It’s the first weekend in October and you know what that means? That means haunted houses will be popping up all over the country. Now, I love haunted houses and horror movies more than most people, so I make it my duty to visit at least a million every Halloween season.
Because of my love for the houses, I’ve become an expert on what not to do in a house. Here are some things to keep in mind when you visit these houses of horror. I also have several family members and friends who are working in someone of the biggest houses in the United States, so I’ve talked to them about what you, the reader, can do to so you can avoid being ‘that guy’.
- Don’t bother trying to act tough, we know you’re scared. And pretending you aren’t scared or trying to act smart just wastes your money.
- Be sure you really want to go through the house- there’s nothing worse than a customer who keeps their eyes and ears covered, or runs.
- Make sure you won’t react poorly to the environment. Fog machines and strobe lights are often used, to almost everyone’s annoyance. Keep this and any medical conditions that could be aggravated by this in mind.
- Do not come if you are drunk or under the influence of drugs. You won’t have fun, your friends won’t have fun, the actors won’t have fun, and you will annoy the shit out of everyone behind you in the house. No one wants to be stuck behind that asshole who is trying to mess around with everyone during the house. It’s one thing to be buzzed but being drunk/wasted is a waste of your time and money.
- If there are rules, listen to them. This should be self explanatory.
- Even if it is not explicitly mentioned, do NOT touch the actors. I’ve had several of my friends/family memebers be hit, kicked, groped and grabbed by guests who thought it would be funny. It’s not and you will be kicked out, if not arrested. Plus, why on earth would hit someone that you’re paying to scare you?
- Unless they are unprofessional, actors are unlikely to break character, regardless of how many devastatingly witty one-liners you come up with. You might think it’s hilarious to ask for an actor’s phone number, or to comment on how hot they are. Trust me, it’s not. You’ll look like a huge douche.
- Stating that you aren’t frightened indicates to the actors that you are. If you see an actor peeking out from behind a curtain, it is probably because they WANTED to be seen. Saying “ha, I can see you!” doesn’t prove that you’re clever. It proves that you’re a dick.
- Pushing aside curtains in search of actors waiting to scare you ruins the scare. Do not do this, just don’t.
- It’s not your job to scare people, it’s the actor’s. Let them do their jobs. So please don’t be that guy that just screams for no reason. You might think it’s funny but it’s not. The people around you paid to be scared by professionals, not by you.
- Do not try to scare the actors. This will almost certainly not work, and you’ll look like a prat.
- Do not touch props. Do not play with props. Do not move props. Do not attempt to steal props. DO NOT TOUCH THE PROPS.
- If you find yourself too afraid to continue, request to be taken out. Do not ask to be taken out unless you genuinely want to leave the house. A false chicken out will only irritate actors who have to break character to escort you out.
- Asking an actor to not scare you will often not work. In fact, it will only encourage them to scare you more. If you are truly frightened, chicken out.
- Do not force your companions to stay if they are frightened.
- Try to have some fun when you walk through. Having no fun ruins the experience for everyone.
- Running in a haunted house can be dangerous and destructive. Try to avoid it.
- Do not walk slowly or dawdle. Try to keep an average walking pace. This will ensure that you won’t clump up into big groups with the people behind you, which leads to less scares for everyone. Also, the people behind you want to get through the house so they can get on to the rest of their night and if you take your sweet time through the house, you’re wasting their time. Some lines at the major haunted house attractions can last over an hour and most people will want to visit as many houses as possible so don’t clog up the line.
- Come in smaller groups (2-4 is usually good). This makes you more manageable and easier to keep track of in the house.
- The longer you wait at the end of a hallway or in a doorway being frightened or debating about who goes first, the more time the actors have to prepare to scare you.
- When you leave the house don’t warn waiting customers about what it might hold. That’s kind of like telling people the end of a movie that they’re waiting in line to see.
- Don’t take photos or video tape when you walk through. This really destroys it for others. Posting on Facebook, instagram, or anywhere else really destroys it for those that want to enjoy, and hurts those that took the time to create this art form. It also causes the actors to have no vision for a few minutes…making our job rather difficult.
- If you do happen to know one of the actors personally, don’t yell out their name or ask/mention any personal information or upcoming plans to meet. Again, this ruins the experience for anyone else in front or behind you. It also ruins the scare actor’s experience. Many hours of rehearsal have been put into your one walk through. Plus it could be of concern to give out actor’s names.
- Leaving the group you are with to hide and try to scare them is not only rude to the performers, it can hold it’s own dangers. There are electrical cords and other items that are intentionally set out of the way to not be a hazard to guests, by straying off the path, you may be putting yourself in harm’s way or get lost.
- If you see an actor setting up a scare for someone in your group, don’t try to ‘help.’ You’re probably not as clever as you believe and your friend probably isn’t as stupid as you think. Telling them, ‘look over there’ and pointing at the stalking actor is tantamount to saying, ‘hey, there’s a monster over there getting ready to scare you.