Surf, sun, sand and... screams? A new attraction in Hawaii is looking
to add a fourth "s" to the traditional trio visitors seek out in the
Ghost Bus Hawaii, a horror import from Japan, has rolled into
Honolulu offering a new activity that promises to send heart rates
The Ghost Bus is a concept from Japanese horror creator Michaelty
Yamaguchi, who has worked on haunted houses and in the film industry.
The bus does not move during the experience, and guests remain seated.
The bus is equipped with a variety of audiovisual and sensory effects
and deploys a cast of actors to deliver frights and thrills.
"The Ghost Bus is an exciting experience that has been a favourite
for people of all ages in Japan for many years," said Kenji Takahashi,
general manager of Travel Plaza Transportation, a subsidiary of the
company behind the new attraction, JTB Hawaii.
"It has been a tough couple of years, and I think people are ready to
travel and have fun. I want people to join us on the Ghost Bus and
release their stress. We can see it. People are screaming on the bus,
and after they leave the attraction, everybody is smiling."
The Ghost Bus initially launched just prior to Halloween 2021, but
then it closed in December as the Covid-19 omicron variant sparked a
surge in cases in Hawaii. Since 2 May, the bus will be parked at the
Waikiki Beach Marriott through 31 October.
A pivot into haunted attractions
Created by Michaelty Yamaguchi, a renowned haunted house specialist from Japan, Ghost Bus is a "no need to walk" haunted house.
Haunted houses are a popular year-round activity in Japan, and
Takahashi said they also see the Ghost Bus as another opportunity to
share Japanese culture in the United States.
"American horror tends to be more monsters and zombies," Takahashi
said. "While Japanese horror is a little bit different ... little girls
are seen as scary."
Along those lines, the Ghost Bus narrative revolves around a young
girl who must conquer her fears by confronting them. However, the
programme has been adapted from the Japanese original to better appeal
to a U.S. audience.
"The experience is in English, and the story has been changed,"
Takahashi said. "We adapted it to make it more Hollywood-style horror.
It's still Japanese horror, but with a hint or twist of Hollywood. This
version is more bloody than the Japanese one, and there are more
monsters and that type of thing."
The Ghost Bus experience lasts 15 minutes and costs US$15, and the
minimum age is 8 years old. Children between ages 8 and 13 must be
accompanied by an adult.
Source: Travel Weekly