- Category: Business Spotlight
- Published on Friday, 26 October 2012 01:00
- Written by Nicholas Shannon Kulmac
Halloween has always been a special time of the year for Brian Mudgett and his father Mike. Over the years, the Vancouver natives spent many October nights transforming their front yard into the scariest Halloween scene in the neighborhood.
“That’s how we bonded and got into this,” said Brian, who along with his father, owns Confront Your Fears, a trio of haunted houses located in the Vancouver Plaza shopping center.
This is the second year in a row the Mudgetts have brought Halloween haunts to the Vancouver Plaza – a location that Brian called a “perfect fit” with its proximity to SR-500. However, attendees of last year’s single Confront Your Fears attraction “Apocalypse,” will find many more scares this year.
“We didn’t want to open with the same thing as last year,” explained Brian. “Since last November we’ve been remodeling Apocalypse and getting it to what we consider a good haunted house. We also added two more haunted houses across the parking lot in addition to carnival rides.”
Producing a detail-rich experience takes several months of labor and a lot of help, according to the Mudgetts. Each haunted house maze is designed using modular construction techniques, built on carved recycled foam with wood backing. Spooky details are then airbrushed, aged and hand painted on.
Approximately 100 people help the Mudgetts put on their Halloween show – that includes builders, designers, makeup artists and actors.
“It’s not just about the theme when you’re constructing a haunted house. It’s about making sure you’re orchestrating every single scare perfectly right,” noted Brian. “When we draw up the floor plan, we have to measure the amount of time it takes a person to get from point A to point B. We have to time the animatronics scares and special effects so that everyone gets the perfect show.
“The experience is the most important thing,” he added.
Confront Your Fears kicked off its 2012 season on September 28. Thus far, Brian said, attendance hasn’t been as heavy as he had hoped. However, he said it has been comparable to last year.
“Right now I think just because of elections and the economy people are pretty conservative about their money,” he said. “We were expecting a little more as far as attendance, but we’re still doing fine and going to be able to move forward after this year.”