There are certain movies that I do not watch. I’m not a connoisseur, but I don’t like surprises so I won’t watch a movie where someone leaps out and startles me. I wiki movies before I watch them because I hate it when the main character gets killed at the end. And you will never catch me at a horror movie.
I’ve watched a few in my life. It was easy to peer pressure me when I was younger. The inability to say no caused me to go with friends on carnival rides that resulted in my throwing up on prospective boyfriend #1’s lap. It was that same inability that landed me in the Rialto Theater watching The Legend of Hell House with my eyes closed and my ears plugged for the entire 95 minutes of show time. My granddaughter Savanna loves to watch The Walking Dead when she’s visiting. I watch it with a book in my lap. And no contact lenses in my eyes.
I avoid haunted houses for the same reason I won’t go to horror movies. I don’t like terrifying looking people, creepy sounds, being spooked, or loud noises. It doesn’t matter that they aren’t real. They scare me. I went to one a few year ago with Sophia when we were camping at Yogi Bear Campgrounds. Don’t let images of Yogi and BooBoo mislead you. The haunted house was scary. I stood in line listening to screams, screeches, and roars, volunteering to take Sophia back to the campsite when she got cold feet. It’s okay, Nana, said my ever helpful son-in-law. We don’t want you to miss out on the fun.
That fact that I am participating in a haunted house as a fundraiser this year for our AA clubhouse surprises me more than anybody else. Bob and I picked the garage which is a dirty and creepy enough place with no help from us. We constructed zombie corral with pallets and severed arms and legs purchased from the Spirit store. There’s all kinds of noise and things that pop out of the walls in that store. By the end of our hunt for props, Bob had compression bruises on his hand.
We learned the anatomy of a successful haunted house: distract and surprise. Shortly after visitors enter and admonished to watch their step (distraction), strobe lights will come on as I, bleeding from zombie bites and screaming, get snatched back by Zombie Bob with a hatchet in his hand (surprise!). I expected to make up Zombie Bob, but the realization that it takes 45 minutes to get him fully made up sent me to buy him a mask. I shopped at the Family Thrift Store for clothes we could rip up somewhat and stomp in the mud. For $10 we were fully outfitted.
I thought about 10-year-old GE who played a homeless orphan child for the Christmas play. After looking at what I’d put together for her costume, she commented, “I am playing a poor orphan, but I don’t have to have bad taste.” She selected her own things so she would be a fashionable homeless orphan. Bob isn’t that much of a critic.
We had dress rehearsal last night and it was pretty normal for a dress rehearsal. Nobody was sure of their cues so jumpers were leaping out before there was anyone to scare. What we thought was spooky darkness was too dim to distinguish ghouls from vampires so we need to lighten up. And Bob’s nose collided with his mask’s nose space and we did a retrofit so he can breathe. His zombie gasp was a little too realistic.
In sobriety, I face my ghosts of the past and exorcise them. It’s a nice change to play with the ghosts of my present. We have crossed fingers that our fundraiser is a fun-raiser.