Saturday, June 20, 2020

Halloween is Not Cancelled

I've been seeing a lot of posts out there on various social media sites saying that "Halloween is cancelled" or "Halloween is dead" even. So far, this has been primarily in reaction to major haunts saying that they're not opening this year due to the Covid19 pandemic that's currently raging through the United States and the rest of the world. There's been a few instances where it's just a general statement, but it's usually haunt industry people or those close to it saying such, from what I've seen so far. 

To that, I wholeheartedly disagree.

Terror Behind the Walls - 2014
Some haunts have started announcing they're not doing their events this year, and it's scary for a lot of folks. There's no Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at Disney, Eastern State Penitentiary has cancelled their Terror Behind the Walls event, and many smaller haunts along with annual haunt conventions have begun cancelling (or have in the past already) and postponing until 2021. On the surface, it sure seems that the trend for things is that this is going to be the norm for 2020 and it looks like Halloween is just over. 

It's not a death knell to Halloween, and saying Halloween is cancelled is just silly.

Yes, the industry of haunting will suffer a huge blow this year, and there's no disillusion to that from me at all. Many haunts, and other businesses that rely on haunt revenue, will hurt. Some may not even survive the missed season if they have to cancel, and who knows what it could spell for even large events in the future to come and how they're handled. I've been in and around the industry for decades now, and have so many friends within it that it hurts and I hate to see them hurt.

I hate the thought of it, it's heartbreaking.

That said, while we all love a good scare, and nothing is more glorious than the sounds of screams in the night as the monsters come out to play in the fog, it's not the only thing Halloween is about.

You can still decorate your house to the nines, go around and see all the other houses that have done the same in your neighborhood by walking, or driving. It's a religious holiday for many, myself included, so those festivities will likely continue, even if done in smaller scale. Trick or Treat may still happen too, but done on a slightly smaller level by people, not grouping up, etc and figuring out distancing for house safety, etc. You could still potentially have a small gathering of friends over to celebrate as well. 

No, these aren't the huge events that have tons of people all over or the massive energy that we may be used to, but are those really what Halloween is only about? I don't think so. There's also the slight chance that some of the more modern traditional experiences could happen, but on a smaller scale too. 

For the record, I say all this stuff from my own personal experience over the past few years. I haven't been to a haunt in 3 years (health, distance to them, finances, etc), haven't been to a Halloween event, not even had friends over due to scheduling issues. Trick 'r Treat? Hit or miss at best, we had like 7 last year, and none the year before almost. Still, that has not stopped me from me celebrating.

This may come as a shock, but I never saw haunts as necessary for Halloween to be celebrated. I've had a love affair with Halloween and everything about it long before I was ever a haunt industry worker and I started working haunts when I was 13. Yet, I freely admit that it's just not necessary to celebrating the awesome that is Halloween as a whole. Maybe we all could use a slight pull back from the massive that Halloween has become.

My forced hiatus from almost all things haunt industry has helped shift my view a little, and I'm not going to deny that. It hurts being away from it, on a lot of levels as it's something I really love, and I hate to think about the hurt that my haunt family is very likely to face this year, but that's not what makes Halloween what it is. 

We do. 

Saturday, October 26, 2019

This, That, and Another Thing as We Look to 2020

It's been quiet around here, to the point of almost being criminal or obscene and I'm not a fan. There's been a lot of reasons for that. One of the hardest things for me has been not going to haunts over the past couple of years. My energy and drive to even writing about them was rock bottom since I knew I wouldn't get to them.

It's not for lack of want either, but lack of desire combined with geographic isolation from them. There just aren't many in the area at all and I haven't been able to travel nearly as easily. I'll admit, the Eastern New Mexico/Western Texas area is pretty crap when it comes to haunted attraction density. Even more so when you compare it to where I used to live in Western Pennsylvania and couldn't swing a dead body without hitting one it seemed.

That said, I've learned a lot about many haunt owners out there, and been doing a good bit of searching as far as how I feel in supporting or reviewing their attractions knowing their stances on certain things.

I'm still working on how to reconcile that for my return to visiting and writing about all things haunted attraction and Halloween in 2020 but I'm getting closer and it's going to require me to be more vigilant about things.

That said, I really look forward to getting back into the mix with you all. It's been far too long.

So, until the next time we talk...

Sweet Screams and Pleasant Nightmares!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

New Year...New Fear!

Greetings My Darklings!

Kit Casket here, with a quick something for the new fear! You've celebrated the ball of wet stuff going around a bright thing for another year, congrats on that. Big accomplishment.

More importantly, I have to say that this year, so far, has been a weird one. Well, even weirder than usual for this beautiful vacation spot called Hel. It's cold, sure, but the owner of the place is a pretty awesome girl by the same name, and she make a pretty bad ass cup of tea. So, it's not all bad.

But, enough about the locale...

We, by that I mean mostly myself, have no clue just what this year will bring from this site to your eyeballs. Mmmm, eyeballs...wait, no, that's not what I meant! Or, is it? Anyway! I'm looking forward to helping bring all the best news, reviews, and other weirdness from the haunt world straight from the dirt that the townsfolk covered me with!

Not sure that's something to brag about, but hey, it's just how the tombstone crumbles. Just wanted to get in real quick and get back out with a hello and we'll see you on the dark side.

Sweet Screams and Pleasant Nightmares!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Halloween Horror Nights Orlando Announces Earliest Ever Opening Date for 2019!

Universal Orlando isn't wasting any time, and although we're not quite done with 2018 yet, they've decided to announce the dates for HHN before the blood has even dried from this past year's event. Halloween Horror Nights 2019 will be running on select nights from Sept 6th thru Nov 2nd. That is a ton of nights for folks to get a chance to see the event!

While news is awesome, as so many people love the event, I can think of a few reasons not to overdo things; event fatigue, diluting quality, and a host of other things come to mind but here's to hoping they can pull it off.

There's not much else to really report here on this one but keep it tuned in for more news out of Halloween Horror Nights Orlando and haunts all over the world as we gear up for 2019!

Side note, it's also fitting that the first haunt write up here is also from one of my favorite haunts to have worked at over the  years.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

2018 Review Tour Cancelled and 2019 News

Hey everyone, this may come as a shock (read: not really) but this year I won't be attending any haunts and therefore not doing any reviews. This is the second year now that I really haven't done much and there's a good reason for that...


Yep, that's right, just finished the first part of a move to a much better location than previous. There's actually people here, and things. However, there's no haunts anywhere nearby which is a massive bummer. The nearest haunted house to me? 104 miles away. Scary to think that's actually an improvement over the last place we were living, where it was like 150. So, I know what you're saying now, "So what? You traveled a ton to visit them before, why does it matter now?" and that's a valid point.

However, unlike before, it's a little trickier to get up and go all the time here given that nothing is even remotely close. Back in the Pittsburgh area, there were about 50 haunts within that radius from my house.

Of course, this doesn't mean that I'm throwing in the towel, not in the least. It does mean that I will be taking a slight break and figuring out how to do one of the things I love from this remote of a location. This may mean planning trips that are longer in an area to get the most bang for the buck, trying to get more sponsorship (read: any), stealing people's kidneys in their sleep (mostly kidding), or flat out doing something crazy like Patreon, or something else entirely.

So, while this haunt season is nearly ended, I'm going to work on everything that's needed for next season to be amazing from our end of things. On top of that, I fully plan to start reporting on news from haunts large and small all over the US and beyond once more as well. That should help ease things until we get back on the road.

I also am working on shifting all of the reviews that were formerly on to this site as well, and hope that in the coming year I'll have them all shifted over.

Really looking forward to what this new region is going to bring as far as haunts go and sharing that with you in 2019 and beyond!

Sweet Screams and Pleasant Nightmares!

Monday, June 18, 2018

New Things are Afoot!

No, not that foot. Though, I'm sure that we could dig one up somewhere around here, folks seem to misplace their feet quite often.

Anyway, just a little note here that we're still in the process of moving everything over from the the site to here. Yes, we are moving all the haunt reviews over. The Haunt news section over there, not so much. Most of that is all outdated but we will link to an archive of it!

Anyway, that's all I have to say about things right now. So, until we meet again, sweet screams and pleasant nightmares!