I will no longer pay to be scared. This includes all forms of entertainment,media, literature, live entertainment, etc. I have learned my lesson. The final straw came when I was in High School - the nail in the fake coffin if you will. However, I will begin when I was 10 or 12 at the "Great Minnesota Get Together" also known as the Minnesota State Fair.
The Minnesota State Fair is unlike any other State Fair. It is larger than my husbands home town, you can get more things on a stick than I cook on a regular basis, and it is set up in a permanent location in Falcon Heights/St. Paul, therefore it continues to build and get better and better each year.
On the State Fair grounds there is a haunted house. Now this is not just some rinky dink exhibit in a building stuck between the extenda-duster and the sham-wow guy. NO! This is an actual two story house. I can still picture it in my mind. It is painted gray with black trim, it has black rod iron gates around it and fog rolls through the yard all day and night, haunting music and noises echo down the block. (see picture stolen off from flickr below). So - the deal.
I was 10 or 12 and at the fair with my family - this was our vacation, every year, the fair for an extended a weekend and I loved it. This particular year my aunt had come with us. (My aunt is 2 years older than myself.) As always we were stationed outside of the haunted house watching people go in looking quite lovely in their late summer August tans laughing and joking as they entered and coming out shaking and as gray as the siding on the house. I am not sure what convinced us (my aunt and I- it was probably my aunt) that we could go in and fair better. Regardless, we believed it, and we convinced my aunt's neighbor to take us in. (this man would later be my boss, and recount detail for detail on a weekly basis when I worked for him....yeah it was that bad)
Alrighty then... recap for those of you I lost -----> it is myself (10-12 yrs old), my aunt (12-14 yrs old), a haunted house (that scared 250lb linebackers), a man who was 5' 6" maybe, and a crazy juvenile notion that we could do this. There isn't too much about the inside of the actual house I can recall - except that it was dark, and I was instantly scared because I went from a midday heat of around 85 degrees to a house that was air conditioned to around 63 degrees. It was dark - very dark very very very dark. Most time you couldn't see your hand in front of your face kind of darkness. (as a preteen darkness was still a fear), and because this is an actual house it stays up all year long, it is only used for the haunted house so they have done it up right. I specifically remember two things about the house- the first room and a long hallway what happened in between is all a blur.
Let's skip to upstairs: there was a long (or at least it seemed long) hallway with stalls - almost like in a stable. Metal bars flanked the doors and "creatures" were in each little cell. It was a very tight hallway and the "creatures" could grab you from both sides. The lights were on and off, flashing, strobing, and causing general havoc in my brain. The people would not be there and then they were, they would jump at us, grabbing hair and clothing and making all sorts of horrid sounds.
Charles the adult (who now that I think about it was probably our age...wow!) decided that we would wait at the end of this corridor for the people ahead of us to clear the hall and we would then run for it. Looking back I bet he was scared too, and why not? We had watched adult after adult come out quite shaken, what would make this guy different? Anyway - I remember this part so vividly because I was begging one of the workers as we were waiting for the hall to clear to just let us out - I knew there was an emergency exit up there I had seen various creatures; Dracula, mummies, werewolves etc standing on the exit outside smoking. No go - she wouldn't let us out - we had to keep going.
Charles was wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt. I can still picture it- light blue with a Mickey that covered from neck over his round tummy and down to his waist. We were in a single file line and clinging to the back of his shirt like it was our life line. We waited for the people ahead of us and we made our break - literally running as best we could in our awkward line/group, clinging to his shirt, head ducked down and shuffling through the hall as we were grabbed, pawed, screamed at and generally frightened. Somehow we made it out, we saw the light of day again. We too came out looking like most everyone else - pale, shaken, blinking back the bright sun, disorientated, and with a new understanding - that I don't want to pay to be scared again.
Ohhhh and the funniest part of the story is that dang Mickey Mouse shirt. Due to the clinging, grabbing, hanging on, and pulling that the shirt endured from us young girls, it was more than a bit stretched out. It hung off this guy's shoulders - Mickey now made it down to almost his knees and Mickey himself looked about a good 10 pounds heavier. Oh my, that is the part that later - much later - we were able to laugh at.
I won't even get into the time I went to another haunted house, this one outside, and I beat the characters with a vacuum cleaner hose, literally in tears... yeah I won't get into that.
1 year ago