We Know What Scares You: The Results of the Phantom’s 2014 Haunted Attraction Survey!

We asked you about your fears, phobias, likes and dislikes regarding the latest trends in the Haunt Industry in 2014, and now we’re prepared to reveal the shocking results!

Last month the Pumpkin King asked Louisville Halloween readers to participate in a survey geared to help us improve your experience here on the website. That survey is still open at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JZGBQGC if you’d like to give us your opinions. We are committed to making Louisville Halloween the website YOU want to come to for all the local spooky news and reviews YOU want to know about and we really appreciate your feedback!

Next month, all the creepiest creative designers, prop makers and haunt industry Spook Masters will gather for TransWorld’s Halloween & Attractions Show in St. Louis. TransWorld is the biggest Halloween and haunt related marketplace in the world. It’s the place where haunters from all over the country come to get ideas and purchase props, masks and costumes for the Halloween 2015 season.

Louisville and Kentuckiana haunters need to know what scares you in order to make plans for upping their game in 2015. Just before Halloween last year, we asked you to tell us what you were looking for in a haunted attraction and you had a lot to scream about!

We got responses from readers all over the region showing our current readership skewing slightly female with nearly 85% of all who responded between the ages of 18 and 44 years of age.  Here’s how you responded to our questions about the horror biz!

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT “TOUCHING” IN HAUNTED HOUSES?

The answers here were pretty evenly spread across the board with nearly 25% HATING being touched, which means that nearly 75% of you are okay with being touched to some degree in a haunted house. The highest percentage of you responded that “LIGHT TOUCHING” was okay while only 16% chose the response that was worded, “Grab me, push me, pull me and hit me with your chainsaw!”

Speaking of chainsaws—

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CHAINSAWS? DO THEY STILL GIVE YOU A BUZZ OR ARE THEY RUNNING OUT OF GAS?

The chainsaw maniacs have spoken! Nearly 77% of you think chainsaws are still effective scare tactics with 17% even saying they would like to ask for their money back if they don’t encounter chainsaw wielding goons. However, there is also a 23% minority that now considers the classic chainsaw scene boring and hopes haunters will invent something new to get the same effect.

DO ZOMBIES STILL SCARE YOU OR ARE THEY WITHERING AWAY FROM POP CULTURE OVEREXPOSURE?

This one should be an eye-opener to haunters. A full 68% of you are sick and tired of the zombie apocalypse and think the living dead should just go back to their graves (at least as far as haunted houses go). Only 8% of those who responded said they would pay for an all zombie themed attraction.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT MOVIE SCENES AND SILVER SCREEN BOOGIE MEN (MICHAEL, FREDDY, JASON, ETC.) IN HAUNTED HOUSES?

This question got a very mixed response. Only 15% said they LOVED seeing movie slashers in haunts with an additional 21% saying they LIKED seeing them, but it wasn’t a deal breaker if there were none in the haunt. The 44% majority said that either haunts should aspire to Hollywood movie set authenticity or not bother. The final 18% of those who responded prefer a completely original theme.

These are interesting results to consider in light of the fact that the movie industry has recently begun cracking down on unlicensed use of intellectual properties and charging big haunters like Universal Studios Theme Park hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees for the use of their famous scream icons.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE CLASSIC MONSTERS (DRACULA, FRANKENSTEIN, THE WOLF MAN, ETC.) IN HAUNTED HOUSES?

We wondered whether or not the famous monsters of the black-and-white era still held a place in the pure hearts of modern horror fans, but we need not have worried. Nearly 74% of you said you still enjoy seeing the classic monsters in haunts as long as the make-up, costumes and sets are well done. There is a contingent of young whippersnappers, however, that just laugh in the face of Dracula; 21% of you say these creaky old creatures have no place in modern haunts.

ACTORS VS ANIMATRONICS: DO YOU LIKE BIG ANIMATED MONSTERS IN HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS OR CAN ONLY LIVE ACTORS DELIVER THE SCARES YOU’RE LOOKING FOR?

You’re mostly in agreement on this one. The 56% majority feel that a great haunted attraction should have a balanced mix of both large animatronics and great actors. However, 26% of you admit that the large animatronic monsters don’t really scare you and it’s not a deal breaker if the haunt can’t afford these expensive effects. Those that really LOVE them and those that hardly even notice them make up less than 10% of those who responded each.

HOW FAR WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO DRIVE TO EXPERIENCE A HAUNTED ATTRACTION YOU HEARD WAS REALLY SCARY?

This may have been the biggest eye-opener of the survey. Over a whopping 75% of you said you would be willing to drive at least an hour to visit a haunt they heard was great, with 53% saying they would drive over an hour.

HOW LONG SHOULD IT TAKE YOU TO GET THROUGH A HAUNTED HOUSE TO MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU GOT YOUR MONEY’S WORTH?

The highest response at 33% was 30 minutes or more, but nearly 28% admitted that it didn’t really matter how long the haunt was as long as it was scary and well produced. There were 23% that admitted they felt cheated if they were in and out in less than 10 minutes but overall responses seem to indicate that length of the attraction doesn’t seem to be as big a factor in your satisfaction as quality.

WOULD YOU PAY TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE NEW TREND OF “EXTREME HAUNTS” THAT REQUIRE SIGNING A WAIVER AND MAY INCLUDE SIMULATED ABDUCTION, TORTURE, CONFINEMENT, PHYSICAL HUMILIATION AND FULL CONTACT?

The much talked about and debated “extreme haunts” popping up in the bigger cities don’t seem to have as much appeal here in the Ville with a full 44% of you clearly stating you’re NOT INTERESTED. However, 37% of you said you might try it if you knew someone else who had already survived the experience and could tell you exactly what to expect, but even 15% of those responders would have to think long and hard about it first. That leaves almost 18% of you who are clearly sick and twisted freaks who’ve been waiting their whole lives for “Blue Skeleton” treatment.*

Editor’s Note: The “Blue Skeleton” refers to the ultimate extreme haunted house rumored about in the film, “The Houses October Built” (2014). You’ll have to discover the meaning behind the “Blue Skeleton” for yourselves!

The Phantom of The Ville

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