Case Studies

Scotland’s first horror entertainment business brings Halloween to Aberdeen

Scotland’s first dedicated horror entertainment business of its kind has successfully grown and sought out new business opportunities after support from Business Gateway.

6th January 2023

About the business

Northern Frights was initially launched to bring entertainment horror events to the Northeast and to provide a source of paid work for local talented actors. Since then, it has expanded to horror escape rooms, conventions, prop and costume making, as well as blogging and social media. 

Starting a business can be intimidating without guidance and, to begin with, I was overwhelmed, which is why I approached Business Gateway. My adviser was very helpful and guided me throughout the whole process. 

How Business Gateway has helped

Laura was one of many businesses in the events industry that was struck by COVID-19, and conscious that any future lockdowns would dramatically affect her business, she approached Business Gateway to develop a solid financial plan to enable her to grow her brand and improve her business resilience.   

Through Business Gateway, Laura received 1:1 support from a local adviser to help identify and exploit current and future sales opportunities. Through Business Gateway’s start-up services, she also received advice on developing a business plan, marketing, and applying for funding. Laura also successfully received £1,000 from Aberdeenshire Council’s start-up grant scheme, the Local Authority Covid Economic Recovery (LACER) fund, through the Scottish Government. This funding has been critical for future event planning.  

Additionally, Laura benefitted from attending Business Boost masterclasses on sales and strategy that are exclusively delivered by expert consultants through Business Gateway. Laura has been able to use the tips learned through the masterclasses to further build on her confidence in her sales ability.  

Thanks to her adviser’s signposting to a wider network, Laura is a regular attendee at Business Gateway’s networking sessions, using the opportunity to grow and promote the visibility of her brand.  

Northern Frights is currently Scotland's only horror themed business and is the online home of Horror Con Scotland, the only horror convention to be held in Scotland this year. Thanks to recent success, Laura has already booked the Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen, an iconic Northeast venue, for next year’s Horror Con, which is likely to be three times the size of this year’s event.  

Laura has also hired Peterhead Prison Museum for a prison-themed breakout event and will be running a Goblin King Fantasy Ball next November, where guests are expected to dress as creatures from fantasy worlds.  

Laura Ripley, Founder of Northern Frights, said: “I never imagined that my original intention of producing massive horror events for the public would grow into a horror entertainment business. To begin with, I was overwhelmed, and it can be intimidating to do it all without guidance, which is why I approached Business Gateway. My adviser was very helpful and guided me throughout the whole process. 

“I have greatly benefitted from the expert-led masterclasses too. With all this new knowledge, I feel more confident in what I am doing and in taking Northern Frights to future growth during Halloween and beyond.” 

Support Provided

1:1 Business Advice/Support

Signposting to a Wider Support Network

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