The Business of “Fear” Brings in $8 Billion a Year
by Amy Lignor
There are aspects of Halloween everyone knows about. From the scary boogeyman to the haunted houses set up in cities and counties from sea to shining sea, the world certainly
understands that the “frightening” is also the “entertaining” when it comes to All Hallows Eve. What most may not know, however, is the fact that Halloween is a billion (yes, BILLION) dollar industry. People are more than happy to spend their money on a “macabre” experience, and because of this, there are many companies getting in on the action.
The beloved TV show, “Shark Tank,” actually made one of their biggest deals ever with a company that’s all about Halloween (Ten Thirty One Productions). Mark Cuban, one of the popular sharks, decided to invest two million dollars for a 10% stake, making the company’s valuation twenty million dollars. This Halloween-themed live entertainment company’s mission was to stage the best and most unforgettably frightening haunted hay rides imaginable. Starting in Los Angeles, the company has expanded to other parts of the country, including NYC. For between thirty to fifty-five dollars per ticket, depending on the customer’s choice of hay ride, visitors enter a world that literally is scary as all get out.
For some people, a “hay ride” on the scary side would not exactly fall into a business worth twenty million dollars. But Ten Thirty One has gone on to prove that twenty million may just be a pittance considering what they’re bringing in now. They have expanded into other events and are looking into expanding into other holidays; however, Halloween is still their foundation. A foundation that is solid, yet makes others shake to their very core.
And this is not the only entrepreneur who is taking advantage of that love of fear that apparently lurks in the soul of a whole lot of people. There are even small companies and businesses that are striving to take a bite of that $8 billion dollar industry. From setting up scary attractions to selling costumes to online adventures, there are new names on the Halloween horizon that are just starting to grab press.
Try, Room Escape Adventures. This company offers visitors one hour to escape from a room where a zombie, who is more than starving, just happens to be chained to a wall. A buzzer goes off every five minutes while you’re in there and, with the buzzer, the chain shackling the zombie is released another foot from the wall. While you stand in fear hoping to get out before that chain comes free, you must take the clues given and solve a puzzle in order to escape and avoid becoming dinner for the undead.
HauntWorld is the largest global database for all Halloween resources and activities. With a website and a magazine, HauntWorld offers members of the haunted house industry a place where they can get together, talk and share their ideas when it comes to what’s “in” each and every Halloween.
The Horror Dome is all about providing props, masks, and animatronics in this here 21st century for any attractions that are looking for something horrifying; as well as simple homeowners who really like to spend money in the month of October to make their house the scariest and coolest one on the block.
There is even a landmark in NYC called Halloween Adventure. Operating year-round, this store is all about costumes, and not only Halloween enthusiasts love the place. And when it comes to actual scary empires, for twenty years SpookyWorld (a company that owns the very popular Nightmare New England) operates all different types of attractions in the state of New Hampshire.
Although St. Nick and his team of reindeer still hold on to first place with families when it comes to everyone’s “favorite” holiday, the spooky spirits are definitely gaining ground on the happy guy in the red suit.
Fear has become an entertaining way to make a whole lot of money for entrepreneurs. Makes sense when you think about it. After all, the type of fear they’re selling doesn’t hurt anyone…as opposed to what’s happening in real life.
Source: Baret News