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Phobias: Darkness, Creepyworld and Lemp Brewery!

St. Louis cloaks fears in The Darkness…


Many of us seem to carry the weight of the world upon our shoulders, coping with the various challenges life provides. As stressful as that may become, we firmly plant our feet and push forward, refusing to let ourselves be crushed beneath the strain. However, for some the fear of getting crushed – in the literal sense – presents far more strain than is bearable. Barophobia is the abnormal fear of being crushed beneath objects, and can make life extremely difficult for the person suffering from this phobia.

At St. Louis’ The Darkness, a barophobiac may find themselves weighted down by their fear as they travel through this critically-acclaimed haunt. Larger-than-life sets and props create a truly overpowering experience, as giant monsters loom overhead. A free-moving swamp house, boilers, a freezer, barrels crashing down from overhead, and a graveyard rife with tombstones are just a few of the potentially crushing items to be found in this awesome haunted attraction, which utilizes film studio quality environments to enhance the fright. The threats even come from the organic level, as giant monster plants spring up from underground to menace visitors.

Speaking of underground…during the 50s and 60s, the Cold War introduced the world to the very realistic fear of radiation. As the American public held its breath waiting for one side or the other to push that fatal button, bomb shelters sprang up (or down, more accurately) in the backyards and basements of suburban homes nationwide. Hollywood embraced this fear, turning out movie after movie depicting the horrific outcome of man’s dalliance with nuclear energy. And while we still live in the shadow of nuclear threat to some degree, it no longer has the stranglehold on our sense of security it once did. Except in the case of Radiophobiacs…

Radiophobia is an overwhelming fear of radiation. This is not exactly an irrational fear, as radiation does pose significant risks from overexposure, but it can cross over into abnormal when it begins to limit one’s ability to function. X-ray machines or microwave ovens, while commonplace in today’s world, can seem rather threatening to the radiophobiac.  The specter of genetic mutation brought on by radiation can cause tremendous dread. Deep within Creepyworld Screampark, such mutations run amok, as living reminders of the trauma man’s folly can create. Paranormal experiments have gone horribly wrong, producing terrifying beasts which stalk human prey…

 Finding refuge in an underground bomb shelter would not be an option for someone suffering from Taphophobia – an irrational fear of being buried alive. Primarily deriving from a fear of being incorrectly pronounced dead and laid to rest, this phobia has even prompted taphophobiacs who could afford it to  arrange for the construction of a safety coffin, to include glass lids for observation, ropes to bells for signaling, and breathing pipes for survival until rescued. It can prompt one to avoid potentially dangerous situations altogether, as to remove any possible threat of being trapped beneath the surface.


Lemp Brewery Haunted House, housed several levels beneath the streets of St. Louis in the caves and caverns below Lemp Brewery, would pose a formidable threat to a taphophobiac. Boarding an elevator, visitors are lowered into a subterranean world inhabited by REAL ghosts and spirits that have called this place home for over 100 years. St. Louis’ only real haunted house dares you to descend into one of America’s scariest supernatural destinations – cut off from the surface world and the security of easy escape, any and all will experience a fear of being buried alive .


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Phobias: Headless Horseman!

Headless Horseman leaves visitors screaming their heads off in fear!

 While the phobias of many would cause them to lose their head, an irrational fear of decapitation is a phobia CAUSED by losing your head. The prospect of a beheading is probably not so attractive to anybody, one would imagine, but to one suffering from a decapitation phobia the mere thought of such a threat could induce severe psychological trauma. Simple everyday items like a ceiling fan or clothesline (let alone the occasional battleaxe) can reduce this particular phobiac to a state of panic. There’s probably a little bit of Ichabod Crane in each and every one of us – metaphorically speaking – as the thought of losing our head in any given situation could lead to unbearable embarrassment. Yet for some, that fear is all too real as the trauma of living in fear of actual decapitation looms – well – overhead…Learn more at

At New York’s Headless Horseman Hayride and Haunted House, visitors lose their heads on a regular basis as a one mile hayride, a labyrinth style corn maze, and five professionally created haunted houses incorporate forty-five acres of the Historic Haunted Hudson Valley into a frightening experience that The New York Daily News calls “#1 on the planet!”. Featuring over one hundred actors and a staff of effects and makeup professionals, Headless Horseman expands on the already-infamous haunted activity of the Haunted Hudson Valley with a top-notch attraction that has become a Halloween tradition for thousands every season.

Celebrating its 19th year in 2011, Headless Horseman utilizes elaborate sets and original props in order to create a truly unique Halloween festival atmosphere. Naturally landscaped woodlands, surreal ponds, and colonial buildings lend authenticity to the legends of this region of America well-known for supernatural history and sightings. Hailed by American Airlines Magazine as the “#1 Hayride in America”, there is no better haunted attraction at which to lose your head.

Figuratively speaking, of course…



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Phobias: Dreamreapers!

Dream Reapers – a wicked scents of fear!




An irrational aversion to scents can be powerfully overwhelming – it is basically impossible to avoid odors in day to day life. A person suffering from Olfactophobia – the fear of smells – can be confronted by their dread on a fairly regular basis. For the unfortunate olfactophobiac, even the most routine daily activities can push them to the brink of sanity. Coincidentally, one has to wonder how much influence one phobia has on another. For instance, would an olfactophobiac also suffer from Swinophobia – the fear of pigs? Swine  are not known for their pleasant aroma, after all, and the prospect of exposure to pigs (or pig-like creatures) would certainly cause someone suffering from a fear of smells great distress. Curious…

There’s no denying that our sense of smell lends itself heavily to our imaginations, and nowhere is this more evident than at Melrose Park, Illinois’ Dream Reapers Haunted House. A 14,000 square foot attraction featuring more than twenty-two rooms, Dream Reapers mixes classic scare techniques and actor-based entertainment with state of the art animatronics and an additional element not typically used in the haunt industry: scents based on the theme of each room. Imagine a cemetery scene permeating with the odor of fresh dirt. Or a forest environment emanating the strong smells of pine trees and rotting wood. Enhancing the experience considerably, the addition of scents brings the visitor even deeper into the atmosphere of the scene and creates even more of the interactive illusion that makes a great haunt experience truly memorable.

Dream Reapers has taken the concept of haunted house scents one step further, and offers scents for sale to those wishing to take their haunt to the next level. Haunted attractions are a form of entertainment that relies heavily on its visitors’ primary senses, and the introduction of aromas and odors to the sights and sounds of the typical haunted house  ensures an even more fulfilling experience. Pity the poor olfactophobiac who stumbles upon this nightmare of the nostrils…


Learn more about Dream Reapers and their line of Sinister Scents at

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Phobias: The Scarehouse!


Leporiphobia is an abnormal, debilitating, and often paralyzing fear of evil bunny rabbits. And if you’re looking for the baddest Bunny in the country, you need to take a trip to The ScareHouse in Pittsburgh, PA.

ScareHouse Creative Director Scott Simmons says the inspiration for their most popular character came not only from Leporiphobia and movies like Donnie Darko, but from …Furries! Simmons says “The national AnthroCon convention is always held here in Pittsburgh, and I do love and respect everyone involved in that lifestyle. It’s always great fun when they visit Pittsburgh.

“But, I did find myself wondering about the contrast of seeing these big animal costumes in otherwise civilian settings. There’s also something creepy about the frozen smile and lack of real eye movement or contact. So we felt that what really scares people is contrast, that incongruity. You see a guy in a clean and colorful bunny costume in the daylight, and it’s cute … put a guy in a dirty bunny suit in dark basement, carrying an axe … and that’s just wrong.”

This homicidal rabbit runs amok in the halls of The ScareHouse every Halloween season, but you can also follow The ScareHouse Bunny all year long on twitter: 

The ScareHouse in Pittsburgh, PA is ranked as one of “America’s Scariest Halloween Attractions” by Travel Channel and as one of America’s best haunted houses by AOL, Forbes, Fangoria, and Haunted Attraction magazine.

The ScareHouse offers three haunts for just one price: The Forsaken, Delirium 3-D, and new for 2011: Pittsburgh Zombies. “Pittsburgh’s Ultimate Haunted House” is located just minutes from downtown and open on select dates from September 23rd through October 30th. Visit

for tickets, directions, and more information.




Phobias: 13th Floor San Antonio

Don’t be caught alone at San Antonio’s 13th Floor!

Of all man’s fears, perhaps one of the most rational is the fear of being alone. Humans are congenial creatures, often achieving their best through interaction with others. We are not meant to live a solitary life, and isolation from others can often feel like a death sentence. Food, water, oxygen, and companionship – these comprise the essential nutrients of a healthy life.

Imagine then, this rational fear unleashed to extreme levels. Autophobia – the irrational fear of being alone – can leave one feeling utterly isolated regardless of who may be near. Even in a crowded room, the autophobiac may feel completely, hopelessly alone, often to the point of self-loathing. Dreadfully painful, to say the least. Desperate, vulnerable and helpless, an autophobiac would no doubt be pushed to the limits if this fear were to manifest itself within the darkened halls of 13th Floor Haunted House, San Antonio’s largest and longest haunted attraction!

Descending into the darkened heart of a 105 year old building, a secret 13th floor lies in wait, home to lost souls and restless spirits. Rumored to be the haunting ground of an unfortunate group whose lives were stolen far too soon, this eerie building briefly served as a hotel in the 1940s for passengers traveling through historic Sunset Station. Today it acts as the living embodiment of the superstition surrounding the number 13, and its mysterious legacy of being omitted from buildings by cautious designers. Odd occurrences and strange sightings abound here, taunting the living to enter and explore. It goes without saying that “safety in numbers” truly applies in this environment, as visitors take comfort in knowing that they are protected by those who have undertaken this venture with them, or at the very least will not go out alone if the dark powers of the supernatural triumph.

Yet even surrounded by familiar faces, it is all too easy to feel isolated within 13th Floor. Confronted with psychological horrors beyond imagination, human minds never feel more alone and detached than when our inner fears and dreads are laid bare before us. No amount of reassurance can erase the thought of how terrifying it is to be left alone, to fend for ourselves against our own irrational psyche. How ironic, then, that the pitiful autophobiac, lost and alone, might actually find solace here – of all places – among countless other lonely souls searching for a final place of rest…

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Phobias: Bates Motel and Pennhurst


The Bates Motel and Pennhurst Asylum – guaranteed to set your mind at (un)ease…



We often find ourselves needing rest, and we come to rely on certain people or places to provide a safe haven when that need arises. But what becomes of us when the places designed to comfort us actually cause us distress? What if, perhaps, that quaint hotel or local hospital you rely on for some much needed rest or recuperation turned out to offer everything BUT hospitality? At The Bates Motel, and at Pennhurst Asylum – both in Pennsylvania – they have taken the typical human perceptions of comfort and leisure and turned them into something diabolically different.

The Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride incorporates all the aspects of a great haunted attraction and amplifies it tenfold. Exquisite sets, detailed costumes and lavish makeup only enhance the non-stop scares at this top-ranked haunt. Unlike the usual stop-and-see hayride, the action is non-stop as the wagon rolls continuously through and the unexpected occurs as you make your way to the house. And setting them apart from most attractions – fire! Plenty of fire, actually. A massive fire-breathing dragon, a flaming gas station, and an exploding dynamite shack are but a few of the blazing thrills that await you. It’s not uncommon for someone suffering from, say, arachnophobia to experience a bit of trepidation upon visiting a motel, with the occasional unwelcome spider dangling in a corner of the room. But Pyrophobia – the irrational fear of fire – is not a phobia one would anticipate experiencing during an overnight stay (this surprisingly common phobia often goes unspoken, leaving the pyrophobiac feeling alone in their suffering, as the threat of flame drives them to anxiety, heart palpitations, shaking or a complete detachment from reality). No ice in the lobby machine – that’s a valid motel fear. Immolation at the mercy of a giant reptile – not so much!

On a similar note, Nosocomephobia is the name of the phobia relating to the fear of hospitals. How debilitating must it be to find oneself hurt, in need of medical assistance, only to become overwhelmed at the prospect of a trip to the very place that should define comfort? Sanctuary could indeed become torment, possibly driving one insane simply by delivering them to safety. And if you also suffer from dementophobia – a fear of insanity – you’d be doubly doomed. Especially if the safe haven in question was an asylum…

At Pennhurst Asylum, this once notorious institution for people with mental illness and special needs has been resurrected as a first rate haunted attraction. Featured on “Ghost Adventures”, this is one haunted attraction that harbors a fair amount of potential phobia fodder. Whether your fear be hospitals, doctors, the insane, ghosts, the unknown or any number of panic-inducing irrationalities, Pennhurst Asylum is a full-frontal assault on the weakest corners of our imagination.

During its long life as a refuge for those needing mental health care from 1908 until its court-ordered closing in 1986, Pennhurst became infamous for allegations of abuse and neglect, and dehumanizing procedures. Lawsuits and negative media attention led to its demise, eventually leaving it abandoned and in a state of ruin. Visited and investigated numerous times as a source of supernatural activity, it stands to reason that a vast number of tormented, misplaced souls could still wander the expansive 120-acre property. Living fear, in the form of those who placed their trust in one of the very places we expect compassion and security. Infamous mementos of the past still exist within the buildings, such as a restraining dental chair allegedly utilized to remove the teeth of patients with a propensity to bite the staff. With its own on-site cemetery and series of underground tunnels for transporting patients, who knows what secrets still lay uncovered on the grounds of Pennhurst?

The creative geniuses behind The Bates Motel have gone to great lengths to turn this sinister remnant of human suffering into a haunted attraction guaranteed to affect even the most jaundiced horror and haunt fan. Enter if you dare, but rest assured that unlike visitors to Pennhurst from days gone by, you can escape. Eventually…

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Phobias: 13th Gate!


13th Gate and Necropolis 13 cook up a baker’s dozen of fears!

Panphobia. Fear of the unknown. Uncanny, really, living in uncontrollable fear of what you can’t put your finger on. The typical phobia has a name attached to it. The Dark. Cats. Thunder. Snakes. Clowns. All very identifiable and easy to avoid on some level. But when your fear comes in the form of what you don’t know, it can be lurking around every corner, at any time. Which would make Baton Rouge’s 13th Gate ground zero for fear to a panphobiac! Rife with shocks and surprises, venturing into the unknown darkness of this critically-acclaimed haunted attraction would seem like a living hell to a victim of this irrational dread.

Consistently recognized as one of the top Haunted Attractions in the country by AOL Cityguide, Fangoria Magazine, and The Travel Channel., 13th Gate offers thirteen frightening themed areas, where literally ANYTHING can happen. Visitors will experience nightmares such as a crematory oven, a hearse, and a rickety bridge suspended over hundreds of live snakes. Fear of the unknown, indeed…

Crematory ovens and hearses? Perhaps if your particular phobia is Necrophobia – fear of death and dead things – the unknown is not nearly as terrifying as knowing what lurks within Necropolis 13. The dead WILL rise within a 25,000 square foot New Orleans-style cemetery, and the underground catacombs will swarm with undead creatures. Over two years in the making, Necropolis 13 could very well prove to be the death knoll for one who suffers from a dread of the dead.

This Halloween season, stiffen your resolve, stare fear in the face, and find out why Hauntworld Magazine says “this haunt has it all!”. After all, what you don’t know can’t hurt you. Right?

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Phobias: Nightmare on 13th!

Nightmare on 13th invades your dreams with living nightmares!


Oneirophobia is the name of the phobia brought about by an unnatural fear of dreams and nightmares. This can cause the oneirophobiac to grow anxious at bedtime, making sleep difficult or even impossible. It can develop from a fear of frightening nightmares, or the belief that dreams hold some special meaning. As this particular phobia can result in sleep deprivation, one suffering from it can actually become physically ill, and find living in the waking world the biggest nightmare of all. Such a phobiac may find it physically beneficial to avoid Nightmare on 13th, Salt Lake City’s premier haunted attraction, where horrific dream becomes even more horrific reality…


Featuring two terrifying houses, Utah’s #1 haunted attraction has made a name for itself by tapping into the nightmares and phobias of visitors for close to two decades. Night of the Dead brings forth an infestation of the restless dead, hell bent on inflicting their same fate on the living. Just try to sleep peacefully after the apocalypse turns these crazed creatures loose on the world.  And Realm of Darkness unleashes unspeakable creatures from the nightmare world. Long held at bay by mankind, these nocturnal beings have sworn vengeance on the human race and now bring their fight to the waking world. Imagine your darkest dread given life, your most terrifying nightmares taking flight from your fevered dreams and into reality! Nightmare on 13th is  certain to provide  plenty of nightmare fodder.


Featured on ABC, NBC, The Discovery Channel, and in the pages of USA Today, Nightmare on 13th is considered to be one of the most technologically advanced haunted attractions in the country. Featuring a critically acclaimed pre-show, Nightmare Theatre, which utilizes state-of-the-art animatronics to thrill visitors before entering the haunt, it has been a fan-favorite for over fifteen years. Whatever you dream of, this is one haunted house guaranteed to leave you sleeping with one eye open.


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Phobias: The Haunts of Kansas City!

The Beast unleashes fear in all its forms!


Kansas City, Missouri has become a breeding ground for fear, thanks to the phobia-inducing masters or terror at The Beast – America’s largest haunted house. Offering several themed houses, these artisans of the unsettling have perfected the technique of tapping into your deepest, darkest fears.


If you suffer from athazagoraphobia – the fear of being lost or forgotten – you may find yourself at your wits’ end while touring The Beast. The Werewolf Forest, a 1/4 acre in size, requires you to find an exit in complete darkness, driving up every abandonment issue you could possibly have. You may find yourself wandering about the swamp, trying desperately to avoid the blood thirsty alligators that lie in wait, giving way to Herpetophobia, an irrational fear of reptiles.


At The Edge of Hell, a converted warehouse, you will come face-to-face with a live twenty foot anaconda – and an unhealthy dose of Ophidiophobia (fear of snakes) – as you work your way through uncounted horrors, culminating in a five story slide drop straight into the open arms of the Devil himself!


The Chambers of Edgar Allan Poe invites you to confront your fear of being buried alive – known as taphephobia – as the writings of the undisputed Master of the Macabre spring to life. The Raven, The House of Usher, The Black Cat and Rue Morgue are among the tales that put you through the horrifying experiences of suffocation, claustrophobia, and, yes – being buried alive.


For those who suffer from unnatural fear of living in a horror movie or nightmare, there’s Macabre Cinema. A terrifying adventure through a haunted 1930’s movie theater, you will find yourself front and center in more than thirty classic and contemporary horror scenes housed throughout the four story haunt. Don’t fear it – live it!


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Phobias: Nightmare On The Bayou!

Get bogged down in your fear of ghosts at Nightmare on the Bayou!



An unnatural fear of ghosts and apparitions would actually seem to be, well, very natural. Stumbling across the disembodied spirit of a deceased individual would be rather unnervering to even the most practical minded, and would likely create unshakable dread. Phasmophobia, as this particular fear is known in scientific circles, is fairly widespread in modern society. While many scholars consider the belief in ghosts to be purely superstitious, there is no denying that countless people report spectral sightings and experiences every year. From harmless visions of loved ones trapped between realms to vengeful wraiths seeking balance for some injustice inflicted upon them in the living world, ghostly encounters have become quite commonplace, prompting numerous ghost hunting shows and films. The popularity of ectoplasmic entertainment may have legitimized reports of seeing spooks for some, simultaneously desensitizing others to the existence of afterlife activity. And while most of us would be disturbed by any such occurrence, the phasmophobiac is overwhelmed by this fear to the point that their very life functions can become limited. They may avoid anyplace that could suggest the possibility of ghostly roamings, such as funerals, old hotels, hospitals or historic sites. The mere mention of an apparition could unhinge them.


Located next to Houston, Texas’ historic Olivewood Cemetery, Nightmare on the Bayou could drive a phasmobiac to an early grave. Continued real hauntings abound, with customers and employees alike reporting supernatural activity, making Nightmare one TRULY haunted attraction. Equipped with Hollywood-quality props and effects, state-of-the-art animatronics, and a well-trained cast of actors, this is one Halloween experience guaranteed to “get your ghost”! Believer or not, one must admit that the presence of late souls seeking their final rest most certainly lends an air of eerie authenticity to what is already a frightening venue…


Featured on Travel Channel’s “America’s Scariest Haunted Houses”, Nightmare on the Bayou offers over 15,000 square feet of thrilling haunted fun through several different attractions. Visitors may find themselves hard pressed to determine whether they are seeing an actor or an actual ghost when exploring this event. Those seeking genuine Halloween chills will find the lure of a potential otherworldly encounter too good to pass up. Those suffering from phasmophobia…not so much!


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