Updated date:

How to Survive Visiting a Real Haunted House: The Dos and Don'ts of Survival

The former executive director of a successful nonprofit agency now content specialist, Cynthia writes about a variety of researched topics.


Knowing the DOs and DON'Ts of Surviving a Visit to a Haunted House

Why are you visiting a haunted house, especially without knowing the dos and don'ts of surviving a visit to said haunted house? What on this earth makes you want to go frolicking around in a real haunted house? Is it some eager anticipation of the thrills the supernatural has to offer? Have you watched some goofy, scary movie and decided you can top that experience? Are you intent on being a ghostbuster? And if you go, what is there to do in that haunted house except get hurt or be frightened out of your mind?

I mean really!

Intent on going? Let's think this through. Could there be some haunted house dos and don'ts you should follow to survive this other worldly experience? Of course there are! Without a few guidelines, this foray into the world of the paranormal may not be so exciting or enjoyable. In fact, it may not be survivable!

So, if you have given in to the crazy notion that a) the house isn't really haunted, b) you can survive anything, even a real haunted house, or c) this is the chance of a lifetime to let the "other side" have a crack at you, just for fun, and you want to know what to do at this haunted house, here are a few things you should take into consideration to survive this potentially nightmarish and haunting experience:

  1. Don't visit a real haunted house alone. Ok, I get it. You are Mr. or Ms. Macho Man/Woman and can bench press your own weight and then some, but believe me, this is one time you should believe that there is safety in numbers and all the muscles in the world may not help you kick butt here. Besides, why not let the ghostly presence occupy itself with someone other than you. Can you say "extra helpings...?"
  2. Don't separate members of the group. This should be a no brainer. Operate on the belief that there is strength and safety in numbers; separate and you dilute your power. This truism has lasted for eons for good reason.
  3. Don't sleep in separate rooms. Forget the guy/girl thing. Sleeping in seperate rooms means separating members of the group. See rule #2. And why on earth would you consider sleeping, anyway? You're in a haunted house! Sleep can only mean trouble.
  4. Do ditch the high heels. Everybody. That includes your red soled Louboutins! There's going to be some running going on here and I have yet to see anyone win a race in high heels. Need I say more?
  5. Don't answer the knock at door. There is never anyone (or anything) you want to see on the other side of said door. Think apparitions, ghosts, creepy dripping things, large fiery entities, etc.
  6. Don't investigate strange sounds. No baby cries, no wolf howls, no creaking floors should get you to move from the spot you are rooted to. They are a ploy. And don't send someone else to investigate. That means separating. Separate and you have violated rule # 2 once again. Just take comfort in the belief, no matter how slim, that it's probably the wind or the house settling.
  7. Do close and lock all outside doors and windows. Lock them tight and lock them quickly. No lingering to look at the view outside. Believe me, there is rarely anything except fog rising around the haunted house or an ominous full moon, anyway. You usually can't see more than two feet out. Besides there is never anyone/thing out there that you should let come in.
  8. Do open all doors inside the house. Quickly! Before the sun goes down. Bad things usually lurk behind closed doors and they give rise to all sorts of noises which makes you want to go and investigate, which we have already discussed. See how circular this all is?
  9. Don't go in the basement. Visions of Hell don't often start in large fluffy white clouds on the ceiling; things that haunt are usually in the basement.
  10. Ditto the attic. It's dark. It's musty and it's usually a place of cobwebs and secrets. In a haunted house, secrets and secret places are rarely good.
  11. Never, never, ever answer the phone. You've not made any calls and you haven't given anyone the number, so it's not for you. Besides, you have your cell phone and a landline in someone else's house can only lead to bad things. After all, who uses a landline now? In truth, answering that phone can lead to screams and running and any number of things that scare you and, consequently, make you hurt yourself.
  12. Don't leave the TV on if all you see on every station is snow. Most modern TV's don't even produce snow, so snow is not a good sign. Can you say, The Ring?You see snow or a pattern, turn the TV off immediately!
  13. Do be wary of friends who ignored #2 and got separated from the group, then came back. Keep your weapons handy and watch for any deviant behavior in your wayward friends. And, for goodness sakes, don't turn your back on them. If it's the sexy guy or girl that suddenly can't keep their hands off you, consider severing all ties and maybe even heads.
  14. Do resist the urge to look under beds or in closets. Something nasty is always lurking there.
  15. Don't look in the mirrors. This one is easily overlooked and hard to resist, since you are going to automatically look in mirrors as you pass. Vanity rules, but resist the temptation to look. Mirrors in a haunted house are usually a gateway that allows something unpleasant to trade their equally unpleasant world for yours. Turn all mirrors to the wall or cover them with fabric. Don't, however, break them. That carries another set of nasty consequences.
  16. Don't fall to the back of the group if you should ever have to explore said haunted house in a pack and you are walking single file. The person in back is always snatched first, disappearing into the fireplace, the closet, the mirror, the trap door under the stairs...you get the picture! Stay close to the front, but not in front. That's the same as the back of the line!
  17. Do keep that cell phone charged at all times. Since you decided to stay at the haunted house in the first place, you need some way to call for help. You are going to need it!
The inevitably fog shrouded view of the ominous full moon outside the window of a haunted house is usually not what you want to see. Things hide there, as in The Fog!

The inevitably fog shrouded view of the ominous full moon outside the window of a haunted house is usually not what you want to see. Things hide there, as in The Fog!

Answering mysterious knocks at the door usually has unpleasant consequences.

Answering mysterious knocks at the door usually has unpleasant consequences.

18. Do keep matches, candles, and working flashlights handy. You're in a haunted house! You don't really expect the power to stay on the entire night, do you? (And don't use your phone as a flashlight. You'll use up your battery needed to make that call for help!)

19. Don't forget to bring a cross or two...big ones. This can ward off any number of evils.

20. Ditto the Bible. Nothing like few choice verses to rid your best friend of a persistent demonic presence.

21. Don't pull back the shower curtain if the water starts running for no reason. And don't take a bath or shower. This leads to separation from the group. See rule #2.

22. Dont' ignore any unexplained infestations, i.e spiders, flies, rats, snakes, birds, etc. Changes in animal or insect behavior is rarely a sign of good times to come.

23. Don't ignore any unexplained smells - overly sweet, putrid or burning. This is closely tied to unexplained infestations. They don't bode well.

24. Don't ignore strange pet behavior. If you cat won't go near a room or hisses and raises her haunches for no reason that you can see, pay attention and be ready for action. The same applies to your dog. If the dog won't even go in the house and won't return to you when you call, you shouldn't go in either.

25. Don't go in the pool, no matter how tempting. Things get ugly quickly and the end result is usually lots of blood and a floating body.

26. Do beware if you ever inherit a house and everyone gives a sigh of relief, then promptly move to the other side of the room at the reading of the will. It's a sign that you just inherited a problem. They were all afraid they would inherit said house. A word of advice: don't go there to check it out for rental possibilities. Get rid of the house, sight unseen.

27. Don't scoff at haunted houses. Respect the possibility of the paranormal. Disrespect the hauntings and you embolden the haunters, you drop your guard and you dismiss all the rules so carefully laid out for you. This is the most important advice of all.

One of the best scary movies - and the fear is all in the mind. Or is it?

Well, there you have it. That is precisely what you should do, or not, at a haunted house - the dos and don'ts to follow.

Whether you believe in haunted houses or not, some day you may find yourself invited to one just for fun. My best advice to you, don't go! Get far away as fast as you can and consider not associating with the invitee ever again - if they survive the haunted house, that is. Watching any scary movie should tell you that.

However, should you be one of those stalwart individuals who ignore really sound advice, and you are intent on going ghostbusting, you really need to know what to do at this haunted house to survive your time there.

So, if you must go, for whatever reason, keep this list of dos and don'ts handy. It's based on the best research of the haunted house experiences in movies, books, paranormal reality shows, a few interviews over beer and wine, and elsewhere. The list may be the only thing that protects you from "things that go bump in the night," or "when something wicked this way comes."

Would you spend the night here?

Just because it looks normal, doesn't mean it's not haunted! Listen to the locals for haunting stories. Is this a haunted house in Cynthiana, Kentucky?

Just because it looks normal, doesn't mean it's not haunted! Listen to the locals for haunting stories. Is this a haunted house in Cynthiana, Kentucky?

© 2013 Cynthia B Turner


Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on November 30, 2016:

Better to be prepared than not. Thanks for reading. Take care.

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on October 09, 2014:

Hi colorfutone, I had such fun with this. My motto holds tight, as tempted as I might be, I will not go into a haunted house. Thanks so much for leaving a comment. I happy you were entertained. Take care.

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on October 08, 2014:

Wow, you didn't leave anything out, because I cannot think of anything I could add to this. Well done and entertaining, Cyndi.

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on January 03, 2014:

Hi Rsharde, Glad you enjoyed it the second time around! Thanks for leaving the comment.

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on January 03, 2014:

Hi Kikalina, Thanks for taking a look. Yeah, I know. Looking under the bed can be a scary proposition. Just stay clear of those haunted houses. LOL

Take care.

Rsharde from Santa Monica on January 02, 2014:

Just read this again. Even funnier the second time!

kikalina from Europe on January 02, 2014:

Love your list......I would never ever manage to look under the bed...hehe I hardly do it at home let alone in a haunted place.

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on October 19, 2013:

Hi Rebecca, Thank you so much for the feedback.

I say pay attention to the noises and hope they don't become more than you are comfortable with. But then maybe the noise is just seasonal.

Take care!

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on October 19, 2013:

Hi DzyMsLizzy, I'm targeting those malevolent entities who would do you harm, if they could. Have you watched the movies that you know just who will not make it because they are just not thinking. Seriously, running in heels? This was fun to write.

I should have added stay on good terms with the friendlies. :-) if you are lucky enough to have guests. I imagine a ghost, real or imagined, could cause you to hurt yourself more than they would hurt you.

Thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment!

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on October 19, 2013:

Hello Minnetonka Twin, Glad you like this. I'm just saying, there are some things you just should not do if you visit a haunted house. My goal would be to survive, so I'm going in eyes wide open!

Thanks you so much for reading and commenting.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on October 18, 2013:

Very cute and creative, cyndi10. I have heard a couple of strange noises lately. Oh well, 'tis the season to be spooky. Thanks for sharing this!

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on October 18, 2013:

I trust this was written in jest.....because there really is nothing dangerous about ghosts--they are but people who have not finished crossing over.

We have a ghost in our house, and a couple of others on the property. It's no big deal. ;-)

Voted up and funny.

Linda Rogers from Minnesota on October 18, 2013:

Love your sense of humor in this hub. I will not be joining in on the haunted house stay, thank you very much. Great fun and useful information should one want to stay the night at a haunted house.

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on August 25, 2013:

Hi Tammy, Thanks for taking a look at the Do's and Don'ts. It was fun to write. And, yes, some of those characters in scary movies get it backwards in most cases.

Tammy from North Carolina on August 24, 2013:

These are some cute and fun suggestions. I think those who write scary movies should read this. People in the movies violate all of these rules. Great read!

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on March 20, 2013:

Hello Rajan, I just thought everyone could use a little guidance if they thought about taking a look around a haunted house. LOL. Real or fantasy, I don't know for sure, but I believe in safe rather than sorry:-) I appreciate the share.

Take care.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 19, 2013:

Cynthia, I love this list of do's and don'ts. Funny and enjoyable.

Voted up and shared.

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on March 12, 2013:

Hi Michelle, Definitely thrill seekers and daredevils seem to fit the bill. They are also the ones that will ignore every bit of protective reactions. They'll investigate strange sounds, they walk around alone, etc. All the wrong actions. Thanks for reading!

Michelle Liew from Singapore on March 11, 2013:

Hi Cyndi, great tips. I have always wondered what makes people go on these trips to haunted houses.......I guess it's the sheer thrill! Thanks for sharing!

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on March 11, 2013:

Hi Sue,

That's probably wise.LOL I'm glad you took a moment to read and comment. Keep the list just in case :-)

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on March 11, 2013:

Hello Vinaya, I'm curious about why people think your farm house is haunted. My brothers think our great grandmother's house was haunted. They spent a lot of time there when they were children. I must admit, it does seem to have it's moments even now. Thanks for reading.

Sueswan on March 10, 2013:

Hi Cyndi,

Reading your hub is the closest I will ever get to visiting a haunted house.

Voted up and awesome

Have a great week :)

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on March 10, 2013:

I have never been in haunted house. However, interestingly many people say, our farmhouse is haunted by spirits. I have never experienced such things.

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on March 08, 2013:

Hi Anna, you and my son think it would be cool. I'm not so sure. My advice, of course, take the list!

Glad you had a good time reading my haunted house do's and don'ts.

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on March 08, 2013:

Oh yes, Colin, I'm so glad to see you stop by! I love the Haunting. I see you can appreciate the subtleties of psychological hauntings as well as the funny shenanigans that go on when people are in a haunted house. I think this is a guide for writing a book or movie script. The characters do everything they shouldn't and none of what they should. Seems to happen all the time.

Any haunted houses around the Lake? Take good care and if the hair on the back of your neck stands up for no reason, don't look back...run! LOL

Anna Haven from Scotland on March 07, 2013:

Great fun, you made it sounds quite appealing actually, I would go. Well written and entertaining.

epigramman on March 07, 2013:

A late good morning to you Cynthia at lake erie time ontario canada 11:58am after night shift sleep and first cup of coffee.

Oh what great fun here - you have definitely inspired the epi-man with this most beautiful piece of writing as he is a great fan of the dark side and anything funny - and this is surely the funniest piece I've read in quite some time - I even wish I wrote it - lol lol - and the proverbial icing on the cake is the greatest ghost movie of all time - a film clip of The Haunting (which I still say is about my love life - lol lol)

Sending you warm wishes and good energy from Colin and his cats

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on March 06, 2013:

I agree. In most situations that's the best thing to do.

Thanks for the comment.

Marvin Parke from Jamaica on March 05, 2013:

I must say that the information provided is very important. Staying together is the best advice.

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on March 01, 2013:

Thanks for stopping in and leaving a comment along with the votes! Take care.

Mary Craig from New York on February 28, 2013:

Great topic nicely done. I couldn't vote in your poll though because I couldn't make up my mind which answer to select! I loved your suggestions with their explanations.

Voted up, useful, funny, and interesting.

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on February 27, 2013:

Hi Prasetio, Thank you for the positive feedback on Haunted House Do's and Don'ts.

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on February 27, 2013:

Hello Joanne, Thank you for taking a look at the list. You know how those fun visits sometimes turn out in a haunted house. Keep the list just in case. :-)

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on February 26, 2013:

Very interesting hub. I love somethings related with mystery, including this haunted house. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up!


Joanne M Olivieri on February 26, 2013:

Love the list and I'll take the "not wearing heels" advice as well as sleeping in separate rooms. I wouldn't sleep in a haunted house to begin with :) I think it would be fun to visit, though.

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on February 26, 2013:

LOL. I'm with you, Audrey, but just in case...

Thanks for reading!

Audrey Howitt from California on February 26, 2013:

Now see--I am too chicken to even contemplate going in--much less hanging out in the back of the single file line!

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on February 26, 2013:

Hello Eddy, Glad you enjoyed this. Just a handy little list you might keep in mind if you should go exploring. There must be a few houses in Wales that are reported to be haunted. :-)

Thanks so much for sharing. Take care!

Eiddwen from Wales on February 26, 2013:

We have begun to watch Most Haunted each and every evening and I am fascinated so this one was a treat;I shall have to show to my partner when he gets in from work.

Thanks for sharing and have a great day.


Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on February 25, 2013:

Points well taken. Watch for candles blowing out for no reason and basically stay away from haunted houses. :-) Take care out there on the West coast.

Rsharde from Santa Monica on February 24, 2013:

Bahahahaha!! Very entertaining. Another thing to remember, if your candle suddenly gets blown out though there's no real breeze in your general location, just run and run fast. The only thing you'll find when you try to get the light back is whatever blew them out in the first place. Get away. Far away. At the end of the day, just don't go in the freaking house!!

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on February 24, 2013:

Hello Gypsy, I would imagine in a country that is as old as Latvia, there is the opportunity to have many experiences that can't be easily explained away. I think I would rather err on the side of caution and at least take a look at the list before I went into a questionable situation.

Glad you enjoyed reading this and thanks so much for passing it on. Take good care. Enjoy your Sunday.

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on February 24, 2013:

Wow! So that experience was either non-eventful or you needed the list. :-) Thanks for reading the list and leaving a comment.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on February 24, 2013:

Voted up and interesting. I'm very much in tune with the world beyond. Have seen, felt and heard many things. I do not fear but I do know that there must be caution taken in any circumstance. This was a fascinating read and passing this on. Hope you're having a relaxing weekend.

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on February 23, 2013:

Thank you for this fun hub, I enjoyed it.

Alcatraz sleep over survivor.

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on February 23, 2013:

Hi Frank, Haunted House Do's and Don'ts was fun to write. Maybe it will be useful to somebody, somewhere. LOL. Take care!

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on February 23, 2013:

Hi Billy, So glad you had some fun with this. Hope you never have to use the list. :-) I think I'll take a look at how to move a haunted house over at Yahoo. Thanks much!

Have a great weekend!

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on February 23, 2013:

Cyndi this was a classic LOL loved it :)

Cynthia B Turner (author) from Georgia on February 23, 2013:

Hello ishwaryaa, I'm glad you enjoyed this little list of do's and don'ts. It was fun to write after many observations of doomed haunted house visitors. :-) Thank you for sharing.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 23, 2013:

How clever and funny! This is a topic I would have never thought of. Interestingly, there is a story on Yahoo right now about how to move a haunted house. LOL Great fun with this hub, Cyndi. Well done!

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on February 23, 2013:

An engaging hub! I don't want to visit a haunted house in my whole life! Your points come in handy for those who want to visit a haunted house. Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Interesting. Voted up

Related Articles