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5 Lessons Learned about Surviving Halloween Haunted Houses

Today I saw a clip of Josh Gates from Destination Truth (included below) getting his fright on at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights. I couldn’t help but crack up. Been there, done that…sort of.

I shared the clip on HJ’s FB page and a Jaunter named Tina left a comment about how she’d been in Orlando in August. She lamented she should’ve put off her trip so she could’ve experienced Halloween Horror Nights.

I told her if she likes Halloween haunted houses, HHH is a must. At least, it’s a must for anyone who can handle such things.


One of the experiences I shared when I made my confession about Halloween haunted houses was the time we went to Halloween Horror Nights. It was the scene of my greatest haunted house meltdown ever. It was epic. I’m talking if anyone had caught any of it on video, they would have a viral laugh-fest on their hands. When I lose it, which I most definitely did that night, I lose it spectacularly!

These days I can laugh about it, but it is embarrassing. I mean, I love Halloween. I love all things scary. You’d think I’d be all about seeing every haunted house I can at this time of year.

I want to see them. I want to go experience the terror. But I know what will happen if I try. And it won’t be pretty.


I actually would love to go back to Halloween Horror Nights and just walk the park, maybe ride some rides, see the shows, and hang on tight to someone who will let me when we go through a Scare Zone.

See, that was the problem. The 5 big mistakes I made, and the lessons I learned, were this:

  1. If you don’t want to be swarmed by every ghoulie in the park, DO NOT arrive promptly at opening time. Especially if it’s not a prime night like Friday or Saturday when crowds will be thinner.
  2. If you do arrive early, DO NOT listen to your husband when he says you need to rush to the back of the park to get to the good rides and beat the lines. (A) There won’t be lines if you arrive early enough and you’re first in the park, and (B) you will have to pass through the scare zones. This means you will have a huge target on your back because guess what? The ghouls have a job to do. With no one else around to scare, you’re it. They will be ruthless.
  3. DO make sure whoever you’re going with doesn’t mind you being all up in their business. I knew I was in trouble as we approached the first scare zone. Instead of letting me grab on and bury my face in his chest while he held me tight, my husband shrugged me off and told me to get away.
  4. Do wear comfortable running shoes. Especially if you’re with someone who does something like my husband did to me in #3.
  5. If you don’t have bases 3 and 4 covered, DO NOT go to a haunted house. There’s no shame in admitting they’re just too intense for you. Some ridicule, especially if you can otherwise handle anything else scary, but no shame.

Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her in one of three places: on a tennis court somewhere, on a yoga mat somewhere, or watching a horror movie somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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