Haunted houses can be terrifying, but that’s why we love them. Us thrill-seekers and Halloween-lovers go to haunted houses just to have zombies jump out of dark corners and scare us. We don’t mind being afraid in a haunted house because the fear is superficial and will pass. But when an accident occurs, the terror becomes real.
In a house with all the lights dimmed, people jumping out of the shadows, and screams filling the air, it seems that there might be a million ways someone can get injured. What is important to know, however, is that many times the people who get injured at haunted houses are the employees. As you prepare to go to haunted houses this season, here are a few haunted house injuries to keep in mind:
Common Haunted House Injuries to Customers
- Slips, Trips, and Falls – This one is really not surprising at all. Walking into a dark house after being in the sunlight can be very disorienting. If there are any loose cables, bumps in rugs, or debris lying around, a person can easily trip and fall.
- Scaring Gone Wrong – It’s a haunted house employee’s job to frighten you, but that doesn’t mean it always works. It’s rare, but sometimes, haunted house actors will take the role too far and break guidelines in trying to scare you. This can result in a haunted house actor actually grabbing or pulling on a customer, which of course can lead to injury.
- Carbon Monoxide – Many haunted houses set the mood with artificial fog, which is created by pumping chemicals into the air. Without proper ventilation, this has been known to lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Impatient Moving Trams – Some haunted houses use trams to move customers through the haunted house. If not timed right, the tram only stops for a few seconds to let a customer in. There have been known incidents where a customer is not quick enough to get into the tram, and ends up being knocked to the ground by the sudden jolt of motion.
- Exposed Protrusions – If an attraction is moved and screws or other exposed protrusions are left behind, it can cause lacerations or bruises to visitors that don’t see them while walking through the dark house. These sharp protrusions can also come from mannequins or broken guardrails.
- Falling Props – Props that are moved or knocked often can become unstable and fall on visitors, some of which are small children that are only half the size of the prop.
- Trampling – In a haunted house, people are known to be both excited and terrified. If one of the attractions frightens a whole group of people, they might decide to run away all at once and trample on other visitors. A terrified might fall backwards over a rail or out the window. These instances are infrequent, but they do happen.
Common Haunted House Injuries to Employees
- Haunted House Throat – The condition “haunted house throat” is known to happen after excessive screaming and howling. It leads to a sore throat and hoarse or lost voice. Though common, the condition is easily treatable.
- Cleaver Elbow – This condition is very similar to “tennis elbow,” in that it comes from raising the arms too many times. Haunted house employees will raise their arms to scare customers, and after doing this a lot, it can lead to muscle soreness that leads to pretty severe elbow pain.
- Spooked Customers – Believe it or not, haunted house visitors are the performers’ greatest threat. Panicked patrons have been known to respond physically to being scared, lashing out and causing broken noses, bite marks, bruises and other bodily trauma to the employees.
- Freak Accidents – It’s rare, but freak accidents have been known to occur to employees. For example, an employee looking to scare customers with a noose might slip and fall and actually end up hanging from the noose. This can be especially dangerous, as these employees might be overlooked and viewed as props.
Going to a Haunted House
There is much madness going on when you enter a haunted house. While the haunted house does have a duty of care to its visitors, it is important for customers to be aware of the harm they can cause out of fear.
If you’re headed to a haunted house, make sure to be aware of your surroundings as an attempt to avoid injury. However, when negligence is involved, injury may be unavoidable. If this is the case, then you should hire a personal injury attorney. Doing so will help to cover your medical expenses.