While I think I’m already sufficiently terrified heading into the final months of 2020, it looks like quite a few people are excited and gearing up for Halloween — and that includes one of the favorite standbys, haunted houses.
But things are going to be a little different this time around.
That’s right — drive-thru haunted houses are reportedly the big new thing, with a number of them opening up around the world just in time for All Hallows’ Eve.
Let’s see. We have the Haunted Road in Orlando, Florida, which the Orlando Weekly describes as the city’s “first immersive, completely contactless” Halloween experience. The whole thing is almost a theatrical production, with plot lines and everything.
Their official website gives you an idea:
“You will be driving from scene to scene, following Rapunzel’s journey into a world of disarray, twisted creatures and lots of scares. The story will come to life through set pieces, props, live actors, lighting, sound and visual effects to truly immerse you and your group into her journey. Similar to a drive-in theater, you’ll tune in to a radio station to hear the stereo sound and music synced to the live action.”
A similar drive-thru experience will appear next month in Miramar, Florida, called the Horrorland. As the Orlando Sentinel describes, it will be “South Florida’s first drive-thru, touchless haunted house attraction,” featuring seven roads, each with a different horror theme (I’d like to see Alice in Horrorland, myself).
Meanwhile, all the way over in Tokyo, Japan, the production company Kowagarasetai, or Scare Squad, have created their own terrifying drive-thru inside a parking garage.
According to cast member Daichi Ono, while the experience is certainly different from a traditional haunted house, it has its perks. “We cannot get close to customers,” he says, “But the distance has actually gotten smaller (between customers and cast members) because there is only a window between them.”
Oh, and there’s a free car wash afterwards.
Of course, the cynical side of me is thinking about all the different ways this sort of thing could go wrong. Maybe a driver gets a little too startled, maybe a shambling zombie starts to take his role a little too seriously.
There’s a full moon on Halloween this year, you know. Anything could happen.