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Friday, October 18, 2013

Haunted Attractions 2013 Season with New Scares and Never-Before-Seen Experiences

 
YOU’LL NEVER EXPECT WHAT’S COMING: HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS REINVENT HALLOWEEN

Haunted Attractions Prepare for the 2013 Season with New Scares and Never-Before-Seen Interactive Experiences!!!

Year after year, Americans embrace the haunted attraction season by traveling to more than 2,500 unique haunted houses, hayrides and Halloween attractions across the country. For many, attending these haunted attractions has become a cherished fall tradition for generations. This year, however, guests will be in for a spooky surprise. Gone are the days of visitors passively walking through an attraction and simply observing the action. This season, haunted attractions around the country are combining advanced technology and new tactics to create unique experiences that put attraction attendees in the center of the action.

The Haunted Attraction Association (HAA), the only official association of the haunted attraction industry, reports that haunted attractions are kicking off the 2013 season with ground-breaking events. “Not only are these not your mother’s haunts, these aren’t like any haunt you’ve seen in the past five years!” said Patrick Konopelski, President of HAA. “With innovative thinkers and modern technology behind them, HAA members have reinvented the 2013 Halloween season.”
The Ultimate Battle: Zombies vs. Humans

If you’re the adventurous type looking for a genuine haunt experience, it doesn’t get much realer than the Zombie Killer Black Ops at Saint Lucifer’s Haunted Asylum in Flint, Mich. This year, patrons will suit up in protective gear to get ready for a paintball battle for the ages: zombies vs. humans. Trained “speedy zombies” will do their best to avoid shots by humans, and only the strong will survive this intense haunt. At an affordable five dollars for 20 units of ammunition, go round for round until safety is restored to your platoon.

Breaking the Barrier

One of the most frightening aspects of attending a haunted attraction is the feeling of vulnerability that washes over when stepping inside. “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 Konopelski. To capitalize on this, two haunts in Pennsylvania are breaking down that barrier and truly engaging their patrons.

In Philadelphia, Terror Behind the Walls, located inside the massive castle-like walls of the abandoned Eastern State Penitentiary, has announced that for 2013 they are changing the rules. For the first time in the event’s history, visitors will be confronted with a critical decision: 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 occasionally incorporated into the show. They will deal with the consequences of their decision through six long attractions.

Shocktoberfest, in Reading, Pa., also has a new attraction that is sure to raise the bar in haunted houses. Inspired by the Discovery Channel hit show “Naked and Afraid,” patrons at Shocktoberfest can experience The Unknown Haunted House with zero protection through the Naked and Scared Challenge. Explore a new level of fear and choose to go through the house completely nude, or opt to keep your underwear on and go prude. Participants must be 18 years of age or older, and rest assured that this new event takes place at the end of the evening once all other customers have gone through the haunt.
Also new to Shocktoberfest this year is the engaging Prison of the Dead Escape, located in the now condemned 50,000-sq-ft. Willow Glen State Penitentiary, where visitors have a choice between keeping their role as a visitor or being transformed into a flesh-eating zombie to duke it out with their human enemies. Visitors receive a flag football belt with three flags representing your brain, heart, and entrails. The goal is to finish with one or more of these. The Zombie Experience is where the transformation begins, and once all of the undead are stationed throughout the prison, flesh-eating instincts will take over, infecting visitors with the living dead virus by capturing their flags.

This haunt brings interaction to a whole new level – patrons are warned to be on the lookout, as it is rumored that the souls of prisoners and guards who have met their death in the prison often appear.

Safety in Numbers, No More

“Attending haunted attractions in groups makes them less intimidating, less frightful,” says Konopelski. Scott Simmons, Creative Director of The ScareHouse in Pittsburgh, Pa., has tapped into this and completely taken the “safety in numbers” comfort off the map. New for the 2013 season, The Basement, located inside the haunt’s 100-year-old building, will play host to an intimate haunted experience. “Unlike traditional haunted houses, we will allow no more than two people at a time to enter The Basement,” said Simmons. Patrons will have one-on-one confrontations, crawl through tight spaces, be questioned by actors and yes: there will be handcuffs and blindfolds involved.

See Yourself Scared

Souvenir photos capturing guests screaming their heads off are no longer just for roller coasters. Edward Terebus, Owner and Operator of the Erebus Haunted Attraction in Pontiac, Mich., offers his patrons a one-of-a-kind “Slice of Time” feature thanks to the careful positioning of 45 cameras in a single room. The result is one epic, “Matrix”-style 180° image of you, in all your glory, screaming your head off.

If you’re too scared to experience a haunted attraction first hand, the House of Shock, New Orleans, La., is prepared to bring their haunted attraction to your living room with the film, “Enter the House of Shock: A Shockumentary.” Rooted in heavy metal music, this unique attraction prides itself on high levels of intensity and a festival atmosphere, which the documentary highlights. Filmed during its 20th anniversary, this “Shockumentary” offers a rare behind the scenes glimpse of their attraction.

The 2013 Haunted Attraction Season promises to be truly terrifying as haunted attractions push the envelope, and leaves us asking one thing: what will they think of next?

To find more unique haunts near you, visit HAA’s Haunt Finder online at www.hauntedattractionfinder.com

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