Ernest N Morial Convention Center
New Orleans, LA,
January 12 - 15, 2018

Sunday Seminars

Sunday Seminars January 29

Admission to HAuNTcon Education is FREE with paid registration for that day! However, HAuNTcon Registration is required to attend the below classes. CLICK HERE to register. Additional fees are required for Workshop Classes. Session topics, speakers, as well as class day and times are subject to change.



8:30-9:30am – Business
Composing An Employee Handbook
by Alyssa Schipani, Fright Farm / Design By Aly

An employee handbook is an important communication tool between attraction owners and their employees. A handbook serves as a complete guide of information to keep employees informed and aware during their employment. It also sets forth your expectations for your employees, and describes what they can expect from you. Since most haunted attractions deal with a high number of employees for only a short amount of time, having an effective employee handbook is crucial. In this seminar, Alyssa Schipani will walk attendees through how to compose their own employee handbook for actors and staff, including policies, procedures, incentives, safety, schedules, job descriptions and duties, chain of command, and more.

8:30-9:30am – Creative
Creating a Horror Blog Or Website
by Brianna Abello, Eerie Dolls

The large number of horror websites, blogs, YouTube Channels, and podcasts on the internet is no surprise. Haunters and horror fans enjoy reading, writing, listening, and watching these different media outlets. Why not create one to promote your haunted attraction. If you’ve ever been interested in reviewing horror movies, books, or discussing other creepy topics, then this class is for you! In this session, Brianna Abello, creator of Eerie Dolls, will discuss different methods that helped facilitate the creation of her site and ways to connect with other bloggers. Attendees will learn the basics of promoting and managing the site through social media, and other great tips and tricks! This session will help attendees brainstorm ideas for the blog or website and guide them through the creation of the site. No experience necessary, this session is great for beginners!

8:30-9:30am – Demonstration
Upgrading Your Home Haunt
by Dr. William Ramsay “Dr. Terror Eyes,” EyePromote, Inc.

Looking for ways to take your Home Haunt to the next level? Looking for help, ideas, resources, and guidance on what to do to scare and entertain trick or treaters? Then let the “good Doctor” prescribe suggestions from his 42 years of Haunt experience. In this session, “Dr. TerrorEyes” (Dr. Bill Ramsay) will provide attendees with the cure ailing Home Haunt needs. This class will also provide fresh ideas about creating unusual props and decorations at home. Topics include resources, support and networking sites dedicated to Halloween enthusiasts and Home Haunters. “Dr. TerrorEyes” will provide the perfect therapy to find inspiration and tools to transform a “Walmart” yard to a spooky Home Haunt worthy of the talk of the neighborhood.

10:00-11:00am – Business
Customer-Based Design: De-Risking Your Haunt
by Brandon Whitaker, Wardenclyffe Manor

Join Brandon Whitaker as he discusses how to protect your haunted house investment. Topics include how to access your competition as well as your own strengths, how to offer a unique value to your market, how to bring your market into the attraction design process, how to get the most from your creative design team, how to break down assumptions to make a dream reality, how to reduce waste and ensure what is built matches what was envisioned. Brandon will also touch on issues with operating a year-round haunted attraction.

10:00-11:00am – Creative
Fear Shui: The Art of Terror Design
by Shelly Brower, Haunted Hall

Feng-Shui is a Chinese a system of laws said to govern the flow of positive energy in architecture and urban design. In this provocative session, Shelly Brower shares with attendees how to use “Non-Feng-Shui” or Fear-Shui to cause negative energy, making haunt customers feel uncomfortable and out of sync. Topics include realistic themes, non-Feng-Shui decor, specific scare tactics, and decorations will put them into the “scare zone.” Find out how adherence to the “out of the ordinary” will freak people out! Even seasoned haunted will come away from this session with though provoking ideas from this session!

10:00-11:00am – Demonstration
Costume Distressing: Focusing the Filth
by Scott Swenson, Scott Swenson Creative Development LLC

The days of throwing some paint on a tee shirt and calling it a zombie costume are long gone. In this class, experienced haunt producer, creative director and writer Scott Swenson will show attendees how to distress and generally muck up costumes in a way that makes sense to the character and reinforces the story of your haunt. Topics discussed include shopping the thrift stores for the base costumes, how lighting affects the look of your costumes, why it is important to have a costume designer or supervisor, how props can be used as something more than noisemakers and even an edible blood recipe. Leave the general splatter technique behind and focus your filth!

11:30am-12:30pm – Business
Creating a Haunted Farm Experience
by Benjamin Selecky, Haunted Farms of America, Inc.

Farm haunts are in a unique position to create unrivaled Haunted user experience. Using nature as the backdrop, haunted farms are as REAL as they come…swamps, corn fields, and wooded trails, oh my! In this seminar, Benjamin Selecky will provide the insight to leverage existing haunt resources and maximize return on investment. Topics include corn mazes, haunted farms, entertainment, events and gatherings, concessions, pumpkins and more! Use the ideas presented in this session and take advantage of the many benefits of being a farm haunt, deepen the connection to your customers and community, and diversify your Agritainment Enterprise.

11:30am-12:30pm – Creative
60 Minutes to Escape: The Agony of Puzzle Design
by Angela and Victoria Ardoin, Escape Room Louisiana

Don’t get trapped in the design of your escape room puzzles! Let Angela and Victoria Ardoin take you on a journey from concept to execution with puzzle design. They will share a design system that unravels the mystery of creating puzzles along with tips and tricks to keep your escape room gamers engaged all in sixty minutes or less. Attendees will put on their escape room puzzling hats and collaborate with the rest of the class and get involved in the building of a sample escape room scenario.

11:30am-12:30pm Demonstration
Actor Training: Tactics for Trainers
by William Brown, Mission Creek Haunt

Taking that lump of human clay and turning it into a horrible monster capable of scaring any type of haunt customer is not an easy task. In this session, William Brown provide a plethora of information and techniques to guide the lead monsters trainers in their task of teaching new scare actors how to scare. Perfect for teaching new actors and re-energizing veteran actors, topics include scare tools and tactics, safety for both the employee and the guest, and basic rules of haunt acting. Attendees of this seminar will learn about the many types of scares, what a scare zone is, and how to use it.

2:00-3:00pm – Business
Mistakes and Pitfalls in Starting a Haunted House
by Corissa Gaulin, Supernatural Productions

With over a decade of experience in the professional Haunted Attraction industry, Corissa Gaulin will share her experiences in this hour-long crash course of what not to do when starting a haunted event. By sharing what she has learned, Corissa will discuss her own mistakes as well as observations of mistakes made by others. Attendees will gain insight that could potentially save thousands of dollars and countless hours of time on their own attractions. It is not necessary to be wealthy to own a haunt of your own, and in this session, Corissa teach attendees to dream a reality and avoid common pitfalls. “I only wish I had attended a seminar like this a decade ago when I started haunting,” explains Corissa.

2:00-3:00pm – Creative
Using Scents to Suspend Disbelief
by Dr. Brian D. Jackson, J & S Ventures, LLC / Derailed Haunted House

Haunters strive to create realistic scenes for their attractions in an attempt to transport customers to another place. The more realistic the sets and decor the easier is for customers to “suspend their disbelief,” making them more vulnerable to being frightened. In in each scene or theme it is important for set designers to appeal to as many of the human senses as possible. The use of smells and scents in a haunted attraction completes a fully immersive experience for haunt guests. In this session, Dr. Brian D. Jackson will focus on the details of employing scents effectively in your haunted attraction. Topics include the practical and psychological placement of scents, the methodology to utilize scents, the types and array of scents available to set designers, examples of the use of odors, and some cautions to be considered.

2:00-3:00pm – Demonstration
Creating Aged and Distressed Peeling Walls
by William & John Steed, Nightmare Distressed Designs

Flat black walls just don’t cut it for today’s high detailed haunted attractions. Realistic rotting sets and walls that are aged, distressed, and peeling are what is needed set the mood for a fantastic fright. But making a new plywood wall look like it has been abandoned for decades is an art all its own. In this messy demonstration, William Steed from Nightmare Distressed Designs and Nashville Nightmare will show attendees fun, fast, and most importantly easy techniques to get the look you have been wanting for your next haunt project. Benefiting beginners and veteran scenic painters alike, this demonstration will include painting techniques and faux distressing to create painted walls that are peeling away, exposing the rust and old paint underneath.

3:30-4:30pm – Business
Building Haunt Partners Instead Ruthless Competitors
by Michael Book, Louisville Halloween

Learn how working together with other area Halloween attractions can strengthen your business and the local haunt community. In this session, Michael Book will explain how together, haunters can rise out of the “dark ages” to create a stronger haunt industry, and how attendees can take steps to create a better environment for their business to thrive. Creator of Louisville Halloween, the Louisville Halloween Job Fair, the Legend at Pope Lick, co-owner of the Danger Run, and Co-Chair of the Louisville Halloween Parade and Festival, Michael champions changing the paradigm: building partners instead of competitors.

3:30-4:30pm – Creative
Here today, Here Tomorrow: Training and Retaining Your Actors
by Ashley Book, Danger Run / Legend at Pope Lick

The success of a haunted attraction is largely dependent on the quality of its actors, and having to search for and hire new talent each season is a burdensome task. Having actors return each year is the most effective way to keeping up the quality of that acting troupe. The importance of growing and nurturing a haunt family cannot be overstated when trying to create the best business possible. In this session, Ashley Book will share proven actor training and retention techniques to help attendees retain their top talent.

3:30-4:30pm – Demonstration
3D Printing For Your Haunted Attraction or Escape Room
by Jason Kittrell, Kittrell Entertainment

3D printing has crashed the haunted attraction and escape room industries. No longer do operators and designers have to search endlessly for a particular custom prop for a puzzle, a replacement because it was broken. With a 3D printer, a replacement piece or new costume item can be created in minutes. In this seminar, Jason Kittrell will guide attendees on what brands of printers are available, what software to use, and how the right filament can enhance even the most mundane designs. Whether attendees need a special custom item or want to have something unique for sale in your shop, a 3D printer is the solution.



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HAuNTcon 2018

January 12-15, 2018

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Event Coordinator: 
Leonard Pickel

Exhibitor Booth Sales: 

Chad Savage / Sinister Visions

News Archive

About HAuNTcon

An acronym for the Haunted Attraction National Tradeshow and Conference, HAuNTcon is a celebration of people who love Haunted Houses and Halloween. It is three days and nights jam-packed full of Networking, Tours of area Haunted Attractions, educational seminars, make-n-takes teaching the latest is Haunting techniques and a tradeshow exhibiting the latest in Haunting props and equipment.

Offerings include a pre-show bus tour of area Haunted attractions, tours of local Haunted attractions, tradeshow floor, costume ball, haunted garage sale and Haunter education including workshops, make-up and product demonstrations, and prop how-to make-n-takes.

HAuNTcon is open to the general public and all ages are welcome to attend. If you operate a Haunted House or would like to. If you act at a Halloween Event or would like to. If you Haunt your Home, or if you are just a fan of Haunted Houses and Halloween, then HAuNTcon is a "not to be missed" weekend of Haunting fellowship and just plain fun!


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