Haunted House Ticket Sales Down

(Ambient sound from Phobia)

The lines are long at Phobia in Northwest Houston, even on a school night. But despite appearances, business has been slightly off this year. Larry Wicker is Phobia’s operations manager.

“We’re perhaps down 5%, and that’s mainly because, the issue is rain in our business. We’re basically farming, and so if there’s too much rain, it’s bad.”

Phobia isn’t the only haunted house in town that’s having a tough time. Jim Fetterly is owner and operator of ScreamWorld.

“Like all haunts across the U.S., we’re down somewhat.”

The Haunted Attraction Association, an industry trade group, cites several reasons for falling attendance — ranging from the cost of gas to rising ticket prices. Radio advertising is also proving less effective, as more potential customers stream their music off the Internet.

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