Who doesn’t love a good scare? Halloween is this weekend and in every city across America, haunted houses are opening up offering some frightfully good fun.
Decades ago, I “worked” in a haunted house with a friend of mine who was in charge of a “room”. His theater group got a percentage of the profits in exchange for hosting a room. I got recruited to lay in the coffin and “look dead” – that’s what friends are for. This haunted house was sponsored by the local Jaycees, a community organization. The Jaycees host a haunted house in many communities as do the Shriners. In fact, in Seattle, the Shriners boast the only “haunted golf course“. Local radio stations are also big sponsors of haunted houses. Listen and you could even win passes! The weekend before Halloween, Salt River Fields was the site of “Spooktacular” – a balloon glow in a field where kids could trick-or-treat between hot air balloons!
In larger markets, there are companies who set up elaborate haunted houses such as “13th Floor”, the one I recently visited in Phoenix. AMAZING! Great, elaborate sets and agile ghouls who manage to get ever so close to you without ever touching you and then magically slip away.
Several tips for finding a great haunted house:
- Be sure the house fits the attendees. There are some venues which are more family-friendly than others. Visit the website or Facebook page for the prospective haunt and see what they say as well as what others who have already visited say.
- READ THE REVIEWS!!!
- Really young children are perhaps better suited for a corn maze or other less scary options.
- Opt for the VIP or shortened line option if you can. Lines – especially on Halloween weekend – can get frightfully LONG. If you spend a little more, you can usually jump the line.
Of course you can always stay home and hand out candy. If you do, consider having a few bottles of themed wine on hand and some small plastic cups for the adults who are accompanying the children on the neighborhood trek. 7 Deadly Zins is my personal favorite and what we will be pouring if you ring our doorbell.