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Halloween University - Learn everything abount Haunts here!

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  • Halloween University - Learn everything abount Haunts here!

    Halloween University - HU - is a concept that was born in 2002 by Robert Kocher & Indrani Sen. After the initial concept was designed the ideas for a launch were discussed at Transworld 2004 at the haunters pavilion. The hope was that eventually Halloween University would be allowed to thrive an expanding part of the pavilion of Transworld itself as a continuing educational program for the Halloween & Haunt Industry.

    In 2007, opportunity presented itself, as it was the first year of the Eastern Haunters Convention. The seminar classes at the convention were so overcrowded due to the huge demand for Halloween and Haunted Attraction knowledge. There was clearly a need for a much larger venue for education and the time for Halloween University was born.

    In 2008, the Eastern Haunters Convention expanded with the National Halloween Convention to begin a phase into the National Haunters Convention & the National Halloween Convention by 2009. We were a part of that expansion with the seminar lineup being organized and run by Halloween University.

    The initial early demand for seminars was so strong that two divisions of Halloween University were formed: The Professional School & The Public School.

    The Professional School is geared for the serious haunt professional interested in furthering his or her knowledge. The classes are more expensive to attend, but allow us to bring in some of the heaviest hitters in the industry to attend. These classes are much more specific and advanced. In additional, these classes also allow for smaller groups giving you more intimate feel and personal attention. The knowledge of the professional classes earns you credits towards your Halloween University Degree.

    The Public School division of classes will cover a much broader spectrum range of classes. These classes will have a lower cost, but will still cover many of the important topics that you will want to hear. They will just be a bit broader in scope.

    Hope to see you there!
    Michael Bruner
    (Sort of the Bluto Blutarski of Halloween U.)
    Attached Files
    Michael Bruner

    The National Haunters Convention - OVER 100 vendor booths!
    Valley Forge, PA

    The Cadavers Cotillion

    Get behind the scenes tours to the best haunted attractions!


  • #2

    Isn't the subject line getting a

    You can never learn EVERYTHING....silly!!!!
    Gee could it get any better than this?


    • #3
      subject line..

      Dear Ken,

      I'm sure Michael just had to truncate for the post, trying to state to learn everything is simply impossible and too broad as you know.

      It really should be more like "Learn new information at both Intro and Advanced Classes about Makeup, Halloween Antiques, Paranormal, Christmas Shows and even Haunted House information"

      Halloween University really is a broadbased's not just focused on haunts. We have a lot of actor trainging and other things available as well.

      So, please forgive Michael is that sounded like an 'all encompassing' type of statement. It was not meant to be so. Not a day goes by in our lives where we both don't learn something new....

      Robert Kocher
      Xanthar of the Museum

      The Village of Darkness


      • #4
        Idk about ken but i think its looks great. I've been on about 80 different college or university sites and that has the same feel which is kinda what you are going for. You want to people to take you guys seriously so expand on the classes and the credit system. Vincent This Time!
        Its A Verbal Orgy on Steroids!


        • #5

          After erasing this post 10 times........

          Rob......thanks for the clarification
          Oaks......the seminars look like alot of info
          Gee could it get any better than this?


          • #6
            This convention a good one, but it's quite small. The seminars were overflowing last year because the rooms were so TINY. Also, to be the best of my knowledge Xanthar or Michael Bruner don't even actually own haunts themselves, least not a pro one anyway ...Not trying to cause conflict, but if people are traveling a great distance they should not be misled into thinking this is anything in the same Universe as a Transworld or MHC or Hauntcon even. It seems to attract home haunters or wannabe haunters not too many pros....

            I think when people say that it's a convention by haunters for haunters or something like that, they should actually be a haunt owner as in running a haunted attraction or at the very least manager in charge of one, otherwise you are just a part of the industry but not a haunter in actuality...

            I do applaud them for attempting to grow this convention into something big. It's lot closer to my home then the other ones!



            • #7

              Dear Darkangel,

              Thank you for your words of support, but I would also like to defend us a little bit and present some updated information. I hope you get a chance to come out to the show this year, I promise we have worked very very hard to make it better and better.

              #1) Last year was an expansion year, so yes, things were very tight and overflowing but that was because we were in a hotel (like HauntCon does). In the Philly market, it takes 2 years in advance to book a Convention because it's such a busy location! Thus, this was the first year we could get into a major convention center. Moving forward, we will always be in a major convention center.

              #2) I hope you get a chance to come this year and experience us again. This year we have continued to rapidly expand and our show floor is over 135+ booths!!!! 108 of those booths are for Vendors and we are nearly 95% full already. The ceiling height is 31 feet tall, and this is a very professional type of show. We are flying in entertainment from around the country, and already have huge pulls from the west coast, the south, and canada in addition to our primary markets of surrounding states. We have extremely high quality vendors ranging from Nightscream Productions Animatronics, to Boneyard Productions, Grex Airbrush, Waken Productions Animatronics and even the famous 3D Artist Stuart Smith this year! Bloody Mary, Randy Bates and even Rich Hanf will be part of the convention as well (all the same people Transworld points out as key people in the industry).

              Our show is not your fathers Oldsmobile ...hehe
              Michael and I are striving very very hard and dedicating every waking moment to make this a successful show for years to come.

              Here is the current Floor Layout & List of vendors.

              National Halloween
              & National Haunters Convention
              2009 Vendor List

              #1114 : 13
              #1304 : Artskull
              #1503 : Black Forest Fabrication
              #1107 : Boneyard Productions
              #1210 : Castle Blood
              #1204 : Contact Lens Company
              #1218 : Creatures East (Acting Troupe for Hire)
              #1104 : Creepy Collection
              #1105 : Creepy Collection
              #1106 : Creepy Collection
              #1107 : Creepy Collection
              #1407 : Creepy Critterz
              #1010 : Custom Foam Props - Triumph Design
              #1514 : Darkride And Funhouse Enthusiasts [DAFE]
              #1016 : Dark Creation
              #1018 : Dark Creation
              #1415 : Dark Ink T-Shirt Design
              #1417 : Dark Imaginings Portraits
              #1510 : Death by Design Animatronics & Creations
              #1512 : Death by Design Animatronics & Creations
              #1411 : Death by Design Animatronics & Creations
              #1413 : Death by Design Animatronics & Creations
              #1518 : Der Mord Animatronics
              #1419 : Der Mord Animatronics
              #1205 : Diamond FX
              #1312 : Divels Mark
              #1601 : EMT & First Aid Station
              #1012 : Expressions Embroidery
              #1215 : Fear Connection Props by ConNooga
              #1116 : F'ed Up Stuff by Offensive Studios
              #1118 : F'ed Up Stuff by Offensive Studios
              #1017 : F'ed Up Stuff by Offensive Studios
              #1019 : F'ed Up Stuff by Offensive Studios
              #1119 : Fitzgerald's Realm of Magic
              #1505 : Field of Terror
              #1102 : Frontline Attraction Software Solutions
              #1506 : Giant Spiderz
              #1117 : Grendel's Den
              #1500 : Grex Airbrush
              #1401 : Grex Airbrush
              #1110 : Halloween Scream
              #1112 : Halloween Scream
              #1011 : Halloween Scream
              #1103 : Haunt Masters Contollers & Lighting Effects
              #1003 : Haunted Times Magazine
              #1206 : House of Mysterious Secrets
              #1004 : Horror Dome
              #1006 : Horror Dome
              #1501 : Hot Wire Foam Factory
              #1105 : In Pro Insurance for Haunts, Events & Attractions
              #1302 : Kim's Krypt
              #1600 : Magicians & Side Show Stage
              #1212 : Midnight Monster Hop
              #1100 : Midnight Syndicate
              #1504 : Monster Maze Affordable Home Haunt Supplies
              #1316 : Mr. Skeleton
              #1318 : Mr. Skeleton
              #1214 : Museum of Mythology
              #1216 : Museum of Mythology
              #1217 : National Vines
              #1502 : Nightmare New England Scenic Design
              #1511 : Nightscream Productions Animations & Props
              #1513 : Nightscream Productions Animations & Props
              #1515 : Nightscream Productions Animations & Props
              #1517 : Nightscream Productions Animations & Props
              #1519 : Nightscream Productions Animations & Props
              #1521 : Nightscream Productions Animations & Props
              #1014 : Order 3D Glasses, Inc.
              #1500 : Prof. Ouch's Odditorium
              #1501 : Prof. Ouch's Odditorium
              #1502 : Prof. Ouch's Odditorium
              #1503 : Prof. Ouch's Odditorium
              #1504 : Prof. Ouch's Odditorium
              #1505 : Prof. Ouch's Odditorium
              #1301 : Ram FX studios Raven Design Group
              #1201 : Razor Blade Candy LLC
              #1207 : Rich Hanf's Haunted Productions
              #1101 : Rotten Jacks Creep Shack
              #1200 : Rotten Jacks Creep Shack
              #1310 : Rotting Flesh Radio
              #1015 : Royalty Free Frights
              #1306 : Safari Anomalous
              #1202 : Scares that Care
              #1013 : Security Cam's 4 Attractions
              #1300 : Sign Boy USA
              #1507 : Sinister Controls LLC
              #1211 : Specter Studios
              #1213 : Specter Studios
              #1219 : Spooky Magic - MDIM Productions
              #1001 : S.P.R.I. Paranormal Investigations
              #1115 : Spooky Time Jingles - Halloween Arts & Crafts
              #1020 : Stuartizm Design - 3D Panels, Art & Laser Tags
              #1020 : Stuartizm Design - 3D Panels, Art & Laser Tags
              #1516 : Themed Attraction Design
              #1111 : Timeless Halloween Antiques & Appraisers
              #1113 : Timeless Halloween Antiques & Appraisers
              #1403 : Waken Productions Creepy Animatronics
              #1405 : Waken Productions Creepy Animatronics
              #1400 : Wickadella Creations
              #1203 : Wicked Zombies

              Robert Kocher
              Xanthar of the Museum

              The Village of Darkness


              • #8
                haunt owners...

                Finally, I would like to address the 'haunt owners' question.

                Both Michael and I both run Halloween & Horror related businesses (Michael does supplies for home haunters), I do website design. (The Village of Darkness)

                In addition, Michael has been in the process of getting ready to open a professional haunt for years, and I have been doing the same thing as well.

                I have personally worked building and creating haunt rooms as a subcontractor for places like Castle Blood, and have even worked for the famous Kennywood amusement park.

                However, my main goal has been working on my Haunted House style museum for over 7 years now. I estimate it will take about another 4 and then we can get started. It's a long term dream I plan on implimenting and passing it along to my children, etc.

                You can see the website here:
                I currently manage it just like a haunt, have quite a few staff already, although we dont' have attendence yet, each room is being designed, scenic pieces being built and put into storage all to be ready for when we open. Just today I worked on a project with Mini Spot Light (Bad Boys Scenic Design) and in the past 6 months I've done over $25,000 in purchasing for the museum with various haunt and prop vendors. If anything, I have it WORSE than a haunt owner....I have huge deadlines and budgets for every year for the next 4 years but I have ZERO chance of even making one penny back until we open. I feel very intune with industry and the vendors whom have helped me every step of the way, and although our doors are not officially open yet, our entire concept, structure, and 'museum' will be haunted houses with a unique style twist (based on egyptian, greek, and viking monsters).....


                Robert Kocher
                Xanthar of the Museum
                Robert Kocher
                Xanthar of the Museum

                The Village of Darkness


                • #9
                  Robert and Michael,

                  Your show is a regional show not a national show... To portray yourself as anything else is false representation.

                  Halloween University? How does the education you are offering qualify anyone to do anything?

                  I can also tell you that you are doing your list of vendors a huge disservice if you are not working on bringing qualified buyers to your event. Lack of buyers mean lack of sales, lack of sales mean bad show for vendors, bad show for vendors mean they won't do your show again. Also holding the event Easter weekend and inbetween TW and Hauntcon should effectively be the death of it.

                  Here's hoping!

                  Scaren Karen


                  • #10

                    Dear Scaren Karen,

                    Wow, I'm sorry you harbor such negativity.

                    Wishing to see us fail, and hoping that the vendors have such a bad show. That is a horrible thing for the Halloween and Haunt Industry.

                    This industry wants all halloween vendors to succeed and do well, that's why people like Larry and Kevin make vendor associations, that's why we all help each other.

                    Wishing negativity upon people is just plain wrong in my opinion, especially upon the vendors. If you want to see Michael and I fail, that's fine, but don't wish it at the expense of the vendors please. There is nothing we won't do for them and it's the vendors and the halloween fans who MAKE this industry, don't hurt them.

                    Also, the show will not see it's death, we've actually just begun and we are already half paid up for next years show. We enjoy doing this and I don't think you understand that the show can't have a death because it's not about the money. We aren't looking to make money and don't care if we do...we are doing this to help people and raise awareness about our industry. We don't need to 'turn a profit' to survive...that's not part of the plan at all. Helping people is part of the plan.

                    Robert Kocher
                    Xanthar of the Museum

                    The Village of Darkness


                    • #11
                      Robert did you not read my post?

                      I in no way wish a bad show for any vendor in any venue... But if you as the show organizer do not bring buyers in to attend your show you will cause them to have a bad show. It is your responsibility to bring buyers to your show, not just sell or trade or give away booths to boost your floor count. Plus is it wise to have so many vendors offering the same type of products? Guessing so after seeing your list. Plus I guess you are the only one on the planet that doesn't seem to be aware that there are less dollars out there for buyers to spend.

                      Also Larry to the best of my knowledge did not have anything to do with the formation of HHVA. I don't even think he is a member.

                      Plus I don't believe for one second all of your selfless BS that you are doing this for the love of the industry. You are a for profit entity.

                      Scaren Karen


                      • #12
                        Wow - how things can be blown out of proportion!

                        Hello everyone - time to chime in.

                        1.) Ken - to answer your question - the "subject" line only allows so many characters, at best, it's difficult to encapsulate everything you need to say into (what is it? 80 characters) in the subject line. I guess I could try to shorten and abbreviate, but that's like "cell phone" speak, and I'm not an expert at that, and honestly, it kind of annoys me. IYKWIM So I tried to do the best I could.

                        2.) Karen - wow.... I don't know why you're so negative towards me specifically (she's posted negatively about me in the past), but I'm just not going to fight with you, if you're looking for a knock down drag out, start looking elsewhere, the god's honest truth is that I'm just too busy to get involved in a flame war with anyone. Plus, that's just not my nature. Sorry to disappoint you.

                        3.) Regarding the whole "Where does Michael and Rob get off saying they know everything about haunting" ummmm... We never said that. You wont find our names anywhere on the Halloween U. site as seminar speakers. If you would take 5 minutes to look at the site before posting, you'd know that.

                        Rob and I know we're not experts on everything, that's why we asked OTHER people who ARE experts in their respected fields TO teach. Ricky Dick of Castle Blood is a teacher, are you going to tell him he doesn't know what he's talking about? (If you do, please tell me when and where you do that, as I would LOVE to watch that exchange...) Tattoo is teaching a foam class at our Convention, I dare you to find 10 people in the world who are better than he is at it. Randy Bates is teaching a seminar on using Hayrides. I'm not the expert, but I know who are the experts, so I'll default to them. All Rob and I are doing is providing a location for everyone to do their magic.

                        4.) Michael and Rob don't "own" a haunt - Rob's right as to how we're both stockpiling to go pro,(Between us combined, we both have mountains of haunt product that would fill several 18 wheelers) and we're taking the long term approach so we don't screw things up, but you need to think things through for a minute. Running a convention is a full time job between a staff of about 20 people. Anyone who owns a haunt simply won't have time to pull of a convention as well (and yes, THAT I do know from experience) *AND* I do have an accomplished, successful history of hosting events. Last years EHC, although crowded, and a couple of first years speed bumps, worked.

                        Oh, and if you guys really want to be fair about things - what haunt does the owners of Transworld own?

                        5.) The whole "It's a regional show at best" - There was a point in time last year, where you would be absolutely correct. LAST YEAR.

                        This year, WE ARE FOUR TIMES LARGER !!! Rob's the one in charge of the vendors, so I don't know the EXACT count, but I know we blew past 100 vendor booths a couple of weeks ago and he has several more vendors in queue that he needs to assign booths to yet.

                        Last year ? People complained about being too cramped in a hotel, (see the earlier post in this thread) Well, the god's honest truth is we had no idea that the event would be so successful that we would outgrow the hotel in our first year. My initial plan was to stay at that hotel for two more years (or permanently if we hit a saturation point), but there was just too darn many people. We decided to go with the "National" name due to our size, our location, and the quality of seminars we're offering.

                        This year? We're in the Valley Forge Convention center, which is every bit as large as the Rosemont in Chicago (not an idle boast btw - look at our floorplan at this link
                        and compare the dimensions between us and the upstairs haunters section that was at Transworld Chicago, or the back room of Transworld Vegas.
                        Bet you a nickel we're larger square footage with more HAUNT vendors.
                        (NOTE: I'm going to be honest and fair about this one though - I'm NOT including the downstairs costume wholesale section of Transworld in my statements, and I'm trying not to boast or brag, all I'm saying is look at the floorplan and come to a decision on your own. )

                        6.) Karen's "Don't you be altruistic, this is for profit!" accusation. Ummmm.... Well, we'd *LIKE* it to be, but if you calculate the man hours involved required to make this happen, it HAS a labor of love at this point. In man hours ALONE it would bankrupt most people, Rob and I make several phone calls a day, and exchange dozens of emails a day, just to make sure that EVERY SINGLE DETAIL IS LETTER PERFECT FOR OUR GUESTS. Many a night is where we work past midnight. (Also not a idle boast, anyone wants to volunteer to be on our staff, feel free to send me an email and you can be part of the 'drink coffee all night to work on the convention email express!' )

                        The sad news is that while I'm affiliated with the convention, my haunt has to sit on the back burner, there just isn't enough time to do both.

                        ( NOTE TO KAREN - Just in case you didn't know, convention centers are REALLY, REALLY, REALLY expensive to rent.) So, we need to make some money somewhere just to pay for the big building.

                        Bottom line? Rob and I are working our tails off to bring you an awesome event - and don't take my word for it - just check out the website yourself
                        and see what we're offering - hopefully the results of our efforts thus far will impress you. (except for Karen)

                        Bonus - keep in mind that we still have a couple more months of work to really put things over the top! (Which I kinda thought we did when we started to offer *FREE* DARK MAGIC entertainment for our guests throughout the day...)

                        Wow, sorry, didn't mean to make this so long, but I wanted to make sure I hit all the points - If I missed any - please bring them to my attention and I'll discuss it.

                        If anyone has any other questions, feel free to ask. I have absolutely nothing to hide.

                        (Who doesn't have time for a flame war - sorry)

                        Michael Bruner

                        The National Haunters Convention - OVER 100 vendor booths!
                        Valley Forge, PA

                        The Cadavers Cotillion

                        Get behind the scenes tours to the best haunted attractions!



                        • #13
                          Now it is time for the matador to dance with the blind shoe-maker! ...... and it will be a slow jam (man what the hell dose that have to do with anything lol)

                          Mike, Rob we attended the the show last year and I would like to say thanks for the hard work you guys are doing, forget the doubters the movement is unstoppable
                          and we are looking forward to attending this year ....
                          HHA Member


                          • #14

                            I certainly didn't post to start a war or any bad feelings.
                            To tell you the truth....I was going to post a dumbass comment about another haunt show to screw things up blah blah blah....but no I refained.

                            I took the time to go to the website and check who the speakers were (teachers).

                            I had nothing bad to say I was shocked at will no doubt walk away learning a bunch of stuff.

                            Sorry I was joking in a way but it is very bold!
                            I don't think ANY of the conventions can boast LEARN EVERYTHING ABOUT HAUNTS HERE

                            Haunt University - register here

                            Would have been just as good.

                            Back to the dumbass comment ....... as a vendor I am having a hard time with some things.

                            PLEASE SHOW PRODUCERS READ

                            We are making a line of costumes to sell.
                            We as a company decide to do 2-3 shows per year.
                            TW by the time we pay for transportation, lodging, BOOTH, food and whatever else comes up.
                            Do the math......we have to sell a ton of stench and costumes to make that up.
                            MHC HAUNTCON are the other 2 shows that we have done.
                            I for some reason like to go to Ohio and MHC is a great time and expenses are MUCH LESS
                            HAUNTCON depends where it could also cost us a fortune.
                            Now we add another show.....we just can't do it.

                            Can the 3 or 4 of you maybe get together and have 1 or 2 shows?
                            I know ... Barry is hunting me down right now
                            Everyone HAS worked hard at doing their individual shows.......BUT IT IS KILLING THE VENDORS
                            There is a ton of the same people at these shows. We as vendors are paying 3-4 times for some of the same customers.

                            We always have to stay infront of the customers but the cost of doings shows is really putting a crunch on some of the vendors......or am I an idiot?

                            I know that answer but I still have a point
                            Gee could it get any better than this?


                            • #15
                              Its unstoppable untill it meets an immovable object!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHAH! Vincent This Time!
                              Its A Verbal Orgy on Steroids!