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The Startacus list of Petrifying Popups

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by Startacus Admin

Search out your broomstick, dust off that cauldron and shake’n’vac the torture chamber, yes Halloween is once again upon us and here at Startacus, it’s one of our favourite times of the year.

Not only because it’s a day when strolling down the high street dressed as a blood-drenched brain-hungry zombie is perfectly acceptable (nay encouraged) but also because it’s a time of year that lends itself particularly well to one of our favourite and most regularly featured phenomena - the popup!

From haunted house attractions to popup fancy dress shops there is an enormous opportunity for spooky startups and vile ventures to make the most of the public's growing appetite for all things grim and ghastly.

We’ve had a lurid list of putrid popups to sift our way through. Here’s a few that we think are particularly creative:

Pup-up Shop Manhattan
No that isn't a typo. Pup-up shop is open for the first time this Halloween and exclusively sells Halloween costumes for - you guessed it - family pets. The shop is a popup of the store Ricky’s which is an edgy and unique beauty shop which took it upon themselves to inject a bit of excitement and (more than likely) some controversy into the well established costume popup business. While for some the idea of dressing their beloved pooch as Count Dogula is too much to bear, others will be all too keen to shell out some hard cash to include their furry friends in the festivities…I have a feeling this one could be back next year

Cursed 2013
It’s becoming something of an annual popup event now as this Essex attraction returns for the fourth time after its Screamie Award winning outing last Cursed 2013 BraintreeHalloween (Best Evening Halloween Event). Set in the peaceful and aptly named town of Braintree visitors are conveyed through a series of malevolent mazes and treated to a barrage of special effects and chilling live performances. Over the past few years Cursed has grown from a small startup event into Essex’s largest, and this year is kicking the scare-o-meter up a notch by moving into Cressing Temple’s historic barns - the event is an excellent demonstration of how even a popup event has the potential to grow into a thriving, lucrative and recurring venture.

Maize Mazes
Whilst dragging yourself through a cornfield in the dead of night with only a torch to light your way may seem to some like their worst nightmare, to us it sounds positively thrilling. It seems we are not the only ones! Maize Mazes are springing up all over the country as innovative and venturesome landowners seize upon people's thirst for fear by cutting intricate mazes through a field of crops. So popular has this Halloween outing become that there is even a Maize Maze Association which tasks itself with improving (i.e. making more terrifying) the Maize Maze experience and helping operators to run their seasonal attraction.

Galleries of Justice NottinghamHaunted-house tours
Whilst these are not new to the popup circuit and their theme park counterparts have been popular for a century, Halloween haunted house excursions have had a rapid increase in popularity over the last few years. We are particularly impressed by Fright Nights which has taken away the superficial frights often relied upon by halloween attractions in favour of the unaltered and chilling atmosphere of real life abandoned buildings. This year they are offering overnight paranormal investigation in a number of truly terrifying locations across the country including Ruthin Jail (North Wales) and the Galleries of Justice Nottingham. This is certainly not one for the faint of heart.

These 4 examples have hopefully given you an idea of the sheer range and scale of popup events which take place at this time of year. The public's love of all things morbid continues to grow and so long as it does there will be venturesome folks ready to feed their darkest desires.

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Published on: 31st October 2013

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