• Using a haunted house venue for year-round events
• HellsGate Haunted House
There are multiple reasons to visit a haunted house: to experience the adrenaline rush of being completely terrified, to prove you’ve truly got nerves of steel, or maybe it is an opportunity to laugh at your friend or coworker as they jump in fright (remember, they may be laughing at you, too). Haunted houses are primarily visited in September and October with a few special events during the year. Have you ever considered using a haunted house during its off season to hold a meeting or event? Midwest Meetings spoke with Kyle LaFlamboy, Production Manager, Sales Agent for HellsGate Haunted House (HellsGate.com) in Lockport, IL, just outside of Chicago, to learn how to take advantage of such a unique venue.
Hidden in the woods, HellsGate is a multi-level, 1930’s Victorian mansion filled with secret passages, giant slides, and ghastly secrets. The mansion includes 4,000 sq. ft. of open event space, conference rooms, large-format projector screen with audio and video, cliffside views, and more. All of the experience and equipment used to produce a haunted house can be utilized for your meetings and events. “First and foremost we are a production company,” explained LaFlamboy. “We produce, we make, we create. Because of that, we have a lot of toys. Here at Legacy Events we have an entire prop shop FULL of unique props, a scene shop where we fabricate custom pieces, a costume shop, and even a professional makeup studio.
Not all meetings and events are meant to be a “fright.” Many of the events are family friendly and because of the space and production team, the venue can be adapted for a variety of experiences. “We just booked an ‘Addams Family’ themed wedding. So that should be right up our alley!” Some of LaFlamboy’s other favorite events include the Disabled Patriot Fund annual charity event, filming for parts of the Nickelback “Feed the Machine” music video, and a corporate meeting recently hosted for College Works and Sherwin Williams. Haunted houses and HellsGate in particular are unique properties, so LaFlamboy suggests you schedule a walk through and “…use an open mind when designing your event!”
October is the busiest season for any haunted house, making it virtually impossible to plan a private event during that time, which leaves the other 11 months of the year to plan your event. If you’d still like a frightening event, consider a Christmas themed haunted house for your next December event or take advantage of the growing popularity of a Valentine’s day haunt.
Turn your meeting into a teambuilding experience by creating a scavenger hunt through the haunted house or having an overnight lock-in. HellsGate Haunted House is adjacent to its new sister company, Legacy Adventure Park (LegacyAdventurePark.com), offering planners access to paintball, laser tag, Airsoft, zombie hunts, and more.
Haunted houses are always evolving and looking to what they can do next. HellsGate recently completed a $30,000 renovation of their meeting/event space which, among other amenities, now includes a 20 ft. x 20 ft. bookshelf with sliding doors to unveil a hidden bar and a 10 ft. rear projection screen that doubles as a portrait when not in use.
Create a lasting memory for your attendees and make your meeting “scream” production value at a haunted house venue.