I loved visiting the special haunted houses at Halloween when I was young. You know, the ones set up by the rec councils and other such groups that were open for only a weekend or two.
When we were too young to drive, my neighbors would load their car up with neighborhood kids and take all of us around to the 3 or 4 best ones in our area. Then, after we were under our own power, my best friend and I would map out how to visit all of them (about 6) in one weekend. It was a tight schedule but we managed. My niece always begged to go with us and each year and we tried to take her. She was a jumpy kid and was always terrified BEFORE we even went in! She usually backed out of it just as we'd get to the entrance after standing in line for a long time. One of us would have to stay outside with her while the others trekked through.
I remember taking her to one that we considered "the best of the locals". She swore she was good with it and was right up to the doorway. She simply froze up and wouldn't move. (She was about 10 at the time.) We had been in line for almost an hour and were really unhappy with her doing this, again. Just then she recognized one of my friends who was working there as "Death". He was "warming up the crowd" while they waited in the long line. It was a great costume but she knew it was Michael and was satisfied to stay with him. We laughed that she was too scared to go through with us but was willing to stroll around outside holding "Death's" hand!
I don't think she has ever gone through one even to this day (decades later). Ironically, she loves to read horror novels and watch terrifying movies. One of her favorite authors is Stephen King! Go figure!!
In the spirit of haunted houses, I offer up this memory of haunted houses and ghost hunting: