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The psychology behind the scare

We sent our pals Jana Shortal and Reggie Wilson into a haunted house and it's every bit as awesome as you could imagine.

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. — In October, there are two kinds of people: those who visit haunted houses and those who absolutely don’t. 

But a new haunted attraction in Inver Grove Heights is hoping to nab both those types of people this Halloween and beyond. Nowhere Haunted House looks at it as immersive theater and they’ve put some thought into how and why people get scared.

“When it's safe, and you know that and this is pretend, you can go into that and have more of an immersive experience — get those cool chemicals released from your brain and leave feeling better,” said owner Nicole Ross.

The group of owners holds degrees and certifications in everything from art and finance to theater and psychology. They use that expertise to carefully craft a good time for everyone — from the 18-plus crowd, right down to the littles.

"Sunday afternoons are a little more kid-friendly so it's the lights on like this, but there's no animatronics, there's not actors; there's no show lights or anything. It's also geared to be more sensory-friendly, too. We want to be able to have everybody come to see things,” said owner Jacki Ott.

So, KARE 11 decided to put their scare to the test by sending two decidedly non-haunted house-goers inside. Jana Shortal and Reggie Wilson are not haunted house people.

Like at all.

"I don't like having my heart rate raised," said Reggie. "I don't do roller coasters; I'm not a thrill seeker, so it's just not my thing.” 

"I don't even drink soda," countered Jana. "I don't stay up past 10.”

The video is every bit as awesome as you would imagine. Watch as these two try to navigate their way through the scare, which believe it or not, has a method to the madness.

“If you have more of a time period where you are building up to it and you have actors pop out at you and then you have time to decompress and come out again, you end up coming out feeling good and it’s kind of amazing,” said Nicole.

I don’t know if our two non-haunted house friends would agree, but there is one thing they would agree on: They were lost — like, really lost. And it turns out, that part is on purpose, too.

“You want to make sure there’s good places for actors to hide," said owner Adam Peck. "You want areas that aren’t perfectly right angles; you want to confuse people and make people uncomfortable when they go through.”

And it worked! Both Jana and Reggie were most definitely uncomfortable.  

Nowhere Haunted House is hoping to be open year-round with Christmas, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day Haunts. They also plan to open a haunted mini golf course and arcade in the spring.

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