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HAuNTcon 2015

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February 6-10, 2015
Belle of Baton Rouge Hotel & Convention Center
103 France St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

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Creative Sessions

DemonstrationsCreative SessionsBusiness Classes
Hands-On WorkshopsAdvanced All Day Workshops

Creativity lies at the heart of any great entertainment venture. We sometimes get so bogged down in the technical and business details of bringing our attractions to life that it is easy to lose track of that spark of story and imagination that truly engages haunted attraction guests. Listen in, follow along or join in with these Creative sessions and let our innovative speakers help your dark dreams flourish. Times, topics and speakers are subject to change.
Note: Attendance to the HAuNTcon Tradeshow Floor is required to take these classes.
CLICK HERE to register.

Creative 1 – Saturday 8:30 – 9:30 am Room: 320 A-D
Projected Ghost Effects
by Chris & Jeff Davis and the crew of Davis Graveyard, Davis Graveyard

Description – Video effects are becoming more common in haunted attractions. Learning how they are done and creating them yourself allows for a more personalized effect that your guests will remember. Using several techniques, you will learn how to create your own realistic ethereal ghost effects, which can be used both outdoors and in your haunt. Jeff and Chris will demonstrate the tips and tricks of videotaping actors, then teach you how to use simple software to create almost any ghost effect you can imagine. Learn about the low cost LCD projectors and ultra-small solid state media players that make video projections so popular today.

No Registration is Required

Jeff and Chris Davis, and their talented crew, are the creators of The Davis Graveyard, a popular yard haunt in the Portland, Oregon area, which has been in operation for over 10 years. As the nation’s largest and most detailed cemetery themed yard haunt, the display has won several awards. It has been featured in magazines, as well as showcased in’s “Haunts Across America” series.

The Davis Graveyard coordinates the Haunters Video Awards and DVD Set, now in its 12th year, a compilation of home haunter videos from all over the world that are judged and given awards. The Davis Graveyard has presented seminars and teaches local workshops, sharing their prop building techniques at summer workshops in Portland, Oregon. Recently, The Davis Graveyard was tapped to help with ABC’s “Extreme Home Makeover” of Nightmare Factory in Salem, Oregon, where they created hundreds of cinderblock walls and aged brick hallways and rooms, all out of foam. Go to for more information.

Creative 2 – Saturday 10:00 – 11:00 am Room: 320 A-D
How To Safely Use Fog And Special Effects
by Adam Pogue, Froggy’s Fog

Description – This class will discuss safe usage of fog and other special effects that create the “WOW” factor in an attraction which keeps customers coming back for more. Froggy’s Fog is a major name in this field, and Adam will discuss his best advice regarding product safety, design ideas, do-it-yourself items and potential pitfalls in an engaging round table style discussion with ample opportunity for attendees to ask questions. Special effects are memorable to haunt visitors; keep those memories positive with an awareness of safety.

No Registration is Required

Adam Pogue, a co-founder of Froggy’s Fog, has been proudly supplying the Haunt community with the perfect fluid for every effect for over 10 years. Froggy’s Fog is featured on MSNBC’s Your Business, ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover, Honored by the Haunted Attraction Association, and talked about in numerous haunt magazines and blogs. Adam is proud to be part of the haunt community and looks forward to speaking on how to use Fog and Special Effects (Haze, Snow, Bubbles, Scents, and Lighting) to safely affect your bottom line. Keeping safety first, Adam will be giving the best tips to create the best overall haunt experience. You can’t miss these tips that will keep your customers coming back for more!

Don’t forget to stop by and see Froggy’s Fog at HAuNTcon, Check out, or like us on Facebook and join our now famous Froggy’s Free Friday contests!

Creative 3 – Saturday 3:00 – 4:00 pm Room: 320 A-D
How to WIN on FaceOff (Panel Discussion)
Panelsits – RJ Haddy and Roy Wooley
Moderator – Leonard Pickel

Description – The reality television show Face Off is now in its 6th smash hit season! This successful look into the world of special effects make-up and costuming has made stars out of many make-up artists who started their careers in the Haunted Attraction Industry. In this panel discussion, we will ask Face Off veterans Roy Wooley (star of season 3 and a finalist in season 5) and RJ Haddy (runner up in season 2 and star of season 5), what being on the show was like, how they got chosen for the show , how attendees can get chosen for future show and most importantly, “How do you WIN on Face Off?”

No Registration is Required

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Creative 4 – Saturday 4:30 – 5:30 pm Room: 320 A-D
Theming your Haunt!”: Using Psychology to Dramatize Your Theme and “Traumatize” Your Patrons!
by Craig Caldwell, Advanced Fear Mechanics

Description – A clever theme gives you distinct marketing advantages, streamlines your design requirements, and limits extraneous expenses. However, the overarching benefit of a great theme lies in it’s ability to capture the mind. It becomes the touchstone that manages every aspect of a patron’s experience and determines the success of your Haunt. We’ll explain a theme creation process in detail, plot a hypothetical sequence of interactions, and apply the psychological principles that give you precise control over every scare; the priming, timing, and emotional entrainment that elevate an adrenaline rush into
an unforgettable thrill. In conjunction, we’ll provide specific guidelines and examples of how to fully manipulate the level of fear, moving far beyond “Boo!”

No Registration is Required

Craig Caldwell is a cognitive psychologist currently consulting with the government on decision making. He has studied user interface and user experience design and is cited in Wikipedia for research in interactive evolutionary computing. He has worked as a director of R & D, and as owner of a development company doing high-end remodeling, where he constructed complicated real-world environments with fancy electrical and plumbing systems. In a past life, he earned advanced degrees in physics and space science, programmed the space shuttle launch control computers, and tested rocket fuels at White Sands.

Caldwell is a founder of Advanced Fear Mechanics, a firm that consults on designing and engineering dark experiences. Lots of helpful information, including the text of his presentation, is posted at

Creative 5 – Sunday 8:30 – 9:30 am Room: 320 A-D
Advanced Haunted Attraction Floor Plan Design
by Leonard Pickel, Hauntrepreneurs(R) Themed Attraction Design and Consulting

Description – “It’s just a haunted house… how hard could it be?” While it may be true that anyone can design a haunted house, what sets a great haunted house apart from an okay haunted house? Learn the process that leading attraction designers use to develop an attraction that is on the cutting edge on haunt design in this quick paced session from veteran Haunted Attraction designer Leonard Pickel. In this thought provoking session Pickel will explain how he uses his Architectural education and 30 plus years of professional haunting experience to design terrifying Haunted Attractions, and how you can use these methods to strike terror into the hearts of your patrons. Take your attraction to the next level by taking this exciting class.

No Registration is Required

Leonard Pickel has been designing commercial Haunted Houses since 1976 with over 100 such attractions to date, and presented educational seminars at every significant gathering of Haunters in the US and Canada on topics ranging from code compliance to effective scares, from increasing Haunt capacity to how to start your first event.

Creative 6 – Sunday 10:00 – 11:00 am Room: 320 A-D
How Realistic Detailing Can Make Or Break Your Set
by Chris & Jeff Davis, Davis Graveyard

Description – Whether you are going for super detailed realism or a sense of suspended belief, the devil is in the details. The one thing you add or take away that makes the scene perfect and the viewer unable to point their finger at what makes it so perfect. From more realistic cobwebs to the addition of natural elements like real natural debris to the position of a prop and the lighting and painting of each item, it is the details that ultimately make the scene.

No Registration is Required

Jeff and Chris Davis, and their talented crew, are the creators of The Davis Graveyard, a popular yard haunt in the Portland, Oregon area, which has been in operation for over 10 years. As the nation’s largest and most detailed cemetery themed yard haunt, the display has won several awards. It has been featured in magazines, as well as showcased in’s “Haunts Across America” series.

The Davis Graveyard coordinates the Haunters Video Awards and DVD Set, now in its 12th year, a compilation of home haunter videos from all over the world that are judged and given awards. The Davis Graveyard has presented seminars and teaches local workshops, sharing their prop building techniques at summer workshops in Portland, Oregon. Recently, The Davis Graveyard was tapped to help with ABC’s “Extreme Home Makeover” of Nightmare Factory in Salem, Oregon, where they created hundreds of cinderblock walls and aged brick hallways and rooms, all out of foam. Go to for more information.

Creative 7 – Sunday 3:00 – 4:00 pm Room: 320 A-D
A House Cannot Be Haunted Without a History: Developing a Killer Back Story
by Drew Edward Hunter, Sally Corporation

Description – The production of a new haunted attraction can benefit greatly by beginning with a solid back story on which to build the show. Or, for an established haunt, the addition of an intriguing storyline can bring a renewed interest and energy to the production. Combine a fascinating back story with an effective host character and you’ll have material for the media to focus on and thus achieve good coverage and publicity.

Drew Edward Hunter brings over 40 years of professional experience to this discussion and will present examples of how he has used a combination of back stories and character hosts to help create a distinct image of various haunts in the minds of the public and the media alike. How is a back story developed? How does a host character present the story? How does a back story help determine the style, scares and impact of a haunt? Drew will address all this and more!

No Registration is Required

The very first movie Drew saw as a two year old child was a re-release of Walt Disney’s masterpiece Fantasia. It embedded in him a life-long appreciation of art, music, design, storytelling and creativity. It was the incredible “Night On Bald Mountain” sequence of the movie, however, which inspired his love of all things macabre, dark and haunted. Drew’s professional haunt career began in 1975 with Dr. Blood’s Exposition of Terror, and in the decades since he has designed fright entertainment for Six Flags parks, wax museums, private haunts and much more. He is the VP of Creative Design at Sally Corporation, a world leader in the creation and production of animatronic figures and dark rides.

Creative 8 – Sunday 4:30 – 5:30 pm Room: 320 A-D
From Start To Finish: Principles of Artistic Set Design
by Matt Marich,

Description - Get amazing looks without wrecking your books! Matt Marich’s 38 years in the Haunt and Film Industry will help you solve design dilemma’s you have that fit your budget!

This seminar begins at the birth of the creative brainstorming process. Where do you arrive inspiration? Various materials and equipment are explored as well as techniques for scenic painting and finishing the scene to give it realism. Setting the scene perfect and fantastic from a master artist and designer that worked on such films as Tombstone, The Stand and the 1990s horror chiller Body Snatchers.

Come prepared to broaden your visual horizons and bring your problems and questions with you for the informative Q&A at the completion of the seminar.

No Registration is Required

Matt Marich is a 55 year old Phoenix native that has created projects all over the world for amusement parks, corpreated trades, and films. A veteren of 34 years in the entertainment industry, including 12 in feature films, a professional makeup artist, set designer, prop and animatronics, sculpture, and magician.

Creative 9 – Monday 8:30 – 9:30 am Room: 320 A-D
Psychological Horror In Haunts And Performances
by Michael Maxim, Price Entertainment

Description – With the customer base of haunted attractions desensitized by the gore seen in movies thanks to CGI and multiple takes with FX teams, haunted attractions as well as dark entertainers need to work on maximizing their attractions and/or performances by increasing the psychological scare factors in their haunts. All of these can be achieved in various ways, but some of them are often overlooked by inexperienced haunters.

Our seminar on using Psychological Horror to Maximize your Scare Factor covers ways to do just that. From the proper placement of distraction pieces and pop-outs to timing…from a unique blend of scripted and improv style acting instead of a script and or basic acting areas that allow little to no change up in performances by your actors and more. There are many things one can do simply to add to the psychological scare, but our seminar focuses mainly on the acting aspect. How an actor can use the power of psychological horror in the way they move, the lines they use, and their look to heighten their personal scare factor. We open by talking about the little things you can do in rooms themselves to heighten the psychological scare factor and segway into the acting since a proper set with multiple options helps your actors out in the long run.

We cover techniques like timing, multi-tasking while acting, observation to body language and conversations, dialog, movement, and more. Don’t just settle on getting the startle scares that will rarely work on customers that go through your attraction multiple times in a night. Begin to shape your acting crew into a crew of monsters and ghouls that will not only scare your customers, but also get into their heads subconsciously so the customers take the scares home with them.

No Registration is Required

Michael “Mr. Maniacal” Maxim has been haunting professionally since 1989 in various haunted attractions located mostly in Ohio. In 2012 he officially formed Price Entertainment with his haunting colleagues, focusing on freelance performing, seminars, and consulting in haunted attractions and horror themed events. Mr. Maniacal wrote the book “The Art of Fear: Theories of a Dark Entertainer” in 2006 and is currently working on his second book “Horror Show: Psychological Horror in Haunted Attractions”. He currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio and is still performing as a freelance actor.

Creative 10 – Monday 10:00 – 11:00 am Room: 320 A-D
Adding Movie Quality Special Effects to Your Haunted Attraction
by Steve Wolf, Wolf Stuntworks

Description – Hollywood veteran special-effects coordinator Steve Wolf will show you how to get the most bang for your buck as he shares secrets of Hollywood’s back lots, showing you how to incorporate movie quality affects into your live experience. Wolf does the special effects and pyro for Dark Harbor on board the Queen Mary in Longbeach, CA, and for House of Torment in his home town of Austin, TX, and he’ll show you just how simply many of the most dramatic effects can be created.

No Registration is Required

Steve Wolf is an Academy award-winning Special Effects coordinator, with credits including pictures for Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks and Whitney Houston. He’s used his special-effects know-how to add realism to movies including Castaway, Colombiana, Hustle & Flow, and to television shows such as Law & Order and America’s Most Wanted. In addition to his work on feature films, Wolf is also A prolific science teacher, and winner of this year’s Time Warner cable “Science Teacher of the Year Award.”

Creative 11 – Monday 3:00 – 4:00 pm Room: 320 A-D
Prop Fabrication On A Budget
by Russ Foster, Panic in the Park

Description – Charity and home haunts can have budgets way up in the double digits. Can’t afford that $3000.00 prop? You can build your own for $14.99! With imagination and a little know-how, you can build stalk-around costumes, working animatronics, facades, even quality sets. Most of these items can be built from common items, or a quick trip to the DIY store. You are limited only by time and creativity (and the internet is FULL of creativity). Examples will be presented, and a Q&A session will allow for cross-talk and sharing.

No Registration is Required

Russ Foster is the event coordinator for Panic in the Park, a charity haunt that benefits the Groesbeck, Texas Volunteer Fire Department. The event has raised thousands of dollars for training and equipment over the years, but has a VERY small operating budget. Russ has years of experience with charity haunts, from squadron fundraisers during his Air Force career up to 2013’s multi-haunt event. Russ has designed and built numerous props and costumes from easy-to-find and incredibly cheap materials. These include (but aren’t limited to) stalk-around costumes, life-size puppets, sarcophagi, coffins, animated props, facades, and masks.

Creative 12 – Monday 4:30 – 5:30 pm Room: 320 A-D
Creating a Realistic Haunt : Old School Themes & High Tech Dreams
by Rusty Minter, Creekside Manor Haunted House

Description – Although Hollywood and technology has upped the stakes on what patrons expect to see in a haunted house, it is still crucial to blend in old school themes with high tech dreams. This presentation will walk you through creating scenes inside the haunt as well as outside facades that are a perfect mixture of the two.

No Registration is Required

After creating his first haunted house in 1987, Rusty Minter has been working non-stop in the
haunt industry. Rusty has created many haunts including; A Nightmare on 3rd Street, The Crypt, Perigord Cemetery, Haunted Rigormortus Funeral Home, Haunted Tayman Manor, Tayman Funeral Home, Ed Geins Haunted Hayride, Psycho Circus, Roots of Evil Haunted Trail, and his newest creations…. Creekside Manor Haunted House, and Zombie Fallout. He also has worked at Verdun Manor at Thrillvania for many years.

DemonstrationsCreative SessionsBusiness Classes
Hands-On WorkshopsAdvanced All Day Workshops


Event Coordinator: 
Leonard Pickel

Exhibitor Booth Sales: 

Chad Savage / Sinister Visions

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About HAuNTcon

HAuNTcon features movie & TV industry celebrities for presentations and personal appearances.  In the past we’ve hosted makeup professionals such as Brian & Nick Wolfe, Cleve Hall, and Tom Devlin.  Actors from iconic horror movies such as Gunnar Hansen (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) have graced our celebrity ensemble.

If can’t get enough scares in October, try our Pre-Show overnight bus trip that includes lights on and lights off tours of local haunted events. This tour is followed by the full action tours on Friday and Sunday evenings.

The Trade Show floor, Friday through Sunday, is filled with the latest in fright services and equipment, for the professional Haunted House owner and the Halloween enthusiast alike. From horror makeup and highly detailed masks to static props and large animatronic creatures, everything a Haunter needs will be for sale, often at wholesale prices.  Stay four out Haunted Garage sale, where local haunted houses and manufacturers sell and trade anything everything haunted at this flea market/swap meet.  The sale is a great place to find killer deals.

The conference wraps up with advanced education on the Monday, following the trade show, with day-long hands-on workshops, covering everything from attraction design to creating realistic scenes of terror at your event!