Although haunted houses are not suppose to scare their visitors up to a traumatizing extent, there is a rather recent trend to make them seem, well, scarier. What used to be relatively innocent- and fun-looking decorations has been turning into a detailed maze of attributes that sometimes resemble a well-done slasher movie set. This new approach deserves praise for the attention to detail and effort put into these new style haunted houses. At the same time, for some visitors it is truly difficult to handle a very realistic-looking murder scene, for instance. Hence, here are some techniques that can help you fight your fears and enjoy the haunted house experience, as it is supposed to be.
Invite your Friends
It is no secret that going through such an experience alone can be much tougher than going with someone. Naturally, invite those friends who you think are not more sensitive than you to what they are about to see in the house. When you are in a group, it becomes possible to joke about how frightened you feel and so use it as a stress relief technique. Moreover, simply being in a group of people you know in itself provides you with a sense of protection and care. It seems rather self-evident, yet it is surprising how much it helps just to be able to hold someone when you are scared or simply stand behind someone’s back.
Train your Brain
This general advice might be in fact the most efficient one. Just like when you are watching a horror movie and see yourself hiding behind a pillow you are holding in front of the screen, you make yourself realize it is just a movie. There is no-one to actually hurt you, so you realize the fear that is emerging is irrational. Certainly, horrors coming from the screen seem less real anyways then the ones you see in a haunted house. However, before going to a haunted house that you think will be a truly terrifying experience, watch some horror movies and try to remain conscious of the fact nothing can actually harm you. It is without a doubt difficult to distance yourself from a film experience as it is by default made to engage you in the narrative. Yet constantly reminding yourself it is just a movie, or, for instance, trying to identify some cinematic techniques (“what a long take”, “this is an interesting camera angle”, “the make-up is brilliantly done”, etc.) can create some distance between you and the object that would otherwise make you frightened.
Have your Reminder
The last step to take to actually enjoy your time in a haunted house instead of leaving it in a state of shock is to make a small physical reminder, a talisman of sorts, for you to have during your stay in the house. Essentially, each time you look at it – it can be some coin, a toy, or a simple note of “this is not real” – it will remind you that nothing that surrounds you can actually cause harm. So, rather than getting in a “I am about to be killed by a psycho killer” panic, you get more of “I am just in a haunted house in Utah, nothing bad can actually happen” thinking. A reminder like this can make you calm yourself by simply redirecting your thoughts from irrational fears to a safe reality.
Go for it, but only when you are Ready
Keeping these simple tips in mind, you can allow yourself to have a haunted house experience that would be memorable for its quality and not some traumatizing effects. The fear of…fear, basically, should not overtake your desire to check some quality haunted house out. Although, naturally, do not feel pressured to see what it is like if you think you may get too scared. Thus, see how you are feeling and do the right thing, whatever you decide it is.