Friday, May 25, 2012

Top Haunts Magazine

A New Haunt Magazine Has Arrived!





Top Haunts is an annually published magazine that hit the the proverbial shelves last month. After reading reviews left on the Top Haunts Facebook page, I had to get my hands on a copy. Contacting the company was a breeze, as was payment and shipping to my home.

What can you expect from this publication? 


After receiving my copy I was instantly drawn to the glossy cover as well as the weight of the magazine. I would venture to guess that this thing weighs as much as three to four issues of Sports Illustrated or any similar paperback magazine. "Why?" because it is simply overflowing with glossy, full-page, high-quality, color photos. Only 21 of the 79 pages contain any text whatsoever, leaving the reader with a coffee table quality album.

You can expect a huge bonus—no ads! Yes, not a single ad is to be found in this magazine, which for some, can be worth its weight in gold. Personally, I don't mind ads if they are sparse but there are those that do. 

In addition, Top Haunts delivers interviews with each featured artist and haunt owner. For artists, the interviews consist of how they got started in the industry,  the process of creating their masterpieces, as well as featuring where their work can be found—i.e. film, TV, etc. For haunt owners, you learn how they got their start in the industry, a description of their haunt(s), the history of the haunt location(s), what makes their haunt(s) different from the others, and what inspires them.

Featured artists include the amazingly talented Kazuhiro Tsuji and mask makers extraordinaire from Immortal Masks, but the main attraction is of the haunted variety and includes:

What this publication is not


Top haunts does not focus on insider information, tips, or how-tos. You will certainly find inspiration from the detailed photos of sets, characters, and products  but in-depth information is not the focus of this magazine. 

My thoughts 


I was surprised to learn that Top Haunts is published in the beautiful state of Hawaii. I am reminded that our island kindred are as passionate about Halloween as we are and that Halloween is a national phenomenon, quickly going global. One of the featured haunts, "Haunted Plantation", is even located in Hawaii.

I enjoyed reading through the articles but the "eye candy" was the most fulfilling. My favorite photo features The Collector from Netherworld, sitting on his ghoulish throne (the same photo is featured here). The 13th Gate and Netherworld are near and dear to my heart and those amazing photos only made me want to revisit them even more. Of course I could not help but long to see other featured haunts that I have not had the opportunity to attend.

I would dare call this magazine a publication for haunt collectors. If you want a magazine full of photos that may bring back memories of haunts you have visited, as it did for me, drives you to visit the best haunts in the country, or simply puts you in the Halloween and haunted attraction mood then you'll find yourself picking up your copy of Top Haunts over and over again.

Top Haunts retails at $15 per copy and I feel it was well worth the price. If you would like to purchase a copy just send them an email at with your full name, shipping address, and quantity you'd like to purchase. They will then send you information on how to complete your purchase. At the time of this article my purchase was completed through PayPal but please visit their website or Facebook page to stay current on purchasing information.

I feel it necessary to note that the packaging of the magazine does not lend itself very well to handling by the postal service so you might inquire about the cost of a bubble envelope. My copy arrived gouged and bent in several places but very readable and enjoyable.  When next year's issue comes out, I would indeed pay a few extra bucks to prevent damaging this attractive magazine.

A big thank you to Brian Foreman, one of the masterminds at haunTopic Radio, (the other mastermind being Mr. Darryl Plunkie of and webmaster of for helping to promote this blog and for being my first follower. I'd also like to thank Ms. Howdy and Marrow for following along as well as all those who stop by to peruse my posts.

As always, please feel free to leave me a comment or suggestion on how to improve this blog below.

Video © 2012 Top Haunts 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Video Applause

Recently I have been viewing videos from Transworld 2012. For those who do not follow the haunted attraction trade show scene, here is a link that will give you all the information: Often lauded as the haunted attraction trade show, Transworld offers the most massive vendor area of any convention out there.

I want to draw attention to some great coverage of the trade show floor as well as several of the haunted attractions visited on the haunt tour. The fine folks over at McKamey Manor home haunt (soon to be a professional haunt) are to be applauded for uploading 17 separate HD videos to You Tube covering this massive show.  These videos give you an impressive two and a half hours of footage. Not everyone can find the time or funds to attend and their videos allow us to live vicariously through these kindred spirits.

Below is the first in the set of trade show floor coverage.

Please head on over to the  McKamey Manor You Tube channel and see for yourself.

Simply search for Transworld, and I encourage you to view them in HD if you are capable. If you enjoy it as much as I have, please subscribe and throw a thank you comment out there to Russ and Carol. Also, why not check out their other videos? They include some great footage of other trade shows as well as a look glimpse inside their own high-intensity, hands-on haunt located in San Diego, California.

Video © 2012 McKamey Manor

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Humble Beginning

My name is Rob Dean and and I hope you'll follow along during my journey of blogging and growth in the Halloween and haunted attraction industry. You will find my Halloween alias, Hallowdean, haunting Halloween forums, itunes, twitter, You Tube, and other blogs.

So what content can you expect in this blog? 

I hope to blog concerning all things Halloween and haunted attraction with a focus on social media.

I am a beginner in what is called "home haunting"; the hobby—and dare I say art—of transforming your mundane home into a full-fledged Halloween dwelling for the season . This can include simply buying props for your "haunt" or intricately designing and building your own. I find myself currently in the former group. Just this year I changed my first tire. I have no skills in building or repairing of any sort but I plan on changing that fact. Using sites like and wonderful YouTube posters, I hope to learn the tricks of the trade. I expect to be cranking out faux boarded up windows, PVC graveyard fencing, and pink foam tombstones in no time.

I will be posting my progress here and I invite you to follow along. Whether you are as fresh to this wonderful world of Halloween home haunting as I am  or a  grizzled veteran who is simply curious to watch my progress, I welcome you and your comments, regardless of who you are.

As I am working on my degree in psychology and moving towards graduate education I am considering specializing in Industrial and Organizational Psychology or IO psych. For those interested in this field, here is a link to peruse:
It would be wonderful to marry my love of the Halloween and the haunted attraction industry with IO psych in any way possible. The haunted attraction industry has grown by leaps and bounds and perhaps a niche can be carved out by those seeking to improve productivity.

I will gladly blog concerning reviews of products, new facets in social media, haunter conventions, and more. 

Why else am I creating this blog? 

I expect it to be a therapeutic form of expression as well as a small contribution to the Halloween community.

I also want to dedicate this blog to my mother who passed away last July. When other kids were watching cartoons, I was staying up with my mom watching A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Tales from the Crypt and horror films too numerous to count. Thank you mom - for everything.