first time in 2015, Haunted Expedition in Gibsonia, Pa. is incorporating “mini-shows” into the attraction. Themed as a 1920’s town plagued by demons, guests enter the attraction and experience three mini-shows throughout the haunt. In “The Doctor” scene, participants learn about modern medicine from the town’s doctor who will do absolutely anything to help them feel better….ANYTHING.

The “Freak Show” scene features a freak that can’t take show business anymore and vents his emotions on the crowd. The grand finale occurs in the “Tavern,” where the tavern keeper quickly turns into an aggressive demon right before the guests’ eyes.

Castle Blood in Pittsburgh blends classic American Halloween with a participatory theatrical performance in which vampires, witches and monsters wait to tempt, help or hinder anyone who enters. New for 2015 in the Castle is Crow Haven, an area presenting more characters than ever before.

To celebrate its 25th season of scares, Terror Behind the Walls in Philadelphia unveiled the most ambitious redesign in the history of the event – two groundbreaking new attractions – Quarantine 4D and Break Out!  Terror Behind the Walls begins with a critical decision for visitors: should they explore the prison and watch the action, or should they mark themselves to truly interact with the denizens of the cellblocks? Those who opt in for true interactivity may be grabbed, held back, sent into hidden passageways, removed from their group, and even incorporated into the show. They will deal with the consequences of their decision through six long attractions.


The Ultimate Battle: Zombies vs. Humans

For the adventurous type looking for a competitive haunt experience, Zombie Killer Black Ops at Saint Lucifer’s Haunted Asylum in Flint, Michigan invites patrons to suit up in protective gear for a paintball battle: zombies versus humans. Trained “speedy zombies” will do their best to avoid shots by humans, and only the strong will survive. Guests can purchase 20 units of ammunition for $5 and continue to go round-for-round until safety is restored to the platoon.



About The Haunted Attraction Association

The Haunted Attraction Association, the only official association in the haunt industry, serves as the voice of the haunted attraction industry.  Our mission is to promote our worldwide network of haunted attractions including Haunted Houses, Haunted Hayrides, Scream Parks, Mega-Haunts, Halloween Festivals, Haunted Outdoor Trails, Corn Mazes, and Amusement Park Halloween Events. In addition our goal is to protect our customers through education and networking of our members.  Visit www.hauntedattractionassociation.com or call 888-320-8494.

Like the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hauntedattractionassociation and follow HAA on Twitter to see the Official Halloween Countdown at https://twitter.com/HAAHaunts.

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