Class Times are Pacific Standard Time

Fright By Design: Using Architecture to Scare People

Friday, 13 May 2022
09:00 am - 10:00 am

In school, future architects are taught how to make people feel comfortable and safe in a space. Famous designers throughout history have used structure, volume and fenestration to emote feelings of grandeur, aw or comfort with the buildings they design. But what if the design criteria is to do exactly the opposite? Or even to create the feeling of terror and actually frighten people? This was the challenge presented to Texas A&M Architecture school graduate Leonard Pickel in 1982 when he volunteered to design the March of Dimes Haunted House in Dallas Texas. His task was to use what he learned in design class to dramatically affect the emotions of people visiting his creations in a negative way, and he has been honing those skills ever since. In this session, Pickel will share what he has learned from almost 40 years of scary architectural design; design that has more emotional effect on its visitors than any other form of architecture.


Leonard Pickel

Over 40 years of Haunted House design, building and operations.