Making Money & Memories on Photos of Freaked Out Haunted House Patrons

Making Money & Memories on Photos of Freaked Out Haunted House Patrons

Happy Halloween from the PhotoShelter team!

You know what’s even scarier than zombies and vampires? Being a professional or aspiring photographer and trying to figure out where you’re gonna land your next paycheck.

Nobody can deny the changes in the photography industry that have led to today’s fiercely competitive market–selling images and photography services is more challenging than ever before. So it might be time to think outside the box when it comes to your “traditional” photography job, and consider different ways to make money from photography.

That’s what happened at Nightmares Fear Factory, a massive haunted house attraction in Niagara Falls, Canada, where owner Frank Lapenna got the idea to set up a camera in his haunted house to catch people’s reactions. The photos are all taken at the exact moment when visitors see something that’s evidently absolutely horrifying. You can’t help but roll over laughing at the expense of these people’s fear, and even though they wouldn’t tell us what the people are seeing that’s so terribly scary (hint: it is not Lindsay Lohan), the team at Nightmares Fear Factory did answer a few questions about the project for us:

How did you come up with the idea to take photos inside a darkened haunted house?

About 10 years ago, the owner, Frank Lapenna, wanted to take photos of people at a certain part in the haunted house. He was inspired seeing those pics of people on roller coasters in many theme parks. But it was much more challenging to do it in a pitch black haunted attraction, just based on when the pic get taken and where the subjects are in the frame. He found a guy at an industry conference who he worked with to develop the software to take and crop these pictures.Long story short, he thought’s it’d be a great souvenir for our customers.

When you saw the first few images, what was your reaction?

The first images were taken with a regular camera with a flash. He’d take the picture then run out of the maze to look at it and basically died laughing!

Was this project viewed as a supplementary revenue stream?

Essentially yes…that and as mentioned, we thought it’d be a great souvenir for our customers – just like at amusement parks.

Plenty of people have speculated what those people are seeing… Can you give us a teaser about what it is?

Nope, sorry 🙂


So while we won’t know what true terrors lie at Nightmares Fear Factory until we visit, at least we have the photos below to hold us over…


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