Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Hey look, a drive-through haunted house

Illustration for article titled Hey look, a drive-through haunted house
Photo: powerofforever (Getty Images)

Remember going to concerts? Movies? Plays? Museums? Other people’s homes? Those were the days. As the days of summer dwindle and Mr. Autumn Man draws ever nearer, it seems likely that we’ll have a new crop of social outings to wistfully remember. Our days of bobbing for apples, for example, are behind us. Crowded Halloween parties won’t be in much demand this year (though you could always wear a mask under a mask). And the haunted houses of yore will probably be no more—at least for this year. But a Japanese company has come up with a novel way to still get spooked by someone in detailed zombie makeup without letting a cackling stranger within six feet of your airspace, and honestly, it’s pretty ingenious.

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Boing Boing reports that Kowagarasetai, a Tokyo-based haunted experience production company, has put together a COVID-conscious “drive-through haunt experience” during which a whole bunch of zombies “attack” your car. The process is simple: you drive into a warehouse, honk three times to wake the dead, and then the terror begins. Actors swarm the car (a hearty dousing of blood is available for an additional fee, and the nice ghouls will even wash it off for you afterward) as sound effects and the exposition for the story play through your car’s stereo.

In the above video from The Japan Times, blood-drenched actor Hanegawa Kota says that the experience is a pleasure from his perspective: “Even though they’re behind the windows, it’s fun to see spectators’ reactions close up while maintaining physical distance.”

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And these folks are nothing if not detail-oriented. With regard to the bonus blood and subsequent car-washing, the company also makes a point of warning attendees that “blood cannot be completely wiped off.” Also, the actors will disinfect cars post-haunting. Such service!

Japanese readers, alas, we must inform you that both the original run and scheduled additional performances have sold out, though it looks as though there’s a lottery for available “seats.” But really, we just want to encourage everyone to start thinking outside the box. Drive-through costume parties? Drive-through trick-or-treating? Drive-through bobbing for apples?

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Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!

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