june 22-23, 2018

ulster park, ny

Click here for more information about the attractions we'll be visiting on this tour!

past tours - 2017, dallas, tx

2017 Tour

The 2017 Flagship Premier Haunted Attractions Tour & Education Series (PHATES) headed “deep in the heart of Texas” May 19-21, 2017 to visit Reindeer Manor Halloween Park and DARK HOUR Haunted House, two exceptional attractions unlike any others! Besides a tour of each attraction, Dark Hour show director and haunt industry legend Allen Hopps and his talented staff taught two days of seminars & workshops, sharing the details of how they do what they do to bring Dark Hour to life.


Reindeer Manor Halloween Park, Dallas, TX

Reindeer Manor Halloween ParkReindeer Manor Halloween Park is a high-intensity, highly detailed and immersive 33 acre event just south of Dallas, Texas. Opened in 1974 on the estate of a former oil baron, Reindeer Manor is one of the oldest Halloween attractions in existence. The park utilizes a majority of the old buildings on the property, including the manor house itself which was built in 1920. The property has a true history of both elegance and violence dating back even further. Just entering the grounds can be a hair-raising experience for some guests! We are open for both the Halloween season and off-season shows, and even when we’re closed it’s pretty common to find our monsters out and about at local Dallas events.

Reindeer Manor Halloween Park is comprised of Reindeer Manor, The 13th Street Morgue and Dungeon of Doom. During the Halloween season we have games, bonus attractions, roaming characters and a dance troupe. Owned and Operated by Alex and Jennifer Lohmann, they and their talented crew strive to bring the park up to a new standard each season by utilizing a balance of high detail and good old-fashioned haunted house methodology.

Dark Hour Haunted House, Plano, TX

Dark Hour Haunted HouseDark Hour Haunted House is DFW (Dallas/Ft. Worth)’s premier, year-round haunted attraction!  Located just 15 minutes north of downtown Dallas in Plano, Texas, the goal of Dark Hour has always been a simple one: produce the highest quality scare experience available. With its immersive scenery, professionally trained actors, and strategic use of technology, Dark Hour produces a genuine theatrical experience in terror for its guests. Completely different shows are produced almost monthly which build on the core story of the Witches of Coven Manor, creating an expanded exploration of fear-inducing themes throughout the year. Creating 8 totally separate and distinct shows in the same space keep the attraction fresh not only for the customers (many of whom enjoy a season pass option) but also for the army of builders, artists, techs, and haunt industry professionals that it takes to keep Dark Hour running like a well-oiled machine.

Infrastructure is the key to Dark Hour’s success and ability to pull off the different shows with as little as 11 working days between openings. Dark Hour is a full production facility in all fields of the haunted attraction and theatre industries; Ad campaigns, costumes, prosthetics, props, scenery, special effects, video production, masks, and more- almost every element is created in house by the Dark Hour team from start to finish.  During May, Dark Hour presents SPRING FEVER, their zombie themed show.  The Contagion Witch has taken control of the Coven and is raising the dead in order to help the Coven come to world power.  (You can learn more about all of Dark Hour’s themed events by visiting   http://darkhourhauntedhouse.com/spring-fever/ and clicking on the SHOWS tab.)  During the tours the DH team will pull back the curtain on effects that are featured in SPRING FEVER, as well as things ordinarily reserved for some of the other shows as they demonstrate tricks of trade used to make the same space look and feel different 8 times a year.


Saturday Classes ( You pick one classes per hour, you will sign up on site)

 10:00am Foam Latex Prosthetics Pouring and Baking
Ian  Aalderink
Dark hour creates its own foam latex prosthetics, this demo style class will show you the basic processes involved in making your own, as well as go over the costs involved in getting these finished products. Foam will be mixed in front of you while questions are answered, the foam put into the mold and the mold put into the oven. Previously baked molds will be pulled from the oven and demolded in front of you so you can see as many of the steps as possible in the allotted time.  Hand outs will also be provided.

10:00am Mechanical Accents to Add Detail
Ed  Gannon
Often it’s the moving elements that make a scene, In this one hour block Ed will go over several of the simple mechanisms we use during different Dark Hour shows to add detail and life to different sets and scenes. Simple mechanisms that anyone can make that add life, detail, and punch to sets and scenes.

11:10am The Tech of Dark Hour
Jake Farmer
Dark Hour uses lots of high tech and special effects for each of its eight shows. Jake will go over several different types of technical scare and what it takes to put them together as well as how they get redressed or reinvented for each show. See how sound, light, and electrical components come together to wow guests in different ways show after show, as well as an overview of the lighting and sound system Dark Hour employs throughout the building.

11:10am Mold-Making & Casting
Alex Lohmann
Alex’s passion for detail at Reindeer Manor demanded he learn and create molds for the things he needed. Alex will show you the basics on mold making and casting from a variety of materials to get you well on your way to creating and replicating objects. We’ll cover the use of silicone and other rubbers and a variety of casting materials to fit most any need. We’ll be discussing different mold types and construction methods, tips on getting the most from your materials, how to estimate and weigh, and where you can go to find the products it’ll take to get the results you want.

1:30pm The Framework Story
Allen Hopps
Allen will talk about Dark Hours framework story and how it is used to create the back stories for all eight of Dark Hours shows. It about how to squeeze your story (or fabricate one) to have it guide you on the creation of Scenes, sets, characters, story arcs and promotional content. This class covers everything needed to uncover Dark Hours formula for repeated show success.

1 :30pm Media Campaign Building
Laura Kilpatrick, Robert Alcala, Lucy Moore
Move through an entire campaign, step by step, and discover how Dark Hour crafts their marketing magic. Our Media Production Team will take you through their creative process and discuss at length what it takes to create captivating imagery across many platforms. From social media to video, our team works together to ensure each Dark Hour campaign will draw you in.

2:40pm Considerations for Casting Eight Different Shows a Year (with Haunt Scheduler Walkthrough)
Phil Chalut
As Casting director Phil has the unique challenge of casting and directing about 200 actors and forming them into the casts and characters for eight different shows. Each show has its own challenges and special needs like (small elves, stiltwalking werewolves, stunt needs, costume size restraints, and the personal schedules of 200 people trying to align enough to make a 60 person cast happen each and every night we are open. Haunt scheduler is one of the tools he uses to make it all happen- he will give an overview of this program and how he uses it to tame the scheduling requirements.

2:40 pmFeeding the Beast: Video Projects For Any Given Show
Laura Kilpatrick, Robert Alcala, Lucy Moore
Follow Dark Hour’s Media Production Team as we take you through the process of putting together a successful video project. In this class, our team sheds light on what it takes to capture and entice your audience with video. We will also provide helpful handouts for use in organizing and creating your next video project for your haunt!

Sunday Classes

Make a Latex Half-Mask ( 6 hour class)
During this six hour course, Allen Hopps will demonstrate making a half-mask from start to finish – sculpting, molding, pouring pulling and painting the finished mask. Attendees will receive a plaster sculpting form for creating latex half-masks, be able to sculpt a mask with water-based clay, some sculpting tools and a mold (if they wish to take it with them) of the mask they sculpted. They will also be able to paint a latex half-mask and keep that (it will not be the one they sculpted and molded due to time constraints). This means they will see and do the whole process while under expert instruction. It will be fast-paced as we have a goal but each point will be gone over in detail. Allen is more than willing to stay later if students desire, but the class will be within the times listed. A lunch will be provided and a 30 minute lunch break will occur at 1:00 pm.

Scare-Causing Show Puppet Build Zombie Puppet and a Floating Creature Puppet ( 6 hour class)
In this workshop there will be two separate scare puppet builds going on opposite sides of the shop, follow one for the duration or bounce back and forth between both. They will be built from start to finish during the length of this class, they will both be fully functional and able to be modified to fit almost any theme. Printed instructions will be provided. A lunch and lunch break will be provided.


Friday, May 19, 2017

  • 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm REGISTRATION
  • 07:15 pm        Buses load at DoubleTree Hotel
  • 07:30 pm        Buses leave for Reindeer Manor
  • 08:00 pm        Haunt tour begins
  • 10:00 pm        Behind the Scenes Tour and After Party
  • 11:00 pm        Buses load back to DoubleTree Hotel

 Saturday, May 20, 2017

  • 8:15 am – 9:15 am REGISTRATION
  • 09:15 am    Buses load from the DoubleTree Hotel
  • 09:30 am    Buses leave for Dark Hour
  • 10:00 am    1 Hour Seminar*
  • 11:00 am    10 minute break
  • 11:10 am    1 Hour Seminar*
  • 12:10 am    10 minute break
  • 12:20 pm    1 Hour LUNCH at Dark Hour catered by Ye Old Butchershop
  • 01:30 pm    1 Hour Seminar*
  • 02:40 pm    10 minute break
  • 02:40 pm    1 Hour Seminar*
  • 03:40 pm    10 minute break
  • 03:50 pm    Back stage tours begin. Groups of 20 will tour Dark Hour with 10 minutes between groups. The tour takes 1-2 hours for show and back stage areas. While groups are queueing, Dark Hour will demonstrate some acting exercises that their cast use while entertainment/infotainment plays on the stage screen.
  • 04:30 pm    Dinner/After-Party Room available at Love and War Restaurant (directly across the parking lot from Dark Hour).
  • 06:00 pm    Dinner
  • 08:00 pm    Return to Dark Hour for the show (a shuttle will be provided for those who are unable to make the walk).
  • 09:15 pm    After-Party at Love and War Restaurant, featuring a Q&A With Allen Hopps and Lucy Moore.
  • 10:15 pm    Buses begin loading to return
  • 10:30 pm    Buses return to the DoubleTree Hotel

*You will choose the specific seminars you want to attend upon arrival at Dark Hour.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

  • 09:30 am        Transportation departs for Dark Hour*
  • 10:00 am        Classes begin
  • 04:00 pm        Classes end
  • 04:30 pm        Transportation leaves Dark Hour
  • 05:00 pm         Return to DoubleTree Hotel

*This will likely be a personal vehicle (not a bus). If you’ve signed up for Sunday, Rich Bianco will give you specifics at registration.



DoubleTree Hotel Dallas/Richardson
1981 North Central Expressway
Richardson,Texas 75080
(972) 644-4000

Welcome to the DoubleTree Dallas/Richardson, a full service hotel with a prime North Dallas location. Enjoy fast and easy access to nearby Dart stations, which can take you to Plano or Downtown Dallas. Feel valued and cared for from the moment you arrive in the hotel lobby featuring an elegant waterfall. Savor a delicious warm chocolate chip cookie when you arrive, and relax in a comfortable Texas-size guest room with a flat screen TV. After settling in, enjoy a swim in our outdoor pool, or a work-out in the modern fitness facility. Begin each day with a delicious breakfast buffet offering an array of hot, cold and cooked-to-order options. Later, indulge in the finest regional cuisine at the Connected Cactus Restaurant, or unwind with a drink in the Java Connection Lounge, offering weekday happy hour specials.

The daily room rate is $109.00 plus tax for a Single or Double Room and includes a complimentary hot breakfast buffet, WiFi, and parking.

To make a reservation, call (972) 644-4000 and use Group Code TWT, or book online by clicking HERE.


DoubleTree Hotel

Registration Hours

6/22 FRI: 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

6/23 SAT: 8:15 AM - 9:15 PM


Contact Us

Questions while attending?

  • Rich Bianco 412-812-1773

Questions regarding the PHATES?

Questions regarding this website? Email savage@sinistervisions.com

What is the PHATES?

Each spring, the Premier Haunted Attractions Tour & Education Series will be an in-depth exploration of a remarkable haunted attraction, featuring a full show with behind the scenes access as well as special on-site seminars and workshops from the event producers and staff. Not only will you attend an amazing event, you'll learn from the skilled artists and craftspeople who make the magic happen. Other local attractions and additional days of specialized training and classes may even be offered before and after the primary event.

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