Halloween is a holiday that many people decorate for and celebrate as much as Christmas and in 2012 Lone Star Holidays made the commitment to bringing top-notch haunting classes to the Academy. We call these our “Scare Sessions” and the team behind them is going to do their very best to help you develop your haunting skills.

Mike Carr , the chairman of the Halloween Development Committee for Lone Star Holidays, is heading up the planning of this series of classes. Mike has worked to develop the Beginner track for the 2011 Academy and brings a great sense of organization and drive to the table. He’s definitely someone who will get it done! In addition, Mike coordinated a large haunt that benefited an elementary school for over 10 years so he knows how to create something that scares without causing fainting spells!

Partnering with Mike is Eric Kristiansen, who is the founder of the Dallas/Fort Worth Friends of Halloween. The DFW Friends of Halloween is made up of several hundred members who gather throughout the year for “Meetups”… sound familiar? Think "Make N Takes" in our LSh jargon! Eric brings many years of coordinating a large-scale residential haunt that is open on Halloween night only and brings in 500+ visitors. He is a firm believer that Halloween props can be built out of almost anything and right in the comfort of your own home. Eric is exciting to be partnering with Mike and Lone Star Holidays to help share his knowledge and experiences about haunting and we know we can all learn something based on the classes they are preparing.

Speaking of which… here are just a few of the class sessions the team is preparing. Don’t get to scared now, and don’t turn off the light!:
The Psychology of Haunting:
This is the starting point of this series of classes and the overall theme of the track. What does it mean to have a really good haunt? Lots of blood and guts? Screams and flashes of light? Gore galore? Maybe yes to some of these, maybe no. Determining your haunt is the starting point, before you get to any of these other considerations. Your motivation, your audience, your goals… these are the first items you need to determine before moving forward. This course will help you define your haunting goals and move towards them.

Both Mike and Eric have so many ideas when it comes to props. While it’s difficult to do actual builds at the Academy they are working to develop show and tell sessions and prop specific sessions. You’ll see everything from stationary objects like walls to the more complex animated figures. There will be lots of items on hand for you to see up close and ask questions about. Over the month of February you will see more specific prop descriptions go up on this page. Keep your eyes peeled… you never know what’s just around the corner!

Scary Lighting:
Light can be a powerful resource in a haunt IF you know how to use it correctly. Sometimes the simplest items, used subtlety, are a big success in a haunt. These courses will move you through the simplest spot lights, to black lighting, and finally to using animated lighting control to create some amazing results. You never knew what that single light bulb in the garage could do for your haunt!

Ghouls, Ghosts and Corpses:
Make up, prosthetics, fake blood… all used on both actors and animated figures, create some of the best (and scariest!) effects. Multiple classes will focus on the many ways you can incorporate these types of items into your haunt. You will get to see some things up close and discover new methods of adding detail to your haunt.

Humor and Haunting:
Haunting isn’t supposed to be funny, is it? It’s supposed to scare people, sometimes outright terrify them! Isn’t that the point? Yes… and sometimes no. In any situation, haunts included, there needs to be some down time. It creates a sense of security that then is broken when the next scary piece of your haunt comes along. Humor can be a big part of your haunt and help to manage the ebbs and flows of the horror aspects. Come and learn how to make a smile, however short-lived, during a haunt!
Make sure to check back tomorrow when we dig into one more (big red) bag for ournext set of class details! It'll be as good as a visit... from Santa Claus!