A group of Drake University students conducted some scary research — literally. Professor Lee Jolliffee teaches survey techniques and got a haunted house in Kansas City to “hire” the class to conduct research at Iowa haunted houses. Jolliffee says their surveys found some things that were a favorite scary thing to some haunted house goers was the least scary to others. Jolliffee says things one group of people liked most were hated most by another group. The students went to area haunted houses in pairs because some of the college kids were too scared to go alone. Jolliffee says the kids determined the “target audience” for haunted houses. Seventeen of the 23 students in the class went to Kansas City with Jollifee in October to tour “The Beast” and “The Edge of Hell” — two, long-time haunted houses run by Full Moon productions — the client. The students recommended to their client that there be strict rules that all actors in the haunted house be carefully made up and stay in character at all times, and that there be special events so younger children could go through the haunted house with a flash light. Jolliffee, who led the Kansas City field trip, says the completely dark rooms with a maze were the scariest to her, and some of her students have joked that she owes them an “A” for the class because she was gripping their hands so hard.
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