Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Reflections of a Haunted House

Monday night was the night that Olivia and Anela and I decided to try out the legendary Nightmare on 13th haunted house. I think by the end of the experience though, we ourselves became a legend for many years to come for the staff at Nightmare on 13th.

I wish some of you could have been there to fully appreciate what I'm trying to tell you. Beforehand, I was very nervous about the idea, and Olivia observed that I already looked like I was about to have a heart attack. I tried not to reflect this emotion as the creepy greeters lurked around us and got into our faces. We waited in a line that had a secret camera on focus of one room, one vicious-looking clown in pajamas jumping out at people with a knife in hand. I guess the point was to laugh and everyone's reactions but fear just steadily crept into my body.

My nervousness ebbed--slightly--after the first few initial shocks. Anela was our fearless leader, but I think the haunted house had a more dramatic effect on Olivia, who had a hard time walking forward without having someone clutched to her. It was often me that was wrapped around her, in similar fashion to a cardigan sweater preppy kids in the 50s used to wear. At one point while we waited for another guide to let us into the room, Olivia screamed loudly and dramatically, flinging her arms way out to the sides, almost as though she could encompass the frightening guard in her embrace but instead shook in terror.

I can't say that I was any better, however. While Olivia's attempts to control and/or express her emotions left a bruise on my arm and Anela's left eye slightly swollen, when the others decided that I should take the lead, it was the part where the scary clown jumps out with a knife. With the two others plastered behind me, I screamed and ran backwards--quickly. Of course I was expecting him to be freaky, but freaky AND taller than me? That's just beyond the realm of my emotional capabilities. I'm not sure if I rammed Olivia and Anela into the wall or not, do you girls remember? If so I apologize now. I think my reaction even took the actor by surprise, as another group entered the room as we stood, paralyzed for a little bit as I tried to etch my way around the creature without being lunged at, and the actor looked back and forth between the two groups not really knowing what to do.

It was evident pretty quickly that I couldn't be the leader, for the obvious reason that I was a greater risk hazard in terms of personal safety to the group than any of the actors in the haunted house. Once Anela had taken the lead again, we were back to the normal routine of her leading, Olivia in the middle, shouting "Nela! Nela! Nela!" in panic if Anela were ever to go beyond three steps before us, and me as fear-struck-cardigan-sweater-like comfort-creature glued to Olivia's back. Occasionally Olivia calmed down enough to make a cohesive comment like "Where are we?", while I was still too dumb-struck with fear the entire time to make any sound other than a scream or "Olivia don't let me go!!!"

Anyhow. We somehow managed to survive more confrontations with evil-looking things, two chainsaw dudes, one of those whirly rooms where you feel like you're turning but you're actually not, and a Saunta Claus who was clutching a severed head. Who came up with that sick idea, I don't know, but it makes me want to seek them out and give them medication. This concludes the briefing of how I believe that the examples of Anela, Olivia and I will be forever used for the training purposes of furture employees at Nightmare on 13th. Also, I want to comment on people who go to haunted houses throughly unimpressed and not scared, and laughing the whole time. STOP IT, WOULD YOU? I GET IT THAT YOU CAN UNDERSTAND THE THEATRICS OF ALL THIS. I, FOR ONE, AM PETRIFIED.

So, I share this in hopes of making someone smile or chuckle, because as I reflected on the experience the next day I could be seen stupidly snickering to myself about my antics. Happy Halloween to all and to all a good night.

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