Escape Games: How to Escape the Room

Escape games are thrilling fun for families and groups of friends. They’re also meant to be very mentally challenging. After all, if an escape room was easy to figure out, it wouldn’t be very fun, would it? Half of the thrill comes from their difficulty. However, there is a method to the madness, as with most things. Put yourself in the best position possible to free yourself from escape games before time expires by remembering these three frighteningly simple tips:

1. Search Everywhere

This tip may sound pretty basic, but you might be surprised by how often simple clues get overlooked. Escape games can get chaotic, especially in the beginning. Everyone is excited and anxious to begin finding clues. Over-excitement can often lead to simple mistakes. Be extremely thorough. Look everywhere and touch everything. Treat the room as if you were trying to complete an in-depth painting of it, rather than as if you were tearing everything apart looking for your phone or wallet.

Sometimes, key objects can be in the strangest or most obvious of places. Check bookshelves, as well as the books themselves, underneath tables and tablecloths, behind paintings or pictures, ledges along the wall, and underneath carpets, lamps, candle holders, etc. Essentially, you want to take every object in the room and turn it upside down, inside out, and sideways. Try not to overlook a single thing. If you were provided a clue for every time someone said “That was so obvious! How did we miss it?” you could probably escape the room in under 30 minutes.

2. Organization is a Virtue

As you and your group begin to filter through the possible clues in the room, try to keep everything organized. If you need to write something down to remember, then do so! If you discover something that looks like it’s important but you don’t have enough information yet to figure it out, keep track of it. You won’t necessarily discover things in the order in which you’ll need them, so be sure to organize your clues into “used” and “unused” piles. This will also ensure that no one wastes precious time trying to figure out a clue that has already been used.

3. Communication Is Vital

Most importantly, remember that you’re not in the room alone. Escape games are a team effort. Utilizing your fellow group members effectively is absolutely vital to successfully solve the puzzles and win the game. Know everyone’s strengths before the doors close and vocalize them.

Generally, it’s best practice to split your large group into several smaller groups. Divide and conquer. That way each part of the room gets analyzed and everything gets passed over with more than one set of eyes. However, just because an escape room has a maximum capacity of 10 people doesn’t necessarily mean you should play with all 10 people.

It’s recommended to play with 70-80% of the maximum capacity, although this can vary by game or group. If your amount of members is a little less than the maximum size, you can avoid over-crowding. That means everyone has a little more space to think and everyone will have something to work on. Work together in your groups, but don’t bunch together and leave another section of the room completely unexamined.

If you’ve been staring at a puzzle for too long without making any headway, grab someone else to take a look at it. Two, three, or even four sets of eyes are better than one. If more than a couple people can’t figure it out, that’s generally a sign that you don’t have enough information yet. If you find something important but it’s missing a piece, be sure to call it out. Escape games are won and lost based on the ability of two people who found related items to match them together. Effective and cooperative communication can be the difference between winning the room and losing it.

Ready to Test Your Wits with Haunted Escape Games?

In truth, escape games, even haunted ones, boil down to your most basic practical thinking abilities. Think of it like an interactive version of the SAT. It’s not about your amount of knowledge. It all comes down to your ability to think rationally under pressure. The difference between winners and losers in escape games comes down to problem-solving, deductive reasoning, common logic, and communication skills, along with a touch resourcefulness. When excitement and anxiety come into play, practicality and logical thinking become skewed.

Of course, keeping a cool head is much easier said than done when you’re trapped in an escape room haunted by malevolent spirits! The escape games at Haunted Scarehouse are the ultimate test for lovers of the escape room. If you think you have what it takes to master our excitingly terrifying escape games, book your tickets today! Our escape rooms are open year round!

Haunted Attractions in NJ: Why It’s Good to Face Your Fears

There a generally two types of people that visit haunted attractions in NJ. The first is the one that delights in a good scare. The second is the one that is terrified and was dragged along by the first. Those in the second group would much rather spend a nice evening doing almost anything other than having their wits scared out of them by perfect strangers. Their anxiety is warranted – facing your fears can be a daunting prospect. However, it’s actually really beneficial to routinely do something that scares you.

Get Used to Being Uncomfortable

People hate to be uncomfortable. Confronting something that you are afraid of can cause stress and increase both physical and mental discomfort. No one enjoys being uncomfortable, of course, but in order to really overcome your fears, it’s a necessity. Many people will avoid new situations and experiences because they worry it will be uncomfortable. This can quickly lead to stagnant behavior.

If you never do anything new because you don’t want to experience discomfort, then you’ll never grow or change. In this way, haunted attractions in NJ can help facilitate personal growth.

Face the Worst Case Scenario

Routinely facing your fears helps your brain learn how to keep its cool in stressful situations. Anxiety causes the production of fearful “what if” thoughts. Entertaining one of these thoughts for too long can cause the floodgates to open, leading to an overwhelming stream of negative thinking.

Exposing yourself to a purposely scary and anxiety-inducing situation, such as a haunted escape room, can help you train your mind to control your thinking. In a haunted escape room, you’re tasked with solving a puzzle while also enduring thrills and frights along the way. In order to solve the puzzle in the time allotted, you need to keep your mind focused and your thoughts clear. Performing an activity like this will help you confront your fears and then see them through to their resolution. That way, you will see that the outcome likely isn’t really as bad as you originally thought it might be. It also helps you realize that being scared is only temporary.

Liberate Your Mind

Visiting a haunted escape room might initially seem like a silly way to confront fear. How are you supposed to get over your fear of public speaking by going to scary attractions in NJ? Well, by tackling your most irrational fears and overcoming them, your rational fears might not seem as daunting as they once did. The more you confront your fears and conquer them, the fewer things you’ll be afraid of.

You might be terrified of failing miserably at an escape room, or maybe you’ve avoided haunted houses your entire life because you’re terrified of clowns. Either way, participating in these haunted attractions regardless of your fears will help you confront your fear and conquer it. Seeing that you don’t have to be afraid of failure or of being scared is liberating for your mind. With the weight removed from your shoulders, you can stop focusing so much on things that scare you and keep your mind focused.

Test Your Resolve at One of the Scariest Attractions in NJ

In the past, fear was one of our necessary motivators. It’s what enabled early humans to identify a potentially dangerous situation and motivate them into action. However, our lives these days aren’t subjected to such high stakes. Compared to our ancestors, the majority of us live in very safe, comfortable environments. Many hesitate to leave their circle of comfort. That’s why it’s necessary to test ourselves and broaden our horizons.

If you’re ready to expand your comfort zone and test your resolve at some haunted attractions in NJ, come on out to Haunted Scarehouse in Wharton. Our haunted houses are closed until the fall, but our fantastic escape rooms operate year-round. Grab a group of friends and steel yourself for a thrilling hour of fun and fear! Immerse yourself in John Hayden’s Room, The Great Room, or The Cookhouse – our newest room. Buy your tickets online or contact us for more information!

Escape Rooms in NJ – Why Escape Rooms are Good for Your Brain

Just as a full-body workout is the most beneficial for advancing your physical fitness, a full-brain workout is the best for your mind. One of the best ways to avoid chronic forgetfulness and memory loss is to routinely exercise your brain. Many will turn to crosswords, jigsaws, or the latest app, but these methods can sometimes fall a little flat. If you’re looking for a new and exciting way to flex your brain power, check out some escape rooms in NJ. Escape rooms are totally immersive, and can actually be one of the best, most engaging ways to exercise your mind.

Strengthen Memory

Escape rooms can seem a little daunting at first. Unlike doing a crossword or jigsaw at home, you’re given a task and a time limit. If you run out of time, you’re finished. However, the time limit actually enhances the experience; it forces your brain to think logically under pressure. You only have so long to collect your clues and solve the puzzle. This actually serves to strengthen your memory.

Engage All Parts of the Brain

Crosswords test the language and reasoning centers of the brain. Jigsaw puzzles challenge your spatial abilities. Sudoku employs your mathematical skill. These are all important tests for your brain, but they’re all a little one-dimensional when used on their own.

Escape rooms are the ultimate test for your brain because they often require a person to access different parts of their brain all at once. You’ll be required to switch seamlessly from logical and reasoning to spatial thinking and then on to something else. It’s the ultimate mental workout that helps flex your brain muscles. Check out the escape rooms in NJ and you’ll have the opportunity to challenge your mind in ways it may not be accustomed.

This type of challenge could be especially beneficial for those who are routinely employing only certain areas of their brain. For instance, a writer is constantly calling upon their language ability while an architect is most often using spatial and mathematical skill. Escape rooms can challenge you to use your brain in new ways, forcing it to use abilities that may have grown rusty over time.

Challenge Sensory Experience

The way that the things around you look, smell, sound, taste, and feel are all components of your sensory experience. They provide mental cues and aids to your memory. For instance, you may not exactly remember how your childhood home looked, but you can probably remember the smell of the backyard on a summer day, or the way the screen door creaked when you went outside. Your level of sensory awareness makes the difference between a memory you can recall, and one you’ve forgotten.

Like the other aspects of your cognitive ability (i.e. memory, concentration, etc.) your sensory awareness can be sharpened with practice. That’s where escape rooms come in. They challenge you to take note of the way the room looks, the noises you hear, and the objects you touch. All of these aspects could hold details that are crucial to your escape. Not only do you need to notice all the details but you also need to differentiate between what’s important and what isn’t.

Escape Rooms in NJ – The Best Way to Exercise Your Brain

Do we have you convinced yet that escape rooms in NJ are the best way to challenge your brain? Puzzles like crosswords, jigsaws, and sudoku have their merits, but ultimately they can become boring. Doing them routinely can cause you to eventually fall into a mental rut. They won’t truly challenge your brain anymore.

Escape rooms are a thrilling, immersive adventure that will give your brain a better workout. If you’re ready to test your wit and your nerve, come check out Haunted Scarehouse in Wharton. We’ve been voted one of the best escape rooms in NJ. We offer a few hauntingly fantastic escape rooms for only the bravest souls who dare venture in. If you’re ready for the ultimate challenge, get in touch with us today!

Six of the Most Popular Scary Places in NJ

Horror and thrill enthusiasts living in the Garden State are very fortunate. You don’t have to go too far in any one direction to stumble upon some historically scary places in NJ. It seems almost every county is rich with its own haunted history or haunted legends. If you’re a NJ resident, there are a few notoriously spooky spots you need to know about.  

The Pine Barrens, South Jersey

None of the scary places in NJ are quite as infamous as the Pine Barrens in South Jersey. This large expanse of preserved forest spans seven counties, and during the day it’s very beautiful. At night, however, it’s a different story. They turn dark, silent, and sinister, with endless trails that lead to unknown horrors. People report disturbing noises, strange lights, and evidence of rituals or witchcraft.

The Pine Barrens most famous resident of legend, however, is without a doubt the Jersey Devil. It’s said that the Jersey Devil was the cursed 13th son of Mrs. Leeds, a Pine Barrens resident. Born a hideous monster, he attacked his mother and the nurses and then flew with leathery wings up the chimney and out into the night.

Sightings of the Jersey Devil have been reported for centuries, some coming from as far away as Delaware and Pennsylvania. The Jersey Devil legend is so popular, in fact, that it even served as inspiration for the name of the NHL team based in Newark, New Jersey. New Jersey-born kids have all heard the legend of the Jersey Devil. Whether fact or fiction, you’d be hard pressed to get anyone to spend the night out in the lonely Pine Barrens by themselves.

The Devil’s Tree, Bernards Township

Supposedly the site of a farmer’s gruesome murder-suicide or possibly several terrible lynchings, the Devil’s Tree in Bernards Township, NJ is certainly one of the popular scary places in NJ. It’s said that the tree and ground encircling it is warm to the touch, no matter the time of year, and snow instantly melts around it. The tree itself is an imposing site, growing grizzled, gnarled, and steeped in mystery. The trunk is littered with the ax marks of futile attempts to chop it down. The legend goes that anyone who tries to cut the tree down is doomed to meet an unfortunate end.

Gates of Hell, Clifton

This is the name given to a cavernous passageway leading to a collection of several large underground tunnels and storm sewers. It’s a dark and potentially dangerous place that floods very rapidly. Legends surround these tunnels, and people report spotting animal bones from ritual sacrifice, suspicious foul odors, secret rooms that can’t be found more than once, and strange whispers in the darkness. Of course, there’s also rumors that if you journey deep enough into the tunnels, you’ll stumble into the actual portal to the underworld.

The Spy House, Port Monmouth

Dubbed “The Grand Central of Ghosts,” this house is often referred to as one of the most haunted houses in America, let alone one of the most scary places in NJ. It’s long been the site of ghostly apparitions and paranormal mysteries. The proprietor of the establishment, Thomas Seabrook, reportedly used the house to spy on British soldiers during the Revolutionary War. It’s also said that pirates came to dispose of their countless dead in the cellar.

Proprietary House, Perth Amboy

This was the former home of William Franklin, New Jersey’s last Royal Governor, and the illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin. Many report that the house and grounds are haunted by apparitions of Revolutionary soldiers, and apparently, there’s also a particular little ghost boy that follows you around. Come around at the right time, and you may also catch the ethereal form of a woman near the dining room window.  

The Devil’s Tower, Alpine

This tower was built by a plantation owner who moved north after striking his fortune. He had the tower built so his wife could see the panoramic views of New York City. Legend has it that the wife witnessed her beloved husband with another woman from the heights of the tower. Distraught, she leaped from the top.

In the years following, several attempts have been made to demolish the tower, but each time there have been strange and unexplained accidents at the work site. In addition, visitors report hearing screams from the top of the tower. Local legend also says that if you circle the tower six times, you’ll see the apparition of a woman in the window. These sightings and the unexplained work accidents were enough to prevent further efforts to demolish the tower. Currently, it still stands abandoned and undisturbed.

Can’t Get Enough of Scary Places in NJ?

Have these real, haunted, and scary places in NJ piqued your interest and left you wanting more? While you’re out hunting ghosts and apparitions, stop by Haunted Scarehouse in Wharton, NJ. Halloween may be passed, but the scares never stop for us! Our haunted escape rooms are open year-round, and are now accepting fresh victims! Think you can solve the mystery and make it out in time? Our new escape room, THE COOKHOUSE, is opening January 6th! Check out our schedule to see available dates and times.

Things to Do in NJ – What to Know About Escape Rooms

Looking for a new and fun activity to try out with your family, friends, or coworkers? Check out escape rooms! This new trend is increasing in popularity, and it’s one of the best things to do in NJ. However, to ensure you have the most enjoyable experience possible, there are a few things you should know before you go try it out.  

How To Prepare

Escape rooms are meant to be challenging. If you want to put forth your best possible performance, it’s important to prepare your brain. Athletes will stretch and warm up before playing a sport. The intent is to loosen up the muscles they’re going to be exerting. Well, your brain is a muscle too and it needs a proper warm up just like any other.

You can stretch your brain muscles with simple brain teasers and logic puzzles. If you’re literary, grab a crossword puzzle. If math is more your style, try sudoku. Spatial thinkers can even do a quick jigsaw or try out a Rubik’s cube. Try out anything that flexes your brain and gets you in the practice of solving clues while considering the big picture. Simple puzzles can provide the perfect warm up for the same type of thinking patterns that will make you successful during an escape game. For added realism, time yourself!

What to Wear

While there’s typically no strict dress code for escape rooms, practice some common sense. You’ll likely be on your feet for the entire time, so wear comfortable shoes. Casual, comfortable clothes are also wise. You may end up crawling around on your hands and knees looking for clues, so remember to wear something you don’t mind getting a little dirty and allows free movement.

Who to Bring

Variety is the spice of life, and extremely helpful in escape rooms. The most successful groups are often the ones with different types of thinkers. For example, a group consisting of a writer, an artist, a computer programmer, and a sales manager may fair better than four engineers who all think the same way. Escape rooms employ a variety of thinking patterns, and a writer may approach a clue very differently than a computer programmer.

Obviously, if you’re attending an escape room with friends or co-workers, you can only control the types of thinkers to a certain extent. Success is still possible, no matter who you bring. That’s one of the aspects that makes an escape room one of the most fun things to do in NJ!

Things to Remember

As with most things to do in NJ, there are a few factors to remember about escape rooms. First, pre-game with coffee, not alcohol. Caffeine will stimulate your brain to function at a higher level. Alcohol is a depressant and will cloud your rational thinking. Plus, showing up with a buzz is discouraged and will annoy the actors and workers at the escape room.

Second, remember to keep the clues you collect in front of you, and in an obvious place. Pockets can be the enemy of escape room goers. You may put a crucial clue in your pocket to consult later, only to forget it’s there.

Third, know when to speak up, and when to stay quiet. Ideas are only useful when shared, but don’t be too forceful. Don’t let the excitement of the moment let you get carried away. Some people can be loud and forceful with their ideas, while others don’t share them at all. Quiet people shouldn’t be afraid to speak up. Ultimately, the entire group will benefit from considering all possible factors.

Fourth, sometimes the answer may indeed be as obvious as it seems. Don’t overthink, or overcomplicate things. If a clue seems obvious, it might be because it is. Try the path of least resistance first, before considering anything too complex.

Finally, and most importantly, remember that this is a game and it’s supposed to be fun. Those who get really competitive need to be okay with the possibility of losing. Escape rooms are intended to be difficult. If everyone were able to solve them, then it wouldn’t be challenging. Part of the fun is in the challenge. Another part of the fun is doing something new with friends, family, or coworkers. Enjoy yourself and have fun!

Escape Rooms at Haunted Scarehouse – One of the Best Things to Do in NJ

If you’re looking for an exciting twist on escape rooms, check out the two thrilling escape rooms at Haunted Scarehouse. Not only will you be presented a mystery to solve but you’ll also have to deal with countless thrills and terrors along the way! Come and check out why the escape rooms at Haunted Scarehouse are some of the best things to do in NJ! These rooms run year round, so buy your tickets online today!

Celebrate Halloween at One of the Best Haunted Houses in NJ

Halloween is only days away! As a kid, you would don your best costume, grab a pillow case or pumpkin-shaped bucket, and hit the streets with your parents or friends. Though we may get to the point where we outgrow going door to door on the hunt for candy, we don’t lose the desire to dress up, get scared, and have fun. Halloween is the holiday where we can delight in the company of others and flirt with our innermost fears in a safe, controlled setting. Just because we’re not kids anymore doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. There are several ways you can enjoy the holiday as an adult, including visiting one of the best haunted houses in NJ.

Host a Party

One of the best ways to keep the Halloween spirit alive once you’re an adult is by hosting a Halloween party! There’s so many cool foods and decorations available during October that are sure to make a themed party an easy success.

Half the fun of Halloween is dressing up, and that aspect isn’t lost when throwing a party. People can still go all out with their costumes and enjoy themselves. And, as a host, you can make it as gory, scary, or artsy as you want!

Hayrides and Pumpkin Picking

Maybe you have young children that don’t like the holiday, or maybe you’re just down for a more low-key Halloween experience. There are plenty of cool things to do during the daylight hours, such as taking a hayride or challenging your brain to a corn maze.

While these attractions become centered around eliciting screams at night, during the day they’re generally more focused on fun than fright. A lot of corn mazes hold scavenger hunts during the day, and hayrides will take you out to go apple or pumpkin picking.

During the evening, bring a pumpkin back home and carve it. It’s a fun family activity that allows everyone to get a little creative. It’s said that a lit jack o’lantern outside the front door acts as a protection to ward off evil spirits, if you believe in such a thing. If not – they still look really cool!

Pay a Visit to One of the Best Haunted Houses in NJ

“Best haunted house I’ve ever been to. The animations and the actors were of the highest caliber. Great staff, great experience.” – Caroline Pickles

If you’re looking to celebrate your Halloween with some thrills and frights, pay a visit to Haunted Scarehouse! Located in Wharton, Haunted Scarehouse has been voted one of the best Haunted Houses in NJ by Haunt World, Scranton Haunted Review, Haunt Spot, Popsugar.com, and more!
“My friends and I had a blast! We drove all the way from Astoria, Queens and it was so worth it! The staff and actors were all amazing, attentive, and friendly. And the props were awesome! Loved loved loved this place!” – Karla Love

Haunted Scarehouse features two full floors sure to shock and terrify. And, unlike many other haunted attractions, Scarehouse takes 40-45 minutes from beginning to end – if you can last that long – making it one of the longer walk-throughs currently operating. Recently featured on New York’s Pix11 and in Newsday Long Island, Haunted Scarehouse combines animated special effects with the unnerving skill of its dedicated actors to ensure its victims are never able to let their guards down.

Escape Rooms

If the intensity of one of the best Haunted Houses in NJ is too much for you, or if you’d like to try something else during your visit, Haunted Scarehouse also offers thrilling and challenging escape rooms. Those that would like to flex their brain before they exercise their lungs can test themselves with solving the mystery of Hayden House before time runs out.
“The escape room is where it is at! We did the Great Room and had sooo much fun. The actors were so great and stayed in character the whole time and we needed them! Going back this weekend for the other escape room!” – Sarah Jelley

While the escape rooms are offered year-round, they’re sure to offer a little extra excitement during the Halloween season. These puzzling mysteries are well suited for those looking to challenge themselves intellectually, and they’re great for large groups!

The End Is Near!

“I’ve been to quite a few haunted houses in my life and this was one of the best!! I’m not going to spoil any of the amazing features of this haunted attraction other than to say there were some things that were absolutely amazing and cannot be missed. Even our time standing out front in the line waiting to get in was made fun by the crew there! I might have to go back before the season’s done and I’ll definitely be back next year.” – H Eric Mayse

There’s not much time left in the season! Haunted Scarehouse is open and accepting new victims now! Check out the remaining dates of operation. Because all attractions are indoors, we’re open rain or shine! In addition, this year you have the chance to win your money back! Find the key and save the scientist, and you will get a full refund for your Haunt tickets. Buy your tickets now and find out why Haunted Scarehouse has been voted one of the best Haunted Houses in NJ!

Halloween in NJ – 13 Films To Get You In the Halloween Mood

Halloween enthusiasts delight! October is just around the corner. There are so many frightfully exciting haunted attractions to visit for Halloween in NJ. If the anticipation for the 2016 scare season is nearly killing you, then fear not! Compiled here is a list of 13 scary-good movies, in no particular order, that will help get you in the Halloween mood.

1. Poltergeist, 1982

Set in a newly built California suburb, this cult classic horror film finds a family in turmoil when their daughter gets kidnapped by vengeful spirits. It warns us what happens when we disgrace sacred land.

2. The Blair Witch Project, 1999

One of the pioneers of the “found-footage horror” genre, The Blair Witch Project follows three friends and aspiring filmmakers through the backwoods of Maryland as they make a documentary about “The Blair Witch.” Many of us can relate to the fear of getting lost in the woods – especially if you grew up listening to stories about the Jersey Devil.

3. The Addams Family, 1991

Reviving the characters from the old TV show, this is a film about the most peculiar family on the block, the Addams’. Superbly acted, it’s amusing and fun for the whole family.  

4. Frankenweenie, 2012

Frankenweenie is a full-length, stop-motion animation that tells the endearing story of a boy and his dog Sparky. It’s a parody of the 1931 film Frankenstein and features many homages both to that film and to Mary Shelley’s classic of the same name. It’s a heartfelt spin on a classic tale, with Tim Burton’s added gothic flare.

5. Psycho, 1960

Halloween wouldn’t be the same without the forefather of cinematic horror, Alfred Hitchcock. Psycho is an enduring classic that continues to stand the test of time. With one of the most iconic scenes in horror history (will showers ever be the same again?), this film reminds us: “We all go a little mad sometimes.”

6. A Nightmare on Elm Street, 1984

Though Freddy Krueger doesn’t present a physical threat, he’s all the more terrifying because he hunts you while you’re at your most vulnerable – while you sleep. What do you do when not even your dreams are safe? And how can you escape if you can’t wake up?

7. Friday the 13th, 1980

Following the success of the Halloween franchise, this new slasher about crazed killer Jason underwhelmed critics initially, but gained traction with audiences and was quickly vaulted to cult classic status. Fans of Halloween in NJ should hold a special place for Friday the 13th in their hearts, as it’s set at fictional Camp Crystal Lake in NJ. In reality, it was filmed around the townships of Hardwick, Blairstown, and Hope, NJ. The camp scenes were shot at Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco, a Boy Scout camp in Hardwick, NJ that still operates to this day.

8. Hocus Pocus, 1993

This light-hearted horror comedy about a trio of witches is great for families with young children, and you can often catch it airing on Freeform around this time of year.

9. Sleepy Hollow, 1999

Another Tim Burton classic, this film is adapted loosely from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a short story by Washington Irving. Full of spooky imagery and mystery, it’s a better choice for those who love Halloween but, like Ichabod Crane, startle a bit too easily for some of these other movies.

10. Paranormal Activity, 2007

A modern successor to the previously mentioned Blair Witch Project, this film continues the tradition of found-footage horror. Paranormal Activity mimics the atmosphere of reality television and constant surveillance in post-9/11 America. In a time that’s arguably over-saturated with computer animation and special effects, Paranormal returns to the roots of horror, utilizing off-screen noise, and simple live action effects to make the audience feel utterly unsettled and terrified.

11. Halloween, 1974

No list of Halloween movies would be complete without John Carpenter’s classic, Halloween. One of the most profitable independent horror films ever, the story of Michael Myers needs no introduction.

12. Scream, 1996

Another Wes Craven creation, Scream plays on the horror tropes created by previous slasher flicks like Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street but with a modern twist. Subtly meta, its relative popularity vaulted Ghostface to the top of pop culture horror icons.

13. The Babadook, 2014

This psychological horror film leaves itself open to various interpretations and is genuinely one of the scariest movies to come out in recent years. Is the monster real? Or is it in our head? And if it is in our head, does that make it any less real?

Special Mentions for Halloween in NJ

There are a few movies that didn’t make the list but deserve special mention for fans of Halloween in NJ. They may be worth a watch if you’re interested. Despite being set on Long Island, NY, the first three films in the Amityville Horror series were actually filmed at a similar house in Toms River, NJ.  The first scene depicting the Tripods in War of the Worlds (2005) was shot in Newark, New Jersey. And for fans of the aforementioned Jersey Devil, check out 13th Child and Satan’s Playground.

After working through these movies, you should be all geared up for Halloween in NJ! Would you rather be in the middle of the action instead of just watching it? Get ready to scream and come out to Haunted Scarehouse when we open the doors to our Haunted House on September 23rd, 2016. Check out our dates and hours of operation, and then buy your tickets online today!

The Haunted House – A Brief, Haunted History of Fright

As the Halloween season draws near, haunted attractions will begin to prepare for the coming scare season. For a few short weeks, haunted houses across the nation will open their doors and welcome new victims – young and old. The haunted house is a celebrated Halloween tradition, without a doubt, and it’s almost a rite of passage to visit one at some point during the Halloween season.

Have you ever found yourself wondering how this came to be? What is it about the haunted house that resonates so soundly with us? Before this scare season gets under way, here’s a brief history of the modern haunted house.

How It Got Started

It all starts, as do many things, with the ancient Greeks and Romans. These and other ancient civilizations created ways cope with a mysterious and ever-changing world. To fill this need, they created myths, legends, and gods to explain the unknown. This gave them a feeling of control over things that frightened them, and, above all else, it explained and gave meaning to things that would otherwise be random and inexplicable. So, rather than a terrible, random storm that destroyed crop rations, it was Zeus showing his anger for not receiving proper sacrifice.

To more effectively bring these fears to life, they would put on theatrical performances complete with effects we still use today like fog, fake blood, and trapdoors.

As civilizations advanced and people started to master the world around them, fear of nature changed instead to fear of other people, manifested in the forms of witches, spirits, and demons. In the Middle Ages, traveling Christian theatrical troupes staged plays to scare people away from sin.

Around the late 1600s, puritanical Christians grew so fearful of sin that they associated anyone who did not wholly and absolutely conform to their beliefs with the devil. Pagans, or those who believed in the power of nature, were especially feared. This negative sentiment grew to its height in newly settled New England. Puritans were fearful of the wild and strange land around them, and the American Indians that inhabited it. Their paranoia grew to such an extreme, in fact, that that they eventually turned their suspicious stares to one another. And so, the Salem Witch Trials ensued.

Later on, the Victorian Era saw a generation trying to acclimate itself to a world that was becoming more technologically advanced. Fueled by electricity and a booming industry, people began to yearn for pastoral life as it had been. This renewed an interest in ghosts, magic, and the supernatural.

It was around this time when Madame Marie Tussaud featured her infamous “Chamber of Horrors” in her wax museum, featuring the decapitated likenesses of famous French figures. The Grand Guignol Theater in Paris became notorious for its enactments of stories from the penny dreadfuls.  

The Modern Haunted House

The haunted house as we know it today was perhaps first most clearly represented by Walt Disney’s Haunted Mansion in 1969. This early haunted house used many of the same scare tactics from the theater, while also utilizing refracted light to create and project ethereal images. Even now, haunted house owners will point back to Disney’s Haunted Mansion as being their inspiration.

From there, haunted houses popped up across the country. It started in theme parks, but then charity organizations would open them in people’s backyards to raise money. From there, hobbyists took over, creating haunted houses in cornfields, barns, garages, and actual houses.

Fear of tainted Halloween candy in the 1980’s funneled even more customers towards the haunted house. If people were too scared to go trick-or-treating, they needed another outlet with which to celebrate the holiday.

As they grew more popular, like-minded individuals joined together to perfect the art of the haunted house. Today, you probably don’t have to look very far to find one near you. Every year, those dedicated to them look for ways to perfect the experience, searching for ways to illicit the most authentic screams out of their patrons.

The Future of the Haunted House

The scare industry is booming, and those who run haunted houses are always seeking to change and develop their craft. They seek to thrill not only newcomers but repeat customers as well. In order to do that, they must constantly change their sets, alter their strategy, and add new scares.

Owners are continuously looking for ways to innovate their attractions and take fear to new heights. Some new haunted houses boast an experience that a person must go through alone. Others plunge customers into total darkness. In some of the most extreme attractions, you may even find yourself kidnapped and bound.

Among a new trend in haunted attractions are escape rooms. A group enters and must find the clues to solve a mystery before time expires while encountering frightening situations along the way. It’s a live action puzzle incorporating the thrilling elements of a haunted house, forcing customers to think under pressure and duress. Visiting haunted escape rooms are most definitely an exciting way to spend a night in October.

Looking for some haunted attractions to visit this coming fall? Haunted Scarehouse is revving up for October, and will be unveiling some new scares this season. Prepare yourself for two full floors of fear and terror! And if you’re in the mood for something new, check out their own escape rooms. Haunted Scarehouse is regarded by many Halloween enthusiasts as New Jersey’s most original and innovative haunted attraction. Quick! Get your tickets online now!

Escape Rooms – Experience the Thrill

The coming of autumn brings with it promises of nighttime adventures and opportunities for some quality screams.Thrill seekers everywhere have a cause for excitement. All your favorite haunted attractions use this time to prep for the upcoming season, and perhaps get ready to unveil some new thrills. As you prepare for this Halloween season, remember that haunted houses, prisons, hayrides, and cornfields aren’t the only attractions that deserve your attention. If you have yet to experience the thrilling adventure of escape rooms, you’re missing out on an exciting new trend in the world of Halloween thrill-seeking.

Escape Rooms Make the Experience Tangible

Unlike other haunted attractions, escape rooms allow you to employ your sense of touch. In haunted houses, you can see and hear, but you’re often not allowed to touch anything. On haunted hayrides, the actors jump and climb on the carts, but you can’t touch them and the sets are a good distance away.

Escape rooms are unique in that you can interact with everything in the room. You’re meant to touch the objects, move them around, and hold them for closer observation. By employing your tactile senses, the experience becomes more real in your mind. Often, our sense of touch is the deciding factor in separating something fake from something real in our mind.

Ever heard of the old trick that if you can’t tell whether you’re in a dream or not, try to turn a light switch? You know you’re dreaming when you can’t touch the world around you. Tactile interaction connects the body’s experience to the brain, making the experience real.

By interacting with the room, and having the room interact with you, escape rooms make themselves real in your mind and thus create a more exciting and fully engulfing experience.

Break from the Norm

Escape rooms are a refreshing change from the typical “follow the path” nature of most other haunted attractions like houses, prisons, and hayrides. Though they may seem chaotic at the time you go through them, places like these are designed with a specific layout that is often quite linear. You wander through it with your friends and you feel autonomous, but the path you follow is already carefully predetermined.

You may think that you only ended up in the library of the haunted mansion because the deranged butler with a butcher knife chased you out of the servant’s kitchen. However, you’re really there because that’s the next staged scene, and the deranged butler was not only a catalyst but also a guide of sorts. The hand that jumped out of the picture frame in the hallway was not only a method to scare you, but also something to stop you from making the wrong turn.

Escape rooms are innately different. Though there’s a general pattern to follow, there’s no way to determine which clue will be discovered first, or which course of action the group will decide to take based on those discoveries. They don’t function linearly, and therefore the experience is more authentic.

In addition, escape rooms demand that their victims be engaged mentally. You must do more than stay in line and follow the queue. Escape rooms require you to keep your wits about you – to keep your brain functioning in a state of anxiety.

Escape Rooms Provide Safe, Controlled Fear

Despite the fact that the experience is tangible and more real, the danger is no more present than in any other haunted attraction.

Far from walking through shadowy corridors all alone, escape rooms are a community experience. You’re in a room with a group of people, your family or friends, at all times. Just like with every other haunted attraction, you can feel comforted in the knowledge that everything taking place in the room is an elaborate show meant to induce fear, yes, but also meant to entertain.

The goal with all escape rooms is just that, to escape. You must recognize the clues for what they are, and solve the mystery in order to leave. That being said, escape rooms have a time cap. If you can’t solve the puzzle within a certain amount of time, the game ends. Thus, you can feel safe in the knowledge that you’re not really trapped forever. Though, those with a competitive nature will still want to solve the puzzle and escape under their own power.

Give yourself the ultimate adrenaline rush, while also exercising your brain. Come see what Haunted Scarehouse has to offer. Test your cunning and your daring in our very own escape rooms. We’re opening for the 2016 season on September 23rd. Check out our pricing and order your tickets online today!

Escape Rooms – A Great Team Building Exercise

  • Posted by ScareHost
  • Posted in Haunted House
  • Posted : June 21st, 2016

Real life escape rooms are physical adventure games whose roots lie in point-and-click adventure games such as Noctropolis and MOTAS. The basic gameplay technique of having the player trapped in a single location dates back at least to 1988 with John Wilson’s text adventure Behind Closed Doors.

In real life escape rooms, players are locked in a room and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles. Players are given a set time limit, usually one hour to solve the puzzles and unlock the clues that lead to their successful escape. The games are set in a wide variety of fictionally themed rooms such as dungeons and prison cells.

Escape Rooms Provide Team Building Benefits

Favored by horror fans and thrill seekers, escape rooms are becoming increasingly popular as team building exercises.These adventure games have captured the attention of many corporations and organizations looking to create more productive teams for several reasons.

Collaboration

Escape rooms are specifically designed to require the work of every team member. A single person is highly unlikely to solve every puzzle or unlock every clue in just one hour. Some of the puzzles may also include tasks that require more than one set of hands.

Everyone must work together as a team to secure all of the clues while drawing upon the knowledge of each individual. Only as a team can they successfully piece together the clues that will allow them to achieve their escape.

Productivity

An escape room adventure can be a fun way for employees to learn to work together more effectively and efficiently. There is little time for repetition or error while the team works toward their escape.

Team building activities often give employees the opportunity to identify each team member’s unique abilities as well as procedure that will increase productivity.

Excitement

Because each escape room has a specific theme, it creates a sense of reality. The desire to escape and the time restraint creates a sense of urgency.

Escape rooms offer the kind of excitement and team building opportunities that just can’t be created in an office setting.

Self Esteem

The escape room experience is the perfect opportunity to bolster an employee’s low self esteem.

Team members are forced to make quick decisions. They have to rely on each other’s judgement and intuition to help the team escape.

Contributing to a successful team escape is a great way to boost the morale of any employee who sometimes struggles to keep up with the rest of the team.

Motivation

Team building activities such as escape rooms can build an employee’s confidence and increase their motivation. Employees are often more motivated when they gain trust in their team members.

When a company commits to team building activities it proves they are invested in their employees’ success. An escape room adventure is a fun way to show appreciation and recognition of their value while building their confidence.

Strength, Spirit and Skill

Escape rooms create urgency and provide mental challenges that force team members to rely on one another. This makes them the perfect tool to strengthen a core team. The adventure will build their team spirit and make it easier to trust one another, especially during stressful situations.

Escape rooms offer the perfect outlet for employees to have fun and hone their problem solving skills. As a result they will return to work as better, more confident team players with a sense of camaraderie.

 

Of course you can always grab some friends and have an escape room adventure just for the fun of it! The Haunted ScareHouse in Wharton, NJ offers the ultimate escape room experience with Trapped Escape Rooms at Hayden House. Check out website or contact us for hours of operation and to purchase tickets. Be prepared for mind bending puzzles and thrills galore!

 

ESCAPE ROOM TICKETS

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Awards:                              • - Voted Best Escape      Rooms for Detail,      theme and                           immersion  with  puzzles
  • -Voted Best Indoor Haunt in NJ - HAUNT HUNTERS  
  • -Best Haunt in NJ for Adults - Njnew1.com
  • -Ranked Best Walkthrough Haunted House - Scranton Haunted        House  review
  • -Best Haunted House in NJ - Oni Hartstein (onezumi)
  • -Rated Top Haunt in NJ - Haunt Spot