A Look Back at Terror 29's First Year
Wow what a year 2019 has been! It’s a new year and a new decade. Let’s take a look back at Terror 29’s first year.
I’ve had the idea of creating a haunted house since I was young. Halloween has always been a big holiday growing up, as my parents used to do a home haunt and different Halloween displays. My father, who is a magician, also performs magic for trick or treaters every year. I knew someday I’d want to create a haunted house. Finally January of 2019 the LLC paperwork was filed and Terror 29 was born. Although, it was many months in the making just leading up to that. But creating the LLC was an official moment, and I knew the spooky journey was just getting started.
In March some of the Terror Team took a trip to St. Louis to attend one of the largest haunted house conventions in the country. It was great learning at the seminars, networking with other haunts across the Midwest, and of course shopping the trade show floor. We got to see new products/scares for 2019 and meet the best of the best in the industry.
Fun side note, we purchased the dead body prop at this convention. His name is Spud, and was one of the props that our attendees talked about the most. It looks real. Like really real. So we loaded it up in our vehicle and drove home when the convention was over. The funny part of the story was wondering what would happen if we got pulled over with a realistic looking dead body in the car. Haha!
The Beginning Days of Terror 29
On April 15th, we officially got the keys to the warehouse at our current location. We spent a couple weeks and multiple truck loads filling the space with all our Halloween props and decor. There were also many hours spent on taking the blueprint from paper and chalking it out in the actual warehouse.
May 15th we began building the frames for the walls. And by June 15th pretty much the entire haunt was assembled with frames. From there it was time to start putting up walls!
Basically from May 15th all through the summer we spent hundreds and hundreds of hours painting, theming, and continuing to build out the haunt experience. I remember after each room was finished I would say, “This is my favorite room.” It kept getting better and better.
On the warehouse side, the boiler room was one that was finished closer to the end, but the attention to detail turned out amazing. Focusing on attention to detail for the entire haunt experience was a top priority. A prime example is the shelf hallway leading up to Frank’s room. It’s simply just a hallway to get from one room to the next. But, with all the props and design layout it makes the environment feel real.
On the circus side, the illusion hallway was one of the first parts of the haunt to get set up. And it took a long time! We tweaked the lighting for a good couple of weeks to get it just right. The clown finale was the last thing we finished and turned out really cool! A lot of our Terror fans also loved the zombie room. Some even thought that our Headless Woman illusion was an animatronic prop. Plot twist! She was real!
Of course there were things we didn’t even get to the first year and are so excited to add on for 2020.
Terror 29 Actors & Techies
Throughout the summer and early fall we started having actor auditions and rehearsals. I was blown away at how incredible everyone did during the haunt season. They were insanely great! It’s one thing to have a super cool haunted house, but it becomes badass with the right actors. And our actors took the haunted house to a whole new level!
How do I bring up someone who needs no introduction? Greenie! You might have heard of her! Spoiler alert, her real name is Cassandra, and she is Terror 29’s lead costume and make-up manager. But there’s really nothing she can’t do. We’ve been aquatiences and when she reached out to join I knew she’d be the perfect addition! She manages the actors and getting everyone into make-up, plus she designed most of the costumes and characters!
October rolls around with fear and excitement. I’ll be honest both Cassandra and I were terrified opening night. We put our heart and soul into the haunt, and wanted the Sioux Falls community to love it. And they did! The reviews started coming in, word of mouth was spreading, and Terror 29’s attendance went above and beyond our expectations. It was a huge success. The profits from our first year are going right back into the haunted house. And we have some pretty spooky plans in store.
Thanks to Everyone Involved with Terror 29!
Of course, it wasn’t just Cassandra and myself that put everything into the haunt. The actors and techies all made everything possible. Thanks to everyone involved!! Star, Frank, Squigglez, Striker, Brittany, Slaughter, AJ, Homeless Jon, Bearded Lady, Ringmaster, Elephant Man, Headless Woman, the Zombies, our Doctor clown… our techies Kaitlin, Maddy, Tidus, Heather for running the gift shop/tickets, my parents for being there every minute of the way. Andy for being the genius behind building the haunt. Trevor and the Terror 29 investors. So many people I’m forgetting and I can’t thank everyone enough. I love you guys!
Let’s bring in 2020 bigger, better and bloodier!
Terror 29 in the Media
Terror 29 Haunted House had the opportunity to be featured in quite a few media outlets: