Haunted Houses are like movies. Each one tells a story and they are all different.
Updated: Feb 24, 2019
I always hear the same question every year, what is the best Haunted House to go to? The answer is all of them!
A haunted house is a form of performance theater. Every year the owners and management of each Haunted House work extremely hard to tell the best story possible to the guests that enter their doors. Just as a horror movie, all you have to do is go and experience them.
Of course, the big Haunted Houses go over the top with their set building and animations, but some of the best stories are told by the smaller Haunted Houses that are being built on a shoestring budget. The smaller, or lack thereof, budget attractions are forced to be creative and re-purpose everyday items. It's going to thrift stores and junkyards getting the best deals on the coolest items they have to make the guest experience everything that it can be. Having been in this situation before, I have quite enjoyed this process. It's a treasure hunt of the most creative nature. How many everyday people will look at a pool noodle and start thinking about making tree branches or vines? That is what makes this process so intriguing.
For those Haunted Houses with a budget to work with, they begin looking at some of the prop makers and animation vendors to purchase pieces to incorporate into their story. Generally, every Haunted House has access to the same props and technology, but they all use them differently. As a person in the Haunted House industry, I find it very enjoyable to visit other haunted attractions and just take it all in. I admire the creative vision that goes into other peoples attractions and do not judge their performance. Just like a movie, sometimes I like it and sometimes I don't. That does not mean that one is better than the other, it just means I did not prefer their story. Even if I did not enjoy their story, I can admire the work that went in to make it happen.
It is the job of a Haunted House to suspend reality. To create a world that once you enter you forget the outside world you left behind. Its the same principle used in theme parks, but with a twist of horror. Once you are in their world the story belongs to creative minds behind the attraction. How the story is told will be the difference in peoples opinion.
Some Haunted Houses rely strongly on animatronics, while others depend solely on actors to tell their story, Some believe that actor-driven attractions are cheap and not worth the money, but some of the greatest stories told have been by Haunted Houses that do not own a single animatronic. Whether it's a big nationally known attraction or a small Haunted Trail on someone's unused farmland, go into the experience with an open mind and enjoy the story you are being told.