I love Halloween, and I’m excited that it’s one month away! For you, it’s time to start planning what you are going to do on this occasion for your guests and the community. As All Hallows Eve falls somewhat in a lull between other holidays, people will be excited to dress up and have some fun. Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to deliver that fun. This is a great opportunity to reinvigorate positive sentiments about your hotel, and I highly hope you’ll get involved.
Fun, like many other facets of the human condition, can be based off of perceptions. What a child perceives as fun may be completely different than what a middle-aged adult feels. Ergo, you must gauge the situation and know your target audience before you act on your plan. Is your hotel a family-oriented hot spot? Or, would you be more inclined to host an adults-only event?
What’s first to mind is a Halloween movie night. You can choose a series of films that are family-friendly, or you can go the abject terror route designed to lure the more mature cult horror crowd. The former is broad and tame; the latter is so niche it may just work depending on your release strategy. The great thing about movie nights is they are relatively easy to set up if you have a large auditorium and a projector handy. Film rights are a bit trickier. And to sweeten the deal on a movie night, throw in some, well, sweets! Have your culinary team come up with some creative candies to win over your patrons’ stomachs while they watch the show.
As a more adult-leaning event, consider a costumed dinner party — perhaps even a murder mystery party to shake things up. This could either be shaped as a pre-fixed meal or a buffet-style event, but either way, the food has to shine. And speaking of shaking, what would an evening affair be without a little dancing? If you decide against hosting an elaborate festivity to cap off October, then at the very least ensure your front desk and concierge team stay abreast of all the local parties so they can direct eager guests.
There are a few other options, particularly if you have a resort property with lots of room to breathe for outdoor events or if your hotel is old enough to have garnered one or two mysterious incidents throughout its history of service. Whatever idea you decide to actualize, just make sure you give it your all, because Halloween is one of the biggest event nights of the year, so you might run into some heavy competition.
Below, I’ve compiled below a short list of five movies that fit the obscure category of “haunted hotel” movies, of which there really weren’t that many to choose from. The films on this list don’t wholly align with the safe bet on family-friendly material, but it would nonetheless be fun to try out.
- “The Shining” (1980): A quintessential horror film starring Jack Nicholson and directed by none other than the late, great Stanley Kubrick
- “Hotel Transylvania” (2012): The only kid pleaser of the bunch as well as the only comedy and animated feature
- “1408” (2007): Another Stephen King adaptation alongside “The Shining,” this film is apparently based on a true story
- “The Innkeepers” (2011): The least-known entry of the bunch, but with a title like that you can’t go wrong
- “Hostel” (2005): Not quite about hotels per se, but this grotesque movie still speaks to the dangers of staying in a scary foreign place, which, if anything, should be enough to ward people away from Airbnb
(Article published by Larry Mogelonsky in HOTELSmag on October 2, 2013)