Ernest N Morial Convention Center
New Orleans, LA,
January 25 - 27, 2019

Speaker Bios

Speaker Bios

DemonstrationsCreative SessionsBusiness Classes
Hands-On WorkshopsAdvanced All Day Workshops

HAuNTcon’s education program is unmatched anywhere, and a large part of that is due to our fantastic presenters. Each one comes from a different level of experience and expertise, but the one common factor is their desire to share their knowledge with you, our attendees.

Please join me in thanking our HAuNTcon 2018 Speakers!


Alexis Abare of Haunted Farms of America, Inc.

Alexis Abare is organically drawn to both farms and the art of haunting – combining these two passions creates an unstoppable drive to guide Haunted Farms. As the CEO and co-founder of Haunted Farms of America, she is detail oriented, business focused and results driven. Alexis is a super storm of both education (from historic Salem State University) and experience (10+ years in the advertising industry). This makes her a colossal resource for those looking to improve their Haunted Farms (and more!).


Tori Ardoin of Dead of Night Productions


Angela Ardoin of Dead of Night Productions

Tod Ardoin of Dead of Night Productions

Tod owns Dead of Night Productions and Escape Room Louisiana


Jonathan Bailey of Haunt Weekly
New Orleans, LA

Jonathan Bailey is a haunter by night and a copyright & plagiarism consultant by day. From New Orleans, Jonathan is a nationally-recognized expert in all things content theft related helps his clients protect their work or serves as an expert witness. When he’s not battling thieves, he’s building his home haunt, Bernie Baxter, or co-hosting his podcast, Haunt Weekly.



Deanna Bryant-Shaw of Divine Dementia

Deanna Bryant-Shaw is currently a makeup artist at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights. She has done makeup and prop making for several years, and loves to share her knowledge and techniques with anyone interested.




Matthew Cade of Haunts Fx

Owner and operator of Haunts Fx a local studio specializing in makeup and foam latex appliance and props service. Matthew has been heavy into the Haunted Attraction and Independent film field for 10+ years but has been building props for over 34 years starting back to around age 10.



John Carroll of Danvers’ Demented Features

John F. Carroll is a professional actor and voice actor ( He created the horror host character Danvers and launched Demented Features in 2012–now in its fifth season! ( Danvers has hosted events for Fangoria, and has appeared at Walker-Stalker Con, Power-Con and Texas Frightmare Weekend. John has adapted critically acclaimed stage versions of Night of the Living Dead and Nosferatu and is artistic director of Weird City Theatre Company in Austin, Texas.



Ernest Corder of Fearworm Hauntvertising


Drew Dalire of AEO Studios

Drew is a native of Seattle, but moved to Orlando FL, for the pursuit of danger, adventure and romance.  He has been working with Alan at AEOStudios since 2001, and is also an actor and director in Orlando.  In 2007, Drew created a scareactor training program that was in use for one of AEO’s bigger clients for years, and has adapted the method for an American audience.  He looks forward to sharing with you insights of his journey as a scareactor instructor, using theatrical techniques. 


Jeff & Chris Davis of Davis Graveyard
 Jeff and Chris Davis, and their talented crew, are the creators of The Davis Graveyard, a popular Halloween yard display in the Portland, Oregon area, which has been in operation for over ten 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 offers seminars and teaches local workshops, sharing their prop building techniques at summer workshops. 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.


Ted Dougherty of Lunar Visions Inc.

Ted Dougherty is a writer, producer and director having worked with Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights, Knott’s Scary Farm, Hollow Studios and Cedar Fair, including directing and co-writing Fear VR, the first 4-D virtual reality horror experience at a major theme park. Through his themed entertainment consulting company, Lunar Visions, Inc., Ted has guided and advised Epic Pictures and Newsweek, as well as worked on blue sky phases of high-profile attractions for Universal Creative. Prior to authoring the book, Knott’s Halloween Haunt: A Picture History, the first comprehensive history of Knott’s Scary Farm, Ted scared thousands as a “slider” monster in Knott’s famous Ghost Town Scare Zone. As a historian, lecturer and fear merchant, Ted uncovers innovative ways to terrorize through themed entertainment.


Jay Easley of Spookyworks

Jay Easley has been sound designer, mix engineer, and audio nerd for over 25 years. He has worked with everyone from Universal Studios and Disney to Spookyworld and Screamtown in Minnesota. 



J. Daniel Edenfield of The Night Keep

J. Daniel Edenfield is the composer, writer, and director for the Night Keep, specializing in Cinematic Audio Horror. Along with running the Night Keep, Daniel is active in providing haunted attractions with custom music and sounds.



David Enloe of CC Productions

David Enloe has worked in the haunted attraction industry beginning in 1981 with the famous “Scream in the Dark” nonprofit attraction. By 1998, David created and operated the Chamber of Chills attraction featured on the Travel Channel’s first America’s Scariest Haunted Attractions program. In the years following, David has been owner, designer, director and producer of attractions named The Chamber, The Reactor, Scream in the Dark, The Deep 3D, Alien Invasion 3D and his most recent venture, The Portal Laser Gun Experience at one of USA Today’s top Halloween events, Hobb’s Grove in Sanger, California. With a professional 29-year background as a commercial/special event technician, electrician and rigger, David has an edge in creating unique ways to invade haunt-goers’ nightmares.


Maria Fradiani of Legends of Fear

RN, BSN, CPAN. 31 Years Experience, Critical Care and Epilepsy


Sawyer Gunnell of Legends of Fear

BS Safety & Occupational Health Applied Science –  Basic EMT Training, First Aid, CPR – Environment, Health, and Safety Specialist


Michael Heijmans of Rotting Orchards Charity Haunt

Michael is a professional software engineer and hardware hacker with 5 years of experience building automated props.


Eesa Heijmans of Rotting Orchards Charity Haunt

Eesa has 5 years of experience creating and designing haunts, props, and Halloween decorations professionally.


Phillip Hernandez of the Haunted Attraction Network
New Orleans, LA


Stephen Herrera of Stygian Effects
New Orleans, LA

Stephen Herrera grew up in Baton Rouge, LA. After pursuing his career as a special effects makeup artist in New Orleans, his work brought him to Los Angeles. He now does crime recreation tv shows, music videos, and so much more.


Dr. Brian D. Jackson of Derailed Haunted House
Dr. Brian D. Jackson is a life-long haunt enthusiast and co-owner and operator of Derailed Haunted House in Ramer, TN. He has a passion for creating macabre environs coupled with quality haunt acting. Dr. Jackson has attended a wide variety of haunt industry specific trainings and seminars, and was a presenter on the topics of Actor Safety at the 2015 HAuNTcon program in Baton Rouge and the Use of Humor in Haunted Attractions at the 2015 Chicago Frights convention. Dr. Jackson currently serves as the Assistant Director of Schools and Supervisor of Instruction for the McNairy County (TN) School System. He is a career educator who was a science teacher and middle and high school principal. He has also performed as a magician for over 35 years.


Margee Kerr

Margee Kerr is a sociologist and author. She earned her PhD in 2009 from the University of Pittsburgh and currently teaches and conducts research on fear, specifically how and why people engage with “scary” material. Dr. Kerr is the co-investigator on a first-of-its-kind study which measures how the brain and body respond to “fun-scary” experiences like haunted attractions, paranormal investigations, and thrill rides. She enjoys working as a consultant for attractions and museums and is the author of SCREAM: Chilling Adventures in the Science of fear, named as a must read by the Washington Post. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Parade, Atlantic Monthly, and NPR’s Science Friday, among other places.


  Kenneth Leary of A Petrified Forest

Kenneth has been a scare actor at A Petrified Forest in Orlando, Florida for over 6 years and was completely obsessed with it ever since his first night performing. He often spends off seasons researching better techniques and adding to his scare acting blog to help others with a similar urge to always be better.


Alex Linebrink of HauntPay
Alex Linebrink is a serial entrepreneur who has been working with haunted attractions for over 20 years. After selling his previous payments business, Alex built HauntPay to help haunters find more fans and sell more tickets. Since launching in 2013, HauntPay has powered over $20 Million in haunted attraction ticket, merchandise, and concession sales, and reaches over 1 million haunt-seekers every year.


Victoria Lohman of Hot Wire Foam Factory

Victoria Lohman is the Operations Manager of Hot Wire Foam Factory. She has helped with tool design and coating innovation for the Hot Wire Foam Factory for the past decade. She began teaching foam carving and coating back in 2006, starting with Model Railroads and Village Displays, then grew into haunt design and Halloween props. Over the years, she’s gained invaluable technique that she shares to help turn the novice artist into a seasoned professional, showing them how foam carving and coating can be fun, fast and easy.


David Markland of Midsummer Scream

David Markland is the co-founder and executive director of Midsummer Scream, the West Coast’s largest Halloween, haunt, and horror convention. As a life-long Halloween junkie, Markland started CreepyLA in 2007, a blog dedicated to spooky events and history throughout Los Angeles, and in 2013 co-founded ScareLA. He has worked in a variety of management roles for MTV, Nike, and ESPN specializing in event marketing, and is currently an event consultant and producer for several clients including Politicon (the Comic-Con of Politics) and the Columbia Memorial Space Center. 


Dana Martin of Talladega Frights and The Raven’s Gate

Dana Martin owned and managed Talladega Frights in Bakersfield, Calif., and The Raven’s Gate Haunted Attraction near Fresno, Calif., both professional, for-profit, multi-event haunted attractions for 8 years until taking a break to pursue her newest adventure, Schoolhouse Escapes. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, Martin accepted a job as a magazine editor, which led to an assignment covering the haunt in her hometown and to writing haunted backstories for professional attractions. She became hooked. Since that time, she has trained over 500 volunteer and paid actors, written dozens of backstories, and has developed a non-profit youth enrichment program called S.C.R.E.A.M. (Students Creating Real Entrepreneurial Adventure & Mentors) to provide professional skills and employment opportunities for high school students. She can be reached at



Mark Maupin of Amarillo Scaregrounds/ Xcape Room Warehouse/ MT Custom Excape Props

I transitioned from Commercial Haunts for 12 years to Escape Room builds two years ago. I have props currently in play all over the US and in three foreign countries.


Warren Maxwell of Third Degree of Terror

Warren Maxwell is a seasoned haunt builder, actor, propmaker, and set designer. He worked at Ghoulie Manor in MA for four seasons and continues to guest act across the country. But home haunting is his first love, and his elaborate Third Degree of Terror home haunt in Ayer draws hundreds of visitors every year.


Paul Merritt of Custom LOR Animations

I have been displaying 30,000 light shows synchronized with music and home made displays for 5 years.


Scott Morrow of The Fearless Ghost Hunter Show

Scott Morrow has been a Paranormal Researcher for over 20 years and is the host of the Fearless Ghost Hunter Show on Paramania Radio. Scott can help you transform your Haunt into a Paranormal Hotspot People will Pay to visit.


Joseph Murray of Causey Farm

Joseph Murray is an Irish native who’s academic and professional career has been both creative and hands-on. Having just achieved a B.A. in Film as well as an M.Sc in Marketing from Trinity College Dublin, Joseph specialises creating unique video content that ensures a thriving social media presence. As Marketing Manager for Farmaphobia, Ireland’s Biggest Halloween Event, his social, influencer and content strategies led to an increase in ticket sales of 25%. He is currently working for Los Angeles PR firm MPress PR but is looking forward to returning home to the motherland to take Farmaphobia to even greater heights!


Timmy O’Neal

Hey dudes I’m Timmy. I have been in the haunted house industry for 9 years now. I’ve acted in, fabricated, built, produced, and owned a handful of attractions in that time, and I have a love for it all. I’m constantly trying to learn techniques to bring the attractions I work with to the next level. A lot of what I’ve learned has been from seminars just like this (except better probably) and I’m stoked to be able to share whatever knowledge I’ve been able to gain with you.


Alan Ostrander of AEO Studios

Alan Ostrander has been a professional theatrical artist since 1988, working on haunted attractions/stage/film/live productions around the world. He is regarded as Hong Kong’s “Father of Halloween” for his 13 years helping to develop the holiday and haunts in Asia, and is the owner of AEO Studios, a makeup/fx production facility based out of Orlando. He is well known as an expert guest lecturer/teacher in the Theatrical and Haunted Attraction Industries. Past clients include Terror on Church Street, WDW, Universal Studios-Orlando, Ocean Park-Hong Kong, Toshimaen Park-Tokyo, Six Flags Amusement, and more.


Leonard Pickel of

Innovator, Designer, Artist, Inventor, Teacher, Writer, Leader, Leonard Pickel has designed over 250 commercial Haunted Houses since his first in 1976. Over 2 million people from Los Angeles to New York, Orlando to Seattle, have experienced the “Pickel Theory” of Haunt Design first hand. More than willing to share his expertise with others, Pickel writes for haunt magazines and blogs, offers webinars and podcasts, and educational seminars at every significant gathering of Haunters in the US and Canada, (including his own conference, HAuNTcon), and covering topics ranging from attraction design to actor training, code compliance to effective scares, increasing Haunt capacity to how to start your first event. Through his company, Hauntrepreneurs®, Leonard has created frightening attractions for major venues across the country and worldwide. Specializing in helping entrepreneurs get started in Haunting, Pickel had helped hundreds of people fulfill their dreams of owning a successful haunted attraction or October seasonal event business.


Darryl Plunkie of HaunTopic Radio

Haunt Actor, manager, promoter of all things Halloween, and a podcaster. Darryl has been involved in the haunt industry as an actor since filling out “Yes” on a local attractions “Will you volunteer” survey back in the 90s.

Andrew Preble of Escape My Room

Andrew Preble is the owner of Escape My Room, an award-winning attraction in New Orleans, Louisiana. Escape My Room opened in 2014, and now has 5 escape rooms at their location in the Arts District. Over 20 employees design, build, and curate each escape room experience from scratch. Before starting Escape My Room, Preble worked on a news technology startup, and owned a creole restaurant in Berlin, Germany. Originally from the New Orleans area, in high school he started a popular home-haunt in the woods behind his parent’s house. Learn more about Escape My Room.

Alexis Santos of Dangerously Creative

Alexis Santos is Managing Partner of Dangerously Creative, a firm that designs and builds immersive and interactive experiences from concept to completion, from escape rooms and high-tech haunts to interactive queues and museum displays. Before founding Dangerously Creative, Alexis penned pieces on technology, science, and space as a Contributing Editor at Engadget, AOL and Verizon’s flagship consumer electronics publication. As an Associate at Gobee Group, Alexis worked with the Clinton Health Access Initiative and US Global Development Lab at USAID, applying design thinking to global health issues. Alexis has a B.A. from New College of Florida, where he majored in Anthropology.

Jon Schnitzer of HAUNTERS the Movie


Chris Screws of INSANITARIUM 


Once he saw the transformation scene in American Werewolf in London as a child, Chris was hooked. Chris’s prop building and makeup effects have received terrifying reviews for many years. Chris is the Co-Owner and Creative Director of INSANITARIUM Haunted Attraction. Chris’s haunted house is know for it’s creativity and originality. Chris is also a professional artist and has been an Art Educator for the past 14 years.


Jesse Shoemaker of Darkwater FX

Studied with prop design industry masters. Lead mold maker and finishing, specializes in sci-fi weapons and armor.


Jim Slanker of Canyon Trail Cemetery

Jim Slanker is a veteran Home Haunter who’s Haunt, Canyon Trail Cemetery, is known for the use of many large size pneumatic props. He has won multiple awards for “Best Home Haunt” and “Best Animated Prop” within the Home Haunters community.


Benjamin Selecky of Haunted Farms of America

HFA co-founder & United States Air Force Veteran, Benjamin Selecky was born & raised in the Halloween capital of the world: Salem, MA. His hands on Agritainment experience, love for Haunted Attractions, Six Sigma training as well as business & financial education lay a solid foundation for Haunted Farms of America. Benjamin’s commitment to quality, passion & attention to detail help guide farms across the country in creating successful Haunted Agritainment attractions.


Carlye Starrs of Spellbound Stitchworks


Scott Sterner of Six Flags Entertainment

Mr. Scott Sterner, Six Flags Corporate Director of Entertainment and Events, is responsible for live entertainment and events at all Six Flags parks in North America.  Mr. Sterner has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing.  As a thirty-year veteran of the theme park industry, Mr. Sterner’s live entertainment experience brings perspective for competing with other entertainment venues, and leveraging events more effectively.  Whether your haunted attraction property is a theme park, fairground, FEC, or the parking lot of the local strip mall, this discussion will provide you with a greater insight about scare as a marketable form of entertainment.


Scott Swenson of Scott Swenson Creative Development LLC

For over 30 years, Scott Swenson has been bringing stories to life as a Writer, Director, Producer and Performer. His work in Theme Park, Consumer Events, Live Theater and Television has given him a broad spectrum of experiences. After 21 years working with SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, Scott formed Scott Swenson Creative Development LLC. Since then he has been writing live shows, creating and implementing themed festivals and developing communication based training classes for such clients as Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, The Florida Aquarium, The Vault of Souls, Cedar Fair Theme Parks, Viking Cruise Lines and The Tampa Theatre. In addition to writing for the stage, Scott is an accomplished poet, lyricist and most recently journalist. In 2017 his 4 part article, “Follow the Story”, appeared in the quarterly publication, “The Haunt Journal”. Also in 2017 he was presented The Special Recognition Award from The Haunted Attraction Association for his “…unprecedented investment and support for the haunted attraction industry.” He is a sought after panelist and presenter for Entertainment trade shows, especially those focused on the haunt industry and atmospheric theatre. Scott is a proud member of IAAPA, Visit Tampa Bay, The Haunted Attraction Association,? The Slice Network, Leadership Tampa Alumni (Class of 2011) and the Board President for Theatre Tampa Bay.


Drew Talarico of Groupon

Drew Talarico has been with Groupon over 6 years and is a Business Development Director for Groupon’s Things To Do business. Drew specializes in working with seasonal local businesses, specifically haunted attractions, to maximize their revenue potential in their short season.



Dick Terhune of Voice From Hell

A lifelong haunter, advertising professional, and voice-actor, Dick launched “” to help big, medium and small Haunted Attractions throughout North America and the UK to grow loyal audiences and create Bulletproof* Branding. *(Yes, that includes silver bullets.)

Bo Thorpe of Raven’s Cross Haunted Village


Greg Topalian of Leftfield Media


Elexi Vasquez of Amarillo Scaregrounds/ Xcape Room Warehouse/ MT Custom Excape Props

Elexi has been in the haunt industry for over 10 years. She is a self-taught special FX makeup artist born and raised in Amarillo, Texas. At 14 she started her haunt career as an actor and was groomed to become the makeup artist she is today. She has done makeup for multiple photographers and the local news more than one time as well as kid face painting for special functions from Make-a-Wish to the United Way of Amarillo Elexi has been in the haunt industry for 10 years, She is a self-taught special FX makeup artist. At 14 she started her haunt career as an actor and was groomed to become the makeup artist she is today. She has done makeup for multiple photographers and local news crews, as well as children’s face painting for Make-a-wish and United Way of Amarillo, Texas.



Kyle Vest of Blast Effects


Kyle Started in 1997 in the Haunted House Industry, immersing you in his design elements in over these years with 18 haunted attractions 4 hayrides in the World, including his own fully designed 2 attractions in 2016 “The Haunt at Old Town” in Kissimmee Florida. Kyle Has acted in over 27 haunted attractions, and taught makeup at 21 attractions. His 3D Chrome Depth art can be seen all over including Ocean Park’s haunt in Hong Kong. He was Discovered on The famous Game Show Network show Skin wars also now featured on Netflix. Kyle was on Season 2 of the competitive body painting show, were he won the horror challenged, and was seen in the final episode. Not only has he won this award but many others including Ms. Scary Midwest in 2015. Kyle wanted to be in the Industry to grow to the big names and that’s just what he’s did working now full time at Universal Studios Florida where he started in 2008. Halloween Horror Nights he was an airbrush makeup artist and actor Kyle grew rapidly there. He’s played Iconic roles such as “Pyramid Head” on stilts and even been featured on a billboard and Coca-Cola commercials. Kyle is known for these years at Universal for being multi talented as a Skater, actor, stilt walker, to even makeup artist. Kyle’s Pushed boundaries to new levels in entertainment across not just USA but even the World. He performed in Mexico as a lead skater for Aytyde where he skated as Prince Charming, and Danny Suko. Kyle was the first ever Aerial Ice skater to perform on aerial chains above Ice. As an Aerialist he has really flew to newer heights. If this wasn’t enough on Kyle, he is also known for costume design and has worked as a semester for A-List Artist Taylor Swift, Sarah Brightman, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, and Justin Bieber where you can see his outfits he made in his 3D Movie.


Deirdre Wells of Legends of Fear

15 Years Haunt Experience, Legends of Fear – First Aid Response BS Safety & Occupational Health Applied Science 5 Year Experience in Special FX Makeup, Legends of Fear – Head Makeup Artist – 10 Years Haunt Experience. 



Caroline Wells of Legends of Fear

BSN Pediatric Specialty Nurse. 10 Years Haunt Experience, Legends of Fear – Acting Manager, First Aid Response


Sylvia Vicchiullo of A Petrified Forest

Sylvia V Vicchiullo is the current Show Director for A Petrified Foreset in Altamonte Springs, FL. She brings with her a background in theater that spans over 30 years, with shows such as The Orlando Fringe’s Annie Todd, 50 Shades of Gay, Triassic Parq and Tampa’s Fringe: She Touched My Lemons. As well as an educator in children’s theater working with pre-K thru high school. She has received awards at FTC (Rememberin Stuff, Forever Plaid & Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) and in her time as Show Director with APF in the last 6 years they have garnered 3 separate fan polled awards as well as 31st in country & 4th in state of FL Must See Haunts Scarefactor, Top 5 unique scare trails Hauntfinder, Top 10 Haunted Houses Scurryface.


Nick Wolfe of Evil Twin FX

Nick started at USF Halloween Horror Nights in 1998 where he has continued to work in the prosthetics lab, HHN and Grinchmas. He has also been teaching his art forms around the world and has taught in 25 countries and 32 states. He has published many books and his best seller, Extreme Face Painting, has sold over 35,000 copies. Nick founded the Wolf FX makeup company which sells worldwide and has been featured on the TV shows Face-Off, Skin Wars, QVC, and Naked Vegas. He is known as a living legend for revolutionizing the face painting industry through his books, videos and touring and is now working on doing the same for the mortician industry. He is also a World Body Painting Festival champion winning 1st for brush and sponge in 2009 and 2 places in 2007 and 2008. He also received the Presidential Award from the Haunted Attraction Association for his contributions to the haunting industry.


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