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Scream Park’s Ghoulish Upbringing

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Most parks have their visitors when the sun is shining bright but some have their visitors in the dead of night. Scream Park is a haunted attraction in Arizona that sends their customers running for the exit, but how exactly do they do this?

The park started out with just one floor and ten actors but has now been going for 16 years, according to one of the parks managers, who goes by the stage name Alice. 

“Currently we have four separate haunted houses,” said Alice. “…We have, each night, over 80 actors just in the houses.”

She continued by saying that they have additional staff for things such as parking, ticket sales, and first aid. 

“We’ve been recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the ten scariest attractions in America,” said Alice. 

In building a haunted attraction, she explained that their are two main haunted house shows that sell their retail, such as costumes, props, and makeup artists, to haunted houses across the nation. 

“A small prop…typically runs about three to five hundred dollars,” said Alice. “The larger props cost anywhere from five to fifteen thousand dollars each.” 

She went on to say that you have to be careful about what exactly is going to be put in the haunted houses because some of the retailers want their money up front. 

“We still get the safety department from the tribe who comes in and inspects,” said Alice. “The fire department comes in and inspects and an overall inspector comes in and inspects.” 

Alice went on to say that the walls in the haunted houses are all fireproof. 

“We design a house to include the flow…how many people are going to go through [and] how often, what’s the flow pattern of the people…and how they are going to be scared,” said Alice. 

There are seven types of scares, according to Alice. 

“You have to vary it…,” said Alice. “There’s different ways that you can build a person up.”

Scaring from the front, the back and the middle are different ways to scare people, explained Alice. 

In coming up with ideas for the haunted attraction Alice explains several ways they keep the attraction fresh. 

“At these conventions that we go to…we get together…and we share ideas,” said Alice. 

Once the idea is there, the attraction’s staff come together and tries to figure out how they can make it work. 

“This season we already have some cool new ideas,” said Alice.

Hiring the actors for the attraction is a lot of work within itself. 

“When we bring people in we do an interview…we have applications they [have too] fill out,” said Alice.

She went on to explain that people applying don’t always know what the job entails. 

“We have to narrow it down to, ‘can you scare?’…it’s more than jumping out and yelling boo,” said Alice. “These actors tonight are gonna work about seven hours…we don’t give any breaks.”

Alice continues by explaining that by the fourth night the actors typically realize that the job is a lot of work and not just running around scaring people. 

“We do an evaluation of every actor in the week,” said Alice. “At some point in there they will be evaluated by a manager.” 

Alice explained that they have been working now for eleven days straight and how that can be difficult. 

She continued to explain what really makes an actor stand out to them. 

“Somebody who can understand when they put on their makeup, when they put on their costume and they walk out that door, they are that character,” said Alice. 

Alice went on to explain that the actors have to know how far to push the scare because they are a family-oriented attraction. 

“We also take them through training on what do you do if there’s an accident,” said Alice. “We have asthma attacks, we have heart attacks, we have anxiety attacks…” 

She explained that each of the actors is trained on how to handle an emergency. 

Opening the haunted attraction is just one other process the haunted attraction has to go through. 

“Typically we open at 7 p.m for the houses,” said Alice. “Actors have to be in full makeup and costume by six-thirty.” 

The managers then do a walk-through in each of the haunted houses to check for safety, operation, lighting, music, and to make sure the actors are in place. 

“What we focus on here is that the actor is the central part of the scare,” said Alice. 

The haunted attraction costs about thirty dollars for each person, according to Alice. 

“They deserve the absolute best quality that we can give them and we won’t except anything less than that,” said Alice. 

She went on to say what she thinks make their haunted house stand out from all the others. 

“We are the oldest haunt in Arizona, we are the largest haunt in Arizona…about 25 acres,” said Alice. “We are sponsors for the Scottsdale’s Boys and Girls Club…we let all the Scottsdale’s Boys and Girls Club in for free.” 

Alice continued to say that they make several donations to the club and how being apart of the community is important to them. 

The haunted attraction also holds special events for blind and deaf children to come through the haunted attraction. 

For more information on Scream Park click HERE

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An Exclusive Look At The 13th Floor

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The 13th Floor is a haunted attraction in Arizona that can send shivers down your spine, but what makes this attraction so scary? 

A few owners who were running their own haunts partnered together and spread The 13th Floor throughout a few different markets, according to Jacob Redwood, The 13th Floor’s performance manager. 

“We have six physical locations and typically each location has two or more shows…,” said Redwood. 

The premise of The 13th Floor is to show its customers why buildings can’t have a 13th floor and what could be on that floor if they did. 

“Essentially in our shows we typically will start with what we deem as an elevator ride that takes you to the 13th floor,” said Redwood. 

The creation of a haunted house typically starts with nothing more than an idea.

“Basically what we like to do is come up with a theme or a story that’s going to carry out throughout a zone or a whole show,” said Redwood. 

The attraction then reaches out to different sources of media to see what’s popular in video games, movies, and comics to get an idea of the direction they want to go in, according to Redwood. 

“…Then we’ll put our own spin on it…and build off it,” said Redwood. 

Once everything is in its proper scene and looks right, they then move on to the final step. 

“The final [and] fun part for me as a performance manager is [getting] the actors in place and bringing the scenes to life,” said Redwood. 

But where do the props come from?

“They come from all over the place…yard sales are great,” said Redwood. “The great thing about a yard sale is its already been used, its already been loved, its already been beaten so by the time we get it…it has all that wear and tear.” 

They have also find props from closed down businesses that auction off their items, as stated by Redwood. 

“We create a lot of stuff too, theres a lot of things…throughout the sets that we build from scratch and [we] find ways to mimic the real life things at an economical layer,” said Redwood. 

On top of building up the attraction, they have to hire actors, which is a complicated process within itself. 

The way people hear about The 13th Floor hiring is through word of mouth, Craigslist, listings, and by the attraction going to local schools and recruiting, according to Redwood. 

“We’ll promote the fact that we are going to bring on actors,” said Redwood. “We’ll typically start that with…an information session.” 

Informing the actors of what exactly they are doing is very important. 

“After that it’s a voluntary group of workshops that we invite them to do,” said Redwood. “It starts with core training — we call them scare circles…we take people through some of the basics we are looking for.” 

The attraction averages about 90 people a night throughout the season, according to Redwood. 

When everything is ready to go, The 13th Floor then starts to prepare for a night of screams. 

“We start basically looking at the set…get an idea…[we] make sure everything is safe for customers, visually appealing…” said Redwood. 

Redwood said that the actors come in two hours before they open and they make sure everybody is present to fill in their spots. Then, they get their wardrobe and makeup done.

“In the meantime the event staff…some of the upper management…are checking the set, getting foggers ready to go, getting air systems turned on, getting all the hardware of the show fired up so that both come out at the same time,” said Redwood. 

The supervisors then take the actors into their scenes and begin bringing the attraction to life. 

“It’s just kind of this magic moment that all kind of happens in like a ten-minute window…” said Redwood.

The final step they take is making a fast walk through the haunted attraction and making sure everything is good to go.

Redwood then explained what he thinks makes their attraction stand out from all the others. 

“I think something that we have that a lot of different haunted attractions just don’t have is the luxury of a pretty solid and a rather large team of full time employees that work on these year round…” said Redwood. 

Working in a team and collaborating together makes for a final product. 

Redwood then explained what his favorite thing about the haunted attraction is.

“For me it’s almost a second home thing…it becomes that playground where I come in and have crazy ideas,” said Redwood. 

When everything is in place and ready The 13th Floor opens and the customers try to make it out alive. 

Click HERE for more information on The 13th Floor. 

Field Of Screams Nightmares Finally Awaken

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On Oct. 4, at the corner of Bethany Home Road and 75th Avenue, chainsaws and screams were heard as the Tolmachoff family opened their haunted corn maze.

Field Of Screams actors began preparing for the haunt at 6:30 p.m., though it wasn’t their first experience with terrifying people.

“I’ve worked at [The] 13th Floor [for a] couple of years,” said actor Brandon Mean.

Mean went on to explain that he has worked in Zombieland at The 13th Floor every year  for the past four years.

“I’ve always done the same acting,” said Mean.

Mean also mentioned the tactics he uses to scare people.

“ I definitely like to let people pass by me at first, especially being inside of a corn maze now, this year,” stated Mean.

Mean also said he likes to sneak behind the customers after letting them pass and scares them with different vocals.

By 7:00 p.m., the actors were in their proper positions at the maze and customers were lined up at the entrance.

“We’re here to see Field Of Screams,” said customer Dale Reinhardt, as he explained what he was doing at the Tolmachoff farm.

Reinhardt said that he and his wife, Lashmi, were from Southern California.

“…We came up for the Cardinals and Panthers [football] game,” said Reinhardt.

Reinhardt continued by explaining that they decided to go to Field Of Screams to see what was going on.

“…We hear people screaming in the distance, so it sounds like a lot of fun,” said Reinhardt.

The screaming of victims will continue till Field Of Screams closes on Oct. 31.

Check back soon too see exclusive footage of Field of Screams.

Welcome To The 13th Floor

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The number 13 is said to be an unlucky number, so much so that tall buildings have excluded a 13th Floor, according to today.com. One particular location, however, has made sure to include it.

The 13th Floor is a haunted attraction located in Phoenix. Open Thursday through Sunday nights, its aim is to make its customers nightmares come true.

Below is a set of pictures to see what this nightmare looks like with the lights on.

Cast members putting on their ghoulish faces before the show.

Props Of Terror

Touring a quiet place…for now

Check back in a couple of weeks to see The 13th Floor with the lights off and discover the back story to it.

Behind The Scenes Of Field Of Screams

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Enter, if you dare.  Photo taken by Alexandra Gaspar.

Enter, if you dare.
Photo taken by Alexandra Gaspar.

By day, Field of Screams is a beautiful, tall and intriguing corn maze. By night, it becomes a nightmare for its guests.

Field of Screams is one of the many haunted attractions in Phoenix. 

Bill and Gracie Tolmachoff are the owners of the maze, as well as the rest of the farm. 

The Tolmachoff family has owned the land since the 1800’s, according to Mr. Tolmachoff. 

 “Every year we started extending the back area…and in 2000 we did our first corn maze,” according to Mrs. Tolmachoff. “Ever since then its just grown.” 

As the corn maze grew, parents and their kids constantly visited the farm, but the Tolmachoff’s wanted to reach out to all ages, according to Mr. Tolmachoff.

“…I was having families come in with their kids…now they’re getting into high school,” said Mr. Tolmachoff. “I want something different, that’s why we started doing the haunt.”

Mr. Tolmachoff went on to say that building up the haunt takes a lot of work especially because it’s hot and there’s only so much time to finish it. 

“…The first step is, we get all the field ready plow it, disk it, and then I laser it,” said Mr. Tolmachoff. “Laser means if I have a hundred feet, I split it, like, into sections, like 40 [feet] so I [can] flood it.” 

Mr. Tolmachoff continued by saying that he floods it so the maze doesn’t have any hills. 

“Aug. 1, I planted this..some of that stuff is like 13, 14 foot tall,” said Mr. Tolmachoff. 

He went on by saying that he and his wife will grid out the whole field on a piece of paper and then cut the paths. 

“After it starts growing we put all our props and our scenes in there, run our electric…[the] stereo system and all that,” said Mr. Tolmachoff. 

Mr. Tolmachoff went onto explain what kinds of things they have in the maze. 

“…[You] got the chainsaw, that’s a given, you got your clown, you got Michael Myers, you got Jason..,” said Mr. Tolmachoff. 

When all the ideas are in place, Mr. Tolmachoff then moves on to hire the actors. 

“I’ll interview them, tell them what I’m doing, what I’m looking for…,” said Mr. Tolmachoff.”

He went on to say that how through the years, he has seen people get really excited about the job and get really anxious to scare people. 

“I got guys [that will] come after you, I got a guy 6-[foot]-7 [inches tall],” said Mr. Tolmochoff. “He’ll lay the chainsaw on your neck and drop you to your knees.”

Mr. Tolmochoff went on to explain his scare tactics for the haunt. 

 “…If you’re walking through corn that’s 14-feet tall…and someone jumps out at you, that’s where you get the hell scared out of you,” said Mr. Tolmochoff.  

Mr. Tolmochoff also said that the scariest thing is an unexpected scare. 

After the Tolmochoff’s have everything in place, they open for business and Mr. Tolmochoff has a little fun of his own with the maze. 

“I’ll go through the field and I’ll scare people and I’ll be dressed like this,” said Mr. Tolmochoff, who was wearing jeans and a plain orange T-shirt.

Mr. Tolmochoff believes his haunted attraction stands out from the rest. 

“We’re scary and we don’t charge an arm and a leg to get in…,” said Mr. Tolmochoff. 

Field Of Screams is open Friday’s and Saturday’s starting Oct. 4. Price of admission is $10 for opening night and $16 every night after that. The crossroads are 75th Avenue and Bethany Home Road. For more information, click here.

Check back next week to see behind the scenes of The 13th Floor and mark your calendar for Oct. 6, where Preparing for a Scaring will take you through Field Of Screams once it’s finished. 

*Update: This post has been updated to include the price, location, and contact information for Field Of Screams.

Introducing Halloween’s Scariest Houses

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"Come On In" Photo taken by Alexandra Gaspar

“Come On In”
Photo taken by Alexandra Gaspar

Halloween is the time of year for people to dress up, collect free candy, and most importantly, scream.

One of the ways to fulfill this screaming urge is by attending the various haunted attractions across America.

A haunted attraction is a seasonal event where customers are taken through areas which contain characters, animatronics, puppetry, props and scenes that are terrifying, according to hauntcast.net.

Although the history of haunted attractions is debatable, the components of a haunted house dates back centuries, the website said.

Included in these components are the circuses and carnivals of the 1900‘s, where fun houses and oddity museums were present, according to hauntcast.net.

These individual factors soon created a growing industry in the United States.

Each year the haunted house industry produces $400-$500 million dollars in ticket sales, according to an info graphic from Orange Soda.

The haunted house industry has poured across the nation from California to New York.

In Arizona, various haunted attractions are present, including Fear Farm and The Nest.

“I’ve been to Fear Farm and [The] 13th Floor,” said Krystal Bell, a student at Arizona State University, as she spoke about what haunted attractions she’s attended.

Bell explained that going around corners and not knowing what’s hiding behind them is the scariest part for her in the haunted attractions.

Dark corners are just one of many things that makes these haunted attractions seem like nightmares.

Check back next week to see what goes into making these haunted attractions turn their customers hair white.