Truth be told, there’s no set admission age for haunted houses in the United States. As such, it is recommended you first check the attraction’s website for any age recommendations.
Keep in mind that most haunted houses in the country allow teens and preteens as long as they are accompanied by a parent. Nevertheless, always remember that children are different and tend to possess varying levels of maturity. It then falls on the parent to say whether or not a child can visit a haunted house.
Haunted houses are always looking to outdo themselves or set the pace by upping the fright level every year. As such, being in a haunted house is a domineering experience filled with frightening darkness, lights, sounds, images, and sensations.
Owing to that, it is recommended that you leverage your best judgment to decide whether your child is ready for the level of fright and gore they will encounter at the attraction.
Nevertheless, experts recommend that parents wait until a child is 7 before allowing them to visit a haunted house. One thing to keep in mind is that kids can barely differentiate reality from fiction, so allowing a younger child to deal with the terrors of a haunted house would not follow the 90 percent confidence rule.
Tips to Consider When Taking a Minor to a Haunted House
Just as was noted above, it is the role of parents to decide their ward’s readiness for the next step. However, if you decide that your ward is ready, below are tips to take into consideration;
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Carry Out Your Research
You have to understand that no two haunted attractions are the same. As such, it is recommended you take your time to research your options.
You can leverage the internet, social media, and other resources to evaluate haunted houses in your area. If the haunted attraction is a temporary business or non-profit organization, consider reaching out to them to get the necessary details. Ensure to find out about their policy when it comes to admission for children.
Evaluate the “scare level” of the attraction and their security measures. Also, check to see if they give room for early exits for visitors who are too scared to continue.
Also, consider reaching out to other parents who have children around your child’s age. Make sure you get information regarding their experiences and if they would recommend a particular haunted house for your child, or if they have better alternatives in the area. If the attraction possesses a social media page that you can access, go through reviews from other parents.
Evaluate Your Child’s Readiness to Handle a Scare
You need to know how well your kid can differentiate between what is fake and what is real. It is very necessary that kids understand the distinction between real fear and scary fun prior to visiting such scary places. Aside from that, ask yourself, how well do they cope with age-appropriate scary movies?
What sort of Halloween costumes do they resonate with? These few considerations will give you insights into their tolerance to being frightened.
Consider Possible Health Risks
A good number of haunted houses include strobe lights and fog machines. As a parent, if you’re not certain that you or your ward can handle those well, be willing to exit immediately. If you discover ahead of time that someone in your group can’t be around strobe lights or fog machines, ask for an event that won’t include these devices, or reach out before time to get to know when they will be triggered.
Most of the bigger haunted attractions tend to inculcate at least one house without strobe lights or fog machines for people who are sensitive to them.
‘No Touching’ Signs
Keep in mind that haunted house attractions restrict touching from both parties. Don’t touch the actors, and they can’t touch you.
Nevertheless, there are certain attractions where the actors will try to hold you or touch your hair. Note that this can be really scary for children, especially first-timers. As such, when visiting an attraction, look for the “No Touching” sign. It’s indeed easy to locate.
Get Acquainted Yourself with the Attraction
You should also consider asking for a daytime walk-through of the Halloween house or haunted maze before the main visit with the kids. This will ensure that you can find the exits and even understand the things to expect as you walk through.
Also make your child understand that they will be safe inside the attraction, but that they can choose to leave at any point.
Have a Backup Plan
If for any reason a traditional haunted house seems too scary for your child, note that there might be a compromise. A good number of haunted houses put together a “kids’ night” where they limit the scares and leave the lights on. However, if you are finding it hard to locate any in your area, establish your own haunted house at home! Keep in mind that this might be a wonderful way to get your child ready for haunted attractions in the future.