Soon, the leaves will be falling, the temperatures dropping and shrieks of excitement rising as haunted house season and Halloween are upon us.
Each year, the Haunted Attraction Association, the only official association in the haunt industry, names the Top Haunted Attractions across the country. To be designated, attractions must be recognized as a member of HAA while also satisfying a list of 10 criteria related to the mission of HAA — to protect customers, promote haunted attractions and educate industry experts.
“The most important aspect of our jobs is prioritizing visitor safety,” HAA President Spencer Terry said. “The Top Haunts certification rewards those attractions that have been in operation for at least 10 years and are not only leaders in delivering some of the best attractions in the business but also in setting the bar high for best practices in safety.”
Terry said they encourage people to attend the attractions that made this year’s list, which includes Jackson County’s own Fear Fair, located at Freeman Municipal Airport, 800 A Ave. East, Seymour.
Fear Fair marketing manager Heather Ellis said as a haunt that has been open for 21 consecutive years, it is exciting to see their dedication and hard work recognized on a national level.
“Every year, we spend hundreds of hours building new sets, designing new characters and creating a show that rivals the top haunted attractions in the nation,” Ellis said. “Our entire goal is to offer a place people can come to have a scary, fun time. Nestled between three large cities, we like to say our customers will drive a little to scream lot.”
Beyond their haunted attraction, Ellis said they have cultivated a 360 experience with the expansion of the Monster Midway that offers games, rides, monster interactions and food vendors.
“We continue to be a fan favorite because we examine every detail of our attraction for quality and to offer the full customer experience,” she said.
The public will be given an opportunity to attend an open house at Fear Fair from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday to get to know the staff. They are always accepting applications for actors, staff, security, makeup artists and more, Ellis said.
“It can be intimidating for someone who has never worked in the haunt industry to take that first step in joining, but we find once they do, they love it,” she said. “Our open house will be on our Monster Midway, and for one night, we are inviting everyone who has ever wanted to come out, ride our rides, play our games and talk to our actors and staff who make our show happen.”
Ellis said they will have some of their characters available to answer questions or challenge to a race on their Lava Rock Wall if someone is feeling brave. Shaggy Concessions also will be set up, so food and beverages will be available for purchase. The open house is free admission.
“We always look forward to raising awareness in the community about who we are and what we do,” she said. “Many people in our area don’t realize they have a top-rated, award-winning haunt in their backyard.”
Learn more about Fear Fair and view its 2022 season schedule online at fearfair.com.
If you go
What: Fear Fair open house
When: 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday
Where: Monster Midway, Freeman Municipal Airport, 800 A Ave. East, Seymour
Cost: Admission is free
Activities: The public is invited to talk with Fear Fair actors and staff who make the show happen. Rides and games will be available. Shaggy Concessions also will be set up selling food and beverages.