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Books and Videos

There are several great books and videos on haunting. Books by Phil Morris, Tim Harkelroad, Leonard Pickel, Joe Pfieffer, and JB Corn offer the best information on haunt design. JB Corn and Mike Cruz have good information on marketing your haunt. The tapes by John Denley of Boneyard Productions have lots of information on props, scares, and the business side of haunting. Most of these titles are getting more difficult to obtain from retailers as some have been out of print for sometime - but they can still be seen for sale on eBay. If you can get them - they're worth the investment for the serious haunter.

Note: ScaryGuys does not offer any of the titles below for sale, well, except for the ScaryGuys DVD.

Here's my favorite list of resources - retail prices are approximate.


How To Operate A Financially Successful Haunted House by Phil Morris ($16) Its been re-issued three times, each time Phil adds and updates the information inside. Everyone I know mentions this book one time or another. It isn't the newest, but it is one of the best!
Complete Haunted House Book By Tim Harkleroad ($30) It shows many classic and original ideas, room designs, and advertising hints. This is a great book to own, lots of great stuff!
The Haunted House Series: The Pickel Theory by Leonard Pickel. Leonard has three books of scenes and scene ideas. All can be used in your haunt! If people are waiting a long time in line, they might not stick around for your show, much less come back. Leonard covers the methods to "get 'em in, and get 'em out". He introduces the "Pickel Theory" of haunting and maze design - which is an invaluable way to keep customers confused and moving!
Haunted House Handbooks by Shawne Baines ($20) Four booklets in one covering lots of scares. Don't be put off by its format, there's a lot of good scenes, scares, hints and tips. Its good!
The Haunted House Halloween Handbook by Jerry Chavez ($25) Lots of ideas for props and effects for both home and commerical haunting. Some very original scenes and scares!
Give Them A Real Scare This Halloween By Joseph Pfeiffer. ($10) Very well done book that includes lots of info and great cartoons. Dozens of ideas for scenes, costumes, props and effects for scaring and entertaining trick or treaters or visitors to your haunt. Leans more to the home/party haunter, with lots of ideas.

JB Corn's Series:
How To Build A Modular Dark Attraction
($75) Ok, its real expensive, but there's lots of detailed information on building scares, rooms, and the entire haunt. Its a great book to own later on... or immediately if you are wanting to build a commerical haunt. Its seriously filled with great info on constructing a commercial attraction.
Dark Attraction Management...Marketing
($30) the next book in JB's series, not as expensive, but has lots of good info on haunts including room designs, advertising, promotion, etc.. a good value.
Dark Attraction Advanced Designs
($98) a lot of money. A good continuation of JB's series. Includes some innovative ideas on line entertainment and construction.
Contains all three of JB Corn's Books described above plus all of the designs and sketches. If you got the bucks, this is the best investment you can make in JB's books. Not an inexpensive choice, but definitely worth it for the commerical haunter. More information than you can use!

Haunted Illusions By Paul Osborne ($55) High end magic scares. It takes a lot of skill and dollars to build the 37 props in this book. Includes working drawings. Has an excellent chapter by Dr. Blood™ on commerical haunting.

50 Frights and More By Steve Biggs and Douglas Erekson ($50) Its a good book, but I wouldnt get it first. He has some silly licensing agreement he wants you to sign before using the ideas... Other books are better!

  Ghost Masters By Mark Walker ($30) If you're into the history of haunting this is a good book. No info on scares or room designs, though. Includes detailed information about the ghost show entertainers from the 1920's through the 1960's. Rare illustrations and photographs show the secrettechniques used by performers to make their fortunes.
Field Of Screams By Michael M. Cruz ($30) extensive coverage on the very necessary part of marketing and promotion of your haunt. A good book to own. Essential to the running of a haunted attraction as a money making business.
Home Haunter's Prop Building Handbook series by Steve Hickman. In Steve's series, you'll find how-to's of all his haunt's original props and animations. There's some really great stuff here!
Fun-To-Build: The Spinning Tunnel Illusion by ScaryGuy Oliver Holler. Here's a book giving you the most straight-forward method to build your own spinning tunnel. His consice and in-depth instructions give you the information you'll need to build one of your own.
The Do-It-Yourself Haunted House Guide by Michael Tucker. Mike's haunt experience make this book worth buying and adding to your collection, especially if you're on a tight budget.
The Haunted House Employee Handbook by Rich Hanf. A handbook for keeping your employees happy as well as doing what they're suppose to do. It has chapters on what to do when things aren't going right and your customers aren't being scared. Very informative.



Pneumatics For Haunting by ScaryGuys - didn't think we'd miss an opportunity to list our DVD, did you?

How To Run A Haunted House Video Series by John Denley ($20 ea) all four tapes are good. If you can't get all of them, start with #4, then go backwards...

Halloween, The Happy Haunting Of America by Chuck Williams and Daniel Roebuck ($20) A very entertaining tape. Some haunting info, with lots of history and info on masks. Possibly the best production value, and great entertainment value. A good tape to own.

Castle Blood- The Quest by Gravely and Griselda Macabre ($20) a great tour of one of the best haunts in the US. Ricky and Karen Dick are well-known for their detailing and costuming. After seeing this tape, I wanted to jump in the car and drive straight to their haunt! No how-to info, but a great tour.

Hotel Lugosi by ScaryGuy Doug Ferguson ($20) Hotel Lugosi is a window sized display that combines a miniature, fully automated Pepper's Ghost, Flying Crank Ghost, shuttered black lights, digital sound and more. Although small, everything here is useful for any haunt. Doug invented the most unique and imaginative haunting prop I've seen, the Flying Crank Ghost. Check out Phantasmechanics Online for more information, then buy this tape! .... Indespensible.

Haunt World The Movie ($25) Probably the best of the Halloween Productions tapes. Still, the books and several other videos in this list are better values...

The Parking Lot Haunted House by JB Corn ($20) good overview of Castle Dragon, JB's haunt near Dallas. A good tape to own.

Dark Attraction Advanced Designs by JB Corn ($20) more info on JB's haunt. Another good tape to get!

New England's Haunted Houses ($20 ea, vol 1, 2) these are good tapes to get. John takes you on tours of dozens of haunts in the northeast. Lots of ideas in these tapes!

Spooky World Video ($10) this is a promotion tape for SpookyWorld, the largest haunt in the US. They have over 150,000 people tour its haunted houses and hayrides. For 10 bucks its a deal, just to get an idea how the 'big boys' do it.


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