A Haunted Attraction, Dark Attraction or Haunt is a form of entertainment that simulates the experience of entering a haunted location that might be inhabited by ghosts, monsters, criminals, frightening beasts, humorous characters and creatures from beyond the grave. Haunted attractions can take place in dilapidated homes, abandoned asylums, old prisons, ships, boats, run down grocery stores, semi trucks, factories, shopping malls, fields, farms, parks and any place that would be suitable to host a haunted attraction.
Haunted Attractions may use intense lighting (strobe lights, black lights, led mini spot lights etc.), animatronics, CGI, 3D effects, scent dispensers, fog, air cannons, old antiques, gory body parts and intense scenes of mischief, crime, torment, terror or comedy. You may come in contact with various actors dressed up in elaborate costumes, masks and prosthetics while they perform skits or blend in with scenes before jumping out at you when you least expect it. The scenes and actors are not the only part of a haunted attraction.
There are quite a few attractions that feature elaborate facades that make the building look haunted if it doesn't already take place in a spooky looking building. A clown themed attraction may use a circus tent with freak show posters or a haunted asylum may have a boarded up asylum frame in front of its building. The facade they use really depends on what kind of attraction it is. While waiting in line you'll notice that some attractions have their own entertaining queue lines. Some are simple and just include TV screens or projector screens playing horror movies while some queue lines resemble mini haunted attractions. These queue lines may feature frightening animatronics, live animals, costumed characters or other features from the actual haunted attraction.
Many haunted attractions feature concession areas that may offer burgers, hot dogs, pizza, soda, hot chocolate, haunt apparel( t-shirts, hoodies etc.) and food you would expect to eat at a carnival/fair. In addition to that, some haunted attractions offer side entertainment so you can make it a night of haunting entertainment. This may include a tarot card reading station, paintball, laser tag, a coffin simulator (aka Last Ride), sit down electric chair simulator, arcade games, a dance club, skating rink, a 3D Motion Theater, or any form of entertainment that might appeal to customers.
The typical haunted attraction starts operating during the week/weekend of late September or early October all the way up to the last week/weekend in October or first week/weekend of November. There is even a sub culture of haunted attractions that are open year round and a few that open during special occasions such as haunt conventions or Spring Break (aka Scream Break). Haunted attractions range in price from $5–$40 (excluding possible parking charge) and may include a discount or coupon available on the haunt's website, at the haunt, a restaurant or an entirely different location. There are some attractions that may even offer the option for a fast pass which will allow customers to skip the line for an additional cost, usually $10 or more. Some attractions are run by Jaycees associations or charities, while many are for profit.