Addiction to Fright


Long lines can be expected, especially on Halloween for the Midway of Madness community haunted house in Huntington Beach. (Photo courtesy Mike Castro)

As the spooky season is upon us, most people go to haunted houses to get scared out of their minds, but why?  Why do people pay money to get scared?

Long lines at a bustling haunted house demonstrate the sheer number of avid horror seekers.

According to an industry association, all across the U.S.,  there are approximately about 1,200 haunted houses that have admission fees. Along with this, it is estimated that there is an average attraction rate of 8,000 horror seekers.


According to several medical studies, an adrenaline high is created when watching scary movies. As our heart beats faster, we breathe quicker, and our muscles get more blood to them. The release of epinephrine (adrenaline) is the key source of these symptoms.


“It’s not something I can experience every day,” says Stephanie Orellana, an avid haunted house lover. “I get to be in a real-life horror film”.


Many others have the same reactions to these horror houses and look forward to these haunted houses in order to get their fill on this horror high.


Behind the scenes of haunted houses, thousands of horror lovers can’t wait for the season to arrive in order to become the monsters that terrify their guests. Normal humans by day, transformed monsters by night with film-worthy makeup and costumes, this is key to making these attractions as realistic as possible.


A 13th Floor actor explained a little more on why he and many others love these attractions.


“This is my passion, I love giving others this extreme high of horror that I love. I don’t exactly know the science behind why I love this feeling but I can tell you that I’m not the only one”.