US haunted house brings Halloween horror to Hong Kong
Las Vegas-based organiser hopes to attract 50 per cent more visitors than it does in the States
Fright Dome Las Vegas, billed as one of the five scariest "haunted" attractions in the United States, will make its Asian debut on Victoria Peak next month.
"I am going to scare the living hell out of Hong Kong," creator, James Egan said on the fog-shrouded Peak yesterday.
He said Hong Kong had been chosen for the Asian foray because of the enthusiasm with which the city embraced the Halloween holiday.
"It is the first city that has actually taken the leap forward doing Halloween, but I don't think it has been scary enough so I really want a scary experience," he said.
The attraction, in its 11th year in the US, will run from September 26 to November 2, straddling Halloween on October 31.
Fright Dome features fog-filled attractions with ghoulish and gore-clad professional actors and six haunted houses.
Egan - who claims to have invested millions of dollars in the Hong Kong event, exceeding the budget of the Las Vegas one - hopes that attendance will eclipse the US event's figure of about 100,000. Rated as one of America's top five haunted attractions by AOL for seven years, the event has been held every September since 2003.
The Hong Kong display will generate more than 150 local jobs at the 15,000 sq ft site on the Peak Galleria rooftop.
"It is the most difficult location that we have ever done," Egan said.
"There are space constraints but the Peak and the Galleria have tens of thousands of square feet of space for us to expand the event in future years and I hope to partner with them for the next 10 years," he said.
"I am expecting a sell-out with a turnout of 150,000 people," he added.
Arrangements will also be made to cater to the city's tastes.
"We are working on [incorporating Asian elements] in our 3D haunted houses, and it's going to be a combination of American and Asian cultures with our strolling entertainers and costumes," Egan said.
"We are taking into consideration what the Asian culture wants … sometimes they don't want us to go as crazy and gory, like in Las Vegas where we are cutting heads off, so we will take it one step at a time in Hong Kong and see whether we can keep going over those boundaries."
The event organiser aims to draw mainland tourists to the attraction, with plans to visit Macau. Egan dismissed local competition from theme parks running their own events.
"I love Disneyland to death but I don't think they are competition," he said. "They are more little-kid-type stuff, they are not actors with chainsaws scaring the living heck out of you. Ocean Park put on an amazing show, but give me a couple of years and I will beat the heck out of them."
Admission fees range from HK$199 to HK$399 and tickets go on sale today.