Haunted Houses for Kids & Teens—Friendly, Frightening, or Extreme?
Note: This blog was originally posted in 2012 and is now updated for the 2015 Haunted House season!
It's that time of year again! The Children's Museum Guild, a group of amazing women, have volunteered THOUSANDS of hours to making this year's Haunted House Fa-BOO-lous for you and your family. This is the museum's largest annual fundraiser and goes to help fund initiatives for families and the community throughout the year.
One thing that makes our Haunted House unique is that we offer a variety of scare levels for you and your family, including IPL's Lights On Hours (for kids who scare easily), Defender Direct's Frightening Hours (for kids who dare to be scared), and EMC2's XTREME SCREAM Fridays and Saturdays (recommended for super brave visitors).
Every year parents ask us which we recommend for their family. This is a difficult question! Although each child is different and there is no right or wrong answer, we do have some tips for you. Here are some details to help you in your decision.
- Includes fun, upbeat music with all lights turned up.
- Friendly-faced greeters are in each room of the house passing out treats to visitors similar to trick-or-treating.
- Children can play seek-and-find with pictures of the annual Haunted House mascot— Witchkins this year—as they move through the rooms of the house to help play up the fun of each room.
- Each room also features a Halloween-related fun fact to ask your child such as "how many bones are in the human body?" (A: 206!)
- Includes spooky music and minimal lighting.
- Haunters hide throughout the house to jump out and scare unsuspecting visitors.
- Although visual effects are used to maximize the scare experience, the frightening-factor of the Haunted House focuses more on the "startle" rather than gore.
- Many visitors will scream with surprise or fear as they move throughout the House.
XTREME SCREAM ($12)
- Friday and Saturday nights only from 8:30–11 p.m. and recommended for teens and adults.
- Takes fright to the next level through an extreme mind/body fright experience.
- Incorporates all five senses resulting in sensory overload as you go on a harrowing thrill ride through the Carnival where you'll encounter such hideous sights that once seen, cannot be unseen!
Unlike the “startle scare” of frightening hours, Xtreme Scream is a choreographed “show” that uses extreme props, costumes and make-up to bring the story to life.
- A safe sign will be given to visitors in the event they are unable to make it through the experience.
If you're better with visuals, check out this 2012 episode of This Week's WOW to see how the haunters prepare for Frightening Hours. It's a great way to show little ones that the witches are really just playing dress up.
If you are still questioning which version of the Haunted House to bring your child to, consider how they handle scary books, movies and TV shows. If they are often afraid of spooky things outside of Halloween, they might prefer a lights-on experience for at least another year. Buy your tickets now!