Midsummer Scream & Haunt Faire: Haunt Conventions from Coast to Coast


HaunTopic has a new episode out, covering all of the delicious details behind two Haunter conventions happening this weekend: Midsummer Scream & Haunt Faire!

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MidSummer Scream

Long Beach, California. July 30th-31st. Two fun-filled days of frights, freaks, spooks, and scares! Your ticket includes admission to dozens of presentations from creative professionals, celebrities, and influencers from in and around the horror, entertainment, and Halloween industry. Your ticket also allows you access to a massive show floor and onsite mini-haunts. The festivities list continues to grow and will be updated on their websitewww.midsummerscream.org.

We interview Rick West and David Markland, just two of the masterminds behind MidSummer Scream, and they fill your ears with many reasons why this west coast event for Haunters should not be missed. New for 2016, Midsummer Scream combines the best talent from the local California area and opens its doors to great people world-wide in the scare entertainment industry. They even have a costume party hosted by the legendary band Oingo Boingo! To read a great article on MidSummer Scream check out this one from Dread Central.

haunt faire new york

Haunt Faire

Ronkonkoma, New York. August 6th-7thA Convention for all things HAUNTED. Enjoy your Halloween this Summer with Haunted Attractions, Films, Paranormal Experiences, Guest Speakers and Greetings, and a Haunted Attraction Job Fair for those who want to meet up with some of the Professional Haunts.  Their website is www.haunt-faire.com Wander about the exhibitor room and find your macabre treasures, participate in a workshop/panel that sheds some light behind haunted attraction walls, sign up for the costume or makeup wars contest, or visit the main stage and see what entertainment awaits. Elsie Ginsberg gets on the mic and explains how Haunt Faire is different and how mixing the Paranormal with Haunted Attractions can be a real good thing.

5 Things you need to know before you attend a Haunt Convention

Halloween-Haunt Show

  • Arrive early and get familiar with your surroundings. Parking, hotel, bars, trade show, classes. Planning is key.
  • Bring extra bags. You'll collect many catalogs, products, ect. while walking the vendor floors. Some people use suitcases with wheels.
  • Stay hydrated. Bring bottles of water or a refillable one. This will also give you more energy to do more things!
  • Drink responsibly. Everyone wants to have fun, just be cool. Follow the rules in the hotels as well. Remember, that 8:30 am seminar you want to attend comes early.
  • Socialize. The Haunt Industry is BIG but it's also SMALL. You'll find we're all easy to talk to and we want to share our knowledge with you. Come say HI.

We offer a podcast app for Apple HERE and Android HERE.
Our main show feed is HERE, and our RSS Feed is HERE for your player.
Our main feed is available on iTunes HERE, Soundcloud HERE, StitcherHERE, and Speaker HERE, and even YouTube HERE.

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Haunt Design, Chicago Frights, & HAuNTcon 2017 with Leonard Pickel


HaunTopic Radio has a few new episodes out for upcoming conventions. One of which is Chicago Frights, coming up July 29-31!

Leonard Pickel, considered by many as the 'Godfather of the Haunt Industry,' fills this one hour interview with behind-the-scenes information about his Haunted Attraction Conventions and a few ways to make your Haunted House successful just by tweaking a few things that many Haunters are doing wrong.

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Chicago Frights

Chicago Frights is a great opportunity for haunters to pick up last second training, ideas and products before the Halloween season takes effect. Chicago Frights includes networking opportunities such as a huge costume party Saturday night, top-notch educational seminars, hands-on workshops and training sessions focusing on the operational needs of haunters, like set dressing, lighting, makeup, and actor training. Plus, a dealer and vendor room to buy or sell those fright products before October. Chicago Frights takes placeJuly 29th to July 31st at the Georgios Quality Inn and Suites Convention Center in Orland Park, Illinois.

HAuNTcon 2017

HAuNTcon 2017 is at the Sheraton Music City Hotel and Conference Center in Nashville Tennessee January 28- 30. The two-day pre-show haunt tour will kick off Wednesday the 25th (Haunts to be announced). The three Spotlight tours for HAuNTcon 20127 include Haunted Hell Nashville on Thursday night January 26th,  Nashville Nightmare Saturday, January 28thand Slaughterhouse January 29th. Education and trade show Friday, January 27 through Sunday, January  29th, with the all day advanced education onMonday January 30th. As always, all seminars are included in the price of the conference, and there are over 50 hours of creative, business, demo and workshop sessions to choose from over the three days of haunter education. (Workshops require a materials fee and there is an upcharge for the Monday all day advanced courses.

Haunted Attraction Design Tips from Leonard Pickel:

  • Design your rooms with your actors in mind. What is the scare?
  • Design from the Inside Out. What is the function of the room?
  • Shorten the patron's sight line to keep them guessing.
  • When using a back story, stay with the period and design around that story.
  • Attend Haunt Shows to network and share design ideas.

We offer a podcast app for Apple HERE and Android HERE.
Our main show feed is HERE, and our RSS Feed is HERE for your player.
Our main feed is available on iTunes HERE, Soundcloud HERE, StitcherHERE, and Speaker HERE, and even YouTube HERE.

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The Third Annual Haunter Horde Gathering at the Bristol Renaissance Faire

The staff of HauntedIllinois.com is proud to announce our Third Annual Haunter Horde Gathering, which will be held at the Bristol Renaissance Faire on Saturday, July 9th, 2016.  We have reserved Cotswold Commons, a private party area on the faire grounds, exclusively for Haunter Horde attendees!

During the day, there will be numerous activities, including a character creation contest, a scavenger hunt and a raffle with more than $3,000 worth of prizes from several prominent haunted house vendors!  We will also be hosting a “Dead Silent” Auction & taking donations, with all proceeds going to 501(c)(3) charities Don’t Be A Monster and Scares That Care!

This event is a great opportunity for you to meet and interact with other haunters.  While you are there, you can enjoy the festive atmosphere of the Renaissance Faire.

Haunter Horde is open to anyone in the haunted attraction industry, including but not limited to, owners / operators, actors, makeup artists, set designers & builders.  Regardless of whether you are associated with a large-scale commercial attraction or a home haunt, come on out! It is going to be a blast, so be sure to save the date!

Tickets to our Haunter Horde event are now available! Save $6.00 off of the box office price! Enter the code BRX719 into the Promo Code field for your exclusive HauntedIllinois.com discount!

Click here to buy tickets now!
So far the Haunter Horde event has 18 sponsors who have donated some amazing haunt-related products for our prize raffles (more details to be announced soon)!
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ScareLA: The First Convention Dedicated to the Spirit of Halloween

LORA Ivanova Facebook
Today we're exploring Lora's journey of founding and producing Scare Los Angeles. ScareLA  is the first convention dedicated to Halloween. Situated in the entertainment capital of the world, they celebrate the scare season traditions by giving Halloween an early start every summer.
At first, it might seem a bit odd to discuss a convention on a show about haunted attractions. However, ScareLA is a convention that is breaking conventions. In fact, beyond the presentations, classes, experiences, screenings, and other activities planned -ScareLA will be producing an original haunted attraction just for the convention.
Many of our listeners understand the difficulties behind running a haunted attraction, and Lora's story speaks to many of the same challenges: from assuming personal risk to dealing with those frequent moments of self-doubt, to building out your team and the need to create the job you want to do in this world. Lora's story is a trough of information and inspiration.


You can also listen to the episode on YouTube, Google Play, or Spreaker.


Get 20% OFF General Admission, Fear Freak, Scare Student, and Party Tickets by using the code "HANSCARE" at checkout.


Show Notes:

ScareLA has joined dark forces with two legendary haunt designers to deliver their biggest scare yet! Notorious maze master Brooke Adair Walters is responsible for some of the terrifying moments of Knott's Scary Farm's history with her work on Doll Factory, Trick Or Treat, and Forevermore. Donald Julson is the prop maker behind Steven Spielberg's sci-fi classic Minority Report and Van Helsing as well as a home haunter to be reckoned with.

This August, your path to salvation or sacrifice will depend on what choices you make inside the cold dark chambers of BLOOD OFFERING: Legend of the Iron Witch. Every visceral pulse-pounding scare in this immersive terror simulation. Over FOUR-times the size of any scare experience at ScareLA to-date!

Introduction to Makeup Prosthetics and Mask Making for Film Production and other venues
Mr. Neill, a veteran of Visual Effects and Makeup from Star Trek to GhostBusters will take you through a journey which will include life masks, sculpting, mold making, producing a prosthetic or mask from latex/foam rubber and even silicone. He will also show you how the make-up is applied and cover mask making. Websites: www.steveneillsgarage.com; www.sneillfx.net www.butsomethingisthere.wordpress.com; www.steveneill.wordpress.com



SCREENING ROOM: Rodney Ascher’s documentary “The Nightmare,” explores the terrifying phenomena of sleep paralysis through the recollections of several people who suffer from it. Cutting between various chilling anecdotes of sinister late-night visions and horrifying reenactments, “The Nightmare” manages a tricky balance of visceral fright and real investigation. It will freak you out!



SCREENING ROOM: Follow a group of people who discover the ultra-scary, psycho-sexual horror experience 'Blackout,' and develop an obsession that hijacks their lives and blurs the line between reality and paranoid fantasy. In a culture that has embraced immersive theater and interactive entertainment, the rise of extreme haunts such as the horror experience Blackout has become essential to an audience that hungers to test their limits. Rich Fox‘s otherworldly narrative-driven documentary seeks out the survivors of some of Blackout’s most intense simulations. Obliterating the line between real and imagined, this experiment dares its victims to stare into the hidden pleasures of a waking nightmare, and then it stares right back. Adult supervision advised.



SCREENING ROOM: Ten stories are woven together by their shared theme of Halloween night in an American suburb, where ghouls, imps, aliens and axe murderers appear for one night only to terrorize unsuspecting residents. Named “the best horror anthology since Trick ‘r Treat” by Fangoria, this critically acclaimed Epic Pictures film weaves together ten chilling tales from horror’s top directors. Ghosts, ghouls, monsters, and the devil delight in terrorizing unsuspecting residents of a suburban neighborhood on Halloween night. (Directors: Darren Lynn Bousman “The Night Billy Raised Hell” | Axelle Carolyn “Grim Grinning Ghost | Adam Gierasch “Trick” | Andrew Kasch “This Means War” | Neil Marshall “Bad Seed” | Lucky McKee “Ding Dong” | Mike Mendez “Friday the 31st” | Dave Parker “Sweet Tooth” | Ryan Schifrin “The Ransom of Rusty Rex” | John Skipp “This Means War” | Paul Solet “The Weak and the Wicked”)



MAIN STAGE: Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) returns with a special presentation by creative director John Murdy and art director Chris Williams. 2016 has been chock-full of exciting news for the theme park with the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a new year-round attraction based on AMC’s hit The Walking Dead, and the addition of The Exorcist to HHN’s terrifying list of nightmares-come-to-life haunt experiences. Expect the unexpected as the two creative masterminds behind SoCal’s biggest Halloween event share their most exciting 2016 scare season plans at ScareLA!



MAIN STAGE: Powerful witches will gather at ‪#‎ScareLA‬ this August 6-7! Welcome to the coven Knott’s Scary Farm, who return yet again to trick and treat fans with scary news and updates from the fog. Find out what you can expect this Halloween at ScareLA!



PRESENTATION: Only at ScareLA: The Tension Experience has Blumhouse.com “looking over their shoulder” and Dread Central declaring: “it is getting darker and stranger by the day. What happens next is anyone’s guess.”  At ScareLA mysterious representatives of the OOA Institute explain why complete submission and indoctrination into their… movement is the only true path to enlightenment.

The OOA Institute knows that you are often confused and lost in this strange and unusual world we find ourselves in these days… For the first time, the OOA will also address their detractors’ preposterous claims that they are a “cult” and include reassuring on site, guided interviews with several newly pledged OOA initiates. The Tension Experience: What Fear Aspires to Be.


MINI HAUNT: Only at ScareLA this summer, CREEP LA will preview their latest attraction ENTRY, inspired by cinematic styles from directors (David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick & Ti West) and influenced by productions like Sleep No More & Then She Fell. Experience a taste of ENTRY before the haunt season ONLY at ScareLA! “ONE OF THE CLOSET THINGS TO FEELING LIKE YOU’RE IN A HORROR MOVIE” (Nerd Reactor)

We offer a podcast app for Apple HERE and Android HERE.
Our main show feed is HERE, and our RSS Feed is HERE for your player.
Our main feed is available on iTunes HERE, Soundcloud HERE, StitcherHERE, and Speaker HERE, YouTube HERE, and Google Play HERE.


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New HaunTopic: Inside the West Coast Haunters Convention


Inside the West Coast Haunters Convention & Nightmare Factory with Ed Roberts

HaunTopic has a new episode out:
"The West Coast Haunters Convention is the longest running convention for Home Haunters, Professional Haunters, and Halloween Fanatics on the West Coast. Located in Portland, Oregon at the Lloyd Center inside the Hilton Doubletree Hotel. The dates for 2016 are April 29th through May 1st. The WCHC is at year seven and Ed Roberts doesn't plan on slowing down anytime soon.

In this episode of HaunTopic Radio, we get Ed Roberts on the Haunt Line to chat about the new things for the West Coast Haunters Convention in 2016, the projects going on at the Nightmare Factory, and how escape rooms are changing the haunted attraction industry."

READ MORE at HaunTopic Online
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We offer a podcast app for apple HERE and android HERE.
Our main show feed is HERE and our RSS Feed is HERE for your own player.
Our main feed is available on iTunes HERE, Soundcloud HERE, StitcherHERE, and Spreaker HERE, and even YouTube HERE.

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And the Home Haunt Photo Contest 2015 Winner is…

Franky-Flyer-Halloween-TemplateAND THE WINNER IS!!!!

Justin Coupland,
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada

Justin built an outstanding home haunt, with some of the most exquisite detail work we at Haunt Nation Magazine have ever seen in a home haunt. Justin's work would rival most professional haunts. It was a very tough battle and the judges had a very hard time going thru all of these amazing entries.

Here is what Justin told us about this award winning home haunt...
"This year's theme was a 'Subterranean Tale of Terror', with a Lovecraftian feel. Guests played the part of police investigating an underground cult, and had to navigate their way through a cave, catacombs, and a mine shaft, to reach the exit. We had a lot of fun making and sharing this haunt this year!"

Check out Justin's photo entries below...click on each photo to view that one larger

Because the race was so tight we had to give out two Honorable Mentions, and they go to:

  • Ron Gustinella, Restless Hollow, Austin, Tx
  • Chris Ainsworth, Thornhill Woods, Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
    Go to the "contest" page on the menu bar to view these and the rest of our 2015 entries.

A very special thank you to our prize sponsor's The Tombstone Factory for donating what I am sure will be a very kick ass Tombstone which will say...Haunt Nation Magazine's BEST HOME HAUNT 2015, they will be able to display this with pride at their haunt during the 2016 season. And also to Tom Campana of The Holiday Store and Froggy's Fog for the generous donations as well.

A special thanks again to our judges: Tom Campana, Owner, TheHolidayStore.com; Paul Hallenbeck, Halloween FX Studios; Doug Schaefer, VFX - VFXcreates.com and Bradley Alen Bamforth, Co-Creator, Return of the Living Podcast.

And finally a HUGE thanks to all of you  for sending in some very, very killer home haunt photos, you sure did make judging this contest the most difficult yet....I can't wait until 2016, bring it on!!!

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