There are 2 versions to every story. A short and a long version. Here is how we started doing what we do and we love it.
Short version of our story:
We at Dimension of Horrors, L.L.C. love all things Halloween. We are a family who is very close and regardless of the horrifying things we create, our kids and safety come first. Naturally most things Halloween are focused towards children. However there was not a great deal of things that adults could do to celebrate such a passion. So our family decided to throw a Halloween party for those we knew and add a home haunt in the mix for something different. People of all ages attended and loved it, a lot! So we continued to celebrate Halloween in this fashion until one day we were finally convinced by those attending to do a haunted house for all to enjoy if they chose to.
After a couple years of organizing, we came up with the name Dimension of Horrors and that would become our base company to start everyone off with. We wanted it to be a fun experience for everyone. No political, religious, or hidden agendas like some have been in recent past years. We want just basic original themed Halloween scary in your face fun for all to enjoy if they wanted. We opened our first haunted house in Medford, WI. Things went well but it seemed that more people were driving from a distance, so we decided to move the haunt to a larger area. In 2012 we opened in Wausau, WI and had a fairly warm welcome. Attendance has been modest but increases each year.
Now in our 4th year(2015) we are starting up a new business that kind of coincides with the Halloween theme though that part will be seasonal. It will be called "Phantom Laser Tag." This will be a modern warfare type laser tag facility with an urban combat style feel to it. By using modern weaponry looks and the most advanced electronics in the industry, we feel this will be a unique experience that people will get nowhere else. We plan on opening the facility in Wausau by late 2015-early 2016. We also plan on integrating our new Haunt in October, 2016.
Long version of our story:
Dimension of Horrors, L.L.C. was started because like so many other Halloween enthusiasts in the industry, the enjoyment of Halloween related activities is one of our favorite times of the year. There was one huge problem with living is this part of the state though. No such events were available to attend without traveling 100+ miles to find some. So since Central Wisconsin was severely lacking in these types of events, we felt a need to do something. With such feelings of frustration and disappointment, what else could a person do? Well, we ultimately came up with a solution; Build our own Haunted House of course!
It all began in 2007 with the plan of doing a small haunted house in our basement for our family, friends and neighbors during Halloween of 2008. It was nothing special. We threw together some black plastic to make the walls, cheap props and costumes for the friends who would play the monsters, Finally we added some corny sets with mediocre lighting and some fog here and there. It didn't take more than a few days of work with 4 or 5 people helping out a couple hours at a time. We had a blast doing it so if nothing else, it was worth doing just for the fun of it. Everyone had an awesome time. In fact, people were so impressed and enjoyed it so much that they urged us to keep doing it and make it available for others to go through. After a couple years of pondering a larger, more elaborate event we were convinced that the time was right for us to give something more involved a try. Something that would be available for everyone interested in Halloween to experience and enjoy.
The idea of starting our own Haunted House that was open to the public, was born. We set our plans to open our first haunt in Medford, WI for the 2011 season. This plan was rather ambitious for just 2 guys who loved Halloween but none the less we pursued it with vigor. After 2 years of planning, scrutinizing and living on PB&J sandwiches for many meals just save up enough money for the materials. We were finally ready to start acquiring the necessary materials we needed to build a haunted house that we hoped would be good enough for people to really enjoy. After finding a suitable location (an old, drafty 10,000 square foot warehouse), we started our little project of horrors which would end up taking about 3 months to complete. Running out of time on opening night, things were as near complete as we could make them.
Time was up, It was opening night and 3 hours to show time. Actors and volunteers started showing up. 2 hours to open, where did all the time go. Sill working on room finishes, lighting and spfx. So much to get done, so little time. 1 hour to open, actors getting ready for bone chilling make-up and donning unnerving costumes, all meant to complete the effect of each scare. 30 minutes to open, some roles yet to be filled, makeup and costumes are not all complete yet, lights don't work, missing audio in some rooms. Things never seem to workout in real life as they do on paper. It's 7:00 P.M. UT OH!!! Showtime and we are not ready. People are still MIA and those that are present can be heard running every which way. Crashes and bangs, not part of the night's planned scares can be heard from various locations around the haunt. Scurrying monsters in a frenzy of last second jobs to complete in order to fulfill their roles as monsters of the night in our maze of gory rooms, suffocating passages and bloody hallways of torment. Our haunted creation truly was a Labyrinth come to life. A maniacal layout of wrong turns and dead ends with a nasty surprise around every bend. It was therefore aptly named "The Labyrinth of Tortured Souls." We are now open for the first time to total strangers.
What will they think? How will they react? Will they like it? Anyone not in the business of public entertainment cannot imagine how much an opinion of a complete stranger can make or break one's evening. I can assure you, it is an extremely exciting and terrifying experience.
Regardless of what people would say, we would still be proud of our twisted creation and rightly so. It was more work than anyone thought and took so many hours of literal blood, sweat, and tears to make it all come together. We felt it was one hell of an achievement, but what about the paying customers? Would it be good for them? So many questions that we craved answers to. As people started to enter, the first group approached their first test. Screams.... lots and lots of constant screams met everyone ears. Then more screams, wonderfully terrified cries pleading for the terror to stop. Customers returning from the directions they entered. It was music to the ears of a Haunter. As it turns out, our haunted house appeared to be more than what people were ready for. We started getting feedback that it was too scary. People were have difficult time making it all the way through to the end.
After the first night of being open, we had 2 people wet themselves and another 21 people that couldn't make it half way through. Hmm, we were surprised at this but knew we had worked very hard to make it as scary as possible, however it didn't seem like it would be as scary as people were telling us. Maybe people were just not use to a haunted house that was designed with scaring an adult as most of the haunts through-out the years have been tailored towards kids. None the less, we continued with leaving it as is.
Due to the amount of customers that discovered how scary it was, we had to develop a policy to help us and customers understand how to deal with that type of situation. This policy is called our "Surrender Clause." You can read more about that HERE. As the season continued it turns out that the Labyrinth would be one of the best in the area and all thanks to you our customers. Without you guys, it wouldn't be what it is today so please be patient while waiting for the next adventure we have planned for you. We think it will be amazing. Check back in the next couple weeks as there is much, much more to come.
To be continued......Our move to the Wausau area.