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What's Happening this Halloween Season at Lake Hickory Haunts? Find Out Here!

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NorthCarolinaHauntedHouses.com recently sat down with Ryan Settlemyre of Lake Hickory Haunts, to discuss what's new at Lake Hickory Haunts for the 2018 Halloween Season! Located in Hickory, this haunted attraction features nine unique haunts for thrill seekers to brave. Attractions include Nightmare Factory, Lair of the Undead, Shipwrecked, Extinction, Aftermath, Slaughterhouse, Descent, the Big Top Circus, and the Midway of Mayhem - will you be able to handle them all? There's only one way to find out!

What's new at Lake Hickory Haunts for 2018? Do you have any new rides, attractions, or special features that Haunt Seekers should know about?

There are many brand new attractions at Lake Hickory Haunts for the 2018 season! Our brand new attractions include: Descent, Lake Hickory 4D Asylum Experience, and Aftermath! Descent is a completely underground cave attraction, in which customers will walk through caves and caverns that are literally 10 feet underground! Lake Hickory 4D Asylum Experience is a state of the art 4D simulation that will be available on our Midway of Mayhem... Utilizing all the senses to create a sense of fear like no other! Finally, Aftermath is a post-apocalyptic city, similar to Mad-Max and The Walking Dead... Which victims must survive! Other significant changes/additions at Lake Hickory Haunts 2018 include a Nightmare Factory re-vamp, and midway additions and renovations... Just to name a few.

What are you most excited about for the 2018 Halloween Season?

I am most excited about our brand new Descent attraction. This has been a huge undertaking for us this year. It has required lots of planning, grading, building, and work! This attraction is truly unlike anything I've ever seen before. I'm excited about seeing our customers' reactions when they walk through a 10 foot underground cave attraction!

What differentiates Lake Hickory Haunts from other local haunts in North Carolina?

Lake Hickory Haunts is unique because we have a large body of water literally in the center of our haunt, this creates a completely unique environment and experience for guests. Another differentiating factor is our passion for our customers. We care so much about our customers that we will never stop working to improve our experience year-after-year. Because the customers' reaction is what makes all the work worth it. We are dedicated to bringing our guests the show that will best entertain and scare them! We don't think that we know it all, we think our customers know it all. As long as we're in business and scaring guests, we will put our customers first before everything else.

How long has Lake Hickory Haunts been in business? Can you tell us a bit more about Lake Hickory Haunts's history?

Lake Hickory Haunts has been open since 2012, which means this year will be our 7th season. Throughout these six years, we have expanded and grown tremendously. Back in 2014, we opened our haunted boat adventure, which was a revolutionary success. After two seasons with the haunted boat adventure, we discontinued it in order to add new, bigger, and better attractions. This also allowed us to utilize more of our land and increase our haunts length to about one hour! Throughout the last two seasons, we have added 4 completely new large-scale attractions. Through our history, Lake Hickory Haunts has continuously innovated and improved, in order to bring new experiences to our guests and fans. Now, in our 7th season and every season to come, we will continue to grow and improve our experience year after year!

What's your favorite experience since opening Lake Hickory Haunts?

My favorite experience since opening Lake Hickory Haunts is the same every year... Opening night! After working all year long, we're finally able to open and reveal our new additions and attractions to our customers and fans. In addition, it is awesome to witness our actors giving their all to scare and entertain our guests for the first time after a year of waiting. Opening night is a blast, and it kicks off the new haunt season, which is sure to be the best one yet!

How long is a typical haunt experience at Lake Hickory Haunts from start to finish?

Generally, the haunt takes 50-60 minutes to complete. This does not include the time spent waiting in line or enjoying attractions on the Midway of Mayhem. All in all, guests should expect to enjoy two hours of thrilling entertainment during their visit at Lake Hickory Haunts.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how scary would you say Lake Hickory Haunts is? Why?

On a scale from 1 to 10, Lake Hickory Haunts can be anywhere from a 7 to a 10. Many people would guess that the goal is to be a 10; however, I disagree. Ultimately, Lake Hickory Haunts is an entertainment business, our goal is to entertain guests and give them an experience worth their expense. Because of this, we train our actors and employees to study and know the guest as they're on their tour. Our goal is to focus the scare on those who are not scared, and to focus the entertainment on those who are too scared. In short, if you're the type of person that loves being scared to death, our monsters will see that, and relentlessly scare you to that level. On the other hand, if you're the type of person that enjoys less intense scares, but loves looking at detailed and immersive sets and special FX, we will do our very best to deliver that experience to you. Once again, customer satisfaction is our priority!

Does Lake Hickory Haunts's property have any real haunted history? Do you have a spooky encounter you'd like to share?

Our property doesn't have any documented haunted history. However, if you're working at the haunt late into the night during the off-season; It is guaranteed that some very strange and unexplained events will occur. I believe there is something to be said about spirits being drawn to haunts!

What inspired you to open up a haunted attraction? What's your favorite part of the business?

I have always loved Fall, haunted attractions, and amusement parks. I also have a passion for entrepreneurship and management. I decided to combine these interests and passions, in order to create an attraction unlike any other seen before. Lake Hickory Haunts is a haunted attraction, aspiring to be a literal large scale "haunted" amusement park. I once heard that if you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life. I'm not sure that that is true (Lake Hickory Haunts can take some serious work throughout the year to get ready to open) but, it certainly helps working on what you love.

How has new technology (i.e. animatronics, special props, etc) helped you to enhance Lake Hickory Haunts?

Animatronics, pneumatics, and projectors add an entirely new dynamic to our attractions. For example, our new 4D Asylum Experience is completely operated by animatronics, pneumatics, and electronics. Props and technology will NEVER be able to replace actors. However, we strategically place our animatronics and special props, so that actors can use them to their advantage. Rather than replacing actors with props, we simply add props along with them to make the experience that much better!

Can Lake Hickory Haunts accommodate large groups? How many people can experience Lake Hickory Haunts together as a group?

Lake Hickory Haunts can normally accommodate 4-6 guests per group. However, on slow nights, often times we can make exceptions to these numbers.

Does Lake Hickory Haunts offer any special deals, discounts, or coupons?

Yes, Lake Hickory Haunts offers many deals, discounts, and coupons. Lake Hickory Haunts offer's military, fire, police, and EMS discounts. Also, Free Parking passes can be found online at HauntedHouses.com and other locations... As well as many physical stores near Lake Hickory Haunts. We also have various special discount nights throughout the season. Visit lakehickoryhaunts.com to see our calendar for this information!

Anything else you'd like to let us know about Lake Hickory Haunts?

Lake Hickory Haunts is the #1 haunt in the Carolina's voted by fans on Fear Carolina. In addition, Lake Hickory Haunts has received many more regional, state, and national rankings from many other sources! Visit Lake Hickory Haunts this 2018 season and you'll be glad you did!




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