Letter From The Editor

METRO-101416-FEATURE-OUTBREAK-AC-03When I interviewed Noa Laporga and Angelina Khan about their latest haunted creation — they also run Haunted Plantation and Unlocked, the new horror-themed escape room at Ward Warehouse — The Outbreak Experience, Laporga said this: “Some people like to get scared.”

That has been true probably forever. But their Outbreak is part of a new, innovative way that people have created to scare each other. Within the past few years, haunted attractions have become more theatrical and more interactive. Many, like Outbreak, are grounded in what seems to be a catharsis-driven desire to live out a horror movie.

In the story on Outbreak (read more here), we explore some of the weird new scares that people have created. You want to get creepy texts in the middle of the night? There’s someone who can do that for you.

You want to have a showdown with a menacing adversary all night in a cabin in the woods? There’s a company for that, too.

To get an idea of why these interactive haunts are so popular, I chatted with a representative from the Haunted House Association, as well as sociologist Margee Kerr, who has made a career out of studying fear. I got a lot of insight into why this is something that seems to be taking hold right now — and why people might enjoy it.

But even though I know these things now, that doesn’t mean I will be any less scared when I return to Outbreak. If you went last year (I did, and it was sufficiently scary and realistic), you’re in for a more intense experience. For one, it’s about 20 minutes longer, which I’m told means more theatrics and more audience participation.

It certainly will make you feel like you are in your very own horror movie.