Oak Island Creative’s Scare Products is making the Scary Right Here in Louisville!

Oak Island Creative

Get a peek inside Oak Island Creative’s inner sanctum hidden right here in our own backyard!

Oak Island Creative

Did you know there was a major Halloween, holiday and theme park development company based here in Louisville, KY? Right off I-71 in Crestwood lurks one of the most creative and influential developers of entertainment experiences and seasonal attractions in the country. Founded by CEO, John Hawkins, who got his start as a youngster building haunted attractions himself, Hawkins has spent 30 years building the empire now known as Oak Island Creative. His company has designed and built attractions for industry giants like Kings Island, Holiday World, Busch Gardens, Cedar Fair Parks, SeaWorld and Six Flags.

Oak Island Creative’s Headquarters are located in the quaint town of Crestwood, KY, and there are two regional offices in St. Louis and Tampa. Last month I was given the opportunity to tour the office, storage facilities and workshop at the Crestwood location. The office’s rural location defies a completely modern and stylish interior where I was met by Marketing Coordinator, Chelsea Kippes, and Scare Products Brand Manager, Eric Cooke. Kippes and Cooke gave me an overview of all the different divisions at Oak Island currently developing everything from props and effects for the Halloween business to entire seasonal displays for Christmas events to even a new division called Beyond the Barrels created to build spectacular events for Kentucky’s bourbon, beer and wine culture.

“We have anywhere from 10 to 15 local artists employed with us at any given time,” says Cooke, “and we love hiring local talent to help us create and build our products.”

I was taken into the secret, subterranean basement storage facility beneath the unsuspecting streets of Crestwood that I can only describe as a holiday graveyard out of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” where all of the Holidays Worlds of Old merge. Giant chocolate Easter bunnies sit amid full size Christmas reindeer and crates full of Halloween scratch cats! It’s a glorious wonderland of secret projects under development and shipments getting ready to be sent to the TransWorld Halloween & Attractions Show in St. Louis this month.

Oak Island Creative

Scare Products is the company division that develops new products for the Halloween and haunted attraction business. They are the inventors of the original Claustrophobia tunnels that force guests to squeeze their way through inflated bags in the dark. Subdivisions of Scare Products include Aww—Rats, Buzz Kill, Creatures from the Deep, Cats Meow, Big Top Terror, Skunk Swamp and Kreepy Kritters, each with its’ own original props, effects and even scents! Visit www.scareproducts.com to browse the complete product line.

Oak Island Creative

Oak Island’s Holiday Creative division is where the company develops products and designs events for every other holiday including Christmas, Independence Day and new departments for spring and Easter. You can find Oak Island designed sets at museums, zoos and festivals across the country. Their Mirror Mazes International division designs and installs mirror mazes of all sizes and customizable styles for tourist attractions all over the world.

One of their latest projects, and one that I’m very curious and excited about, is called Mystery Town, USA, which combines elements of everything Oak Island Creative and Scare Products does to create an interactive, walk through adventure based around urban legends and mythical creatures. You enter through a vortex in the Bermuda Triangle and find yourself encountering outer space aliens at Area 51. Then you’ll dive deep under the sea for a trip to Atlantis and all the way to the Scottish Highlands to encounter the Loch Ness Monster. Then it’s off to the misty and mysterious forests of the Pacific Northwest in search of the legendary Sasquatch!

The flagship Mystery Town, USA opened on July 1, 2017 in Mackinaw City, Michigan and it includes a Mystery Market where you can indulge your urban legend fascination with all kinds of amazing trinkets. Check out the swag at www.mysterymarket.com. Oak Island is currently exploring franchising, licensing and leased exhibits based on the Mystery Town, USA concept.

“We are many things to many people,” says Founder and CEO, John Hawkins, “but one thing we are to all is creative.”

If you know what to look for, you’ll find Scare Products’ props, lighting, effects and scents at many of the local haunted attractions in the Louisville region and far beyond. Keep an eye out for some of their Beyond the Barrels attractions at local bourbon festivals and events. Louisville is quickly becoming a cultural and business hub for the Halloween industry and Oak Island Creative represents a major link in that haunted chain.

The Phantom of The Ville

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