Spook 14 — Haunts and other such frivolities

Let me pose a question to you: would you pay for a higher heart rate? Before you jump to answer, consider the possibilities. You might be paying for a gym membership to hit that treadmill. You might be paying for that nicer car with the turbo-charged mega-rpm man-gine. ORRRRR…. you might be paying to scare yourself silly at a haunted house that isn’t really haunted but will seem way more haunted than something that really is haunted.

“Don’t worry, that last sentence totally checks out.”

That’s our topic for today– haunted houses. Like the one where you pay to go inside for half an hour and get scared by actors. Not the kind where you pay to buy the house then flee after two weeks, fail to sell the house, and then other people relive your experience being scared through the assistance of actors.

“Emoting fear is all in the eyes… animate or not.”


For those of you who are not familiar with haunted houses, they typically involve a wide variety of gimmicks to get your heart pumping. It might be clever lighting, fog machines, smell emitters, actors in costume, or locking you in a room with one TV playing Battlefield Earth on loop. Of course haunted houses are only the tip of the iceberg.


DISCLAIMER: Not a reference to basement size.


Haunted houses are joined by a wide variety of haunted attractions like haunted theme parks (screamparks), haunted corn mazes (see earlier spooks), and intense home decorating.


This may actually be threatening trick or treaters…


Okay, so we’ve established what they are, but why go? Well the simple answer is that it get the adrenaline going and by the time you are walking out that last door you feel so jacked up that you might intentionally punch out a child–or use it as an excuse to punch a child that was annoying you anyway. Of course the other reason to go is as a date night, because as Eli Roth once wisely pointed out: a girl is going to hold on to you through the whole thing and she surely won’t want to spend the night alone.


If you’ll still want her to stay is another question entirely


One last thing, before this entry starts to drag. Ever heard that tale of the haunted house in a city by you that can’t be finished? You know, the one where you pay $100 bucks to get in but if you make it out you get it back. That’s because it’s so scary that no one gets through. How do they keep people from getting out? Well it’s from a multi-front assault They can tough you and grab you. Each floor of the 13 floor haunted house is scarier than the last and they offer you a way out after each. They assault your mind with disturbing images and ideas to break down your psyche in the most awful ways imaginable.


They assault your sense of sexuality with confusingly attractive zombies


But the scariest thing of all? The place itself is a ghost. It doesn’t exist.

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