Haunt Comp

Established 2020

We have a passion for haunts, themed entertainment, and educating others on the incredible effort that goes into these industries. 

Haunt Comp was started in 2020 after students at UC San Diego created their own Halloween maze, and students from other schools asked how it was done. The competition was created with a desire to have industry experts teach on these topics so participants could compete on an even playing field and learn for their own careers.

Today, Haunt Comp boasts participants from dozens of schools and multiple countries. Partnered with companies and judges from across the haunt industry, we continue to develop the careers and relationships that are so crucial for the rising generation in professional haunts.


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Email us if you have any questions.

Xochilt Khoury

Director, Admin & Business Development

Xochilt Khoury is a Associate Project Manager at TechMDinc. She graduated from UC San Diego in 2021 with a B.A. in Speculative Design (Media) and a minor in Theatre (Stage Management and Design). Xochilt has interned for multiple entertainment companies in creative and project management capacities, including Lionsgate Global Live, Interactive, and Location-Based Entertainment, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood, and more. Xochilt became interested in haunts while working on several mazes at UCSD as a creative director and technical director. Back for her fifth year, she is thrilled to see what nightmares participants conjure up! 

Email me at xochilt@hauntcomp.com

Matthias Baker

Director, Design & Marketing

Matthias Baker is an Associate Engineer, Programming at TechMDinc. He graduated from UC San Diego in 2021 with a B.S in Cognitive Science (Human Computer Interaction) and minors in Psychology and Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts (Media). In the past, Matthias has freelanced as a UI/UX designer as well as worked on several haunt mazes at UC San Diego as a designer and creative director. He is especially interested in how people interact with their environment in themed experiences and video games. Returning for his third year with Haunt Comp, he cannot wait to see what spooks participants conjure up!

Email me at matthias@hauntcomp.com

Taylor Scott

Director, Participant Development

Taylor Scott is a Talent Coordinator and Project Manager for Midsummer Scream. This past fall, Taylor entered the fog and joined the Knott's Scary Farm team, where she was a venue supervisor with a focus on operations. She graduated from UCLA in 2022 with a B.S. in Astrophysics and a minor in Theatre. Returning for her second year with Haunt Comp, Taylor is excited to see what horrors the ghosts and ghouls of Haunt Comp bring to life this year!

Email me at taylor@hauntcomp.com

Jared Walker


Jared Walker is a Mechanical Engineer with a passion for themed entertainment and thrill experiences. He is currently the Quality Engineer for the attractions in EPCOT at Walt Disney World, overseeing the safety, processes, and ride law compliance of these incredible and unique rides. His work experience also includes being a ride technician at SeaWorld San Diego and a Quality Engineering internship at the Disneyland Resort. While he credits his upbringing in Southern California to his interest in theme parks and engineering, his time at University of California, San Diego gave him the experiences to make his career possible, along with some amazing friends to work with. Jared is honored to have helped lead Haunt Comp since its founding year.

Connect at linkedin.com/in/wjaredw

Jennie Tuliao

Project Manager

Jennie Tuliao is a Los Angeles based organizer in the entertainment industry. She is currently the Coordinator and Executive Assistant at The Bezark Company, supporting production of various projects and internal communication. She has been a White Bat for over 5 years at Midsummer Scream, the largest Halloween and horror convention in Southern California. When the sun goes down, Jennie fuels nightmares performing as a scare performer at various haunted attractions. She can’t wait to see what nightmares participants create this year!

Email me at jennie@hauntcomp.com

Jackson Mancuso

Social Media Coordinator & Designer

Jackson Mancuso is a concept designer working in Los Angeles. He has had the opportunity to design for companies and brands like Universal Parks and Resorts, Knotts Berry Farm, Hasbro, and more, contributing his designs to a variety of attractions and experiences including roller coasters, restaurants, and yes, even haunted houses. He is both a 2D and 3D artist. Lover of all things spooky: he is passionate about fostering the next wave of designers and uplifting the artist community!

See his work at jacksonmancuso.myportfolio.com

Alec Zbornak

Copy Writer

Alec Zbornak is a writer and content strategist for themed, immersive, and cultural experiences. After graduating from Yale, where he studied humanities and Chinese, he took part in a year-long language and culture fellowship through National Taiwan University. He currently serves as a freelance show writer for a Brooklyn-based immersive experience called The Drunken Laboratory. Alec is delighted to join Haunt Comp this year as the team’s Copywriter. 

See his work at aleczbornak.com

Josiah Evaristo

Participant Development

Josiah is a Florida resident who has moved across the country in pursuit of work in Themed Entertainment. He is currently at Walt Disney Imagineering as a Project Engineering intern, but also has experience with Universal Creative in their Facility Design Management studio. What Josiah prides himself in, though, is his experience in regional haunted houses. He volunteered at Sir Henry’s Haunted Trail as a maintenance tech, ensuring that their animatronics, special effects, and escape rooms stayed operational during show nights. He also was integral in starting Swamp Haunters, which is a student-lead haunt team at the University of Florida. There, he lead a team of students to design, fabricate, and operate a $6000 haunt attraction.

See more of Josiah’s work here: evaristojosiah.wixsite.com/portfolio

See more of Swamp Haunters here: themedattraction.com/crimson-carnival-uf/

Paige Brunson

Designer & Concept Artist

Paige Brunson is a Los Angeles native who specializes in entertainment design and concept art. She currently works as a Concept and Storyboard Artist for Sphere, an immersive experience in Las Vegas. At Sphere, she ideates key looks and partnerships for the world’s largest LED screen. Previously, she studied at UCLA Design Media Arts, focusing on sustainable design research and public art initiatives. In her free time, she loves attending concerts and spoiling her cat. As an avid haunt lover, Paige is stoked to be joining the Haunt Comp team this year! 

Connect with her at linkedin.com/in/paigebrunson/

Hannah Sandeen


Hannah Sandeen is a freelance engineer and show set designer with experience in R&D. Winner of the 2020 Boeing Innovation Challenge, USC Student Ingenuity Award for her research in Regenerative Rollercoaster Braking, and winner of the 2021 Haunt Comp as a show set designer, she bridges the gap between engineering and creative. Outside of R&D, she has a talent for SFX makeup, costume design, and volunteers in the TEA Western Division Events Committee. She graduated from USC in 2021 with a B.S in Mechanical Engineering.

Connect with her at linkedin.com/in/hsandeen/

D'Angelo Reyes

Designer & Concept Artist

D'Angelo Reyes is currently working as a show set and attraction designer at THG Creative. He also works as a production & scenic designer for live theater, immersive experiences, and haunted houses. He is a 2022 graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a B.S in Civil Engineering and a minor in Theatre (Scenic Design). Outside of work, he has a passion for improv comedy, filmmaking, and transit-oriented city development. D'Angelo is excited to be joining Haunt Comp this year and is terrified to see what thrills & chills will keep him up at night!

See his work at dangeloreyes.com and connect at @dreyes_designs on Instagram

Mia Lestorti

Graphic Designer

Mia is an Atlanta based designer in the entertainment industry with a focus on graphic props, signage, and world-building graphics that bring guests closer to their favorite stories. She currently works at Warner Bros. Discovery as a Product Designer and freelances within the Themed Entertainment industry designing for theme parks and museums internationally. Mia is also in the process of getting her MFA in Graphic Design and Visual Experience at SCAD with a thesis on storytelling through graphic design. In her free time, Mia also builds her own haunted houses and props and has a love of scary movies, puppets, and scary puppets. 

Check out her work at mialestorti.com

Emma Saint James

Event Manager

Emma Saint James is a AVC Systems Designer at TechMDinc with a passion for story telling and the technical elements that make it possible. She holds a degree from USC with a BFA in Sound Design for theater. She enjoys attending various haunt experiences throughout Southern California and can't wait to see what the participants create this year.

Trey Sandefur

Event Manager

Trey is a Los Angeles based Electrical Engineer in the themed entertainment industry. He was raised in Orlando, FL and received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Central Florida. He is currently an Associate Technical Coordinator for AOA, in Burbank, CA. He interned for three years at AOA in both Orlando, FL and Burbank, CA before joining full-time in January 2023. In his free time, he loves to recreate props from film and television, and ideate on his own themed experiences. This is his first year with the Haunt Comp team, and he is thrilled to see what each team designs.

Connect with him at         linkedin.com/in/trey-sandefur