How to Avoid Ticking Off the Actors in a Haunted House

Haunted houses are a fun part of Halloween. Here are some tips from a haunted house actor about the etiquette and common sense of going through a haunted house.

Steps

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    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, not ours.
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    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.
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    Make sure you won't react poorly to the environment. Fog machines and strobe lights are often used. Keep this and any medical conditions that could be aggravated by this in mind.
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    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 could be a danger to yourself or others.
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    If there are rules, listen to them.
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    Even if it is not explicitly mentioned, do NOT touch the actors. This is liable to get you thrown out, and possibly arrested.
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    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.
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    Do not hang out in an actor's scene and refuse to move until the actor is forced to break character to get you out. This is not funny. This ruins the experience for the people behind you and forces the actor to break rules.
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    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.
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    Pushing aside curtains in search of actors waiting to scare you ruins the scare. Do not do this.
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    It's not your job to scare people, it's the actor's. Let them do their jobs.
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    Do not try to scare the actors. This will almost certainly not work, and you'll look like a prat.
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    Do not touch props. Do not play with props. Do not move props. Do not attempt to steal props.
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    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.
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    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.
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    Do not force your companions to stay if they are frightened.
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    Try to have some fun when you walk through. Having no fun ruins the experience for everyone.
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    Running in a haunted house can be dangerous and destructive. Try to avoid it
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    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.
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    Come in smaller groups (2-4 is usually good). This makes you more manageable and easier to keep track of in the house.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    Leaving the group you are with to hide and try to scare them is not only rude to the performers, it can hold its 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.
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    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.'

Tips

  • Making fun of actors or attempting to break their character is neither witty nor amusing.
  • Don't try to be a tough guy. Don't be insulting to and/or hit the actor because they scared you. You paid money for them to do that. If you can't handle it, stay home.
  • Don't tell actors "stop scaring my kid(s)". If you think your kids can't handle it don't go in. If your kids can't handle it chicken out. You ruin everyone in the groups good time as well as the actors good clean fun when you get angry for forcing your child into something they can't handle.
  • When planning to attend a Haunted House think about your attire. Close toed shoes are a better option (sneakers, etc). With all the jumping by yourself or your group, toes often get stepped on. There may also be items you can stub your toes on.
  • If you do go through more than once, don't be obnoxious about how much you now know about the house. Try to enjoy it as you would a new house.
  • If an actor tells you something, such as "Wait", "Move faster", "Wrong way" etc., listen to them.
  • Be aware of when a house closes. If it closes at, say, midnight, do not show up at midnight. The actors will be preparing to leave, and the house will probably already be shut down.
  • A haunted house is usually only as scary as the surprises that it holds. Going through more than once can ruin the experience for you and the actors, unless you are respectful on your subsequent ventures and are there to appreciate the things you might have missed the first time through.
  • Remember, most actors, this is their JOB. As you are leaving their room, or the whole park for that matter, tell the ticket booth who did a good job. It makes the "monsters" feel appreciated and will continue to do better.
  • Most houses will allow you to request a "low" scare or a "high" scare if you feel the need. Please do not request a low scare unless you've got small children with you, and do not request a high scare if you can not handle it.
  • If you get injured, please inform the next worker you see even if it's an actor. It helps make sure you are okay and helps fix whatever might have caused your injury.
  • Turn any cell phone, pager, or other noise making device on SILENT before entering the house.
  • Do NOT go through EXIT doors. These are for emergencies only and it forces the actor to break character to retrieve you and return you to the proper path.
  • If you have a tendency to strike out when scared, have a friend agree to hold your "hitting hand" to keep you from doing so.

Warnings

  • As stated above, do not touch the actors. Do not hit the actors. Do not kick, push, bite, slap, lick, scratch or otherwise assault actors. The same goes for mannequins, which could be an actor pretending to be fake.
  • Don't bring flashlights. Bringing flashlights ruin the whole effect that most houses often try to create. It spoils the thrill for not only you, but your entire group.
  • If you are prone to striking out when frightened, do not go through a haunted house. The actors do not want to be punched in the face for doing their jobs any more than you do. If you meant to do it or not doesn't matter. If you can't control yourself, then stay home. Some "hitters" find that keeping their hands in their pockets can keep them from reflexively lashing out. You might see if that works, but do so before you go.
  • Do not run. You could destroy the house or hurt yourself and others.
  • Unless you yourself are on fire, no smoking in the house.

Article Info

Categories: Etiquette | Haunted Places