Eric Striffler Brings the Art of Fear Back to Haunting


By Guillermo Welch

Remember when your seasonal visit to the local haunted attraction was a bit more magical? The feeling of worry and excitement rushing through your veins to what could be around the corner? Let’s face it; the only thing scary about haunted attractions now is the price of admission.

Every year a new haunt opens, the old ones either close or struggle to survive; everyone has the same ideas and the same props…Where does it end?

For the last three years, a local film junkie and media guru has provided a thought-out and actually scary product. His name is Eric Striffler and his haunt is Nyctophobia. You’re going to ask “what makes Nyctophobia a better haunt than what we’re used to?” and of course I would say that there is no such thing as a better haunt from the last, but the difference is in the quality. Some haunts try to sell the idea that a visit to their show is like “being in your own personal horror film”, but often they fall short of that statement every time. What most haunt owners fail to realize is that they’re not writers or directors, so having them associate their show with even the worst films is absurd.

So, what makes Nyctophobia different?


Well, it has changed every single year, and I’m not talking about a wall or hallway. I’m talking about the entire concept. In 2012, it was a murder mystery ghost story where you traveled back in time. In 2011, it took what the average haunt was, tore out its guts and became this minimalist approach that caused the consumer to use one of the scariest things in the world, their mind…


Nyctophobia is more about quality than it is about quantity, no need to worry about getting pushed through the show or being added to a larger group-which ruins the experience completely for both the actor and the consumer. It’s about giving you the most personal experience you have ever had and to keep you talking about years later. Last season you went alone, the year before you were allowed up to two people per group and there is a logical science behind this- It’s about giving you the most personal experience you have ever had and to keep you talking about it years later. Nyctophobia is one of the most cinematic events to experience during the Halloween season. Where Nyctophobia will be this year is up in the air. But we must acknowledge the change of direction Striffler has taken the art of fear and applaud him for it.


When he’s not haunting, Eric provides commentary and reviews on film for entertainment news hub,
Pretty Much It, creates nerdy t-shirts for and directs films for and runs Existence Media.

Recently, Eric appeared on HuffingtonPost Live to discuss the coming YouTube “Pay Wall”.


View that video here:

And check out what Eric’s up to here:


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