Being scared in a haunted house can be fun — but if you’re injured running away from a fright, your ability to sue may be limited.

This Halloween, Be Careful In Haunted Houses

If you’re like many Americans, Halloween is the time to take advantage of all things scary — like haunted houses and horror movies.  These attractions are all in good fun, but if you get hurt while running away from something scary, you won’t be able to sue the owner.  That is because you are said to assume the risk that you may get hurt because you are frightened by the attraction.  An experienced slip and fall attorney can help you determine if you have a viable claim against the operator of a haunted attraction.

Assuming the Risk

Assumption of risk is a legal concept that essentially means that by agreeing to engage in an activity — like a sport — you understand and accept its risk.  A person who skis can be said to assume the normal risks of the sport, for example.  Unless the owner of the ski resort was negligent in some way, creating risks that are outside of the expected dangers of skiing, a skier will not be able to sue for injuries associated with the typical risks of skiing.

Most businesses are expected to remove anything that might cause a reasonably foreseeable risk on their property — such as water on the floor of a store or a dangling wire.  But for companies that offer recreational activities, the rules are different.  They are not required to remove the risk if that danger is an inherent part of the activity itself.  Anyone who enters the business to participate in the activity assumes the risk of these activities.  For instance, at an ice skating rink, the inherent risk is that you will fall and be injured.  Broken bones, head injuries, and more are all inherent risks of ice skating.  The owner of the rink isn’t required to remove the risk of ice skating falls — unlike the owner of a store, who is required to remove the risk of a fall because slipping and falling is not an expected part of going to get groceries.

This concept has been extended to Halloween attractions.  When a person visits a haunted house or other scary activity, they assume the risk that they will be frightened — by actors who may jump out at them, grab them, or wield realistic-looking fake knives, chainsaws or axes. They are also assuming the risk of what may happen because of that scare — by running away, for example, or even by fainting.  If you are hurt at a haunted house in a way that could be expected because of the nature of a haunted house, then you will not likely be able to receive compensation for your injuries.

This logic makes sense.  The entire point of a haunted house is to scare people.  An inherent risk of going to a haunted house is that you may be so scared that you will do something like run away — and fall in the process.

If you have been hurt by slipping and falling on a business’ property, you may be able to recover for your damages.  The ability to file a lawsuit will depend on the specific facts of your case.  But if you get hurt at a haunted house because you were scared, the chances of recovery are low.  So if you visit a scary or haunted attraction this Halloween, be careful and watch where you are going!

At the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we represent people who have been hurt in slip and fall and other types of accidents.  If you have been injured on another person’s property, contact our office today at 800-333-0000 or  We offer free consultations to all potential clients, and we never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.