Today, we interview Christopher Pritt of The Hidden Haunted Attraction in East Liverpool, OH. This spooky attraction will entertain you while scaring you to death.
How are you involved with The Hidden Haunted Attraction?
My name is Christopher Pritt. Since the opening of The Hidden back in 2018, I have gone from being an Actor to a Board Member. I am currently an active Board Member, along with Dawne Bednarek, Ron Criss, & Debra Smith.
My job is to handle all of the graphics, marketing, and social media accounts for the haunt, but once we open for the season, I am also a well-known resident within The Hidden.
Since The Hidden Haunted Attraction is nonprofit, where does the money go towards?
The Hidden is essentially a major fundraiser for the Tri-State Trillium Foundation (T.S.T.F.). “Tri-State” refers to the three states the foundation covers (Ohio, West Virginia, & Pennsylvania), while “Trillium” comes from the foundations home state(OH) wildflower, the Trillium Grandiflorum.
100% of the profit goes to the foundation for their annual T.S.T.F. Scholarship Award fund. Each school year, the foundation accepts applications from seniors in Ohio, West Virginia, & Pennsylvania who have impacted their community in some way through volunteerism. Volunteerism is what the foundation prides itself upon since it wouldn’t even exist without the dozens of volunteers that work together to make up The Hidden Haunted Attraction.
Tell us a little about the Haunted-Mini Golf.
We offer two attractions at The Hidden. One would be our Haunted Trail that is sure to test all of your fears & phobias. The other is something that is very rare to find at haunted attractions, 18-Holes of Haunted Mini-Golf.
Contrary to our Haunted Trail, the Haunted Mini-Golf is kept absolutely kid-friendly. Kids & adults of all ages will be taken on a journey witnessing the dreams of our Course Designers: Gary & Jess Hegerle, and Bob & Carol Gresh come to life through many different scenes, and animatronics as they putt from hole to hole.
What concessions do you offer and what is the most popular food or drink item?
Back by popular demand, Moonster’s Concessions will be returning for the 2022 Haunt Season. They offer a large variety of food, as well as treats. I would have to say by listening to the customers, it’s a must to get the “Moonster Burger” & their fresh fries.
What do you look for in an actor?
In an actor, we look for the most energetic & outgoing individual who has the same passion for scaring that we do. We look for actors that want to be the first to show up, & last to leave, who are thinking of ideas for next year when it’s November, and those who want to be involved in the entire process.
We love our “veteran actors”, but we also love the “newbies”. They always bring fresh, new ideas to the table, and not only do we teach them, they teach us some things too. We welcome all people from 14+ years old who wish to become a member of our haunt family.
What inspires you to create scary scenes for the haunt?
Many of our scenes are inspired through individual dreams of ours, or as a group at our “beginning of the year” meeting with all of our actors. We want our actors to help design the scenes that they’ll be working in, so we take every idea from our actors and build off of them.
After the meeting, the Board Members will get together and play around with all of the ideas. We will sit & imagine the scene as if we were walking through it. We draw many different designs, pictures, & diagrams until we come up with a scene that we feel will give the best scare.
Between us four Board Members, we have a countless number of years of experience in the scaring business. We know what scenes work and what ones don’t. We know exactly how to build & position a scene to manipulate our customers minds. We take it from the level of “Let’s scare them” to “Let’s make them never forget”.
If you could change one thing about your haunt what would that be?
I can answer this real easily, not a single thing. Sure, we would love to be out of the weather and inside of a building, but over the years we have learned how to adapt & cope with mother nature. Our customers never mind the weather, so we never will.
Whether you prefer a calm, kid-friendly Haunted Mini-Golf adventure, or a heart pounding trip that is sure to get your adrenaline pumping through our Haunted Trail, The Hidden is that “must go to” attraction for families all over the Tri-State Area, and that is something we don’t ever want to change.
When do you start building your haunt for the season?
The building process is something that never stops with us. Between our Haunted Mini-Golf & our Haunted Trail, we are always building something for the next season.
When do you start planning for next season?
Next season usually starts getting planned before the current season is over because we get pumped up while we are open, we just can’t help but to look forward to next year.
How did you first get involved in the haunt industry?
All four of the current Board Members started their careers in the haunt industry as actors at other haunts. Ron & Dawne started over 25+ years ago as actors, and as time went on they moved up to higher positions. I started in 2017, and Deb started in 2019.
What is your favorite scary movie?
Personally, I’d have to say it is a 3-way tie between Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, and Halloween. You can never go wrong with a saw, a butcher knife, and a machete.
What are some memories of Halloween you have?
Before I started my haunt career, I’d spend my time after school at home starting in September decorating my house and turning it into a mini-haunt. I would enclose the whole porch, build a dark tunnel, put scenes in my yard leading up to the porch, just the whole 9 yards. My house became the destination spot on Halloween. Kids, teens, & adults would make it a point to come and see what I had created for that year and grab some candy before getting chased by a clown with a chainsaw.
The Hidden Haunted Attraction is located at 16410 Irish Ridge Rd in East Liverpool, Ohio. For more information on them, please visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thehiddenhauntedattraction.