Where do you fall in the haunted house pack?

From the Alpha to the Courageous Lion, our reporter explains four distinctly different personalities for Halloween thrillseekers.

During my visit to Frightmare Farms, I came to the realization that there are four types of haunted house visitors and a natural order in which they fall. This order starts with Alpha, followed by the Jokester, the Scaredy Cat and the Courageous Lion.

Although the order is hotly debated, everyone inherently knows their spot in line. The leader of the pack, the stone-cold Alpha, is obviously in front. The Alpha cannot break character and must lead the group to safety. If the Alpha appears scared, the entire group is in jeopardy. (Fake zombies can smell fear, obviously.)

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Hot on the Alpha’s heels is the Jokester. The Jokester’s role is to balance the fear with the funny.  The lighthearted Jokester notoriously finds the bright side of any situation, including being chased by a giant man with a chainsaw. The Jokester, as second-in-command, must be quick-witted and willing to interact with the actors by embracing the awkwardness that is a haunted house.

For the record, I’m the Jokester.

My advice is to remember that the zombies, masked murderers and demented witches are actually real people with real jobs, but unfortunately those are probably their real teeth.

Clinging to the Jokester’s back with their face hidden under their arms is the Scaredy-Cat. We all know this person, because they are ALWAYS in the middle of the pack and considered the weakest link. If you cry, scream, jump or pee your pants, you know who you are.  And you just paid $20 to look at your feet… just saying.

Bringing up the back of the pack is the Courageous Lion. For safety reasons, the Courageous Lion must be willing to take one for the team and place a metaphorical target on their back. Arguably the worst place to be in, the back misses the scares of the front, yet is consistently snuck up on. You’re the hero who won’t admit it, and we commend you.

Whether you’re the Alpha, the Jokester, the Scaredy-Cat or the Courageous Lion, visiting a haunted house is a yearly tradition that can’t be missed. When else is it okay to pay $20 for some stranger to chase you through dark corridors and breathe heavily down your neck? Only on Halloween. 

Behind the scares at Frightmare Farms

Andrew de Ruiter, illusionist-turned-haunted house designer, shows off his sets and scare mechanisms at the Palermo, N.Y., attraction. Video produced by Dan Poorman.

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