Haunted House Themes: The 1990s
1999: Haunted Shipwreck took another popular source of legends and tales and turned the Haunted House into a ship filled with phantoms, skeletons, and creatures from the deep.
Co-Chairs: Sarah Carter, Julie Lemke
1998: Haunted Safari left the Minster family motif behind as it turned the Haunted House into a jungle land populated by safari guides, archaeologists, witch doctors, big game hunters, and gorillas.
Co-Chairs: Lisa Sprunger, Susie Stinebaugh
1997: Minsters Travel to Egypt found the ghoulish family from the two previous years, inspired by a trip to Egypt, redecorating their spooky mansion with mummies and other Egyptian mementos, including turning one room into a crypt. This was the year that the “Lights On” tours of the house were changed to “Fright Free,” which led to increased attendance by families with preschoolers.
Co-Chairs: Julie Husselman, Susan Sharp
1996: Minsters Bash once again featured the Minster family characters from the previous year, as well as Victorian mansion façade, and the same basic house interior. What was new was the addition of a Haunted Carnival on the museum’s new Festival Park plaza complete with games, crafts, concessions, and costumed characters.
Co-Chairs: Martha Plager, Lisa Stewart
1995: Haunted “House” was an elaborate production involving the construction and installation of a three-story façade that gave the front of the museum the appearance of a battered Victorian house. The interior of the Johnson-Weaver Pavilion was also divided into a series of rooms—a parlor, dining room, library, etc.—along with a cobweb-clogged maze. The house was inhabited by the Minster Family (obviously inspired by the former television series The Munsters), who became recurring characters for following two Haunted Houses. Though costly and time-consuming initially, the façade became a permanent part of every Haunted House afterwards since it could be taken apart, stored, then put back together each year.
Co-Chairs: Lucy Gonso, Laura Villanyi
1994: International House of Haunts took a global perspective on Halloween with features such as Godzilla, the Phantom of the Opera, and the Abominable Snowman.
Co-Chairs: Shari Gooley, Kris McCready
1993: Wicked Wild West contained a stage coach and a giant train among its many special effects, with rooms based on well-known Western films such as the High Noon variation “High Doom.”
Co-Chairs: Sallie Jo Mitzell, Cathy Van Westrum
1992: Nautical Nightmares sent visitors home with a live goldfish—after, that is, they made their way through “Pirates of the Scareabean” and “Sculligan’s Island.” There was also a contest called “Hunt for Red Octoboo,” which challenged youngsters to find a pirate in every room of the Haunted House.
Co-Chairs: Dori Dodson, Deb Thornburgh
1991: Sports Spooktacular took on the popularity of sports with such attractions as “Monday Fright Football,” “Wimbledoom,” and the “World Scaries,” with characters such as John McInwolf and Boo Ruth in attendance.
Co-Chairs: Amy Flynn, Joan Miller
1990: Haunted Hollywood used some of Tinseltown’s best-known films and characters as the basis for rooms such as the “Gore with the Wind” room featuring Scarlette O’Scare.
Co-Chairs: Charlene Barnette, Sally Lanham