Read it! This is what I've been saying again and again about people that bring children to the haunted house. Don't bring children who aren't ready. Heck, don't bring adults who aren't ready!
Last year there was a gorgeous little 7-year old who ended up in my room with her grandma, who asked if they could wait and find a way out of the haunt without being scared. The little girl was terrified of everything until she had a moment to sit down and realized I wasn't there to scare her, but to help. She watched in fascination as I would yell at customer after customer, many of them screaming. She had the curiosity that usually comes with being able to be an outsider. With the scary directed at someone else she calmed down and began asking questions and realizing it was all a show.
Because that's what it is.
And what parents don't realize sometimes is that younger children can't differentiate between what is a show and what is truth. Think about it, when you were little and watched Snow White, what did you do when the Wicked Witch started to turn into the old hag? If you were like 90% of kids, you hid behind the couch. Or in the next room. Or covered your eyes until she was gone. You know why? Because you were afraid that there was an off chance she was going to come out of the tv and get you. I know I was afraid of that, and I work in a haunted house now.
Some kids are more mature, some can tell that it's a show, and some laugh in the face of danger. But generally, under the age of 8, children just can't tell themselves that the giant clown with a glowing face and pointy teeth isn't really going to eat them.
It's no fun for the actors when parents come through your room holding onto a screaming and terrified child. It's even worse when the poor child is being dragged along and the parent is laughing at their terror. You want to know where serial killers come from? Well, that's where! I refuse to scare tiny humans who are obviously in fear for their lives. I'd rather go after the big football player who has just realized he has a crippling fear of dolls. Much more satisfying to see that guy crumple to the ground.
I do agree that some children are ready for it. When I was a clown, this adorable little girl who couldn't have been older than 6 came through my room, holding tight to a huge plush horse. She saw me and first thing she did was start laughing.
EDITH: What's your name!?!
ME: Bubbles! What's yours?!?
EDITH: Edith! I love creepy clowns!
ME: Well I love creepy little girls!
According to security, she laughed through most of the rooms and hid her face through the scary parts, but never broke down into tears or terrified screaming. She was obviously mature enough to understand the show, and that proves my entire point. Please don't bring children through a haunt unless you know they are ready. You'll enjoy it more, the actors will scare you more, and your children won't grow up to be serial killers. Yay!