Former Haunted House Worker Shares What Visitors Should Never, Ever Do

Spooky old house
Unsplash | Eleanor Brooke

Haunted houses — the kind with actors, not houses haunted by actual spirits — aren't for everyone. The prospect of going into a spooky, dimly lit environment and getting harassed by actors will either thrill you or sound like the worst thing ever.

In case you were wondering: yes, there is such thing as haunted house etiquette. So if you're planning on enhancing your spooky season with a trip to a haunted house, the following tips are good to know.

A former haunted house worker shared her experiences.

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Unsplash | Vino Li

Danielle Kate Wroe is a lifestyle writer for The Mirror in the United Kingdom. But back in the day, she was a self-described "Halloween scare actor" — and she detailed her experiences in a recent column.

It's a specialized line of work.

Hand and face silhouette viewed through window
Unsplash | Nathan Wright

It isn't necessary to have much related background work (it isn't like you can get a degree in haunted houses), but job interviewers will still want to know how spooky you can be. Danielle writes that the interview involved some improv work with other actors.

It's all about the jump scares.

Jump scare gif

"The shifts were short, and the pay was laughable, but I genuinely couldn't have been happier," wrote Danelle. "The aim was a lot of of jump scares and general creepiness, and obviously very extravagant clown costumes and make-up."

Actors usually wait in hiding before jumping out when a guest enters their space.

Man wearing scary clown makeup
Unsplash | Robert Zunikoff

This is the essence of the real-life jump scare. Danielle says an underrated element of the job is the physical demands: on a busy night, actors will do a lot of jump scares!

Usually, it's all fun and games.

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Giphy | SYFY

"I then moved to a maze section of the fun house, where I worked on my own throughout the night," she wrote. "I had a lot of fun with it and made the best of the situation as I'd get myself psyched up, get the adrenaline pumping and then I was able to do my best scaring."

Adrenaline is a heck of a drug.

Scared looking cat
Unsplash | Andrew Umansky

If you've ever been in a good haunted house attraction, or just had some kind of real world jump scare, you know that your fight or flight reflex is a powerful thing. Sometimes, Danielle writes, this gets people into trouble.

"Sometimes it wasn't all fun and games."

Haunted house attraction gif
Giphy | PotatoITV

Danielle writes "there were times when I almost got smacked in the face but managed to dodge it. Obviously, when people are scared, sometimes their natural reaction is to flail around in fear, but this led to a few near misses for my nose."

Keep this in mind.

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Unsplash | David Menidrey

Danielle has just one message for anyone who's visiting a haunted house attraction:

"Don't grab, hit, spit at, or be mean to scare actors. At the end of the day, we're just people in costumes and whatever you do that's unpleasant has a genuine impact on people. You're well within your rights to be scared, of course, that's the whole point - but be mindful of the humans behind the costume, and be kind."

It's just common sense.

Spooky old house
Unsplash | Eleanor Brooke

A good haunted house will be scary, of course, but it's important to be mindful that the whole thing is fun and games. You're not going to get hurt, and those actors are just young adults who've been hired to give you some gentle scares.

Let us know about your haunted house experiences in the comments.

h/t: Mirror