Company proposes haunted house alternative for socially distanced Halloween

Halloween may not be a lost cause just yet.

A drive-in haunted house is offering patrons a chance to get a socially-distanced spook. Kowagarasetai, a Japanese production company, designed the haunted house so that its zombies attack vehicles instead of people.

“We have started this drive-in because we cannot get close to customers [at a traditional haunted house],” Daichi Ono, one of the actors, told the Associated Press. “But the distance has actually gotten shorter since there is only a window between them. It’s way closer than before — like standing nose to nose. Many customers say that they never got so close before.”

However, if fearful guests get too spooked there’s nowhere to hide here. Every car must endure the 13-minute horror show. Fortunately, they’re safe from real monsters and Covid-19 inside the vehicle. And unlike the kind in the movies, these zombies clean the blood off the cars once the performance is over.

The drive-in haunted house is Japan’s way of boosting its entertainment industry.

“After a state of emergency, the tourism industry was heavily affected by a wave of self-restraint. It’s tremendous damage for us. One local tourism company expressed this situation using the word ‘evaporation.’ They feel that their customers are evaporating. It’s a big deal for us,” Akira Nakamura, executive director of Japan Travel and Tourism Association, said.

With many Japanese residents mindful of social-distancing restrictions, few feel comfortable engaging in public activities.

“Such people can come have fun without being worried about being criticized and relieve their stress.” Ono said. “That’s the happiest thing for us.”

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