Home > Fun > The time I was asked to leave a Haunted House

The time I was asked to leave a Haunted House

So with Halloween looming I thought I’d share a lovely/teen angsty story about me and horror. I’ll start by saying I scare incredibly easily. I still vividly remember being 7 and seeing a horror movie promo on TV where one of the characters is shown having their life force sucked out through their face. Just to give you a scale of my scaredy-catness, after witnessing that I wore a scarf on my face for two months when I slept to protect myself from probable soul sucking monsters. To this day, I can’t handle scary movies. I become a koala-esque animal that clings onto the nearest person like a eucalyptus tree with white knuckled claws…It can be uncomfortable for all involved.

Fear is not a fun feeling for me. It’s not a rush, and I hate the feeling of needing to protect myself.

What I want to know, that has NEVER been properly explained to me is: Why do people enjoy being scared? I don’t like it and I don’t know why people seek it out. I do most everything to avoid fear but:

In highschool, I agreed to go to a haunted house.

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Nether-again

The name of it is the Netherworld, and the damned place is here in Atlanta. I don’t know if they just say that it has been ranked the scariest haunted house in the world OR if it legitimately is, but due to my experience the latter is correct. That place was fucking terrifying.

Netherworld is in an old strip mall, and it’s actually an enormous warehouse, not a house at all. When the group I was with got there the place was packed, and there was a huge line we had to wait in just to get into the hell hole. I guess Netherworld wanted to give everyone the most bang for their buck because various creatures covered in blood and guts sometimes with eyeballs drooping from their sockets  walked up to thrill seekers waiting in line and hissed in their faces (fun!). The line creatures confirmed what I already knew. This was a terrible idea for me, and surely would not end well. I irrationally hated all my friends who were there with me with all of my 17 year old angsty-ness.

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This dillhole probably hissed in my face.

While we were waiting a friend gave me the old “Don’t worry, it’s going to be more funny than scary.”  I know my friend was trying to be nice and calm me down, and maybe Netherworld is hilarious to him. All I know is to a Scaredy Cat like me this was surely a bald faced LIE. I was already freaked out and could feel myself preparing to choose fight or flight, so I couldn’t hear him over the crazy in my own head. I don’t remember how long it took for my group to actually be allowed into the warehouse, but I know I was perfectly content to stand in line forever and be hissed at by make-uped monsters than go into the dark abyss ahead of us. When we were finally ushered in it was worse than I thought it would be.

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Inside Netherworld

The place was set up in a twisting path that was separated by ‘chambers’ with different motifs. It was darkly lit, if it was lit at all, and everything was punctuated with a burst of yellow strobe lighting now and again. The walkway to the first chamber was so thin we had to walk single-ish file just to squeeze through and have our hands on the spiderwebby walls because there wasn’t enough light to see. Once we all gathered in the first chamber that resembled a crypt we were stopped by two creatures that were stalking directly towards us (read here: me) And this is when I realized: In a fight or flight situation I will opt to choose fight.

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I guess the creatures/actors are trained to pick the person that would feed everyone else’s freak out because one of them- a zombie friar I think to go with the crypt- came in for me with a quickness. I don’t remember making the decision to do this, but I put up my hands screaming and shoved him in the middle of his chest. I’m my effort I had kicked off my clogs. (Yes clogs it was 2000, JUDGE ME) And that’s when the actor playing the friar asked me to leave.

I don’t know why I remember this, but he had a Boston accent and my thought at the time “Oh I wonder what part of Boston he’s from.”  It was not “Oh I just made an asshole of myself” or “Oh I’m being kicked out of a haunted house for physically shoving someone” All of the sudden I wanted to know the Boston friar’s back story. I think it was my damaged psyche’s way of coping with ‘having a brush with the supernatural.’ After that, I was escorted out by a girl working behind the scenes at Netherworld. I was out in the light of the parking lot that was filled with bored moms waiting in mini vans. Probably sipping on a thermos of cheap chardonnay; I think that comes with the territory of moms in suburbia right? I sat out there miserable and angsty-mad at myself until my friends came running out of the place, chased by Mike Myers with a chainsaw. Which I don’t think is his weapon of choice, but I digress.

Yes I know how I acted was nuts, and now that I look back it is hilarious. But this brings me back to my original point: Why do people enjoy feeling scared?

In typical ‘fun’ situations I’m not usually driven to shove someone in the sternum (and also pee a little) because of an adrenaline fueled instinct to protect my own ass. It’s hard to explain to fans of horror sometimes because when I tell them my issue they look at me like I just said “Oh no, I don’t think Seinfeld is very funny” I mean, c’mon now let’s not get crazy.

What I hear time and time again is that it’s the ‘rush’ that brings them back to horror movies. Then they go on a tangent about the value of horror and how I don’t appreciate some genuine, quality horror culture.

Don’t try to convert me Horror genre fans, I get it! I get that some flicks/haunted houses/ghost stories are better than others but I don’t care. I don’t like ‘em and I’d rather pee my pants laughing any day than whiz myself because an undead Boston Friar is trying to kill me by sucking my soul out through my face.

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