The 4 stages of fear at Halloween Horror Nights: A Survival Guide

Zombies, a crazed matriarch, guardians of the dead. Oh, you’ll experience fear at Halloween Horror Nights all right. We’ve put together a survival guide to prepare you for the four stages of fear (with some handy practical tips), so that you’ll escape alive. Hopefully.

Stage 1: Freeze

It’s that cold, gripping feeling you get when you’re shocked or caught off guard. While freezing up may sound counterproductive, it’s essentially your body doing three things in quick succession: stopping, looking, and listening. This helps you assess your situation and decide on the best course of action.

Where this might happen: Carn-EVIL

How it might happen: Deformed, cursed circus freaks jump out at you.

Practical tip: Don’t lash out; regroup, calm your heart, and press on.

Stage 2: Flight

This is your body’s next instinct, and doesn’t necessarily mean you flee with your tail between your legs. It could simply mean moving out of harm’s way.

Where this might happen: Vengeance of the Matriarch

How it might happen: Someone (or something) creeps up unsuspectingly.

Practical tip: Scream, cover your ears, run (forward. Sorry, there’s no turning back!)

Stage 3: Fight

Sadly, you may not have the option of making a clean getaway (or you had the chance but botched it up). Your next instinct is to then fight. This reactive burst of energy will see you kicking, flailing, and trying your darnest to escape. This is your last hope.

Where this might happen: Post-Apocalyptic Rage

How it might happen: Your vision gets clouded by the fog and gas from the ruins.

Practical tip: Fight the fog. Bat your hands. But don’t flail at the zombies. Never flail at the zombies.

Stage 4: Fright

When attempts at flight or fight fail, you’ll eventually be overcome by fright. The heightened emotions and vigilance that comes with it causes you to enter a state of inaction, thus rendering you “immobile with fear”.

Where this might happen: Pestilence

How it might happen: Victims of the plague advance at you from dark corners.

Practical tip: If you think you’ll be paralyzed with fear, bring along a friend who is stout of heart. Grab onto him/her, never let go. Pray that he/she drags you out in one piece.

Extra warning (for good measure): some say that there’s a fifth stage of fear: fainting. Though we highly doubt you’ll be terrified out of your wits, it might be too intense for young children and is not recommended for children below the age of 13.

Oh, and no costumes or masks are allowed – lest the ghouls claim you as one of their own.

Good luck and here’s a glimpse inside one of the zones – Vengeance of the Matriarch, from bare to scare.   

Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights. 21-23 Oct & 27-30 Oct. Tickets at $60 each; annual pass holders can enter for just $48. For other discounts, check the RWS website.

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