Students have howling good times at haunted attractions


As his fist collides with a stranger’s face, sophomore Mikey Shock feels his body fill with terror and adrenaline while he runs away from the darkly dressed figure. Two years ago, Shock went to Six Flags for their Fright Fest. Little did he know that his night would entail navigating both haunted houses and self-defense.

While walking through the haunted house with one of his close friends, Shock thought nothing could scare him and that he was ready for anything. Unfortunately, he was in for an unpleasant surprise. “We were coming around the corner, and this lady popped out from behind a barrel, and it scared me so badly that my reflex was to defend myself, so I punched her right across the face, and then she went down. I felt so bad,” Shock said.

Shock couldn’t believe that he had just punched a stranger in the face. Although the character was not scary herself, the element of surprise is what caused Shock to respond this way. “I think I scared her more than she scared me,” he said.

During the fall, many students enjoy getting into the holiday spirit by attending several different haunted attractions. 123 students responded to a survey conducted by The Patriot, showing that 31 percent of students visit various haunted attractions once a year.
Shock isn’t the only student who has had a memorable experience at a haunted attraction. Two years ago, senior Carly Cobo traveled to Pennhurst Asylum in Spring City, Pa. with friends.

Early into their trip, everyone was being pushed and pulled as they all fought to get in the center of the group. In the midst of the arguing and shoving, a dark figure jumped out of the corner, scaring the whole group and causing them to quickly sprint ahead. “Then, the floor changed to a bouncy house floor. It was like a blow-up floor, so everyone fell to the ground, and it was so funny – definitely one of my more memorable experiences,” Cobo said.

It was hilarious for Cobo to be able to look back and remember all of her friends flopping on the floor as they struggled to get back up to escape the terrifying situation. Although frequenting haunted attractions may be an expensive hobby, Cobo tries her best to attend many during October. “I enjoy getting scared. I think it’s fun. I like seeing the reactions of other people,” Cobo said. Having such a fond memory changed her views on haunted attractions. “It definitely made me enjoy [haunted attractions] a lot more,” Cobo said.

Senior Anna Kotula also had a unique story from a local haunted attraction that still has an impact on her life today. Last Nov., Kotula went to Legends of the Fog in Harford County with one of her close friends to visit her new boyfriend, senior Reece Falter, who was working there.

“As we were walking through the first haunted attraction, Reece had scared us and done what he was supposed to do. We kept walking, and then he came up behind and me and very creepily whispered ‘I love you,’ ” Kotula said. She was in shock because this was the first time he had ever said it to her. It took her a minute to process what had just happened to her, and when she turned around to respond, he was gone.

Shock, Cobo, and Kotula aren’t the only students who enjoy going to haunted atractions. According to the survey, 62 percent of students enjoy participating in fall festivities and going to different haunted attractions in the weeks leading to Halloween.

People may have different experiences at haunted attractions, but they are still a popular activity during the fall season. Despite Shock’s experience, Halloween is still one of his favorite times of the year.

“I just love Halloween, because it is a time of year when you can really express yourself and not be judged,” Shock said.

Anna Sullivan is an Entertainment Editor for The Patriot and