An online database dedicated to haunted houses and other Halloween-related attractions has grown to include more than 110,000 vendors.
HauntWorld founder Larry Kirchner launched the custom online database in the late 1990s, aimed at helping haunted house owners connect with other owners outside of their own states, Nicole Fallon wrote in BusinessNewsDaily. A onetime haunted house owner himself, Kirchner’s original intent was to create a forum specifically for haunted house owners to share ideas.
“The original objective was nothing more than giving the industry a place to communicate so we could learn what they were doing in other cities – to share experiences and secrets of scaring people to get more customers,” Kirchner told the source. “I never really expected that the haunted house industry would get as big as it did.”
Online database reflects growth of industry
Today, the community that Kirchner created claims to be the world’s largest online database for Halloween-related activities and resources. Operators use it as a resource for finding inspiration, while visitors take advantage of the online database software to find local attractions, such as haunted houses and ghost tours.
Haunted houses are a lucrative part of a billion-dollar industry. The National Retail Federation estimates that about 158 million people will take part in Halloween activities this year, and they will spend an average of about $75 each on decorations, candy, costumes and activities. Overall, spending on Halloween has jumped by more than 54 percent since 2005. Total spending this year is expected to reach $6.9 billion in the United States.