Here's a word of advice for people with heart ailments: refrain from visiting a haunted house or places that could scare you to death. A 16-year old teen from Ohio who had a pre-existing heart condition died after going to a haunted house on Friday.
Christian Faith Benge went to the Land of Illusion Haunted Scream Park in Middletown, Ohio with 100 family members and friends to watch the performance of her father's band but she later collapsed in one of the Halloween attractions and eventually died despite the efforts of paramedics and her mother who tried to resuscitate her.
"Christian Benge, a local 16-year-old, who attended New Miami High School, arrived at the Land of Illusion Haunted Scream Park with her family on Friday night to watch her father's band perform," the Land of Illusion Haunted Scream Park said in a statement. "Later that evening, Christian collapsed in one of the haunted attractions."
Jean Benge said that her daughter was born with congenital diaphragmatic hernia, a condition that characterized by the diaphragm's failure to fuse properly, and that her daughter likely died because of this birth defect contrary to reports that claim Christian was scared to death.
The teenager only had one lung that works and her heart was four times larger than the normal size. Other family members are apparently aware of her risks for premature death. Christian's grandmother has in fact said that she had been likened to a time bomb indicating that the teenager's sudden death was not surprising at all.
Benge said that her daughter's heart could have failed anywhere. It just happened that they were at the haunted house at the time.
Warren County Coroner Russell Uptegrove, however, said that it can be hard to determine whether or not fear has caused the teenager's death.
"It's something we may never know for sure, but because her death involved heart problems, the fear in places like that could have pushed her over the edge so to speak," Uptegrove said. "It's possible, but I can't say that definitively."
University Hospitals Case Medical Center cardiologist Sahil Parikh said that there are cases when individuals who have cardiac conditions need to avoid stressful situations. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the exact cause of the teenager's death and the official cause of death will be released once results of the toxicology tests become available.