This pushed some cities to even consider banning Halloween altogether in hopes of saving residents from dealing with even more chaos. However, most communities came up with an ingenious way of redirecting that angsty teen behavior.
Neighbors started to band together and organize Halloween activities that would keep young people off of the streets. These events included trick-or-treating parties, costume parades, and the famous haunted house.
The idea of hosting haunted attractions had already picked up some steam in Europe– beginning with Marie Tussaud’s wax museum in the 1800s. But, the attractions had not yet hit America in such a widespread capacity until the Great Depression.
The efforts were small, low-budget, and non-profit– organized by residents and even hosted at their own homes. And they were an immediate hit among the kids.
So, as years passed, other organizations began to take notes. Haunted attractions became a great way to generate money for fundraisers and a fantastic outlet for budding entrepreneurs to turn a profit.
And ever since then, haunted houses have become a staple characteristic of the holiday. In fact, according to American Haunts, there are over one thousand and two hundred haunted attractions in the United States that currently charge admission fees.
These attractions now have much larger budgets and offer more elaborate immersive experiences year after year– drawing in locals and tourists alike.
But, just like during the Great Depression, parents still put on smaller haunts for neighborhood children and teens– keeping the original tradition alive.
If true crime defines your free time, this is for you: join Chip Chick’s True Crime Tribe