Friday, October 4, 2013

Nightmare of 13th: 2013

A few weeks ago Brandon and I had a conversation during which it was made known to him that I had never before been to a haunted house or forest of any sort. Based on this conversation, at the beginning of this week (and the start of October) Brandon asked if that would be something I'd be interested in doing. To which I, of course, responded to in the affirmative.

A little checking around and we had a party of six, ready to go! Wednesday after work we met up to grab some delicious pho (so good!) before heading up to Nightmare on 13th. I used to live quite close to this location and would drive by multiple times every day and notice it. But it was nice to finally be going in.

I'll admit that I didn't really know what to expect. You see those compilation pictures with people who look terrified out of their minds. Makes you think these places can be really scary. I should also admit that I'm not really one for gore or horror most of the time, at least not in film. Even very subtly scary movies are difficult for me to watch. And whenever they show anything gruesome, it feels burned into my memory forever. I rarely watch scary movies and feel happy with myself afterward. But my ok-not-ok meter is rather odd, as I can watch Pan's Labyrinth and love it and the watch The Orphanage and barely be able to handle it. So, knowing that I don't respond well to horror in film but that there are few things in real life that scare me, I wasn't sure how this would go.

Turns out, this is just my thing. Right from the beginning, as you are waiting in line to get in, there were one or two monsters that were wondering around. One super tall scarecrow and one mutant. The super tall scarecrow was pretty cool. He/she wandered around bothering people and at some point was slowly combing through the line of people waiting. As he/she got to us, she reached out her long straw fingers towards each of our faces in turn. I couldn't figure out what he/she was doing, but as something long and slender is coming towards your face, it is easy to be slightly concerned about your eyes. All he/she ended up doing was reach down to slightly tap each of us on the nose, which was actually quite amusing.

Finally in, we had the above pictures taken and then we were off into the maze of the building. It's the kind of thing where you know that there will be surprises, that things will leap out of you and drop on your head, and tickle your ankles. So you're constantly watching out for them. In some ways, the whole thing was kind of cheesy. You know, for the most part that no one can touch you, so if you just proceed slowly, there's little risk. With that knowledge in hand, it was easy for me to instead focus on the design of everything and consider how much fun (and work) it would be to build such a place. Some of my favorite parts included a trick with a mirror that made you feel like you were standing on a ledge overlooking a long drop, the spinning circle/tube with lights that made you question your orientation to the ground (and made all of us walk a little crooked for the next few minutes), and some of the interactions some of the people had with us. Every time some scary being would ask me a question, I, like myself, would respond quite literally. Those interactions were most amusing. I'm fairly certain that I went through the majority of the building with a huge grin on my face, enjoying all the details.

While this is something I would enjoy doing occasionally, the one downside to these sorts of places is that they are expensive! Almost all the ones we looked at were about $20 a person. With a coupon our entries were $15, but still, that's pricey. So it will have to be a once a year thing, or something like that. Maybe we'll have to make our own little haunted house some time, just for kicks. ;)

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