Haunted Attraction Psychology

The “No Boo Necklace” (A cute light-up pumpkin on a lanyard) is new at Cedar Fair parks this year, yes you do see adults wearing them, although it’s mainly women. The batteries only last about a night- it’s just LEDs driven off a series of watch batteries with no voltage regulator, but are replaceable. Typically you have designated, themed indoor and outdoor mazes, “Scare Zones”, which are themed sections of park walkwaysk, plus a few random scareactors wandering around in other areas. For those of you familiar with Valleyfair, one of the more inspired tricks was to hide behind that wooden fence where you enter Renegade. The necklaces are “valid” for just walking around the park, or the outdoor Scare Zones, where because of the layout sometimes you have to walk through to get to rides.

It seems most of the scareactors will just ignore you, while a few will trash talk and a few will default to their training as normal park employees and be nice and pleasant “have a nice night”.

This is a newish variation on the haunted house: The zombie safari. http://battlecreekpaintball.com/zombiehunt/

Ain’t rural America great?

Fear is a sensation that many people today seldom experience. And we are so protected and safe most of the time that it’s actually a fun new experience. For others it provokes the same sort of adrenaline rush as any extreme sport or amusement park ride. It gets your heart racing!

It’s also a really good excuse to go clinging onto your date. If you’re trying to get out of the “Friend Zone” with someone, a haunted house trip is a good way to test the waters.

P.S. Funniest “Ellen” clip ever!

“I’m protecting you!!” (3:40)


If you are in or planning to visit southern California check this out at the legendary ocean liner Queen Mary. Its a lot of fun and the ship is amazing. It doesnt hurt that there are (alleged) real ghosts there. :wink:

I saw an ex brother-in-law of mine that was basically, a psychopath prone to violence, beat the crap out of one of those “scare actors” for daring to jump out of a dark corner and scaring him.

So glad my sis is rid of him.

Are the same thought processes at work screaming on Roller Coasters
A) Teenage Girls just like to scream
B) The same suspension of disbelief.

I don’t think so. Because I don’t know of anyone who says they like roller coasters because they like the feeling that they might fall. The reaction is more primal than that.

It’s closer to what happens in a jump scare, where it doesn’t matter that you know it’s fake. In a roller coaster, it doesn’t matter that you know you won’t fall. The acceleration all over your body just inherently invokes your anti-falling reflexes. (It’s why having balance disorders are inherently scary.)

But A is still true.

As far as the monster’s reaction to “No Boo” passes, it seems 95% of them ignore it and move on to guests that appreciate their talents. The rest trash talk, and I had one break character and wish me a nice day, one try to scare me anyway on purpose, and a few by accident (one of who broke character and apologized), and one that called out a warning to monsters farther down the path.

Do these throw them off their “zone”, or do they hate that management introduced the concept, or is trash talking just their way of staying in character for the next guest? Less than 1% of the guests use them, and even then almost never in the actual mazes (where I don’t think they’re supposed to be used anyway). This is the Cedar Fair Halloween Haunt, not something like a standalone haunted attraction, and some of the a major rides you can’t get to without walking through a designated Scare Zone (although anywhere in the park is fair game- I witnessed some good scares with the crowd walking towards the exit having let their guard down.

(Scare Zones are designated sections of park walkways that are set up full of themed props and monsters and as such guests might walk through them to get somewhere else, as opposed to the mazes).