A few thoughts on haunted houses

Courtesy of Spooky World

So the other nightI went up to Spooky World in New Hampshire with my girlfriend and her family. I’m not really a big haunted house guy, but my girlfriend really wanted to go, so I wasn’t too gonna protest too hard the chance to play the strong, fearless man. I haven’t been to a haunted house in at least six years so I was curious to see how going as a cultured, college educated adult would effect my experience. A few takeaways from the experience:

  • Crazy mental hospital patients will always be the scariest. The creepiest dude that we saw that night was dressed in an old-fashioned dress, carrying around a giant lollipop, who would just look at you and giggle. That stuff will always be way more unnerving than any half-dead biker carrying around a chainsaw. Descending into madness will always be far more terrifying than a violent death.


  • Props to all the haunted house actors. It’s crazy how all of them are able to stay in character and keep a straight face through all of the often hilarious interactions. This is something I would never be able to do because a) I can’t act and b) I don’t look scary at all. That’s not to say I’m good-looking–I just don’t have a scary face. The only character I could potentially play is a Who at Seuss Landing down at Universal Studios because my nose is such a tragedy. I still remember walking through the gym during my middle school’s science fair in sixth grade, looking at a project about kinetic energy, when some random girl a couple of grades above me tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Oh, my God. You look just like one of those people from the Grinch movie!” I first took it as a compliment because I had always thought Cindy Lou Who was a dime, but as the years went on I realized that when your profile looks like Toucan Sam that’s never a good thing. (Thank you, puppy dog filter). I swear I could have been a real heartthrob if it weren’t for my nose (and weak jawline and complete lack of confidence). Wow, that went off the rails. I’m over it, of course. My girlfriend loves my nose, guys. She tells me all the time.


  • I’m certain that at every night at every haunted house in the world, there is a group of friends with that one annoying member who insists on yelling at the characters. I’m also certain that this behavior is almost always because said kid is trying to impress the single female member of the group who all of the boys are of course trying to woo. Spooky World’s Friday night manifestation of this universal douchebag appeared a few spots in front of me in line, screaming so loudly at some ax-carrying zombie that the whole line went silent. I was at first hoping for some witty banter, but this hope was quickly dashed as I realized that most of what was this kid was spewing was uninspired f-bombs which is always uncomfortable when you’re with your girl’s little sister and her mom. The only specific line I can remember of his was, “You look like my grandma after she got hit by that bus. And she’s dead!” which elicited groans from the crowd and made me want to take the ax from the zombie and bury it in my own face. Then I realized the ax was probably better served up that kid’s own unfunny, attention-seeking ass. Then I wondered if I was too old to be feeling that much anger toward a high school kid and determined no, fuck that kid for being so disrespectful, and took solace in the fact that the girl he was with would never bang him.

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