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146Episodes
Business

Haunt Weekly is a weekly podcast about the haunted attraction industry from the smallest home haunt to the largest event haunt. We talk about management, operation, tactics and more!

Episodes

Back in episode 95, we took a look at all of the major retailers in our area and their Halloween sections. Well, it's 51 episodes later and we're doing it again, throwing in a few new stores to boot.

So, with that in mind, here's a look at what our local stores have for Halloween, who disappointed us, who enthralled us and where did we spend our money? Stay tuned and all will be revealed!

This Week's Episode Inlucdes:

  1. Intro
  2. Conference Reminders
  3. We Are Going to the Lost Souls Bus Tour! (Buy Tickets here)
  4. Retail Introduction
  5. Rules for The Episode
  6. Spirit
  7. Party/Halloween City
  8. Home Depot
  9. Lowe's
  10. Walmart
  11. Target
  12. AtHome
  13. Big Lots
  14. Walgreens

All in all, it's a good wrap up of some of the nation's largest retailers and what they're doing for Halloween this year. Whether you're just a fan of Halloween or a hardcore haunter, this is an episode you do not want to miss! 

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This week on #HauntWeekly, we're talking about a group we've neglected for far too long: Yard Haunters

It's a strange omission for us. Every year we put a lot of labor into our yard display and far more people see it. However, when it comes to talking about haunting, we're all about what's inside the haunt itself, at least on the podcast.

So, we're fixing that, with a full hour discussion of yard haunts including how we build ours, some tips and tricks for others getting into it and maybe a few suggestions to improve the one you already have.

This Week's Episode Includes:

  1. Intro
  2. Conference Reminders
  3. Catching up With Yard Haunts
  4. What We Do
  5. How We Do It
  6. Common Concerns We Deal With
  7. Things to Consider
  8. Conclusions

All in all, whether you're a yard display veteran or just getting started, this is an episode you do not want to miss!

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This week on Haunt Weekly, we're doing the news and what a news week it is!

As we inch closer to haunts opening their doors we're getting a slew of announcements and other news from haunts. Sadly, a lot of those announcements are of haunts not opening this year but many others are big stories about new and creative haunts that are opening up.

So kick back and relax as we spin you through a selection of the biggest news in the haunt industry.

This Week's Episode Includes:

  1. Intro
  2. Conference Reminders
  3. Update on Last Week's Episode
  4. Fright Dome Not Opening for 2018 Season
  5. Old Joliet Prison Haunt Misses Opening Deadline
  6. Forst of Fear in Tuxedo Park, NY To Close Due to Weather Issues
  7. Six Flags Teams Up with CBS Films to Promote Hell Fest with New Haunts
  8. Knotts Scary Farm Announces Full Lineup
  9. Google Opens Free Haunt in Tokyo
  10. Terror Vault to Open in San Francisco Mint
  11. Planet Doom to Take Over Old Dr. Slaughter Location
  12. Haunted Castle Dark Ride Finally Opens
  13. Disneyland Auction Raises $8.3 Million for Charity
  14. Haunted House Advertisement Mistaken as Real Threat

All in all, this is one jam-packed episode that you do NOT want to miss!

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The New Orleans 2018 haunt season may well be the most chaotic of all time. The oldest and most famous haunt has closed, another is taking over the location and we have a brand-new scream park opening up.

Needless to say, Crystal and I are equal parts excited and nervous about the new season. We've had a relatively stable haunt scene for the past decade so this shakeup is very new to the area.

Still, we have a lot of details about this upcoming season and it's been the topic on our mind this week so we're making it the topic of this week's episode as we look ahead to the 2018 New Orleans haunt season.

This Week's Episode Includes:

  1. Intro
  2. Conference Reminders
  3. Rules of the Conversation
  4. New Orleans Nightmare House
  5. Scout Island Scream Park
  6. The Mortuary
  7. 13th Gate
  8. Rise Haunted House
  9. Impacts for Us
  10. Conclusions

All in all, this is one crazy episode that you definitely do not want to miss, even if you're not in the New Orleans area!

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This weekend, we took a trip to the Alario Center here in New Orleans to visit the Oddities & Curiosities Expo as it toured through the city. 

With over 120 vendors we went in hopes of finding some new things for both our house and our haunt. Along the way, we ran into a bunch of our old haunt friends and more than a few of our other strange/unusual buddies.

All in all, it was a trip well worth taking though we did have a few suggestions on how the organizers and the vendors could improve it for next year. 

This Week's Episode Includes:

  1. Introduction
  2. Conference Reminders
  3. Details About the Expo
  4. Our Experience There
  5. What We Got
  6. Where the Expo is Coming Next
  7. Wrap Up

All in all, if you're a fan of the odd and strange, this is one episode you do not want to miss!

 

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This week on Haunt Weekly is a bit different. Caught up in the midst of a major project that's giving us little room to breathe, so we decided to take some of the points and ideas we like to beat on and organize them into a bizarre parody of a book we've never read.

With that in mind, we present to you: The Ten Habits of Really Great Haunts.

All of this is based on things we've talked about in greater detail before but, as we're gearing up for haunt season, now is a great time to make sure that your haunt has all of these bases covered.

Best of all, all of these habits work for haunts of any size, regardless of budget. Meaning you can improve everything from your home haunt to your eventual megahaunt.

This Week's Episode Includes:

  1. Intro
  2. Conference Reminders
  3. Habit 1: Be Safe
  4. Habit 2: Have a Great Pre-Visit Experience
  5. Habit 3: Have a Great Queue Experience
  6. Habit 4: Be Actor Driven
  7. Habit 5: Have Well-Trained Actors
  8. Habit 6: Offer a Variety of Scares
  9. Habit 7: Focus on Lighting and Sound
  10. Habit 8: Don't Pad Run Time
  11. Habit 9: Have a Really, Really, Really Memorable Moment
  12. Habit 10: Focus on Being Entertaining, Not on Being Scary
  13. Conclusions

All in all, this is an hour loaded with tips and tricks, making this an episode you do not want to miss!

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This week on Haunt Weekly, it's an episode divisible by four and that means it's time to do the news.

And what a roller coaster do we have this week. Everything from a change of direction at a major haunt to a pair of cautionary tales about taking over historic buildings.

So take a break from your haunt work and actor recruitment and find out what else is going on in the haunt industry this time of year!

This Week's Episode Includes:

  1. Intro
  2. Conference Reminders
  3. Erebus Haunted House Changes Strategy, Focuses on Actors
  4. Universal Studios Announces "Carnival Graveyard: Rust in Pieces" Haunt
  5. Dracula's Haunted House in Surfers Paradise Closes
  6. Local Fire Department Uses Haunt for Training
  7. Decatur Scream Opens Up Mini-Haunt at Area Festival
  8. New Dark Ride Being Made for Minnesota State Fair
  9. Haunted Attraction in Meriden, Connecticut Put on Hold
  10. Historic Site and Former Haunt to Be Preserved in Kansas City
  11. Veterans Memorial Group Gets $7,500 from Area Haunt
  12. You'll Be Seeing Even More Pennywise This Year
  13. Conclusions

All in all, this is one packed episode that you do NOT want to miss!

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This week on Haunt Weekly, we're talking about our process for creating a scare, everything from where we get the idea to questions we ask about it all the way through build and testing. 

While this might seem like a basic topic, a lot of people in the industry, especially actors who are used to working in finished rooms, may never have gone through it. As we work to bring more people into the design process, we felt it was important to spell out our process to help us communicate both with each other and the people we work with.

On that note, let's' dive right in and talk about how we design and build our scares.

This Week's Episode Includes: 

  1. Intro
  2. Conference Reminders
  3. The Reason for the Episode
  4. Step 1: The Idea
  5. The Questions We Ask
  6. Step 2: Strategy
  7. Step 3: Design
  8. Step 4: Build
  9. Step 5: Placing the Scare
  10. Step 6: Testing

All in all, if you have anything to do with building a scare or are just curious how it happens, this is an episode you do not want to miss!

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Do you like making more money? Sure, we all do. But instead of getting a new degree from a 90s correspondence school, may we suggest something a little more practical? Making more money per customer.

Video games may have brought us the microtransaction to the forefront but they also showed us how not to do them, now the time has come for us to learn the lessons from gaming in both how to and not to upcharge customers.

So sit back as we walk you through a world of suggestions about how you can get more per customer with microtransactions.

This Week's Episode Includes:

  1. Intro
  2. Conference Reminders
  3. We Will Miss Steve Colberg (Support a Fundraiser in His Honor)
  4. A Quick Follow Up on Last Week's Podcast
  5. What is a Microtransaction
  6. Defining Microtransactions for Haunts
  7. The Last Ride
  8. 5-Minute Escape Rooms
  9. Dare to Scare
  10. Photo Ops
  11. Bounce Back Tickets
  12. Small Merch & Food
  13. Ideas We Haven't Seen 
  14. Conclusions

All in all, if you're looking to make more money per customer, this is one episode you do not want to miss!

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This week on Haunt Weekly, we're taking a look at one of the less pleasant sides of the industry: Haunt Directories.

Directories have the potential to be a very powerful tool for the industry, a way to help people find new haunts in their area or when they travel. However, our current options are, to put it simply, less than perfect.

So we're going to take a deep dive, look at some of the current haunt directories and, most importantly, what can be done to improve the situation...

This Week's Episode Includes:

  1. Intro
  2. Conference Reminders
  3. Why This is a Tough Episode
  4. General Complaints Haunt Owners and Users Have
  5. HauntWorld
  6. FindAHaunt
  7. HauntFind
  8. HauntedHouse.com
  9. HauntedHouses.com
  10. The Scare Factor
  11. Haunted House Ratings
  12. Why There is No Perfect Answer
  13. How Do We Fix it?
  14. Conclusions

All in all, whether you're an owner hoping to be listed or a user trying to find a haunt, this is one episode you do not want to miss!

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