Back for its third year at the LA County Fair and located in Building 9, the Haunt Supershow will be joining in on the centennial celebrations by offering an all-new “100 Years of Horror” exhibit. The popular social media photo-op attrac! Plus, two...
Back for its third year at the LA County Fair and located in Building 9, the Haunt Supershow will be joining in on the centennial celebrations by offering an all-new “100 Years of Horror” exhibit. The popular social media photo-op attrac! Plus, two mazes with scare actors, a zombie shooting gallery, and plenty of vendors. Today we'll hear from organizer Dirk Hagen and Asylum Zone.
Philip: Coming up, we're going to the Haunt Supershow at the LA County Fair. Back for its third year at the LA County Fair, the Haunt Supershow will be joining in on the Centennial celebrations by offering an all-new 100 years of horror exhibit. There's also the Museum of Monsters and two mazes with live actors. Today, we'll hear from the organizer and one of the vendors about what the experience of the Haunt Supershow is like.
Here's Dirk to give us more information about the establishment of the Haunt Supershow and how it got placed in the fair.
Dirk: The Haunt Supershow was created in 2018, we brought it back in 2019, and then after a two-year hiatus we're back again here at the LA county fair for 2022. The Haunt Supershow is a celebration of all things horror and Halloween, haunted houses, all kinds of different franchises from film and TV horror. So, it's really a celebration of the macabre, and guests really come out and enjoy the atmosphere. We have wonderful vendors here that specialize in everything from horror t-shirts, souvenirs, paraphernalia, action figures, just about anything you could imagine.
And then we have a couple of live haunted house attractions, two mazes, and then we have a zombie themed photo op where you can take pictures of different zombies and figures. We have also the 100 Years of Horror museum where you can take selfies with all famous horror characters through the years.
We have two scary mazes that are populated with actors. One is a zombie escape, that is all zombie themed, and the other one is monster mayhem. The zombie escape maze is something we've done a number of times in the past, it is a celebration of zombies, of course. So, you're going to go through different rooms and chambers as you make your way through the maze. So, there's a research lab facility where all kinds of experiments are being done. You have the toxic chamber, that's all blacklight UV lighting. You have an area where we call the zombie furnace, where you've got zombies that are being burned. You have giant spiders in there that are feeding on the zombies, and then you also have another area that we call the zombie fridge, where you have refrigeration of zombies that are being used for experiments. So, it's really all things zombie with a lot of really cool art direction.
Monster Mayhem is another maze that we have where it's kind of a homage to all kinds of creatures and monsters. So, we have clowns in there, we have science fiction creatures like Alien, Terminator, and then we have some Hollywood figures in there as well from famous movies and TV shows.
We also have a celebration of 100 Years of Horror which ties in with the 100th anniversary of the LA county fair, which is this year. So, we put together a collection of TV and film monsters that everyone will recognize, and you have the ability to go in there and take selfies with them. So, it's really fun and people are enjoying that because they're just filling up their social media platforms with really cool stuff.
Philip: Why put the Haunt Supershow inside the LA County Fair? It might seem to some people a little odd, you obviously benefit from the foot traffic, but what were you thinking?
Dirk: With the Haunt Supershow, we found there was an opportunity to bring haunted houses outside of the month of October for Halloween, and the county fair provided that perfect opportunity. So, when we came up with the idea for the Haunt Supershow it was just a natural fit to bring haunted houses here. The celebration of horror and people's love for going through haunted houses is really evident, because they've been a huge success for us.
In 2018, when we did the first version of the show, we actually only had vendors and a photo op. But then there was a demand, people were asking, "where's the haunted house?" So, in 2019 we put the zombie escape attraction in there and it was a huge success. We had lines constantly throughout the entire fair. So, this year after a two-year hiatus, we thought we'd bring back multiple mazes and then add some more photo op attractions, and they've been a huge hit. It just seems it doesn't matter what time of the year it is, people just want to go through haunted houses. We've had people commenting saying, "wow, this is great. It's Halloween in May."
Philip: How did you get into haunting, and do you have a background in this type of entertainment?
Dirk: Well, I've been designing haunted house attractions and dark ride attractions for over 35 years in a variety of different countries, for theme parks and attractions. This is just an extension of us being able to kind of create our own thing here at the LA County Fair. Our company, Activate Entertainment, we specialize in live attractions, specifically in the haunt industry, and we also work in e-sports and haunted video games. So, kind of everything macabre and haunted is what we do as a business structure, and we've been doing it for over 35 years. My background is in film and television, so I bring that element as well when we design, and we create our productions.
Philip: What about the future? Where is the future going for the Haunt Supershow? Do you see yourself staying here and maybe expanding?
Dirk: Well, we're really excited about the future. We have some really other cool ideas and concepts that we want to try here with the Haunt Supershow. So, we're looking forward to 2023 to bring those there. We have some new VR concepts that we're going to try, and we actually have some new kind of incarnations of the haunt industry, and attractions, that we're going to bring here in 2023. So, we're super excited for what the future holds.
Philip: Let’s here from one of the vendors. This is Steven from Asylum Zone.
Steven: Hey guys, my name is Steven, I'm one of the owners for Asylum Zone. Asylum Zone is a Halloween costume shop, we do all sorts of costumes here, we do oddities and curiosities, we specialize in the gory stuff such as the Two Headed Babies that is a soap right there. We decided to do Asylums Zone because we thought, there's a bunch of cool knickknacks and souvenirs and chotskies and costumes and stuff, but our idea was to take it one level up, such as the really gory stuff, the oddities, the curiosities, the Double-headed Babies.
Our top product is our double-headed skeleton, and it is all hand stained, and we have a really, really cool back to it. It has a white spine and it connects together, and it's just really spooky and really cool.
One of our most underrated products with definitely have to be, probably, the shrunken heads. It's something that is starting to really catch people's eyes, it's just attention to detail on that, and our artists takes so much time to work on it, to make every single piece perfect, one by one.
Why do we come to the Haunt Supershow? Because we feel that Halloween is just not a holiday that's for October, Halloween is definitely a year-round thing. It's for fanatics like me and the other owner, Doug, where we just love to go and check out stuff that is related to Halloween, oddities, curiosity, souvenirs, and all the cool stuff, the mazes, and all this stuff that Halloween has to offer.
Halloween's important to me because I saw my very, very first Halloween movie when I was just four years old, it was called Cujo. In fact, my dog's name is Cujo because of it, and ever since then, I knew that Halloween is something that I absolutely am in love with. I eat, breathe, sleep, dream Halloween.