“Some things that terrify us have rarely changed throughout history, while others fade in and out from our fear radar,” said Amber Arnett-Bequeaith of America Haunts, home to more than 30 of the most terrifying, bloodcurdling scream-inducing haunted houses and attractions in the U.S. “What went bump in the night 50 years ago and horrified our parents may seem like kids’ play now.”
Knowing this, the diabolical creators of these haunted attractions constantly revamp 60-70 percent of their properties to consistently creep visitors out.
“A visit from The Blob may have sent us running when it invaded planet Earth in 1958, but against Freddie Krueger in 1984, you just can’t compare the trouble that’s inflicted inside,” Arnett-Bequeaith continued.
So what scares us today? According to America Haunts, it is:
- Zombies. The blood-drooling undead can induce tears in those who don’t get out of sight fast enough. While Zombie presence has soared in American culture the past five years, it has been part of our twisted entertainment since author William Seabrook introduced the topic in 1928.
- Homicidal Maniacs. Whether it’s Norman Bates, Michael Myers, Zep Hindle or their dangerous copycats. They are everywhere at America Haunts. Just ask mainstay Charlie McFree at The Dent Schoolhouse in Cincinnati.
- The Devil and his Minions. Whether Blair Witches, Linda Blair possessed, creepy ghostly children or Satan in any form – from dawn until the end of time, demonic spirits alter our peace of mind.
Americans love to be scared. But for some, what scared them last year may not be what scares them this year.
“We have a responsibility to our visitors to make sure we keep our attractions fresh and keep on the cutting edge of what’s scaring people today,” said Amber Arnett-Bequeaith of America Haunts. “While horror, end of the world and supernatural themes remain hot, we have to be cognizant when the trends that scared people yesterday are no longer as effective.”
Remember that Halloween is a time for fun and frivolity. It is a time to come out of your shell, and to acknowledge the mischievous spirit that resides within all of us. Be sure to keep following this column for news on other spooky events and more. If you know of another local event that needs additional undead light shone upon it, please tell me about it!