A winding brick path snakes through the courtyard of an dilapidated house. Flanked by trees on both sides, the grey brick road is strewn with leaves, broken glass and human bones. Turning back is not an option.
It’s beginning to rain and the air is musky. Entering the house, you make your way through a labyrinth of darkened rooms before finally – you find the “remote” in the correct one. You press the button; the lights go on and the test comes to an end.
This isn’t some theme park attraction, it’s an account by a Wuhan Evening News reporter who recently had a 20-minute taste of the Wuhan Public Security Bureau’s new “haunted house” – a purpose-built facility used for testing the nerves of police recruits.
According to the Wuhan Public Security Bureau it is a specially designed training facility which new police officers’ are put through to test their “psychological balance”. It is stocked with props such as fake severed limbs, bones, skulls and even fake rain and lightning.
A photo of the room with the remote is shown to the recruit before he enters the house. He must find his way to the room in pitch darkness and an “atmosphere of terror” and complete the test. The average time for a recruit is five minutes.
The facility, dubbed the “Psychological Limits Development Centre”, is the first of its kind in the country and supposed to enhance the “psychological endurance” of new police recruits.
The bureau says the “haunted house” is open to the public.