Monday, October 26, 2015

A chicken in a haunted house

Let's just get this out of the way right now. I am a chicken. So it will probably not surprise you to learn that the last time I went to a haunted house was when I was a senior in high school. And if I'm being entirely truthful, it was the first and only time I visited a haunted house. And I wouldn't have even gone then, but I had incentive. It was the weekend leading up to Halloween and the high school group of friends I hung with decided that we should go scare ourselves silly in honor of the holiday. But that wasn't why I went. I had no qualms about begging off...but my incentive? The reason I went? Bryan was working at the haunted house. Inside the house. As some ninja warrior, jumping out and scaring people. Yes, this was the boy I was dating. I was a chicken girl who was in love with a boy who adored any and all things scary, freaky and horror. So I took a major leap out of my comfort zone and quaking in my shoes, I walked inside.

There were maybe ten of us in the group walking through together, wondering where we would find Bryan. We had laughed earlier while walking up towards the haunted house, when we overheard a group of kids coming out saying, "Holy crap, did you see that ninja guy drop down from the rafters like that? Scared me so bad!" Clearly Bryan was good at his job.

But once inside, I was ridiculously scared. Beyond terrified, even. We walked through single file all holding onto each other in a chain. Behind me, Shauna had her hands gripping my shoulders. I had my face completely buried in David's jacket in front of me...the two of them making a little Sarah sandwich. With my eyes screwed shut, my other senses were all the more terrifyingly in tune....I could hear every creepy noise and all the screams, the ones nearby and further ahead and behind. I could feel the cool, clammy air from the fog machines. I was ever more aware of every flinch and jump of my friends around me as we shuffled along, connected together as we were. But regardless of being so aware of my surroundings and really not wanting to see anything creepy, every now and again I would risk a peek to the side. At one point we slowed way down, coming nearly to a full stop. Curious as to what the hold up was, I carefully turned my head to the side and opened my eyes...only to find myself locking glances with some gory monster inches from my face, clearly trying to get a rise out of me. I screamed long and loud. Goal achieved!

Towards the middle of our haunted tour, we slowed down again and I felt someone pulling my arm. I tightened my grip on David's jacket, but then was comforted to hear Bryan's voice and realized that he was the one trying to get me to let go. I opened my eyes and though I was happy to see him, it became clear that his plan was to have me break off from our larger group and go off somewhere with him. I was hesitant to do so because, in numbers, right? Relative as that safety actually was. He practically had to pry my fingers from David's jacket, with me offering up pitiless concerns and protests.

Looking at the situation from a guy's point of view: taking your girlfriend through a haunted house, a place in which she is likely to be scared at least to some varying degree and will probably snuggle in your shoulder while you protect her from the haunted scariness...well, slam dunk, right?

Bryan ushered me through a side door into some back tunnels meant to allow the haunted monster workers to make their way from room to room unseen by the regular patrons. In this I was somewhat comforted, thinking that though we were passing some truly creepy characters, they weren't trying to jump out at me. We made our way out of the back employee hallways and into a room with three witches. Bryan deposited me there and told me he'd be right back, that he needed to tell his supervisor he was leaving for the night. And there I was. Staring at three witches who were very curiously staring back at me. No words were spoken. Me very literally trembling from head to toe, wondering what gory creature would come walking around the corner at any moment only to find a prime target standing there very alone and very obviously terrified.

No monster came. But after a few minutes, Bryan did. He was off for the rest of the evening, he said. I was relieved thinking that this meant we could duck into some back hallway again and make our way out of the haunted house. That relief was short lived as Bryan obviously was now planning to enjoy the haunted house in the more normal way....a boy walking through with a girl, taking pleasure in the fun and laughter that many people get from being scared at Halloween time. Except Bryan wasn't with just any girl. He was with a chicken. An extremely frightened one. One that immediately started begging to be taken out of the haunted house. I don't think he took me seriously at first...thinking it was normal girly fear. But I kept up my requests to leave which became more and more hysterical the further we walked. Finally he stopped and looked at me and said with a bit of incredulity in his voice, "You really want to leave?" Maybe it was the terror in my eyes or the fact that I probably looked like I was about to pee my pants. When I answered "YES!!!" to his question, he pulled me into another side hallway and we made our way outside.

Bryan was good natured about it, even if a bit baffled as to why I was so terrified of a perfectly harmless haunted house. Luckily my chicken-ness did not put a damper on our relationship and he decided he loved me regardless. We got married a few years later and he has never suggested we go to a haunted house again. He does still tend to enjoy watching horror movies during the month of October. On those nights I try to find other things to occupy my time in another room. Because the one time I watched a scary horror movie with him when we were dating in high school I had nightmares for weeks. But that is another story....

1 comment:

Shauna said...

That was the last time I was in a haunted house as well. I still don't know what I was thinking agreeing to the excursion. I didn't have a cute boy waiting inside for me. ;-) Luckily for big chicken me, Kevin hates haunted houses just as much as I do.