By GABRIEL LEMOINE
We all love Halloween: free candy, late bedtimes, frighteningly fun activities and more to celebrate on this national holiday. But is Halloween really as good as it seems? Is the allure of cosplay, the appeal of haunted houses of mayhem and the sweet taste of candy a cover for what really happens to people who get too scared? Fear is one of the defining characteristics of Halloween; some people love it, but there are reasons some people despise it. So hop aboard the Haunted Halloween Express, it may even scare you to death.
This is no exaggeration. While it may not be the fear that kills you, it certainly can lead to it. Stories of people who suffered from panic attacks bring to mind one in particular. As reported by Psychology Today, a woman was riding in an elevator when her neighborhood suffered a blackout in April of 2010. Trapped in a dark elevator for a half hour, she suffered immense panic attacks. She died shortly after being rescued as a result of cardiac arrest. This shows how seriously people can be affected in frightening situations. It may not be a haunted house, but people do suffer from panic attacks, some of which could be fatal. A more recent example, Christian Faith Benge died just a few years ago in a haunted attraction shortly after having a heart attack caused by a clown scaring her. So Halloween may not be all fun and games, it can be frighteningly dangerous too.
That’s not to say that Halloween has no pros. As one of the biggest holidays, it generates a huge amount of revenue for the country. According to Forbes journalist Steve Cooper, Halloween generates approximately $2.6 billion on costumes alone as of 2013. And that number has only gone up. As of 2015, we’re looking at around $6.8 billion spent on decor, candy, costumes and more. In addition to the revenue, companies can also use Halloween for advertising. Costumes depicting characters of newly released movies begin to rapidly appear as the Halloween season approaches. Haunted amusements generate a massive amount of revenue themselves. Of the 6.9 billion mentioned above, approximately 440 million of that is from haunted amusements alone. According to The Hustle, that’s about $400,000 per haunted house, hayride and other events.
So even though it may seem frightening, you’re not only helping yourself to a bucket of candy, or a frighteningly fun night, you’re also helping our country generate revenue to pay off our debt, and even prepare for future scares. So prepare for a night of fright, because you’ll never forget a ride on the Haunted Halloween Express.