Hauntingly Helpful at Mayhem Haunted House

I recently had the opportunity to visit some friends and tour a local haunted attraction called Mayhem Haunted House located in Ottumwa, IA. I had randomly met the curators of the show last October and have kept in touch since. I was thrilled to hear of another attraction in the area and made the trip last October to check out their show. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. I absolutely blown away by the amazing quality of sets and details as well as the dedication of everyone involved. I’ve been to dozens of shows over the years and I don’t like pinning shows as better than others, but my time at Mayhem was the most entertained I have ever been in a haunted attraction… And that’s saying something!

The group of organizers and builders of the show is chalk full of passionate and caring individuals whom all volunteer their time. Proceeds of the haunted attraction go to the Wapello County 4H supporting the local organization while providing a fun and thrilling experience for local teens and adults.

The group previously ran another area attraction known as Nightmare on 3rd St Haunted House until moving to the Wapello County Extension and Outreach in 2017 with a great Removal Company where it currently resides. 2019 marks the third season of their current location and they are continually adding, tweaking, and reinventing the space to keep things new and exciting for local thrill seekers.

Mayhem Haunted House is definitely a unique experience and is not to be missed! We’re very excited to visit again this coming October to see all the changes and additions.

Mayhem Haunted House is open Fridays and Saturdays in October starting on the 11th. For more information, visit Mayhem Haunted House on Facebook.

Frightful New Chapter

My how time continues to fly by. While the days of the home haunt seem like decades ago (It’ll actually BE a decade next year!) it also feels like just yesterday I was out in the garage painting walls and building corpses with my buddies. Life’s been a dizzying adventure since then but I’m happy to report that I’m getting back to my haunting roots.

Since my last entry, I have finished college, got a new apartment, started a career, and have slowly but surly continued laying the foundations to get back into the haunted attraction industry as more than just an “enthusiast.”

My contract with The Slaughterhouse Haunted Attraction ended at the end of the 2017 season which led to me turning my focus to my school work and career. I was fortunate enough to land a job I thoroughly enjoy right out of school which has taken up a majority of my time. However, the itch to get back to the spooky stuff never seems to go away for long.

I have tried to keep involved in the spooky scene by attending industry trade shows and conventions as well as play a part in Facebook groups and Halloween/haunted attraction web forums. These give me an outlet and opportunity to meet and converse with like-minded weirdos however it never seems to be enough!

About a year ago I was approached by two very good friends of mine about the opportunity to open a commercial attraction of our very own. Where and when were to be decided later, they just were looking at the possibility of doing something together down the road. I, of course, was extremely interested and talks began of a new attraction I could call home.

Over the preceding year, it was decided the attraction was to be housed in a roughly 12,000 sq ft warehouse space they own and currently lease out for the 2020 Halloween season. (There’s a bit more to that story, but I’ll spare you the dramatic details.) ūüėČ

With the location seemingly decided, we have seen been working on the planning processes such as budgeting, logistics, and all the super un-fun stuff necessary for owning a successful haunted attraction (or any business for that matter.) but things are moving right along and I’m extremely excited to get to work.

There’s obviously an eminence amount of pressure involved when starting a business, however with my being involved in the industry for 10+ years, previous haunt experiences and industry contacts, along with the knowledge and experiences of my business partners, I am confident we will be able to create some truly amazing things together.

As with the business aspects of everything, we’re still working on finalizing a name and logo however when things start to finalize, I’ll post further updates and information here! It’s been an incredible ride so far and am so extremely excited for this frightful new chapter!

Thanks for readying and stay spooky!

Fright Finds a Home

After years of working across the US and taking a few years off to focus on school, Fright has found a new home in Des Moines, Iowa! For the past year I have been working as a design and build consultant for a brand new attraction located in the heart of downtown Des Moines called The Slaughterhouse Haunted Attraction.

The Slaughterhouse has existed in previous years but was laid to rest after the 2012 Halloween season due to lack of a permanent location. However, since February of 2016, I have been working with the originators of The Slaughterhouse¬†to bring new life into their once highly renowned attraction. With focus on high-detail sets, Hollywood-quality masks and effects, as well as a huge warehouse with year-round access, we have been working diligently since last Halloween to bring Iowa’s Premier Haunted Attraction back to life.

It came down to meeting the right people at the right time and it’s been an amazing adventure so far! The owners of the building the haunt resides in, The Barnum Factory, have been working along side us this entire time to make our haunted dreams come true! Along¬†with the help of many of the original cast and crew, we also have teamed up with several local businesses from around the Des Moines area to make our first year back something to remember!

First off, Zombie Burger + Drink Lab, a Des Moines staple, has concocted their own take on a Slaughterhouse Burger which will be available at their East Village location. Firetrucker Brewery, in Ankeny, has been also working on their own version of a Slaughterhouse Draft which will be available for a limited time at the Zombie Burger downtown! We also have Monster Energy teaming up to help with promotions and to get the word out that we’re back up and running! For a full list of our 2017 sponsors visit our page: The Slaughterhouse 2017 Sponsors

It’s been an incredible ride so far and I’m so excited to show you what we’ve been working on! For more information, you can visit our website at herepig.com or check out the official Slaughterhouse Haunted Attraction Facebook Page¬†for pictures and updates!

The Slaughterhouse Haunted Attraction is open select dates in October starting Friday, October 6th, 2017.

New Project!

MY how time flies! Last time I updated this page was two years ago!!! I unfortunately haven’t had the opportunity to do much haunted house wise the past two years, but I have done a lot of growing as a person and have been quite busy! I am currently living in the capital of Iowa and have just been working and surveying possible haunt opportunities here in the city. There are a few haunts in the area that I am hoping to possibly work with this upcoming season so I can see what this area has to offer!


I have recently been talking with a haunt out in Longview, Texas called Graystone Haunted Manor. I have known the owner for a few years now and while at Transworld’s Halloween and Haunted Attractions Show this past March, we began talking about possibly working with each other this summer. After much discussion and schedule tweaking, I will officially be heading out to Texas next month! I will be working with the owners to design a build a brand new attraction for their 2015 season!

I am extremely excited to be a part of this project and am looking forward to getting back to work and doing what I truly love doing РBuilding haunted attractions! I am hoping I will be able to document the whole process and make a few updates on here to keep all interested parties up to date. You can also follow Zach Wiechmann on Facebook for news and updates!

That’s all I have for now! Thank you so much to everyone who has been following me and inquiring about my whereabouts and upcoming projects! I am thrilled to be back!

What an Adventure!


I have been back in Iowa for about a month now relaxing and enjoying time with family and friends. The time spent at Dark Hour Haunted House was the best three months I’ve had in a long time! The opportunity to work along side so many talented and inspiring people was an experience I will truly never forget. I am thrilled to have been a part of Dark Hour’s first year and am eager to see what the future holds.

As of lately I have been working around the house getting things ready for our annual holiday light display which just went live this past Thursday. From one extreme holiday to another, I am definitely keeping busy! Be sure to check out the Waverly Lights website for more details!

So, what’s next? Well that’s something I’m working on figuring out! Until then, I’ll be enjoying my down time and resting up for whatever adventure comes my way next!

An Exciting Update!


If you’ve liked us on Facebook or are following us on Twitter, you may have noticed some new posts about a new project I am working on. I am currently involved in a brand new haunted attraction called Dark Hour Haunted House located out in Plano, Texas.

I have been down here for just about a week now working around the clock to get things up and running for their opening in the next few weeks. It’s been an amazing ride so far and I am so thrilled to be part of such an enormous show! I have been working along side many talented artists and creators putting together one of the biggest shows I’ve ever seen… If not the biggest!

Be sure to check out the Dark Hour Haunted House Facebook as well as the Dark Hour Haunted House Twitter for updates, photos, contests, and more!

HauntedHouse.com Purchases Haunted Attraction Magazine!

Haunted Attraction Magazine, one of the longest ran publications for the Halloween and haunted attraction industry, has been bought by Haunt Holdings LLC, the parent company of HauntedHouse.com!


A post on their website read:

Haunted Attraction Magazine, the longest running haunted house
magazine sells it’s assets to industry leader, Haunt Holdings LLC,
the parent company of HauntedHouse.com

Houston ‚ÄďHauntedHouse.com, the world‚Äôs largest online directory
of haunted houses and Halloween activities, announced today that it
has purchased the assets of Haunted Attraction Magazine. With haunted
houses becoming over a 1 billion dollar industry, the merging of
these industry giants create a synergy destined to reach haunted
house professionals, hobbyists and the general public.
Industry veteran, Steve Kopelman, will be the Editor-in-Chief and
co-publisher of the magazine while Christopher Brielmaier will be the
art director and co-publisher.  Together they intend to publish a
quarterly magazine that will feature horror/haunted house celebrities
while providing an insight to an industry that has maintained double
digit annual growth the past decade.  Their first issue will be
published in September and will continue the Haunted Attraction
Magazine tradition of featuring the must see 31 haunted attractions
for the 2013 season. 
“This acquisition allows us a bigger voice in the industry and will
offer us the opportunity to even better showcase the haunted house
experience to the general public.‚ÄĚ Steve Kopelman, Co-Publisher.

This is fantastic news after the¬†debunked magazine seemed to fall off the face of the earth some months ago. I’m very eager to see what the new owners of the production do with it! For more information, visit the¬†Haunted Attraction Magazine Website.

Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 2013

Updates about Halloween Horror Nights Orlando have begun to surface! A recent post on the¬†events Facebook revealed¬†the dates of operation of its 23rd season as well as its tag line, “What evil has taken root?”.


Later posts include teaser photos of what the future holds for the event encouraging their fans to share pictures for more information and photos.

For more info on this event, check out the Official Halloween Horror Nights Orlando Facebook or visit the Halloween Horror Nights Orlando Website.

Oblivion to Return in 2013?

If you’ve been following our site for more than a couple months, you may have noticed a previous post dedicated to the Oblivion Haunted House based out of Wisconsin. After their 2012 season, the owners decided to sell their attraction and part ways. This decision was a sad one not only for myself, but for the large fan base the attraction managed to gather over the three short years of its operation. Another haunt had come to rest.

From posts off of the Oblivion Haunted House Facebook, it was clear that the owners had moved on to other projects planning a Halloween themed show at a local theater. It was only until recently that speculations of the attractions return began to surface.


In recent postings, the owners have encouraged their fans on Facebook to use the hashtag #oblivionhauntedhouse to receive clues about the attractions return. And while they have yet to release a solid answer as to¬†whether or not the attraction will be returning, I feel it’s safe to say that without a doubt Oblivion will be back for the 2013 Halloween season!


As a fan of their work, I’m extremely excited to see what becomes of this and am anxious to see when they will let the cat out of the bag officially. For more information about Oblivion, visit the¬†Oblivion Haunted House Facebook.

Back to the Drawing Board!

Well after much fuss and debate, I had decided that things just were not going to work out in PA, so I reluctantly packed my bags last week and headed back home. I’m of course let down that things didn’t work out, however after announcing my departure from PA, I was contacted by a couple friends of mine who may have a place for me in their operations.

While I am unable to speak publicly about the opportunities, I will say that I feel very strongly that something may come to fruition. However, with that said, I’m trying my¬†darnedest to not get my hopes up. If I’ve learned anything the past couple years it’s that nothing seems to go as planned – especially in the haunted house industry!

I will update this blog with any news or updates regarding getting involved in another show. Turns out the phrase “When one door closes, another opens.” stands true and I am extremely excited and eager to see how things pan out!

Haunt Show & Update

Just thought I would update you all on my progress out in Pennsylvania. While I’m still not officially an employee (working on getting paperwork ironed out) I have been able to be down at the haunt play a part in the whole process.

Earlier this month some of our crew and I attended Transworld’s annual Halloween & Attractions show in St. Louis and while this was my fifth time to the show, it was great going as a part of a haunt crew again! The entire time was a blast as always. It’s the one time of a year I get to see so many friends of mine from all across the map. It was so great! It’s was amazing how much a few short years can change things. From going to a kid who didn’t know hardly anyone in the industry, to running into old friends constantly in the hotel lobby and on the show floor.


While the show was a blast, by the end of our six day visit, I was definitely glad to be heading back to PA! We made off while quite a haul from the show and I was able to meet several other people in the industry. In all, it was a fantastic experience and can’t wait until next year!

As far as things at Hundred Acres Manor, as mentioned, things are still getting ironed out. However, things should be fully ironed out here in next few weeks. It’ll be quite a weight off my shoulders once things are finalized!

That’s all for now. As far as video/photos from the haunt show, I decided not to take any. There are hundreds of others (with better cameras and filming techniques) that took plenty of video and photos for everyone else to view. If you’d like to learn more about the haunt I’m working with, check out the Hundred Acres Manor website¬†or for information on the haunt show, visit the Transworld Halloween & Attraction Show website.

A Legend Comes to an End

When first getting involved in the haunted house community, there’s one haunt that always had a special place in my heart. It was the very first big pro haunt I visited ¬†and proved to be an amazing inspiration for not only myself, but countless other haunters and enthusiasts who were able to visit their show. Sadly, after 13 years, Dream Reapers Haunted House in Melrose Park, IL has closed its doors for good.


What made DR so different than so many other haunts was their amazingly strong acting troop. Each actor had their own character with full costume and Hollywood quality makeup making the interaction between customer and actor a very entertaining and convincing experience.

For years Dream Reapers (DR) was rated one of the best haunts in Illinois, and was recognized nation wide as one of the best in the industry. When the Transworld Halloween and Haunt Show took place in Chicago, DR would open its doors allowing haunters to tour the halls of their legendary haunt. When hearing of its closing, several haunters on social media sites and forums mentioned how much they enjoyed DR the 13 years it was open and how inspiring it was. It was truly a legend and will truly be missed by many.

Next Frightening Step

For the past two years I have been searching for ways to get back into the haunted house industry. I have done quite a bit of networking (as mentioned in previous posts) and gotten to know other people in the community across the map. I’ve done all of this in hopes of finding a new place to call my haunting home.

I have thought about trying to do another attraction here in Waverly, but have decided that getting out and working for other attractions will be better for me later on down the road. It will allow me to further grow and understand the industry all while not having the stress and responsibility of owning it all which is something I feel I will greatly appreciate! Running my own show was a ton of fun… I loved every minute of it. However, I’m quite looking to be an “underdog” and not be the one responsible for everything.

Anyhow, after talking to several friends, whom live all over the US, I have decided to pack my bags and move to Pennsylvania. While there, I will be working at one of the top rated haunted attractions in the US known as Hundred Acres Manor located in Bethel Park, PA. I have known the operator of this attraction for a few years now and have visited a couple times and had such an amazing time every time. While their show is already one of the best in the US, I’m quite looking forward to being able to help make it that much better this coming Halloween season.


This move has a lot of mixed emotions behind it. I will obviously miss my family who all live here in the¬†Midwest¬† but I am simply¬†ecstatic¬†about this amazing opportunity that has been offered to me. Also, in some way, I feel as if the move will serve as the official good-bye of Front Yard Fright which is just absolutely¬†gut-wrenching. I so¬†desperately¬†wanted to get another show up and going here, but in the back of my mind I knew it was highly unlikely and unrealistic. However, as I said, this opportunity should prove to be a fantastic learning experience and who knows… Perhaps I’ll return to Iowa and be in the right place at the right time and be able to open up my own show. Only time will tell. Until then, I can’t wait to get out to PA and be able to get back to my one true passion… Haunting and scaring the pants off of unsuspecting patrons!

I want to thank my family and friends for being so incredibly supportive of this weird and zany life style. I’ve enjoyed the adventure so far and am extremely excited to start a new horrifying chapter.

– Zach

Scary to Merry

As many of you may know, not only did we do Halloween big, we’re also known for our Christmas light display we put on every year. When we were doing our haunted house, tear down would start right after our last patron went though our doors. All in preparation for the area’s largest light display around.

We’ve always been really into both Halloween and Christmas, however we always seemed to have more Christmas lights and decorations. My dad, John, started decorating in the early 90’s with a few strands of lights and and a couple plastic lawn ornaments. Over the years, our display grew¬†drastically including adding large inflatable characters, plywood cartoon cutouts, as well as more lights and plastic ornaments.

While our display was quite large, it was also quite static. With hundreds of Santa Clauses and snowmen covering the lawn, after a few years, it needed some freshening up. In 2008 we made the leap into computer controlled displays using Light-O-Rama software. It was a huge undertaking requiring months of programming as well as the typical weeks of actual set up of the display.

While we called it quits for our haunted house in 2010, we still continue to put together our Christmas display every year. Adding new elements to the show as well as changing up the program from year to year. We put a great deal of work into our display every year but it all becomes worth while when you seen the dozens and dozens of cars drive by every night.

If you’d like to learn more about our holiday display, or would like to see video, be sure to visit www.WaverlyLights.com. Also be sure to like Waverly Lights on Facebook or follow Waverly Lights on Twitter.

Another Haunt Laid to Rest

The past two years that we haven’t ran our own attraction, I have spent networking with several haunted attraction owners across the map. Some I’ve just chatted with online, others I’ve met at trade shows, and some I’ve actually visited during haunting season to check out their attractions. One of these attractions being Oblivion Haunted House in Menasha, Wisconsin.

 Oblivion Haunted House was started in 2009 by Erick Gyrion, Aaron Dobberfuhl, and Dan Doble and right from the start they offered a unique and frightening experience for their unsuspecting victims. They were able to make amazing quality sets and scares with little to no budget Рsomething admired by most haunters!

I was fortunate enough to visit Oblivion not once but twice the past two seasons. My favorite part of the show was their amazing attention to detail in their sets. With Erick working in theater, it was no surprise how convincing their show ended up being! From the gritty rusted pipes breaking through the wall to the glistening piles of bloody body parts, he had it down to a science which was something I always admired.

As with most haunted attractions, Oblivion had to be torn down (for one reason or another) after every season and stored. However, they were fortunate enough to at least secure the same location from year to year. After four years of building and tear down, it was relieved that they would no longer be able to use the same space for their 2013 season. With talking with Erick, there was talks of trying to rent a different space for next season but after much debate, they have decided to get out of the business and sell all their assets at an upcoming sale this Sunday.

Many Oblivion volunteers (whom I have befriended on my visits) were shocked and¬†disheartened¬†after hearing news of the haunts demise. I’m sure they were excited to see the haunt move to a new location much the way I was.

After briefly talking with Erick after the announcement, it is my understanding that he will remain in the industry through one way or another and is looking forward to a season off to visit friends and other haunts in the area – Something I can closely relate to!

In closing, I’d like to wish the guys from Oblivion the very best of luck with their future endeavors. I have no doubts that they will be making another¬†appearance¬†back into the haunt scene maintaining their reputation of making incredible works on a shoe string budget!

Welcome Fright Fans!

Hello and welcome to the new Front Yard Fright webpage! Please excuse our mess as we continue working on getting things up and running 100%. As you may already know, Front Yard Fright was put to rest after its six and final season in October of 2010. However, I have hopes of keeping the memory of Front Yard Fright around for some time! Who knows – Maybe we’ll be back sometime later on down the road. Only time will tell.

In the mean time, I am quite enjoying having free time to relax and enjoy life. With haunted house season in full swing, and Halloween just around the corner, I’m extremely excited to be able to travel and see other haunts around the US as well as visit friends who run haunts across the map.¬†Though, in the back of my mind, I know running my own show is something I so desperately need to do sooner or later.

I intend to use this site to keep all Fright Fans updated on any possible plans for a future show. I also plan on uploading news articles, pictures, and videos of previous years as some what of a memento to the first six years that got me started in this crazy, yet exciting industry. Stay tuned and thanks for visiting!

Zach Wiechmann
Creator of Front Yard Fright