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89Episodes
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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

To those who are not and never have been fans of pro wrestling, it can seem silly. That's partly because it is, but, then again, so is haunting a lot of time. Just because something is silly doesn't mean it isn't also very serious.

But, most importantly, professional wrestling is both a form of storytelling and a form of acting that is easy to overlook. As an industry built on non-traditional storytelling and acting, it's worth taking a moment to see what lessons we can learn.

So, with that in mind, we take a deep dive into the world of professional lesson and what haunters can/should learn from it.

This Week's Episode Includes:

  1. Important Announcement About Halloween and Hauntfest
  2. Conference Reminders
  3. Update on the Den of Fear Haunted House Video Request
  4. Update on the Don't Be a Monster Auction
  5. Why We're Looing at Professional Wrestling
  6. Storytelling Through Action
  7. Selling a Move (or Injury)
  8. Bumping (Taking Hits)
  9. Use of Hope Spots and False Finishes
  10. Promos
  11. Hyping Up Events
  12. The Dangers of Targeting One Audience
  13. Exploring Alternate Business Models

All in all, there's a lot to go through this week so this is definitely one episode you do not want to miss!

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This week on Haunt Weekly we're doing the news and we have a lot to go through this episode!

We have tales of two break ins at haunted attractions, an update on McKamey Manor, a new and unique haunt opening up in Orlando and another merger in Pennsylvania.

Combine that with the next announcement from Universal's Halloween Horror Nights and news about a Nightmare Before Christmas sequel and you have an episode that you do not want to miss!

This week's Episode Includes:

  1. Introduction
  2. Conference Reminders
  3. Welcome to New Listeners
  4. Should Out to Don't Be a Monster
  5. Hundred Acres Manor Burglarized
  6. Cinema of Horrors Vandalized
  7. McKamey Manor Attracts Opposition in New Locations
  8. Beast of Blackwood Opening Near Orlando
  9. Ravenhurst Manor Expanding/Joining Forces with Hariss Haven Funeral Home
  10. Universal Announces Ash vs. Evil Dead Haunted Attraction
  11. Nightmare Before Christmas to Get Sequel (Sort of)
  12. Ocean City Dark Ride a Family Affair
  13. The Worst Dark Ride Ever
  14. Den of Fear Haunted House Video Request

On that note, if you're interesting in participating in the Den of Fear Haunted House video, I'm pasting the questions to answer below and the link to the dropbox to upload you video is here: https://www.dropbox.com/request/Ny3H3RgPOeUETlCLbiZo

Who are you?
Where are you working?
How long have you been haunting?
What does haunting do for you?
What do you do for a living?
What's the difference between working in a haunt and other jobs?
What are your coworkers like?
How does it feel to get a good scare?
Do you see yourself leaving haunting?
What advice do you have for new haunters?

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Most haunters are already very familiar with Raven's Grin Inn, a year-round haunted attraction in Mt. Carroll, IL. The brain child and labor of Jim Warfield, it is an attraction that is both unique and revered.

Last week, we got the chance to see the iconic haunt and it was indeed every bit as unusual an amazing that we thought it would be. But, equally awesome, Jim agreed to sit down with us and talk for an hour about his attraction, how he got started and the challenges of running a year-round haunt in a small midwest town.

Jim is definitely one of the most interesting characters we've met and this interview is easily one of the biggest honors we've had with this podcast.

So, without any further ado, here's Jim Warfield of Raven's Grin Inn talking about his 30+ years at Raven's Grin Inn. 

PS: Be sure to follow Raven's Grin Inn on Facebook and check out their store on Etsy.

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After a heavy podcast last week, we're lightening things up this week with a podcast all about web services that can you run, promote and monetize your haunt more effectively.

Best of all, these are all web services that, while very useful, aren't targeted at the haunt industry. Even better still, most are free or at least offer a free tier.

So, whether you're looking to get some graphic design help, schedule your actors, setup an online store or just organize your reciepts for taxes, we have a service that has you covered.

This Week's Episode Includes:

  1. Intro
  2. Conference Reminders
  3. Canva - Fast, easy graphic design
  4. Pixabay - Large library of public domain images
  5. Shopify - Set up an online store
  6. Squarespace - Build a website quickly
  7. Buffer - Reign in your social media
  8. MailChimp - Professional email newsletters cheap and easy
  9. TinkerCAD - Free online CAD by AutoCAD
  10. Sling - Completely free employee (actor) scheduling
  11. Slack - Free and effective group messaging
  12. Shoeboxed - Reciept/expense tracking
  13. Responster - Free surveys and analytics
  14. Doodle - Meeting scheduling made easy
  15. Esen.io - Low-cost online ticket sales

Hopefully at least some of these tools are useful to you. If you have any further suggestions let us know! Follow us and hit us up on Twitter or Facebook!

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Haunting is hard. Threading the needle between scaring someone and actively traumatizing hem is a difficult task.

However, sometimes haunts can cross the line and include scares, props and scenes that do more to offend than scare. 

While haunting is an art and no haunter should feel like they're being censored, it's also important to understand that haunt is a commercial art that must be palatable to a broad audience.

With that in mind, we're starting a conversation about certain scenes and scares that may not be appropriate in a haunt or, at the very least, can have a very different meaning to some members of your audience.

It might not be a reason to change your haunt, but it is something to think about.

This Week's Episode Includes:

  1. Conference Reminders
  2. Why This Topic
  3. A Word About Haunting as Art
  4. Hanging Scenes/Nooses
  5. Voodoo Scenes
  6. Animal Abuse
  7. Poverty Porn
  8. Woman Victimization/Sexualization
  9. General Suggestions
  10. Conclusions

If you're intersted in making haunting a welcoming place for everyone, this is an episode you do not want to miss!

(Note: Our discussion about the VR controversy took place in Episodes 44 and again in Episode 59)

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This week on Haunt Weekly, it's another "4" episode meaning that it's time to do the news!

This is admittedly a slow week for haunted attraction news but there are still a few stories of serious import including the purchase of a major haunt conference and the merger of two major costume companies.

Beyond that, we have a bill that was tanked by the inclusion of haunted attractions and an exciting new attraction in Tokyo that combines elements from both escape rooms and haunted houses.

This Week's Episode Includes:

  1. Conference Reminders
  2. Urban Expositions Purchases HAuNTcon
  3. Rubie's Purchases BuySeasons
  4. Disneyland Changes Pirates of the Carribean Ride
  5. Carnival Cruise Line Offering Halloween Events
  6. Haunted Attraction Amendment Sinks Agritourism Bill
  7. New Haunted Hayride to Open in Ohio
  8. Tokyo Attraction Combines Escape Games and Haunted Houses
  9. Donate to the Don't Be a Monster Auction
  10. Shout Out to Local Haunter in a New Movie

All of that makes this one episode you do not want to miss!

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Previously, on Haunt Weekly, we looked at haunt marketing and the questions that you need to answer with every single piece of marketing you put out. This week, we're getting a bit more holistic and looking at haunt branding. 

This week's episode is a whirlwind tour through the basics of haunt branding including what a brand is, how you develop a brand and how you expand it so that you can use it on other projects. As with the marketing talk, a lot of this can apply to any business, but we're focusing on haunts and how these principles apply to our industry.

This Week's Episode Includes:

  1. Intro
  2. Conference Reminders
  3. What is Branding
  4. The 10 Parts of a brand (Link)
  5. Branding Through the Entire Customer Experience
  6. The Questions To Answer About Your Brand
  7. Bringing it Together

All in all, if you have a haunt, work for one or just case about branding, this is an episode you do not want to miss.

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We've been spending a lot of time on haunted attraction websites and haunted attraction conference websites lately. What have we learned? That there is a lot of basic information missing from them.

To that end, we've decided to do a little bit of marketing 101 and discuss the six questions that every piece of marketing you put out must answer in order to be successful.

The questions themselves aren't that difficult but they ARE crucial and failure to answer them will hurt you with wasted marketing dollars or even turned away customers.

So let's take just a moment, study what your marketing must include and how you can answer those questions well for your haunted attration.

This Week's Episode Includes:

  1. Conference Reminders
  2. The Six Questions Your Haunt Marketing Must Answer
  3. How to Answer Each of Those Questions
  4. Bonus Suggestions on How to Trigger an Immediate Sale
  5. Tying it All Together

If you are in any way responsible for your haunted attraction marketing, this is one episoder you do NOT want to miss!

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Making a good escape room is tough. It requires days of planning, countless hours of beta testing and an endless string of adjustments and tweaks.

And we don't have that kind of time, knowledge or expertise.

However, we are avid players of escape games and, if you want to know how to make your escape game really crappy, we can tell you that real easy. We didn't even have to research how to do that.

So, on that note, here's our basic tips for making your escape room as terrible as possible including how to frustrate your customers before they even arrive and how to make sure the game itself is nothing but a ball of frustration. 

Obviously... don't do this...

This Week's Episode Includes:

  1. Introduction
  2. Conference Reminders
  3. 7 Ways to Make a Terrible Escape Game (Plus One Bonus)
  4. A Few Things Don't Matter (As Much)
  5. Conclusions

All in all, if you're looking to create an escape room, this is customer perspective you probably don't want to miss!

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This week on Haunt Weekly it's another episode divisible by four so that means we are doing the news!

And it's a surprisingly busy week for news as theme parks seem to be picking up the slack from the dead part of the year. We have news of several parks either opening or renovating haunted attractions bringing more spooks into the summer months.

We've also got updates on Netherworld, Midwest Haunters Convention and much, much more so strap in and let's discuss what's going on in the industry.

This Week's Episode Includes:

  1. Conference Reminders 
  2. Medwest Haunters Convention Held This Week
  3. Netherwold Officials Confirms Its Move
  4. Universal Studios Announces Haunt Based on The Shining
  5. Lagoon Theme Park Renovates Is Dark Ride
  6. Haunted Mine Drop Ride Being Installed at Glenwood Caverns
  7. New Haunted Attraction to Open at Cavendish Beach Adventure Zone
  8. WWE Rumored to Be Working On Theme Park with Haunted Attraction
  9. Texas Chainsaw Escape Room Heads to Clear Lake (Correction: We said Clear Lake was the setting for Friday the 13th, it was obviously Crystal Lake. We clearly had Crystal on the brain).
  10. Spookers Promo Video Goes Viral

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

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