CFP: Fright Nights: Live Halloween Horror Events



Fright Nights: Live Halloween Horror Events

Editors: Kieran Foster, University of Nottingham (UK), and Cassie Brummitt, University of Nottingham (UK)

Horror’s origins – with its roots in folklore, mythology and the oral tradition – stretch much further back in time than screen media, and beyond even ‘canonical’ literature such as Frankenstein and Dracula. However, in the 20th century and beyond, horror as a media genre has become big business, especially in the screen industries where horror film and television franchises have become globally-exploited intellectual properties ripe for spin-offs, sequels, remakes, transmedia world-building and merchandising (Fleury and Mamber 2019, Harris 2010, Mee 2022).

What remains less explored in extant scholarly literature, which this edited collection intends to address, is the phenomenon of space and place within horror’s commercial logics. Importantly, the past few decades have seen a rise in immersive, interactive environments that draw on horror imagery as an indelible part of the attraction. Events such as escape rooms, immersive experiences and fan-led celebratory events enable horror intellectual property to escape the confines of the big and small screen to pervade cultural spaces globally (Kennedy 2018, Ndalianis 2010). These physical, participatory, often visceral environments have implications for the ways in which horror properties are materialised, remediated, and engaged with.

These kinds of immersive attractions are no more popular than at Halloween, where it has become increasingly common to see both branded and non-branded horror events take place across the globe. For example, in the UK, pop-up ‘scream parks’ such as York Maze’s ‘HallowScream’, or theme park events such as ‘Fright Nights’ at Thorpe Park, draw on non-branded horror, folklore and supernatural imagery. Meanwhile, internationally, events such as ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ (at Universal Studio sites in Orlando, Hollywood, Singapore and Japan) and ‘Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party’ (at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando and Disneyland Paris) exploit branded iconography, IP, and franchises.

Horror’s preoccupation with the abject and the visceral offers arguably unique opportunities to translate cultural fears into a physically inhabitable and interactable experience. Seeking to address this important phenomenon, this edited collection will examine Halloween-focused horror events as an under-explored but sizable part of horror media’s global creative and commercial logics, both historically and contemporarily.

We are seeking abstracts of up to 250 words in response to this theme (plus author biography up to 100 words). The form of contributions can be flexible, whether a standard chapter, an interview (for example, with a practitioner, an industry professional, or fans), an autoethnographic piece, or another creative means of exploring the topic.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Issues of labour in Halloween horror events
  • Marketing and promotional discourses of Halloween horror events
  • Franchising and intellectual property in Halloween horror events
  • Immersion and interactivity
  • Halloween horror events as film, media or literary tourism
  • Notions of play and lusory attitudes to Halloween horror events
  • Performance and emotion in Halloween horror events
  • Audience engagement and experience
  • Fan studies of horror events
  • Narratives and storytelling
  • Industrial relationships, logics and practices

Please send your abstract and bio to Dr. Kieran Foster ( and Dr. Cassie Brummitt ( The deadline for abstracts is July 24th 2023.


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