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Haunted Attraction Design Articles

Themed Attraction Design is where Hauntrepreneurs(R) excels, and in the articles below, industry icon Leonard Pickel shares his 200 plus attraction design experience to help you take your haunt designs to the next level.

How-To Create Effective Scares For Your Haunted Attraction
Stephen King defines fear as “A cold touch in the midst of the most familiar, applied with a sudden pressure!” In this is a Slideshare presentation, haunting veteran Leonard Pickel dissects this definition and adapts it to the art of effectively scaring people in a Haunted Attraction. Learn how mood, setting, realism, startles, the unknown, insecurity, timing, pacing misdirection all can be used to take your attraction to the next level. Covered in this session is who are we trying to scare, what scares them and how to best effect fright in any kind of Haunt, from yard displays to professional Halloween Events. READ MORE!

The Triangular Grid System: How To Article by Nick Collins This article first appeared in Haunted Attraction Magazine
If you have been Haunting for very long, chances are that you have heard of or even experienced what is known in the industry as the “Triangular Grid System.” This mysterious and sometimes controversial concept has been ridiculed by some Haunters and praised by others. Its intrigue has made it the focus of many seminars, workshops, articles and message boards throughout the industry. But what is this mysterious system? Where did it come from and why should we care? READ MORE!

Designing From The Inside Out
Hauntrepreneurs takes a completely different approach to attraction design, using an inside out approach based on architectural design principles and storytelling to create a cost effective, user friendly, over the top  experience that your patrons will be talking about for years to come. A haunted attraction is a play in which the patron walks from scene to scene. READ MORE!

Common Haunting Mistakes and How to Fix Them
As a haunted attraction designer and consultant, my clients are open and operating by the time October rolls around and my season is normally over. That provides me a great opportunity to tour the countryside and experience Halloween events across the country. It is not uncommon for me to visit over 200 haunts during a season which keeps me on the cutting edge of what is going on, both good and bad, in the haunt industry. While some of these haunts are spooktacular specimens of the genre with innovative, never before seen scares and effects, many are less inspiring, low budget attempts struggling to turn a profit… READ MORE!

Haunt Design: Sight Follows Fright
First Published in HauntNation Magazine 08/2013
For those of you who didn’t know, my first career (before operating a few Haunts, running a Haunt design firm, being a magazine mogul and organizing a convention) was in Architecture. That schooling and professional experience gives me a very different approach when it comes to Haunted House design. READ MORE!

Haunt Design: Art Or Science?
For those of you how do not know, my first career (before Haunt designer, magazine publisher and convention organizer) was in Architecture. This schooling and professional experience gives me a slightly different approach when it comes to Haunted House design. An Architect is an interesting mixture of juxtaposed vocations; that of the practical Scientist and of the whimsical Artist. What the Architect creates on paper will someday be built so, it must be both functional and pleasing to the eye; spectacular and different, yet based in the reality of budgets and accounting. READ MORE!

‘Darkitecture’: The art and psychology of haunted house design
The emergence of commercial haunted houses in the 1980s gave rise to new challenges, like adhering to strict safety codes and handling big groups of visitors, according to the founder of Hauntrepreneurs Themed Attraction Design and Consulting, Leonard Pickel. 

Pickel trained as an architect before going into the haunted house industry more than four decades ago, when it was still in its infancy. The secret to creating a scary space, he said, is breaking all the rules he learned in school. READ MORE!