Haunted houses thrive in scary economy

Whenever CNN publishes a story on ghosts or the paranormal in any way, I get excited. I think because I read cnn.com everyday, and I like when they write about things that are relevant to me. Haha. Anyway, they recently published a story about haunted houses in relation to the economy. I mentioned several weeks ago that the industry wasn’t sure exactly how things would go this Halloween season. I suppose paying money to get scared is considered by many to be a “luxury” nowadays (and really, do any of us need to pay money to be scared with the way things are right now?). Well it seems as though the verdict is in, and overall, haunted houses “thrived” this season.

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Larry Kirchner, president of the Haunted House Association, says business is booming across the country for seasonal frightfests. The association says there are 2,000 for-profit haunts across the country, plus another 1,000 houses run for charity.

Around 20 million fright-seekers will pay an average of $15 a visit this Halloween season, according to the group. That’s a surprising figure to some in these lean economic times.

“We feel very fortunate,” Walker says. “I know that the economy is very scary for a lot of people. The people that we aim the haunted houses at are kids in high school and college, kids that have a lot more disposable income. They’re still living with their parents.

“We don’t draw a lot of people that are desperate to make their mortgages. … It’s great date-night stuff. Guys love bringing their girlfriends here, they’re holding onto them. It’s fun.”

When all is said and done, visiting a haunted house costs less than a night of dinner and a movie, so I agree it’s a great date night idea. At least something’s doing well in this economy!

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