Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fright Night

What is it about haunted houses?  Knowing full well they are fake and what to expect we still scream and holler and jump and hide our eyes.  A park nearby has been advertising for a haunted house over the last few weeks, and every time I drive by I think, "It might be fun.  We should go.  Are we too old to go?"
And then I wonder why in the heck do I think I want to go to a haunted house!?!?  I don't even like people sitting behind me in a staff meeting so self inflicting pretend horror shouldn't be appealing.
The most incredible haunted house experience I have had was in Salem, Massachusetts.  The site of the Salem Witch Trials, Salem goes all out for Halloween.  One year, right after college, a group of friends and I spent a frightening evening touring haunted houses.  Up until that point, my experience with them was Disneyland's Haunted House "ride" and the local parks & rec kid-friendly versions in the neighborhood where I grew up.  Neither prepared me for Salem.
Salem is hardcore.  I've seriously never been so afraid it my life.  The actors (is that what you call them) jump out at you from the front, from the side, and worst of all FROM BEHIND!  While that is plenty scary, they also get THIS close to you.  The plus about the whole thing is that they are not allowed to touch you, but instead they pretend they're going to touch (or attack) you, which is almost worse.  It's truly horrifying.  And it's not just A haunted house.  We roamed the city streets going from one haunted house to the next.  By the end of the night with a house or two left to go I relegated myself to holding onto the waist of the person in front of me, face buried in the hood of his jacket, screaming bloody freaking murder.  It was exhausting.
I was not aware of this until I saw the video, but Ellen Degeneres (from The Ellen Show) sends one of her writers to a scary haunted house every Halloween.  There are 4-5 years worth of videos on YouTube and they are fantastic.  As someone who scares easily, I can identify with Amy the writer but they still made me laugh out loud.  How do the "actors" not burst out laughing?
This is one from last year...
And the year before...

Why do we do this to ourselves and call it fun?!?!  And who wants to go with me?!?!

12 comments:

  1. Ha! One Halloween when my children we small we went into a Haunted House at the rec dept...this one was for smaller kids. My daughter was about 5...and the first thing we came to was an empty cage with the bars pried open...and from behind us came a huge gorilla...my daughter took one look and RAN screaming to the door and flattened herself out on it...no one else could get out. All the kids followed and were screaming... It was truly funny...well now it is for her anyways....20 years later.

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    1. Yes, it is funny, because it's so fake and kind of stupid that it's scary. :) But it is!
      When driving home tonight there were a group of teenaged boys dressed as zombies crossing the street at a light I was stopped at. They were just going to a party or something, but even so, when they waved as they passed in front of my car it creeped me out a bit.

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  2. This is really outside my wheelhouse.

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    1. :)
      You've not been through one? I believe you've said that the kids do dress up an do trick-or-treating. Do they partake in haunted houses?
      They're pretty big here - from neighborhood versions put on by kids to commercial/for big-time profit extravaganzas. A lot of the amusement parks put them on for like the whole month of October, and people go in droves.

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    2. Where I grew up was so far from the road to do T&T would mean a car.

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    3. Ahhhh, you poor thing...missing out on all that begging for candy. ;)

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  3. Word! Why? I don't like anyone sitting behind me or creeping up on me either. Ever. Ask my husband. It's nearly gotten him killed a few times. So, what did I do? For some unfathomable reason, I went in the haunted house situation thingie at Universal Studios where actors jump out at you, get all up in your grill, but are never allowed to actually touch you. It doesn't matter though because they scream, jump at you in the dark, scare the bejeezus out of you, and make you wonder WHY THE HELL DOES ANYONE THINK THIS IS FUN and, more importantly, WHY DID I GO IN K-N-O-W-I-N-G that this is what was going to happen? I can't even imagine it in Salem. I just watched The Crucible with Laura, so, no. Just no. Oh my. Good Halloween post, you!

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    1. Exactly! It is so much fun and so NOT fun all at the same time, isn't it?
      I don't do scary movies really. I can't see them at the theater for certain because if I do watch one it has to be under a blanket while sitting on my feet. The theater is not conducive to that. :) Even then though, they are few and far between because I'm such a chicken.
      And I hear ya on the creeping. Whether on purpose or not, I always jump and scream if someone comes up behind me and surprises me. And growing up, any of those chasing games made me a nervous freaking wreck. I had a babysitter when I was maybe 9-10 who used to chase me and pretend to tickle me - I thought I'd have a nervous breakdown. Gah!

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    1. Samhain is underlaid festival that was absorbed by Rome and the church.

      Met two teachers from Minnesota and California while photographing Kills priory and gave them a bit of a guided tour of Kells and Kilree. I wouldn't have done that were it not for you :-). I would have told them about the Priory but I wouldn't have gone the bit extra.

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    2. Oh, that was very sweet of you. They must have enjoyed that. Although I am a bit jealous that these teachers, in October, got to be in Ireland with you instead of teaching (on Halloween) like I was. :). They must have been on a fall break?

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