Back to Life, Back to Reality

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de·noue·ment /ˌdāno͞oˈmäN/ noun
1. the final part of a play, movie, or narrative in which the strands of the plot are drawn together and matters are explained or resolved.
2. the climax of a chain of events, usually when something is decided or made clear.
synonyms: finale, final scene, final act, last act, epilogue, coda, end, ending, finish, close

You've been there before. During the climax, Carrie White has murdered everyone in her way, ultimately dying herself. It's all over and we're on our way out. There's just time enough for ONE MORE SCARE!

Denouement is a standard writing technique that can be applied to haunting, too. When putting together your haunt, consider peaking the action before the final room. It leaves you mental and physical space to let your guests transition back to reality. Of course, that doesn't mean you have to let them off the hook! Let them breathe for a moment. Let the scenery start to change back to normal. Then, just for a moment, let the haunt intrude on that reality for a final scream! Sure, that's often a chainsaw. Maybe it's some other jump scare.

It may even be something subtle. What if, as they near the entrance, your guests trigger a recording of one of the haunt characters? A little "See you in your dreams!" from the little girl in the first scene, perhaps? A final "I'll get you!" supplemented with an air cannon, perhaps?

Submitted for your consideration.
Happy haunting!