View Full Version : Haunt X for Sale

03-07-2007, 08:58 AM
Did anyone see this


What do you think?

03-07-2007, 09:25 AM
I think:

1. Running a convention is a lot of work for not much money.

2. Divorce is not something I would want to go through.

crazybob turner
03-07-2007, 12:12 PM
It goes with out saying, that anytime a major convention shuts down or is forced to let go that our industry will suffer the loss in many ways. I know that a lot of manhours and development pains went into this unique event and all the talented folks will be missed. Best wishes to all involved in this situation.

Crazy Bob Turner
Director of the Haunter's Pavilion for TWE
Auctioneer/judge/educational staff for MidWest Haunter Convention
Owner of Haunted Hydro Dark Attraction Park -Fremont, Ohio

03-07-2007, 05:53 PM
If I was going to peg this year's Haunt X failure, it would be due to several factors.

1. Scheduling: Too close to Transworld, so some vendors had to choose one or the other and would naturally choose Transworld.

2. Haunting focus: The focus seemed to be more on the cult of celebritydom and horror in general rather than on the home and pro haunters. One close home haunter friend gave me a comment the other night that Haunt X lost its focus on the very reason he was attending.

3. Celebrity reliance. 10-15 years ago, Robert Englund was the highest paid celebrity for personal appearances, commanding some 20 grand. I expect his fees would be the same, if not higher.

4. Nickel and diming to death: The website showed multiple events, dinner, casket runs, tours, each one seperately priced.

I personally feel (own opinion) that Haunt X grew too big and too fast for the local market. Wil really wants to grow it, he had a good thing going with it in his shop.

Previously as Deathfest, it was a friendly get together, a small group of home and some pros having a grand old time. Very imtimate and fun.

As the Haunt X incarnation, I think personally it had the mistake of being a destination type show without having the wherewhithal to attract the wider customer base than the local ones. This also was similar to Transworld in Vegas in the earlier incarnation and the same failure.

I would be interested to see how the points above compare for Hauntcon and MHC if they have similar target and demographics and why they are going while HauntX proved to be a financial failure. For Hauntcon, I do not know specifics, but the idea of hte show moving round various markets is quite canny, allowing a fresh audience each year, much like a travelling carnival in different towns.


John Coen
03-07-2007, 07:03 PM
I think that MWHC has quite an opportunity to blossom in 2008! With TW moving to Vegas many East Coast Haunters/vendors will find MWHC much more accessible than flying across the country. Considering that many of the main haunt companies are in Columbus or the Ohio area already, it would be easy to see it become the new TW! Just my thought. I heard vendors at TW say that when they move to Vegas their booths will downsize for flying. It would be much easier to tote your "Behemoth-like Animatronics" across town than across country! :)

03-07-2007, 07:23 PM
OK, a couple of points I can make about MHC since I have some knowledge of the show: :lol:

To Tony's comment - while I don't know Wil's financials, I can tell you that MHC proceeds very conservatively. We manage our growth and struggle with how big we actually want to be. Either way, everyhting we do is done in cautiously so we will survive and continue to be there for the industry.

MHC vs Hauntcon - Leonard does have a great thing going with moving the show. We just find it much easier to plan our show in our home town. We will never move far from Columbus.

To John's comments - Look for some changes in '08. :) We will be looking to expand somewhat (see comments above) because we do anticipate some vendors not making the trip out west. This will probably require us to change the dates to a little earlier in the year because of availability of facilities that can accomodate us. That being said, we still will not compete directly with TW. We try to complement the TW show with our offerings.


John Coen
03-07-2007, 07:40 PM
Does compliment the TW show mean there will be slot machines & showgirls? :)

03-07-2007, 07:44 PM
*using his best politician voice

Nothing is off of the table :D

Jim Warfield
03-07-2007, 09:57 PM
"Nothing is off the table?"
If your butt is on the table I demand a new, clean tablecloth before I sit down to eat!
(No Rump Roast for me!)
I can almost hear those Transworld compliments now:"Oh, Tranzy, you had the coldest snow and lowest wind-chill I have EVER felt! Nobody does this better than you!"
The prophecies say that next Jan.15th the earth is going to split in half, releasing satan's winged warriers, bringing slow, torturous death to almost everyone.
Did you say Jan.15th?
That settles it! That's when we will be scheduling Transworld then!

03-08-2007, 06:14 AM
John, ( in MY most political voice (barry)) Scareparts is currently forming a exploratory commission to look into the "showgirl and slot machine" debate here in Columbus.

As representative Schieferstein stated: "Nothing is off of the table" I would have to agree with my colleague.

John Coen
03-08-2007, 07:20 AM
I guess time will tell. It will be exciting to see what happens (with MHC)!

crazybob turner
03-09-2007, 08:14 PM
Well folks, I am not really an official person to speak about the MWH convention BUT I do know that this year ...THAT'S RIGHT... this year MWH has added a new dimension to the show with fantasy paint and air brush. Look for something even better that Las Vegas showgirls.....look for a whole new style of art and interesting presentations. Of course this is in addition to all the great haunter's educational programs...the costume ball....a Thursday haunted tour bus program which will reveal a fantasic great time at a very small cost - so that is also something you do not want to miss. Go to the website to see all the FUN things.
Crazy Bob Turner waiting to see the AIR BRUSH ART GIRLS>>>LOL

03-09-2007, 08:43 PM
I'll tell you my opinion for whatever its worth...

Wil marketed this show as a haunted house tradeshow for professional haunts, touting he had the best seminars for professionals, whatever else, while at the same running it like a horror fan show.

I think everyone was confused... is this really a horror movie show, being marketed as a haunted house tradeshow? I don't think anyone was really sure what this show was, who it was for, or what it was suppose to be.

When you look at MHC they're trying to be a haunted house tradeshow, there is no celebs, and horror booths, and all that stuff... its a haunted house event. I think Wil was going in too many directions, and not really focusing on one thing.

Lastly, I think haunters for one are getting tapped out in terms of shows and events. In the pre internet days, you couldn't have a show like MHC, Hauntcon, or any of these other things because it would have been too hard to market the event and impossible to market on a nationwide scale.

But now we have the net, and people can find people quickly and without much trouble, making any potential event just one commitment away! Someone says they're doing...off to the message boards you go to promote, promote, promote.

With anything... a haunted house, a tradeshow, anything, you really have one maybe two shots to keep your audience. People supported Deathfest last year and not this year... while MHC for example has been growing. People must like what they're doing, while not seeing the need for HauntX.

I don't see any place for hybrid shows, for example a little haunt show mixed with a little chiller show, mixed with whatever else.

You're something or you're not.

I think that was the doom of HauntX. No matter what he's trying to sell it for I doubt you'll see anyone take on the amount of work it takes to relaunch it. I give Wil credit, he wanted to do something and he did it! I think he did a great job, but he might have overestimated its staying power or growing power.

We all only have so much time, so much money and thats it we're wiped out.


The Ghoulish Gallery
03-09-2007, 08:56 PM
To expand on what Bob was saying -- last year someone did this amazing airbrush work on a topless female model. The young republican group next door didn't care for it very much but the most of the male haunter's saw the tremendous potential in this art form and were more than happy to study this unique type of art up close in an effort to memorize body art airbrush techniques. What a dedicate group of guys! By the way Barry, the room was a little warm last year. For this next show can we keep the room temp at, say, 45 degrees. Just a suggestion.

Tim @ TheGhoulishGallery.com.

(and yes, April knows that I wrote this so don't give me any grief)

The Ghoulish Gallery
03-09-2007, 09:08 PM
Where the hell did that "hello my children" come from? I didn't write that! When I just went to edit it out on the edit page it didn't even show up (but it shows as part of the original message). Any idea why this happend Larry?

Tim @ TheGhoulishGallery.com

03-09-2007, 09:16 PM
:lol: We will take that suggestion under consideration Tim! And that was Larry's censoring program at work.

I would also like to clarify the Midwest Fantasy Show that we are also running. While this show is running concurrently with MHC and shares the tradeshow, it is its own event. The MFS is NOT taking anything away from MHC in terms of class offerings or social events. It is actually adding more options for our attendees. During the weekend we will have 30 classes on the haunt side and 15 on the fantasy side. All of the great social events are still occuring along with some other exciting events including a face painting jam and body painting fashion show. So rest assured, MHC will be bigger and better than ever this year!

John Coen
03-10-2007, 02:39 PM
I like the "Hello my children" part. It says it was a special female. :) It's kind of like Ernest saying "You-know-what-I-mean?" !

03-11-2007, 06:27 PM
I agree with Larry, I think HauntX was a little confusing to everyone, haunters and horror fans.

I got a reasonable airfare, and flew out for the day to see Haunt X this year. I attended two seminars, in each the presenter asked who in the room ran a professional haunt and who were home haunters. In each case I was one of two to three who ran a professional haunt. So not a big attendance from this demographic.

As far as the horror fans, they must not have gotten it, since I attended a Q&A with Georger Romero where there were 13 people in the room. Now I don't attend alot of horror cons, however, a good friend of mine has been pretty involved with them. He told me the last show that he attended with George Romero the line was tremendous just to pay for an autograph. So definitely not a big attendance from this demographic.

I figure that he must have added the horror celebrity aspect, since he was in LA, obviously travel expenses would be next to nill to bring them in.

I have to add the Q&A with George Romero was very interesting. Also, you could tell that a couple of the people in the room were aspiring writer/directors and they were thrilled to have this opportunity.


Kevin Dells
03-11-2007, 07:01 PM
Jeez, this Haunt X sounds like Fangoria weekends.

Which was pathetic!!! Fangoria was, haven't been to a Haunt X.

What i meen by this is Fangoria with a haunt feel to it to draw two types of crowds, i can see the haunt people not wanting to stick around the typical geeky horror feind. (which i am one but would sill never dress the way some of the fans did in Chicago)
Had i been one of the celebs signing autographs, i would have had security standing next to me the whole time, these folks were just plain creepy.

Frighteners Entertainment
03-11-2007, 07:07 PM
Kevin, did I set next to you in a shuttle at one point during the weekend?

03-11-2007, 07:46 PM
Fangorias get WAY more crowded. Haunt X this year was a ghost town, aybe 400 total attendancve? Last Fangoria we had a booth, thousands. Jam packed concert venue type thing.