A portrait made of blood. Ouija boards. A life-size clown costume. The sword from one of the Blade films. A pickaxe from My Bloody Valentine. A painting from The Collection. A casting of Heather Locklear’s severed head used in Scary Movie 5. These aren’t items on a movie set or in a production studio: They’re part of Fright Dome owner Jason Egan’s collection at his house.
“I would estimate I have more than 1,000 items in my home,” he says.
This doesn’t include the things he has in his warehouse or items he uses at events. For the last 15 years, Egan has been in charge of transforming the Adventuredome at Circus Circus into Las Vegas’ largest horror-themed attraction, known as Fright Dome. The monthlong event features multiple haunted houses, some that pay homage to iconic horror films.
Egan’s vision for Fright Dome and his house are the by-product of one thing: his love for all things scary.
This love started as Egan grew up watching horror flicks such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and Gremlins, one of his all-time favorite movies. In fifth grade, he decided to check out a haunted house for the first time, only to leave terrified. Instead of turning away from the horror genre, Egan decided to face his fear and dive deeper and deeper into it. In high school, he began planning haunted parties. “It was the first time I realized there is money in this business,” he says.
Egan moved to Las Vegas in the early 2000s, wanting to bring horror attractions to the city. In 2003, he was eventually asked to transform Circus Circus’ Adventuredome into something spooky for the Halloween season. He has been doing it ever since.
Some haunted houses have had recurring themes such as clowns or the zombie apocalypse. He has even collaborated with production studios to dedicate houses to movies such as Saw, Halloween and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Aside from Fright Dome, Egan has put on other international attractions and produced several horror movies. Through his years in the industry, he has met many horror-movie legends, including Linda Blair from The Exorcist and George A. Romero, the creator of Night of the Living Dead.
His profession has also opened the door to collecting memorabilia. “I started collecting items in my Spencer Gifts era in high school, but that was more skeleton masks and Frankenstein props,” he says. “[Back then] I would never have been able to afford the puzzle box from Hellraiser.”
It now sits in his collection.
A stuffed dog, a prop he said has been used in multiple horror movies, cost more than $25,000. “The stuff is outrageous, but I love it and it holds value,” Egan says.
Beyond the puppets and props from a wide range of scary movies, he also has photos from encounters with celebrities and actors from his favorite horror films and special-edition copies of iconic flicks. Among his favorite items are the puppets Stripe and Gizmo from the movie Gremlins. “It’s off the real movie mold that an artist did for me,” Egan says.
This year, he finally designed a room to hold the majority of his items. “I kept thinking, ‘Why do I have all these things if I’m not going to do something with them?’” Egan says. The space also serves as his home office—because who doesn’t have three Ouija boards nearby where they conduct business? “They spook a lot of people, but not me,” he says. “It’s not like we sit down and do seances. They are completely harmless.”
Photos by Krystal Ramirez
But his collection isn’t completely contained inside the large room. Movie posters line his hallway and inside the garage. At the base of the stairs is a doghouse that is a replica of the house in Psycho. Scattered throughout the house are props ranging from giant snakes and dinosaurs to the puppets from the horror video game Five Nights at Freddy’s, which was Fright Dome’s theme in 2016.
In the downstairs living room, there is a portrait of Egan made by the late artist Nick Kushner. “The interesting thing about this portrait is the medium he uses to paint is his own blood,” Egan says. “You can’t get much creepier than that.”
There are still things he would love to have.
“It would be nice to have something from A Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th,” he adds. “Pretty soon, I’m going to need a bigger house.”
There certainly is a creepiness factor with much of the memorabilia, such as a painting of the nun from The Conjuring 2 that stares at Egan while he works at his desk. Yet he doesn’t find it off-putting. “You get so immune to this stuff over the years that you just get used to it,” Egan says.
Tickets start at $37.95, 7 p.m.–midnight from now through Oct. 31, closed Oct. 23–24, frightdome.com.