AMERICA HAUNTS USES TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS AND CREATIVITY TO BRING ADVANCE SCARES NATIONWIDE
Animatronics, motion sensors and virtual reality
lead the way in haunted attraction evolution
Step inside one of America Haunts 28 haunted attractions from coast to coast and enter into another dimension, filled with one’s deepest nightmares come to life, with the help of innovative technology. Thousands of animatronics make up these elite haunted attractions that are imagined and created by some of the industry’s most cutting-edge engineers and designers looking to terrify the masses this Halloween season.
Inside the major haunted attractions across the nation, gone are the days from decades’ past when pigs’ heads from slaughterhouses and legally purchased human parts are used as props. Today’s Hollywood-style sets at haunted houses impress not only thrill-seekers, but tech-savvy guests as well.
“We work year-round brainstorming and dreaming up truly horrific creatures and set designs to take people out of everyday life and into a new world that is both terrifying and exciting,” said Ben Armstrong of America Haunts, the organization that represents the 28 biggest and most elaborate haunted attractions in the country. “The moment you walk into one of our haunted houses your every movement is detected and the technology in the haunts is programmed down to the millisecond how to respond, like walls shifting and monsters swooping down at just the right moment. It all adds to the out-of-body experience we want everyone to have.”
Millions of dollars go into creating realistic sets, many having hundreds of different animatronics that resemble menacing creatures and bloodcurdling monsters, each with their own elaborate electronic control system. Lighting, sound, 3-D features and virtual reality also play a role in the technological evolution of the largest and most elaborate haunted attractions.
“Going to a Halloween convention and buying a scary prop that is thrown in a corner is not enough for America Haunts. It is not how we operate,” Armstrong said. “If an animatronic is purchased, it is often altered drastically and our engineers may spend up to a year rebuilding it, so that it fits perfectly into the environment. The haunted attractions that truly frighten the heck out of people are done so when artistry and progressive engineering are combined. It is an art form that takes years to master and we absolutely love it.”
America Haunts is the oldest group of haunted attractions with over 28 independently owned and operated haunted houses in 20 different markets. The organization provides the most advanced sets and Hollywood-quality effects that scare over a million thrill-seekers each season.
The following America Haunts Attractions are leading the way in high-tech haunted houses, setting the bar for the most horrific, out-of-body experience people seek this season:
• Netherworld Haunted House, Atlanta – With over 300 different animatronics worked on year-round this haunt takes high-tech to the next level. Each animatronic is programed with its own electronic “brain” and senses visitor’s every movement to ensure the most surprising, blood-curdling experience. Watch out for the giant monster that soars over visitors’ heads trying to capture souls with one of its ten arms reaching down. www.fearworld.com
• 13th Floor, Chicago – Home of the first “smart” haunted house in Chicago, this haunt will take visitors to another dimension with the virtual reality headset. Along with the traditional haunted attraction scenery that offers cutting edge technology and advanced sets, visitors can opt to take the challenge of the untethered, 360-degree walk-through that uses high-definition video to create the most terrifyingly realistic experience possible. www.13thfloorchicago.com
• House of Torment, Austin – Combining both futuristic technology and the most realistic make-up and costume design, this attraction dishes up a horrifying trip into the worst of nightmares. From zombies running up at full speed to Vampire Lord’s slowly approaching while staring straight into the eyes of patrons, the House of Torment dishes up a terrifying experience. www.houseoftorment.com
• 13th Floor, Denver – Monsters, unnatural creatures and humans come alive when they should have stayed dead in this high-tech haunt. Around every corner visitors will find frightening animatronics that sensor their location and awaken in a jolt when their victims are just close enough. With specialized actors and unique performances this haunt packs a punch for those looking for something high in the fear factor. www.13thfloorhauntedhouse.com
• Erebus, Pontiac, Mich. – The dead walk at this haunted attraction. With hundreds of animatronics and life-like make-up and costumes visitors are terrified by zombies roaming the haunt along with frightening creatures that watch and follow every step just waiting to strike. Creepy sound fills the attraction and pulsing light confuses the senses in one of the most technologically advanced haunts in the country. www.hauntedpontiac.com
• Nightmare on 13th, Salt Lake City – Yearly transitions and updates keep this haunt one of the most cutting-edge high-tech attractions. Gruesome monster holograms wielding axes rush towards visitors and hologram ghosts pop up to scare even the most stoic adults. The realistic set designs alongside horrifying actors and unsurpassed animatronics make this a must-see haunt. www.nightmareon13th.com
• Bennett’s Curse, Baltimore – See some of the largest monsters at this chillingly realistic haunted house that incorporates all the senses. Themed sets include precise detail in costumes, scenery, music, lighting and actors to offer a trip into hell itself. The impressive technology in this haunt helps create such a realistic experience that it is currently being used to film a horror movie and has very limited public access. www.bennettscurse.com
About America Haunts
With more than 28 haunted houses and attractions across the country, America Haunts delivers fear-based entertainment to more than a million thrill seekers each season. America Haunts has been featured on the Travel Channel and its members recognized by The Guinness Book of World Records on multiple occasions. The organization is committed to providing technical excellence, stunning set design, Hollywood-quality make-up, costumes and actors. Members enjoy nothing more than delivering, a good old-fashioned scare. Visit AmericaHaunts.com.