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2008 Transworld Vegas: 
"IAHA / Transworld Wrap-up"

 By Deanna Roberts-Morton
IAHA Secretary

This year, IAHA (The International Association of Haunted Attractions) traveled to Las Vegas for Transworld’s Haunt Show.  It was a definite change of pace from the usual location in Rosemont, IL, just outside of Chicago. IAHA was happy to have a large presence at Transworld for its members.

Prior to the opening of the convention floor, IAHA in conjunction with Mobile Midway Safety Institute (MMSI) was proud to offer the haunted attraction industry’s first and only voluntary national safety certification program. The Certified Haunted Attraction Operator Seminar Program (C.H.A.O.S) consisted of eight hours of safety training provided by professional speakers with a background in amusement safety and loss control inspection.

At the conclusion of the training program, attendees had the opportunity to take a certification test. Upon successful completion of the training & test, attendees were issued a certification certificate as a Certified Haunted Attraction Operator Seminar Graduate (C.H.A.O.S). 

The C.H.A.O.S. Program will also be held this year at Midwest Haunters Convention (MHC).

IAHA again, as in the past, planned to hold its Annual Meeting & Elections at Transworld, albeit with a twist. IAHA launched its First Annual Awards Program & Banquet. The Banquet was well attended by many in our association. All IAHA Members who registered in advance were able to take part of the Buffet at no charge. The menu was a delicious Italian fare with Manicotti, Lasagna, & Salads to choose from.

(Click on any of the thumbnails below for a larger image)

IAHA Meeting & Awards Banquet
(Pictures Courtesy of Rex Hamilton)

IAHA was able to give a recap on its accomplishments in the Industry for the past year, touching on the 3 Year Plan launched at Transworld 2007, and explaining the direction of the Awards Program in future years.

For 2008, IAHA honored these people and companies:

International Association of Haunted Attractions - Vendor Excellence Award 
     Winners: Creative Visions, Distortions, Gore Galore, Oak Island, Haunted Media DVD Magazine

International Association of Haunted Attractions –Best new product
     Winner: Spookywoods F/X 

International Association of Haunted Attraction - Special recognition awards
     Winner: Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, The Travel Channel

International Association of Haunted Attractions - Board of Directors Award.
     Winners:   Bob Turner, Ben Armstrong, Randy Bates, Lance Pope 

International Association of Haunted Attractions - Life Time Achievement Award
     Winner: Phillip Morris 

International Association of Haunted Attractions - Presidents Award
     Winner: Midwest Haunters Convention – Kelly & Neena Collins, Barry & Kathy Schieferstein

IAHA was honored by the presence of Phillip Morris, who gave a wonderfully entertaining acceptance speech. Additionally, Lance Pope’s mother was present at the Transworld show, and graciously accepted the Award, on behalf of her late son, prior to the Ceremony.

Since IAHA holds its Annual Elections at Transworld, we were able to announce the New Board of Directors at the Banquet. Many members were able to mail, fax, & hand deliver their ballots to the elections committee prior to the Banquet. 

9 Board Members terms had expired, and IAHA had an overwhelming response to a call for nominees to run in the 2008 elections. Many IAHA Members, both existing Board Members, as well as other well known names in the Haunt Industry, stepped forth to offer their services to IAHA. Those nominees were: 

Lore Callahan, Ken Donat, Dan Hall, Denise Larson Kivett, Pat Konopelski, Mike “Tattoo” Krausert, Kevin McIntyre, Deanna Roberts-Morton, Chad Savage, Jim Smith
Bobbie Weiner, Jay Wright, Randy Young.

After the Awards Announcements, the Banquet was winding down, IAHA’s Elections Committee announced the IAHA Board of Directors for 2008. 

They are:
Dan Hall, Pat Konopelski, Mike “Tattoo” Krausert, Deanna Roberts-Morton, Chad Savage, Jim Smith, Bobbie Weiner, Jay Wright, Randy Young.

Additionally, at the next Board of Directors Meeting a week later, the Executive Board was voted upon and announced. They are:
President - Tim Gavinski, Vice President – Brett Bertolino, Secretary – Deanna Roberts-Morton, Treasurer – Jim Smith

On Monday, prior to the Annual Meeting/Awards Banquet, IAHA also held its Annual Silent & Live Auctions at the IAHA Booth. The Auctions are IAHA’s main fundraisers for the year. 

The Silent Auction, also known as the Casket Baskets, has gift baskets (some are literally “Caskets”) donated by various members of IAHA which can then be bid on by the general audience of Transworld. 
The Silent Auction is opened first thing in the morning, and we close out the bidding prior to the Live Auction. Any unclaimed/unpaid baskets are then put forth in the Live Auction for further bidding. 

The Casket Baskets were judged by a secret panel & awards for 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place winners, will be given, donated by Ghost Ride Productions.  The list of criteria for the awards are numerous, & range from Theme, Uniqueness of contents, Overall look, and many more.  Another award for Most Money Raised is awarded to that Casket Baskets generous sponsor.

Baskets were donated by: Spookers Limited, Bad Boys Scenic Design, Tim Gavinski, Deanna Roberts-Morton, Kelly Allen, Midwest Haunters Convention, Ghouls Gulch Productions, Ghoulish Gallery, Eastern State Penitentiary/Terror Behind The Walls, Randy Young, Tony Gonzales, Ghost Ride, Marty Smith, and Gerrie Wisniewski. Casket Baskets brought in $634 to benefit IAHA. 

The winners (announced at the Annual Meeting/Banquet) were: 
     3rd Place – Ghouls Gulch, 2nd Place – Eastern State Penitentiary, 1st Place – Bad Boys Scenic Design. 

The Most Money Raised Trophy was awarded to Bad Boys Scenic Design for their phenomenal “Kick Assket Basket”, which was a wood coffin filled with Terror on The Fox items, and makings for their infamous Monster-itas. All this was under lit with Mini Spotlights, which gave it an otherworldly glow. 

Soon after, the Live Auction was set to begin. Once again IAHA had the impressive talents of Chuck Williams & Rich *Horrormaster* Hanf to emcee the Auctions.  If you’ve never seen these two in action, you’re missing out on some great entertainment, as well as some AWESOME bargains!

Some of the 32 Auction items were items varied in size & value. Items were donated by: Zagone Studios, Bloody Mary, LaFond FX, Sinister Visions, Creative Visions, Froggy’s Fog, Oak Island, Screamline Studios, Distortions, Haunted Props, The Ghoulish Gallery, Skeleton Store, Wolfe Brothers, Mini Spot Light, Chuck Williams, Gore Galore, Spooky Woods F/X, Bad Boys Scenic Design, SPFX Masks, Chips International, Northern Lights FX, Dental Distortions, 13th Hour Magazine, Molar Manor, and Scott “Tater” Lynd – aka Grannie.

Some of the more amazing auction items were Oak Island’s Hamster Ball, A four page ad in 13th Hour Magazine, & Distortion’s Electric Chair.

The auction, brought well over $6,000 to benefit IAHA. All told, IAHA raised over $7,000, 

IAHA continues to have a strong presence at all Gatherings & Conventions, where ever its members might be. In 2008, you can be sure to find IAHA (whether as a whole, or individual Board Members) at locations such as MHC, HauntCon, & IAAPA. 

For More information about IAHA, please visit


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