Why a Terrifying Haunted House Is the Best First Date (Thanks, Science!)

Get your date's heart pounding with a haunted house-- and make them fall for you in the process!

Why a Terrifying Haunted House Is the Best First Date (Thanks, Science!)

Get your date’s heart pounding with a haunted house– and make them fall for you in the process!

-Lucia Peters


Halloween is just around the corner! Are you searching for a seasonally appropriate awesome first date? Well, look no further, because we have a scientifically-proven answer for you: Take a trip to a haunted house.

According to the dating geniuses at HowAboutWe, scaring your date can actually make him or her fall in love with you. Sound crazy? Maybe; but it’s absolutely, positively true. The reason? Chalk it up to a phenomenon called misattribution of arousal. HowAboutWe describes it as follows: “Basically, when your body is physiologically aroused—and not necessarily in the secxual way; we’re talking skyrocketing blood pressure, drench palms, and aheart rate like a dubstep bass line—your brain mistakenly links that feeling with whatever’s in your environment.” In other words, if you’re close by when your dude or gal gets all worked up from the effects of a high-octane haunted house attraction, your date won’t associate their sweaty palms with the haunted house—they’ll associate them with you, and in the best way possible. Hello, instant heartthrob!

Read What You Can Learn ABout a Guy from His Shoes

Need more prove? Check out this psychological study that HowAboutWe dug up: In the ‘70s, psychologists at the University of British Columbia created an experiment in which a cute female research assistant administered a survey to a whole bunch of guys after they crossed one of two bridges. One of the bridges was a sturdy one that they felt safe crossing, and the other was a less-sturdy, scary-looking suspension bridge. One question on the survey involved asking the dudes to make up a story about a girl. The ones who had crossed the scary bridge came up with significantly sexier stories than those who crossed the safe bridge. Then, to cap things off, the cute research assistant gave her name and number to the guys and told them to call her if they wanted to “talk further.” And guess what? Nine out of the 18 scary bridge guys took her up on the offer, while only two of the 16 sturdy bridge guys did. Conclusion: The guys whose hearts were already pounding from the terrifying bridge crossing managed to convince themselves that they were more attracted to the girl who gave them the survey.

The best part is that the results of that experiment from the ‘70s have been duplicated in a more recent experiment. HowAboutWe cited a bunch of researchers who approached people at an amusement park who were either in line for a roller coaster or who had just gotten off of it. When shown a picture of an “average-looking” person of the opposite sex, the folks who had just gotten off of the coaster rated the picture higher. Science strikes again!

So why not hunt down a haunted house in your area and invite along your current crush? If you’re in NYC like we are, there are two great ones nearby called Blood Manor and Nightmare; but if you’re not, have no fear (pun intended)—just head on over to the handy-dandy find-a-haunted-house databse Haunt World and hunt down a good one. Remember: the scarier, the better!

Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.

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