View Full Version : Strating to get frustrated at hauntcon

03-25-2007, 07:55 PM
Those of you that really know me know I a pretty laid back guy , but the Pickle is pissing me off. Here we are a little more than 1 month out and he still has a lot of missing info about his convention. No celebs are listed, and his pre haunt tour info is incomplete. anyone planning on going?

03-25-2007, 08:12 PM
Maybe he isnt getting any celebs. they are expensive and wouldnt a haunter be more interested in vendors and seminars than celebs? That is merely imho, anyways.

03-25-2007, 08:47 PM
It was just about the same last year, Ron. It is frustrating. I e-mailed him several times last year that info was missing or posted incorrectly, and he got it to me ASAP. Then it was changed on the site a couple days afterward. If it's any consolation, HauntCon was still fun!

03-25-2007, 11:19 PM
Why do you want to see "celebrities"? They are just actors playing a part. They are not the characters they play.

Jim Warfield
03-26-2007, 08:32 AM
Most celebritys are not twice as "smart" as the rest of us, it's the scriptwriters! The authors! It's that shy little person ferreted away for months or years at a time forcing themselves to write and write and re-write, pumping ideas onto a page or lap top, refining them, crafting them, then the actor gets so much credit (stolen credit) and money.
Mr. Tuxedo is my writer, he does a good job, I guess? He has his hands full just keeping his latent desires in check since he fancys himself the re-incarnated Edwardian author Sir Francis BaconLicker.

03-26-2007, 08:51 AM
No, I really don't care what celebs are there. The point is according to his site they are supposed to be there. Kind of like trying to decide if you want to go into a restaurant by seeing what is on the menu. I might not want the Crab Legs, but I want to know if they are there. Damn, now I am hungry for crab legs!!

Jim Warfield
03-26-2007, 06:51 PM
Crabs on the menu would have been better than finding them crawling in my eyebrows!

Greg Chrise
03-26-2007, 09:48 PM
I'm not into the celebrity thing. It doesn't seem there was a crowd in Dallas in 2005 at celebrity row. Like 5 or 6 celebrities with their picture behind them sitting at tables visiting with each other. With only 500 people in attendance, maybe 25 people really care for about 10 minutes each?

Over a whole weekend. It looked so sad for them to have been gotten into this. Latter there had been "problems" with celebrity demands before, after and during the event to where I can see hesitation to confirm any of them. There is always some busy schedule or something? But the contract says they get money anyhow? Or had a deposit and dont' give it back?

I could be a celebrity!

I saw a small black child with a bedazzled shirt proclaiming her to be a "local celebrity" she did not have any pictures of herself for $5 or $40.

Somewhere I read that Robert Englund gets $20,000 per appearance? This can't be right. Who does he think he is Freddy Kruger or something? I like him but not this much.

I can't help but think of how car shows are advertised, See a bay watch star and the Batmobile! Get your pictures taken with a skinny guy in a cheap Batman Costume! I have always walked past the famous models or TV star and wondered why. Perhaps it is the other way around, they are there not for the fans but to gain some fans?

It really doesn't totally fit the haunt culture but, I guess it make it sound like it really an upscale event? As upscale as a car show? Maybe they should put mirrors under the seminar speakers or put demos on big turn tables. Have a bail of chipped wood and guess which haunted house this used to be?

I have to agree that even if the signage and schedule are totally different in the real world than what was planned it is still a nice event. But, I think HauntCon's real strength is that it gathers a region of people that already know of each other as apposed to traveling across the country to be there. Some people do travel?

Greg Chrise
03-26-2007, 09:55 PM
I really like the bail of chipped wood idea. Of course it used to be a haunted house shredded while someone was visiting the celebrities. I'm not going to the celebrity booths.

Jim Warfield
03-26-2007, 11:44 PM
That ball of wood chips might have been a haunted house at one time but now it's just lunch and dinner for The Incredible Human Termite Man!"
The one man in America who definately has enough fiber in his diet!
He's got the biggest woody and all the beavers are So Jealous!

03-26-2007, 11:49 PM
Jim, you just be a chip off the old block, eh?


Jim Warfield
03-27-2007, 12:26 AM
Am I a chip off the old block? It's difficult for most to chip a diamond and it is also difficult to chip a bowl of mush. (The mush, not the bowl it's in)

03-27-2007, 07:30 AM
I agree, in fact many of the poeple at Horror cons barely qualify as celebrities anyway. I see horror fans getting fanatical over some "actor" was was in a B horror movie who's role was to scream real loud and then get "killed". Start bringing in guys like Wes Craven, Stephen King, John Carpenter and they one's who make the films. To me they are far more interesting....


03-27-2007, 08:52 AM

I may be attending this year. Hang in there a little bit longer, Honey. Don't give up on the Pickle. I'd love to see you again and maybe this time we can have time to talk about our haunt ideas.

BTW, some of the seminars have been posted. So far I'm looking forward to:

Creating a scary atmosphere with sound
By Jeff Clayton

Taking your product or Halloween event to extraordinary levels of marketing
By Scott Broad

Pneumatics 101
By Brian Warner

"Hands On" Makeup To Die For Workshop
By Bobbie Wiener

Evolution of a Scare
By Edward Terebus & James Terebus

There's also a couple on airbrush makeup which look interesting.

03-27-2007, 08:57 AM
... and his pre haunt tour info is incomplete.
The Preshow Tours info was updated yesterday. Did you see it?


03-27-2007, 09:01 AM
Hey Gwen. Yes I saw they finally posted all the tours. Have to say I am a bit impressed with the number of tours. 9-10 haunts in three days? I am seriously thinking about hitting them all! Hope you can make it.

03-27-2007, 09:28 AM
Hey Gwen. Yes I saw they finally posted all the tours. Have to say I am a bit impressed with the number of tours. 9-10 haunts in three days? I am seriously thinking about hitting them all! Hope you can make it.
I hope I can, too! :)

03-27-2007, 10:25 AM
Those seminars sound truly useful and worth going to. If they are up for sale after as videos, am going to have to order them, period. Good resources.

Greg Chrise
03-27-2007, 06:33 PM
I dunno about buying after the seminar, they sell for like $175

03-27-2007, 06:58 PM
I dunno about buying after the seminar, they sell for like $175
That's close to the cost for the entire set. If you want to purchase one DVD with two seminars on it, the cost last year was $14.00

Greg Chrise
03-27-2007, 07:05 PM
Some day I will just have to visit the Nightmare Tony Pennyworth Farthington III, Jr. Commemorative Library.

03-27-2007, 07:07 PM
Some day I will just have to visit the Nightmare Tony Pennyworth Farthington III, Jr. Commemorative Library.
LOL! I'll save a seat for ya. :lol:

03-27-2007, 09:52 PM

Greg Chrise
03-27-2007, 10:03 PM
A more fiberous diet might help that.

Jim Warfield
03-27-2007, 10:09 PM
Was it them prunes that gave him the runes?
Don't dream it, be it, be the King of your own runs! Plumb them from your undies to the cat box.

03-28-2007, 03:49 AM
A lot of vendors complain about how aweful the show is run, or how bad security for their stuff is afterhours or whatever. You know TW hires like 10 to 20 cops to secure the exhibitors equipment.

Several vendors of told me how their stuff was stolen from their product to labtop computers. Many people complain about how some of the seminar speakers don't even show up...as in NO SEMINAR!

Additionally I know stuff from haunt owners who tell me working with him on organizing haunt tours is a NIGHTMARE! Some say he didn't pay them, while others say he tells his customers one thing, maybe to get them to sign up for the tour, while the owner of the haunt says they didn't agree to this or that, then the customers get upset when the owner informs then of the rules.

Kinda like Rocky Point, Pickel says you can take pics, but in his contract with RPHH it said no pics...

In Pickels defense he's NOT a tradeshow organizer, and he's really doing these things with no staff to speak of... he's basically doing these on a shoestring budget so he can make a profit.

I don't begrudge a guy from making a profit for all the hard work, and I'm sure putting all this together is a lot of hard work, but in the end if you don't keep your vendors happy its hard to repeat your show. He's lost a LOT of vendors over the years for these very reasons.

Overall I think he's done a good job putting this together, but he has to realize he can't promise things to people and not deliver. And with his seminars he needs to pay the speakers, or give them free magazines, tours or whatever. He gives his speakers NOTHING, but charges the customers for their insight.

Bottom line is Pickel runs Hauntcon as cheap as possible, not paying for the right security, promoting the show for his vendors, paying speakers, blah, blah. I don't have the books of Hauntcon, I don't know how much it makes or doesn't make.

But as I said I give him credit for getting it going, but if its going to the next level he needs to hire a staff, and step up to the plate on these other issues otherwise it will slowly slip away!

Just my two cents... both pro and con!


Jim Warfield
03-28-2007, 07:36 AM
Maybe the business of haunting and alot of the people in it could be adding to the problems by not commiting until the last possible moment?
Maybe everybody is more this way than not?
You know what I mean? It's the last week of September , phone rings, "I want to buy that big display like I saw at Transworld", or "We paid for that last March, where is my stuff you promised?"
Too many lawns to mow, only one mower, one person pushing it.

03-28-2007, 08:46 AM
I know THAT one, Jim. Until I spent 8 months with my dad rebuilding a lawn tractor, I would spend 4 months each year mowing 2 acres of meadow. Tractor helps out MUCHO...

03-28-2007, 09:29 AM
Producing a convention for haunters has alot in common with running an haunt! ~ Smiles. It's a passion.. and madness!

We are very excited about the classes that we're offering at MHC and the workshops, and tours. Etc. The Midwest Haunters Convention has a new Hauntworld Message Board and we'll post updates there. We have lots of information on our website (Barry is always updating). Please check out the new Midwest Fantasy Show too; hosted in conjunction with MHC for additional cool classes.

It's great news for the industry and haunters is that there will be so many educational opportunities fun featured in the Midwest this year, including these shows and others in the region.

We look forward to attending HauntCon and to seeing many of you there!

Best regards,

03-28-2007, 09:52 AM

You're correct its a lot of work... at MHC you have the three of you to lien on and you all LIVE in the same city your event is in which makes it a bit easy to coordinate.

With Hauntcon it should take more work and more coordination. Leonard if he wants the event to go to a next level he's must hire tradeshow help. He needs a bigger more qualified staff with tradeshow experience.

I think Hauntcon has a future, but he needs to STOP bashing TW, in an effort to make Hauntcon look better, and make sure his vendors make money, and feel secure at the event.

If he can do these things he will be a lot better off.


03-28-2007, 11:18 AM
Thanks for your reply Dr. Frightner. We are a fearless family foursome: Barry and Kathy Schieferstein and Kelly Collins and me.

I have little idea what it must be like to do HauntCon as it is and move around states each year. A Columbus host location is enough of a challenge for us. (Boy Howdy)

We're dedicated folk. It's possible that we may have more FUN throughout the year ~ enjoying our dinners and gatherings while making conniving plans for our show! Bwa ha haa!

Best regards All,


03-28-2007, 12:25 PM
And again as a non paid endorsement, if any of you are debating on going, please treat yourself and do it!! I went last year and really did have fun and learned a lot. I would be there this year, but while you guys are having fun looking at all the scary stuff, I will be looking at something MUCH more scary: Carnies at the Winneshiek fair in Iowa!! :shock:

03-28-2007, 02:09 PM

As Neena mentioned, you can't forget the 4th VIP in MHC planning, my wife Kathy. She does all of the thankless tasks such as organizing our volunteers, handling the registration, and most importantly, handling most of the problems that occur during any event like this. During the show, she truly is the face of MHC to all of the attendees.

I really could not imagine trying to do a show without the other three people I have to work with let alone move it from city to city.

And Ron, thank you for the compliments


03-28-2007, 02:50 PM
Whoops... sorry about that. The fearsome foursome!! Yahoo!

03-28-2007, 11:25 PM
Does anyone know the average turnout at Hauntcon?

03-29-2007, 12:13 PM
sigh, sigh, sigh.

I like HAuNTcon. I like the fact it moves across the country. I don't understand why anyone would be apposed to such a concept. I'm a Michigan haunter and love the fact that HAuNTcon is now coming to the Haunted House Captial in the World. The Great Lakes baby, hockeytown, the home of rock and roll. Hundreds of years of ghost stories about farmlands, shipwrecks, Indians, and the huge battles across this great land. There is so much history and foundation for the scary stories that pass from generation to generation it is no doubt that they would creep into small neighborhood haunts, only to grow into the largest chunk of the haunted attraction industry.

It is simple. If you love haunted attractions, good people, and an all around good time, you will not want to miss out on coming to Michigan. An event like hauntcon is going to give you what you take from it. I was a speaker in Dallas, hung with my friends, met tons of amazing people, went to some great haunts, and partied down with the rest of them.

See you in Motown.

03-29-2007, 04:22 PM
I hear you Erick! I am looking forward to coming up there. I wish we could get in on the Thursday tours but that will be travel day. Erebus shoud be great though on Friday!

If our Thursday tour does as well as we expect it to, look for MHC to take advantage of the number of haunts in Ohio in years to come. We are already talking about the '08 tour. ;)

See you in Detroit.


03-30-2007, 04:44 AM
I don't have a problem with Hauntcon... we did two different stories about Hauntcon in our magazine. We also printed a press release about the event provided to me by Leonard himself. In fact Leonard had an ad in one of our magazine a while back.

The whole concept for Hauntcon was something I came up with, planned, and everything else. I did this back when I was pushing IAHA to do their own tradeshow... they thought one wouldn't be possible. I came up with basically what Hauntcon is right now... IAHA never acted upon the idea, but another IAHA member, who followed every post I wrote about the subject did... Leonard Pickel.

A year after I pushed IAHA to do the Hauntcon style event, Leonard did it himself... someone needed to do it, but I was hoping IAHA would do it. IAHA has just always failed to do anything that really mattered, just too afraid to do what needs to be done, so time and time again we see private individuals do these things themselves and prosper for doing it.

IAHA could be running Hauntcon right now, Hauntcon could have been IAHA's event, but instead a private person owns and operates this event, rather than an entire industry. Sad really!

I'd much rather see an event like this produced by the whole industry, not one person...but oh well. Better to have it run by one person than no one.

I fully understand that events like this are good for the industry, and hope everyone learns something from all the wonderful haunts that will be toured. They will be touring some really outstanding haunts!!! Good for them!

I wish everyone a good time!


Jim Warfield
03-30-2007, 05:31 PM
Usually things with a definate profit-motive for an individual seems to work better if their own time and money is invested in the project .
Infact I bet 98%of things with this mentioned criteria do work pretty good for these obvious reasons.
"I do the work, I get the rewards."
"You do the work, you get the rewards."
If something is really nobody's project, then who cares?
Know what I mean?
I invented a new valve system for car engines, I drew it up, I was only in 5th grade at the time.
Years later I discovered the same system was tried out in a LeMans racecar owned by a wealthy Saudi, maybe just a year or two before I had the idea. Not many ideas coming from 5th graders get much serious notice for some reason?