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Haunted houses rely on innovation to evolve over the year

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Posted at 6:30 AM, Nov 01, 2021

DETROIT — When it comes to Halloween, haunted houses are one of the most preferred places to visit.

In fact, according to Hauntworld, there are over 4,000 paid Halloween attractions across the country, making it a billion-dollar industry.

Interestingly, Michigan is one of the few states across the US that’s known to have quite a few top-notch spooky homes.

Eloise Asylum’s Operations Manager, Jim Werner says Michigan is one of the epicenters.

"Michigan is very well-known industry-wide as a place where you can experience some fantastic, haunted houses, haunted attractions, and hayrides," says Jim Werner.

This year according to thescarefactor.com, there are about 73 haunted houses listed across Michigan.

Eloise Asylum's Head of Operations, Jay Kays says they all have one goal.

"Blurring the lines between reality and fantasy," says Jay Kays.

And in pursuit of merging the two, haunted houses over the years have evolved with a major push towards innovation.

"There is a lot more automation in this there is a lot of things triggered walking through this rather than it being someone has to physically do something to make something happen," says Jay Kays.

Jim says his attraction thrives on state-of-the-art technology.

"Our 3D mapping technology is something that cutting edge in the fields of an escape room as well as Hollywood," says Jim Werner.

And besides employing scare actors, it's also about getting the details right to the bones.

"Sound, special effects technology as well as production and makeup, costumes," says Jim Werner.

"We’ve added a piano to the original picture frames that we put TVs in. We are blurring the lines constantly for ya to a point it genuinely gets overwhelming and almost impossible to realize what’s existing and what we’ve added," says Jay Kays.

As for the future of haunted houses, Jim says it's to diversify by adding more entertainment options like live bands, and sideshow acts to create a fun evening instead of a quick tour of a horror experience.