Sunday, September 6, 2009

what paralyzes you?

I may be a real big punk.

Last October I took my little cousin and sister in law to Netherworld, the top rated Haunted Attraction in the country. I ain't scared of no ghosts, I watched the Exorcist at age 5. Really. I have been to every run of the mill Halloween theme park.So when we entered the first of the two haunts, I lead the pack. It was just make believe...

Within minutes, I started to hyperventilate, looking for the emergency exit. It wasn't at all what I thought it would be, there were no distorted mirrors or evil clowns jumping out at you, no skeletons popping up out of cardboard coffins. No sir, whoever made this mad house was some sick twisted individual, no doubt. I admit, I wasn't ready for the attention to detail shown in that attraction. I was scared voiceless, unable to move forward without being literally pushed by my comrades. It felt like we were inside a real life horror movie; the makeup was cinema quality- the actors must prepare the entire year for the stamina to terrorize each patron with the same amount of fervor each time. The first house we enter was called "The mangler", and played out more like a cross between a Saw Movie and Night of the Living Dead. There were even real "survivors", running around like crazed victims of some unspeakable horror. Over the top gore, from start to finish.

I was so shook up upon exiting the first house that I had to prepare for over thirty minutes to even enter the next one. Heck, I am certain I would have forfeit that extra $5 dollars extra to enter the second house, had I not been pressured by the ladies in my party. Besides, the spooks didn't just haunt the inside. They were outside, hiding behind port o potties waiting to shake it and scare the you know what out of whatever chump was trapped inside. I decided to take my chances with the group rather than stay outside alone, with those things.

But I was so freaking scared. The whole time we stood in line, I kept trying to make sure I was not in position to be neither first nor last in line with my group. First was bad, but last meant the things could sneak up behind you...and I wasn't with that. Not at all!

So this time in, I hid behind my five foot nothing little cousin. I held her hand and kept my eyes closed the entire time. If I heard a noise or anything remotely ghoulish in my ear, I squeezed them even tighter, like a child awaiting a surprise. I was so scared, I had forgotten that it was make believe, the line between fantasy and reality had blurred indefinitely.

I came out of the second house much less shaken; but certainly stirred.

Do you ever close your eyes to the things that terrify you, hoping that if you just hold the hand in front of you, you'll be okay?

What if that hand leads you toward more pain?

What if the situation is more terrifying when you are kept in the dark?

That is exactly what happened that night. According to the other girls, the second house is the tamer of the two, and we actually went in reverse order. As it turn out, I had my eyes closed in the less scary haunt. I was so afraid, I gave up, and ultimately cheated myself.

This year, I am looking for redemption. I have already been to fear and scoped the two themes this year: Blood Night and Zombie Wars. I hadn't mentioned that the idea of zombies literally makes my skin crawl. Don't worry, no matter how detailed the paint, or how realistic the moans, I will keep my eyes open. Even if it kills me...

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