Haunted attractions are a scam

Faith Arcuri, Staff Reporter

With Halloween right around the corner, get out your popcorn and get ready as everyone goes to the theaters and haunted houses. Halloween is the time for scares and thrills, but the scares are often taken way too far.

Haunted house enthusiast James Yochin was stabbed by what was thought to be a prop at a haunted house in Madison Tennessee. Yochin was stabbed in the forearm by what he thought was a fake knife, but it turned out to be a real knife. Sure, haunted houses can be fun, but at the end of the day, haunted houses can cause dangerous situations to the spectators and the workers of the attraction.

A perfect example of this would be 14 year old Caleb Rebh. Caleb Rebh was a working a haunted hayride in October 2001 at Alpine Ridge Farms in Sparta, Michigan and decided to replace a skeleton that was supposed to be hanging from a noose. According to the Associated Press, Rebh put the rope around his neck, but he was not heavy enough to prevent the branch from whipping back up and eventually choking him.

Deaths are not the only problem at haunted houses; they are a complete waste of money. The haunted house industry publication Hauntworld estimates there are over 4,000 paid Halloween attractions around the country, pulling in thousands of guests each year, making haunted houses a billion dollar industry. There are many haunted houses out there, but some are popularized because of the people who owned the houses before they died.

One major attraction is the Lizzie Borden house. Lizzie Borden was suspected of killing her father and step-mother with an axe. Borden was tried and found not guilty, and now the house is a bed and breakfast/museum in Fall River, Massachusetts.

This house is popular because she hacked both of her parents to death, 29 times between the both of them, and people want to have a closer look and to experience the alleged paranormal activity in the house. Many people believe that entities of the family are still in the house, and in an electronic voice phenomena captured by Thomas D’Agostino, author of many books about paranormal accounts on haunted locations over twenty five years, you can hear “Ma’am come quick!”, which is believed to be Maggie Borden, Lizzie Borden’s sister trying to tell people that her sister was the one that brutally murdered her parents.

Tours of the house started late June, and ended Halloween of this year. The price for a simple tour is $50. The price for two people to stay is $225, and thrill seekers can rent the whole house for a whopping $1,500. Why spend money on something important when you can spend it on a “cheap” thrill?

Many haunted houses have an attraction due to the fact that there are possibly ghosts, but most of the paranormal events that occur at haunted houses are not real.

Most houses are collecting money so they can make another house just to make more money. Folklore states that some ghosts like to take bribes and, then,  they will leave you alone. Mr. Borden likes gold coins, so if tourists don’t want to get haunted, they have to leave a few gold coins on his bedroom bureau. The employees most likely take the money when the tourists leave.

Patrick Konopelski, president and owner of Shocktoberfest and president of the Haunted Attraction Association, estimated that a big haunted attraction can earn $2-3 million a season.

There are many pressing issues out in the world like fatal diseases and wars, but haunted houses should not be one of them. Families could be using that money spent on haunted houses to support themselves, but all that is happening is their money is going down the drain for an hour of fun. I know I would rather be thinking about what is important in life rather than if someone is going to jump out at me with fake blood on their face and attempt to scare me.

The bottom line is, there is no point of haunted houses other than the fact that the people running them get to schmooze off of your hard earned money.