View Full Version : HauntCon Report
05-07-2007, 12:39 PM
Does anyone have a Hauntcon report... my reporters told me that attendance seemed about the same as last year, about 300 people went to the haunts, and for the most part vendors sold about same as any other hauntcon.
05-07-2007, 01:12 PM
Well, I would say that is probably a low figure at least for the Friday night tours which I was on. I can't speak for sales but being there was very good for MHC. We got our name out to a lot of people who were not familiar with us.
05-07-2007, 01:25 PM
I got back in last night and boy am I pooooped. I was not able to go to Hauntcon last year but I was at the Dallas one the year before. So im no help in comparison there. The crew I was with did attend last year and said it was better.
I was most impressed with the haunts. Realm of Darkness was badass! It totally took me for a surprise. The Terrified Forest was awesome too. Erebus was kickass and I absolutely LOVED the swamp area. I didnt think any of the haunts were "scary" but the fun factor was just off the charts. I give major props to all the actors as they did a fantastic job!!!
Overall, I had a blast and met a ton of great people.
If you were there and went to the costume ball.. I was one of the crazy rodeo clowns.
Oh and Empress Nightshade, it was a pleasure to meet you and hope you had a safe trip back. Im feeling fine now thanks. lol Rusty from spfx is just a madman. I think he was still at the bar when we left. Jeh Lei Masks were awesome and the nicest people. I ended up purchasing a couple of their masks and highly recommend them. I can go on and on about everyone there. It was great and come out making a few friends. Cant wait till next year when its Houston. (just a 4 hr drive from me). Till then.. see you at Transworld!
05-07-2007, 02:26 PM
It certainly was not on the level of transworld, but we were not expecting it to be.
I was at realm all day on friday and into the night as we have a lot of product there. Realm was rocking all night long, when I left at 11:45 there were still people there going through. Denise had a whole spread of homemade food, drink and desert for everyone and it was great. I think the only time i ate well all weekend was because of her. She and her whole crew went all out for this and it showed.
I missed Erebus by 10 min. but thanks to Timmer was fortunate to have the last of the Jeckel and Hyde liquor in a big tall glass with ice up on the roof. The drink was disgusting. Do not ever drink that stuff, cool name or not. Dan later told me it was meant to be a shot ( thanks alot timmer ) I left aroung 1am and got back at 2-30 ish.
Having attended 3 of the 4, and half of them as a vendor it seemed to be an ok turnout. I thought , however, that with it in michigan we would have seen a LOT more local haunts show up on the floor. Most of the people my crew and I talked to were home haunters or enthusiasts. Of the haunts that we talked to most I already knew of and had done business with in the past/present. We did get to show off our new characters and the new bloodsawz line of chainsaw blades. these were big hits.
Usually, I do not attend the costume parties but as a vendor got tickets. My one gripe No food, drinks were more expensive inside so besides the dj, lights and tables not much more except for the company. They did roll out breakfast ( waffles and syrup ) around 1 am from what we saw.
The night was fun all in all, The hospitality room upstairs was spooky in many ways but at least it had cake.
All in all, from a vendors point of view, and the type of product we sell, it was a fun time and a good social opportunity to spend time with our clients. Next time with this in mind I will attend personally but leave the product behind like Michael from ghostride did. " He's smart, he makes us strong. " ( explanation - star trek quote )
05-07-2007, 04:47 PM
My visit to HC started by flying into the airport on Tuesday the 1st. After paying a $29 dollar shuttle fee (my only negative experience the whole weekend) I rode to the Hyatt convention center. The hotel itself was nice with a fairly large mall within walking distance. Wed we boarded a bus @ 9am and an hour later stopped by Hell Michigan for a quick photo op in this quaint little town. Our 1st haunt was the Phobia house in Kalamazoo operated by Tony & Laura Gerard. The haunt is on a semi busy street and we were treated to a lights off and then on tour. The haunt is set up each year with a theme. This year the theme was serial killers and we were escorted part of the way by a FBI agent. The haunt was very good and Tony and Laura were very accomidating and gave us many hints on sets and money savings for advertising. Next up was Haunted acres in Sodus Mi. owned by Clarke Allen. This haunt was technically the smallest of the 9 haunts I visited. It is set up in 4 medium sized mobile homes. I do not believe this haunt features a lot of live actors, but rather scenes with various automated monsters, and the monsters are protected from the visitors by wire fencing. After the walk through Tony gave us a ride through his woods and explained the various scares he sets up during the season. The real cool part of his haunt had to be his Ghostbuster mobile he uses for promotion. Our final visit was Niles Haunted house and Screampark. Insane was the thought that crossed my mind as I toured this place. Imagine two huge 8,000 sf bldgs. One bldg has two haunts in it separated by a large actors area. One haunt is a traditional, the second is decorated and themed medieval. The second haunt haunt intrigued me as it kept a constant theme and also because of the “bling” factor. I collect medieval armor and swords and lost count over the number of helmets from Collectors armory or Knights edge. The second bldg is a single haunt which has a large “rules room” decorated in a kind of a MYAN ruin look. If my understanding is correct, groups are brought into the room and then the guides can bring them into the haunt via various doors to maximize throughput. We were treated to the haunts staffed and running and then on lights on tour and they allowed us to ask any questions and take photos and video! Nies park also has a large midway situated on a huge piece of land so there is many things for people to do. We then drove to a Days Inn hotel for about 7 hours of sleep. 9AM Thursday we were on the bus and then stopped by Scotts castle which is under It is owned by Scott Bredschneider. I am not sure what Scott plans on doing with this as it is basically his home er castle. I mean, it is a modern day, huge castle being constructed by him to live in with his wife. This castle has 8” thick walls and a livingroom with a 20’ ceiling. Scott explained he is a big castle fan and after having so many people suggest the place would make a great haunt, he is exploring the idea to open up his basement/dungeon for them…
Thurs afternoon found us at The Lab in Grosse Ile, a first year Haunt owned Mike and his charming wife Jennifer Bilski. The Lab, a themed Haunt that delivers some great scares. "On the island of Grosse Ile, the secret government facility known as Gen-Tech, has mysteriously gone into emergency quarantine lockdown. Your team will be sent in to find out what went wrong, and report on who or what is left alive inside." This haunt seemed VERY SMALL on the outside but was VERY good on the inside with some unique scares and detail. Scott and Jennifer were great hosts and Scott gave us a personal tour and even allowed pictures and video taping. Finally we ended up at Dr Phobias haunt Tim O’Brian a Haunted House open year long in an interior mall. I have to admit, I was fairly skeptical about this haunt, but was TOTALLY blown away with the amount of detail in this haunt. We got back to the Hyatt at about 5:00PM, enough time to grab a quick bite and freshen up for the Evening tours.
Thurs night it was back on the bus for our visit to the Terrified Forest and Manor. The Forest was my personal favorite and must easily take 30-40 minutes to walk. It is packed with many cool areas where you walk through sets and into small buildings. They also have many VERY cool automations up and is just really amazing.
The final tours were on Fri with a visit to Realm of Darkness 1st up. Imagine a huge building that might have been a Menards or similar type. I REALLY loved this haunt. 1st, the sets were AMAZING and the detail was over anything I have ever seen. The actors were all great and it was unique because the actors TALK to you. You are trying to solve a puzzle and tour a wizards realm.
After Realm we went to the legendary EREBUS. They had a metal band playing in the Q line to set the mood and after walking upstairs our tour began. What can I say but WOW! This place is huge and the bldg is enough to give you the creeps. VERY good scares, and very UNIQUE scares as well. So many scares I don’t even know where to start, but imaging walking through a huge meat grinder and you get the idea… After the tour, I pair $5 to help benefit IAHA and ended up on the roof for a couple of hotdogs and a beer.
The tradeshow floor seemed to be busy with people walking the floor every time I was there. Some great new companies that I did not see at Transworld and some of the same ones we all know and love. I am not sure how the vendors did, but I know I spent more than I had planned! Perhaps it might be a good idea in the future years to allow a bit more dedicated tradeshow time as I missed some lectures just because I wanted time to walk the floor.
Hauntcon had many more lectures than TW, and was a virtual wealth of information. I attended about 6 lectures and learned something at each one.
The Costume ball was a REAL blast with my 1st exposure to GRANNY. LOL, now I know what you all love about her. Many good times and dancing with friends and a chance to meet new friends. Free things were tossed out to the partiers and a raffle for the chance to have Eileen Dietz to come to your haunt. I bought two tickets @ $5 but unfortunately, did not win. The drinks were WAY overpriced, like $7.50 for a tiny drink, but it is a convention, so what the heck. Fortunately, I nurse my drinks so for under $20, I did not go too broke.
Speaking of the celebs, they were all great and very easy to talk to. They even ended up at the bar a few nights and just shot the bull with us. Speaking of the bar, the “chairman of the bar scene” Rusty from SPFX was as someone said, a madman and many a drink was shared with him. Perhaps another small complaint some of us had was the bar. WAY too small, and not at all like the Crowne. I would suggest trying to find a location with a large enough bar to house all us haunters or at least a large overflow area like the Crowne. Regardless, it seemed a few of us took over whatever area we could and most nights I got back to my room around 3:30AM
All in all I really did have a GREAT time at the convention. I paid around $450 for all the tours and VIP package and it was possibly THE best $450 I ever invested. I learned much more than at TW, and got a chance to see old friends, and meet new ones. There were many cool items to buy, and I got to go to 9 or so haunted houses. If you are thinking about going next year, I give this haunt a 9 out of 10 stars.
A Theater Of Lost Souls
05-07-2007, 07:23 PM
Showed up to Hauntcon friday at 630 many thanks to the registration people for staying open and getting us our badges so we didnt have to wait on saturday. We then loaded up and Headed up to Realm of Darkness and it was amazing. Didnt get to see the wizard because i cant make the right choice. The only thing was is when we were in Realm they had a scene where they trapped you inside and a guy told you what to do. NOW IM NOT COMPLAINING but the guy inside was alil rough. He made me lay on the ground and im totally cool with that and then he put his boot on me and was pushing on my back and neck with his shoe. Dont know if he will do this in the haunt or if he was doing because he knows the haunters wouldnt say anything. Then headed to Erebus and it was amazing. Partyed with everyone on the roof. The only question i had was you payed $45 when you signed up with the tour the price of Erebus was $19 does that mean Realm was $26 to get in? All the speakers were great and the tradeshow was rocking. The costume party on saturday night was another $69 bucks for music and waffles. If any of you were there and i know Derk was I was the granny with the walker. I dont know if he saw both grannys or just mine or Todds but it was really nice meeting all of you that went and hopefully see you at MHC
All in All a good show
05-07-2007, 10:44 PM
Dude, that was you? I had no idea. You are really funny!
05-07-2007, 11:21 PM
haha why thank you very much
05-08-2007, 12:14 AM
:D I thought HAuNTCON was done well by Leonard and his staff, and for as much as it had to offer in just four days (thurs, fri, sat ,sun) it was very well organized. I checked in at 5 p.m. thursday night--had a few drinks at the bar and at 7 p.m. went to the Terrorfied Forrest and Terrorfied Manor. The manor was ok, but the forrest was by far the best outdoor haunt I've ever been to. It had pine trees that were 60-70 feet tall, and there were clearings in the path without trees were you could look up the hill and see the red lights that illuminated the path you would soon be walking down (with the moon shining in the backround). It was like walking through a Universal Studios ride or a dream. The costume ball on saturday was great--it seemed that there were somewhere between 350-400 people in attendence that night. I liked the few education classes I sat in on and enjoyed teaching my own Creative Character Building class on sunday morning (p.s. thanks Tater for allowing me to put makeup on you at 8:30 a.m. and also for doing some great improv acting for my class while I got changed into my outfit for Sully the Silly Gardener). As someone mentioned earlier in a thread there did seem to be more educational classes than there were at Transworld--in my opinion definately when it comes to relating more directly to a haunter and their concerns and interests. As I get to know Leonard a little more, one thing I get from him is that for as long as he has been in this industry, he dosen't seem to have an attitude like he knows everything, and I think that is why he stresses the importance of education. For myself, I know that when I was doing my makeup DVD HAUNTING MAKEUP VOLUME ONE I learned a few things just by going through the process of putting information out there to teach others. If you missed HAuNTCON this year, do yourself a favor and don't miss it next year because each missed opportunity to learn more is a missed opportunity to grow (creatively and as a person). So, I hope to see you all at HAuNtCON 2008!
Performer/Makeup Artist / Video Producer
05-08-2007, 12:36 AM
Well, well if it isn't Geoff Beck! The man who doesn't turn on his cell phone or check his email! You post in this forum?! Wow. Hope to see you and Todd soon.
Glad you all had a good time at Haunt Con. I had a good time running amuck in DC.
05-08-2007, 01:52 AM
Many of you may or may not know this but...
The Realm of Darkness use to be my old Darkness here in St. Louis. I sold Denise my entire old Darkness minus a few things here and there...
I rebuilt the Darkness from scratch the same year, and have rebuilt it many times since. I really didn't want to let any of that stuff go but I really had no choice. It was a very detailed and very cool looking haunt.
I want to see her haunt and see what she's changed and added. I'm sure its better than ever!
05-08-2007, 10:02 AM
I thought the entire event has been summed up so I will just say it was a blast as always catching up with my friends.
Gwen..always a sweetheart, and you'll love the pic I have of us.
Chad, Timmer, Bill C., The Bad Boys, Rusty, Ron and everyone else....always a blast drinking and having some fun with you.
Ron all I can say, is 1.5 gigowatz was broadcasting live. hahahaha.
Beaker, Get your spandex...Quick to the Tat Phone.
Bodybag, your BBq was fun and I appreciate you inviting all of us there for the steak. Meat prepared by beautiful women is always a good thing.
Leonard, thank you for having RFR be the official media sponsor of the event and may next year be bigger.
Screamline...well Lazy Eye, Papi and Drunken Todd...you guys are my bud, have had my bad for almost 2 years now and its always a pleasure to hang with you and have you part of the show.
oh and Steve, hope you loved that new MHC T-shirt design.
Man, too many names too little space.
All in All, it was fun, and all my friends I will see you at MHC, Flashback Weekend, Texas Frightmare, Ironstock, Horrorfind, Fangoria.
Take it easy and rest up.
05-08-2007, 08:03 PM
Definitely had a great time hanging with all you guys!...the entire weekend was a blast, and Erebus was very cool...the IAHA party Friday night on the Erubus roof was fun, and Saturday's party at Rob's and afterwards at the hotel was a good time as well...
Look forward to seeing a lot of you guys in Novenber out in Orlando at IAAPA!
05-14-2007, 12:30 PM
Keith - Don't leave your products! lol
We spent around $5k at Keith's booth (scar Parts)- $1,000 @ Graverobbers, few hundred w/ Screamline and of course Brutal/Oak Island, few hundred w/ Monstertronics and some more - just can't recall.
If Unit 70 would have been there we would have spent more - but no luck.
Great Show as Always and it was great to socialize and catch some folks during seminars etc.
Kudos to Leonard and his crew for an exceptional event!
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