may 19-21, 2017


DoubleTree Hotel Dallas/Richardson

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



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.

Registration Hours

6/19 FRI: 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

6/20 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

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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