There is something so therapeutic about screaming. Just opening your mouth and letting out a good, deep belly yell. Screaming is not socially accepted, except for one glorious time of year— Halloween!!! I’m not a huge fan of Halloween to be honest– the whole costume thing is just too much pressure. I’m not crafty, and I can’t think up clever pop-culture references translated into costume form, so my costumes usually suck. But a haunted house? I can really get into that.
My first memory of a haunted house was The Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World. I was 10 — old enough to know it was special effects and not have nightmares from it, but young enough to not be jaded. I remember the adrenaline rush of expecting things to jump out at me, and the sheer joy of screaming my head off. That feeling has never left, and since then, I’ve been a sucker for a good haunted house.
Last year, my husband and I joined a group of friends as the famed Mansfield Reformatory, about an hour away from Cleveland. Now, the Mansfield Reformatory is allegedly haunted for real, and you can stay overnight, but I absolutely refuse to do that. Because, if things go bump in the night, then it can’t be explained away with logic and special effects, and that’s the real sort of scary that I’m not prepared to deal with. But come Halloween, it transforms into the “entertainment” haunted house, complete with actors, animatronics and special effects. Its an incredibly popular attraction, and lines can be long, so you should prepare for a multi-hour experience. When we went last year, a few of the animatronics were cheesy, but for the most part, the experience provided for a good, blood-curdling scream sessions. The actors were my favorite part, and since they love people who react appropriately, I had a few instances where they chased me around while I screamed my head off. All in good fun!
Overall, it was a great experience, and one I would certainly recommend to anyone who enjoys the thrill of a good scare!!
You must be over 13 years of age with valid proof (ID or report card) to enter the Haunted House at Mansfield Reformatory. Additional details including ticketing information available here.