One of my favorite fall activities each year is reaching and attending haunted houses. I love seeing the different themes and ideas the various groups who run them come with year over year. I always take not of the few details that each one will use to set the each scene in a particular time or place.
Below are a few tips to make the most out of your own haunted house visit, I’d love to hear about some of you favorite haunts!
Do some research
Some haunted houses are designed for all ages, and others are more geared towards older children and adults. A haunt’s website will give you an idea of whether it is a good fit for you.
Doing research in advance can also lead you to new places to try. In the past we’ve discovered haunted houses that exclusively featured kids, haunted mazes, historical sites, and outdoor trails.
Make a Schedule
My husband and I like to visit multiple haunted houses each October. Since the number of nights each one is open varies, we check the schedules for each one we want to visit at the beginning of the month. That way, we can catch the ones that may only be open for a few nights and the ones running each weekend.
Dress for the weather
Even if the haunted house you are visiting is indoors, it’s pretty likely that the line to get in will be outside. Make sure your ready for any cold weather or rain.
Make a Night Out of It
Planning a visit to a haunted house and then just heading home after can sometimes feel like a letdown, especially if your time in the haunted house is short. Getting a group together and making plans for dinner before hand or watching a scary movie together definitely adds to the experience. My husband and I have gotten groups as large as 15 people together and mapped out two haunts nearby for us to all go to in order to maximize the evening.
Embrace the Wait
Most of the time, waiting in a long line isn’t much fun, but it can be at a haunted house! Many will send out ghosts and ghouls to scare you while you wait (or even spook you while you park!) Other employ music, games, or show classic horror films. Either way, if your patient and positive, the wait to enter can be fun prelude to entry.
Writers, Take Notes.
Even if you don’t write in the horror genre, it’s still informative to pay attention to what spooked you the most, and what details of each scene stood out to you. Jot down some notes after your experience, and they might help you set the stage for a scene, write a flash fiction, or at least give you some material for a blog post.
In the past I’ve written poetry and blog posts inspired by my own haunted house visits, and one of the most popular posts on my site is this guest submission, a piece of nonfiction by fellow blogger Jeff Cann.