|Leeds, Alabama - Atrox Factory By Hauntworld Magazine
During the period from 1881 through 1920, Birmingham, Alabama earned the nickname The Magic City due to its rapid growth. From its founding through the end of the 1960s, Birmingham was a primary industrial center of the South. Today, not far from there, in Leeds, lives ATROX Factory® known for its
In the 1980’s, the Birmingham Jaycees Haunted House was the celebrated haunt throughout the city, and during the late 90’s, Slain Manor® ruled the scares in Alabama.
The creators of Atrox Factory® were an integral part in both of those great Southern Halloween traditions. With the Scream Team’s combined 60 years of experience in the Haunt industry, it’s fair to say they know a little something about haunting. Now in its 11th year, ATROX Factory® not only offers the Southeast one bad ass haunted house event, but they also invite the audience to meet their favorite horror celebrities with annual Horror Celebrity Weekends. ATROX Factory® has played host to some of the biggest names in horror including Linda Blair of The Exorcist, Robert Englund aka Freddy Krueger of Nightmare on Elm Street, Doug Bradley aka Hellraiser’s Pinhead, Dick Warlock aka Michael Myers, Gunnar Hansen of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Angus Grimm of Phantasm and of course Elvira®.
No other haunted attraction can claim such a prestigious list… Period. From its inception, ATROX Factory® has taken pride in offering additional
entertainment to their patrons. This has always been an integral part of ATROX Factory®.
The Atrox Scream Team believes the haunted house customers decide which haunt is biggest, baddest, best, scariest, etc. and are still humbled by the huge following ATROX Factory® maintains year after year. Atrox Factory is known nationwide as one of the best haunted attractions in America due to the amazing amount of work put into the set design, and special FX. Atrox Factory features a massive maze and some of the scariest monsters in America. Atrox Factory spends more time training and developing their staff than almost every haunted house in the country as they pride themselves upon making their guests scream! No expense is spared at Atrox Factory, every set, every costume, the training of their mosnters, to bringing in some of the biggest names in Hollywood to meet and greet the fans of Atrox Factory! Halloween means more to the crew of Atrox Factory than simply one month a year, this is a lifestyle building, designing, and developing new scarest year around. The team behind the screams attends haunted conventions, amusement industry tradeshows, trying to find the next biggest and best effects to install in Atrox Factory and when they don't see what they want their team develops their own creations. The team behind Atrox Factory are some of the most respected horrific minds in the entire Haunted House Industry. Atrox Factory attracts crowds from around the Birmingham Alabama area but also from haunt fans from around the Southeast and haunted house owners from around the World! What makes Atrox Factory one of the most respected haunted houses in the haunt industry? What makes haunted house owners from as far away as California, Texas, or other parts of the World come and visit Atrox Factory every single year? Atrox Factory is simply original, different, unique, scarier than what most who visit ever have experienced. The legend of Atrox Factory grows every single year and with that the team behind the madness must reach deeper into their bags of blood to keep the attraction cutting edge! Come and see one of the best haunted houses in America!
With ATROX Factory® haunted house beginning its 11th year, these masters of horror are celebrating by cranking up the fear to 11 as well! So, if you’re around Alabama this haunting season and you want to get your scare on… ATROX Factory® will be waiting to hear you scream!!!
Q & A with Paul Johnson of ATROX
Question: Our industry is always proud of every haunted house that participates in charitable offerings, but yours is solely a “charity haunt” which is so wonderful. How much have you been able to help your local Alabama charities?
Answer: Since 2002 we have given away over $2,000,000 to local Alabama 501C-3 Charities. The rest of our monies have gone back into the haunt itself each year filling up the 50,000 square feet of space.
Question: Your building is over 60 years old. I’m sure that’s where a lot of the money goes too. Would you agree?
Answer: Yes. Although we own the building and the assets, we try each year to take on certain projects to keep the 60+ year old building in shape like roof repairs, electrical, etc. It gets expensive if you don’t watch yourself. Plus we’ve added additional areas for the haunted house itself like Hollywood level makeup rooms, storage areas, prop rooms, and vacuforming areas, and of course creating new sets and illusions that only Atrox can deliver!
Question: For a building that old, I’ve got to ask… Is it haunted for real? Any ghosts?
Answer: Well, I’m not really glad you've asked… but yes, many believe so. In fact, a few paranormal ghost-hunter folks from around the area believe it is haunted too. When they ask me if I want to see what they’ve caught on film or hear what they have picked-up on their audio devices, I always decline. I’d rather not go there. Over the years, we’ve had some pretty unbelievable, unexplainable things happen, not only to us, but some of the outside contractors that have worked in the haunt have experienced ghostly oddities too. We’ve even asked the previous owner’s family about someone getting sick or dying while they were in business. I personally haven't had any experiences other than that haunting feeling of someone watching me or maybe the hair going up on the back of my neck. Although, I can always direct people to exactly where “they” are… It’s where I frequently feel those cold or hot spots in the haunt or other parts of the building. Maybe because the “whatever it is” knows my voice or my walk “it” doesn’t bother me much, but some of the crew have each heard a little girl talking on different occasions and other strange similarities. I could tell you dozens of stories, but I won’t bore your readers. Anyone wanting to hear ghost stories I’ll be glad to sit down with them over a beer. Some of the stories might blow your mind!
Question: What do you attribute much of your success to?
Answer: The haunted house staff (our Scream Team) is incredible. We are fortunate to have the people that continue to make this beast come to life each year. Thank you Kyle, Craig, Russell, Trap, Brian, Pat, Barry, Heather just to name a few. These guys are really the heart and soul of Atrox, not to mention the 130 paid actors and the multiple charities that will be forever in my debt.
Question: Atrox is well known in the haunted house community and throughout Alabama for having Celebrity Horror Nights. I’d love to know who all have visited Atrox?
Answer: Yes, Many celebrities that have graced our stage. Years back when we made our first trip to Transworld, we saw a gentleman at a booth signing autographs, Kyle pulled me to the side and said “Dude, do you know who that is?” I told him I had no clue. He said Gunner Hanson! At the time, I didn’t know who that was. I had played Freddie Kruger at the JCs haunted house many many years ago, but other than that I had not seen many horror movies except for the Macabre Theater, with the hostess with the mostest… Elvira. Still, I had no clue who he was. After we returned from the show I started doing some web searching and planned on meeting everybody that ever was in a horror movie. That began our celebrity appearances.
Since 2002, we’ve had appearances by Gunnar Hanson, Robert Englund, Doug Bradley, Kane Hodder, Jonathan Breck, Linda Blair, Dee Wallace, Tony Moran, Elvira, Adrienne Barbaou, Ernie Hudson, Bill Mosley, Sid Haig, Shawnee Smith, Ken Foree, Scout Taylor Compton, Tyler Mane, William Forsythe, Danielle Harris, Derek Mears, Mellisa Cowen, Brett Wagner, PJ Soles, Niaomi Grossman, Dan Yeager, Walter Phelon, Angus Scrimm, Dick Warlock, Tony Todd, Chris Carnel, Michael Berryman, J. LaRose, Michael Bailey Smith, Butch Patrick, Lisa Loring, and Dave Prowse. I may have left out one or two. Sorry.
Question: What are your future plans for haunting Alabama?
Answer: Our plans are to expand our footprint to a possible additional haunt further down the road, but for right now we are still making Atrox explode each year with new concepts and innovations that only the Atrox crew can dream up!
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