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I Have A Love-Hate Relationship With Haunted Houses

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Iowa chapter.

October is a jam-packed month filled with scary, cheesy movies (not counting Hocus Pocus; Disney didn’t play games with that one), pumpkin patches (bring out the flannels, ladies), costume parties (block your parents on Facebook) and of course: HAUNTED HOUSES.   

No, October is complete without a trip to a haunted house with your friends. It is basically October’s way of hazing you. Nothing can compare to that spiked adrenaline rush you get when experiencing a haunted house. Even though I suffer mentally and physically, year after year, I still go back for another round—and most likely regret it. Here are the reasons I love-hate haunted houses:


1. Bonding with the squad

The unwritten rule for haunted houses is that you have to go with a group. When walking through twenty minutes or so of a living nightmare, you most certainly need that emotional support and that tight hand squeeze from your best friends. No child left behind. 

2. The car ride home 

Hearing the stories of your friends’ perceptions and experiences in the haunted house are always hilarious. Like how one friend tripped during the “grave yard” portion, or how another friend nearly punched an actor in the face because he accidently touched her. It goes on and on, and the laughs don’t stop until someone says “enough” and blasts a throwback song and everyone goes nuts.

3. The costumes/decor 

Despite maybe closing my eyes the majority of the haunted house, I always enjoy checking out the costumes and how the haunted house is setup with the crazy elaborate decorations. You can tell a lot goes into it, and as a Halloween enthusiast, you have to appreciate this strange live art form. 

4. The impromptu cursing 

Haunted houses are safe spaces to scream whatever the f*** you want. Cursing is a defense mechanism that helps me get through all of the surprise attacks by releasing stress. When I get a lovely surprise attack from a 4’2 Chuckie doll from around the corner of the pitch black maze, I am allowed to drop a few F-bombs with dignity.


1. The strobe lights

Most haunted houses have a strobe light portion, which needs to be banned ASAP. The intense flashing lights hitting the silver metal fence with fog everywhere is way more nauseating than scary. 

2. The price

I should not have to pay more than ten dollars to have a near-heart attack. Haunted houses need to lower their prices or at least have some college student deals, since we’re poor and all. I mean, there are cheap deals at Union, which can be just as scary as a haunted house.

3. The friend who claims she “wasn’t even scared”

On the car ride home, there is always that one friend who claims that the haunted house was “lame” and “definitely not scary.” Girl, I heard you screaming.

4. The PTHHD that night

Post Traumatic Haunted House Disorder; yep, it’s a thing, people! Okay, maybe I just made that up, but if you think about it, it totally happens. When laying in bed that night (with the lights on), I hear noises of chainsaws and evil laughs. I constantly stare at the closet door, praying that there are no “Chuckie” doll kids planning my death.  

Love ’em, or hate ’em, haunted houses are an American tradition that will never fall out of style. Click here to find haunted houses in Iowa. 

Alyssa Pozen

U Iowa '19

Editor-in-Chief for U Iowa Her Campus. Senior at the University of Iowa studying Journalism and Mass Communication and earning a certificate in Entrepreneurial Management. Obsessed with meme culture, entrepreneurial podcasts and the Real Housewives franchise.
U Iowa chapter of the nation's #1 online magazine for college women.