The Terrors of TransWorld 2017!

Transworld Halloween and Attractions Show 2017

Get an EXCLUSIVE peek at the terrifying trends and horrifying highlights of the world’s biggest Halloween trade show!

For the rest of the world, Halloween is still six months away, but for the haunt community and hardcore horror enthusiasts, the end of March marks the beginning of our sinister plans for the 2017 Halloween season. The entire Louisville Halloween crew packed our grief-cases and pointed the Dragula towards St. Louis, Missouri for the TransWorld Halloween & Attractions Show.

Distortions Transworld 2017

Located in America’s Center Convention Complex, the TransWorld trade show floor is 500,000 square-feet filled with the best and latest products and innovations from everyone who is anyone in the Halloween business. It takes nearly six hours to walk the showroom floor from front to back in an attempt to “see everything,” and can be an overwhelming experience for first time attendees.

You’ll find a massive Dark Zone displaying all the latest animatronics in full operational mode amid the cacophonous shrieks, roars and screams coming from every corner of the darkness. You’ll see row upon row of silicon and latex monster masks, fog machines, costumes, FX makeup, interactive displays, mini walk-thru haunts and other shock products.

Each year we try to spot emerging trends and new scare technologies that haunt enthusiasts might encounter in their favorite haunted attractions next season and in the years to come. Below you’ll find a list of some of the things that made the biggest impression on us this year.

Distortions’ Beheading Illusion: Ed Edmund’s (The Travel Channel’sMaking Monsters”) Distortions Unlimited unveiled a new illusion that stopped many show attendees (yours truly included) in their tracks. The illusion involves a masked psycho cutting the head off of a live chained victim and hoisting the bloody noggin up and away from the body. I had to watch the stunt performed several times before I think I understood exactly how it worked.

Sharks Transworld 2017

Scents: In attempt to further exploit all the senses in the theatrical haunted house experience, the industry has recently conjured a witches’ brew of sinister smells meant to offend the olfactory system. This year has seen a major boost in these offensive odors and there was no one on the show floor who better delivered this nose-pinching experience than Scare Products. Inside their mini walk-thru, attendees were assaulted by ghastly scenes augmented by scents like Slaughterhouse, Spray Cat, Skunk Swamp, Cotton Candy and many more.

Midnight Syndicate’s 20th Anniversary: Gothic soundscape composers Edward Douglas and Gavin Goszka celebrated 20 years writing and recording music for the haunted attraction industry by hosting a special Q & A seminar and announcing their second LIVE engagement at Cedar Point’s Halloweekends event this fall.

Terrors of the Deep: Undersea scenarios aren’t typical in the haunt biz outside of attractions like Newport, Kentucky’s USS Nightmare, but this year there were a surprising number of new products featuring aquatic terrors from the ocean’s depths. Nevermore Productions introduced a new massive rusting sea vessel set that featured a chomping animatronic Great White shark right out of “Jaws.” Gore-Galore scared unwary attendees with its new “Eelien” (more on that one to follow!). Immortal Masks unveiled a new line of silicon shark masks with rows of razor teeth, and Scare Products unleashed an entire line of props called Creatures of the Deep that included bioluminescent nasties from the blackness of the abyss.

Three Minute Escape Rooms: Last year, Escape Rooms were all the rage, and they are still quite popular, but the latest trend is the emergence of multiple short, one room challenges (generally taking three minutes to complete) that are being created to act as add-on attractions at major haunted houses. The trend is claimed to have been originated by ScareAtorium’s Kelly Collins, who also owns the Midwest Haunters Bus Tour.

Froggy’s Fog Laser Swamp: Froggy’s Fog has quickly become the haunted attraction business’s premiere innovator with everything related to fog machines and fog juice. They make every kind of simulated fog, snow and bubble-scape imaginable, and this year they built their own walk-thru attraction to display their latest mad invention. The Laser Swamp uses a special kind of fog only visible when a green laser pierces it, creating the appearance that guests are slogging through the surface of a murky swampland. The knee-high, simulated surface completely conceals an actor beneath it who can breach the “water” anywhere in the room for an effective scare.

Matt Goodlet Makeup Transworld 2017

Haunted VR: Like Three Minute Escape Rooms and Coffin Rides, virtual reality technology is bringing another completely different type of add-on experience to traditional haunted houses. Private Label VR was on hand demonstrating the absolute latest tech in simulated reality. Guests put on special headset goggles that take them to a completely realistic, 360 degree universe where they can explore a creepy haunted mansion for a 12 to 15 minute adventure complete with startle scares.

Special FX Makeup Demo by Matt Goodlett: The Head Makeup Artist from The Devil’s Attic, Matt Goodlett, performed a special live makeup demonstration for European Body Art on an actor who works for Phobius Haunted House in St. Louis by the name of Lucas Turner. Turner’s wiry frame made the perfect canvas upon which Goodlett painted a zombie version of The Joker that turned many heads at the show.

Gore-Galore’s Eelien: Gore-Galore doesn’t generally do anything small. Renowned for their gigantic “stalk around” costumes and massive actor controlled animatronic beasties, this year the company introduced the first in a new line of smaller actor controlled creatures that can be effectively puppeteered by an actor using only one arm. This electrifying eel has an impressive range of motion and expression that allows the actor to really interact with guests creating a really fun scare.

There were literally thousands of other chilling, thrilling products on display at the TransWorld Halloween and Attractions Show, and these examples are just some of our favorites. If you’re really good this year maybe Krampus will send some of these gruesome goodies to a haunted attraction near you!

The Phantom of The Ville

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