View Full Version : The 8 Track is not coming back :(

Rich Hanf
02-05-2011, 07:38 PM
I’m starting to think the 8 Track is not coming back

I don’t know how many of you out there have ever been through this, but the time has come in my life when I have to start taking it back. My life that is… The way I have chosen to begin this horrible, time consuming, dreadful, to be avoided at all cost process is to sift through my “stuff”. Like many of you I have a lot of “stuff” but being somewhat older than a lot of you it just stands to reason that I just might have more “stuff”. I began this arduous task early in the week by going through approx 35 years of music, records, newspapers, clippings and articles… not just about me but on anything that might have interested me. Much of it has to do with Halloween or Haunting.
As far as music is concerned…I’m not the jock on top of the rock with the oldies stack from the back of the rack for nothing. You name it, I probably have it. I actually have a 78rpm spooky sound fx record from RCA. How about “The Phantom of the Harpsicord” on the Lemon Label. I have all kinds of sound effects on 8 Track and as much as I hate to admit it, I am starting to think the 8 Track is not coming back.
Cassettes…there I said it. I have literally thousands of them. Being an old radio guy I have…and still do…record EVERYTHING. Need a 30year old show with Jim Morrison’s girl friend talking about how he died? I have it. I have hundreds of health shows. Need to know how to get rid of Berry Berry or the dreaded Malta Fever? I’m your man. Need to hear the original War of the Worlds? How about Larry King telling his bogus Sandy Kofax story? Need to know the origin of the Lone Ranger? You know where to turn!!! In terms of music itself, let’s just say that I have a copy of The Hadacol Boogie by Slim Willet… and you don’t. Read between the lines.
Photos we won’t even mention here. Suffice it to say that apparently I was once much younger than I am today. Nuf said…except that there are many thousands of them.
What blows my mind is the newspapers, the articles, clippings, ads, magazines, catalogs that I have saved. I have a “Life” magazine that tells how Abe Lincoln’s body was almost stolen for ransom…several times. Did you know that Oswald may not be the lone gunman in the JFK killing? Oh yeah…from John Gotti’s funeral to Son of Sam working with the Devil to the death of Bob Hope to John Lennon lying dead in the morgue to the space shuttle exploding to Cheesecake pix of Sophia Loren…you name it, I have something on it.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that an awful lot of this “memorabilia” is about the world of Haunting. OMG…video tapes, video tapes, and oh…did I mention video tapes. “Doing Fright Right”…my first video with John Denley, Leonard Pickel’s first and only foray into the world of video…and before him the #1 all time classic by Dr John Anderson who advised us that if we wanted to make our haunts scarier, we should turn down the lights (I swear to God he said that). Let’s not forget the JB Corn classic where he said that if you want to scare your customers put a black guy at a table with a knife because white people are afraid of black people with knives. I swear he said that too. All of this and sooo much more.
Which brings me to the Fabulous TRANSWORLD Speed Seminars which will be here before you know it. In addition to being your fabulous, entertaining and engaging Emcee for the entire event, I will be kicking things off my talking about The History of Haunting. Now I know what this really is. This is Jen, Ben, and Timmer all saying…Rich is old but we love him. Let’s let him talk about the old days and we’ll call it a seminar  I love those guys but as it turns out, it is actually a really good subject. I have TONS of stories…and some I can even tell. Old timers…Dr John, Drew Hunter, Joe Jensen and the AOL scandal, Phil Morris and the Ghost Masters, the very first Transworld seminar (it was an accident)…so much BUT…I want to get something going here. I want to hear from YOU. What are your earliest memories? Who were your earliest influences, what do you remember about the history if this industry?
Either follow up here on Hauntworld or drop me a line personally at Rhghoul@embarqmail.com
I think we will all be interested in our combined memories. Thanks

Be seeing you all soon…can’t wait Rich Hanf

02-05-2011, 08:00 PM
Wow! You should publish the big ol' coffee table book of haunting history with all of that stuff!!
My background in haunting started with making haunts in my parent's basement for the neighborhood kids every year. It was a dark ride in my little red wagon..I remember my mom taking me to the very 1st Spencer's store that opened in the mall to buy my black light bulbs. All three of them.. :D
JayCee's during high school after that. Very fond memories of those years..

Allen H
02-05-2011, 08:57 PM
Rich, JB corn said "if you didnt have a black guy, "you could also use a gnarly mexican" LOL
Wow Ok you need to mention Phillip Morris's book
about making haunted houses the first one..I re read it recently and its pretty dated, we have come so far. I think every haunter in the 80's and 90's had that in their collection
Terror on church st should get a nod also as they were top of the heap for a while in my opinion.
You must mention the six flags fire.
A mini history on haunt mags would be good, remember scared stiff ?
Cant wait to hear the speed seminars!
Allen H

02-06-2011, 12:53 AM
Interesting topic because in the next HW Magazine we are doing an article ... Top 10 Things that Shaped The Haunt Industry. I whipped up several things that I feel really got us right where we are now.

I don't want to give away any of my article however...

I will say a few things on the subject.

King of All Original Haunts: Spookyworld (king of haunts who made us realize just how huge this could all get)

King of All Year Around Haunts: Terror on Church Street (the original haunt that inspired haunts to think about detail.)

First ever haunted house seminar... I was there (Yeah I'm old) in Chicago.

Haunted America comes to mind and everything that went on with AOL.

IAHA nearly going bankrupt, missing money, and all the scandels that went on when Leonard and myself served as President and VP. That was wild.

Creation of Hauntcon, MHC and TW shows.

Spookyworld getting on the Jay Leno show... with Tiny Tim getting married at Spookyworld. That was huge. First time haunts made national tv sets coast to coast.

There are MANY MANY things... I remember them all.

Rich here is one for you sitting down at Fangoria show talking around a table...ouch that is a bad one I guess. LOL

You know what I remember most was when myself and many other haunt owners use to go to Fangoria shows, and Chiller shows and just hang out...that was FUN!


02-06-2011, 06:29 AM
LOL your right there have been some things in the past. Allen I still have the philip moris book. I have to say it has been fun getting haunts to this point. And we at time dont agree with everything But we all want the same thing. (HAVE FUN ON HALLOWEEN)

02-06-2011, 07:21 AM
Like most of us I did haunts in my garage and school from when I was a kid forward, but I think my first exposure to the "industry" was about 21 years ago - It was the Entreprener Magazine that did a story on Leonard Pickel, Joe Jenson, Spookyworld and Drew Hunter. I think I had the Morris book before that. I think my first Transworld was maybe 17-18 years ago? I actually was in St. Louis on Halloween and saw the first year of the Darkness sometime around then. (Also Silo X, Lemp Brewery, Terror Visions and Fearless)

There are days when I feel like an old guy but when you read a post like Rich made or you think about the Edge of Hell in KC or the Haunted School house in Akron both at 36 years + you realise that 20 years + is still sort of young!

This is going to be a great class!


02-06-2011, 08:12 AM
Everyone knows about Larry vs. Leonard but do you remember the big Larry vs Jim O'rear battle???

Jim also had a popular magazine for a while called Underground Entertainment. I think it was Underground Entertainment and Scared Stiff that took the reigns as John decided to stop doing Fright Times...

I still have many of those old magazines and it's great to see ads from companies like Stage Fright Studios, Chiodo Brothers and other vendors either not
around anymore or went a different direction...


02-06-2011, 08:30 AM
I tell the story of my first haunting experience back in 1977 whenever I hold "Boo Camp". The person that initially made me want to pursue it was none other than the late great actor, Marty Feldman.

02-06-2011, 08:40 AM
This is a great thread. When's the last time we saw a post on this forum that has guys the likes of Hanf, Armstrong, Kirchner, Bennett, and Hopps all on it? The haunt industry definitely has a colorful history and interesting people.


damon carson
02-06-2011, 09:09 AM
I remember coming to and joining this actual website, Haunt World. It had to be back in 95 or 96? I remember learning about these huge haunted houses in warehouses across the nation. I remember coming to Lemp Caverns probably before that and stumbling upon another haunt named the Darkness. I remember being blown away by this haunt and returning every year after that. I remember when Fangoria started printing stories at Halloween time and giving the Haunted House industry the exposure it needed and deserved. I had helped the local Jaycee's. Had done yard haunting and home haunting. Also helped some area churches with haunted houses. This all is what inspired me to do a commercial haunted house. Great memories!

damon carson
02-06-2011, 09:15 AM
I remember coming to and joining this actual website, Haunt World. It had to be back in 95 or 96? I remember learning about these huge haunted houses in warehouses across the nation. I remember coming to Lemp Caverns probably before that and stumbling upon another haunt named the Darkness. I remember being blown away by this haunt and returning every year after that. I remember when Fangoria started printing stories at Halloween time and giving the Haunted House industry the exposure it needed and deserved. This all is what inspired me to do a commercial haunted house. Great memories!

Jim Warfield
02-06-2011, 01:47 PM
At 61 yrs. I'm attempting to avoid "The Rocking Chair" as much as possible, I don't need my knees dislocated from all of you young whipper-snappers sitting on them!
2011 will see the 9,000th night of The Ravens Grin being OPEN for house tours..how many "seasons" is that?
Watz that smell? somebody set fire to my rocking chair? Good thing my beautiful, young Wife wouldn't give me time to sit in it or I could have been singed!

02-07-2011, 02:07 AM
Fights... the legendary ones. I wouldn't put Jim O'Rear on that league... he was not anything important he didn't own a haunt, and was more into making D movies, I say D because B looks like A compared to the movies he was doing.

Jim O'Rear and his magazine was offensive to many, and he simply sought out drama nothing more...

I never took that non-sense series. Epic battles never really happened with Pickel as many think because he didn't really post that much. Epic battles where waged with Joe Jenson and his partner and or people who followed them or us. There was others who came along who got the hammer, one guy I remember said he was going to take over all the haunts in America, there was the epic battle over starting an associatoin, which at first was being started to change fire codes to make them tougher, which I fought against, as did many others.

Those days where sorta lost until Shane came around... LOL.

People get along a lot better these days than ever before because I think after so much debate people all have a middle ground some are a bit left and some are a bit right but few are far right or left.


02-07-2011, 02:32 AM
First ill disclaim and apologize if this post rambles some...lots of memories...beein doin this stuff since '92

I remember Haunted America, and seeing Spookyworld ads in Fangoria...when Dick Smith's Monster Makeup Handbook and Corson's were the go to guides of makeup and FX, before companies like Scream Team introduced Foam Latex appliances, when Cinema Secrets/Woochie were one of the biggest booths at Transworld and the owner (Danny Stein I think?) used to hang on the Hauntworld boards posting sometimes daily. Speaking of Steins...when they were still around....I miss their colored powders!

My first Transworld experience somewhere around '96 I think, remember going and being like a kid in a candy store...when Distortions had the big island in the middle of the show...the crazy techno looking Jack In The Box animation, and the big thing was the kicking animatronic that got hung...did they even have Dark Zone back then?...been so long and I was in such awe that its hard to remember between the first couple I went to. I just remember one year the Dark Zone was 4 times its current size I think it was Little Spider company that had the moving wings the one year that was a big innovation, the first foam weapons, the introduction of the Spooky Props chainsaw. I remember when there was the Huge Halloween Productions booths which if im not mistaken the one year had the wheelchair at the top of the steps animation? Then the year upstairs when they had all the air/water cannons..the little pygmy straw shooting guys...the giant Creative Visions rock monster. I remember one year there were a whole bunch of demos just outside in the lobby of the show, like an airbrush demo with one of the original artists for AEO Studios, and if I am not mistaken a bucky skull corpsing demo by Kevin from Gore Galore...the Dragula replica, all the celebrity appearances like the Legion Of Doom wrestlers, Gunnar Hansen, and so many others.

I also remember casually getting catalogs from all my favorite makeup companies and being appalled at what the local shops were charging me for some of this stuff after seeing wholsale prices! That $36 jar of Ben Nye's fresh scab they got for only $6! So much I learned in good and bad ways! Then for likely similar reasons the makeup companies would no longer talk to me if I wasnt a magic or makeup shop...if they had extra I'd get a catalog, but no longer would I get the price lists...then they split the show in the same building going from 2 shows a year (Chicago and Vegas) to only Vegas (the first of only 2 years I didnt atten) I remember one year just to go when we couldnt afford the plane and hotel, we drove out to Chicago in the middle of the night ate breakfast in town before the show opened, power walked the floor for catalogs, went downtown for some Chicago Deep Dish, and homeade gingerale from Big Bowl, and drove home in the middle of the night passing the 24+ hour mark)....Then remember when it obviously split completely apart to now its back again. So much history there.

I then remember just going every year to see the next big thing, the Hot Seat, Interactive Scare Arcade Box, When Scarefactory got their huge warehouse in Columbus and really became a big player, When distortions went to a smaller booth and came back with the Dark Theater marionette...just in general seeing the amazing progression of innovation and technology from 96 until now...I mean going from stuff that essentially ran on washer and dryer motors to the really crazy stuff like Dark Raven's fully articulated spiders...from Morris's stalkarounds to Gore Galore's giant costumes. When the idea of airbrushing makeup was a little half booth of a lady trying to sell systems for carnival face painting. I really give Kudos to all the major players for pushing the bar and keeping this industry moving forward.

Even simple stuff like masks...I remember when SPFX Masks had a tabletop booth by the foodcourt and most everyone was scoffing at their $600+ masks...They literally had a table and their masks...to now you have CFX with a 4+booth wall of silicone masks.

I could go on for hours with the stories of where things have went through the years...all (mostly) good stuff.

Nice to pull some of that out of the memory banks!

Mike "Pogo" Hach

02-07-2011, 03:24 PM
My first TW show was 1994 and I never missed one after that. My first IAAPA show was also 1994 or 1995 one or the other... not sure.

A long time has passed that is for sure!


Gore Galore
02-07-2011, 04:04 PM
I am only 2 years behind you, believe it or not.
My second show at Transworld 1997 I think, we had the 15 foot stadium puppets, the Robot named "Cranky" with lighted eyes in the Dark Zone across from the company that had the Nefarious creature.
Nefarious did battle with Cranky, then I think later that year one of the subcontractors got their fingers cut off by a scissor mech and they went out of business since they didn't have liability insurance on their subcontractors.
Sad but true.

Greg Chrise
02-07-2011, 06:19 PM
It is taking Hauntworld just a hair longer to load to the next page as it took for an 8 track to switch to the next track. I didn't know the internet worked off of little pieces of silver and long leader tape between pages?

02-07-2011, 06:44 PM
WOW, the memories!

I remember those huge characters you had Kevin, seemed much taller than 15 feet, LOL

Been going to TW for around 14 or 15 years now, crazy how fast time flys.

Those were memorable days, both at the haunt and at the show.

Oh the stories that could be told, good times!

Take care,