Monday, October 1, 2012

A Roller Coaster Day, Part Two

(or Can this flippin' day just be over already?)

My day had already gotten off to a bumpy start with the sibling yard sale debacle and unfortunately for me, it wasn't over yet.  We had made plans for the evening with my honey's best friends to visit the Haunted Mill Scream Park.  Oh, the horror of it all!

My honey loves haunted houses, I don't. Spooky music and lighting, things jumping out at you, men in masks with chain saws... to him that spells a good time. For me, that's a great way to insure a sleepless night full of nightmares.  But, he really wanted me to go with him. He was so sure I would have fun if I got into the spirit of things with him. I wasn't at all sure that would happen, but he also promised that if I tried going to one haunted house and didn't like it I wouldn't ever have to do it again. Fair deal, right? Oh boy!

I was already a real grump because of my morning run-in with my brother and now I had something I wasn't looking forward to ahead next.  But, in true roller coaster fashion,  there had to be a few highs to go with the lows still come.

We were taking my car because my honey's brakes were acting up, bad.
I had to clean out the mess in my back seat because his friends would be riding with us, bad.
We were going to be stopping at Cracker Barrel for dinner on the way up to the Haunted Mill, good.

Yum! Breakfast served all day and hash brown casserole!

While cleaning out the back seat, I found the flash drive I had been searching for, really good.  Really, really good!

This little purple flash drive had all my teaching and grad school files on it.
If for no other reason, I'm glad we went to the Haunted Mill because
 it forced me to clean out my car and helped me find this.

Before going, my honey and his best friends prepped me with the do's and don'ts of haunted houses.

Do... walk at all times. Everything is dark and walkways aren't all level or flat.

Don't... run away from the men with chain saws. They will chase you to get a bigger reaction!

Do... stay in the middle of the group so things can't jump out at you or sneak up on you.

Don't... show any overt reaction to the actors in the house or they will focus in on you.
(In other words, screamers or those who looked afraid were tormented more than everyone else.)

But, they forgot the one "don't" that almost got me in trouble. The performers are supposed to scare you and they get as close as possible to you in order to bring the terror. However, they aren't actually allowed to touch you. Touching people tends to initiate the fight or flight reponse and cause people to take a swing at the terror-makers.

Did you know a primitive response designed to save your life
can get you arrested or tormented at a haunted house?

The first performer at the first attraction accurately pegged me as an easy scream (probably because at this point I was begging my honey to let me go back to the car) and started creeping closer and closer to me. I didn't actually hit him. I simply put him on notice that if he got one inch closer to me I was going to deck him. Apparently, this is frowned upon at the Haunted Mill. They have huge signs that say any attacks on the performers will result in your arrest. I'm guessing I'm not the first person who's had the fight response when cornered. I got a huge scolding from the witch at the main gate and to insure my good behavior the first performer followed us through most of the haunted house. Was he guarding my back so no one else would sneak up on me and get hit? Or was he simply being an @$$hole and trying to scare me since I had threatened to hit him? Either way, we had a shadow all through The House of Eyes.

My House of Eyes travelling companion looked like this
only with a grim reaper cloak and a sickle he liked to bang on the floor.
(You know, just so I knew he hadn't left my side.)
We had a survival strategy that pretty much worked for me for most of the night.  My honey's friends would go first so that nothing could jump out at me and I would have someone to guide me through the mazes and dark parts.  My honey would stay behind me so that nothing could sneak up on me.  He promised to hold my hand so that I couldn't run if I got scared by the chain saw men.  He would later come to regret that last part.  He wasn't holding my hand so much as I had a death grip on him that tightened every time I got more scared.

We made it through the House of Eyes and I was soooo ready to be done for the night.  The actors had been screaming at us to get out or we'd be their next victim all the way through and it had really bothered me.  Not scared me, so much as frayed my nerves.  Nobody likes being yelled at, right?  But, no, an easy escape was not mine to be had.  Maybe I should have pulled the crying girl routine.  I bet a nice round of hysterical crying would have had the guys hustling me to the car tout suite.  But, at this point, I was still trying to go with the flow and be a good sport.  Don't get me wrong, I totally asked if I could go back to the car at this point.  I just backed down when I got the old "c'mon, you can make it" from my honey.

"I'm coming to get you, Lainey!"
So, onward to the Trail of Terror we went.  This was both better and worse.  Better because it was outdoors and so there were no confined spaces to get cornered in, but worse because the performers had enough room to get a running start on scaring you.  The Trail of Terror was really dark, like "I'm amazed nobody has fallen and sued the Haunted House people" dark.  Plus, the trail rules strictly prohibited lighting up the trail in anyway.  No flashlights, no glow from a cell phone, not even a glo wand to help you find your way along the bumpy, pothole ridden trail. 

My honey's friends were awesome at recognizing my discomfort and tried to lighten the mood.  They started sauntering along the trail and calling out funny things like, "We're just a couple of virgins walking through the woods at night.  We're totally going to make it to the end of the movie."  I appreciated their attempts at levity and my honey certainly laughed, but it didn't really make my evening all sunshine and roses.  I wanted to go home so badly and I still had two more fun-filled attractions left to see!

You aren't the only one he was following, Jamie Lee!
The Haunted Mill and the Maze are a blur to me now.  I had implemented a new survival strategy at this point: tunnel vision.  I couldn't tell you what was in the Haunted Mill to save my life.  I can tell you that, according to my honey, someone in a Jason mask and someone in a Michael Myers mask tried to sneak up on me.  I had no idea!  That was behind me and I was concentrating all my attention on the back of the t-shirt worn by the friend walking in front of me. 

Our white-out guide

I do remember one completely pitch black room in the mill where you could here the performers, but couldn't see them.  I also remember a room that was so smoky and bright that it was a white-out.  The performers in that room had gas masks (and probably instructions to guide people through the room).

"Dude, you are SO lost!"

Whatever!  I made it through the ordeal without any screaming or girly crying.  My honey may have lost the use of his left hand for a few hours afterwards, but oh well.  I was a trooper, even though I hated every second of it.  Yay for me!  On the way home, the GPS took us onto an unpaved road through the middle of a cornfield and we all thought the Scream Park experience was being continued as we got horribly lost in BFE.

I've had two nights worth of nightmares (so far) as a result of going through the Haunted Mill.  But, on the bright side, my honey AND his friends have all decided that I never, ever have to do that again.

One more night of this and I'm bringing in the teddy bear!

My Honey's Latest Life Lesson: 
If your girl tells you she doesn't like haunted houses...
AND she tells you she doesn't want to go...
AND she tells you going there will give her nightmares,
(Did I mention my honey's a little sleep deprived right now?)

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