Japan’s first ever drive-in haunted house has opened, and sees visitors experiencing a thrilling and bone-chilling theatrical performance from inside the car. Created to comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines, the attraction is creepy, terrifying and completely unique.

From a crackling radio with a voiceover that tells the ghost story to a pleading woman at the side window and a crowd of zombies that leave bloodied hand prints on the car, the performance is probably not for the easily-spooked. Located in Higashiazabu, in the district of Minato, Tokyo, Kowagarasetai is a dramatic and engaging show that has visitors driving into a spooky setting where a cast of talented professional actors play out a scary storyline.

Vehicles are cleaned down by Kowagarasetai
Cars are cleaned down after performances © Kowagarasetai

Inspiration came after the production company received an onslaught of cancellations due to the current circumstances, leading them to rethink their strategy for the coming year. “Because of COVID-19, Japanese amusement grounds and theme parks cannot run traditional types of haunted houses because they are narrow and confined. So I was trying to find out a new type of haunted house that avoids [this]," Kenta Iwana, producer of the haunted house told Lonely Planet. "I happened to come up with the idea by watching news about drive-in theaters and drive-in music festivals getting popular in Germany. I thought that if we would make drive-in haunted house, it must be the first one in Japan, so we carried it out. Visitors can experience a horror story and feel like they are in the horror films.”

Tokyo Kowagarasetai
The performances adhere to social distancing guidelines © Kowagarasetai

Kenta Iwana also pointed out that the experience is safe, with no visitors having any direct contact with the cast members or staff. Actors sterilize their hands and cars are also cleaned down after every performance.

Performances are open to one car at a time and cost ¥8000 ($75), and are due to recommence later in the year.

More information is available at the official website.

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