Frequently Asked Questions
Get the answers to your burning questions here!
Q: What is Chicago Frights?
Designed for the needs of Haunted Attraction Owners, Operators, actors, makeup artists Home Haunters and just Halloween fans, Chicago Frights is three days of Halloween and haunting education, haunt tours, vendors and just plane spooky fun!
Q: How did Chicago Frights get started?
A: Chicago Frights is the brainchild on Haunted Attraction Industry icon Leonard Pickel, owner of the Haunted Attraction National Tradeshow and Conference. “When we moved HAuNTcon to earlier in the year, we knew weather would be a deterrent to pick northern cities as event locations,” explains Pickel. “We knew at the time we would have to add a summer conference to tour haunts that would be snowed out in January.” Chicago Frights was the result.
Q: Will Chicago move next year?
A: Unlike its parent conference HAuNTcon, Chicago Frights is going to stay in Chicago. There are so many fantastic haunts in northern Illinois that there are plenty to tour year after year without repeating very often.
Q: How do you choose the haunt to tour during Chicago Frights?
A: In many case, the haunts come to us, but we check them out before signing them up for our attendees. If you know of a great haunt we should tour, or if own a great haunt and want to be part of a future Chicago Frights, then shoot us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will check it out.
Q: What should attendees pay attention to at this year’s event?
A: The focus of the Chicago Frights education are the issues haunters need help with as the season approaches. One key aspect of the conference is actor training. Any haunted event can increase its entertainment value with better actors, in fact many pro haunts put more emphasis on actors than they do scenic detail. Let Chicago Frights train your actors for you in 3 days of extensive classes.
Q: Why does Chicago Frights have a costume party?
A: Most haunters are working in October and don’t get to dress up in freaky costumes just for the fun of it. The Chicago Frights costume party gives attendees a chance to get back to what got them into haunting in the first place: Halloween! The costume party gives attendees and vendors time to get to know each other outside of the show floor. It is a great opportunity to meet and network with like-minded people… not to mention it is a GREAT party!
Q: Do you have to wear a costume to the party, and is there a costume contest?
A: The short answer is ‘no’ to both. A majority of people attending the costume party will be in costume, but costumes are not required in order to attend. However, we do ask that you dress nicely, as this is an upscale event. As for a “contest,” the haunted attraction industry is very competitive as it is, and Chicago Frights is a place of sharing. No matter who wins a contest it upsets someone who didn’t, and that is not the spirit of Chicago Frights! Party attendees range from Imagineers to Home Haunters, with a full range from store-bought costumes to tedious hand-sculpted creatures. They are all fantastic; how could you choose one as the best? All we care about is that you have a GREAT time.
Q: Do you have to pay if you just want to attend the trade show?
A: Meeting space for the convention is very expensive, and it is not fair for the exhibitors to carry the full cost of the 10,000 square foot trade show room. So there is a charge for admission to the trade show, however that admission includes all of the education, seminars, demos and panel discussions at the show. If you are on a budget, single day passes are also available, but we hope you will join us for four days of tours, tradeshow, education, tours and fun!
Q: How do I receive the tickets I bought online?
A: All tickets are will-call at the trade show location and can be picked up starting the Thursday before the convention starts. That means you need to swing by the host hotel before going to the Thursday Night Haunt Tour, so you can pick up those tickets.
Q: What is the Pre-Show Bus Tour?
A: On Thursday morning, before the conference begins, Chicago Frights offers a bus tour of as many exceptional haunted attractions in the area as we can fit into the timeframe.
Q: Can I get a table at Chicago Frights?
A: If you have a product or service that you would like to sell to the Haunted Attraction Industry, Chicago Frights is a great place to exhibit. Table and booth space is reasonable and includes many amenities that are up charges at most trade shows. There is a link on the website menu to sign up as a vendor. If you are just starting your haunted business or just have some haunted items you would like to sell, Chicago Frights is a great place to test out a product or sell off some props you made or are not using any more.
Q: Where do you find your seminar/workshop presenters?
A: Chicago Frights is all about networking and the sharing of ideas. The education at Chicago Frights is the best education you can get anywhere. The seminar and workshop presenters are people like you, Haunters who have learned a thing or two about some aspect of the industry and are willing to share that information with others. Please, think of what you know that could help someone in their haunting endeavors and share that information by becoming a Chicago Frights presenter. Go to the Education Tab and sign up today!
Q: Is there an age limit to attend Chicago Frights?
A: We know that many haunted events are family-run businesses, and the children are often strategic parts of those events. So there is no age requirement to attend Chicago Frights. Well-behaved and well-supervised children of any age are welcome. There is no charge for children under 12 to attend the trade show and education, as long as they are accompanied by a parent. There is no children’s discount on the haunt tours or costume party. So take advantage of early discount registration if you want a bargain. Warning: Some costumes worn by attendees and props in the trade show may be too graphic for young children. Parental judgment is advised.
Q: Do I have to own a business to attend Chicago Frights?
A: While some of the education is directed to event owner/operators, Chicago Frights is open to the general public and everyone is welcome. The ticket registration asks for a company or attraction name so we can print it on your badge, but you can leave that line blank if you don’t have either.
Q: What should I know before I get to the convention?
A: From the time the bus leaves for the pre-show tour on Thursday to the haunt Sunday night, Chicago Frights is packed with almost 24 hours a day of networking and activities. By far our biggest complaint is that we do not schedule nap time into the conference agenda! There is no right or wrong way to haunt, and most of us do it completely differently, but all of us have something we are doing right. If you open your mind to the possibilities of learning something new and different, you will come away from Chicago Frights with great new ideas and methods worth many times over the cost of the tickets to the convention.
Q: What should I bring to the convention?
A: Bring plenty of business cards with your name and contact information. Each exhibitor will ask for this, and you will want to hand them out to the new friends you meet during the conference. Bring an extra suitcase to carry the stuff you accumulate home with you. And don’t forget your costume for the party, just in case. (You may change your mind once you get here!)
Q: Can I pay for the haunted house tours at the haunted houses or on their website?
A: No! Chicago Frights has rented these attractions for a private function – to which you are invited – but there will NOT be tickets available at the haunted houses or on their websites. You have to buy your tickets on the Chicago Frights website or at the convention site to attend the tours.
Q: How much is each seminar?
A: Once you pay for admission into the convention, all of the education (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) is free! There is a materials fee for each of the hands-on workshops, but you get to take what you make home with you after the class. The hands-on workshops do sell out, so be sure to reserve your seat as soon as you know which ones you want to take. You can pay for these workshop sessions at the same place you register for the convention. They are also limited in size, so sign up early.
Q: What is a Hands-On Workshop?
A: A “Hands-On Workshop” is where you are instructed about how to take common everyday materials and turn them into the scariest things you can imagine! A small fee is required to pay for the materials used, but when you are done you get to take your evil creation home with you.
Q: How do I sign up for the Hands-On Workshops?
A: The Hands-On Workshops are sold on the Chicago Frights website shopping cart, until just before the convention. Then, if there are any spaces left, you can sign up at the show.
Q: Do I need reservations for the Seminars?
A: No. The seminars are first-come, first-serve, and the popular topics fill up quickly, so get there early to get a good seat. There is limited seating for the Workshops, and you should be able to sign up for them onsite, but you should sign up in advance as soon as these classes are finalized a week or so out from the show.
Q: There is a lot going on at Chicago Frights… when do we sleep?
A: There is no sleep at Chicago Frights! We have crammed every second of the convention with more education, tours, products, networking and pure fun than is allowed by law! So bring your No-Doz and Redbull, and join us for a haunting good time at the Haunted Attraction National Tradeshow and Convention… Chicago Frights!
Didn’t get the answer to your question? Contact us by email at Chicago Frights@gmail.com or by phone at 972-951-5100!