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CLAY STEWART: This is my 17th year managing in the tourism industry. As a youth I worked in a few Haunted attractions, and in our Wax attraction the last 81/2 years. This is my first year to be totally responsible for the NIGHTMARE in the WAX MUSEUM haunted attraction.GH: Are you responsible for bringing Nightmare at the Wax Museum back to life last year? What made that happen?
CS: I really enjoyed my first run with the haunted attraction in 1998 and 1999, but our owners at the time no longer wanted to produce the show. Our attraction was purchased in 2004 by Ripley Entertainment Inc. and they ask us what we could do to help our business. The first thing that came to mind was bring back the haunted show. It was a no brainer, we had been receiving phone calls every year in October since 1999, asking about our haunted house. So in 2005, that’s what me and my previous GM did. It was a big undertaking, because we had sold all of our haunted stuff to a local haunt in 2000. So we had to re-purchase everything, but we did and had a great show last year..
GH: What does it take to transform the place into Nightmare at the Wax Museum? Is it true that you set it up and tear it down on a daily basis?
CS: It is a big transformation we go through to turn us into the NIGHTMARE at the WAX MUSEUM. It starts in the summer, we start checking all of the interior lights, and in september we have to remove one of our wax sets. We also have our NIGHTMARE facade that has to be constructed in the back of our building. The hardest part for us is the daily grind. We do use half of our Wax attractions for the haunt, so every night we have to close done early to the public and for 3 hours set up our haunted house in that part of the museum. After the night is over, we have to remove all of it, clean and reset everything for our daily guests to see our wax museum in its normal way..
GH: Can we expect anything new and/or special this year at the haunt?
CS: We have made 3 room changes for this year's NIGHTMARE. We have added our own style of butcher shop, a zombie room, and reworked circus room..
GH: What do you think sets Ripley's apart from the other area haunts?
CS: I think the main thing that sets us apart from other haunts is our long history, our use of our permanent sets, and that we are an actual Wax Museum. Lots of people think our wax museum is a little freaky. Making it a haunted house is what really messes with people’s minds. You are never sure what is WAX or ALIVE!
GH: So do you answer to Singe? What’s he like?
CS: Singe does pretty much whatever he wants to. He roams the facility at night waiting on people to tour his NIGHTMARE at the WAX MUSEUM.
Ripley's Nightmare at the Wax Museum opens Friday October 6, 2006
NOW to WIN