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Attention Haunted House Industry and Friends

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  • Attention Haunted House Industry and Friends

    Sorry I haven't been posting. I found out my mother has terminal stage 4 cancer. This news is something I didn't expect and has left me sad, confused, and dazed. I don't know if my mother is going to live another week or another 6 months. I just have no idea. Right now my focus is on trying to take care of everything she needs. This past year has been a real challenge for myself and I'm sure everyone else. It especially hit us hard because we spent something between 400 and 500k on a haunt and escape room tour that never happened. Our company also builds attractions for clients World wide and that simply stopped cold turkey.

    Tradeshows we'd go to meeting clients all cancelled including IAAPA, Transworld, Bowl Expo and more. We had no money and when you looked at the haunt season who knows.

    Had I not spent 400k plus on a haunt/escape room tour I would have been fine! Our escape rooms also got closed for nearly three months. I was able to apply for and get a PPP loan, plus we sold some stuff and in the end everything worked out okay. Our haunted house season has been fantastic, looking back maybe we should have opened Lemp and more nights overall. Its fine we survived what is essentially the most stressful year of my entire life.

    I was stressed every single night we were open because the crowds got pretty rowdy, I heard about shootings at haunts nationwide it was just stressful.

    Then just as the haunt season is coming to a close and I could see the end of this nightmare in sight, boom I find out from my mother she has stage four cancer. 2020 is the worst year of my entire life without question .

    I don't know what else to say!

    Prior to learning about my mothers situation I started to perk up, I ordered about 80k in new props, animations, costumes, and more for a possible haunted house tour.
    I made plans for some renovations to The Darkness, building a 7th escape room, and believe it not building new haunts for Creepyworld all prior to Transworld.

    I'm not sure I can do all that now because I might be spending a lot of my time helping my mother.

    I can't tell you RIGHT NOW what we'll do for Transworld but this i know... St Louis convention center is OPEN! Transworld is going to happen 110% and I'm hoping haunts will have money to spend considering they did a lot better than expected. I'm not sure if I will attend the Transworld show in 2021 honestly because I really just don't want to. I won't be speaking doing seminars or anything else. Honestly I think I'm done doing tours because they're not that much fun anymore but we'll see. I do have fun building and creating new things but right now I'm not feeling very upbeat.

    This news about my mother just reminded me what is most important in life and working myself to death isn't one of them. To do these tours to the level we do them is not easy, they create a lot of stress, and costs thousands of dollars. Not to mention I currently have two hernias which need an operation that I've been putting off because I'm just way to busy to be on the mend.

    Now with all that being said The Darkness was totally renovated last year, we've already built two new escape rooms: Oz and Dracula. We build a mini golf done. We added several new scenes to the Darkness with more on the way. Bottom line I wanted to open Creepyworld to finish off doing tours FOREVER it has always been my goal. For those who don't know me know this... Larry has the will of 100 people and when I put my mind to something I get it done. I want to open Creepyworld and I wanted to do this year but with this news I'm not sure its possible.

    We're adding THREE new attractions to Creepyworld it will be the most we've ever done in one season which include a Jack the Ripper Haunt, Video Mapping Experience and a giant carved pumpkin display. I'm NO LONGER thinking I can do that prior to Transworld.

    As for Darkness this is where I will put what time I do have and if we get something done we'll put some tickets up for sale but it won't be until I know without any doubt it can get done prior to March 4th the earliest the show has ever happened. Mid-March was hard but this wow!

    My hope is to have Darkness renovated in time to put some tickets up for sale about a month prior to the show opening but we'll see.

    Highlights for Darkness 2021 renovation are the following: New Themed Carpet in Horror Gift Store area - Building a 7th Escape Room - Building New Halloween Trick Treat Theme Scene upstairs - Replacing Another Scene Upstairs and Replacing one Scene downstairs. All of this on top of what we did last year. So it really would be a lot different than 2019.

    I will let everyone know what we're going to do sometime in late December or early January. Glad to hear so many people did fantastic.

    Thanks for your support and please say a pray for my mother.

    Larry Kirchner

    Larry Kirchner

  • #2
    This is the carpet that will go down in our monster arcade room. Keep in mind we already totally renovated this last year adding more horror themed video games, new 5 minute escape room, and more.

    Now we're adding this carpet plus expanding our gift store so it can hold about 30% more merchandise.

    Attached Files
    Larry Kirchner


    • #3
      Larry, I'm so sorry to hear the news of your mother's illness, I hope that she will overcome this. I will certainly say a prayer for her and also for you, I will continue to keep you both in my thoughts and prayers. Stay strong my friend and may God bless you and your family.


      • #4
        So sorry to hear that. I hope you do a tour need something to look forward to after this dismal year!


        • #5
          We're coming to Transworld not sure what to expect with all the vendors having bad years. I believe most haunts overall had bad years. It will be interesting to see what happens but please do open The Darkness, by the time we get there it would have been two years. Sorry to hear about your mother sending prayers.


          • #6
            Larry, family is very important, take care of them. When the time is right, you will get your desire back.