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Haunted House in Minneapolis Minnesota - Hauntworld Reviews Scariest Haunted Houses
Mon, July 01, 2013
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www.thedeadendhayride.com

 

TO FIND MORE HAUNTED HOUSES IN MINNESOTA CLICK HERE ... http://www.hauntworld.com/minnesota_haunted_houses 


Jeremy Hastings had dreams of creating his own haunted house on the family farm ever since he was old enough to go trick-or-treating. Now, he and his team of young entrepreneurs have turned that vision into one of the best haunts in Minnesota – The Dead End Hayride.

The Dead End Hayride is located at Pinehaven Farm, which has been in the Hasting’s family since 1950. It sits about 35 minutes north of Minneapolis and St. Paul (the Twin Cities) in Wyoming, Minnesota, where every fall it becomes a popular pumpkin patch and harvest festival. While the 150 acre farm is best known for its pumpkin patches, petting zoo, and family activities, what sets it apart from other area farms are the unique animatronics incorporated throughout like the talking scarecrows, moving characters in the outhouses, a pumpkin eating dragon, and a pumpkin cannon... all of which were thought up and built by Jeremy himself. Sue Hastings, Jeremy’s mother, commented that she recognized an uncanny ability to “tinker” in her second of five children, and added that he was only 15 years old when he built Minnesota’s first pumpkin cannon. She also begrudgingly admitted that he’s still the only one that can fix and operate the pumpkin-eating dragon to this day. Jeremy’s role in fabricating elaborate props and effects for the farm helped set the platform for him to achieve his dream of eventually building a unique and innovative haunted house experience for his haunt guests.


When he was just 20, he read about a haunted attraction held on a family farm in North Carolina. He was struck by the similarities he saw with own family’s farm, and after a few conversations with the event’s owners, Jeremy headed south to experience it personally. He soon found himself at Kersey Valley SpookyWoods in High Point, NC, where thanks to the owners, Tony and Donna Wohlgemuth, he was able to learn the basics of operating a haunted attraction. Feeling inspired and motivated, Hastings returned to Minnesota armed with a passion and the beginnings of a plan for his own haunt.

His first task was to recruit a few like-minded individuals to take part in his haunted entrepreneurial dreams, and surprisingly, this did not prove to be very difficult. A few good friends, all in their teens or early 20s at the time, showed immediate interest in the project, and soon they began their first project – a haunted cornfield. After spending a long, hot summer weeding an entire cornfield by hand, constructing realistic shacks out of sheet metal, and inventing horrifying props out of pretty much anything they could find, the young haunters were exhausted yet determined. They found themselves a gaggle of teenage misfits at the local highschool to be actors, and in October 2009, the Site 66 Haunted Cornfield was ready for its first victims.
 

After the cornfield gained instant popularity, Jeremy knew it was time to take it the next level, and in 2010 the Dead End Hayride was born. As the haunt grew, the responsibilities of running a business became too much for Jeremy to manage alone. Longtime friends Brent Faymoville and Eva Kloos, who had been with Jeremy from the very beginning, took on the roles of General Manger and Operations Manager, and before long Bjorn Carlson had joined the team to play the part of Art Director. Together, these four hard working individuals make up the Dead End Hayride’s management team. They all worked full time jobs during the day, leaving just the night and weekend hours to plan, construct, and perfect the haunt. As they began to pour themselves into the huge task of building an entire attraction from the ground up, more and more people began to gain interest in this haunting opportunity. The Dead End crew quickly increased from four to an entire lineup of haunters including make-up artists, graphic designers, tractor drivers, actors, a building and tech crew, and more. Aside from being in love with the business of making people scream, all members of The Dead End crew also share something else in common…youth. The entire management team and most of the staff are in their 20’s.


Although the business of making people scream proved to be no small task, the energy, enthusiasm, and determination of the individuals on board keep them focused and motivated.  Hastings and his partners are big believers that much of the Dead End Hayride’s success is due to having a haunt team that is passionate about putting on an incredible show. Today, the Dead End crew continues to work hard every year to create not only the most horrifying haunted house experience with ultimate haunt scares around every corner, but they provide multiple haunted house attractions at one location with unique scares for every haunt enthusiast: 


The Dead End Hayride

As the sun sets on Pinehaven Farm every Halloween season, the pleasant and bustling family friendly atmosphere of the fall harvest festival quickly disappear with the sun, leaving in its place a quiet and unsettling stillness. The hayride is the first step in the nightmare. Large tractors pull hayracks full of fresh meat through 40 acres of dark forest. Although these woods are vast, it is nowhere near empty. The winding trail is filled with original animations, bumps in the night, and surprises around every corner.  The realistic monsters are top notch in both effects and scream-talent.  This first attraction really sets the scene for the horrors that lie ahead.


Departed Oaks Haunted Trail featuring The SunnyVale Asylum

Standing in the courtyard of the SunnyVale Asylum, it becomes easy to forget where you are; instead of on a family farm in the Midwest, you find yourself in front of a realistic abandoned insane asylum that appears to have been built hundreds of years ago. In reality though, the Dead End crew built the building from ground up a just few summers back.  Yet there’s a distinct sense it has been rotting there for hundreds of years. This is due to both the talent of Bjorn, the art director, and to the impressive scavenging that the crew did to locate authentic pieces to adorn the attraction. Many of the props throughout the asylum were actually used inside a real institution, from old wooden wheelchairs to large metal cribs with cages on them.  Even the immense iron gate guarding the entrance is a real prop that adds haunting detail.  In fact, each small detail adds up to an intensely horrifying effect inside this amazing haunted house attraction.


Site 66 Haunted Cornfield

Site 66, the original haunted cornfield, has seen many changes since its creation in 2009.  It is home to one of the most loved and hated parts of the attraction… the chainsaw maze. This haunted maze is the very last part of the Dead End experience, and to say the show ends with a bang would be an understatement. Facing a nearly impenetrable labyrinth-like maze, guests experience the deafening sound of real chainsaws wielded by a hoard of relentlessly brutal men.  Guests have one last chance to make it out alive. That is, until they come back for more, which they always do.


 


 


Now preparing for their fifth season of the Dead End Hayride, Jeremy and his crew continue to add on and improve their haunts each year, and they have no plans of slowing down. In a market where the “scare” business doesn’t even show up on the map, Hastings and his crew have defied the odds and built, from the ground up, a first-class haunted attraction...  Not bad for a bunch of 20-somethings.


TO FIND MORE HAUNTED HOUSES IN MINNESOTA CLICK HERE ... http://www.hauntworld.com/minnesota_haunted_houses

 

haunted houses, scariest, best, minnesota
  Posted by Larry 2.41 PM Read Comments ()
 
 
 
 
Darkwood Manor Haunted House in Virgina Reviwed by Hauntworld.com
Fri, June 21, 2013
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www.darkwoodmanor.net


 

TO FIND MORE HAUNTED HOUSES IN VIRGINIA CLICK HERE ... http://www.hauntworld.com/virginia_haunted_houses
 
Luray Virginia is the home of one of the scariest haunted houses in America called DarkWood Manor.  Virginia has many incredible haunted houses and Hauntworld rates and reviews the best haunted attractions in America.  Hauntworld can help you find hundreds of haunted houses in Virginia and America . 

Absolutely nothing comes close to a cool, October evening in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Walking outside one can see flickering lights from jack-o'-lanterns causing eerie shadows to dance across neighborhood porches. It’s in that moment when things finally seem back in their right place. No wonder Virginia happens to be the birthplace of Halloween in America.


If you travel up the twisted spine of Virginia, otherwise known as the Shenandoah Valley, you’ll discover a haunted attraction that takes the basic concept of evoking scares and nightmares, and approaches it from a more artistic perspective. Tucked inside the rural mountain town of Luray, home of the world famous Luray Caverns & the Shenandoah National Park, there sits an ultimate fear provoking haunted house attraction called DarkWood Manor. This haunt has been making a name for itself as one of the top haunted attractions in the state.

Since 2001, Louis and Wendy Brown, the creators of DarkWood Manor, constantly seek new ways to transport their audiences into another world. By applying artistic disciplines to the design of DarkWood Manor, they’ve created an interactive and theatrical show that absolutely captivates their haunted house patrons. The attention to detail and artistic design principle does not stop at DarkWood Manor's sets. It’s also carried over into the make-up and costume elements of the attraction.

The journey began in the late 1990’s, after Louis, an art school graduate, started investigating what haunted attractions had become since his last experience with them decades earlier. He realized modern haunted attractions could be more than black plastic and strobe lights with people jumping out to yell “BOO.”  After Louis  realized what incredibly immersive, interactive, theatrical experiences could be created within a haunt, he jumped into the industry eager to bring his artistic perspective to the design of his own attraction.

"I feel the goal of most art work is to elicit an emotional response from its audience and that’s exactly what haunted attractions seek to do as well. That’s how I approach the creation of DarkWood, as an installation art piece designed to evoke a specific set of emotions. Coming up with new and interesting ways to do this is at the heart of any artistic endeavor."

The Browns along with the entire haunt crew behind DarkWood Manor have grown the attraction over the last 13 years while always maintaining their theatrical principles of great acting, realistic make-up, amazing costumes, highly detailed sets, and a strong backstory.  I asked Louis how his artistic approach influenced the average haunt customer's experience.

“I definitely think it heightens the experience for the audience. The artistic drive to pull the audience into the work by creating an immersive environment makes a haunted attraction entertaining on many levels. Screams are our primary goal, but if we can get laughter and amazement, then we are also doing our job at making the experience a great one for our customers.”
 
As many haunts around the country fail to recognize their patrons' desire for a more unique group experience, the artists behind DarkWood Manor are continuously pushing the boundaries of their vision to bring their customers a unique haunting experience. This esoteric thought process is the reason why they’ve been able to create a loyal fan base that visits every October. Inside the walls of DarkWood Manor, you’ll find inspirations ranging from HP Lovecraft and classic gothic horror to Doctor Who and David Lynch. The DarkWood crew makes it a point not to fill the hallways and rooms with run-of-the-mill cliché horror monsters.  All creatures roaming the attraction are unique to the haunt, and many times only used for one season.  All masks, props, costumes, and sets are custom made to fit that season’s storyline.  Louis describes DarkWood Manor as an “ever changing canvas,” with each season’s design process starting with a new theme and then evolving out of that initial idea.

“Our base style is to tell stories and create dark vignettes that can scare the crap out of people. However, we do change our theme and sets every year. Being the scariest and most unique has always gotten us lots of business, maybe not in the first couple of years we were open, but over time our following has skyrocketed in growth.”

Artists thrive by listening to their intuition.  An overly imaginative mind, especially one dedicated to the craft of haunting, can think of some truly terrorizing ideas. For Louis, the trick to growing a haunt is in experience and being dedicated to always seeing how far one can push their artistic abilities.

“The hardest part is coming up with that initial idea that makes me go ‘WOW!... I’ve got to create that!’  Once I have the idea that really drives me to create, then the rest is fun. There have been lots of trials and error over the years. Now, I can run a scene in my head and pretty much know if it will work or not. Sometimes I can still get it wrong, but that’s one of the great things about the DarkWood Manor actors. They have the talent, and I give them the freedom, to change what happens in a scene if it isn't playing well or getting the scare we want. I don't try to hold every scene and character to a rigid concept. I have seen actors take characters and scenes far beyond what I had originally imagined. That’s a reason that drives me to keep haunting. I can't wait to see what amazing things evolve next!”

One of the greatest aspects of The Scare, whether it’s in a horror movie or a haunted attraction, is the idea of suspense. It’s the subtle build-up of dread that tugs at your emotions and causes your pulse to race. DarkWood Manor thrives at subtleties through their use of these old school principles. For DarkWood, the devil is in the details.

“DarkWood is full of intricate haunted details. Our scenes are designed, built, and then layered with details. Some of those are small and generally undetectable by the casual observer. However, those details are the hidden blood and guts of DarkWood. A customer may not pick up on all of them consciously, but their sub-conscious does, and that really pulls them into our haunted world.”

After 13 years, Louis doesn’t see DarkWood Manor slowing down, not one bit.  “There are always more stories to tell, and always more monsters to create.”  The big question is where does DarkWood Manor go from here?

“We just want to keep getting bigger and better and to continue to out do ourselves on different levels every year.  Each season we always end up with a handful of ideas that we can't do or pull off, but I have noticed that none of those ideas ever die. They just come back in later years when we can better conceptualize and pull them off. That is just another aspect that fires me up to keep it going.”

Haunters are definitely a special breed. To be part of a haunt like this is like being thrown inside a meat grinder.  It can spit you out in pieces.  After speaking with Louis, I’ve realized haunting requires 2 important aspects… love and passion. This is what haunted house customer’s find when they visit DarkWood Manor…A haunt crew that puts everything they have into their artistic vision and refuses to compromise, and all of it done with the goal of sending customers screaming out into the night on a few of those cool, October evenings in Virginia.

“To be honest, I had no idea what to expect when I got into the business of haunting. I just jumped into it because it looked like fun, and I was right. It has been a lot of hard work and sacrifice, but it has been worth it. I feel I have met my basic goal by doing what I'm passionate about. No one can ask for more than that, and I hope people continue to SCREAM at the ongoing results of that passion.”

 
TO FIND MORE HAUNTED HOUSES IN VIRGINIA CLICK HERE ... http://www.hauntworld.com/virginia_haunted_houses

 

haunted houses, virginia
  Posted by Larry 1.02 AM Read Comments ()
 
 
 
 
Kersey Vally Spookywoods Haunted House in North Carolina
Mon, June 10, 2013
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www.kerseyvalley.com

 
TO FIND MORE HAUNTED HOUSES IN NORTH CAROLINA CLICK HERE ... http://www.hauntworld.com/north_carolina_haunted_houses

 
 

Kersey Valley Attractions is centrally-located in Archdale, North Carolina.  Tony Wohlgemuth, founder of Kersey Valley Inc., was nine years old when his family moved to the 60 acre farm in 1979.  Purposed as a Christmas tree farm, the property had several tobacco barns, a farm house and main residence.  The farm was a popular place to spend summers camping in the barns.  Tony and friends pulled power from the farm house by drop cord to one of the tobacco barns.  Just after midnight on a hot summer night a chandelier fell, stopping just inches from the boys lying in sleeping bags underneath it.  The end of the drop cord was caught by the window seal keeping the heavy iron light fixture inches away from hitting the boys.  The frightening occurrence spawned a dare between friends to enter the old house and restore the power, insisting someone must go upstairs to satisfy the dare.  One of the boys entered the house alone only to return moments later screaming that something was on his back.  He managed to scare up a family of bats, one landing on his back.  The incident shook the group of boys to the bone, creating an idea for a five room haunted house in the fall of 1985.


The House of Death came alive that year the last two weeks of October selling just over 1,000 tickets at $2 each.  Marketing efforts were limited to hand-drawn flyers given out at the boys’ high school.  By the 4th year, popularity for the attraction meant a 4 hour wait in line.  Tony knew it was time for a change and expanded the attraction with a walking trail in the woods.  When Tony met his wife, Donna, in college; she encouraged him to focus on his degree and career.  It became clear that a passion for the haunted attraction was undeniable.  Donna joined Tony to build the haunt and operate the attraction as a business.  Incredible growth followed.  The haunt was expanded further, creating a unique pathway through a dense forest of (Christmas) trees.  The name was changed to Kersey Valley haunted House & Forest the following year.  Each group of 8 guests was guided through the attraction, limiting throughput to 125 people per hour.  The next hurdle was increasing the throughput of the attraction to increase revenue.  Tony and Donna attended the 1996 IAAPA Conference and gained newfound knowledge of an unguided concept.  The entire (Christmas) tree area was redesigned, transforming rows of trees into areas that could accommodate walls and scenes to fit under the canopy of trees.  The haunt was very spooky and the business was transformed into an unguided format. The same year a domain name was sought out for the website and www.spookywoods.com was the perfect fit!  The new format reduced the wait to an hour or less and the throughput increased to over 800 people per hour.  The additional income generated from the dramatic increase allowed a much larger budget for improvements to the attraction.  

As the haunt continued to gain popularity, Tony and Donna planned to expand their seasonal business while both still worked full time.  Tony suggested that a corn maze would be a great use of the 10-acres of farm land around the haunt and Maize Adventure was born marking the beginning of day time attraction offerings.  Trial and error lead them to Maze Play in Idaho that offered the technology required to design and cut out the maze using GPS.  Donna began researching day time field trip opportunities for school children.  The marketing was sent to schools within a 50 mile radius.  Those efforts began to pay off and soon the day time business was packing the farm with kids during the weekdays.  The focus shifted to expansion of the day time business to keep schools coming back each year.  Gem panning was discovered while on vacation in Tennessee.  A vendor that creates gem panning attractions was found at the next IAAPA conference.  A company from Canada was hired to build the attraction, expanding the educational opportunities to schools with an educational event on gems and fossils.  An outdoor classroom was designed providing more educational experiences for students such as Planting Seeds of Knowledge and Bee-Educated field trips.  As Maize Adventure gained popularity additional features were added, including a giant jumping air pillow.  The jumping pillow was installed and became an instant hit with children. 

The first pillow has just recently been replaced with two of the giant 40x70 pillows to reduce wait times for children to jump.

The Kersey Valley brand came alive when multiple attractions with distinct demographics were fully operational.  The portal site www.kerseyvalley.com was created to cross promote all events and attractions.  Each attraction and event maintains its own website also.


In 2010, Kersey Valley expanded into a year-round business with a 1.5 mile zip line tour across the farm.  Kersey Valley reinvented the zip line experience with engineered Sky Towers and best-in-class equipment.  The attraction is aviation themed boasting Coach and First Class ticketing options, Flight School, Sky Towers named after airport city codes and Flight Captains as zip line guides.  The Sky Towers were strategically placed to enhance cross promotion between attractions.  Opening year-round required permanent restroom facilities.  Tumbleweed’s, a state-of-the-art kitchen concession facility and restrooms were built.  A surprise is harbored in the women’s restroom; as guests approach the sink they activate a loud scream and ghost illusion in the mirror. 


Kersey Valley Laser Tag, an outdoor tactical laser tag attraction, was added to the attraction line-up in 2012.  The attraction draws a diverse demographic as the equipment can be programmed for a simple game of shoot and tag to detailed programming for corporate groups with team-building initiatives.  Kersey Valley Laser Tag is a great option for birthday parties and bachelor parties looking for a unique celebration experience.

The humble beginnings of the haunted attraction business have allowed Kersey Valley to continue expanding and employ year-round staff.  Kevin Burger is the Safety Coordinator and managed construction of the massive zip line and restroom and kitchen facility build.  Kevin attended the Maize Adventure Corn Maze in 2000 with his church group, fell in love with the farm and never left.  Elizabeth Penn is the driving force behind sponsor partnerships with local and national corporate partners.  She wears many hats including promotional video coordination and design, special event planning such as Kersey Valley’s Dark Circus and is an integral part of the haunted attraction.  Chrissy Hughes is the Office Manager and master of the zip line reservation system.  She is the voice of Kersey Valley, answering hundreds of call a week with a smile.  Chrissy projects the fun attitude of Kersey Valley!  Tom Roever, Scot Edwards, Kevin Burger and Darrel Justice are several master carpenters that comprise the build crew creating the incredible sets at Spookywoods.  Steve Lee handles audio and lighting for the haunt.  Joh Harp and Amber Michael are the year-round FX team and set designers.  RJ Barber is the resident welder that can build anything the team dreams up.  Tom Benedict, Tony Forest, Wendy Martin, Ben Medlin, Kathy Justice and Steve Wood keep the haunt running like clockwork.  Tony comes up with the fun stuff and Donna keeps a close eye on the budget and pays for the fun stuff.  It takes an army of dedicated and talented people to run Kersey Valley.  The amazing staff is a result of the passion that Tony and Donna have to create stand out events and attractions; it’s contagious and it shows.

The Christmas trees planted in 1980 saved the farm, becoming the backdrop to one of the most unique haunted attractions in the country.  Looking ahead, Tony and Donna have a list of dreams from weekend events to an event venue barn, seating 300 guests. 

If it’s a Kersey Valley event or attraction you’ll be right in the middle of the FUN STUFF!

 TO FIND MORE HAUNTED HOUSES IN NORTH CAROLINA CLICK HERE ... http://www.hauntworld.com/north_carolina_haunted_houses

 

haunted houses, north carolina, best, scariest, attractions, halloween
  Posted by Larry 3.33 PM Read Comments ()
 
 
 
 

Find Haunted Houses, Haunted Attractions, Real haunted houses, the best and scariest attractions in the World.  Hauntworld.com is the biggest online directory for anything and everything Halloween, Haunted, Spooky, Scary and everything bump in the night.  Are you looking for the best haunted houses near you then use the Hauntworld haunt finder directory to help you locate attractions throughout America, Canada and the entire World!  Please take time to review the attractions you visit and post your reviews online for all to read.  If you are looking for any type of scary attractions from the very scary gory haunted houses to even the family friendly events like pumpkin patches, hayrides, corn mazes to even zip lines and more you will find them here on www.Hauntworld.com.  Hauntworld.com helps you find real haunted houses, zombie runs, fall festivals, Halloween and Haunted Attractions.  Hauntworld.com is also the best place to find year around haunted houses across the World including the biggest and the best haunted house attractions.  Hauntworld.com is also the only website on the web that rates and reviews haunted houses across the globe with our field of reporters reviewing only the scariest haunted houses in the country.   Now Hauntworld.com will help you stay updated on all the Zombie haunted themed attractions like Zombie Runs, and or Zombie themed haunted houses!   Do you want to learn the history of the haunted house industry then we can provide this as well Hauntworld.com is the biggest and best haunted website on the planet!  Halloween has gone crazy in America and now the World and Hauntworld.com will help you find just the right scary attraction for your next haunted encounter!  Also join our facebook page to stay updated daily!  Happy Haunt Hunting! 

 
 
 
 

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