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Matthew DiRoberto, May 9 2018

Building a World Class Haunted Attraction

Hi, my name is Matt and I'm the owner of Ghost Ship Harbor.  I've been giving a lot of thought about the journey that I've been on to get to where we are today.  You might think that Ghost Ship Harbor happens over night but it's taken me 7 years to get to where we are today and I feel like there is so much more to do.  Our goal at Ghost Ship Harbor is to create a world class haunted attraction that people can come and stay as long as you want to enjoy all that there is to offer.  We really want to make it a destination event for people all over looking for a unique experience that can only be found at our event.

This started as an idea when I was working at WROR 105.7.  We were looking for opportunities to grow our business beyond traditional radio advertising.  Radio and events always worked well together.  There weren't any Haunted Attractions in Boston so we thought there was an opportunity there and I always had a love for haunted houses ever since I was little.  We looked at doing this event in many different places.  Faneuil Hall, Marine District in Southie, Georges Island (We were calling it Fright Island at the time) and Castle Island among many other locations considered.  We got close to doing it at Georges Island but ultimately we ran out of time.  We looked at Castle Island the following year because it was a better location but ultimately it didn't work and we ended up at the USS Salem which is great in so many ways.  We really wanted to find a location that was Haunted.  When I researched and found out about the USS Salem I was hooked.  In 2009 Ghost Hunters did an episode on the USS Salem and since then it has been a mecca for the paranormal because of all the activity on the ship.  This opened up an opportunity for our event that no other haunted attraction in the Northeast or maybe the country has, paranormal tours.

There are many challenges to building a haunted attraction let alone building one on a navy destroyer in 4 weeks.  We don't have the luxury of  building year round like many other haunts that lease or own their own buildings or have farms or other locations that they have access to year round.  Don't get me wrong, we are planning our haunted attraction a year in advance so we can be ready to set up come September.  Because we are not keeping our haunt up year round this presents some positives as well.  Our event will never feel the same because we have to take everything down every year and we put it back up in a totally different manner.  If you came in 2016 and came in 2017 you would see a major difference.  2018 will be the same and feel like a totally different event.  in 2016 we had 3 attractions (Contagion, The Plague, and Paranormal VIP Experience) and in 2017 we added a 4th attraction called Fear no Evil which enabled us to explore many themes that we could not do previously.  We love variety and this really opened us up to creating some amazing scenes and situations to scare our customers.  Based on the feedback of customers everyone really seemed to like Fear no Evil the best.

By the end of 2017's event we had thousands of people come through to amazing reviews.  We were rated the #1 scariest Haunted Attraction in Massachusetts by world renowned Fodor's travel magazine.  This is a huge honor for us.  We have only been around for 2 years and to get this recognition only raises the bar for us to continue to strive to be better than the previous year.  At the end of the day it comes down to the people as they make this happen.  When you have a talented crew like we have, and an amazing backdrop like the USS Salem, and customers who are happy you are able to create something great.  Our goal is to have this event for many years to come and to do that we have to be constantly raising the bar.  We listen to customer feedback and try to always fine tune the way we do things based on that.  We know we can always get better and will be striving to do so.  I think if you came in 2016 and didn't in 2017 you would have seen an entirely different event.  Expect 2018 to be the same.  We are working on some unique partnerships again that are going to enhance the event like no other in the Northeast.  We look forward to sharing our creativity with you in 2018!  

Have questions? email us at [email protected]

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Written by

Matthew DiRoberto

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