This past week, one of my best girlfriends and I flew to Florida and spent an evening at Universal Studios Orlando Resort at Halloween Horror Nights. The Halloween-themed extravaganza included haunted houses, scare zones, and live entertainment featuring many Universal Studios characters. As Joyce and I strolled through the park, zombies, the walking dead, nurses covered in blood, and creatures wielding chain saws leaped out at us through the fog. It was fabulous.
Wanting more frights, we entered a haunted house–actually, a sound stage converted into the setting of the spine-tingling 2019 Jordan Peele horror movie, Us–in which a family arrives at their summer home and is attacked by a group of menacing doppelgangers. Once we and dozens of others entered the sound stage’s darkened labyrinth, objects and people jumped out at us and sound effect screams and growls gave our eardrums a workout.
I wasn’t too frightened, but more concerned about safety. I wondered what would happen if somebody tripped over the “dead bodies” if they got too close to them or lost their balance because they were startled by the creatures. If someone panicked, could there be a stampede?
I breathed easier when I thought back to the attendant outside of the attraction who used a counter device to click off how many of us were allowed to go in at a time. And once in the house I was relieved that at every corner, in every room, there was a theme park employee pointing us in the right direction and monitoring the activity in case problems arose.
- Remember to keep exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.
- Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costumes.
- If children wear masks, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see out.
If you participate in this spook-tacular observance, have a happy Halloween that is frightful, fun and free of tripping hazards.