I’m trying to conjure up something to do besides sit by my door in hopes some parents will drive their kids out to the sticks for candy. There are a few loyalists in my rural but close-knit neighborhood who make the effort to bring their kids around and I truly appreciate it.
But no matter how lonely I may get this Halloween or how desperate I become to engage in some spooky fun, there is one popular activity I absolutely won’t do: haunted houses.
I’ve only been once, but it was a horrific experience on many levels.
I was seventeen years old and a friend lined me up on a blind date for Halloween to double with her and her boyfriend. I didn’t know our plans, but I’d just bought a new drop-waist jumper (it was the 80s) and I figured a light casual frock would work for about any activity. When I opened the door for my date he said, “Hi, I’m Mark. Why are you wearing a dress?” I was about to respond with, “Hi, I’m Kari. Why do you have a big bushy mustache?” but my friend quickly said I looked great and ushered us to the car.
I learned the reason why Mark sported such burly lip bristles was because he was 22 years old, which seems ancient to a teenage girl. Apparently he worked with my friend’s boyfriend. Yes, my friend and I had words later.
The plan for the evening was to go to a haunted house then to dinner. It was my first haunted house experience and as we waited in line for two hours out in the frigid October night, my outfit choice proved disastrous. When we finally got inside after hours of awkward conversation between a freezing teenager and a mustached man, my bare legs were so cold my walk was zombie-like. Not having functioning legs would also prove disastrous.
I know the motive for a guy to take a girl to a haunted house is so she’ll get scared and snuggle up to her big strong mustached man for protection. My reaction was different. We’d been in the haunted house not five minutes when the scenes of gore and horror overwhelmed me. When a creeper jumped out of a coffin with a chainsaw, I lost it. I ran.
I was tripping over my wobbly legs, many people, and my stupid drop-waist jumper. I didn’t care about Mustache Mark and certainly didn’t want his protection, his presence, or his persnickety comments about my attire.
The rest of my group came out of the haunted house about 45 minutes later. I apologized for rushing ahead, then we decided it was probably too late for dinner and we were all kinda tired, so they took me home. They probably went to eat without me, but I didn’t care. I was just glad the haunted house and the horror date were over.
Yeah, there are worse things than a quiet Halloween at home. I do dress up for the occasion, no matter how few people see my costume. This year I think I’ll be really scary and wear a mustache.