Ah, Halloween, when the livin' is scary and you're hard pressed to narrow your choices of where to go for a frightfully good time. A group that formed a couple years ago takes the ghoulish guesswork out of making your decision, listing haunted attractions from coast to coast.
The Haunted Attraction Association was created in 2010, when the International Association of Haunted Attractions and the Haunted House Association merged. According to the new association, the haunted industry has ramped up the scare factor to a hugely profitable level over the past 25 years, now generating roughly $300 million with an estimated 2,500 haunted attractions worldwide attracting millions and employing tens of thousands. The Haunted Attraction Association, based in Winnetka, Illinois, is the only official association in the haunting industry, according to its president, Patrick Konopelski.
"This industry is one of the most exciting places to be," he said. "While it's rise may have started with the increasing popularity of Halloween 20 to 25 years ago, there is now an entire extended Haunt Season, which starts in September and runs through November, that appeals to Baby Boomers and all ages."
The association's stated mission is to promote a network of scary stuff, such as haunted houses, haunted hayrides, scream parks, mega-haunts, Halloween festivals, haunted outdoor trails, corn mazes and amusement park Halloween events. The website lists them from coast to coast and internationally, all the way to New Zealand. New England listings include the Trail of Terror in Wallingford, Conn.; Barrett's Haunted House in Abington, Mass., and Witch's Woods in Westford, Mass.; Fright Kingdom in Nashua, N.H.; Ghoullog in Jackson N.H.; and Spooky World/Nightmare New England in Litchfield, N.H.