View Full Version : Now THAT was a Tradeshow Pt 2

Rich Hanf
03-30-2010, 06:19 PM
OK…this is where the coffin meets the grave…so to speak

I simply can’t remember a time where I felt more friendship, more camaraderie, like the industry was coming together. Everywhere I looked were happy friendly faces…people, not companies but people who have made lasting contributions to this industry. Some by the products they display, others by just being there, but each and every one bringing something to the table. I could never remember them all but seeing people like Dave F. from Scarefactory, Bert and his wife from Mini Spotlight, Phil and Bill from Long Island, Creppy Jerry and Val from Creepy Collections, Gus from 13th Hour, Rodney Nightscream, Dave Greathouse, Rex Hamilton, Timmer and Anne Marie, Bill and Jayme from Ghostly Manor, Ben and Billy, Ed from Mid Syn, Jen and Joe from TW, Tim and Angela from Fright Kingdom, Michael and Tattoo from Nightmare New England, Randy Bates, Allen and Jill from Bennettes Curse, Eddie from N.C., Steve Kopelman from HauntedHouse.com, John Kennedy from Haunted Attraction, everyone at the Darkness (thanks Lisa Kelly), Ross Karpelman and crew HOS (thanks for letting us on the bus)…unbelievable…John Gonzo, Trey Cool, Chad Savage, Bloody Mary, so many people and this was just a few of them.

The point is that I feel like things are finally coming together. There was no better example of the spirit of the show than the HHA auction. The room was overflowing and there were quite a few really good props. The first prop was valued at $2800 from Scarefactory but it sold for $3000…and the buyer knew the value.
That was the spirit of the entire show. Haunters coming together...sharing...supporting. I couldn’t help thinking that this, more than any other time in our history was the right time for the industry to come together…to have one voice. I mean, mistakes have been made and corrected, home haunters can no longer sit on the board of either organization, benefits are in place, the two associations own their own web sites, those who once thought they were king are no longer relevant, information is the goal and the message, the media no longer goes to one self appointed leader for industry info. Things have changed and I believe we need one voice. I think the 5000 number of haunts out there is crap. I don’t think there are anywhere near that number. If I’m right we really do need to come together as one. We don’t want what happened to the Halloween show to happen to us.

Perhaps it’s time for the two Associations to merge…we can call it the IBH…the International Brotherhood of Hanf…Great Googley Moogley!!! Perhaps as an alternative it could be the International Brotherhood of Hauntng…the IBH.
All I know is that the old days are gone. Randy Bates is a strong presence as President of the HHA. If these two organizations can start talking who knows what is possible.
I do know this…I am really lucky. To be a Haunter, to have been one for so many years, and to know so many haunters like you. You guys are special and I realized that this past week more so than ever before. H

03-30-2010, 07:09 PM
Great words, Rich.

03-30-2010, 07:21 PM
Very well said Rich! Seeing you and Deborah and hanging out or working with you is always a highlight of the show for us!

For any new haunters out there reading this you should know Rich Hanf is a legend in this business. Everyone can or already has learned a lot from his experience!


03-30-2010, 08:02 PM
I agree, Rich is one of the legends of the industry, and he is a blast to hang out with! Rich, we really enjoyed sitting with you at Shane's party, and you did a great job at the auction. I was starting to wonder if you were ever going to let me win the werewolf, but I did, so I am happy! You made the auction very enjoyable to all!

03-30-2010, 10:22 PM
I'm watching your dvd's now. Thanks for the autograph and the pic. Like everyone says you are the legend. So how do I join this International Brotherhood of Hanf.

03-30-2010, 11:03 PM
Hey Rich
It was great to meet you.

Rich Hanf
03-31-2010, 07:06 AM
You guys are being waaaaay too kind with this ledgend stuff. This industry if FULL of ledgends. To me, the one true ledgend is Phil Morris of Morris Costumes. He is the one true person that started this whole thing. Phil may be the last living "Ghostmaster"...horror entertainers that would travel around the country renting out movie theaters at midnight to put on their spook shows. This was the origin of Dr. Evil!!! You can read about it in the Mark Walker book called "Ghostmasters-a look back at America's midnight Spook Shows. A must read for any haunter. Phil also put out the original Haunted House book called "How to run a financially successful Haunted House"...in the 1970's.
It is so cool to thumb through that book and see how far we have come.

Make no mistake about it. Me? I'm no ledgend, just a guy that is lucky to still be doing what I love after all these years. Phil Morris? Now that's a LEDGEND...FOR REAL. H

Allen H
03-31-2010, 07:17 AM
I got a copy of that book when I was 14! it was cool to know that there were books to help do what I loved to do. Some of the hand drawn pictures are burned in my memory.
It was great to officially meet you at this years show and a pleasure to speak on the same card as you.
Allen Hopps

Gore Galore
03-31-2010, 08:12 AM
I totally agree on so many levels. The support that was shown for the vendors and each other this year just makes me proud to be a part of this industry.
As an example, We completely sold out of t-shirts and it was for the sole purpose of sending us a message of support from our friends. The only reason I know this is that is what I was told by several people. It was nice making enough cash sales to pay for our hotel.

I also completely agree that Phil Morris is one of the main reasons Haunted Houses ever came into existence. He is a real legend.

damon carson
03-31-2010, 08:34 AM
Phil Morris is definately a legend in the haunted house business. This man has been around forever. And he loves it still to this day. Which I think is awesome! Some of you may know this but Dr. Lady did the drawings for Phils haunted house book. Pretty cool huh! Rich it was cool talking to you at your booth see ya next year.

03-31-2010, 10:19 PM
Rich, always loved the enthusiasm you always have!!

I bought the cd and a dvd from you this year, and mainly because of your character and enthusiasm.

And on more than one occassion, I have bought an auction prop for quite a bit more than I wanted to pay for it, and mainly because you're a lot of fun watching you do your thing!!

Keep up the good work and I will see you next year!!


03-31-2010, 10:46 PM
Rich, you are right. The time might be right and the right people are in and the right people are not to get the idea of one front as an industry. An industry that started as fundraisers for Jaycees in the mid 1960's near Louisville, and pursued by legends like Phil Morris to supply a need for costumes, and now has made many people very successful in many areas.

I was in the Ren hotel bar on Wed or Thurs and spotted Pat Kanopelski and Randy Bates sitting next to each other at a table having a conversation. I tried to send Randy a text about a merger rumor of them in the bar, but I didn't have Randy's cell number and it came back. So I walked over and showed my phone to them both and they got a good laugh out of it. Little did I know that the joke may become a reality as many now seem to think the same thing.

Great to see so many familiar faces. Many did not have a good season last year due to the economy and the rain. We had our share of surpirses including preemie twins just prior to the season and still beat our record attendance in the last hour of the last night we were open.