Years ago in a mediocre little town, I spent my pre-adult time between school and marching band. I wasn’t particularly athletic but god damnit, I could twirl a flagpole.
For a few years the color guard was everything to me. Practice was a safe place to go weekdays after 3:30 and we had a lot of fun.
To most people, a one-piece palazzo pant suit made entirely of spandex would be considered ugly. According to our band director, the trash bag look was in. We paired our black shrouds with black ballet flats and giant fake pony tails. I’m assuming the reasoning behind ginormous faux pony tails was so our hair could be seen from the stands. But if you got an up close look of the ratty creatures, you could see that they easily attracted lint and after a few wears, started to smell like a public restroom.
One night after the town parade, and some of us still dressed in body bag couture, we decided to go to the local haunted house. I was nervous but my peers assured me that we would all stay together.
We purchased our tickets and were then lead into a dark room where a scary production was about to begin. About fifty other spectators sat around on benches. My friends of course, insisted we sit up front.
“No!” I cried. “What if they pull someone out of the audience?!”
Two men walked into the center of the crowd, wearing black cloaks and deformed face masks. They lit black candles and dramatically announced that in order to please their master they must choose a sacrifice from the audience.
They searched all around the room for the face that looked the most scared-shitless and of course, chose ME.
This must just be a nightmare, I thought. Surely with my wild imagination, I wouldn’t be stupid enough to go to a haunted house knowing damn well that horror movies make me question house creaks for days. Surely the odds of ME being chosen as a sacrifice out of fifty other WILLING participants cannot be real.
The cloaked man grabbed my arm, most likely assuming that I’d find it fun and quirky, and be cool with being the sacrifice.
He was mistaken.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOO! AAAGGGHHHHHHH! GET OFFFF OF MEEEEE!!!!!” I screamed right into his ear canal.
I wiggled as much as my body would allow to try to break free from his grip. My synthetic pony tail bounced like a chipmunk struggling with seizures.
After an awkward moment the man responded “Hmmm, okay maybe not THIS sacrifice.”
He let me go and allowed me to sit back down but not before whispering in my ear “We’ll get you later…”
After that I blocked out the rest of the experience. Seriously.
I can’t remember if I continued through the rest of the haunted house or if I made an early exit. That’s how traumatized I was.
All I remember is the horrifying show where I was target numero uno, and I remember after we were finished, my friend realized that her fake pony tail was no longer on her head. She had to explain to the costumed doorman that her hair piece was laying on the floor somewhere in the haunted house and asked if she could retrieve it. They ended up finding the pony tail, which was also scarred for life.
This one frightening experience convinced me that I will never, ever go to a haunted house again. Being scared is not fun. Chainsaws are not meant to be used for chasing strangers. And jump scares from murderous clowns are never a good idea.
Invite me to a corn maze. Let’s split a hot pot of apple cider. But invite me to a haunted house and I’ll throw the apple cider in your eyes, and shove the corn… well… you know.
Happy October 1st! Do YOU enjoy being scared? What’s your favorite Halloween movie?… other than Hocus Pocus, of course.
***all gifs found at giphy.com