Yes three of us ventured into a haunted maze again. Again we ventured in 3 times. Why do we do this? I’m not really sure. I will admit I did have a bit of fun.
As jamiahsh also wrote a blog about this, you can check his site for the links. I’ll just make a few observations from the evening.
It was great walking through actual mazes. Especially since you could get turned around and head back the way you came. With angry clowns and some creepy creatures who will chase you through the mazes, this make for an entertaining evening. At least for me. In these attractions, I will say that I don’t often get “scared”. I do get startled, and I do occasionally get grossed out. Some of the stuff just looks nasty. Once I get into the haunting, I really want to join the team that is doing the haunting. I’m always looking for where they can hide and where the best places to scare are. I think I would have added a couple to this attraction. There was a fairly long stretch of corn row walking that didn’t seem to have too many ghouls. Maybe this was a ‘breather’ area, or they just didn’t have enough actors to cover it. Not sure, but I thought it would be a good spot for some spooky noises, or just someone rustling the corn.
The one area that really gets to me on a very physical level is a walk through tube. My friends were very loud through this. Me, I almost shut myself in. To me, it is that unnerving. I imagine if I opened my mouth too often in that area, a visceral scream would emerge. I’m not sure exactly what about that gets to me, but it hits a very primal cord. On every trip through I arranged to be in the back of our little group. I lagged behind a bit, and actually walked through this section a bit slower than the rest. Even though this area was clawing at my core, I went as slow as possible. Each trip was a release of some tension. The relief felt when exiting was a soothing balm. I imagine the only thing that would get me more is if I had to crawl through the thing… That does remind me of one place where I did crawl through something very similar, only without the pressure from all sides. This place had multiple textures in a pitch black crawl through… That also got to me.
Now onto the room that disoriented everyone but me. I’m not sure why I could manage my way through. The visual clues, messed up by the strobes were interesting to me. Finding the proper path and keeping balance were like solving a puzzle. Once the solution was arrived at, I had no problems navigating the room. And it did not cause any disorientation. Finding the hiding spot or spots of the resident ghoul was also part of the problem. Avoiding him, and my companions was the bigger challenge. 😉 I did find another challenge to crafting one of these haunted attractions, the multitude of hidden doors needed by the actors to move in and out of the rooms at will. As an community theater volunteer, I can tell you the hanging of that many doors can be quite a feat.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently, and I’ve been wondering why I don’t get frightened at these haunted houses. I know there was a time when I did get a little more frightened, as an adult, but that has been a few years. I think real life frightened me more than I can ever be frightened by an actor in a haunted house. I’ve worked late night shifts at a gas station, and worried about the guy robbing stations in the area. That was scary. I worried when my wife had a miscarriage, and didn’t come out for a very long time. Or when one of my daughters was in a car accident, or when my youngest was born 7-8 weeks early. These things are scary. Seeing death first hand is scary. A part of life, but a troubling part. Being the only parent to my daughters is scary. No one to bounce thoughts and ideas off of. No backup. That is scary. Haunted house, that is a walk in the park. Well except for that one area.