Working with monsters and the macabre

Halloween’s great for dressing up and partying and the excitement it generates is good for the retail industry too. Spending on novelty goods, costumes and themed foods all contribute to making this the third biggest retail event in the UK (after Christmas and Easter), worth well over £300 million, as this brief piece from the market intelligence agency Mintel shows:  Halloween spending in UK set to reach 320 million 

Apart from the retail side, there’s money in monster experiences. If you’re someone who just can’t get enough of spooky scenarios and gruesome gigs you may be casting an envious eye on the people who are creating a career out of them.

The scare entertainment industry has expanded over the last few years. Some scare attractions, scream parks, fear farms and haunted houses operate all year round, others feature as seasonal specials hosted by less niche theme parks, or open for just a few weeks each year.

Companies specialising in the design and creation of these attractions will vary in scale; with the largest of them calling on the services of a wide range of staff including creative directors, theming consultants and experience designers who work with the client to develop the concept. They are also likely to employ engineers, project managers, animatronics experts, and special effects designers. Some companies have an emphasis on the events side, rather than creating the physical attraction, and need casting directors, make-up and prosthetics experts and lots of performers. Click here and here for a couple of examples. And a fascination with the dark side, together with a powerful imagination and a strong stomach are likely to be common attributes amongst this workforce!

(It’s worth noting that the amusement parks sector as a whole is performing strongly and, as a weaker pound makes the UK an attractive holiday destination for visitors and residents alike, is expected to continue to grow.  Find out more about the role of a theme park manager here: theme park manager.)

Some companies focus more on hosting events aimed at those with an interest in the paranormal, such as ghost tours. Here’s just one example. Edinburgh has several companies which recruit part-time tour guides, underground guides and similar, and we advertise vacancies (especially in the run-up to the summer tourist season) on MyCareerHub.

Too much emphasis on crypts and cobwebs? Let’s return to the retail aspect of Halloween and finish with this insight into some of the factors making life complicated for supermarket buyers and suppliers!  Guardian article


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