Why Pregnant Women and Haunted Houses Make a Scary Combination

October is a time for autumn leaves, pumpkins, candy, and Halloween. For many people, October also means a scary visit to a haunted house or two, where they can “enjoy” a good fright full of darkness, eerie noises, evil creatures that cackle, roar, and lung, and dim rooms full of shadows, ghosts, bones, blood, and smoke. The scarier the better, right?haunted-house

Wrong. If you’re a pregnant woman, scary is not necessarily better. Even if the monsters are only people in costumes and the instruments of torture are settings and props, the fright can be real, and your stress levels could go up as a result. This in itself probably won’t cause any harm, but the combination of this along with treacherous steps and pushy people in cramped dark quarters, could spell trouble.

Therefore it’s not surprising that many haunted houses won’t allow pregnant women to enter. They’re not being prejudiced or trying to spoil your fun, they’re just following precautions. Keep in mind that similar precautions are taken at carnivals and amusement parks with rides like rollercoasters. Such things are not just a risk for you, but for your unborn baby as well.

It’s easy to shrug and say, “Well, all my friends are going, and I don’t want to miss out. I’ll be careful.” If you do visit a haunted house, you and your baby will most likely be fine, BUT—do you really want to risk a but? The simple fact is, people do get hurt in haunted houses, people who aren’t even pregnant. Accidents happen, and chances are increased in a haunted house setting.

I personally visited a highly rated haunted house a few years ago that had heavy “body parts” hanging and swinging from the ceiling of the first room. Lights flickered on and off, and as I attempted my way through the room (like everyone else) one of these body parts hit me in the face. It was a hard blow. I felt something warm and wet, and sure enough, real blood was trickling down from my forehead. This experience ruined the rest of the evening for me, and I had a wound for weeks.

I have also heard people say that when they are in a haunted house and get scared, they bolt—pushing anyone and everyone in their way. Stop and think. That could be you and your unborn baby getting pushed down. Even if no one intentionally pushes you, you could easily trip or fall when a “monster” jumps out at you, or as you are running from the madmen with chainsaws.

So think twice before entering the threshold of a haunted house. In fact, you may want to think of another idea entirely. There are plenty of safe ways to enjoy Halloween while still having fun, such as by watching a scary movie, making caramel apples, going to a costume party, a harvest fair, or a pumpkin patch.

Your little pumpkin will thank you.

For those pregnant women who do plan to visit a haunted house, check out how to play it safe!

What do you think? Is it safe to visit a haunted house when pregnant?
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  1. Kim says:

    You should really keep your fears to yourself and not share them with others. Fear mongering at its best. You could also fall while walking to the mailbox or you just might get hit by a bus. People should feel free to do whatever they wish that is not directly harmful during pregnancy, and enjoying a haunted house or 10 is not a direct harm in any way.

    • Therese says:

      Hi, Kim. Thanks for taking the time to comment! It wasn’t my intention to offend or frighten, but to inform. The risks do exist (thus the haunted houses’ policies). I didn’t dream up the risks to scare people. There are legitimate concerns and people deserve to know the facts so that they can make an informed decision.

      I think most people understand that there are more risk factors involved in going to a haunted house (darkness, crowds, uneven floors, stairs, fumes, elevated blood pressure) than strolling to the mailbox. I wasn’t suggesting anyone avoid typical everyday activities or live in fear.

      That said, I wrote this article several years ago. Perhaps in my enthusiasm to caution pregnant women, I came off too strong. I’m sorry if I did. But I would rather err on the side of caution, as would many mothers.

      This can be a tricky topic and decision for pregnant women. Some doctors say no to pregnant women visiting haunted houses, but some do say yes.

      Some haunted houses are safer than others. Some haunted houses may not present a problem for pregnant women, but it’s always prudent to look into potential hazards ahead of time.

      In the end, I’m free to express my concerns as you are free to post your comments. And all pregnant women are free to make their own informed decisions.

      All thoughts and comments are welcome! 🙂

      P.S. Thanks for inspiring an idea for a great resource. Please, readers, link to any haunted houses you know of that you would recommend as safe for pregnant women. Let’s build a list!

    • Heidi says:

      I just went through a haunted house 10 weeks pregnant now showing signs of miscarriage … So if this happens I strongly suggest google change there opinions .

  2. Maggie says:

    There are just as many, if not more risks in going to the mall or a crowded grocery store on a busy Sunday. It’d be one thing if you discussed the possible risk of raised heart rate and blood pressure affecting your baby, or presented how adrenaline could possibly have negative effects. I agree with Kim that this smacks of fear mongering.

    • Therese says:

      Thanks for sharing your opinion, Maggie. By all means, I would be glad to clarify that pregnant women with any heart issues, high blood pressure, or risk for preterm labor would be wise to avoid haunted houses.

      Also, consider a relevant article from WebMD: “… a growing number of studies are confirming what used to be considered just an old wives’ tale — that stress really isn’t good for pregnant women. It not only increases the risk of pre-term labor, but possibly a host of other problems for babies after birth.”

      Now I don’t know about you, but the stores I visit may be crowded, but they always have plenty of light so I can safely navigate stairs and slippery, uneven floors. I’m generally not in danger of being chased in the dark, either!

      Comparisons aside, there will always be risks in life, be it from the mall, grocery store, mailbox, church, school, cars, elevators, or eating too many ice cream sundaes… Pointing out random risks in the world doesn’t invalidate the risks of haunted houses. Many doctors confirm these risks by warning pregnant women to avoid haunted houses.

      Additionally, pregnant women should be aware of what they are getting themselves into to avoid very real and upsetting incidents such as this one.

      But to each their own opinion. 😉

  3. Celina says:

    I agree! I really don’t think pregnant women should go in haunted houses…
    I am a huge fan of hunted houses and the fear fun of Halloween. But putting my self in a setting to potentially be injured or my unborn child to be injured is not something I am interested in. Yes anything can happen at anytime but any smart person can agree it is more likely to happen in a haunted house or haunted hayride (ex: my newphew was pushed off of a hayride by someone who was startled and had his legs ran over and broken) then being in mall, crowded grocery store, or walking to your mail box. So if you are not worried about the anxiety or stress level that it may bring, I feel it may be safer staying home and enjoy suspenseful/scary movies instead of physically going to a haunted establishment..

  4. TheCyberwoman says:

    I know Im a little late to this party, but I was looking up this topic as halloween season is coming up. After reading a few articles on the subjulect, I would say, as long as the haunted house allows pregnant women, take a few precautions but do your thing. Like maybe ask the person at the head of the line to wait a longer before sending in the next group so they don’t get chased into your group. They also have walkie talkies at most of these things, you don’t have to ask not to be scared (where’s the fun in that) but ask that they call ahead and not have your group chased by a chainsaw guy. I’ve seen haunted houses make adjustments for disabled people, so I’m sure if you asked nicely they’d make a minor adjustment or two for pregnancy. And if they’re rude about it, they don’t deserve your money.

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