View Full Version : Haunt Industry Future

03-17-2010, 10:54 PM
Couple of things... I personally have been posting and even said as much in the last magazine of Hauntworld that I'm going to take a break from all of this for a while. I have websites to work on, my own haunts (Creepyworld) to rebuild, sponsorships to sell, and I want to do some new things such as movies, and I even (shhh) might be working on a reality show. Can't comment on that right now more later...

I have done more for the haunted house industry than ANYONE KNOWS... I have fought against people who tried to take advantage of us, I stood up to people who tried to boot you out of tradeshows, I helped get us our own tradeshow, I started PR programs that no one said could be done, and I believe impacted our industry by millions upon millions of dollars, I produced TV shows showcasing haunted houses, I even saved IAHA from going under, I started this website to help educate people, give an outlet to debate, trade idea's and more.

The magazine is a money loser, but we keep doing it because I love the people in this industry, and I want to HELP YOU GROW! I push buttons for good reasons... you can do better, you can do more, you can achieve anything you want. I know it.

I won't accept a radio stations saying to you or me we don't give credit to HAUNTED HOUSES! Treat me like Coke, or Pepsi... I won't accept retailers thinking they own Halloween. I have done interview after interview with newspapers, tv shows, radio stations and I PROMOTE OUR INDUSTRY!

Finally I helped start HHA... HHA is built around dedicated haunt owners, who care about our industry. I've come to realize over the past year or so that no matter how much good you do, no matter how much things change everything sometimes stays the same. If you try to do one good thing someone comes along and makes accusations at you, tells you what a horrible person you are, makes up lies about you, slams you, trashes you, and worse.

I myself am TIRED... my hope was and still is that HHA can take the reigns and roll and be a new leader a new voice. HHA has been directed by Ben Armstrong this past year and the work he's done I can't even put into words he deserves so much and gets nothing but grief. Now people slam him for the hard work he's tried to do... I'm outraged.

I have NOT been at the controls of HHA in fact I have had little if anything to do with guiding it since it officially became a REAL association. Any current board member will tell you this... I have taken a back seat. Eric from Haunted Overload has done 100 times more than I he's one dedicated haunter. Dwayne from 13th Gate dedicates his time to manage the funds, Tim Dunne does so much I'm amazed and now we have a new President in Randy Bates. Whoops and Allan Bennett no words can say what he's meant!

I was asked to do ONE thing to build a haunt finder for HHA which we did and that haunt finder sent tens of thousands of hits to members websites in 2009 and probably many more in 2010. This was accomplished in a few short months.

I'm happy to report that HHA has their own website now with their own url free and clear of anything to do with me or my business. And even though this was done per the request of many, it doesn't stop people from making false accusations and spreading lies. I guess there is NO pleasing anyone anymore. If I help with the website I'm accused if I have nothing to do with I'm still accused...make up your mind. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will a REAL association with REAL benefits and REAL leadership although HHA has provided much of this and more already and its just getting started.

Its important to note that HW.com paid $3400.00 so that HHA could develop a new website free and clear of any involvement from myself and my business. I wanted then and I want NOW for the whole industry to wake up and stop fighting and get behind one voice to stand up for ourselves against things that stand in our way.

For these reasons and many more I myself will take a long long long vacation from this industry. My son just broke his wrist, his baseball season nearly ruined, I coach both my kids teams, Patti wants to go on a vacation, I'm stressed, I have a headache, renovation of The darkness was taxing, I'm worn out... I guess I'm old!

I will ask someone from these forums to offer to moderate them for me while I take a long long soul searching trip to where ever... I don't think there is anything left for me to do, nothing left to prove and I SUPPORT HHA the industries ONLY TRUE hope for ONE VOICE a unified one! Over the past year I sat in the shadows of HHA board and watched HAUNT owners take control and move mountains with NO help or guidance from me. I learned Haunt Owners CAN work together when they have a common goal!

There are people who are upset that HHA has been so successful in such a short time but with anything you live and you learn and then you do better! Some people would love to see it fail and will stop at NOTHING to see it fail...why maybe because I helped start it that I support it who cares. HHA is run by people who OWN haunts with unique idea's and thoughts that will help our industry in so many ways over the next few years. Nothing can stop HHA now... the membership is growing, support has never been stronger.

With the show coming up I hope you attend the HHA seminars, join them at their parties and functions and stop by their booth and thank them for their hard work and join in the fight to keep what we've all worked so hard to achieve going in the right direction. Please attend the auction and show your support and let everyone know WE CAN WE CAN WE CAN!!!!

I will continue to post here and only here. I will continue to push the envelope and I will never be far away if someone needs my help!

Just need a break! A long one!

I wish everyone a great show, I hope you learn from your experiences and I hope for those who attend our haunt tour we can provide something to you that helps you THIS YEAR grow your business!!!!

That is really the ONLY GOAL! The future of our industry is in the hands of HHA whether or not someone or group or business wants to accept it or not. Time has come to be one voice, for one cause, with one goal: Advance our Industry!

If anyone is interested in moderating this forums let me know. Doing this is a lot of work as well... LOL.

Maybe I can get Kelly Allan to do it... Paging Kelly Allan Paging Kelly Allan! Maybe Shane is interested this is his second home away from home. LOL

I wish you all the best,

03-17-2010, 11:58 PM

I feel ya man... My dad is doing the same thing from what he does. We all need a break and a vacation from time-to-time!

Just don't be a freakin' stranger!

Your asking for a MOD... well, I'll throw my hat in. I'm on here probably on here more than ANYBODY! To be honest, since my computer is NEVER shut off... it's logged into HW.com 24/7. It's your choice... but just know I don't mind helping out.

I too vote for Kelly! hahaha... See you at the show. -Tyler

03-18-2010, 05:12 AM
I just don't get it. Why does it always have to be drama in this Industry? What has happened to sitting down and discussing things like adults and laying all the facts on the table and sifting through our problems. I have grown alot with this Industry and I don't think anyone will argue that but the Industry as a whole seems to be acting more and more like a kid with back stabbing and name calling. Can we all not talk like adults anymore? Look I don't have all the answers I know Larry don't, just as Ben don't and so on but come on guys all this has got to stop. Were a family here in this Industry and its seems more and more were turning on each other like wolves!

Look at it this way has me and Larry always seen eye to eye? NOPE Will I always see eye to eye with everyone? Again NOPE? Why because I am human and we all have our own thoughts and beliefs! I myself don't claim to know everything or all the answers as I am sure Larry, Ben, John, Scott or anyone else. I myself have grown to respect each of these guys as well as everyone in this Industry and I would love to see us all unite! Can it be done? Does the Industry see what I am saying and am I making sense? Can we do this for EVERYONES BENEFIT? I know we all want the same things here come on my brothers and sisters. Shane and its do you understand me? Shane this time.

03-18-2010, 06:25 AM
A LOT of hard work has been put in to this association by some very dedicated haunters, that is 100% accurate. The HHA has and will continue to undergo changes. I can also say that when the HHA was officially formed, it was done so under good intentions for the industry. When I was asked to be on the board I asked lots of questions and wanted honest answers and based on the those answers and ideas, ambitions, and direction the association sounded like a platform I could work hard for to give back to this industry that's given so much to me.

This Association CAN and Will work to benefit the haunt industry, but as an industry YOU should get involved with this association, as well as IAHA who has also worked hard and helped this industry in many ways. There is more to an association than it's board of directors. We work hard for our membership, to offer benefits and positive PR, a voice of leadership that can speak up in times of crisis in the event one occurs anywhere in this industry. True strength lies not in a handful of people but in strength in numbers all working towards the same goals. If you want change, get involved and let's accomplish what we never thought we could as an industry. Let's get the respect we deserve, let's prove we are a viable source of quality entertainment and let's prove that WE ARE businessmen and businesswomen, more than just a hobby.

In their own way, every board member has worked many long hours establishing the HHA and setting it on a path for success. With this groundwork laid, future members can and should get involved and build on what many of us started. But at the end of the day, personality traits and industry disputes should not diminish the hard work and sacrifice that was needed to get the HHA off the ground.

Allan Bennett

03-18-2010, 10:54 AM

I know I prob don't stand a chance in getting this Mod spot...but I will throw my Hat in the ring also. Ive seen both ends of the drama...and like you I'm sick of it....But one thing we've gotta realize is this industry is founded upon acting and acting is a form of Drama. So we can never really be clear of it. Have a good time on your vacation and see you in St. Louis

03-18-2010, 11:43 AM
I sent you a email Larry.

03-18-2010, 12:26 PM

You hit the nail on the head. The fact is certain people want to do everything they can to cause problems, HHA starts to take off like a rocket and certain people start to fear it... why?

Makes no sense. One person complains about the website, so we get another one per their request no they have nothing to bitch about but they make up something new. Its a never ending story here in the haunt industry.

No one is every happy EVER!

As I like to say 'As the Haunt Turns'.

But I need a long long break from being the focal point of everyones knives, claws, accusations, lies and more.


03-18-2010, 12:38 PM
Sounds like a great challenge to whoever takes the reigns, as for myself, after I am 100% again I do plan on charging full speed ahead in doing everything I can to help make this industry the best it can be!

I've worked in 5 different industries throughout my life so far & I TRUELY believe that we have the best HERE! I've NEVER had so much fun with any other job, and with all the hauling around of 2x4's & plywood to build something special & helping to set in place some at times VERY heavy-ass props is well worth it to me in the end. The look I see on people's faces as they start on their self-guided tour & as they exit the building makes me feel so good & very accomplished.
I will put my heart & soul into this industry even more SOON!


The Nightmare Factory
03-18-2010, 12:43 PM
Not sure what to tell you Larry, other than you need to do what 's best for you and your family and your business.

Not knowing the whole story, I don't want to make any assumtions, I'll just say that I have noticed there are a lot of people here with some very one sided opinions of how things need to be done and arguing on an internet forum gets you no where.

Maybe it's time to take a break, I did, I took two years away, and came back with a fresh look on the haunt.

Maybe the HHA, and again I have no affiliation here, needs to take a look at how other assn. like IAAPA run things? I would have no idea how to go about setting up and running an assn like this!

In closing, No two haunters do 'it' the same, it would be boring if we did. The vast differances in our haunts is what makes this industry so much fun! Yes, you will see many of the same props in your local haunted attraction, but it's how we each set up our haunts, how we envision the event, and how we pull it off that makes us each unique. We each need to keep our individual flavors no one like just one size fits all.


03-18-2010, 02:55 PM
Everyone on the board of the HHA has put their heart and souls into setting this thing up for the future. Pete from Niles Haunted House did an outstanding job with all the mountains of legal work needed to get started on the right foot. I had no idea about bylaws and what their future implications could be until becoming involved in this process. I see now how important it is to get them right the first time by how many revisions we went through. Ben was the best president anyone could ask for to start something like this up. Randy will take up where he left off and do an awesome job.

Haunting is a tough business. I sometimes wish I could just go back to home haunting when it was all just fun and games. Since I have worked so hard to make it into a business I see the need for an organization like the HHA more than ever.

Everything was going great with the haunt and now in the blink of an eye I find myself without a location for this coming season. Just found out a few weeks ago. It was a huge blow because of the work that went into it and the momentum we had there.

I already have leads on new locations and one looks extremely promising and even better than the last. I'll keep everyone posted.

Anyway, having the HHA working hard for the industry is something that is very positive and can only get better from here. Anything that helps raise awareness about haunts in general like the HHA is a help to us all. You can never please everybody, all you can do is your best.

Larry, have fun on your break, I'm looking forward to the Darkness tour.


chuck weber
03-18-2010, 03:19 PM
Take a much needed break. I hope your son is feeling better. Enjoy your kids while they and you are still young. (you'll never get these precious times back) Take your vacation. All of this haunted stuff will still be here when you get back. If not for you, this industry would never have come this far. You are the true pioneer of the entire haunt imdustry. Thank god for you and your visions and your talents. Enjoy a much needed break, my friend. Chuck Weber (Halloween Productions fan and supporter since 1995)

03-18-2010, 04:19 PM
I am a junior member who probably should just keep my mouth shut...but thats not me. Take a break dude. It is the same way on board of directors for national farm organizations. A break does wonders.

Raycliff Manor
03-19-2010, 09:43 AM
Larry, sorry I missed your post. We've been extremely busy preparing for this weekend's Ghouls Gone Wild event at Raycliff Manor. But I don't need to tell you about being busy! I'm flattered that you would consider me as a moderator for the forums, but like you, I'm also putting a great deal of energy into an additional passion of mine, writing. I'm actually about half way finished with a book I'm working on, which really isn't related to the haunt industry. The book is one of a spiritual nature, not religious. At any rate, I've been compelled to put a great deal of focus in that direction and I am trying to dedicate as much time as possible to it. Of course I'm still focused on the Raycliff Attractions and maintaining a vision there as well, until the universe and my spirit tell me otherwise. ;) I wish you the best in your time of retreat and rest my friend. May it bring you renewed strength and take you to new heights in vision, understanding and experience!:)