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Destler Dodge

With over 3,000 haunted houses cropping up in the United States every year, it's no secret that people love to be scared. As people become desensitized to jump-scares and gore, haunted house operators must strive to develop new, more realistic technology that fully engages the visitor in a terrifying experience. Here are a few attractions that blur the lines between fantasy and reality with high-tech special effects and innovative twists on the classic haunted house experience:

The Dent Schoolhouse

The Dent Schoolhouse tells the story of a school janitor who murdered problematic students and hid their remains away in the school's basement. Combining both actors and animatronics, the designers seek to immerse visitors in the gory world of the janitor, Charlie the janitor. Events are triggered by infrared sensors as people travel through the eerie schoolhouse, and visitors are zapped by electric pads on the walls if they reach out to touch them. By combining both lavish design and new technology, Dent Schoolhouse has created an attraction often cited as one of the most frightening in the nation.

Terror Visions

Terror Visions is notable because it requires patrons to don a pair of 3D glasses to experience the show. Evil clowns and flying zombies come to life through the use of CGI technology; Terror Visions has a dedicated special effects team that reworks and refines the animations year after year. In a nice homage to the past technology of horror, the tour through the 3D haunted house ends with the Monster Museum, which is filled with old Hollywood horror film props.

Special Ops: Infected

Located at Knott's Berry Farm, Special Ops: Infected feels like a live-action video game. Armed with laser guns, visitors must fend off the hordes of undead on six acres of Knott's property, journeying through caverns and streams. The guns keep track of the "kills" of a player, much like laser tag and displays them on a leader board; however, when zombies come too close, the guns deactivate, leaving the small group of visitors defenseless. Special Ops: Infected represents the future of horror attractions, providing a truly immersive, unique experience.