View Full Version : Hauntworld Magazine Top 13 List

08-10-2009, 11:59 PM
I have decided to ask around, talk to people I know people I know who have seen a lot of shows, I've been on the phone asking peoples opinions and getting feedback. I will announce our Hauntworld Magazine Top 13 Haunts 2009. However I will do a few things different...

1) We'll list the top 10 outdoor Screamparks (NEW)
2) We'll list the top 13 haunts 2009
3) We'll list the top 30 haunts 2009
4) We'll list the top 10 Amusement Park Attractions 2009

How do you make our lists... posting on the forums, posting your photos, your videos, keeping us informed, keeping the industry informed, playing a roll in your industries future! This is how people find out about you!

If you don't make our list this year make an effort next year to post your videos, your photos, tell us what you are doing, send us emails, send us dvd's by mail, bug us about featuring your haunted house in our magazine.

Tell us what is unique about your attractions, don't be shy, tell us why you should be considered, invite us or some of our staff to your attracton... we'll get someone to come!

We will! We always do... ask House of Torment, ask Haunted Schoolhouse, ask Scarehouse, ask Dent Schoolhouse, just ask anyone we've ever featured or listed.

Just because you don't make our list doesn't mean your haunted house isn't the best top cheese haunt in town, no it means we don't know enough about you so tell us! We have NO haunts set for our next magazine cover or the one after that one or any future magazines for that matter... we want YOU! TELL US!!!!! Get on it!

Take care.

Mad Wax Sculptor
08-11-2009, 12:59 AM
Hey is there any way that there could be a list of the top 10 haunts under 10,000 sq ft? Its hard for a smaller haunt to be 10,000sq ft or less and keep up with some of these mega giants out there.

08-11-2009, 06:54 PM
Pretty Sweet! Shane and its really really cool! Shane this time!

08-11-2009, 08:18 PM
I have always shared our build progress photos on Hauntworld and shared my knowlege with my fellow haunters. In fact that is how I ended up on the cover Hauntworld when I shared the Castle Facade build which has inspired so many to build out of foam. http://www.spookywoods.com/castle.htm

Being on the cover of Hauntworld opened doors in the media that drove national coverage to my haunt. Despite what some are saying, I never paid the Travel Channel to cover us in the Scariest Haunt series.

My theory has always been to share the knowlege and make haunts better. The more good haunts out thier for kids to go to the more the haunted business will become a valid business model. I get inspired by seeing cool sets. I don't copy what I see, but get ideas on how I can use what I seen to make someting cool in my haunt. When I seen the arches in the 13th Gate waiting area I took the idea and made our arch maze. http://www.spookywoods.com/archmaze.htm

Thanks to all that have shared thier experiences on this message board, I know it has inspired me to create some amazing sets. If I'm lucky enough to make another list, then it was well worth it!

08-11-2009, 09:11 PM
larry you know ive been posting like crazy for the last year.
and you know were now a pro haunt.
so definetly keep us in mind.
dont hesitate to give me a call to learn even more about our haunt.

08-11-2009, 09:19 PM
Cool, so can we qualify for at least top 30?(Ultimate Fear) Our build page is pretty dang extensive! :) We have had a few people tour our attraction also from the board here. Also ANY other haunt owners are more than welcome anytime to tour ours here in Shreveport. All we ask is a days notice so we can clear our schedule to be there! This is what i consider our first "Official year" so we are a very young and upcoming event. We have EVERYTHING on the line for this thing, two hauners making their dreams come true, hopefully anyway, haha! We are right around the 10,000 square foot mark, and already NEEDING and wanting more. There were so many room designs we just did not have room for in our event this year. We hope to be in the 20-30k range within a few years, just have to find a suitable building to purchase in the area we want here in town.

08-11-2009, 09:37 PM
Hey is there any way that there could be a list of the top 10 haunts under 10,000 sq ft? Its hard for a smaller haunt to be 10,000sq ft or less and keep up with some of these mega giants out there.

Amen Brother!!!

08-12-2009, 08:08 AM
Buddy good to see you posting, sharing and your excitement upon opening your first year. Don't feel left out if you don't make it on this years list. I think you need to atleast be open for 1 year and have actual paying customers attend. Just like ScreamPark I think they will have a good haunt but don't think they can make the list either unless Larry makes a decision to add haunts that have not actually opened.

There are list that you can join and pay to market your haunt that way but that's a discussion topic on another thread. Myself I just try to be the best at what I do for myself at the end of the day when I see my customers coming out screaming saying that rocked, that was awsome, lets do it again, did you see that, ect that's what makes it all worth while for me. Not putting any list down its fun I am sure and can be taken as a compliment from your peers. Shane and its Nick your gonna go places I can tell my young friend! Shane this time.

08-12-2009, 09:18 AM
Shane makes a good point, but I was wondering:

Larry, is it possible to add a "new haunt" category for haunts opening this year. Im not trying to be all about myself here, but I know of several haunts starting up this year, and they are all deserving of an award like this.

Just a thought I'd like to throw out there for you.

08-16-2009, 10:54 AM
In consideration of the Scream Park category.

http://photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs200.snc1/6772_117877569795_42287954795_2208916_1977583_n.jp g

Nightmare New England & the legendary SpookyWorld unite to deliver one of the largest, most terrifying Halloween Scream Parks in the country!

Over 100,000 Sq. ft of terror awaits you at New England's number one destination for Halloween thrills this October.
The massive 20-acre Scream Park features SEVEN heart-racing haunted attractions at ONE monstrous location. Dozens of freakish characters stalk the grounds and roam freely in the woods lining the property. The Monster Midway hosts live music, go-karts (voted #1 in NH!), batting cages, two themed mini-golf courses, concessions, restaurant, bar, photo opportunities, gifts and more!
The variety and scale of Nightmare New England and SpookyWorld offers something for even the boldest of Halloween fanatics. Leave it to us to make your Halloween an unforgettable experience.

Check out our Attractions page for more information about Buried Alive, NightFeeders, Raven's Claw Cemetery, House of Eternal Darkness, The 3-D Freak Show, Demented and Sleep Stalkers!

Nightmare New England & SpookyWorld

The time has come…To face your fears…



08-16-2009, 02:34 PM
Looks sweet man! Shane and its really sweet man! Shane this time.

08-16-2009, 07:04 PM
thanks shane!
i agree with you... to a point, but wont get into it.
basically if we got haunts that are built but havent opened yet, and we decided in other threads that attendance dosent make you the best, then i think we deserve to at least be considered.

all im getting at, is that i want to be considered. if we honestly dont make it, thats perfectly fine. but i dont want to not even get considered for technicalities.

last year for example, for the best home haunt category, larry didnt even rank us because he didnt think we had a website. which we did, but that had been handled. i just dont want to see that happen.

So.. whatever happens happens...

08-16-2009, 07:45 PM
Point taken my young friend! Shane and its good luck either way! Shane this time.

08-16-2009, 07:55 PM
thank you shane! =)

RJ Productions
08-17-2009, 01:34 PM
Nick, I realize you want attention for you attraction, if you don't you're in the wrong business!!

The point here being I see you post a lot, but all I know is this is your first year and you have yet to open. I go to your web site, very simple with a large graphic. Nice graphic but it shows me nothing of your attraction.

There are claims; you are Toledo's newest Haunt....probably true.
Most extreme haunted houses....by whose account, by what standards?
Then even though you are brand new the web site claims Ranked the 6th best haunted House in the NATION! Again ...by who????

I'm making these comments as though I'm someone just looking at your site to decide where to go. Anyone can make claims. The point is to back them up somehow. I mention on our site we are "Voted a Top 13 Haunt in nation by Hauntworld Magazine" It's not me claiming it, it is Hauntworld Magazine, I can produce the article to back it up.

What makes more sense and carries more weight, the operator claiming it is the the most extreme haunt in the city or a quote " This is the most extreme haunt in the city!!- The Toledo News Review" In other words be able to back up claims or they are useless.

When we first started it took awhile for the media to pay us a visit. So we took exit polls and asked people questions. Asked them if they visited more than one haunt and how we ranked. So by year two we were able to claim we were one of the best haunts in the city with a footnote to the comment "as determined by patron poll". So it wasn't ME claiming to be good, PATRON's claimed it for me, I just report it.

As for having to wait until you open... look at it this way. I write a screenplay. I think it's the best thing ever. Friends and family read it and agree. Am I the "newest screenwriter"? Debatable as there are new ones coming on line even as I write this. Am I the best, scariest, most inovative, or other such superlatives? Face it, nothng happens until someone actually produces it as a movie. Until them it is merely words on a page. Go to Hollywood, every kid waiting on tables is a "screenwriter"!!

Your haunt may be awesome. You may feel the rooms are super detailed, the effects are unmatched whatever. But you really don't know if it even WORKS until you open and have a real audience!!

Ask any long time haunter. We have each spent a lot of time and money on a new effect or room that we though was going to be a killer only to find out as soon as an audience when through that it wasn't up to our standards! It looked like a good idea on paper, still looked good as it was built, just didn't work in actual operation!

Then look how many haunts open each year compared to how many survive to year two. The point being... open up, actually DO the business, THEN start making legitimate claims! IF you're in the business for the long haul it won't matter. It only matters if you are in it for a quick buck.

Another quick point that maybe someone else can address...value.

Your website also states you have 2 haunts for $10.00. What is the average cost of haunts in your area? If it's $10-$15 for a single attraction you may be shooting yourself in the foot. I know you are pushing value, but look at it from a patron view. IF the good haunts in the area are $10 each, you are stating you had to build TWO to get the same value!!

A friend had an add on attraction. He only charged $2.00 upcharge for it and he was getting no one!! We stated it was a value issue. He raised the add on price to $5.00 and increased the attendance 10 fold!! At $2.00 it was considered too cheap, at $5.00 it was considered a value.

If the standard is $10.00 then maybe charge $10.00 EACH or a special combo of $15.00 for two. Now you are stating that each haunt has a VALUE of $10.00 and through the goodness of your haert you are oferring them a deal. Your 2 for $10.00 tells me they are only worth $5.00 each!!

I'm not posting to slam your haunt. I would actually like to see some examples of it, your web site shows no pictures what so ever. You may very well have the most exteme haunt in Toledo. The point is you will really only know that for sure NEXT year!!

Good luck!!


08-17-2009, 02:10 PM

I am not butting in but I went to the website and if you click on the clown face You go into their photo bucket to see haunt pics.

I don’t know if they want it that way but this is how I found some cool pics.

I judge the haunts I attend by the pics & word of mouth.

Peter T

08-17-2009, 03:38 PM
You totally skiped right over the point RJ was trying to make! Nothing aginst Nick and I love his passion and excitment for the Industry but again RJ was making a point and you must have just skiped right over it.

As far as judging by pictures hell anyone can doctor or even steal others photos its been done time and time again. So when you say you judge a haunt by its photos thats not saying alot. You need to go and see for yourself first hand on any and all haunts you may want to attend. Word of mouth however is some of the best if not the best advertizement you can get! I am straying from the point RJ was trying to make! Shane and its I get what hes saying! Shane this time.

08-17-2009, 04:43 PM
yeah guys, i get the point i understand.
all of my facts are baked up

were the newest haunted house in the city. just plane proof
6th in the nation from Haunternet ranking.
and the most extreme in my own opinion, so what.

but i do have to say that we can really discuss your price idea further in the hels gate 2009 thread. not this one. i really like it!

08-17-2009, 08:21 PM
All I can say is guys LMAO good luck with this one! Shane and its your own your own! Shane this time!

08-18-2009, 07:08 AM
Can you say Sense of entitlement? There are amazing haunts that have been operating for 10, 20 years not on the list. Good things come to those that wait. Look to be on the list in about 5 to 10 years or so. Tony from Spookywoods was open close to 20 years it looks like before he made the list, and he owns SPOOKYWOODS which looks amazing....LOL

Nick you are off to a good start, but it's just a start nonetheless. Keep plugging away!


08-18-2009, 07:57 AM
Im sorry everyone, but i have been sitting here for like 20 minutes trying to figure out what to say.
It really ends with this...
I allready knew before i posted our little nomination that we wont make the list. All im doing is making sure the name stays in the back of larry and hauntworlds minds so when we unleash our pics and videos this year, then we will be on everybody's mind for the years to come, when we come to rankings.

omg lol

Scaren Karen
08-19-2009, 12:06 PM
I'd like to nominate The Haunt - Walker, MI. www.the-haunt.com. Owned by Jim Burns. Opened in 2001 and puts on an awesome show every year.

Scaren Karen

08-20-2009, 03:55 PM
Can you say Sense of entitlement? There are amazing haunts that have been operating for 10, 20 years not on the list. Good things come to those that wait. Look to be on the list in about 5 to 10 years or so. Tony from Spookywoods was open close to 20 years it looks like before he made the list, and he owns SPOOKYWOODS which looks amazing....LOL

Nick you are off to a good start, but it's just a start nonetheless. Keep plugging away!


First, Thanks for the comments! Making Haunt Worlds's Cover and the Top 13 list was the highlight of my haunting career in 2007! You are correct, I started my haunt in 1985 at $2.00 per ticket, we built the business slowly and expanded as the profits did. This year will be the 24th year in a row and I can tell you we worked harder this year than any year before to reach the $25.00 ticket level. To be even considered a Top 13 haunt is a huge honor and for me it took over 20 years of building. Congrats to anyone that makes the list, if Haunt World is backing it up trust me it don't come easy!

Personally for me sharing information with fellow haunters to build this haunt business into a valid form of income is another aspect to this list. When I can walk into my local bank and ask for a line of credit and the loan officer calls the home office and the person replied oh Spookywoods, my kids have been going there for years. Haunted houses are becoming a known business model thanks to national media coverage. We all should do our part to keep growing the indusrty.