60 Days of Halloween – Haunted Houses

A lot of other pop-culture sites have already started with their 2 month long Halloween celebrations and since Junkiosity – The Pod is pop-cultureish, we will jump on the bandwagon too! So get ready for our version of the “60 days of Halloween Spectacular”!

 

Matty here. I love to be scared. Scary movies was a bonding point between my father & I. We would spend Saturday & Sunday afternoons watching the latest “Creature Feature” or “Commander USA” episodes featuring some of the cheesiest & creepiest horror movies anyone had ever heard of. Later on with the advent of VCRs, we watched tons of schlock-o-rama and had a great time making fun of it.

I remember going to haunted houses only twice in my life and each time they turned out to be pretty traumatic & exhilarating at the same time. The first one was hosted in the old sugar beet factory near my home, put on by the local Jaycees organization. I remember as we waited in line they had a film projector showing the classic “Kingdom of the Spiders” starring William Shatner. I hate movies like that, the insect horror movies that are “too real” (see also “Squirm” & “The Swarm“). Seeing tarantulas crawling over people’s faces, up their pant legs just completely freaks me out. At 10 years old it was even worse.

We were herded through what was once the factory floor, a maze of fluorescent lighting & strobes going off constantly to disorient. Each area had a scene, the requisite “mad scientist” cutting people apart, the grim reaper walking through a Styrofoam tombstone graveyard, if you’ve ever been to a haunted house you know what I’m talking about. It was the last scene that completely took me out of my skull.

The tour ended in what looked to be one of the managerial offices, the shag carpeting & wood paneling still in place, some of the white asbestos ceiling tiles stained brown from apparent leaks in the roof. It seemed normal except for the tall figure in a black hooded robe and wearing a gruesome wolfman mask at the other end of the room. What made me freak was the fact that he was jumping around the room, not literally jumping but the figure would disappear and reappear randomly. I’m sure it had something to do with the strobe lighting and maybe some mirrors, but all my 10 year old mind could comprehend was this freakish figure was going to get me if I didn’t make it to the door before he reappeared. Closing my eyes and screaming I made it to the other side.

I visited the 2nd haunted house 10 years later. I spent the entire tour screaming like a girl, so much so that my boss at the time who had gone with our group wanted to pay for us to do it again. He thought it was hilarious…

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