"Let me cut in front of you," I pleaded with my husband.
"No way!" he said. He was adamant that he was not giving up his position as third in line. There was no way that he wanted to be first in line and there was no way that he wanted to be the last in line either.
"Come on. I am scared. Move already!"
Our friends laughed. They recently learned that they were moving out of state and we decided to get together one last time for some fun before they left.
"Dude, get to the back of the line," I told him again. This time there was fire in my eyes.
"Alright," he said and moved to the end of the line.
Just then, a woman wearing a black cape and dress came from behind the curtain. Her face was sickly white and her eyes were sunken into deep shadows. She held a short piece of rope in her hand and approached our friend, who stood at the front of our short line. She gave him the end of the rope, and then gave part of it to his wife who stood behind him, then gave me a piece, and then handed the end of the rope to my husband. There stood the four of us standing one behind the other, bound by the same sense of fear and anticipation, holding onto one short piece of rope.
"Do not let go of the rope!" came the voice at the front of the line.
We all laughed. We had just watched a video outlining the 17 rules that we had to obey. Above all else, we were told not to let go of the rope, not to punch the monsters, and not to be jackasses.
Having given us the rope, the old hag moved towards the front door of the house where she was met by another woman who was similarly dressed in a black cloak. Neither of them blinked. Neither of them showed any emotion, nor did they speak to us. They held each others hands and bowed their heads in silence, summoning the beasties from within the house.
Just prior to embarking upon this adventure, we had supper at a fancy Italian restaurant. I could feel the pasta sitting heavily beneath the butterflies in my stomach. I was ready to turn around and go home. I wanted to hide under the safety of our blankets and cuddle up with the dogs for protection. Unfortunately, it was too late.
While I had been planning my escape, the woman in the cloak opened the door to the house. My blood ran cold. I could hear my heart beating and suddenly had the urge to pee. To our right was a huge sweeping staircase. Standing on the stair case was a little girl who was bloodied. Her eyes were glowing. I was reminded of the scene in the director's cut of The Exorcist
where Regan does the crab walk on the stairs. I closed my eyes thinking that if I did not see anything, I would be fine. I was wrong.
We were lead slowly beneath the staircase. My husband was keeping watch of everything behind him – his years of military training where paying off. My friend's husband was keeping watch of everything before us. My friend and I huddled together in the middle, holding on to the rope, sensing each other's fear.
Suddenly, from behind the curtain appeared a skeleton. He first approached my husband, who did not react. The skeleton then moved towards me and got within two inches of my face. He stared menacingly at me. It was then that I remembered rule 13 of the video that we had just watched, "Beware, hot girls will be followed." Damn, I thought. Why am I so cursed? ;)
Following my husband's lead, I remained stone faced. When the skeleton would not leave, I stuck my tongue out. Here is a tip: don't ever do that in a haunted house. You will pay for it later. Ten fold
. The skeleton disappeared only to reappear again from a different location. This time he got the reaction that he was looking for. Startled, I screamed. My husband and our friends are laughed. They were haunted house veterans; whereas, my sole experience with horror was the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland
. I was six and chickened out in the foyer of the mansion. Not exactly a legacy of which to be proud. I had to regain my honour by tackling this, the number one rated haunted house in the state of Illinois.
Again, we were met with another corner. Entering the kitchen, we all became distracted by the glowing elements on the stove, the sausage grinder, and the blood spattered cupboards. We passed between the stove and the deacon's bench. Just as we got in front of the bench, a ghastly ghoul leaped toward us. Our screams rang out above the sound of the pneumatic mechanisms that had sent the ghoul flying.
Finally we entered a long black corridor. There was nothing there but darkness. It felt like we had an opportunity to let down our guard and breathe. Just as I began to relax, I felt something in my hair. I turned around, hoping that it was my husband but found that it was not. Towering above my husband was a ten foot tall skeleton. His long boney fingers pushed my husband aside and then came after me.
"No touching," I screamed in horror. "There are rules. Don't forget the rules!"
"Wow! You totally
have an accent when you are scared," said my friend.