You know a haunted house is scary when it’s still terrifying with all the lights on. TIME learned that fact first-hand on a recent tour of Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses in Ulster Park, N.Y.
Michael Jubie, who co-owns the attraction, offers an unusual opportunity — a tour of a haunt before the lights go off, while the actors are still getting their costumes together, with the animatronics off — to show the work that goes into getting a good scream out of a visitor.
As TIME explores in this week’s issue, that work is getting harder these days. Haunted-house owners across the country report that customers are getting harder to frighten. But rather than scaring off entrepreneurs (pun intended) the difficulty just makes them more creative.
Read more about the business of haunted houses here or in this week’s issue of TIME.