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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A resounding 'thank you' to whoever decided one-pieces were cool again.
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We grew up thinking the world was black and white. There's tall people and short people. There's old people and young people.

There's fat people and skinny people.

But as you get older, you realize there is a lot more in between those two ends of the spectrum than you ever thought possible. Especially when it comes to weight. And you do a lot more realizing if you're in an awkward position on that scale... Literally.

1. People always tell you to stop saying you are fat

Obviously, your friends SHOULD prevent you from talking negatively about yourself. And if you only saw you when you were fully dressed, you'd probably tell yourself to stop saying you're fat, too.

2. And are kind of surprised by your actual weight

You've definitely had friends who are shocked by the number on your scale because you can carry it pretty well when you are fully dressed.

3. Sometimes you feel like a catfish

Have you ever changed out of your super cute, flattering outfit and looked at yourself in the mirror and thought... Wow, am I lying to people?

4. But you know this is probably true for most people

When you're wearing clothes, typically the parts of a body that bring about insecurities (stomach, namely) are covered. No matter the body type, you realize most people are more comfortable in clothes than out of them.

5. Your confidence is often contingent on the month

November? Yep, won't need to be in shorts or a bikini for about 7-8 months. I am good to go.

February? I'll need to be in a bikini soon.. I could use some work.

6. You are thrilled by the one-piece bathing suit making a fashion come back

A resounding 'thank you' to whoever decided it was time to give one-pieces a try again. The stomachs of us in-between gals are appreciative.

7. Crop tops are 95% of the time not your top of choice

Yeah, okay, clothes are supposed to work for me and not against me.

8. You honestly don't understand jean sizes

I have fluctuated in weight a lot of my life, most recently losing 25lbs, and I still did not budge in jean sizes.

9. You wonder what other people think when they see you

Do other people see me as thin in clothing? Or fat in a bikini? What size am I perceived as?

10. Shopping is kind of a nightmare

Have you ever found about 27 items you liked, added the prices and thought, ah, it is going to be so tough to choose from all of these items? Only to go into the fitting room and realize only 2 of the items fit you well? Yep, me every single time I go to the store.

SEE ALSO: 7 Struggles Of Being The Girl Who Is "Not Skinny" But Also "Not Fat"

11. You're thankful that at least you've got boobs

You can kind of hide them in clothes, and then let them steal the show away from your tummy in a swimsuit.

12. You have a hard time setting weight-loss goals

You aren't really sure how overweight you are (if you are, at all) and you don't want to be at an unhealthy weight on either side of the spectrum.

13. Body positivity comes and goes

There are days, weeks or even months when you feel like the most beautiful person on the planet, and then something happens (old jeans don't fit, you try on a new bathing suit, etc.) and you convince yourself that all of that confidence was wrong and undeserved.

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17. Being in a bathing suit is a constant game of readjustment

Okay, I am sitting. Pull the bottoms up to cover as much as my stomach as possible and the back of the top down to cover any back rolls.

18. You've avoided the mirror after a shower before

You know that you are just going to lose all the comfort you felt in your body during the day when you see yourself, so sometimes it is best to just avoid it.

19. Ultimately, you know your beauty is not contingent on what you are wearing

The goal for everyone should be to get to a point where it doesn't matter if you're in a snowsuit, a bathing suit or a birthday suit... You can see your beauty no matter what and feel confident despite what you have on. It'll take time, but falling in love with the way you look is worth it.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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Life Is Like The Seasons, Bloom Baby Bloom

Patience and a good attitude are all it takes and in no time, you will be blooming too.
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Life can be compared to flowers.

We go through stages where things are cold and dark, much like winter. In these stages, our lives can seem dead much like flowers are dead in the winter. However, life has summer stages where everything is warm and happy. In these states of our lives, we are like flowers.

WE BLOOM.

Freshman year of college has been a total period of growth for me. I have come to the University of Kentucky and I have been exposed to many new things and have had several experiences I would not have had if I would've stayed in the bubble that is my hometown.

I have had incredible experiences that have allowed me, for lack of a better word, BLOOM.

Moving six and a half hours away from all my friends and family posed several concerns. Despite all the excitement, I was terrified.

This was the first time I was going to be independent without my parents there to hold my hand and walk me through new experiences. Taking that fact with a grain of salt, I packed my stuff up, said goodbye to my family and friends, and embarked on a journey that would change me forever. College.

Here I was a very excited yet terrified freshman going through sorority recruitment. I was scared I wasn't going to fit in anywhere and find my forever home. I was wrong.

I then fell in love with the sisterhood and the women of Rho Iota. Phi Mu became my forever home and with that, came another stage of blooming.

In my first year as a member of Phi Mu, I became involved in things like intramural sports, external philanthropy events, and best of all, I joined an irreplaceable sisterhood.

To me, Phi Mu has become something I will be forever thankful for. Through Phi Mu, I was also blessed with an amazing Pham that has become a huge support system thus far.

Moving away was one thing that scared me, but the thing that scared me the most was the unknown of making friends and finding a family away from home, but I was given that through my sorority.

Obviously, I chose UK because I wanted to further my education as well. I am majoring in Integrated Strategic Communication and I couldn't imagine being on a different path for my future. I see myself being extremely happy with this as my career path.

Yet again, I am given another opportunity to bloom.

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Blooming and thriving are things that do not happen overnight. It takes you being open to change and being accepting of some failure along the way.

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Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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