Five tips for visiting a haunted house

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I hit the 13th Floor over the weekend, and I can sum up the experience with this: I came, I saw, I almost whizzed my drawers. I've trotted through miles of haunted houses over the years, but this one is by far the scariest, trippy-est, most off-the-chain that I've ever been to.

I don't want to spoil the experience for anyone who hasn't seen this creepshow, but I do wantto share five tips for visiting 13th Floor haunted house. And here's a sixth: If Ghostbusters-style demon dogs are on your phobia list, then be on red alert.

See also: -How to get my job: Haunted house actor -Ed Edmunds on electric chairs, haunted houses and the Travel Channel's Making Monsters -Zombies! The Asylum and 13th Floor dare you to nut up or shut up

5. Don't be drunk or high. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I sound like mean Mommy. But this haunted house will jack up your senses, and you will experience every mood and emotion on the human spectrum, so there is zero use for mind-altering substances. Read: Don't waste your stash, because you won't need it here. Think of this advice like the same advice you get before going to a Ted Nugent concert. It'll be a fucking trip all by itself since Teddy is a hell of a guitar-slinger, so much so that you don't need to be wasted for it. Again, save the good stuff to get wasted on when you hear him talk about politics, because you'll need it then. Likewise, hit up that stash after you leave the haunted house, and then talk about how the laser swamp made you feel like you were rolling.

4. Take the warning sign seriously. Before you go into the 13th Floor, there, on the wall by the entrance door is a huge sign -- you know this haunted house is gonna be good with a disclaimer that long. Read it, and take it seriously, because aside from the don't-sue-us-purty-please disclaimers, there are some things you should take into account. The sign is nothing crazy, mostly warnings about how if you have heart or crazy issues you probably shouldn't go any further.

I have issues with vertigo, and I should have taken one of those OTC motion-sickness tablets ahead of time. Lesson learned, as I was so discombobulated the cab driver on the way home thought I was drunk (I suppose it's karma, since I've pretended not to be drunk many times). So if you have personal space issues, claustrophobia, fear of scary monsters, fear of demon dogs from Ghostbusters or an innate aversion to getting the crap terrorized out of you, either deal, take precautions, or don't risk fucking yourself up -- or fucking up one of the very convincing zombie actors.

3. Make sure you are properly hydrated. With water, by the way: See number five. I swear I got about halfway through this haunted house (although at the time I didn't know it because the concept of time loses meaning inside this place) and I was thirsty. The kind of thirsty that made me want to suck fake blood into my spit fawcet just to keep from coughing. And trying to find a stick of gum in the dark, with fake smoke obstructing your vision, with howling zombies clutching at your jeans and gigantic alien monsters waiting around every corner, is about as easy as finding a condom at the bottom of your purse when you really, frantically need one. Smoke makes you thirsty, abject fear gives you rabid cotton-mouth, and downing a bottle of water before you hit the door would be a killer idea.

2. Get a taco or something in your stomach before you go. Crazy-low blood sugar plus intense atmosphere and powerful mental and physical stimulation equals dizzy-ass yuckiness, the bad kind of euphoria, and possible passing-of-the-out. Have a taco before you go to the haunted house. Maybe a nice ham sandwich, or a tasty hummus and sprout wrap so as to ensure that you are exploring the depths of Halloween-inspired depravity on a full stomach.

1. Go to have fun--and maybe get lucky. Moderate urban thrill-seekers should go to 13th Floor -- and any other haunted house -- with the intent to have a good time, get the underpants scared off of you, and come out the exit feeling pretty f*cking cool about life, love and Halloween. This place would make a worthy first date spot, especially if you really wanna suss out your new partner's personality. Call it the "zombie test."

Watch and see if they do fight, flight or hide-behind-a-packing-box, and if they start swinging, they are a keeper. This is also a great date venue for couples (or triad or quads -- I don't judge) that have been together for a while, because getting the sh*t scared out of you will make you forget whatever you were fighting about in the car on the way over. And singles? What better way to meet the guy/girl/other of your dreams then by confronting creep-ass nightmarish horror and doing the scream-sob? Potential dates love vulnerability, and so long as you don't soil yourself you may have found an untapped dating resource with far better returns than that internet tip you would have been hearing had you stayed home. Zombies are hot, and you don't even have to take them to dinner.

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