Editor’s note: Ryker Stevenson, Arts and Entertainment editor for 42fifty, is an employee at Massacre Haunted House, but is not affiliated with this article.
During the Halloween season, haunted houses are a very popular attraction for teenagers. However, they do not live up to the hype that they are given.
One of the nearest haunted houses in our area, Massacre Haunted House in Montgomery, IL is a common part time job for many OH students, and a very large attraction for the rest.
We went to Massacre on Saturday, Oct. 15. The decorations and costumes were very realistic and frightening. The haunted house was a very fun and thrilling experience, besides the wait time.
First, you have to wait in line outside the building, taking around 30 minutes, which isn’t bad. But once you enter the building, you take a group picture and wait in another line. However, the next line was inside the building and took over three hours. Mind you, they open at 7 p.m., and we got there at 7:15. The lines taking this long are definitely a deterrent. We do not want to go back to a haunted house that lasts 45 minutes max, just to have to wait over three hours. Others have also stopped recommending Massacre to their friends this year because it’s getting too packed too fast.
The crowded lines are not only a problem for customers coming through the experience, but also for the employees.
“Sometimes, like last year, I stayed there until 1 a.m. because there was such a long line and we had to get through the people who got tickets,” junior Jacob Rowold, who works as a scarer at Massacre, says.
Other employees experience similar work hours as well.
“Hours get kinda late. I got back at 2 a.m. on Saturday because they just keep going,” senior Riley Fioresi, who also works at Massacre, says.
The mass crowds of people flocking to our most popular haunted houses in Illinois detract from the employee’s enjoyment of their job. Just as we have to wait to get into the haunted house, they have to wait for all of us to leave, which isn’t fair to them either.
As many teengagers know, having to stay at work later than you are supposed to sucks, and Massacre employees have to do so because of people in the lines. Having to stay late at night, even on school nights, is not fair to students.
On top of that, customers in the lines are rude to staff and fellow customers too.
“Sometimes people can be jerks, and not be very nice in line,” junior Cora Sneller, who works at Massacre as a ticket taker, says.
Personally, when we went to Massacre we saw similar things as Cora described. Many people were bored and frustrated with the wait and they started to get antsy. People were throwing things and being disrespectful to other customers and actors. It made the experience a little less enjoyable because people were acting like jerks.
It’s pretty apparent that changes need to be made to Massacre to make it more enjoyable for staff and customers. So, what do we do about this?
Here are our suggestions for improvements that Massacre can make for next season:
- Hire more workers. This will make the experience more enjoyable for customers, as more scarers will make the haunted house more authentic. It will also take pressure off of the currently limited staff as well.
- Set a time frame for arrival when buying tickets. This will help lessen the number of people waiting in line, as there will be a set schedule for customers coming into the house.
- Make an app or a game section on the website for activities to do in line. This will help limit the boredom and frustration of customers in line, as well as their attitude and treatment of staff.
- Spacing out groups going through Massacre Haunted House. Limiting the number of groups going through the house at one time will enhance the experience, as jump scares won’t be spoiled, and groups won’t feel rushed or crowded together.
- Add promotional contests to the experience. Using social media platforms to make a riddle or game that leads up to the end of the experience can help with promotion for the company. Giving a prize such as cool merch or a ticket refund would add a competitive edge, adding another fun layer to the experience.
The haunted house overall was not a terrible experience. However, if things like wait time were reduced many other issues would be solved. Fewer people would be frustrated and less disrespectful to others around them, as well as the workers.