NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

October 18, 2013

The haunting

How two New Hampshire guys made a business out of spooking people

Wayne Caulfield didn’t start one of the largest haunted houses in New England out of a devotion to Halloween. He’s no more likely than the next guy to enjoy a fright night or a gory movie. But Caulfield, along with his business partner Mike Accomando, knows an opportunity when he see one.

“Honestly, it was a business decision,” Caulfield said. “We saw the need for a very large-scale spooky attraction.”

Accomando, 40, of Windham, N.H., and Caulfield, 48, of Alton Bay, N.H., had been business partners together in the video industry. When they sold that business in 2005, they began looking for the next endeavor.

“We wanted something fun that was similar to what we were doing before,” Caulfield said.

They realized that there was a need for a Halloween amusement park in New Hampshire. The pair set out to find a property for their attraction, and when they came across Mel’s Fun Park in Litchfield, N.H., they knew that they had found it.

“Right away, we knew that it was perfect,” Caulfield said. “It’s very creepy and dark. It’s the vision of a haunted house.”

The two purchased the park and set to work. The first year that Accomando and Caulfield planned to run SpookyWorld, they went to a national trade show for haunted attractions. They introduced themselves to a vendor, and told him their plan.

“Who is helping you with this?” the vendor asked.

The two looked at each other, puzzled, and realized that they might be in over their heads.

“We were completely in the dark about how hard it is,” Caulfield said. “You have safety issues, electrical issues, health issues. There are so many issues. It would boggle your mind how much it takes to put this together.”

However, Caulfield said that dealing with all the regulations was worth it to see SpookyWorld come together without a hitch.

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