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The Making of the American Halloween Tradition

Dallas, US, 14 Oct. 2022, 12:30 CEST
The Making of the American Halloween Tradition img#1

The thrill of scaring seems to have pulsed in the blood of humankind for at least a millennium. Halloween originated around 1000 BC, with the Celtics using it to scare off ghosts and welcome the dark part of the year in October after the harvest. The American tradition of Halloween initially evolved from a mix of customs in this melting pot of diverse people, particularly in the South, that centered around ghost stories, jack-o-lanterns, voodoo, and witchcraft.

In the 1850s, when Irish immigrants came en masse to the U.S., Halloween customs became more widespread and centered around festivities. The popularity grew to celebrations and the telling of ghost stories and mischief. The mischief escalated to vandalism for many communities, so in the Depression, it was encouraged to involve children to dress in costumes and go "trick-or-treating." The request was to provide a treat to avoid any tricks.

Around the same time as the advent of trick-or-treating, some charities opened haunted houses as a fun Halloween activity to further reduce vandalism on the night. The popularity of haunted houses soared soon after an amusement park included one in 1969. Entrepreneurs felt the haunted house as the sole focus would be a viable experience focused more on scaring. Hence the beginnings of commercial haunted houses.

Halloween "fever," the strong urge to experience the season to its fullest, is apparent as Halloween is one of the most popular holidays in the United States. Increasingly people are looking for experiences to live their best lives and make time for fun nights out. Commonplace traditions from the buckets of candy, adding Halloween décor around the home, to parties, and going to haunted houses put people in the Halloween spirit.

Haunted attractions were quite different from their humble beginnings 50 years ago. At that time, there weren't many of the technologies they have today. The biggest haunts use nerve centers of computers and servers to amp the experience beyond yesteryear to synchronize the show's animatronics, automated lights, added smells, fog, and mechanical operations. Night vision cameras are also available now to ensure everything operates as designed. Haunted houses have become haunted attractions expanding to haunted hayrides, haunted midways, escape games, museums of oddities, ghost tours, and other fear-based entertainment.

The start-up cost to develop and operate a mega-sized haunted attraction is often prohibitive to create today. At the same time, the mega haunts make considerable investments annually to stay on top of the latest to frighten their fans and earn their applause through screams. The best scary-fun experiences are immersive with convincing illusions to do the business of scaring up close, personal, and mind-blowing. America screams for exciting fear-based entertainment and escapism from the routine. The top haunts don't miss a heartbeat to create heart-pounding moments and thrilling good times.

The Halloween haunt season ends soon for most haunted attractions. America Haunts highlights the upcoming closing dates of some of the best mega-sized haunted attractions across the nation.

Attraction s

Metro Area

Season Close

Headless Horseman Hayride and Haunted Houses

New York

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride

Philadelphia

Monday, October 31, 2022

Spooky Woods

Greensboro/High Point

Monday, October 31, 2022

The Haunted Hotel

San Diego

Monday, October 31, 2022

Beast Haunted Attraction

Kansas City

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Bennett's Curse Haunted House

Baltimore

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Cutting Edge Haunted House

Fort Worth

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Dent School House

Cincinnati

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Erebus Haunted Attraction

Detroit

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Nightmare on 13th Haunted House

Salt Lake City

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Spooky World - Nightmare New England/Haunted Hayride

Boston

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Talon Falls SCREAMPARK

Paducah

Saturday, November 5, 2022

The 13th Gate

Baton Rouge

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Thrillvania Haunted House Park

Dallas

Saturday, November 5, 2022

NETHERWORLD Haunted House

Atlanta

Saturday, November 12, 2022