Oct 15, 2021 - News

Haunted houses face lumber, microchip shortages

An actor with a bird mask from Slaughterhouse haunted attraction

An actor from the Slaughterhouse Haunted Attraction in Des Moines. Photo courtesy of Slaughterhouse

Here's a frighteningly real scenario: Operators of haunted houses, which heavily rely on now-scarce construction materials, had to pay premium prices to build their attractions or they weren't able to open at all.

State of play: High-lumber prices stalled construction for Zombie Hollow in Winterset this past spring. The operator told KCCI that they faced quadruple the typical costs.

  • Meanwhile, padding material that Merlyn Linn uses for Linn's Haunted House jumped from a couple bucks to $28 a piece, he told Axios.
  • And immersive attractions that rely on microchips and computers for motion-sensor lights, sound and animatronics struggled sourcing materials, said Ian Miller, owner of The Slaughterhouse Haunted Attraction.

Luckily, Miller and Linn were able to open their haunts in part because they already had the majority of the supplies they needed prior to this year's global supply chain disruptions.

  • But Zombie Hollow decided to stay closed this year because of spiked lumber prices.

What they're saying: Linn, who's run his haunted house for 20+ years, said he could build "two homes" from the amount of lumber his attraction requires.

  • Being a new owner would be near impossible now because of prohibitive costs, he said.

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