Transworld Haunt Show in
was definitely quite an experience.
Upon my arrival in
City", I could tell it was going to be an expensive trip, based on the
short $25 cab ride from the airport to my hotel. Food
was also expensive, with entrees in most of the hotel restaurants
averaging $50. But hey,
it’s Vegas, right? You’ve
got to live a little! There
were a million things to do while I was there.
I could have stayed twice as long and still have hardly scratched the
surface of all the Vegas shows and activities that were available.
While all the shows, gambling and
other activities gave Transworld attendees a lot of options, socially it was a
drawback for Haunters. With the
distraction of all the after-hours Vegas entertainment, everyone seemed
to go there own way. There wasn't a costume ball and there really wasn't a central place for Haunters
to congregate, like the Crowne Plaza in Chicago.
This made the Haunt Show
less enjoyable for me, personally.
I missed being able to get together with Haunters, seeing friends in the
Industry who I only get to see once or twice a year.
Not only did Vegas lack a Haunter
hangout, but it definitely didn’t seem to be as Haunter-friendly as Chicago.
About a month before the
show, I made some phone calls and found out that the hotels on the
strip don’t allow costume-related face make-up, for security reasons.
With casinos inside every hotel, implementing such a policy is understandable, but it
seemed to put a damper on some Haunters’ plans to get into costume.
From what I could see, there was a drastic reduction in the number of attendees in
costume on the show floor, compared to previous years. In fact,
the entire time I was there, I only saw a few people dressed up.
I don't have the official numbers,
but it appeared that there was a dip in attendance at the Haunt Show
this year. Perhaps this had to do with the remote location?
Actually, from an attendee’s point of view, a smaller crowd was
pretty nice. I didn’t have to fight my way through a sea of people,
plus getting pictures of props & displays was a snap (no pun intended).
Unfortunately the Haunt Show portion of the convention was tucked
back into the far corner of the show floor, so you had to walk through
all the rows of wholesale vendors, in order to get to the haunted house
props, which is what I was really interested in.
I was really impressed with the new props that a lot of companies
brought with them to the show. The new Bodybag
Entertainment costume was outstanding! It was entertaining
to watch people’s reactions to an actress running around in the "Fetus
Flinger" costume, swinging around a creepy-looking fetus by its umbilical cord! The
FX full-body skeleton suits were great, too.
I also liked the Gore
Galore larger-than-life costumes. The "Tree Beast" was my personal favorite.
As usual, the Dark Zone was dominated by the Scarefactory.
My favorite Scarefactory
props were the "Animated T-Rex Skeleton", the huge flying
"Angel of Death" and the animatronic "Feeding
Studios had a great new line of weapons.
Productions both had gruesome prop line-ups, too.
There were more new props than you could shake a stick at.
Even with the apparent drop in attendance, a number of the
Haunt Vendors I spoke with told me that they did pretty well order-wise,
and many said they would consider exhibiting again if Transworld came back to
On the show floor, there were a lot
of signs posted, indicating that Transworld would move back to
in 2009. In addition to
that, Transworld Exhibits Inc made an official announcement at the show,
stating the same thing. Even though an official announcement had
been made, by the last day of the show there were already rumors
circulating about the Haunt Show possibly moving to Texas
instead. After a week or so had
passed, I found that all of the rumors were without merit. About
that time, Transworld Exhibits sent attendees an email confirming
the show will indeed be hosted in Chicago in 2009. At least that
was the official word at the time this
overview was written. I guess
we'll have to wait and see if they decide to change their mind later on.
Well, I hope you enjoy the overview!
Navigating through the different pages, you will
find more than 300 pictures taken on the show floor, at the haunt tour,
haunt auction (including the new Unit 70 props!) and at the IAHA Awards
Banquet. Many of the pictures taken
on the show floor are labeled with company names, with hyperlinks to their
websites, so you can find out more information about the products these
companies have to offer. After looking it over, let me know what
you thought of the overview. Did you like it? Did you hate
it? Feel free to send me an email with your feedback.
Webmaster of HauntedIllinois.com