A horror event company in Japan is terrifying its victims with a new drive-thru haunted house. Could the trend reach the United States just in time for Halloween?

Coronavirus is currently one of the most terrifying things on our mind. However, Halloween will be here in four short months, and we might see menacing spirits and ghastly ghouls taking on the ominous virus. 

Kowagarasetai, a haunted house and horror event production company based in Japan, created a drive-thru haunted house in response to cancellations and concerns caused by COVID-19. Trapped in a car, guests can scream as loud as they want, all while their windows are plastered with blood and swarmed with monstrosities.

According to producer Kenta Iwana, “At the drive-in haunted house, guests are confined in a car so they can’t escape the horror until the end. It makes it even more scary for them.”

Iwana developed the drive-thru idea after losing 80 percent of his clients during the COVID-19 crisis. In Japan, the summer months are known to be the season of “kaidan” or ghost stories. This is when horror movies are released and television stations broadcast shows about things that go bump in the night. However, with social-distancing and concerns of COVID-19, Japanese horror fans were not visiting conventional haunted houses and cooling off the summer heat with chilling tales.

“It’s because a haunted house creates an environment with three Cs,” Iwana said, referring to closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings.

However, Iwana wasn’t going to let the three C’s bring down his business. Instead, he decided to give fans exactly what they wanted—horryifying scenes from the comfort of their own coronavirus-free car.

How Kowagarasetai Harnesses the Screams

Horror actors on a car window

Courtesy of Kowagarasetai

Kowagarasetai means “a squad wanting to scare,” and scare is exactly what the team is doing. When victims arrive at the haunted drive-thru, they are given a recording that will play in their car to enhance the experience. The recording says, “This is a garage where a horrible incident occurred long ago. Now people say that if you park your car inside and honk your horn three times, something will happen.” If you dare to honk your horn, your nightmares will become reality and you will be transported into a realm full of sinister spirits.

Kota Hanegawa plays a murderous killer in the drive-thru house and said, “I can get very close to guests even though they’re behind the windscreens. It’s interesting to see their reaction so close up, while keeping social distance.”

Each scare experience lasts 20 minutes, and admission is 8,000 yen or about $75 (in U.S. money) per car. If you’d like a truly authentic scare, you can even pay to have your car splattered with blood during your ride.

Car with Bloody Handprints

Courtesy of Kowagarasetai

Even if you don’t have a car, you can still experience the scare of a lifetime. The company provides non-car owners a car to rent for an additional 1,000 yen or U.S. $10. These cars seat four people and are disinfected after each ride.

So, do you think we could see drive-thru haunted houses pop up in the United States? Would you be excited if they did? Let us know in the comments!