There’s an art to the scare… and the creators of Gore House implement theater, history and design to raise the bar.
Wes Cornwell has been in the professional haunted house industry since 1996 (or, all his life, if you are counting the home-grown Halloween productions of his family!). From the Haunted Woods (Neely’s Bend) to Horror High, Shocktober to Devil’s Dungeon, he’s been in the role of actor, security, make-up, concept, design, production, character development, director. and producer.
Cornwell engineered and helped introduce Nashville and Hendersonville Haunted Houses to a more intense theatrical, psychological and sensory-rich scare. He encouraged the mindset of ‘in-your-face’, ‘controversial’ and ‘not politically correct’.
A creative and unconventional artist (with an unusually large dose of common sense), his goal is to make the haunted house experience intense and shocking for his audience.
Theatre: There’s no secret that experienced actors are vital in ‘upping the scream’. Gore House has many actors that have worked with Cornwell (and with Justin Hammonds, his partner-in-crime) for over ten years. Having good actors attract good actors! These are crazy, spontaneous and dedicated actors that work long hours in pre-production and post-production, giving up weekends to work in dimly lit sets and doing what the really love to do!
Leatherface and Freddy won’t be found at Gore House. You won’t see Frankenstein and classic witches, either. All characters are original and the actors are encouraged to develop their own characters. This has made the scenes and characters infamously unforgettable.
Speaking of characters, three truly stand out: Uncle Squid, is the best introduction actor we’ve seen or had the pleasure to work with; the Little Girl is intense, and has a knack for unsettling, disarming and frightening at the same time; Martin Cato, the rabid set designer, is the protagonist of Gore House.
History: Cornwell, Hammonds and the Gore House actors are avid history buffs.
This country has a grueling history which is reflected in the art, set design and characters throughout Gore House. Reality is sometimes more horrific than fiction.
Design: As you might imagine, the design of next year’s haunted attraction begins the day after the last performance.
Cornwell and his creative team listen to the audience and observe their reactions. Story lines are developed, research remains ongoing, and the actual physical construction begins in January. The 2013 construction is already underway, and what is planned is exciting and unique to Gore House.
Stay tuned throughout the year for updates!
Love, or what you will,