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  • Writer's pictureBroadway Beat

Scariest Room at Haunted House to Feature Audience Participation

by Keeley Bell. @omgitskee

LANCASTER, CA – While most haunted houses feature scare actors that jump out to shout at you, this haunted house wants you to shout back! Its scariest room features everyone’s worst fear: audience participation.

“Nothing is scarier than being expected to participate in a show you paid to see,” explained Hall of Horrors scare actor Jason Krueger, getting into makeup for his role as the haunt’s most disturbing character, The Motivational Speaker. “When they told me they were putting a Stand-Up Comedian, an Out-of-Touch Politician, and a Motivational Speaker all in one room to make the audience face their fear of being forced to vocally prove their engagement and enthusiasm, I knew I had to be a part of something that sick and twisted.”

When asked how they even were able to devise something so depraved, the creative minds behind the haunt proved that they did their research.

“So we hooked a hundred people up to a monitor,” began the haunt’s creative director Michael Voorhees, an established improv comedian and therefore expert scarer. “We found that 100% of them had the highest visceral fear reaction to the words ‘How’s everybody doing tonight?’. We didn’t think it could get any higher until we added, ‘Come on, we can do better than that. How’s everybody doing tonight?!’ The reaction then was so strong, it broke our monitor.”

While thrill-seekers were excited for this new type of adrenaline rush, local therapist Pamela Lee Ray was concerned for the citizens of Lancaster.

“The lasting effects of this type of haunt could be detrimental,” warned Ray as she stood her ground in protest outside of the Hall of Horrors, holding up a sign that read "SPECTATORS GONNA SPECTATE." “I fear that many will come away with PESD: Post-Embarrassment Shame Disorder. I was once invited up on stage at Thunder from Down Under in Las Vegas and I haven’t been the same since that Australian dancer gave me a lapdance. Don’t get me wrong, the lapdance was amazing, I had the time of my life. But the attention? Simply traumatic. Audience participation is not for the faint of heart.”

In an effort to be more sensitive to their audience, the Hall of Horrors has decided to provide thrill-seekers with a safe word. However, audiences have reported that the thought of having to say the safe word out loud only added to the horror of the experience.


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