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Association Help Please

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  • Association Help Please

    OK so we are opening a new haunt in 2011 and wanted to join HHA but apparently it no longer exists. Yes, I read the 3 pages full of basically 2 guys barking at each other on this board regarding who did what to whom, etc., etc.,. It left me a bit discouraged to say the least. I'm shocked that, for as wonderful and helpful as everyone on this board is, that there is not a solid Association to belong to.

    So my question is this -- I read about something called "HAA". What is it? Where is it? Does anyone have any information about it?

    Also, are the Haunt World mags no longer in production. I had a sub last year and thought they were amazing and would like to renew...

    Brenda & Barry

  • #2
    Okay here we go again... LOL

    Now I'm going to be as middle ground as I can.

    IAHA - It has now officially disbanded and merged with HHA.. IAHA was more of a home haunter enthusiast association for the most part.

    HHA - Was formed because IAHA was really more of an enthusiast association with bigger designs on a focus on professional haunts only.

    Then... IAHA copied basically everything HHA was doing to survive and be more like HHA. Then... both parties agreed for the betterment of the industry rather reduce drama and pull resources they would merge together into one with a new name: HAA.

    I was on the board when this was first discussed and I came up with the name Haunted Attraction Association because I had the URL, which I released so the new group could merge.

    Now you have ONE association mixed mostly with the old IAHA board and some of the old HHA board.

    In a lot of ways this is actually NOT better, because when you had two association one pushed the other to do more, and now with only one who knows how hard it will try or work...remains to be seen.

    Is it worth the money: In my opinion no because the mass majority of the industry (people running haunts) will not join therefore not create enough busy bees and cash needed to really make an impact on your business or the industry in general. Our industry and any of its past associations do not produce the primary education, tradeshows, magazines, seminars, nor will it or does it do any type of government relations like say IAAPA would.

    The reality is the amusement industry has an association called IAAPA, which looks out for all amusement attractions, they have a major tradeshow biggest of its kind, they produce events, gatherings, seminars, education, safety studies, research, and their biggest thing is they fight against government or lobby against things that will harm the amusement industry or seasonal business.

    So what we need is sorta already in place even without us spending a dime to make it happen...

    So getting back to our industry, if you join its to show support for our industry saying we have an association and a few good things might come from it, you may be surprised, you might be disappointed... who knows its run by folks who run their own business so there is only so much time to spare...

    It really is hard to say... history shows that this industry does nothing but fight over associations and so far they haven't proved to be effective in overall. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't join, that doesn't mean this new attempt won't produce something worth wild.

    You can either sit on the sidelines and wait and see then join, or join and try and help it do something worth while.

    That is where you are sitting...


    Hauntworld Magazine is still printing and shipping a magazine this week and mailing it. Go to to subscribe.

    Larry Kirchner


    • #3
      You accidentially just poked a bear LOL. But not me, hopefully I can get you a sensible answer before this thread dissolves into bickery.
      HAA is the Haunted Attraction association-it formed when IAHA and HHA dissolved- they dissolved in order to merge into the HAA. If you had plans to join the HHA or IAHA then by all means join the HAA. I am up in the air at this point and Im also going to answer the question you ased as opposed to give you my opinion which you didnt ask for.
      Where is it? Good question There isint a command center (that I know about) but it is a web of haunters working together to protect and promote that haunted house industry.
      Here is their website
      Since they are less than a month old the site is in its formative stages.
      Now I have fulfilled my duty to politeness and will force some of my opinion on you and answer questions you never asked for the answers to. Please do not become disgruntled with the "industry", The haunted house field is an awesome place to work and try to remind yourself everyday why you are doing it (some days I have to remind myself two or three times). There are lots of great people in the industry I have made many friends at tradeshows and visiting other haunts that I will keep for the rest of my life. Adjust you self so your haunt and its associated work brings you joy, it will not always bring you money. IF you are not joyful in your work and purpose then you wont have the tolerance necessary for such an emotional industry. If you love haunting and want to connect with other like minded haunters in some way (your level of connection is completely up to you) then join the association.
      If you think you need and will use the resources the association provides then Join. If you intend on joining then going home and waiting for them to help you, then I wouldnt join. When you have an issue think to call or email them and they will help. If you seldom ask for or need help then you may want to join but dont need to.
      To me, the haunt world forums are an association of a sort. And we are here as well to help there are great people her with a vast array of knowledge (I learn something here almost every day).
      Hauntworld Magazine is alive and well (as well as gloriously consistant). Love him or hate him give Larry respect for the forum and the magazine. here is their website
      Definitely subscribe. Do it online or see them at the trade show in St. Louis.- you are going to that right?
      Allen H


      • #4
        I took to long to type LOL


        • #5
          hauntworld available here
          haa who knows sure more will be known after transworld


          • #6
            Hi Allen

            I'm not disgruntled with the industry at all. We are very new at this and look forward to making this career move successful with a lot of hard work. We are not going anywhere. I was just surprised at how angry some of those posters sounded on the thread I read. Clearly these individuals had a long, unhappy history. It was probably a thread that would have been better served to be in private emails to each other rather than a message board -- JMHO.

            Anyway, now that I can locate the HAA I will perform my due dilligence and put a lot of thought into joining. I like your ideas about when to join and when not to. Very valuable advice that I will use in the decision making process. I will continue my subscription to Haunt World as I feel we did get a lot of good ideas from that mag.

            We will not be in St. Louis (can't get off work) but we are going to be in Columbus.
            Brenda & Barry



            • #7
              Be careful Allen is a pretty scary guy. His Avatar picture is accurate.
     for the very best items on the net.


              • #8
                What is funny is most of these industries have the same problems, differences of opinion and worse... I know other industries are WORSE. The fact is see I don't see these things as FIGHTING... I see them as a difference of opinion.

                See some people will take you make a comment as negative me on the other hand I see it as a difference of opinion. My comments in my opinion or just that my opinion and I believe them to be facts or calling it the way it is.

                What I don't like or don't want to have anything to do with here is talking about peoples personal problems, anything negative, slamming others haunts, and picking on vendors when its not fair.

                You saying you didn't like the new Hauntworld Magazine because of XYZ that is your opinion, and I'm cool with that. HAA or any of these guys need to realize everyone will doubt it and most won't support it and when I say MOST I MEAN ALMOST EVERYONE... so you have to understand and realize you have a lot of work to do. Does that mean it can't be done no not at all... is it worth joining now (NO).

                Are there really any REAL benefits to joining NO!

                But there won't be either if you don't join and make it happen but then again if you are not in the driver seat it probably won't even if you did join.

                The people who want to see this make another try at it... good for them. I would say if they really have a plan, and they really think it will be worth it let them show us, prove to us they can do it or will do.

                MAKE THEM EARN it... wait a year and see what happens and then make a judgment.

                Lets interject SHANE HERE FOR A SECOND... SHANE and his vendor chasers should analyze this and give an opinion. An association should be treated on these board the same as some vendor ... if you pay $250.00 to join did you get everything they promised? Did they go into a cave in October and drop the ball on basically everything?

                These things should be measured the same as anything else...if I don't ship a magazine I'm run over the coals, if xyz vendor doesn't come through he's run across the coals, if this or any association is worth the money be it five cents or five hundred dollars they should have their feet on the fire like anyone else.

                If you ask me this is why it normally doesn't do as promised because people don't want their feet to the fire, they are also really busy in the summer and fall just like you and me.

                I agree with Allen more or less... we basically already have all we need in place already and with IAAPA as our big brother so to speak an association just isn't needed. Sorry.

                Larry Kirchner


                • #9
                  @ Allen

                  Thank you for the magazien recommendations. I've ordered a back issue. Will gradually work my way through an issue of each.

                  We will absolutely be in yor class at MWH (at least one of us will). To get the most out of the convention we'll likely split up and attend as many seminars/classes as we can. But we'll be looking for you as we'd like to thank you in person for all the help you've given us in getting started. You're never without solid advice and we greatly appreciate that.

                  Thank you!
                  Brenda & Barry
                  Brenda & Barry



                  • #10
                    Welcome to the industry Mako

                    Welcome Mako.

                    This is Larry's website. It is one of the most popular. There are others out there, search and check them out as well.

                    Join the HAA. It wasn't very long ago the the HHA was being promoted as the new association by Larry. Years before that he put his valuable time and energy into IAHA. At this point Larry still promotes the industry through hauntworld and there are several pages on his sites that he volunteers to speak to the media about haunted houses and halloween. He also has some of the best haunted houses around, and does a great job promoting them. And his attitude has even improved tons. LOL. Larry is fanatical about his business and that is why he is one of my haunted house heros.

                    Don't take these boards as the complete pulse of the industry. Most of the players don't post on them, but they are involved in the associations and conventions.

                    The industry is a part of the amusement section of business and IAAPA is also a good one to join. Their dues are set by gross revenues, so the cost is set by that. Their trade show is the biggest, but covers all aspects from lemon shake up stands at fairs to DisneyWorld.

                    Attend what shows you can, whether is it Transworld, Midwest Haunters, Hauntcon, National, or IAAPA.

                    Network, listen, learn, and enjoy industry of the second biggest holiday of the year.
                    Brett Molitor (aka ~ JamBam) Member of HAA

                    Haunted Hotel-13th Floor (est by Huntington Jaycees in 1968 8) )
                    Longest running Haunted House in the WORLD!!

                    Hysterium Haunted Asylum (old Haunted Cave), Fort Wayne Indiana

                    Hysterium Escapes - 4 rooms with 3 themes









                    • #11
                      Couple things...

                      1) We sell all back issues of Hauntworld Magazine at - or

                      We also sell VERY VALUABLE haunted house DVD"s all found at those are probably the most valuable thing you can buy out there no matter what else is for sale magazine or anything else.

                      There are tons of videos from all sorts of different haunters.

                      I actually would start THERE... work your way down to the magazines.

                      2) As for what Brett said... I actually agree with most of what he said if not everything he said. But I want Brett to understand one thing... IAHA was NOT good for the haunted house industry, a group of mostly enthusiasts running around calling the Rachel Ray show, talking to the media, or trying to talk to BOCA officials which they once did, that group was a living breathing nightmare.

                      HHA was started because that group refused to really ever change, ever change the same old same old people who ran the thing for like 5 to 10 years in a row failing one year after another and in some years causing extreme embarrasement to our industry such as the IAAPA disaster or the loss of money, a president slamming other members in and the industry in Tourist Parks Magazine, and the list goes on and on.

                      So HHA was started to be better, take the lead and make things right... it did set a new example and finally IAHA decided to follow for fear they would be left behind and now they are merged.

                      I'm NOT bashing the idea of an association merely pointing out the facts, that DESPITE all the hard work the board of HHA did people still didn't join the industry did NOT give the support, and when it became clear that even though all you TRY TO DO IS GOOD FOR THE INDUSTRY this industry can be imature and some would even try and sabatoge which they did.

                      So what I learned was you CAN get a group together and do good thing, however someone else won't like it and will do what they can to destroy it... we see the same thing on these boards all the time. Additionally I relized that no matter how much you do most haunters won't see any value and won't support with their funds.

                      In closing with no tradeshow, no regular sources of income, blah, blah it will not work.

                      I'm simply stating a fact that joining or not joining will not help nor hurt your business... so join if you want to donate money, or keep the money and donate it to your church, a charity, or buy yourself your own magazines, seminars and whatever else you deem fit.

                      If you want to support the idea of an association donate the money get involved and see what you do to help!

                      It really like that ... that is just being honest. I am NOT joining NOT because I'm against it but because I don't want to get sucked in to the drama and failures that come with it.

                      Larry Kirchner