Haunted House Do's and Don'ts

Haunted House Do's and Don'ts

A spooky season guide to keeping yourself and others safe through the adrenaline rush of haunted houses.
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It's about that time of year again. You probably have already started to see the "Halloween" aisles opening up at the local Walmart, or seen the spike in pumpkin flavored food and drinks. With Fall comes my personal favorite time of the year, haunted house season! In fact, I actually am a current actor who has been screamin' and scarin' for 4 years now. That being said, I've picked up a couple of do's and don'ts for the guests that either has never been to a haunted house before or have and want to enhance their experience. Sometimes, the best tips for the spooked come from the spooker themselves.

1. Do: Let yourself be nervous

It's okay! The whole point of a haunted house is to be put in an uncomfortable area and let your adrenaline take the reins. We see hundreds of people come through and are just as nervous as you are, if not more. Let yourself be scared. It's more fun!


2. Don't: Think you are safe in numbers

We get it, you come with your group of friends and everyone wants to be in the middle so the monster that "pops-out" won't target them. The truth is, no matter where you are in the group, you aren't in the clear. The safest place to be would be in the back, but even then the actors with chainsaws would be chasing behind. Whoever is in the front will probably set off a trigger to a loud noise or make an animatronic jump out. Bottom line? The actor will scare whoever is closer or seems the most nervous. There is no "safe zone". Sorry.

2. Do: Act chill

Unless of course, your goal is to be a target, don't try to act tough. Trust me, it's a lot more amusing for the actor to get a scream out of the guy (or anyone really) who's acting like they're immune to everything. More often than not, the tough ones are the first to take off down the attraction screaming and leaving everyone else behind. You know who I'm talking about.

3. Don't: Hit the actor

Usually we can tell who swings at us out of surprise and are genuinely sorry for doing so and who's trying to look cool. We get it, you get scared, it's a natural instinct. But we come home with many bruises and have to spend the next explaining them to everyone else. If you have a tendency to throw hands whenever you're spooked, try to keep your hands in your pockets. If you're instinct is to fight or your goal is to hit us, please hangout at home.

4. Do: Tell an actor if you need to leave

Haunted houses aren't for everyone. But really, the only way to find out is to actually go to one. If you feel uncomfortable and do not think you can complete the entire attraction, please tell an actor. It's dark, it's loud, we can't tell the difference between someone who is genuinely enjoying being scared and someone who is unhappy. Just ask them for the nearest exit, no big deal.

5. Don't: Bring children

I think it goes without saying that anywhere with blood, darkness, screaming, and weapons is not a good place for children to be. It's still controversial what age is the right age to let a kid to a haunted house since really it depends on the kid themself and if they feel like they are mature/ready enough for it. Young, frightened children are not suitable as it ruins the attraction for others and many times actors cannot use the right discretion that they normally would out of costume around children because of the darkness and loud sounds. A good rule of thumb is any child under the age of 7 and/or cannot even watch The Nightmare Before Christmas, usually isn't ready yet.

6. Do: Wear the right clothes

Wait, haunted houses have a dress code?! No, not exactly. But please be mindful that you're probably going to be walking a lot so it would be a good idea to wear comfortable shoes. Unless you're on a hayride, in which just be sure to wear anything you wouldn't mind getting covered in pieces of hay that you'll be finding for the next month. Dark clothes may seem like a smart hiding technique because we can't see you, but guess what? We've developed a keen sense of night vision from being shielded from light for so long. So like the fake vampires are practically real to be honest. Comfy clothes, everyone.

7. Don't: Touch the actor

Isn't that the same as hitting the actor? Well, no, technically. By "touch" the actor I mean a few different things. Number one, please don't hit them at all. Most actors cannot touch you, it's only polite and fair that you also keep your hands to yourself. Also, please don't touch the makeup. It's more awkward than you think to have someone stroke the blood on your face to see what it "felt like". Please, refrain.

8. Do: Laugh

Funny things happen, it's okay to not feel scared if you're not! Sometimes your friend gets so scared they run into a wall. It happens more than you think. It's okay to laugh about it, it's all part of the fun.

9. Don't: Hit on the actors

Yes, a different kind of hitting this time. I wish it wasn't such a large problem that I would have to add it on to this already long list, yet here we are. Actors are actors for a reason. They are not there to get your number or to go out on a date with you, and it is incredibly rude for you to point out how "attractive" they are (serious or not) while they are covered in blood and screaming their head off. Seriously, there's a time and a place and the middle of a cemetery is not one of them.

10. Do: Go on a haunted house date

You'll both be screaming and crying and running, it's a great time. Honestly. If the date goes well, your sense of cooperation and teamwork is already strong. If it doesn't then hey you still got to go to a haunted house. Fall dates are the best dates.

11. Don't: Knock it before you try it

Haunted houses are supposed to be scary. If you lock yourself in the mindset that you won't enjoy it because it's scary, then you won't enjoy it. Go in with an open mind, you may end up loving them or even working there like I did. It's all about how to approach the situation.

Now, if you are uncomfortable with situations like that or anything within the house may be a trigger, please, by all means, don't feel forced to go to one. But if you are willing to give it a shot, more often than not you won't regret it. Remember to keep yourself safe, others safe, and the actors safe along with these tips and tricks I have mentioned above. Happy spooky season everyone, I'll be seeing you on the other side of the drop window.

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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9 Summer Cleaning Tips To Make Your House Spotless

It's time to get rid of ALL those clothes.

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As soon as you get home from college for summer break, it's very easy to plop your stuff down and not want to touch the stuff you brought home from your dorm room until August. As easy as that sounds, the time is now! Summer cleaning is a great task to accomplish when school gets out because not only have you collected more stuff, but you've also gotten older and may have your own place at school.

Spring cleaning is essential to an organized life and can be helpful in the following ways:

1. It can help relieve anxious thoughts

Have nothing to do? You can always clean without donating items. For example, those bathrooms and floors could always use a scrub. This wipes away any fear or worrying and focuses your attention on helping yourself feel good.

2. Have a place for things you only absolutly need

While living in a dorm room, you learn to live with a lot less. This is a great lesson to simplify your life at home too and make sure everything you need has a place. Prioritize clean and clear surfaces. If your surface is not clear, you have too much stuff.

3. Redo your childhood bedroom

When we go off to college, the most common thing to be stuck in the past is your childhood bedroom. Use your time at home to make your bedroom look nicer with a new paint color or bedspread to make the space feel more you (instead of your five-year-old self).

4. Say goodbye to ALL those CLOTHES

Saying goodbye to clothes is hard. Make more space in your closet with a hanging organizer for scarfs and sweaters that take up a lot of space. Instead of putting clothes on a hanger and hanging them in the closet, vertical organizers create more space. One major tip is if you haven't worn the garment in over a year, donate or throw it out!

5. Shoes

One way to get all those shoes off the floor is to buy a shoe organizer to hang on your closet door. Not only does this prevent dust from collecting in the bottom of your closet, but you can also navigate which shoes you actually use the most. This way, you can maybe get rid of a few more pairs.

6. Trinkets

Trinkets are fun but can turn into major dust collectors. Limiting your space to five decorative pieces per room allows for a picture perfect magazine look. And of course, it's easier to dust and clean too!

7. Clean things that often get missed

Besides cleaning rooms, floors, and bathrooms, there are a few everyday items that get missed. For example, the microwave, bathmat, vacuum filter, the dreaded makeup brushes, and most importantly the junk drawer (eek, scary!).

8. Cleaning doesn't just have to be individual

Tackling any type of cleaning can be hard and it doesn't just have to be you. If you are still living at home, it's easier to get a family member involved too since they share the same space. Having a helper makes a world of difference and can tackle twice as much. In addition, have a cleaning weekend as a family affair for a great bonding experience!

9. Establish a cleaning routine

Picking up for 10 minutes by yourself each day is crucial. This establishes a cleaning routine to make sure those needed items stay in their space when not being used. Small tasks can help keep your room cleaner longer.

Make this summer clean!

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