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Posted Date: 03/6/2015

Grave Greetings: See No Evil?

Dorothy Creamer, Editor

t the recent Halloween & Party Expo, THE NIGHTMARE ZONE was raffling off a frightening clown puppet from VFX Creative Studios. The crazed clown, appropriately named Psycho, sat at our booth and buyers could come up to submit an entry in the raffle. (Psycho will also be at the Selling Halloween magazine booth at the TransWorld HAAShow and you can enter to win online at www.sellinghalloween.com as well.)

Psycho was a delightful booth companion, drawing intrigued buyers over to the booth to inquire about the raffle’s details. While he was very popular with many of the show’s attendees, I found it amusing how many people confessed that they were creeped out by clowns. Some burly grown men even shied away from poor Psycho, who just wants to be loved really.

I found this to be a great reminder how fear has no rationale. Psycho the clown sitting in a brightly lit convention hall in the middle of the day surrounded by throngs of buyers and vendors, posed no threat. Yet, despite that, there were several people who wouldn’t stray too close or would share their coulrophobia (fear of clowns). Still others took it as an opportunity to reveal some other phobia of theirs. The vendor in the booth adjacent to ours confessed his fear of getting stuck in the Lincoln Tunnel.

Whatever the fear may be, for the person who possesses it, it is a very real, tangible thing. This is what continues to drive the haunt industry. With so many potential fears to exploit, the landscape for haunted attractions is a fertile field for the most twisted of imaginations. It is also where creative operators can tap into some basic tenets of the human psyche. People don’t like to be startled; people fear the unknown; people don’t like to feel vulnerable.

With so many tacks to take it’s little wonder that vendors and designers are always upping their games. This issue highlights some of the latest offerings from industry suppliers and reveals what operators are looking for in next-generation haunts. Overall, one thing is obvious. There is no end to where a twisted imagination can take someone. I for one look forward to seeing what is in store for all of us.

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