Halloween haunted house competition breeds innovation

Blackouts, paintball, 4D draw thrillseekers

ELYRIA, Ohio - In case monsters, zombies and demented clowns are not enough for you, local haunted house operators are adding even more over-the-top features to their attractions.

A 4D experience is what the Hauntville haunted house in Elyria is advertising for 2014. NewsChannel5 recently toured the haunt and got a whiff of what's new.

According to Hauntville proprietor Derek Vitas, artificial smells have added another dimension to his attraction.

"We smelled popcorn, we smelled cotton candy, we smelled ice cream in the ice cream room, we smelled gunpowder, we smelled swamp by the big snake," said Vitas, summing up the olfactory assault.

Hauntville also has a "Zombie Paintball Hunt" at the facility located near Midway Mall.

In fact, shooting zombies with paintballs has become a popular addition to traditional haunted houses nationwide. At least four haunts in northeast Ohio are advertising zombie paintball. Zombie Paintball at Mapleside Farms in Brunswick was first in the greater Cleveland area.

Other innovations being tried at local haunts include blackout dates, rooms and floors that move and increased use of animatronics.

"We've been trying to innovate some ideas... attack all the different senses. We want to test your wits, test your guts, attack you from below, from the side, with sound, with wind," said Rich Eslich of Canton's Factory of Terror.

The longtime Canton haunt has twice been named "Longest walk-through horror house" by Guinness World Records and even requires a signed waiver of liability to participate in some of their extreme events.

For complete information on all the haunted houses in northeast Ohio and other less scary Halloween attractions, be sure to check out the newsnet5.com Halloween page.

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