Local News

Haunted House Fun for Some, But Maybe Not the Very Young

Posted October 24, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Halloween is supposed to be a little frightening and a lot of fun and a haunted house may seem like the perfect way to celebrate. But, keep in mind that it may not be the best place for small kids.

Ghoulish, gory, and bloody images are standard fare for a haunted house, but what happens when those things enter the minds of small children? Child expert Dr. Bob Mankoff says it pays to find out.

When you bring children into such a place, Dr. Mankoff says they may think it's real no matter how many times you tell them it's not.

That's why the Raleigh Jaycees holds a special haunted house just for younger kids. Organizer Jim Baudreau says it's a lot different than what older kids see.

In the end, experts say you're the best judge of what your kids can handle.

Here are some tips from Dr. Mankoff for making sure a trip to the haunted house is fun.

  • Check and see if there's an emergency exit, so that if your child gets really scared, you can get out.
  • See how teenagers react often they're a good judge of what's too scary for other kids.
  • Make sure the people outside the house know what's going on inside the house.
  • See how other small children react when they come out.
  • Consider going during the day instead of close to bedtime.

    Photographer:Gil Hollingsworth