If your child grew up enjoying Halloween movies, chances are they know a thing or two about haunted houses. What’s more, they are probably asking you when they can visit one for real.
Haunted houses are, in some senses, a cultural rite of passage. If you grew up near one and had older siblings, you may have felt a similar interest. It is important, though, to be sure that your child is ready to visit one. So, if you have a young child, think about a couple of things before acquiescing and taking them to a haunted house.
Does Your Child Have Nightmares?
Some children are prone to needing comforting late at night. Does your child still crawl into bed with you? If that is still a reality, your child is probably not ready for a haunted house. You do not want the occasional night terror to become a nightly occurrence.
Is Your Child Afraid of the Dark?
If your child still sleeps with a nightlight, you may want to wait another year or two before you revisit the idea of haunted houses. Do not hesitate in explaining your reasoning to your child. Make sure that they know what they can expect. If sudden darkness or strobe lights frighten them, it may be best to wait for a while.
Have You Done Your Research?
No one is as good a judge of your child’s preparedness than you. If you think your child is ready, look at a few venues. Once you find some age appropriate haunted house options, look closer into each option. Each haunted house will have different guidelines. Many haunted houses will also have social media or a website. If you do not find that information is readily available, see if they list a phone number. It is worth asking those who work there if they would recommend the house to a child the same age as your own. They may even know other spooky venues that are more age appropriate.
Familiarize Yourself with Policies
Knowing haunted house policies falls in line with doing your research. However, you should not underestimate the importance of knowing what to expect. Some haunted houses will state that actors and guests cannot touch each other. Still, some venues will allow actors to grab guests, which may frighten a child. Make sure to look for “No Touching” signs at any venue.