VISITING HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS
the Halloween season, most of us attend one or more commercial haunted
attractions. A well laid out, maintained and operated haunted attraction
for night of enjoyment and a lot of spooky fun.
Large commercial haunts typically have been in business
longer and have gained the experience needed to provide the best
level of entertainment for your money. Smaller or less
experienced haunts tend
to go one of two ways. They are either really good or really
bad, with little in between.
years we've learned some valuable lessons that allow us to
get the most out of our visits to Halloween haunted
and most important, employees of a haunted attraction, should
never touch you! They can run
at and around you, wave scary props at you and even scream
at you, but they should never come into actual physical contact with
you. They are usually told during training not to touch the
If an employee of a haunted
attraction does touch you, report this to management
immediately as inappropriate.
ago we had gone to a small haunted attraction temporarily
located in a mall and while
waiting for our turn to go in, one of the costumed
employee's grabbed one of our friend's leg and actually pulled her
from the chair she was sitting in. This freaked her out so
much she refused to go in. After making a stern complaint
to the owner and demanding a refund, we left.
holds true for the patron as well. You should never touch
one of the employees, as it could give the impression that
its okay for them to respond by touching you. A friend of ours
that sets up pro haunts every year has told us of
times when his actors have been shoved or even hit by
persons going through their haunted attraction. This is just
plain rude behavior! Would you like them to do that to you?
they are often dark, most
professional haunts provide enough light for
you to safely navigate your way through. Unfortunately, not all haunts are
designed by experienced, let alone, competent people.
Over the years we have gone
through a few Halloween haunts that have had area's so dark you could not see
at all, and to make things worse, there were dangerous obstacles such as misaligned floor boards that we stumbled
over and protrusions from the walls that we bumped into.
If you encounter safety problems such as these, report it to
immediately. This is the only way to educate the owners of
poorly designed haunts that
there are safety problems.
at least one person if not two or three, in our group always carry a small flash light in
a pocket or purse for just this type of situation. Remember,
haunted attractions are suppose to be scary, but not
actually dangerous for its patrons to go through. Just don't
use a flashlight unless you actually have to. Your eyes have
adjusted to the darkness and using a bright flash light can
ruin your "night vision". We usually choose a mini Mag-Lite
type that you would hang on a key chain. It's just the right
size and puts out just enough light to navigate when pointed
directly at the floor.
show up dressed in a Halloween costume without checking with them in
advance. Most haunted attractions do not allow patrons to go
through while wearing a costume, this is because you could
be mistaken for an employee.
Even if you
don't think you will need it, take a coat or jacket and a
with you just in case the weather turns cold or rainy. Be sure to wear
athletic shoes or
comfortable boots to protect your feet. If it's a corn field maze, you could be walking on an uneven and possibly debris laden
path and should wear hiking
A friend of
ours had gone to a large corn maze in Kansas and part way
through tripped over a corn stalk that had fallen over a
dark part of the path. Sadly, he had to finish the maze with
a busted lip and sprained wrist. Always keep an eye out in
this type of outdoor haunt/maze for things like fallen corn
stalks, piles of hay, tree branches, tree roots, rocks,
holes in the ground and other obstacles that could be tripped over. Let the management know
where the spot is so they can take care of the problem.
face it, everyone has their own tolerance level and taste
when it comes to horror and being scared, even for
entertainment. From mild to wild, haunted attractions run
the gamut. Some are relatively tame, while others are
extremely frightening or unspeakably gory. Its more fun to
go as part of a group and those that scare easily feel more
secure with their friends around to protect and help them.
anyone to go into a haunt
if they don't want to. For those brave enough to go with
you, yet scare easily, hold their hand or
keep them between two people to act as a fear buffer.
If someone you are with gets
really scared, stop and let them catch their breath and calm
down. Be supportive by reminding them that its not real and
just for fun. Do these things and they
will have a better time, appreciate your patience and know
that you are a true friend.
No matter how
scared you get, never run through a haunted attraction, it's
just too easy to run into a wall or trip and fall. If its
just too scary for you and you can't take it, leave through
an emergency exit or tell one of the employees that you need
to leave. They'll usually be more than happy to help you
young children into a haunted attraction know for being
ultra scary or gory. Ask the ticket agent how scary it is
and what the recommended minimum age is if they don't have
it posted. If the haunt seems appropriate for their age, be
sure to hold their hand all the way through. Never let them
go through a haunted maze alone unless it's a haunt just for
kids! There have been a few times that our group has come
upon a lone child of about 8 or 9 years old, who's become
scared, and one of the girls will take their hand and walk
with them the rest of the way.
Halloween haunted attractions are required by state and/or local
law to include certain safety provisions such as emergency
exits and fire suppression systems. If you spot a real
safety issue, let management know about it. If they seem
unconcerned, call your local fire marshal and let them know
If you came with
a group, stick with the group. If some decide to split off,
make sure that you all have a time and meeting place set up.
If you have to park in a large mass parking lot, don't leave valuables in your
car. Take the minimum amount of stuff with you, a small
cross-body bag can carry whatever you'll need for the night.
often offer discount coupons to encourage attendance.
Some coupons are only good on low traffic days,
while others are good any time the haunt is open. Either way, you
can save money by using them. If the attraction you plan to
visit has a web site, check to see if they offer printable coupons.
You can also check your local newspaper to see if they're
running an ad or even ask at the ticket counter.
Below are some of our favorite places to visit:
Disneyland's Haunted Mansion
Since August of 1969
Disneyland's "Haunted Mansion" has been thrilling and
chilling park goers and has become a favorite attraction
during the Halloween season.
A Pumpkin Festival -
Many town's across the
country hold a pumpkin festival as part of there
Halloween and Fall festivities.
Knott's Scary Farm -
Extravaganza - Las Vegas,