Extreme haunted houses: Inside Halloween's most terrifying new trend

Patrons are subjected to simulated torture and have their heads jammed into cages full of snakes. Has the boundary-pushing gone too far?

Your typical haunted house might make your heart race, your skin shiver, and your knees go weak — but all in all, they tend to be pretty predictable. You'll see a few cobwebs, hear a few screams, and get jumped at by a few people wearing cheesy rubber masks.

But for Halloween junkies who really want thrills, there's another option: haunted houses so boundary-pushing that you need to sign a waiver just to get in the door. They're called extreme haunted houses, and more of them are popping up across the United States every year. Each one is different, but they tend to include a few common characteristics: simulated assault and torture, and a safe word for anyone who can't handle it.

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