Holy WTF. I have a problem with the Forbes article on haunted attractions for halloween – My Blog

Holy WTF. I have a problem with the Forbes article on haunted attractions for halloween

Forbes just posted an article: 10 Great Halloween Haunted House Attractions Across The U.S.

At first I was really happy that the industry was getting some coverage. Then…I read the article and had to scratch my head. It reads as if someone who had never been to a haunted attraction before was handed a pile of press releases and told to simply “make something” as fast as he could.

This kind of random coverage about haunted attractions is one reason that I independently review haunted attractions – because I have found that it is nearly impossible to get legitimate information about the quality and size of haunted attractions from other sources.

A handful of the attractions in the article are indeed some of the best. Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, The Scarehouse in Pittsburgh, and Ghostly Manor Thrill Center in Ohio deserve to be on the slideshow. Then they mention some other haunts in the actual text of the article, but do them a huge disservice by not giving them proper clickable links. Readers aren’t going to google the names manually – no one does that in 2013.

Great attractions like Field of Screams and Shocktoberfest are kicked to the gutter of the non-clickble link text part of the article.

At first I thought that maybe it was a payola post. Maybe it was just that some haunts paid them to be in an ad. Closer inspection seems to reveal that it’s probably not. The way the linking is done isn’t consistent within the entire article. Haunts that are featured in the main slideshow are sometimes given clickable links and then they are sometimes not given clickable links. Haunts that are just text are sometimes given clickable links and sometimes not.

Then there is the matter of the the slideshow of the “10 Great Haunted Attractions”.

First we have Eastern State Penitentiary. OK, this is legit. That is a good attraction. Then the straw that made me hit the ceiling happened – Frightland is prominently featured in the slideshow as if it’s a great attraction.


Frightland, AKA one of the worst haunted attractions I have ever been to in my entire career is featured next to great attractions. Credibility gone. This is not a list of “great attractions” this is a list of what information they had in the office. What is even more feather-ruffling to me? The fact that Frightland is being talked about because they allegedly have so many attractions. Frightland got such a low rating from us partially because they are artificially inflating their attraction count to make their press release look better. You can’t just add a small hallway with a different color plant and claim it as another attraction. If you wouldn’t wait in line for that attraction as a separate entity, it is not a separate attraction. Much like saying the peas next to your steak at dinner is a second entree, Frightland does that. It’s shady, but clearly it works to fool folks.

Then they go on to talk about Howl O Scream. Thankfully they did figure out that HoS is 3 separate events. But fail was achieved when they grouped all 3 events together as one in a way that failed to communicate the varying demographics they cater to and then used a very outdated photo of Trickster, the icon from last year’s Tampa event.

And do I need to point out the glaring omission that is failing to mention Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights? It’s only the largest and most high budget Halloween event in the world in both Orlando and Hollywood. NBD.

There are some attractions that I have never been to on the list, so I can’t comment on those. The credibility of the Forbes article is gone, though.

I don’t blame the author for this. It sounds like Forbes just gave him a topic to write about that he didn’t know that much about. I’ve been in that situation. If you asked me to write about baseball, I wouldn’t know where to begin.

I think that my frustration is that, as with everything, it’s not necessarily the quality of the art that gets press coverage. It’s the quality of the hype. Something in me doesn’t like the fact that there are so many great attractions that never get the press that they should be getting just because their press releases have less peacock feathers.

But I guess that is life and things don’t have to be fair.

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