There are just over three weeks until Halloween, but celebrations have definitely already started. Over the weekend, I went to a fan-favorite Halloween event: Six Flags Great America's Fright Fest.

Full disclosure: I'm a giant scaredy-cat. I don't like scary movies, I don't do haunted houses and I typically don't go places with the word "Fright" in the title. But I managed to get through it last year, so I thought maybe this would be easier.

The good news is, it was! I picked up a few handy tricks from struggling last year and heeding advice from friends. So if you're easily scared like me, here's how to handle these places.

  • 1

    Walk Tall

    If you're clinging to your partner's side, those actors will immediately target you. Essentially, you've made yourself low-hanging fruit; they know they can easily scare you, and that's their job.

    If you walk tall, you not only look confident, but can also see them coming. Most scary creatures like to go for jump scares. If you clearly see them before they can sneak up, they have to work even harder to get you.

  • 2

    Look For Flaws

    This was a tip from a friend of mine who's an actor. You know that feeling when you notice a continuity error, or some messed up detail in movie, and it's all you can think about? The same concept applies here.

    If you find the flaws in the character, it's so much harder to take them seriously when they try to scare you. It's kind of like Monsters Inc. – they freak out if they can't scare you.

  • 3

    Diffuse them with jokes

    The main task of an actor is not to break character. So try to get them to do just that. Joke about their costume, or maybe ask where their character is from. It'll disarm them pretty quickly.

  • 4

    Don't run

    Seriously, don't. These actors aren't typically allowed to touch you, but they can definitely chase you. And they will. It'll only amp you and your fear up. Plus, odds are you won't watch where you're running and end up running smack dab into another creepy character.

  • 5

    Have a support system

    At the end of the day, chances are pretty good that you'll be scared at least once. Sometimes, they're just sneaky. (It was a clown that got me. I saw him coming, I just didn't see the airhorn in his hand).

    Always go to places like this with people you're really comfortable with. It'll add a subconscious layer of security, and they'll be the best people to comfort you if/when you get genuinely frightened.

    Best of luck this season!

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