Haunted Houses: Big Scares, Big Business

With horror films bringing in substantial profits year-round, professional haunted houses are rapidly becoming big business. Our friends over at Chiller are about to premiere the award-winning documentary The American Scream, profiling three families who transform their homes each year into self-constructed scare zones. But the idea of the haunted house is no longer the stuff of domestic hobbies and spooky county fair hayrides.

Hostel and Cabin Fever director Eli Roth recently invited the folks from Chiller to his new Las Vegas attraction, the Goretorium, a permanent presence on the Strip to terrify tourists all year long. Taking an in-depth look at the haunt itself, Chiller examines the broader, rapidly growing business of the first-class haunted house, speaking with Saw and Mother's Day director Darren Bousman about the horrifying, no-rules Blackout houses in New York and Los Angeles.

"Employing more than 60 live performers, the Goretorium guides you through the rooms of a twisted hotel populated with any number of twisted souls, cannibals and serial killers. High-end special effects simulate the free-fall of an elevator carriage, the decapitation of flesh-and-blood actors, the squirming of insects on rotted meat. The liberal use of darkness and strategically placed mirrors turn the attendees against themselves, quite literally frightened by their own shadows. Goretorium embraces the old-school, freak-show vibe (even if that's not the politically preferred label for it) by featuring zombified little-people or the oddity of a man whose right eye and sinus cavity had been hollowed out like an October pumpkin."

Read the whole article for more.

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