The Fright Factory haunted house is a production of the Rock Aqua Jays Water Ski Show Team.
We began producing a haunted attraction in 1992. The attraction consisted of a hayride with six scenes at the former Hipps Fruit Farm between Janesville and Beloit. It was an immediate success. Unfortunately, though, we started losing money in the late 1990s because of bad weather, which resulted in poor attendance.
So, in 1999 we changed the format to an indoor haunted barn, also located at the former Hipps Fruit Farm. After five years attendance declined significantly, likely because of our location out in the country. In 2004, we acquired a sponsor to provide a building for a haunted house in Janesville.
Moving to the city had been our goal for several years.
Our sponsor, Hendricks Development Group, offered use of the former Panoramic factory on Riverside Street. This new facility allowed us to double the size of our haunting space from nearly 4,000 square feet to roughly 9,000 square feet. We also took advantage of the factory-like setting and renamed our attraction to "Fright Factory." All this space allowed us to expand the number of scenes, and our customer base grew with a solid repuation and, of course, our new location. After three years at the old Panoramic factory, Hendricks Development Group secured a more permanent location for us...right up the hill from Traxler Park.
In 2007 we moved to what was once home of the Ossit Furniture Company and more recently, a storage building for CB&K Supply. We were able to keep the "Fright Factory" moniker and maintain the same amount of square feet, although, in a more compact space on part of the first floor and the entire second floor.
Like the Panoramic factory, the four-story Ossit/CB&K building provided the perfect setting for a haunted house. Our new location also puts us in a more central location of the city.
In 2010 we returned to the former Panoramic factory building on Riverside Street. The Fright Factory will be at the east end of the building in approximately 8,000 square feet of space, all of which is on the first/main floor.
Today, our Fright Factory features over 15 scenes and two mazes, all of which is sure to "scare your pants off." Proceeds from the Fright Factory account for approximately 30% of our annual revenue.
The Rock Aqua Jays perform twice weekly free water ski shows on the Rock River at Traxler Park in Janesville, Wisconsin from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. We use our shows as a platform to teach members and the general public about safe boating and water skiing techniques.