The Haunted House Industry: Insights from Leonard Pickel
Halloween is just around the corner, and many of us are looking forward to the thrills and scares of haunted houses. The haunted house industry has come a long way since its humble beginnings, and today we have access to some of the most spine-chilling attractions in the world. In this blog post, we talk to Leonard Pickel, a veteran of the haunted house industry and author of a popular book on room design concepts for haunted houses that is still considered a valuable resource in the industry.
Pickel’s Background and Insights
Leonard Pickel’s experience in the haunted house industry spans over four decades with his company Hauntrepreneurs.com. He has been involved in every aspect of the industry, from building his own haunted house to attending conventions and trade shows. In 1989, he authored a popular book that introduced room design concepts for haunted houses that continue to be considered a valuable resource in the industry.
Pickel believes that while physical interaction with guests may be perceived as scarier, traditional scare tactics with live actors are still effective. He emphasizes the importance of character development and costuming for actors, often using the example of a well-crafted mask or costume as something that can be just as scary as physical interactions. He also notes the increasing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in haunted house storytelling, which he has personally used for generating storylines. Pickel sees AI technology as the future of the industry and hopes to manage his own haunt in the future. He stresses the significance of storytelling and creating immersive experiences for customers as these create memorable experiences that people would love to repeat.
Pickel prefers practical lighting and white walls to create a spooky atmosphere for haunted houses. He stresses the significance of storytelling and creating immersive experiences for customers. He believes that the use of technology such as AI can create powerful storytelling opportunities, but at the end of the day, quality actors play an important role in creating memorable experiences.
HAuNTcon: A Popular Annual Convention that Continues to Grow
Organized by a pioneer in the industry, HAuNTcon is a popular annual convention that provides free education to attendees on everything related to the haunted house industry. The convention’s focus on education for all has helped it to grow in popularity. The convention allows visitors to test various haunted houses and try out new technology before investing in more expensive shows or equipment.
Pickel is a regular attendee of the convention, and it has been a source of new ideas for him. He also offers a free 30-minute consultation to anyone interested in starting their own haunted house. He emphasizes the importance of getting all necessary permits and city approval and warns against risky financial decisions.
The Future of the Haunted House Industry
The haunted house industry is constantly evolving, with advancements in technology and an increased focus on quality and talent. The future looks bright, with continued innovation, growth, and development in the sector. The industry offers opportunities for entrepreneurs to create awesome memorable experiences that people would love to repeat attending. As the industry has evolved, so have the haunted house designs, costuming, music and programming. Pickel sees the future of the industry driven by technology especially AI and expects to see more sophisticated AI concepts being introduced in creating haunting experiences in the future.
In conclusion, Leonard Pickel is a respected figure in the haunted house industry, having been involved in the business for over four decades. He offers valuable insights and advice to anyone looking to start their own haunted house, with an emphasis on creating a memorable and immersive experience for customers. The industry continues to evolve, with new advancements in technology that will create even more opportunities for innovation and growth. It is a great opportunity to use our wits in deriving such creative and fan experiences for the entire family to enjoy.