A Haunted Car Wash Pandemic-Proofs the Halloween Haunted House

Favorite Halloween activities such as visiting haunted houses and trick-or-treating have been put on hold in many areas of the U.S. due to concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While many families were hoping to get back to normal this Halloween, the Delta variant has dashed those hopes for many of them. As a result, many businesses, such as car washes, are offering safe and creative ways for children and parents alike to continue getting their Halloween thrills without compromising car safety.  

A Birmingham car wash during a pandemic Halloween

The "Tunnel of Terror" haunted car wash in Huntington Beach, California
A haunted car wash | Leonard Ortiz/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

NPR has highlighted one business that’s out to make its customers’ Halloween enjoyable despite the pandemic. In Birmingham, Alabama, Wash Doctor Carwash has created a thrilling experience for those out to enjoy Halloween while getting their ride cleaned. 

The carwash’s owner, Prashant Patel, explained back in 2020 that he loves Halloween and wanted to give everyone an option for the holiday. As he pointed out, haunted car washes are especially safe during the coronavirus era. “You know, nobody’s actually coming to touch you, grab you, or anything. You’re in your car, throughout the whole process, you’re sitting in your car.”

Haunted car washes feature scary attendants and special effects

Of course, if you roll down your windows, it’s a whole different story. If you dare not to put a barrier between yourself and the scary characters who haunt Patel’s car wash, the staff “will, you know, try to reach in and grab you, but they won’t pull you out or anything.” as the owner puts it. 

Other special effects at Patel’s business are even more thrilling. In addition to creepy clowns, rabbits wielding chainsaws, Jason from Friday the 13th, and several other frightening staff members attending to your vehicle, the car wash itself also thrills car owners with special lighting effects. 

As the driver enters the car wash and puts their vehicle in neutral, red neon lights give the impression that the water surrounding the car is blood. What’s more, as the water mixes with the soap, it creates a crimson foam, which covers the windshield like something from a horror movie.

Other alternative haunted houses out there


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Patel isn’t the only entrepreneur to come up with a safe alternative to the haunted house.  Car wash owners across the country have been offering similar attractions. “There are definitely more this year, ” says Rich DiPaolo, associate publisher at Professional Carwashing & Detailing Magazine.

While there are no official statistics on how many haunted car washes exist, they are not hard to come by. For example, another popular haunted car wash can be found in Avon, Ohio, according to Rainforest Carwash through PR Newswire. There, Rainforest Carwash is hosting its third annual haunted car wash, with the exclusive haunted tunnel available to Unlimited Members or by presale tickets for single wash customers. 

Rainforest Carwash is famous for its haunted attraction, which first gained fame in 2019 and has received over 40 million views on social media. The haunted car wash has grown so popular that wait times could sometimes exceed four hours in the past. The owners are attempting to mitigate this problem by offering presale tickets only this year. 

If you want a haunted experience but don’t feel like a haunted car wash is what you’re looking for, there are also many drive-through haunted houses available around the country. Take the abandoned North DeKalb mall parking lot near Atlanta, Georgia, for example. As Narcity explains, drivers will have the opportunity to get their thrills from their cars at this drive-through haunted house, which is the only one in the state of Georgia. 

All in all, there’s no reason to let fear of the pandemic get in the way of your enjoying your fear of everything else. With a bit of searching, you’re sure to find a haunted drive-through adventure somewhere near you.