View Full Version : 29 Years of Fears & It's Still a Thrill

Frank Petruccelli
05-29-2009, 09:40 AM
The definition of community is an interacting group sharing environment, beliefs, resources, intent, needs & risks for a purpose larger than that of the individual. This October will mark my 29th year as a proud member of the community that is Kevin McCurdy's Haunted Mansion. So what have I witnessed over 29 years & what does it mean to me?

First & foremost Kevin McCurdy's Haunted Mansion is about people. People who have come here to be scared, entertained, and celebrate their love for Halloween. People who have come here since they were kids who are now bringing their own kids here & still get excited about learning what the theme/story of the Haunted Mansion will be this year. Then there is the BOO CREW, the people who come together from all walks of life. People you may think you would not normally relate to, but you become so close to that they are your family. Whether its actors, set designers, make up artists, cg artists, magicians, lighting designers young or old they all are a intricate part of making this place we call home one of the best Haunted Attraction in the nation. We don't always agree. At times we fight (who's family doesn't). We lock horns, at times lines are crossed, feelings are hurt, but it always comes from the inner passion about the best course to take on how to make this place the premiere Halloween Attraction in the north east, one we are all proud to be a part of. We have shared some very exciting proud Halloween seasons together and at times not so much (no one is going to get it right 32 years in a row). As a family we have mourned together when some of our own and others in the industry were taken from us way to soon. We have sweat, cried, laughed, learned, yelled & drank together. We've celebrated as some of our members went on to be Vegas Magicians, Hollywood Special FX Make-Up Artists, Actors, & Screen Writers who still make the time to come back to our Haunted Mansion family whenever they get the chance, a family reunion of sort. We witnessed what was once a single day event at the end of October turn into a whole fall season phenomenon and introduce the world to The Haunted Attraction Industry.

Our Haunted Attraction has set standards before the term "The Haunted Attraction Industry" ever existed. Long before trade shows like Trans World, Haunt Con, & Mid West Haunters Convention we were there. Before show controllers, cg, event insurance, elaborate sets, use of large animatronics & video we were there. We were often one of the first Haunted Attraction to use these technologies that are so common today. It's not the technology that I am proud of but the creative use of it to give our guests a more unique haunting experience that submerses them into the action. Lets face it you are not going to scare every single guest that comes through your door (that would be being naive thinking) but make them laugh, give them something they have never witnessed before and you have come out a head. That person will have fond memories of their experience.

Today there are Haunted Attractions all across the US and Halloween is almost as big as Christmas. Every October Haunted Attractions are in the news, on TV, in magazines, radio & major theme parks. Groups and organizations have been formed to "promote" the industry. Are these groups really for the betterment of Haunted Attractions or only for the betterment of themselves, which could ruin what is a great community. Time will tell.

In the meantime our family/community that is Kevin McCurdy's Haunted Mansion will continue to strive to make the Halloween Season special for every person who walks through its doors. We entertain/pride ourselves by scaring and entertaining you. That has been our purpose from the beginning. That's what has brought us together. That's what our Haunted Attraction has been about, and during our 32 years most of the time we succeed. Come November 1st we walk away tired,aching, most of the time proud and can't wait until next year. We hope to contiue to raise the bar & set an example to other Haunters & Haunted Attractions. Mostly we hope to scare/entertain you this Halloween Season.

Jim Warfield
05-31-2009, 10:24 AM
Open for house tours every night of the year (almost) for 21? years! (Long "Season")
Recently with school getting out and the children and teachers being re-released upon society business has been good and alot of fun.
One woman said she had never been scared in a haunted house before but she was scared here! It was really sort of an accident that she was left alone in the wine cellar in the dark, I thought I had heard my wife talking to her in there but the woman was just talking to herself as the time-warp engulfed her. (not the dance) She later claimed to have been doing alot of screaming from down there but we never heard a thing, and we should have .
I am really addicted to entertaining people here, but I keep that sort of a secret till after they buy their tickets.
"Women's Night Out" last night, they drove five hours to get here and they were not lost.
At the end of their tour, we were talking about supernatural experiences and the "Birthday Girl" told about hearing a "pounding" on her bedroom door, yet nobody was there or even in the house but her.
To cut this conversation short I told them that I felt a "pounding" during the last 90 minutes they were seeing the house, but the origin of the pounding was unternal and was against my underware! Then I reached out, touched the Birthday Girl (30 years old) on her shoulder and asked her to "Stop it!"

05-31-2009, 05:39 PM
Good to hear from you Frank! Kevin McCurdy's Haunted Mansion is one of the most overlooked haunts out there. Keven and his crew do an amazing job and they are extremely creative and the sets are always awesome!


Twin Locusts
06-01-2009, 11:39 AM
It's always a joy to learn about someone that loves what they do; regardless what stage you strut it's heart that counts. In place, or ripped from your chest in a bloddy mass, heart. Good for you Frank!