In just a little over a week, the gates of haunts across the country will begin to creak open. For frequent haunt stalkers, we’ve seen just about it all when it comes to the array of haunt themes, characters, and storylines. We’ve also shared many of the popular haunt themes here on The Scare Zone over the years, which includes the mainstay characters such as zombies and ghosts to slashers and vampires.
This year, America Haunts, an association of the most successful U.S. haunted attractions, has announced their top 3 scare trends for Halloween 2018. De-mystifying what it takes to heighten fear is second nature for America Haunts’ members, given their decades in the business offering high-caliber fear attractions. This year’s AH trends incorporate the mystic, the innately frightful, and raises the undead from cemeteries from another century. Their 2018 trends include:
- Dragons Magical and mythical. Fiery dragons come to life with technology that makes realistic fire-breathing, and roaring sounds – appearing from the depths of dark, fantasy storytelling.”Dragons will definitely have a big presence this year and do their job to create fear,” said Amber Arnett-Bequeaith, Queen of America Haunts. “They are spell-binding and attack from above while breathing fire that can burn you alive. They’re terrifying.”
- Killer Bees & the Creepy Crawly Killer bees, spiders and creepy insects tap into our phobias. Inside haunts, the scare is amplified when these creatures touch visitors. “The old days of haunted attractions with scary sets visitors view from behind glass are gone,” Arnett-Bequeaith explained. “Today, all senses are activated. It’s 4D. See, feel, hear and smell inside the haunts. Horror is big because horror is smarter. Guests may hear buzzing sounds and suddenly feel the sensation of killer bees swarming over their face, igniting the phobia of getting stung in a swarm of bees – then discover they are underneath giant hives with killer bee animatronics creating buzzworthy fear.”
- Graveyards Resurrected Massive realistic graveyards within the haunt attractions create a perfect scene for screams. “It’s human nature to run from death,” said Duane Sandberg, 13th Gate in Baton Rouge. “A staple of the south, our New Orleans-style graveyard has elaborate stone crypts and mausoleums – creating an uneasiness that something is lurking behind the tombs. The smell of death leaches from the coffin and penetrates your nostrils.”
So there we have it America. Dragons, bees, and graveyards! These are very unique trends and we’ll have to keep our eyes out this season to see how many dragon bees in graveyards we encounter. Let us know if you see any too.