For years, the 13th Floor and The Asylum, have been Denver’s most popular haunted houses. But, it’s not just Coloradans who love these spooky spots, as they have garnered national attention as some of the best haunted houses in the nation. We sat down with Marketing Director Kaitlyn Jaffke to ask her about overseeing not just the Denver locations, but also six others throughout Colorado.F
Yellow Scene: How did you get involved with these haunted houses?
Kaitlyn Jaffke: I actually started out in 2012 as an actor. I had just graduated with my marketing degree, and I thought it would be fun to act in a haunted house. So, why not? I really enjoyed everyone who worked here, and the product they were producing. I mean, these people are super creative and accepting, and also kind of kooky. So when I heard there was a marketing position available, I applied and happened to be the right person for the job, I guess. I’m here now, so…
YS: Tell me what goes on marketing wise to get keep these haunted houses some of the best in Denver, and the nation?
KJ: There are so many different aspects to this business … it’s quite complex. As the marketing coordinator, I need to know a sense of what we are going to production wise, as well as operation, performance, theming, and creative to be able to present the brand strategy, and the brand, to the public. We focus a lot on the creative, and the different themed attractions each year. We have a whole creative team that works on that, and really digs into what scares us, or what is trending right now. I usually come in after the brainstorming happens and help them tighten up the ideas, really refine it for the public.
There are a lot of things to do with eight haunted houses in five markets. I work year round, and it keeps me busy. I’m good at juggling, but I’m not a juggling. Just good at juggling tasks.
YS: What new aspects can visitors expect this year?
KJ: We always update our each year, but to what degree just depends on what’s going on production wise, and what new technology is available. One of the new features this year, are puppet scares. They are very interactive, very well done, and completely operated by manpower, not animatronic.
For the 13th Floor in Denver, we have three new themes. One of them is “Hallow House,” which is focused on a sadistic clown who likes to invite children into his house. The second is “Undead What Lies Beneath,” which is a collection of nightmares and fears, and experiments that went wrong. The third, and final, is “Feral Moon” featuring your classic Halloween monsters, like werewolves and vampires.
Over at the Asylum, we are doing “Post Mortem: The Escape” where you get locked in a room for a period of time and you have to find your way out. “Primitive Fear: Patient Alpha” is the second piece, which is a zombie, rogue theme and is very interactive. The final piece to Asylum is “Abandoned” which the insane asylum theme.
YS: How do you make sure that each year is as good, if not better, than the last?
KJ: Honestly, if it seems scary, I think I’m doing my job. For example the “Hallow House” attraction with the clowns, I was terrified of the whole concept, therefore I think it’s probably going to be good. The more fearful I am, the more I know it’s going to be good. We all get excited about new ideas, and we all come up with new and different things, and the ideas that stick are the ones we are most excited about. It’s just a natural progression about where we are in time, and bringing something new and original. That’s what keeps people coming back.