By Arpita Aneja
October 29, 2015

These days, it only seems natural that you’d pay real money to enter a dilapidated building that exists solely to scare you—but that wasn’t always the case. Though Halloween has always been associated with the things that go bump in the night, the commercialized haunted house attracted is a relatively recent invention. Here’s how it came to be.

Read more about the haunted house business, here in the TIME Vault: Monsters Inc.: Inside the Weird World of Professional Haunting

Write to Arpita Aneja at arpita.aneja@time.com.

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