View Full Version : Columbia Haunt Tour GETTING SCREWED?

01-06-2009, 11:07 PM
Our haunt tour is set for Friday March 27. Transworld has called me on several occasions and asked me on behalf of IAHA to change the date so it did not interfier with the IAHA awards banquet. Transworld told me they could not sponsor our tour because of contractual obligations that forbid them from promoting anything other than the IAHA banquet. Heres the problem I have with this. I am a haunt owner this is OUR show. I have been to every show in Chicago since 1996. Have I ever been to ANY awards banquet ? NO! Party? NO! Never been nor do I care to go. I am there to buy haunt products and go to seminars to learn how to make my business grow. Do I go to haunted houses while I am there? YES!!!

I looked forward to going to Dreamreapers and the others EVERY year. This is where we learn and get ideas from each other. The average haunter doesnt have time to journey out across the country to see other haunts while the season is open. That is one reason we decided to open Fearfest and Necropolis for a tour. The Darkness is a great haunt but why not add more . Give the St Louis show a haunt to go to every night for entertainment. Now, here lies the problem... IAHA is limiting their attendance to the banquet to the first 200 people per Tim from IAHA.

I dont understand why if there is going to be THOUSANDS of HAUNTERS in St. Louis for the convention and they are ONLY allowing 200 people into their event then why wont they let Transworld promote our tour. I asked Jenn from Transworld this exact question and she said she would call me tomorrow after she talked to tim from IAHA. That was 2 days ago and no call yet! I dont mean to stir the pot but I think this is a load of crap! We are haunters and want to see haunts!!! I dont care who gets an award for what. What do you learn? Nothing!

These conventions are a rare time for us as haunters to gather in one spot and teach each other the howto's about haunting! IAHA wants members? well theyre not getting my membership! YOU DONT SUPPORT MY HAUNT WHY SHOULD I SUPPORT YOU? The HHA has my vote! If they cant get 200 people to go to their banquet then I think it is obvious that no one wants to go. When there are only 200 people that can attend IAHAs banquet. What are the other several thousand haunters going to do for entertainment? Can't there be more than one option? This contractual obligation makes no sense. Our tour WILL happen with or without Transworld and IAHA's approval!! If your like me the tour is a learning experience you wont want to miss. Transworld says our busses cant pick up at the convention center. Its PUBLIC property oh yes they can!! Why can't they sponsor both events? We have great sponsors for this tour Hauntworld, HHA, Rogues hollow and Click N Print. They are sponsoring us so why not Transworld? If the IAHA wants to increase its membership they sure have a funny way of showing it! Thousands will be there but only 200 get to go but nope you cant promote anything else because we said so! Hmmm You do the math and tell me whats wrong with this picture.Why are they trying so hard to prevent this haunt tour from happening? Is this just another way for Transworld to screw the haunters? Or is it the IAHA?

01-07-2009, 01:30 AM
Yes very very frustrating. I must agree with you 110%... you can't learn anything about your business at some awards banquet, or a party if that is what it is and some turkey sandwich.

I have stressed to VENDORS over the past few weks the importance of going to haunted houses and seeing them in person. Hey I would love to visit a ton of haunted houses in October but its not easy.

When you look at what MHC has lined up we're talking multiple tours. When we see what Hauntcon is planning what 6 to 8 different haunted houses... and Transworld doesn't want you to open or IAHA doesn't want you to open that is just outragous.

I personally told Transworld and the entire advisory board for this show that HAUNTERS PREFER visiting haunts over things like something like this... people have come together from all over the country, and in some cases all over the World. They come to BUY NEW STUFF, TALK BUSINESS, LEARN NEW THINGS and SEE HAUNTS.


The President of IAHA wanted to get their own tour going in St. Louis, and I was told to try to damage the Darkness tour. They called around to see if there was any haunts to tour, and in fact thought about a BUS TOUR TO BRANSON to compete with our tour.

So somehow that is OKAY... but you guys doing a tour is NOT?

Also IAHA actually put TW up to asking me if I would MOVE my haunt tour to Friday so they could have their party on Saturday. Then other people on behalf of IAHA called me asked me the same thing, and actually got upset with me because I wouldn't be a 'TEAM PLAYER' because I wouldn't let IAHA have their event on Saturday. I said look have your party on Saturday I don't care... the people who want to attend will and the people who don't won't.

So they have the audacity to ask you to change your tour to Sunday, and when you wont' they want to squash you. They basically did the same thing to me...don't sweat it you are in good company.

Bottom line is Transworld should support you, vendors should support you, you buy their products, you will be a potential buyer at Transworld.

I hope the focus is on that aspect more so than our tour, your tour and well a party where the organizers have tried everything they can to squash my tour, your tour, tried to plan their own tours, and somehow want us to believe they are at the center of our universe.

Haunts will stick to supporting haunted house owners like you guys! I hope everyone goes on your tour and I mean everyone top to bottom!

I hope that Transworld realizes what a grave error they have made and turns the corner on this.


Haunted Illinois
01-07-2009, 07:13 AM
I have had a big problem with Transworld Exhibits, Inc for several years, for this very reason. They consistently refuse to advertise for or acknowledge any haunt-related events that they themselves havenít organized. This includes practically ALL after-hours events or gatherings, including the haunt tours of Dream Reapers, Nightmares: Basement of the Dead and others. In fact, the Darkness is the only haunt tour they have ever promoted on their website.

The funny thing is, even with events they organize and endorse, they always wait until the last minute to announce information and their website is rarely updated, if ever.

Whether it is celebrity appearances, haunt tours that they donít endorse, costume balls, social gatherings or any other side-events, Transworld just wonít promote them. With such a close-minded and lackluster attitude about their own trade show, itís a wonder any of them are a success. If they want an example of how someone should advertise for a convention, they should take a look at the website for MHC. Over the years, Barry has done an awesome job of detailing out information related to MHC seminars, haunt tours, vendors, registration, lodging, social events and every other aspect of his show.

So, why have I spent the time over the past several years to put together a Transworld information page, when Transworld has its own website??? Basically because Transworld Exhibits, Inc has dropped the ball and because people need to know all the details, not just a select few.

By the way Greg, Iíve added your tour to MY Transworld info page for this year:

http://www.hauntedillinois.com/2009transworldhauntshow.php (http://www.hauntedillinois.com/2009transworldhauntshow.php)

01-07-2009, 07:27 AM
Adam, I went to Haunted Illinois. Thank you for the posting. I talked to Rogues Hollow last night . The website will be up soon to purchase tickets for the show. Click n Print will be providing the online ticket sales. Hauntworld is providing a free magazine for everyone on the busses as well. Thanks again for your comments. I dont understand why the haunt industry is treated like this. Like I said HAUNTERS WANT TO SEE HAUNTS! Greg

01-07-2009, 09:02 AM
Ok, I'm a little confused. I've gotten more information on the Columbia haunt tour, here on these message boards, then I've receive anywhere else about the IAHA event. I've seen postings that say the IAHA party/banquet is going to possibly be at the Lemp Mansion, if they can work it out. I still don't know what time it's supposed to be (maybe I missed it) and still don't know how much it's going to cost.

From what I understand the organizers/owners for the Columbia tour decided this a couple weeks ago, IAHA knew they were goingt to have their event a year ago. So, if there were no other factors as to what people wanted to do, most people have more information on the Columbia haunt tour, which as I said, was just planned a couple weeks ago.

Regardless, I agree, if IAHA is limiting their attendance to 200, then who cares. People from IAHA should get on the phone with the people they feel they would like at their event (at a minimum, their members), and sell some tickets and get commitments. There's still going to be plenty of people who either don't want to go to the IAHA event, or, who won't want to buy a ticket. They obviously want to get their message out and promote their event, and they should, so get it done, don't rely on these message boards or Transworld to do it for you. But also, stop worrying about what other's are doing.

Here's an idea though, why not do the IAHA event on Saturday? Obviously a lot of people are going to do the Darkness tour, but I don't think it would have any effect on the attendance of the IAHA event. The 200 or so that are going to be at the IAHA event may also buy their timed ticket to the Darkness (I understand it's near by) and excuse themselves for a bit while they go do the tour. For example, if people care to do both, they have their dinner, buy a timed ticket for after dinner, then go back to the IAHA event. It seems that the IAHA/HHVA/Creative Visions event is going to be an all night thing, so I see no reason why people couldn't do both, if they chose too. It seems the only reason they don't want the Columbia tour on the same night is that it is 2 hours away, so 4 hours of travel time means people will be gone for most of the night.

I realize this may all sound good in theory, and that there are other forces at play here, and that this idea is probably not an option at this time, but my point is this. People will do what they want, and as stated earlier, even with 200 people going to the IAHA event, plenty of people will be doing nothing, and available to go on the haunt tour. Also, not everyone who is going to the IAHA event wants to go on the Darkness tour, and vice versa.

Like I said, I think what IAHA is concerned with is getting attendance at their event, and getting their message out for the coming year, and they are unecessarily concerned with what other events are going on. It's IAHA's job to get the word out about their event, and get people there. From what I've seen in the past, they've relied, in large part, on this message board to get the word out on things. If they're so concerned with it, stop being passive, and take care of business, go out to your members, and get commitments, once you have your 200, who cares what anyone else does.

To the Columbia Tour, get your website up NOW, start selling your tickets, people will do what they want regardless, and once a formal site is up with the ability to buy tickets, people will make their decision. This is something IAHA could have done already if they were so concerned.

What's the old saying "lack of planning on your part, does not constitute an emergency on mine" IAHA should have had their details worked out long ago, if it was such an issue.

At this point, it looks like our people will be on the Columbia tour. I've stated on the boards, and other's have echoed the same thing. I don't get to see other haunted houses in October, so if there's the ability to see some, that's what I'm going to do. If the ability is there to do both a tour and the IAHA event I may very well do both.

In the end I think the Columbia tour will do just fine. I think the fact that some want to tell people what they can or cannot do may end up being to the Columbia tours benefit, I know I for one don't like people making decisions for me. I'll make my own decision, as I belive most will.


Bill Schnell
01-07-2009, 09:04 AM
Well, I THOUGHT we had this resolved with Transworld, but it seems that IAHA keeps pushing it. The bottom line is that our tour will happen with or without the support of Transworld. With the support of our sponsors (hauntworld, HHA, Rogue's Hollow and Click N Print) I know that it will be well attended. How does Transworld think this is going to look to the haunting community when they won't support our event? I am seriously doubting that I will attend Transworld after this season if this is how they treat haunters. I am definitely not going to be a member of IAHA ever again. Necropolis and FearFest are going to put on a great show for our fellow haunters, with or without Transworld.

Ken Spriggs
01-07-2009, 10:16 AM
When Dream Reapers first opened for TW.......no one helped or pushed our event.

Let me repeat for the reading impared.....NO ONE HELPED US FOR THE FIRST FEW YEARS
Then everyone wanted to help when we proved it was something people wanted to do.
Oh and of course if you share the proceeds......I bet the folks would push to help you!!!!

Welcome to haunt politics

Jim Warfield
01-07-2009, 11:57 AM
From the time my first Transworld inspired visitors showed up here, to the several years the weather kept everyone away, I learned to adapt my expectations and consoled myself with the positive aspects of Transworlders not coming here.
If I was just all about "the Money", I would have been upset but I realised , like Popeye says:"I yam what I yam!" And the advantages of being in my own quiet hometown, albeit far from population centers is a very nice thing most of the time.
For instance last night 4 people showed up for the tour, one young woman has been coming here since she was seven years old, she's finishing college now, yet she was still screaming very shrilly several times in the tour.
She and her three friends had quite a social time here with my Wife joining in, they were here for 4 hours. It was a very nice time for all.
Unfortunately the tours I had to sometimes do for groups with a bus driver marking time were not always what I would have liked to have been giving the audience.

The Ghoulish Gallery
01-07-2009, 12:09 PM
Hi all,

I just spoke with Greg Allen directly. He's a really nice guy with a good head on his shoulders. We talked for about 20 minutes and compared a lot of notes as to who is hearing what from whom.
Without going into the specifics of our conversation, Greg and I both agreed that if he and I just talk directly without all the outside speculation, interference and unnecessary fanning of the flames, the minor conflicts that exist can be resolved very quickly.

I would also make this offer to anyone else; if you have questions about anything that I have posted or you find that you are getting confused by some of the misinformation that continues to be put out there, please feel free to contact me directly at (949) 709-0724. I will do my best to answer all your questions.

Scream as One,
Tim Turner, IAHA Trade Show Liaison

01-07-2009, 12:12 PM
Only 200 people are allowed in, they are afraid that no one will show up and they will have all those turkey sandwitches and coleslaw left.lol.

01-07-2009, 02:16 PM

That is kinda funny comment from you because once these guys posted about how they wanted to do a tour you called them and you told them to move their tour to Sunday. Furthermore you called them again and told them Transworld would NEVER support them.

Bottom line you have personally done more to hurt your own company, IAHA and cause a lot of drama for the show. Bottom line is this tour is happening there is nothing you can do about that.

You personally trying to get Transworld to hurt these guys in everyway possible is just something I can't believe. I think its time for you someone who's not a haunt owner and someone who wants to sell to haunted houses to step out of the picture and let haunt owners handle their own affairs.

Lastly, I noticed you didn't refute the fact that IAHA wanted to do its own haunt tour in St. Louis or a bus tour to Branson or wherever. I know haunts you've contacted, and I also know IAHA wanted to squash the Darkness tour just like you are now picking on two haunters in Columbia.

IAHA is just lost totally lost and out of touch with this industry. Its really sad you helped cement that once and for all.


You must remember I was not an IAHA member when they refused to support you... once I became the IAHA president I wanted to support you straight away. It was really wild experience because another IAHA board member started their own tour and the mentality of IAHA was to back them full tilt boogy because I guess they where giving money to IAHA. I did EVERYTHING I COULD to get you guys promoted, even to the point that I did call Transworld and ask them to put you on a list of events which they did do. I do agree with you though it was always about the money... they do nothing and want your money for it.


Scaren Karen
01-07-2009, 03:57 PM
Well, it's really Transworld that is trying to screw you, not IAHA.

Transworld gave both Thursday and Saturday to The Darkness. I also know there were other St. Louis based haunt based business that wanted to have open houses, tours, etc, but were unable to because of two nights had been dedicated. Makes it hard to compete when there are only so many nights and you give two nights to one enity.

I'm not saying that The Darkness shouldn't be able to do what they want when they want, the same with IAHA and Creative Visions, and the Columbia Haunts. I would have loved to see your tour open on Thursday, for all of those that can't afford Larry's behind the scenes tour that night. Plus as I recall he is limiting that to a couple hundred people as well. You must do what is best for you, and I know people will go, even if it means dedicating the whole evening to it, with travel time and tour time.

I think it's great that people want to provide things for those of us from out of town to do while at the show. I've heard great things about The Darkness, and I think the Columbia Haunts sound wonderful as well. People will try and squeeze in as much as they can when they are there.

But make no mistake Transworld created the problem... Not IAHA or Creative Visions. Them calling and asking you to make a concession is their way of saying they know they shouldn't be playing favorites. Better to be non inclusive than to try and be all inclusive and not be fair to ALL parties involved.

I wish you the best as you open your haunts to the haunt community, I know those of us that will attend appreciate your efforts.

Scaren Karen

01-07-2009, 04:01 PM
Technically, I don't think Transworld gave Thursday to anyone, since the convention doesn't start until Friday. I think Larry picked Thursday to avoid taking up two convention days. I may be totally off base, but that's how I'm seeing it.

01-07-2009, 04:24 PM
First off Transworld gave nothing to anyone. When this whole show was being talked about and first started I said from the start we would open the Darkness on Saturday night. IAHA wanted to have their meeting on Saturday night and I was approached to change our date to Friday. I told them no, additionally I told them simply, and you guys tell me if I'm wrong here..

I told them look the people who support you will attend, so have your event on Saturday if you want you won't hurt my feelings. The people who support HHA will show up to our meeting, the people who do not support us will not show up. Same goes with The Darkness tour or this awards show or whatever.

I told them flat out do whatever they want I didn't care... so then they tried to organize their own tour to compete with ours the same thing they did in Vegas last year, trying to hurt the local haunts there, or telling them they need to organize what they do through IAHA or else. Rich Strelak can tell you all about that ordeal... because it was unreal.

As for Thursday... I said I'll do a behind the scenes tour on Thursday to give an encentive to people to come in early to the show. The whole idea was to try and get people to come sooner than later... no one was stopping me from doing that on Friday, or opening the Darkness on both Friday and Saturday. Did Dreamreapers open their haunt every single night of the show in Chicago... yes they did so why can't I do the same?

Here is why I didn't... I want to do the tour one big blow out on Saturday. I even told IAHA for that matter that I was doing a timed ticket sales, so anyone who still wanted to attend their event could by simply purchasing tickets sooner or later than their event.


Tim Turner came along and made threats on IAHA's behalf to the Columbia haunt tour that people would be mad at them to Transworld would not support them. HE has no authority to make those claims, futhermore he doesn't not represent ONE HAUNT OWNER last I heard.

Here is how you resolve this whole issue...

DO WHAT YOU FEEL IS IN YOUR BEST INTEREST...if you want to go to some awards show that isn't about YOU then go... if you want to see two awesome haunted houses in one night for a very reasonable price, hang out with haunters all night do that.

It really is that simple.

However, Transworld should SUPPORT THIS SHOW!

In the end I think they will and if IAHA continues to try and damage these guys they only further their image as what they really are and they'll advance the errosion of support for this group. Again I say if this group is so well supported then why are you worried about anything opening up against your show?


01-07-2009, 04:29 PM

One more thing to you specifically...

I told Transworld and again you tell me if I'm wrong here...

I told them let everyone stand on their own, don't take sides, don't favor one other another because it will get you in hot hot hot water in the end.

And what happened they are in hot water over this issue. I told them and everyone involved if the support is there for say IAHA they will get members, people will give them their money, they will show up to this event because they believe in it.

If people CHOOSE to do something else from sleeping, to having a business meeting, to going bowling, or the city museum to yes taking a bus tour to Columbia that is their choice.

I no idiot I know not everyone will support HHA, or go to our haunt tour, I bet lots of people will SLEEP, TAKE IN A BUSINESS MEETING, or whatever.

In this country people are free to make choices so my advice to IAHA is to promote what you do from your website to your membes and let them choose to go, rejoin or whatever they want and leave it at that.

Its my view Transworld shouldn't have backed any pony and just supported everyone the same and let the chips fall wherever. Its the best way to stay out of the fray.


01-07-2009, 04:53 PM
Look you guys go and do what you want to do. If you want to go to the awards banguet then go to THE AWARDS BANQIET. If you want to go to the Darkness go to THE DARKNESS!! If you want to go to the movies, zoo, strip club, pick up a hooker up or buy a gun and get involved with the gangs in St. Louis DO IT!!!!


With that out of the way if your still undecided yall can all come over to my Hotel room for a little party I am throwing nothing big. George Clenton and the Parliament Funkadelic will be playing. I will some of the best food St. Louis has to offer we will be getting down and funkey!!!! So if ya wanna party like a rock star just pop over to Shane's place for the party of the year!!! Shane and its George, Shane and the P-Funk's party Shane this time.

Scaren Karen
01-07-2009, 05:11 PM
I stand by what I said, Transworld's to blame...

I agree with you Larry, TW should not have favored or promoted any activity. They should be a clearing house for information, this is what's going on, this is who to contact or where to go for more information. They have no clue on how to handle anything. Plus too late to undo what's already been done.

I wish the best for all that are planning activities. I as an attendee appreciate all of your efforts, and I'm sure anyone else that is attending does too.

The reality is that people will have to pick and choose their activities... Some will pack in every minute with haunt related stuff. Others will take advantage of the opportunity to have dinner and or drinks with old friends, or do something totally unhaunt related.

TW's screw up should not keep anyone from doing what they want with who they want during the course of the show. It's nice to have choices...

Scaren Karen

01-07-2009, 06:33 PM

I will say that you and I are on the same page here! We both agree let people do what they want to do, therefore IAHA shouldn't be trying to stop a HAUNTED HOUSE OWNER from doing what they want to do, and Transworld should support these guys 110%!


01-07-2009, 06:47 PM
Does this mean the tour is canceled or is it still going on?

01-07-2009, 07:48 PM
No the tour is happening... it was always happening. The point is to make people come to their senses and support what really matters to people HAUNT TOURS!

As for as HHA that will matter to haunt owners as well because it will work to help peoples business grow and advance.

Support the things that support you, your business an


01-07-2009, 08:39 PM
So does the HHA have things set up for actors or is it a Haunt Owner only thing..I know "the owners have all the money, so lets go for them" which is kinda bullshit..I know that I may not buy as much as the owners but I do buy alot of stuff. The trick is getting people that start these things to realize that and let actors in, the other thing I know not to do is "bud in" when a vender is selling things, I wait my turn, but even then some vendors wont give me a second glance because my badge says Im not an owner.

Gore Galore
01-07-2009, 08:57 PM

And you wonder why people think that haunters are a bunch of side show freaks.

If you want to go to the tour go to the tour.
Transworld is to blame? All Transworld has been trying to do is accommodate as many events as possible and try to make everyone happy. But please just stop being so dramatic.

Everything is revolving around a couple schedule issues which are about to be resolved. Give it a day or two and everything will smooth itself out. That is all.

The more choices we have for things to do the happier everyone will be.

Everyone just take a deep breath. Everything will be ok.
thanks for the brief moment of silence.

01-07-2009, 09:16 PM

I agree the more events there are the better everyone will be soooo IAHA should simple accept that concept and move on.

I for one will be attending the Columbia Haunt Tour with all my other fellow haunted houses. I also wonder if vendors can skip this tour since so many of their products will be on display at these haunts. Don't you want to mingle with buyers, especially in a haunt that displays your products?

I would think so...

We should call it for what it is...haunt owners are going to the haunt tour. Those who support this awards show should go good for you and be done with it. But Transworld should support all of these events!


01-07-2009, 09:26 PM

Totally appreciate your attempt to cool things off, and be the voice of reason.

But come on now, you're saying it's a scheduling issue, when I think what a lot of people posting on this thread are saying is who cares if there's events scheduled at the same time.

In a perfect world, there would be time for everyone to do everything without conflicts, but it's not going to happen.

There is no reason for anyone involved in or with the Transworld show to not support people doing something for the industry, that ultimately will make people's experience at the show a better one. Transworld should support the IAHA event, and the Columbia tour.

I wasn't being sarcastic at the beginning of this post, I do respect the tone of your post, and I agree with you, it's going to work out, the Columbia tour will go on, so will the IAHA event, regardless of people's opinions on here, and in the end, hopefully everyone will enjoy what they choose to do.

Oh, I almost forgot though, you did call us freaks. Not cool man, not cool. :)