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Friday the 13th: Leave Your Phobias, Visit a Haunted House

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RISMEDIA, July 13, 2007—Every year has at least one month containing a Friday that falls on the 13th; whenever this “unlucky” day rolls around, millions of Americans turn their attention to the macabre. This year, instead of walking under a ladder while holding a black cat, perhaps you should get your fill of the macabre by visiting a haunted house!

Haunted houses aren’t just for Halloween anymore. According to Bill Criscione, vice president of the International Association of Haunted Attractions (IAHA), “there are over four dozen haunted attractions scattered across North America that are open all or most of the year.”

Many of these haunted attractions are in tourist rich cities like Myrtle Beach, Wisconsin Dells, or Niagara Falls. Criscione began opening his Ghostly Manor haunted attraction during the summer in 2002, hoping to attract some of the nearly seven million tourists that head to Sandusky, Ohio and the Cedar Point Amusement Park each year.

Dr. Morbid’s Haunted House in Lake George, New York has also been successful in adding a little fright to the vacations of thousands of tourists; however, some of these year-round attractions are a little more off the beaten path.

Jim Warfield, owner of Raven’s Grin Inn, jokingly claims that the Mississippi River is the nearest tourist destination. His haunted house is in Mount Carroll, Illinois.

When Scott and Sandi Bergman were searching for a location in downtown Richmond, Virginia to build a haunted attraction, they couldn’t find a suitable space available for rent for only part of the year. Having to pay rent year-round, they too decided to stay open most of the year. This husband and wife team has been attracting locals, college students and tourists with their haunted attraction and walking ghost tours since they opened Haunts of Richmond in 2005.

In recent years, even seasonal haunted houses have dramatically expanded their operating schedules.

“Many now open in early September,” said IAHA President Timothy Gavinski, “and with Halloween falling on a Wednesday this year, many will stay open through early November.”

When you are on vacation this summer, whether you are traveling to a big tourist destination or maybe somewhere a bit smaller, you might want to make visiting a haunted attraction part of your vacation plans.

For a list of year- round haunted houses visit http://www.IAHAweb.com.

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