Posts Tagged ‘Haunted house’

I have recently returned from Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights event and I am currently in haunt mode leading up to Halloween, which is exactly why I will be watching and reviewing the new movie ‘The Houses October Built’ which features a fresh new idea in the found-footage genre based around haunted attractions… I can’t wait to review this movie and look for the article some time this weekend right back here at FirstClassHorror. The following is just a small little overview of the movie and the trailer etc… Enjoy guys!

Americans annually spend over 8 Billion dollars on Halloween. Nearly 2,500
haunted attractions open each year, with over 30 million customers attending
This is the story of a group of friends who set out to find the most terrifying haunt
in the U.S. — a fabled traveling haunt that blurs the lines between a carnival thrill
ride and a living nightmare.
Six days before Halloween a group of five friends (Zack, Bobby, Brandy, Mikey,
and Jeff) celebrate with a wild night out on the town before loading up their RV to
begin a cross-country road trip.

Approaching the first haunt, each character’s
personality begins to separate as they dissect their individual fears and
expectations. But the intrigue of a standard walk through haunted house quickly
fades and the bar must be raised.

The group stumbles upon some of Halloween’s
most creative haunts: The group gets to become the hunters instead of the
hunted. A “Zombie Paintball” excursion where you shoot rounds at real “human”

They then find themselves deep in the trenches of All Hallows’ Eve
erotica inside a “Zombie Strip Club.” And finally an adventurous desire kicks in for
something even more intense…something off the beaten path…the most extreme
haunted house ever created. The group starts questioning haunt workers and
patrons, searching chat rooms, before finally receiving an invitation to the elusive
BLUE SKELETON…a haunt with no website…no recorded history…only an urban

But they quickly discover that the HAUNT has found them. They come
face to face with the BLUE SKELETON and confront their ultimate fear, blurring
the lines between what is fake…and what is very, very real.

It’s getting to that time of year again guys when the Haunt season rolls in and everybody is starting to prepare for Halloween Horror Nights! The following are some random tips for anyone travelling to the event this year! Feel free to leave any other tips etc that you may think of in the comments below!

Thanks guys!

When should I go?

Any night in September is good. The later you go in Fall, the busier it will be. Saturdays are the busiest days of the week, followed by Friday. You should avoid the week before Halloween at all costs. November 1st is the last night of the event, and the crowds return to September levels, if that.

Is an Express Pass worth it?

It fluctuates in price each night. Some nights you would be paying as much as a regular admission. I’d consider buying one if 5/8 of the houses exceed a 90 minute wait time. So, in summary, get one on Fridays and Saturdays between Oct. 15-31.

Other Tips and Tricks

*The first and last Bill and Ted show each night are the least crowded

*Start your house from the back of the park and make your way to the front of the park as the night progresses.

*HHN is at its peak capacity around 10:30. Guests start to leave after then. Get into the park as close to the opening as you can.

*Talk to strangers. It helps distract you from the lines you’re waiting in.

I usually bring a backpack filled with the following items:

  • Poncho – Probably the most important item in my backpack. I recall one night where it rained literally all night. My girlfriend and I were soaked from head to toe. Then we bought ponchos. It at least keeps the rain off of your clothes. The downside to a poncho is that it gets pretty humid inside of it due to your body heat and the rain.
  • Small Umbrella – If you have the poncho, you’re probably ok. I bring a small umbrella just in case I don’t feel like wearing a poncho and the rain isn’t that bad.
  • Extra Socks/Shoes – This is only if you anticipate the rain is going to be bad. Usually when it rains, the lines for the houses get filled with huge puddles of water. Then you’re going to step in those big puddles and have wet shoes and socks. Then you’re going to hate your life.
  • Handheld game – Lines are long, and waiting in line staring at the drunk guy who took his shirt off and is singing Lady Gaga is only funny for the first 10 minutes, then it’s just sad and kinda creepy. Therefore, I usually bring my Nintendo DS and I’m distracted long enough to not notice the 2 hour wait times on each of the houses.

The backpack in itself is a great thing to bring because it can hold anything you buy during the event. You will have to open your backpack at the checkpoint to City Walk as well as the entrance to Universal. To make this as smooth and as easy as possible, I put together the following tips.

Things to not bring:

  • Weapons/anything that could be considered a weapon – You are going to have to pass through a metal detector when you come in the park. Don’t bring pocket knives, bottle openers, kendo sticks, or anything else that could be considered a weapon. Otherwise you’ll get it taken away and may not be let in.
  • Pens/Markers – I experienced this last year. I had just come from school so I had some Micron Pens in my backpack. The security pulled me to the side and told me that pens/markers weren’t allowed in the park. They took them, gave me a slip of paper and told me I could pick them up when I left the park. I don’t know what damage I could do with a Micron Pen, but it happened.
  • Alcohol – Alcohol in the park is expensive. I know your friends have done it and gotten away with it, so you’re going to try it. Don’t try and sneak alcohol in. They’ll just make you throw it away. And they won’t let you finish it off either.
  • Masks/Costumes – Just don’t bring these. The scareactors are here to scare people, not you. Which leads me to my next point…

Tips for not being an a-hole at Halloween Horror Nights:

  • Don’t attempt to scare/mess with the scareactors. This is probably the thing I see most from middle schoolers that got dropped off at the park by their moms. They want to look cool and mess with the scareactors. They try to sneak up on them in the streets and scare them from behind. Well it’s not cool, it’s rude and ruins things for the rest of us. This also goes for the houses. Don’t attempt to go into the actor’s boo-holes. Just walk through the house and experience it.
  • Don’t hound the scareactors for pictures. Sure, some will take pictures with you, but they’re here to scare people, not to take a selfie with you on Instagram.
  • Don’t blame the workers for long lines. Treat them with respect. They are just trying to work and put on this great yearly event for us.
  • Don’t touch anything in the houses. The creative team spent tons of time on these houses in making them extremely detailed. There are always drunk people that wander in the houses and rip stuff off of a table in a room. Just look around and experience it. No touchy.
  • Don’t smoke in line. This is probably the most annoying thing ever. Standing behind a guy for 2 hours who is chain smoking. Not only is it inconsiderate, but it can also get you kicked out of line. Universal has designated smoking areas for that.


The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)

What they claimed was real: The movie’s marketers claimed that it was based on paranormal activities experienced by the Snedeker family in their Southington, Connecticut home. In the film, a family moves into a house in Connecticut near where one of the children is receiving cancer treatments. The family discovers that the house used to be a funeral home, but decide to ignore the house’s macabre history—and least until the weirdness starts. Matt, the boy receiving cancer treatments, begins having visions of a ghost and so do his parents. Matt eventually learns about necromantic rites once practiced in the house, which led to the death of Jonah, who served as a medium during seances. The house, it turns out, is haunted by the spirits of the people whose corpses were hidden in the walls by the necromancer. The ghost of the medium possesses Matt in order to burn the corpses, freeing the spirits. The house burns down and Matt’s cancer disappears.

Fact Check: Are These Horror Films Really "Based On Actual Events"?

Alleged Real Connecticut Home via National Paranormal Association.

The Facts: Even Lorraine Warren, one of the supposed clairvoyants who worked on the case, said the movie was only loosely based on the actual investigation—and she told media outlets that she was kind of annoyed that people thought the movie version of the story was true. Of course, she insists that the house actually was haunted, but Ray Garton, who wrote In a Dark Place: The Story of a True Haunting, the 1992 book about the case, says the whole thing was a fraud. In an interview with Damned Connecticut, Garton claimed that Ed Warren, Lorraine’s wife and business partner, told him, “All the people who come to us are crazy, that’s why they come to us. Just use what you can and make the rest up. You write scary books, right? Well, make it up and make it scary. That’s why we hired you.” Garton insisted that the Snedekers couldn’t keep their stories straight and that he was barely allowed to speak to their son, around whom the story was supposed to be based. When he did talk to the boy, he told Garton that the things he thought he saw in the house went away after he had been medicated.

The Verdict: Well, the Snedekers did live in a former funeral home in Connecticut, but other than that, this isn’t a true story. The movie is very loosely based on a set of stories likely invented by the Snedekers and the Warrens and cleaned up by Garton for print.

When you hear the title THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, chances are you immediately think of the iconic design of the haunted house from the first film. With twelve movies in the franchise you can be forgiven if you don’t remember much else about them. The only consistent thing about the movies has been the house and at least one character being possessed.

The last theatrical released film in the franchise was 2005’s THE AMITYVILLE HORROR starring Ryan Reynolds. Since then, two direct to video films have been made. Now, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY producer Blumhouse Productions wants to try and bring it back. Starring Disney Channel actress Bella Thorne and Jennifer Jason Leigh, AMITYVILLE: THE AWAKENING keeps the house and the infamous real life DeFeo murders that have been at the center of each film in the series.

‘A single mother moves her three children into the haunted house not knowing of the house’s bloody history.’

AMITYVILLE: THE AWAKENING is directed by Franck Khalfoun who remade the cult classic MANIAC with Elijah Wood. The movie certainly looks creepy and could be a nice diversion in the usually garbage month for movies that is January. I would never venture to say this looks like a good movie, but it could be better than almost every other film in the AMITYVILLE franchise.

AMITYVILLE: THE AWAKENING opens on January 2, 2015.


The United Kingdom is really starting to up its game on the Haunt scene in the last few years and with this amazing attraction back again.. it’s sure to top the last few years as Horror Camp Live returns! Featuring the terrifying Lockjaw himself…

Following the terrible events of Summer 2013, when Camp Leader Ms Fanny Twitch, from The Institute of Happiness, was brutally murdered in plain sight of a group of campers, Campground Mass Acre has been under investigation by IOH Officials to ensure that operations progress into 2014 as smoothly as possible. To this end they have replaced Ms Twitch with a new Camp Leader, a woman with much local knowledge and an acute understanding of the site – Mrs Dybuk.

Along with her assistant Incesta Cleaver, Mrs Dybuk has moved basecamp operations from the previous ‘Screening Room’ into a deserted Ballroom – part of an old mansion built by the Haxenghast family, which had previously been overlooked by The Institute of Happiness. Curiously, the mansion appears to have been around for several centuries, and is known locally as ‘Manormortis’ or ‘House that is Dead’ – a somewhat eerie sense of atmosphere certainly seems to linger there. With some severe cost cutting measures and job losses at The Institute of Happiness, this new basecamp serves not only as a hub for campers during their evening meal and entertainment, but also comes with no charge, as no-one knows who owns the old manse…

The infernal games player ‘Lockjaw’ has been busy dismantling his experimental creations from 2013, no longer desperate to resurrect his master, he is now focused on his new alliance with Doctor Killian Goodkind – a former colleague from the secretive underground ‘Ministry of Fear’ organisation, who has set up his bizarre psychosexual clinic ‘Psychomanteum’ on the Campground site – apparently with the full support of landowner Abraham Cleaver, but to the dismay of The Institute of Happiness who are powerless to do anything about it.

And so, for a third season, Campground Mass Acre is back in business, now under the auspices of Mrs Dybuk, and with the close presence of the twisted Dorctor Goodkind and the omni-present tormentor Lockjaw…

Horror Camp LIVE! is an overnight immersive experience, based in the fictional Campground Mass Acre. Over 13 hours, campers become part of an interactive living horror game.

Inspired by movies like The Blair Witch Project, Cabin Fever and Friday the 13th, Horror Camp Live! is a unique scare entertainment experience which mixes live scareactors, indoor and outdoor scare attraction environments, dare based challenges and a horrifying story which comes to life in four dimensions of fun fear.

As darkness falls on the campground, campers meet around the camp fire before enjoying a two course buffet style meal while watching one of the latest horror movies, but all is not what it seems, as the terrifying night ahead becomes all too apparent, and Lockjaw – the demented serial killer, makes his presence known.

Horror Camp LIVE! challenges campers to undertake a series of dare games, during which they will be split up from the rest of the group. Each campers experience will be different, but all will include content which is intended to shock, scare and entertain. Campers will navigate around a series of indoor and outdoor environments during the experience, with shocks, surprises and scares around every turn.

This promise’s to be an amazing attraction and we will have an inside look at the event very soon with an interview with someone very involved in production at the attraction… Stay tuned for more…


At most Halloween attractions you’re an observer. The cardinal rule is that the actors can’t touch you. At Camp Darkwood, you’re a participant, and simply being touched is the least of your worries. This is an overnight, interactive horror experience where you’ll get to live through the frightening story for 12 hours. It’s everything you loved about camp as a kid – and everything you’ve been afraid of your entire life.

Campers will arrive at 7:30pm and be given a map and a list of clues. Once settled in at their cabins they’ll head to the mess hall for dinner and orientation. Afterward each group will follow their counselor to the next activity.



An extreme scavenger hunt that will require both bravery and cleverness if you want to win. This will be the most terrifying part of your camp experience as you’ll be facing horrific monsters, sadistic cultists, and worst of all – your deepest fears. The Ritual will take up most of your evening as you crisscross the campground looking for items to collect. Some will be freely given, and some may cost you. The creatures and cultists will be working to keep you from completing The Ritual by any means necessary and you may end up strapped to a table at their mercy or buried alive in the woods. This activity is not for the faint of heart.

Please note: each camper will be given a safeword to use if they wish to opt out of anything that happens to them. HOWEVER – If you use the safeword you will be disqualified from completing The Ritual.

CAMPFIRE TALES – Join our storytellers as they entertain you around a bonfire with blood curdling stories of horror and the macabre. Campers confident in their storytelling abilities can participate too! S’mores are included (of course).
ARTS & CRAFTS – Our crafty counselors will guide you through creating horror-themed decorations, collectibles, and treats.

FREE PLAY – During Free Play campers may enjoy any of the activities listed below

  • Movie Marathon – Relax and enjoy our indoor, big screen horror movie marathon with free popcorn!
  • Horror Trivia – Join host Clay Baker for two rounds of trivia each night, on everything from horror literature to scary video games

What’s Included

  • All activities listed above
  • Dinner consisting of one meat, two sides, and a roll (vegetarian options are available)
  • A water bottle that you can refill at our water stations throughout the night
  • A tote bag to collect your scavenger hunt items and carry your arts and crafts
  • One ticket for s’mores during campfire tales and one ticket for popcorn during the movie marathon
  • One twin bed in a cabin (bedclothes not included)
  • Continental breakfast

What You Should Bring

  • A Flashlight
  • A pillow, sheets, and blanket/sleeping bag
  • Anything you would bring for an overnight trip (medication, contacts, toothbrush/toothpaste)
  • Clothes you do not mind getting dirty and a clean outfit if you wish to shower/change. You will be getting dirty and gross if you participate in The Ritual.
  • Nerves of steel

We had the chance to speak with the guys behind this amazing attraction! Here’s some of what we talked about :

How did it start? How did you become involved? The idea for Camp Darkwood came from us fantasizing about the perfect Halloween attraction, the kind of thing we’ve always wanted to go to. We saw that other people like Blackout House were doing more involved, more intense attractions and we wanted something like that in our neck of the woods.

Roles you play etc. The camp is run by myself, Roman Paul, and my partner Ember Marr. Ember is the Business Director and I’m the Creative Director, but we both dabble in everything.

What it takes to make such an attraction? It takes a lot of determination to build it from the ground up. We started with no money, no staff, just an idea, so we called in favors from our friends and entered local business competitions to get it off the ground. We spent over a year planning and getting everything together before tickets went on sale.

What people should expect? Our campers should expect to live through a horror movie for twelve full hours. Camp Darkwood will be more immersive and intense than anything most people have experienced. You’ll be tied up, blindfolded…maybe even buried alive. What could be more fun than that?

What started your love for this? Any particular thing that sparked your love for this? Thoughts on attractions such as halloween horror nights?

We’re both life long horror and Halloween fans, so it’s hard to point to one thing in particular. I think that, for the most part, Halloween attractions have stagnated and that’s why you’re seeing this trend of more experiential attractions like Camp Darkwood, Horror Camp Live, and Blackout House. Theme parks still have pretty fun attractions due to the sheer size and budget that they have.

Camp Darkwood is located at Glenn Wood Hills Campground, 10747 Tide Rd, Derby, IN 47525.

Check this attraction out at –

Mike Darnell has sold his first big network project since settling into his new role at Warner Bros. TV this summer.

Explains The Hollywood Reporter, though the studio and the network, ABC, are keeping mum on details surrounding the pilot order, the unscripted entry will deal with haunted houses. Fittingly, Warner Horizon is in business with horror master Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions on the untitled project, with Blum attached as the potential series’ executive producer.

For Blum, the haunted house effort marks a reunion with ABC, where Blumhouse produced the found-footage horror series “The River” with Paranormal Activity director Oren Peli in early 2012. Though that project ultimately was short-lived, the company has continued to beef up its horror portfolio, with franchises including The Purge and Insidious.



For the past five years the Blackout haunted house has been terrifying audiences and making quite the impression on the haunted attraction scene. This year they promise to make past years’ attractions look like child’s play with the launch of a brand new experience in terror – Blackout:elements.

Taking inspiration from the four basic elements (air, water, earth, fire), Blackout:elements is set to be a more terrifying experience than ever before, an experience that requires you to sign a waiver before you step foot inside. That’s how you know shit’s about to get serious!

From there, all visitors to the attraction are required to make their way through completely alone, forced to interact with the frightening characters that populate the exhibit. In other words, no holding on to your significant other for comfort. Yeah. Serious. Real serious.

Each experience lasts a whopping 30 minutes per person, and no one under 18 is allowed entry.

Tickets start at $65 and can be purchased through Blackout’s website. Advance reservations are strongly recommended.

Blackout:elements will be making its way to New York, Los Angeles and Chicago; and you can find dates and more information below. See ya there, fiends!!

  • NEW YORK CITY: Saturday, September 7th-Sunday, November 10th, 7pm-11pm at the VORTEX THEATER, 164 Eleventh Avenue, New York, NY 10011
  • LOS ANGELES: Friday, October 4th-Sunday, November 10th, 7pm-11pm at the VARIETY ARTS CENTER, 940 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015
  • CHICAGO: December 2013, specific dates and location to be announced soon!


After weeks of teasing the “13 evils” that will be this year’s theme, Busch Gardens this week released the full details for the haunted houses, scare zones and shows for its Howl-O-Scream 2013, including a Fear Factor-like experience that tests the endurance of visitors.

The Tampa theme park is adding three new haunted houses with evil inhabitants and a new interactive experience called the Experiment, which requires reservations and an extra charge of $50, plus $10 each for up to three other visitors.

The Experiment turns guests into psychological lab rats who must face scares that range from “roaches and snakes to needles and darkness,” according to a Busch Gardens media release. Refusal to participate ends the experience.

The two new houses are the Basement, which features a butcher and bone-ground flour that is the secret ingredient to Momma’s Meats’ award-winning recipe, and Death Water Bayou, which features a voodoo queen and her minions.

Returning houses are Circus of Superstition 3-D, Blood Asylum, Zombie Mortuary, Ultimate Gamble: Reversal of Fortune and Nevermore.

Howl-O-Scream runs for 14 select nights between Sept. 27 and Oct. 26.

Admission is $89, but there are deep discounts online ($48-$55 for a single ticket and a “Thursday 4-Pack” that gets you four tickets for $30 each). Other options include VIP Packages, the Fright Feast dinner buffet, front-of-line passes and multi-day passes. Go to

Howl-O-Scream is intended for adults, though children under 18 will be admitted.


Not that this comes as a shock, but, Dimension Films has removed The Amityville Horror: The Lost Tapes from its set January 3, 2014 date.

There’s been zero word from inside the camp as to the progress of this long delayed “official” sequel, which had Casey La Scala and Daniel Farrands attached to write and direct.

“The Amityville Horror: The Lost Tapes showcases the events after the time of the original ‘The Amityville Horror’ book and movie through found footage dating back to 1976. An ambitious female television news intern, on the verge of breaking the most famous haunted house case in the world, leads a team of journalists, clergymen and paranormal researchers into an investigation of the bizarre events that will come to be known as The Amityville Horror … only to unwittingly open a door to the unreal that she may never be able to close.

If anyone would like to speculate as to why this keeps happening then feel free to let it flow in the comment below!

Thanks guys! Stay tuned!!