Fall is here so it’s time for me to shake my head at another mainstream media article about haunted attractions. Every year Forbes, Buzzfeed, CNN, The Today Show, Good Morning America or whatever come out with a Top 10 Haunted Attractions article – and almost every time I disagree with it.
It’s not their writer’s fault. Imagine if you had minimal knowledge about haunted attractions and were told to quickly write something about the best ones. How would you do it? You’d probably start googling terms like “best haunted attraction” or “scariest haunted attraction”.
Since almost every haunted attraction claims that they are the “best” or “scariest” this is basically going to get you the people with the best SEO and not necessarily the best haunted attractions.
Another option is for them to google other haunted attraction articles from other mainstream magazines – who have probably researched their haunted attractions in he same way described above because it’s not like we have time machines and teleportation.
It’s overwhelming to really dig into this industry and almost impossible for someone to research it quickly.
Fun story: My Haunted Attraction article got rejected from Cracked only because I needed another reference to back up what I was reporting on. There are none.
Why is that? Because I’m the only website that talks about art, tech, and innovation within this industry and goes through this many haunted attractions with a specific art-centric perspective talking about what’s going on. There are many review websites, but most of them aren’t looking for exactly what I’m pulling out. That might sound like a good thing* but it basically means that I can’t ever write about haunts for Cracked based on their guidelines that insist you must have a secondary reference that isn’t you for each thing that you claim.
I have no way to back up the fact that I physically saw an amazing room with a rocking floor inside Akron Ohio’s Haunted Schoolhouse and Lab. There is no book written about it and I could not find anyone else talking about it.
It took me a couple of years of hard touring to get my head around all of the trends and concepts – and it’s basically all I did for 2 months for each those years. It’s not a normal amount of time or money that I spent on it. You have to be a special kind of batshit loco to do this.
But I digress.
Something that I dislike about everything in life is that those who get the most coverage aren’t necessarily the best – they are just the people with the most marketing dollars. Many smaller haunted attractions are pretty poor at marketing their haunts or simply have no budget for it because they spent it all on making a phenomenal piece of interactive theater. It’s no one’s fault – this is just life.
I have always been the person to stand up for the little guy. In fact my haunted attraction tour this year will avoid some of the larger haunts that don’t change from year to year in favor of the smaller haunts and the innovative larger ones.
I’d love to be able to help journalists meet their Halloween deadlines easier in some way with content that no one else will have.
Any journalist or writer who needs help in their haunted attraction research – feel free to contact me via the “Contact” button on the top bar of this website. I am professional, camera-friendly and can easily help you with a detailed analysis of Halloween and Haunted Attraction trends. If I don’t know the answer you need, I probably know someone who does.
* Anyone who knows business knows that more people talking about an industry is better than less because it creates a better ecosystem for the message. We need more people, doing deep analysis of haunted attractions!