BOO! That will be $12 please.

Are you going to pay people to scare you this month? The average cost of a haunted house ranges from $10-$15, some would say a reasonable price for entertainment and escaping reality for a moment.

My favorite effects and reminiscences from haunted houses:

Charity. The haunted house industry helps to raise tens of millions of dollars for charities nationwide, pretty remarkable. Me donating my time working in a haunted house, not so amazing. I remember…a lady kicking me for scaring her (although I probably wasn’t so scary) which was right before I got glow stick goo in my eye while decorating. In fact, it was a haunted house, the now torn down, infamous Wagon Wheel Resort, on the very grounds of where I work now, FatWallet headquarters.

The “Safe” Scare. People like the adrenaline rush of getting scared but knowing they really aren’t in danger. I remember… going to haunted houses with friends and getting picked up and literally moved to the back of the line by a gorilla. I believe that violates haunted house code but nonetheless I was an easy (small) target.

Creativity. According to the National Research Federation, over seven billion dollars is spent yearly on candy, costumes and activities in the United States alone, with $400–500 million of that from haunted house attractions. I remember…having a Halloween themed birthday party. My cool parents, with the help of some scary friends and relatives, turned my dad’s shop into an actual haunted house. It involved chainsaws (without the blades of course), moving equipment like golf carts, mowers and such and a fire finale. It even led to a crying friend.

I can’t think of another holiday that brings together the awesomeness of charity, fright and creativity. Haunted house attendance nationwide has been increasing; do you plan on going this year?

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