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Spooky World No More?

This is strange, a query of http://www.spookyworld.com now comes up with a "could not be found" error. I thought they were returning this year in a more "family friendly" capacity? This makes me wonder why they bothered re-vamping their website last year to make it more attractive if they were just going to disappear.

It's as if a dear old friend has fallen off the face of the earth. :(
 

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Nevermind, they're back online again and asking us to stay tuned for info on their new 2005 location. I just hope they don't go overboard with their promise to be more "family friendly."
 

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In talking with Ed Gannon, it seemed like it would be more family friendly Spookyworld. But aparently he will be opening a big event at the Bayside Expo Center in Boston. So there still is hope!

Mike
 

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Hate to admit it .. but I have never been to SpookyWorld. I have heard so many mixed reviews on it and money being an issue havent had the chance to go. What do you guys think of it? Is it worth going to? What is it like?
 

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Being the haunted house fanatic that I am, I thought it was absolutely amazing. I mean, there's not many places where you can go through 6 great, detailed haunted houses as many times as you want for one price (which is pretty high, but level with the amount of work they put into it). I mean, just the genius mind of David Bertilino. Basically the first to come up with the idea of using celebrities at haunted houses. And Ed Gannon, who is a great guy, added so much to Spookyworld. One thing I liked about it, was the high quality acting there was. And they hired lots of actors to cover the 6 haunted houses. Unfortunatly, I only got to go to Spookyworld twice, but one of those times I got a behind the scenes tour before. I also went to the auction which let you see just how much work was put into it. The auction was an amazing expirience just becuase you could freely walk through 4 of the haunted houses, and touch anything you wanted, play with things, go behind the sets as much as you wanted, etc. But all the stuff went for much more than they were worth. But overall, Spookyworld was a great thing for entertainment for people of all ages in the area, as well as a benchmark in the Haunted House industry.

So Spookyworld, RIP

Mike
 

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For those of you interested... here is one of the latest articles on Spooky World.

Spooky World Story

I'm SLIGHTLY bias since I work for Barrett's Haunted Mansion right down the street, but if you want an honest opinion here's my best shot. It includes some facts from people that used to work at SW as well that now work at BHM.

When it was in Berlin it was pretty good. The cost was a little high, but overall, not a bad time. Once it came to Foxboro, they began to do away with the use of blood, and started flowing people through the houses at a constant flow so that the actors inside did not have time to reset at all which caused most people to feel jipped since they had lost that initial "surprise" scare. They were also trying to make it more "family friendly", which is fine, it brings in more money because you have more people, and they also included some carnival games/rides. They were even being concidered to be sponsored by Disney. The problem, it lost the fright. Maybe after years of working in and around haunted attractions, I've hit a point where I'm just not impressed by haunted houses anymore, but I have been to a few houses around the country that still have some good scares left in them. Spooky world is not one of them.

They lost it for me when they went from "America's Horror Themepark" to "America's Halloween Themepark". Bring back the blood, bring back the horror.

I'm not sure how the new one (if and where it opens) will be like the older one, or the new, but if they still lose the blood and horror, they will lose a lot of visitors.

Again, this is just my opinion, but I wanted to share it.
I will say, that they definitely are one of the main reasons why the haunt industry is so strong today!

-Dewking
www.BHMansion.com
 

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The link didn't work for me...

But what you said was very true. They did tone it down to make it more family friendly. I even wrote a paper in school this year about how I wish they kept the gore part in. I remember when I was pretty young I would watch for a Spookyworld commercial on TV where an actor would knock off another actors fake head. But as I grew up, there was less and less of this.

And they did push people through quickly, but I think they did a good job considering how fast they pushed people through. I mean, even with how fast they pushed people through, there still was very long lines.

Unfortunatly, I'm not old enough to have gone when it was in Berlin. What was it like?

Mike
 

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When it was in berlin, they could use blood. Given, you need more than blood to scare people, but it helps a lot. They also had a great hayride, which was probably one of their best attractions.

I've spoken with a lot of spooky world cast members and there are definite "behind the scenes" horror stories about treatment, the amount of stock (makeup, etc..), and money. I wont share those here, since I did not see it first hand.

The story (from the broken link), was basically that they were trying to open SW at the Weymouth Air Base. Unfortunately, the base is on three towns and they did not get approval from two of the towns. One of which is Abington (where BHMansion is located). So they are having some trouble with the other towns and worried about traffic problems on Rt 18.

We (BHMansion), have had many discussions about how SW would affect us and for the most part, it wouldnt all that much. If anything, it MAY bring more people to our house, but that may cause a problem due to the fact that we are a single haunt and cannot (and do not want to) handle extreme amounts of traffic.

It will be interesting to see how things progress. As it is, I am not sure how they would be able to set up, plan, hire, and run a Haunt with such short notice, especially if they are still having some issues with zoning, etc...

If it does come back, I at least hope they bring back the hayride.... and blood. ;)

Otherwise, just come down to BHMansion. LOL!

;)
Dewking
www.bhmansion.com
 

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What I heard was that it was going to be in Toppsfield, but not of the fairgrounds. This could just be a rumor though.

I do remember the hayride, and I wish I had a chance to go on it. Now that you mention it, on that commercial that I used to watch for, there was a scene from the hayride where an actor with a chainsaw would come running out of a building at to wagon.

mike
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I never did get to see SW in Berlin and wish I had. But I did enjoy it in Foxboro, particularly the Hayride.

I do agree that when they went from Horror to Halloween theme park, and did away with the hayride, it kind of **** the bed. I still went, but it wasn't as good.

Honestly, I much prefer Witch's Woods to Spooky World. WW was a good time and has a pretty decent hayride.

Even moreso, Barrett's one house is better than all the houses in SW put together. They really need to put some work into making SW newer and different this year. None of this "family friendly" balogna.

A co-worker here, who has small children, is a little bummed out that they're taking the family friendly road. He says it's supposed to be scary... it's a haunted house. You can't tone it down and expect patrons to still be scared and have a good time being scared.
 

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I want to check out WW this year. Its tough since I work at BHM every night (when they are open), so its hard to get out and see other houses now.

I've heard good things though.

You cant imagine how many people get upset when we tell them its not recommended for children, and they yell at us for scaring their kids in the house. ITS A HAUNTED HOUSE... if you cant deal with the characters outside, theres NO way you'll make it inside.

We do backoff of little kids, but only after they start to cry. ;)

D
 

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Whats Witches Woods like? I live to far away to make it up there. Is it like Spookyworld?

I worked at the Harvest of Horrors this year, and it was my first night. A little kid was really scared, so one of the "floaters" (people who sort of supervise the actors and walk around the house adding scares) yelled "No scare", which apparently was their signal so the actors wouldn't pop out and scare the little kid. But me, not knowing any of this yet, poped out of my door yelling and screaming... I felt bad for the kid after they explained to me that when they say "no scare", it means don't scare them. Oh well, what can you do?

Mike
 

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Yeah, it's kinda like spooky world in that it has a hayride and a few haunted houses. It's different in that the houses are more well thought out than Spooky World's.

I'd also have to suggest trying out Evilville Railroad sometime. Some of Spooky World's castaways take over Edaville Railroad in October and make a large walkthrough that takes about an hour to walk through. Think of it as a hayride without the vehicle.
 

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I loved SW in berlin! it was in old barns and stuff. the hay ride was great. PLUS I got engaged there. so that was pretty cool.i also enjoyed it at foxboro because it gave you actual room to walk around plus raxl got to converse with alice cooper about his jacket and alices kid and stuff so he really enjoyed that. . We always went to BHM every year too that was hellascary!! we went to Halloween Horror Nights last year at Universal Studios it was pretty good but a $50 ticket and if you do not get htere right when it opens you wait in big lines.
 

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Some of you have probably seen this, but here's an article about this years spookyworld!

http://business.bostonherald.com/businessNews/view.bg?articleid=93096

Like I said on another forum, I don't think it can beat the old Spookyworld. They seem to be taking quantity over quality when its only their first year, which I think will be a mistake.

mike
 

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The word I'm hearing from unhappy Weymouth residents, is that it is going to be put in at the old naval base in Weymouth, Ma. Yes, it sounds like Rte 18 is going to get a LOT scarier!
 

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Well, here is the latest news with SW moving to weymouth from the Patriot Ledger:

Boo-boo: Spooky World needs to find new home base

By MARK FONTECCHIO
The Patriot Ledger

Spooky World will not be held at the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station. Officials didn't want the event to conflict with a similar Abington event that raises money for local charities.

Barrett's Haunted Mansion, which takes place every year behind the Abington Ale House, didn't want Spooky World scaring away clientele.

''From the inception of this plan, our family thought it was the perfect opportunity to make use of an empty building, generate traffic for the restaurants, bring a new idea to Abington, create some excitement while allowing different nonprofit groups to raise money,'' wrote Mary Barrett Costello, who designed the mansion almost 15 years ago.

Barrett Family Restaurants has raised thousands of dollars through the event for local charities, schools and athletic organizations.

Tri-Town did not want to interfere with Barrett's fund-raiser.

''My impression is that we don't need to be in the business of competing with local charities,'' Tri-Town Executive Director Terry Fancher said.

The operator of Spooky World was close to signing a contract that would have brought the Halloween theme park to the former South Weymouth Air Station The attraction, which began in central Massachusetts in 1995 and moved to Foxboro in 1999, didn't operate last year. Co-founder David Bertolino said he wanted to remodel the park and make it less gory.

Now it is returning under the ownership of Fiesta Shows, a Seabrook, N.H.-based carnival company that operates at festivals and fairs across New England, including fairs in Marshfield and Topsfield.

Copyright 2005 The Patriot Ledger
Transmitted Tuesday, July 26, 2005
 

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dewking said:
We (BHMansion), have had many discussions about how SW would affect us and for the most part, it wouldnt all that much. If anything, it MAY bring more people to our house, but that may cause a problem due to the fact that we are a single haunt and cannot (and do not want to) handle extreme amounts of traffic. ;)
Dewking
www.bhmansion.com
I have been to BHM and thought it was one of the better haunts in the Boston area. I also planned to go this year. But after hearing that the town put the Kibosh on SW because it would compete with BHM. I had second thoughts. I felt it was a very selfish way to look at things. It brings to mind the Sausage Vendor and the kids with the lemonade stand that was in the news a couple of weeks back.

http://www.wpri.com/Global/story.asp?S=3676642

Then I read this quote by Dewking and was very impressed at his take on the matter. I thought to myself maybe I was wrong in how I felt about BHM. Maybe it was the selectmen that felt that way about the competition.

Then I read the last post and got a bit peeved. So people who love Haunted houses have to suffer because of this form of protectionism.

I guess sometimes business and short sighted Politicians (Tri-Town Executive Director Terry Fancher) should think about their public image before the engage in protectionism.

Thanks Dewkink for your unbiased opinion and understanding the sometimes competition is not so bad. And I agree that if SW got too busy the overflow would have spilled over to BHM. For the record I had planned to hit both BHM & SW. Now I may not patronize BHM as a matter of principle.

My 2 cents
 

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Tom,

I totally understand your feeling on the situation. Understand though that Barrett's only mentioned concerns about traffic on the already busy Rt 18. I dont believe in all of the meetings we had that we ever said that we did not want them in our area, or try to tell the towns that it would take away from our business. I work closely with the owner of BHM and are very close with several actors that previously worked around SW (at all levels) and the only negative thoughts that may have come up were that they were turning haunts into something too family friendly.

But again, its up to you on the decision, just understand that, although the decision was made not to allow SW at the local airbase, BHM had very little (if any) direct pull on the actual decision.

I've worked at BHM for about 8+ years and will compare other haunts to ours (as im sure other workers would do as well), but have never felt another haunt should not be near another for fear of taking away business, etc...

my feelings, SW would have just ended up bringing more exposure to our haunt as well, not taking anything away from us.

My penny and a stick of gum... i need a raise. ;)

Dave
 

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Hi Dave,

Thanks for the response. I do appreciate it. As I said before I think BHM was one
of the better haunts that I have been to in the Boston area.

I just felt kinda sad that this area will have one less haunt.

I'll see if my wife wants to take a ride down and we can check it out this yr.

She has never been to BHM.

We'll See. Either way thank you for the response and the explanation.

BTW When we drop by would it be ok to ask for you?

I always like to meet a fellow Haunter ;)
 
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