Find the Scariest Haunted Houses in UTAH also make sure to Join our Facebook Page Click Here or Join our Haunted House Forums to discuss the scariest haunted houses in UTAH Click Here. Also subscribe to Hauntworld Magazine Click Here.
Utah Haunted Houses have grown over the years to feature some really amazing haunted houses some of which have been featured on Travel Channel. Several years ago when we visited haunted houses in the Cleveland, Utah the haunted houses in Utah seemed to be around every corner especially in the Cleveland, Utah area haunted houses are very popular form of entertainment and more haunted houses in Utah can be found at Hauntworld.com. On Hauntworld.com you will find every type of haunted houses in Utah from a haunted hayride, haunted house, Halloween Attractions, ghost tours, to paranormal ghost hunting. Read all about the best and scariest haunted houses in the state of Utah here at Hauntworld.com. Utah has some of the biggest haunted houses in cities like Columbus, Akron, Mansfield, Toledo and Springfield Utah.
When looking for a scary or the best haunted house in Utah look no further than the area of Salt Lake City, Provo, Sandy, Ogden, Layton, St. George, Cedar City, Utah because this is an absolute hotbed for haunted houses which would also include the Green River area. Utah has more haunted houses than almost any other state in America, and not only do they have several haunts but they have some of the best found anywhere. Utah has many cities with great haunted houses especially Utah area which has more of the top rated haunts than any other city in America.
Do you want to know what we feel are the best haunted houses in Salt Lake City? Do you want to know the Scariest Haunted Houses in Utah? You will find Utah haunted houses here at Hauntworld.com We want you to share your experiences on our Facebook page.
Strange & Scary Utah Stories of the Paranormal
Well-known for its picturesque landscapes, the great Salt Lake, and home to the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, Utah is also known as a hotbed of paranormal activity. As a result, Salt Lake City and the surrounding communities along the Wasatch Front have no shortage of bizarre sightings and frightening hauntings.
The Ghost of John Baptiste
One well-known ghost story refers to John Baptiste, one of Salt Lake City’s first known grave diggers during the 1800s. Baptiste was known throughout town and lived comfortably in a modest two-room, though many locals thought perhaps he lived a little too comfortably. In fact, after many years it was discovered that Baptiste had been stealing the clothing, jewelry, and other personal affects off the bodies he was tasked with burying.
After Baptiste was tried and convicted, he was exiled to a remote island in the middle of the great Salt Lake. When officials later visited the island to check up on Baptiste, he had disappeared. To this day, it’s unknown whether or not he perished or somehow escaped the island. A number of locals have claimed to see ghost walking along the shores of the great lake, grasping a bundle of damp, rotting clothing.
Promontory Point, Utah is the spot where the Central Pacific Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad were connected in 1869. The two lines formed the famous Transcontinental Railroad which linked the eastern and western halves of the United States. Since the massive project created numerous jobs, thousands of laborers from China came over to work. One of the main workers’ camp that was located at Dove Creek is said to be haunted and a hotspot for paranormal activity. There have been several reports of inexplicable lights, strange voices speaking in Chinese, and unexplainable footsteps.
The Bear Lake Monster
One of the strangest yet persistent “hauntings” of Utah is one that is allegedly located at Bear Lake. This “Caribbean of the Rockies” located along the Utah-Idaho border is a popular outdoor recreation spot for boating, jet skiing, camping, and of course fishing. But for nearly two hundred years, there have been a handful of reports of a strange creature that lurks beneath the surface.
The Shoshoni Indians that inhabited the area for centuries are said to be the first to have seen the creature – they describe it as serpent-like creature with short legs that would spurt water and occasionally crawl ashore.
Such a legend would have surely been dismissed had it not been for the numerous other reports. During the 1860s, a handful of highly regarded pioneer families claimed to have seen the creature, some while out fishing. In 1874, another reputable pioneer, a wagon train captain, declared he saw the creature poke it’s head above the surface about 20 yards from shore. A more recent sighting occurred in 1946 when a high-ranking Boy Scout executive gave such a detailed and substantial account of his encounter with the creature that it was difficult to dismiss.
Utah Haunted Houses are some of the scariest and best in America! Hauntworld.com rates and reviews the best and Scariest haunted houses, haunted attractions, and Halloween events in America! Fear Factory is located in Salt Lake City. Fear Factory is one of the best and scariest haunted houses in Utah. Read the full review and story of Fear Factory in Salt Lake City. Please share this page and leave your reviews of one of Utah's best and scariest haunted house. When you find yourself in the SLC area go to Fear Factory.
To learn more about Utah's fear Factory visit their websit below:
If you are daring enough to endure a blood curdling fright that will freeze the marrow in your bones, then by all means... pay a visit to the Fear Factory in Salt Lake City, Utah.You’ve heard it all before… Spook alleys and haunted attractions claiming they are the best or the most terrifying or the scariest attraction ever. Well, the Fear Factory will throttle your adrenaline into overdrive by a fear factor of TEN!
It all started over a hundred and thirty years ago. A cement factory known as the Portland Cement Works began its operation in the heart of industrial Salt Lake City. What’s so special about that? Well, nothing really, except the horrific deaths that occurred that will make bile etch its way into the back of your throat.
Start with George Howe. He was in charge of maintenance on the coal crusher, a piece of machinery powered by giant grinding gears. Poor George. (You know where this is going.) Alone on a graveyard shift, George was applying oil to the gears deep within the crusher. The machine grabbed his sleeve and slowly started pulling him into the giant gears. Unable to free himself, George screamed for help, but the solid factory walls muted his terror. Pop! His arm snapped from its socket and ripped from his torso. George Howe was fully conscious as his entire body twisted into the rotating gears before being torn and mutilated.
For factory managers, this first accident was shocking, unexpected, and unfortunate, but as the frequency of accidents increased, the workers grew numb as the factory seemed intent on keeping its gears oiled in blood. This cement factory would take victims in the blink of an eye, leaving bodies mauled, dismembered, burned, electrocuted, or beheaded.
Charles Whitner only worked at the factory for two short weeks before it claimed him as a victim as he attempted to navigate his way across the upper floors of the factory. The rising steam from the potash and chemical vats below made him so dizzy that he slipped and slowly slid toward the boiling liquid. He clawed at the burning steel until his fingers melted to the bone. Charles disintegrated in the chemicals.
Too dangerous to keep running, the cursed Portland Cement Works closed its doors. Decades passed, and other businesses acquired the property, but the building kept claiming victims to satisfy its apparent hunger for death. These businesses never lasted long. Falling into disrepair, the old factory became home to transients and wanderers. A few gruesome murders and a strange death have authorities baffled to this day. A man was found decapitated on the railroad tracks just a dozen feet from the Fear Factory entrance, his body still in a kneeling position. Was it the curse of the cement factory?
In 2011, the current owners acquired the property and explored its expansive spaces, silos, and underground tunnels…yes, underground tunnels! Soon after, the Fear Factory Haunted House was born. This is where it gets freaky. At night, if it’s very quiet, one can hear distant screams of terror echo off the cement walls. Is it George Howe’s ghost? Is it Charles Whitner’s spirit, or something else…something demonic? Just ask anyone who works at the Fear Factory in Salt Lake. They’ve all heard the screams and seen shadows stare down from the ceiling then dash away. What’s even more scary is the haunting sound of a little girl laughing in the middle of the night during the witching hour. There are no historical records that account for the death of a child at the factory, so what is it—a child, or a dark entity mimicking something innocent to lure you in? The hauntings can be so terrifying that Ghost Adventures featured The Fear Factory in an episode on the Travel Channel.
We asked owner, Rob Dunfield, about the success of Fear Factory. “Our success in the haunted house business can be directly attributed to the drive and determination of my amazing staff. Together we are always motivated to providing the highest quality haunted house event for our customers WITH the highest level of pure terror style acting, and our customers LOVE it! Which is why we have such a loyal customer base in Salt Lake City and far beyond.”
There’s a reason the Fear Factory attracts thousands upon thousands of haunt enthusiasts every season. What’s contained within the concrete will terrorize your soul. The owners just didn’t rent out a warehouse and decorate the walls like all the other spook alleys. During the 45-minute adventure, the Fear Factory takes its patrons through the creepy underground tunnels of the old cement factory, where the damp catacombs reside. And that’s now all! Thrill seekers will also endure over 11 sections of the Fear Factory on a half dozen acres of land filled with graveyards, wastelands, torture chambers, an infirmary for the insane, a sadistic chapel, a fun house filled with possessed clowns, and a tower catwalk 75 feet in the air; the only way down is a two story slide.
If being chased by psychos with chain saws or navigating an escape through the Hell Silo isn’t enough, adrenaline junkies will get their kicks trying the bungee free fall or the 200-foot, spine-tingling zip line! The Fear Factory even uses groundbreaking technology for a thrilling virtual reality experience that will have your heart beating like a kettledrum.
There are things in this world that will never be understood. This cement factory has seen its fair share of death, and if you are a believer that places can hold energy from terrible tragedies, then visit the Fear Factory—if you dare. Something very strange is going on. It’s no coincidence that it’s located at 666 West in Salt Lake City. There’s no denying why this event is touted one of the scariest haunted scream parks in ALL of America, not just Utah. Do you have what it takes to navigate through this factory of fear? Because, this isn’t just another haunted house in your neighborhood; this is the real thing, and this is why the Fear Factory is starting to be widely known nationwide as the icon of fear!
For more information, go to http://fearfactoryslc.com
|Salt Lake City, Utah - Nightmare On 13th Haunted House|
By Hauntworld Magazine
When Mike Henrie and Troy Barber were ditching out on school in the early 80’s to go skiing, little did they know over 25 years later they would be ditching out of regular jobs to run one of the most successful haunted attractions in the country. Mike and Troy, both natives of Northern Utah met each other in 1982 during there junior year in High School. They stayed good friends over the next 8 years that found them serving missions for their church, getting married and in the summer of 1990 both graduating from college during the same week. Not long after graduation, they decided to go into business together, but they needed to locate a business. Through a classified ad, Troy and Mike bought what amounted to a couple of storage units full of junk and start what was then The Institute of Terror Haunted House.
The first season was quite an eye opener into the work and ingenuity it took to run a haunted house, Mike and Troy did it all from building the attraction, promotions and operations with a lot of help from their wives and families. It was high on promotion and in a spooky old abandoned school. The IOT had performed above expectations that year and had launched Troy and Mike into what over the years would become one of the top rated Haunted Attractions in the nation.
In 1993 after three successful haunted house / Halloween seasons, the decision to put every dime into buying the building proved to be a wise move. By owning their building, Mike and Troy could spend all year working on the Haunted House. This enabled them to separate themselves from the competition. (www.nightmareon13th.com)
THE NEXT LEVEL
After having bought the building, they were now positioned for the right combination of ideas to achieve the next level. The next real turning point for the Institute of Terror came on a trip to Chicago in the fall of 1996 to attend the Halloween, Costume and Party show. Here Mike and Troy realized that they were under priced nationally and that a raise in the price of admission could pay for a substantial investment in the show. They firmly believed that with each price increase should come a perceived higher value to the customer. That show opened their eyes to the possibilities before them. They felt like they had just been rescued from being deserted on an island for the last six years. So on the back of a napkin at a local restaurant in Chicago the first sketches of what would become Terror Theatre (now known as Nightmare Theatre) were drawn. They also planned a large room with a snack bar at the end of the Haunted House where customers could collect themselves (known as the club) and ticket booths, all done in sheetrock and carpeting. They hired Val Chadwick Bagley a famous cartoon artist, who illustrated the nationally syndicated comic strip “Goblin”, to help them create the design around the major remodel. Val has been designing eerie scenes for them ever since and oversees most of the creative side of the Haunted Attraction. It did not take Troy and Mike long to re-coup their substantial investment. (www.nightmareon13th.com)
NATIONS #1 PRE-SHOW
Nightmare Theatre is what separates this attraction from every other. It is regarded as the best Pre-Show in the country. A ten minute computer controlled animatronics show has been thrilling Utah Haunted House goers for the last Fifteen years. The first Theatre show was a combination of animatronics and live actors. The next fourteen seasons brought a completely automated show presentation sometimes implementing one stage actor. Every two or three years a complete new show was created. This is challenging because the customers would enter and exit the Theatre at different times during the show. Therefore the Theatre has no designated beginning and ending which means all of the 1 to 2 minute sketches have to be independent of each other. Some of the sketches have included witch trials, executions, séances, ghosts appearing, and many more. Each show is narrated by a well known Animatronic Character. The advanced technology that runs the Theatre as well as much of the Haunted house prompted Troy and Mike to hire a local Theatre Technician Michael Klint to run the technical aspects of the haunt. (www.nightmareon13th.com)
The main Haunted House has also been updated. Dozens of automations and pneumatics have been used throughout the show, being careful to still have plenty of actors and keeping them effective. The show encompasses detailed sets and rich sound which establish the mood in each area. Great attention has been paid to the way the customer feels in each area and they are affected through all of their senses. The implementation of animatronics, lighting effects, lasers, and show controls are used in many areas of the Haunted House. Throughout the entire year a large portion of the Haunt is changed each season. The design team is constantly seeking new ideas and effects. (www.nightmareon13th.com)
Having both graduated with business and marketing degrees in college, Mike and Troy have relied on this knowledge to keep costs in line and run the haunt like a real and true business. They have recognized their individual talents and divided tasks based on their strengths. They have hired good people and trusted them to do their jobs. They have many long time employees who oversee much of the hiring, make-up, costuming etc. After the 2001 season the decision was made to change their name from the Institute of Terror to Nightmare on 13th. Having a well known location on 13th street in SLC this name change seemed like a perfect fit. The nine seasons since the name change have been the most successful of their 21 total seasons. (www.nightmareon13th.com)
In 2003, Nightmare on 13th unveiled a second attraction called “The Xtreme”. For an extra $3.00 patrons could up the ante so to speak by entering an attraction designed with a smaller throughput and more interactive features. Here the thoughts were to create an attraction that we could put into use many room ideas that we couldn’t do with the much higher throughput of our main haunt. We designed it with darker and narrower hallways with things that affect you in every room. We wanted to put you into the show instead of you watching the show by using water and a more creative use of air. Some of the rooms are the body bag maze, parachute hall, electrified sewer pipe, and star maze. This attraction, now in its ninth season, has proven to be a success in providing a different experience to the customer. (www.nightmareon13th.com)
This industry has certainly changed in the last 21 years with the advent of automations, animatronics and professional props. It’s not just black panels and actors anymore, the public will not accept that. Troy and Mike have always been good at anticipating the need of the future and have tried to make sure they are positioned to be prepared to meet it. The Nightmare on 13th will haunt well into the future as long as there are Nightmares to be dreamed…….. (www.nightmareon13th.com)
NAME OF HAUNT: Nightmare on 13th
LOCATION: Salt Lake City, Utah
NUMBER OF ATTRACTIONS: 3
TOTAL SQUARE FOOTAGE: 36,000 - 2 Levels
ANNUAL ATTENDANCE: 60,000
NUMBER OF YEARS IN OPERATION: 21
WEBSITE ADDRESS: www.nightmareon13th.com
TO FIND MORE HAUNTED HOUSES IN UTAH
Utah Haunted Houses - Rocky Point Haunted House
Rocky Point Haunted House was one of the greatest haunted houses of it's time. Sadly this awesome haunted attraction closed after nearly 30 years of haunt operations in Salt Lake City, Utah. Rocky Point closed after Halloween season of 2006. Below is an interview with the attraction owner Cydney Neil.
It’s been a long road for you in the haunted house industry. How did you get into this horror business, give us some background history. A: I grew up wanting to be a model, a dancer, an actress, and I was doing all of those things. I loved beautiful things and surrounded myself with everything glamorous. I do remember creating a haunted house inside of our family home every year. And the Munsters, the Adams Family, the Twilight Zone and Nightmare Theatre were some of my favorite television shows growing up. In spite of that; as an adult, Halloween or anything haunted held absolutely no interest for me. In the beginning, I thought my involvement in this industry came by accident, default. However, I no longer believe in accidents and I have come to understand that this has been more about fate. I realized some time ago that I had a purpose to fulfill, a mission to accomplish, and that where I was, was exactly where I was meant to be. And now, after feeling I have truly completed my “assignment”, I will look back on my “long road” over the past twenty years in this amazing business as some of the most valuable of my life.
Early on did you think you’d stay with haunted houses, that this could be a career for you? A: Not in a million years! I went back to Utah for what I thought was a two week stay to help my father with our family building, I was horrified to find a haunted house taking place there and tried to shut it down. But instead of closing it, I found myself taking it over! Frankly, early on, it was like a horror nightmare for me that I couldn’t wait to wake up from! As many people know, I tried to get out of it and away from it for many years. It took me a long time, but once I finally accepted that haunting is where I was meant to be and began giving it my heart and soul, things changed drastically, for me, my business and everyone involved. It was an amazing transformation that taught me a lot about the power of our attitude and perspective. I came to find out that my unconventional business provided everything I ever wanted and much, much more. So, did I become a star? No, thank God. My tiny taste of fame has taught me that I would never have been happy with that. I feel very blessed as I believe I have experienced and created something far more valuable. I have had the opportunity to make a difference in the world, to help change people’s lives, to contribute in ways I never expected, to work harder than I ever could have imagined and to create something far beyond what I even knew I was capable of. Ironically, as I now understand, in order for me to grow in the ways I needed to, it had to be within a business that didn’t appear to suit me. And the kids I believe I was called to serve could only be found and gathered in the dark, seemingly rebellious atmosphere of a haunted house. So I guess you could say, don’t judge a career by its cover! It may have hard for me to understand in the beginning, but in the end, my haunted house career was perfect for me!
Considering almost ALL haunt owners are men, have you ever felt out of place either in the haunt industry or locals who think its crazy that a woman owns a haunted house? A: I don’t believe I have felt “out of place” because I was a woman. I wasn’t raised to believe that men and women couldn’t do the same things. My business was my own, I didn’t answer to anyone or have to prove myself to anyone and being a woman in this business has actually had several advantages. The press never tired of the story of a glamorous woman in a seemingly unglamorous industry. I was able to make a lot of connections and gain a lot of support because I wasn’t who people expected to see when they scheduled a meeting with the owner of a haunted attraction. And to have a woman’s ability to create a home, with a heart, I believe was the biggest advantage. My haunted house ended up being a home of sorts for many people and my entire cast and crew became a family. Few men appreciate the power of love in a business. But as a woman, love was the foundation of my business, and consequentially its success. I have, of course, been painfully aware at times of the challenge it has been for the men in this industry to accept me and especially in the position I assumed. Men are naturally competitive I think, and can compete with each other pretty civilly. But I don’t think they like to compete with a woman, we play by different rules and frankly, I always feel competing is a waste of time. Honestly, I wish it would have been different. I believe that attitude, the fear and the egos cost the industry dearly. I expect there are more than a few men happy to see me retire!
From what I understand you’ve never liked horror, Halloween, or any of that stuff. So how is it that you ever stayed in the haunted house industry this long if you don’t have a love of the industry or the Halloween holiday. A: One of the big lessons I needed to learn in life is that the cover, the façade, the outside of anything or anyone can be deceiving and to look underneath the surface to find true meaning and beauty. So to learn that lesson, it makes sense I would be placed in a business that appeared so different on the outside than what I felt I wanted and who I thought I was. I stayed in it so long because underneath the surface, I discovered it held everything I loved and everything I wanted. I could utilize every one of my skills from acting and make-up to costume and set design in creating the event. Creatively, because of its darkness, it became far more interesting in its textures and depth than the beautiful things that compared, now seem almost boring. I could use my marketing, pr, my organizational skills and even my accounting skills to establish the business aspect, an area that has been essential for my long-term growth and success. I also had an opportunity to get to know and associate with thousands of kids, most of who I needed to look beyond their surfaces to appreciate who they are. I ended up finding some of the most beautiful people in the world who I have been inspired by, humbled by and changed from knowing. I am grateful for the wisdom and foresight of God who understands us and what we need far beyond what we ever could. I have learned that lesson well, along with many others that will no doubt be determining factors in my future and how I look at the world from now on.
You’ve had the privilege to have many exceptional professional make-up artists work on your show. From my understanding Michael Burnett had a major role in the early years of RPH. Tell us about that? A: Michael Burnett was introduced to me in 1991 by a friend who was the entertainment director of Knotts Berry Farm. I was looking for skeletons and corpses and Michael was making some really nice kits for both at the time. We became friends, he loved haunted houses and I brought him to Utah to teach some make-up effects classes to my artists. He came up for about 3 or 4 years. At the same time, Chris Hanson, who lived in Utah, was dabbling in special effects & after an introduction to Michael, Chris quickly moved to Hollywood and started working with Michael. Chris went on to work for nearly every major effects studio in LA, including Rick Baker. Once Chris had honed his skills, I hired him to head up my make-up effects department for my show. We continued my training program for local artists and through the years have watched several talented people realize their own dreams of going to Hollywood. I have several friends in the industry, Brian Penikas is another who comes up every year and does a workshop. But as far as having “many make-up artists working on my show”, that’s not the case. Chris & I design all the main make-ups and then we work with a group of talented, eager to learn people who apply the 100 plus make-ups our show requires every night.
From my understanding many of your set pieces, horror props & other haunt items come from real Hollywood movies or television shows. The façade on your haunt was the façade in a real television show. Tell us more about how you acquired so many awesome scary props. A: I have been very fortunate to have many dear friends in the film industry and they have been very generous in donating to me hundreds of movie props through the years. Some of the most horrific props I had used in my show, but most I had sold to raise money for charity. I have used props and set pieces from Disneyland, Universal, The Mummy Returns, Flatliners, Bats, Hellraiser, and many more. The façade of my Haunted Mansion set came from the television show, Promised Land that was produced in Salt Lake. We actually took a section of it and rebuilt it to fit our set. Its really beautiful. Recently, I heard someone say that sure, if they had connections in Hollywood they could have a “killer show” too. Obviously, that person has never seen my show. My connections are more of personal friendships and while its true, I have movie props scattered throughout my sets, it hardly make my show what it is! I really haven’t needed to bring Hollywood in to create my show. My amazing crew and I are basically from that industry and work at that same level. And actually, my film friends who have visited are far more impressed with my show than much of what they see in Hollywood!
Back in the old days you had two RPHH. What happened to the other one and why did you consolidate down to one? A: Both shows were growing so rapidly and I didn’t have a permanent location for either. It was way too much work having two haunted house shows that had to be torn down and rebuilt and managed each year. I lived in Salt Lake and I wanted to concentrate my efforts on one show closer to my home. I sold the props from the Ogden show in 1999. The Ogden show had been going 20 years and within two years after I sold it, it had closed. On the other side, the first year after I sold the Ogden show the Salt Lake show produced the same income the two had produced combined. It was the right move.
For years now you have been speaking about getting out of the business, specifically Hanf-o-domas aka Rich Hanf has been predicting for years you’d say you’re quitting only to return another year. Why have you said for so many years the next one will be the last one, and never quit but finally did. A: Regardless of all my insight into the value and purpose of what I was doing and all the lessons I was learning and the contributions I was making to the community, it remained a business that I just didn’t feel connected to. The “Queen of Haunts” is not who I am. It was kind of like being in school and feeling like a school kid who wants to graduate. It was interesting that as soon after I totally surrendered to and accepted the possibility that this may be a lifelong calling, I began to feel like that calling was coming to and end. As much as we feel want to control things, God’s timetable is not our own. It was a longer process than I ever could have imagined, but looking back, I am grateful for every minute and wouldn’t have wanted it to end any sooner. But you also have to let go when you’re told its time. Its time now. Its complete. I guess as much as it has bothered me that Rich and others have made a joke about it, I knew they couldn’t understand, nor did I feel inclined to defend myself or explain. It was a spiritual journey I was on. How could they have related to that and would they have made a joke about that too? It’s likely they still will. But that is a reflection on them, not me.
I know you have some very specific views on our industry both positive & negative. What are your personal views of this industry? What do you think is going right or wrong? A: Well, the positive side is that I feel the haunt industry, and I mean everything to do with Halloween and Haunting, is just beginning to take shape, to become what it will, that it has tremendous potential on a global scale to become a massive industry, much more so than it already is. Those people who have positioned themselves as professionals & who have developed a Haunted House business & created creepy haunt products will very soon begin to seriously reap the rewards. I was just getting to the point where my show was not only running perfectly; it was making a lot of money. In many ways it is the worst time for me to exit, but I have never been motivated by the money and my purpose in my own life & in the lives of my staff has been served. I believe that as long as they establish a solid foundation of quality & safety, even the small haunts also have much to gain & can ride that same wave to tremendous success. Ultimately, it is the theme parks I predict will be the leaders as they just have the ability (the real estate!) to handle the growth and they have the budgets and the organization to sustain that growth long term. The negative side of this or any industry is when egos have the opportunity to supercede excellence. In my opinion, its growth rate has been much slower than was necessary as a result but again, the positive side is that ultimately, in the end, excellence always wins out!
Has it ever bothered you that from time to time you’ve been perceived a certain way in the industry, and or mentioned by Hanf-o-damos countless times? Who is the real Cydney Neil and what do people have wrong about you? A: Again, their opinions and remarks have always said more about them than me. Confidence, experience, professionalism and a commitment to excellence has been perceived as arrogance, and once again, that attitude has not benefited the industry. What people don’t know about me I guess is that, first, I know how to do more than just sell sponsorships. In fact, that is probably my weakest area! I am a designer, a producer, a manager, a creator and I have designed and created everything that makes up my haunted house from the sets to the sound, the make-up, the costumes, to all of its programs. I have an amazing support staff who are my hands, who I give so much credit to, but my haunt was my creation. My spiritual side is something few people in this industry know about me, but then I still don’t feel comfortable sharing much of that in this forum. But if Halloween is not who I am, my spiritual side is who I am.
ou’ve done a fantastic job of finding sponsorships for your haunted house. What advice can you give others in this area? A: First, realize that sponsorship is a small part of your overall puzzle. It should be looked at as a marketing tool and possibly some budget relief, but never counted on to take the place of a great marketing plan and or a sufficient budget. Sponsorship has changed over the years. Ultimately, if you can sell someone’s product, bring them customers or in any way, show a return on their investment, that is what they are looking for. Few sponsors care much about logos being placed on posters and t-shirts. Know your market, know what your product is and what you have to offer, research suitable sponsors based on your own event and get creative in how to create win-win situations. My advice on many levels is to first establish your business and create an amazing product. Sponsorships are much easier to sell with your own foundation in place!
What advice can you give future haunt owners? A: Start with a good sound business plan; you are in business. Think twenty years down the road, buy property, establish a foundation, know you have enough budget to do it right, prepare to work very, very hard for a long time, hire quality people with integrity who are team players and then treat them really well, put on your best suit when you attend meetings, be professional, gain the support of your community, find a way to give back from the beginning, make friends with your inspectors by doing everything they ask you to and then some, make safety a priority, always think quality and strive for excellence in every area, be honest in your business, always pay your bills on time, learn how to write, follow through on your commitments and don’t plan on having a successful personal relationship at the same time! Just a few things off the top of my head!
You’ve always had a unique operation in that you run your business as a charity. Can you tell us some pros and cons and how this is set up? What are the benefits and do you suggest others follow your lead? A: My set up is actually quite unique and involved, but there are many different ways of creating win-win situations with charities. I spoke about partnering with a charity years ago, but few people understood what I was talking about or even wanted to listen. My philosophy is more about a way of life, rather than an actual business strategy, although in the end it has been a great one; believing that as you give, so shall you receive. As a result of that belief, my business has made a lot of money over the years, and at the same time we have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity and established an incredible youth program that has changed literally thousands of kids lives. I have given much but in the end, I have received much, much more.
What would you consider some of your most costly mistakes or failures? And what do you consider to be your greatest successes? A: If I would have known I was going to be in the haunted house business twenty years, I would have done nearly everything with that in mind from the beginning. I would have purchased property I have spent a fortune leasing, I would have purchased equipment I have spent much more renting over the years. I would have established a business from the beginning instead of putting it together piece by piece or years thinking each year would be my last! Although I am extremely proud of what I have accomplished in every area, there is no question that the youth programs I established and the people’s lives they have affected will have the most lasting value and ultimately, along with my own life changing lessons, what the past twenty years has been about.
Tell us exactly how many people visited Rocky Point Haunted House over the whole run? How many combined ad dollars did you spend, sponsorship dollars you raised, even some odd and end figures to blow our minds (much like McDonalds...20 billion served). A: Well, it hasn’t been 20 billion, although some nights it felt like it! In 2006 we put through 65,349 people. In the four or five years previous, we put through between 50-60,000 people, always increasing every year. I actually have the records but I will guess that we have “served” nearly a million people over our 27 year run.
Will you miss this haunted house industry? A: I am not normally a person who looks back much or misses things. There is always too much to focus on in the moment and look forward to in the future. But then, I have never done anything so wholeheartedly for twenty years so I don’t know exactly what to expect. I guess I will find out down the road…I believe that when you give something everything you have, when you couldn’t have done any more or done anything differently, when you have no regrets and have so much success to look back on and momentum from that success to move forward with, there isn’t much reason to look back or miss something. I am feeling like it as complete in every way, so there isn’t anything missing. If anything, I will miss the kids, who I love as my own children. And I may miss creating on such a grand scale and pushing myself to my limits. I guess if I miss it, I can always start again!
In the future will you still be involved with the haunt industry? Will you attend TW or other haunted functions? Will you do consulting? Just will you do? A: I have been asked to do some consulting and I expect I will try to assist others as much as I can while my experience is still fresh. I have learned a lot over the years and I would like to share that before I completely disappear. But since Haunting is not really my love, I am really looking forward to beginning again, in an area where I feel like I belong.I am still very focused on my business & the kids and finishing this chapter of my life, so I haven’t started thinking much about or writing the next chapter. I am kind of looking forward to life surprising me again as it did with this! In a big way though, I am retiring from work as I have known it. I want a personal life, I want to spend time with my boyfriend, my friends, my parents and family, I want to golf and ski, go hiking and put some miles on my motorcycle, go to dinner, travel, read and write; all of the things I have set aside to in order to see this mission through. Its important to me that I have truly earned this time in my life and I am going to enjoy it!
Will it hurt to finally see your haunt torn down and auctioned off knowing its gone forever? How much of your heart is in this attraction? A: I think I have prepared myself somewhat. I cried for weeks after I made the decision to close. I couldn’t imagine someone else having any of it. I guess that is still nearly impossible for me to imagine. The industry may not have had much of my heart but my haunt has had all of it. This is the first question that got me all choked up. Thanks Larry! It will be one of the hardest things I have ever done to tear it all apart and I am not looking forward to it. I will do it though as I know it is the right thing and the right time and they are all just things in the end. We can’t take them with us when we go so we probably ought not get attached to them while we’re here!
Tell us some of your strangest stories from operating your haunted house. A: I guess if you consider ghost stories strange, which I don’t, my experiences with many different spirits in my buildings have been strange, but actually pretty amazing. One year I brought in a person who channels spirits as I had a dark energy in one of my rooms that I was keenly aware of but couldn’t seem to clear out myself. She walked through my entire haunted house and in nearly every room she encountered entities who all had stories about when they came to the haunt and why they were there. It was pretty fascinating. She ended up finding the dark spirit exactly in the room I felt him in and began to tell me his story. To this day, I wish I would have recorded her that day. It would have made an incredible movie. I have had a few strange customers over the years, fans, well, stalkers to be more accurate! And strange people who seriously get so scared by a fake chainsaw they pass out! Okay now that’s just strange!
Over the years you’ve loved showing off your haunted house to others in the industry. Why? A: First, because it is my creation and I have been extremely proud of it, the same way parents are compelled to show you a wallet full of their kids’ pictures! And second, because I knew it wouldn’t be around for long and I genuinely wanted to share it with others as a means of possibly inspiring them to reach to another level, to give them ideas and to ultimately help the industry improve the quality of their shows.
You love to do themed area’s in your haunted house, what has been your favorites and why? A: Always hard to pick a favorite as once again, they are all like my children, every one different and unique. But I have to say that the Pirates of the Scare-ibbean sets we built for our 2006 show are pretty incredible. They will be our best effort yet and one I was very happy I spent the money to create. I also love the original Texas Chainsaw sets with all of the bone furniture just like in the movie and our Creature from the Black Lagoon set is really beautiful. Of course, although my customers love all those sets, their all time favorite will remain the entire Psycho Circus. There is just something really creepy about clowns, especially in 3-D!
What will you miss most about the haunted house industry? A: It’s uniqueness, it’s edginess, it’s dichotomies. No matter what I do in the future, I don’t think I will replace the amazing mix it has been for me of spirituality and darkness, of fear and love, of beauty and horror, or the depth of creativity required to do great rotting and blood and decomposition. I will miss my employees and seeing the kid’s light up inside when they achieve their goals. I guess I will miss more than I think. Thanks again, Larry! Okay, no more what will you miss questions!
Would you ever consider opening another haunted house in the future? If so how would it be different than what you do now? A. I can’t honestly answer that for certain. I don’t have any plans for it, but if I decided to, the next level of what I would do is already created in my head down to the tiniest detail! I guess time will tell, but right now I would say no, I am not considering it.
What has the biggest key to your success? A: Being skilled in every area of what the business required and an unwaivering commitment to make it not only successful but the best.
So now that it’s over, what are the final plans for RPHH? Are you having another event, auction or selling it out right? A: I am planning our last Scream Break for March/April of 2007, which will be our very last shows, ever. I am still not certain where the show will end up.
Any final thoughts? A: Just to say thank you to you, Larry, and to the entire industry for all the support I have been given and shown over the years. It has been a journey that I will forever value cherish as my most challenging and consequentially, cherish as my most rewarding.
Utah haunted houses are some of the scariest and best haunted houses in Utah and America. Hauntworld.com will help you find haunted houses in Salt Lake City, Utah and more specifically Haunted Houses in Utah. On this page we will also help you find haunted houses in Salt Lake City, Utah and haunted houses in Utah. As the editor of Hauntworld.com we attempt to visit, rate and review as many haunted houses in Utah as we can. We have seen some of the scariest haunted houses in Utah because we actually visited this area many years ago to tour the legendary haunted house in Salt Lake City, Utah called Rocky Point Haunted House. Rocky Point haunted house located in Salt Lake City, Utah was known as one of if not the best haunted house in Utah but America. Rocky Point Haunted house was one of the most elaborate haunted houses ever created and made fans of horror scream for over 25 years in Utah. Utah Haunted Houses have never compared to this legendary haunted house but now that this attraction is gone a new legion of haunted houses have opened.
Featured articles on the best haunted houses that ever opened in Salt Lake City, Utah. As we rate and review more Utah Haunted Houses, Hauntworld will report back, here at Hauntworld.com. Find the best and scariest haunted houses, real haunts, Halloween attractions, Hayrides and more near or in the Salt Lake City area.Salt Lake City certainly has it's share of paranormal phenomena such as lake monsters, ghosts, Bigfoot and UFO's. Bear lake, which is also known as "Carribbean of the Rockies," is a poplar place for fishing ,boating and camping. It has also been called home to large, snake-like mosters that people have reported seeing for generations. The Shoshoni Indians were the first to report these beastly like serpentine creatures, as tribe members would describe them. According to the stories of the Shoshoni Indians these massive creatures could crawl onto the shore and use there razor sharp jaws to snatch swimmers and fishermen away.
Many of you have heard of Bigfoot, but how many believe in the existance of Bigfoot? It is reported that there are as many reports of sightings of Bigfoot and Sasquatch in the wilderness area of Utah as there are in other states such a Oregan and Washington. Sightings started back in 1968 in Odgen Mountains in Utah. The two men reported spotting a creating standing 8 to 10 feet tall with white long fur. They stood and watched for several minutes.
Another hot spot in Salt Lake City in the Capital Theater located downtown. There have been several reports of paranormal activty from strange noises, voices, things moving and breaking and noboy will be there. The story is told that a usher was murdered in the 1940's during a raging fire. Since that tragedy occured, the reports of the light switched flipping on and off, doors locking themselves along with other unexplaiind activity. The Utah Ghost Organization has found and documented several paranormal activity through the years.
In additional there are many ghost tours, and other real haunted house places throughout Utah. Find the best haunted houses and more here at www.Hauntworld.com
If you visit a haunted house in your area please come back and rate and review your experience.