Friday, October 11, 2013

Tis The Season of the Haunted House By: Roz Denny Fox


I was never big on paying money to get scared out of my wits going through a “for charity” haunted house. When I worked at the elementary school and we had Spook Night on Halloween to keep the kiddies off the streets, we set up a fun, not scary area that the little kids thought was scary and the older ones thought was stupid. So, teens and college kids really go for the big, bad haunted houses. I remember in Seattle where my kids grew up, it always rained and the nights around Halloween were dark and spooky anyway. My husband loved to take them and their friends through any one of many houses set up for charity. Bless him, I was freed of going through rattling chains, webs (ick) and things that go bump in the night.

Okay, I’m well past the age of having anyone at home who wants to visit a haunted house. But the reason I decided to blog about them is because the other night I was scrolling through programs on TV and landed on Showbiz Tonight, the entertainment program hosted by A.J. Hammer. He had people on talking about the Emmy’s and the Alma’s, so I stopped to listen. In the course of guests discussing award shows, someone mentioned Halloween and haunted houses. A guest asked if the others had seen where the popularity of haunted houses was waning. But apparently one group of fundraisers hit on a new twist. Visitors to this particular haunted house would be expected to leave their clothes at the door on entering. The house was adult-only. (well that’s a relief)

Okay, they joked about it a while and I laughed, but thought it couldn’t be true. Then the next night I heard the same thing on a news channel.

So, are you picturing this? That’s what I started to do. Calling on my memories of traveling through a pitch black house where things jumped out, slapped you with cold, wet fronds of some kind, or stuff of undetermined origin brushed against you moaning, screeching, or worse---and I began to imagine doing all that nekkid.

The scariest part might not be what is rigged up in the house, but standing in line outside waiting to shed your clothes—watching others do so at the head of the line--at night in who know what kind of weather. Adults aren’t all young and buff and beautiful. We come in all shapes and sizes. It didn’t sound as if the group putting this house on was part of the local nudist colony, but everyday folks raising money for their favorite charity.

Alas, I don’t recall anyone advertising what city this is going to be in. If some city ordinance doesn’t shut them down, I can’t believe the trend will catch on. I’m pretty sure not in the wet, rainy, cold Northwest of my history with haunted houses. Maybe here in balmy Arizona, but more probably in California—land of risk takers. Or I suppose it could even be in one of the places where they’ve legalized smoking funny stuff. Okay, so I’m taking a poll here. How many of you would fork over five or ten bucks for this spooky opportunity?

PS: I heard on Jay Leno last night that the police closed down this haunted house.

 

 

37 comments:

  1. I'm a practical person. If I wanted to support the charity, I'd mail in a check equivalent to the door charge. No nekkid in the cold and wet for me. No nekkid, period!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wouldn't be caught dead going there! In fact, if I were dead, I wouldn't even go as a naked ghost. I'd go spook fully dressed haunted house goers...actually, I'm not that spooky. I'd probably be the ghost handing out candy at the door and telling everyone they can have more if they keep their clothes on, LOL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rula,
      I'd love to see you at the door handing out candy if people didn't dress down.

      Delete
  3. My mother always loved scary movies, after seeing the first one I knew they were not for me...no matter how handsome the vampire. Over the years I tried to see the attraction others saw. Psycho-no showers for months. Jaws-I still don't swim in the ocean. PAY to be frightened, never going to happen.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Rose,
    I have never been one to like scary, but my kids and grands somehow love to be frightened to death at movies, etc. I don't get it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Roz!
    I heard about this crazy haunted house too-Never in a million years lol...
    I'm not a fan of scary either-we take our son to a haunted hike during the kid friendly hours, when it's just starting to get dusk...but then I get out of there quickly before any of the real scary stuff starts.
    As a teenager though, I volunteered at a charity haunted house and it was a lot of fun. I guess as I age, I lose more nerve:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer, I think you're right about liking these at a certain age. And it's fun to go with a group of people you know.

      Delete
  6. Phony haunted houses... Nah. I like the real thing. See my blog on Monday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking forward to hearing about the "real" thing.

      Delete
  7. I would be fearful that I'd get spooked, pass out, and wake up with all the lights on. No way.

    It sounds like something they'd do at the Playboy mansion and you'd hear about years later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mel,
      That would be something if someone fainted and they had to turn the lights on.

      Delete
  8. I can't make it through a haunted house without laughing- especially if the people around me were naked! I'm glad the police shut it down. That would have actually been a bit terrifying!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen, I think I don't like to have things take me by surprise, so I'm sure I never laughed the few times I went through an HH

      Delete
  9. When I was part of the downtown development community in my thirties, I helped put on a Haunted House in the old jail - all 'monsters' were locked behind bars, so while they were scary, you were safe from them. I volunteered Ron to be a monster, and whenever he has the opportunity, he brings it up. He spent five hours wearing makeup, locked in a cell and wearing a wig that glowed. When everyone who put on the event went through at the end of the night, he reached out of the cell while my back was turned and pulled my hair. Scared me silly. I guess he deserved that. I will not go naked anywhere, ever!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Muriel, that sounds like a fun event. Was it just for your community to have fun, or did they make money for development? Ron did get you back. I so agree with your last statement. Even picturing the idea of anyone doing that made me laugh.

      Delete
    2. Entrance was free. It was to give the children a safe place to go.

      Delete
  10. I enjoyed your comments about Halloween's haunted house. Really, shedding your clothes to be bombarded by wet spaghetti?

    Halloween has always been my children's favorite holiday and we had fun times back in New Jersey - surrounded on two sides by cemeteries.
    Marion

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marion, That would be a great place for scavenger hunts.

      Delete
  11. Great post. I don't like being spooked, it gives me nightmares. But being spooked naked sounds even worse. Yuck. Great Halloween topic, Roz. I had no idea this was going on.

    ReplyDelete
  12. No haunted house, EVER, no matter what people are wearing (or aren't). It was bad enough going to my kindergartner's haunted house, even knowing the school would keep the scare level appropriate for five-year-olds. But it amazes me that people are actually willing to pay money to get scared!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laurie, our grade-school did Spook Night, but it was very tame compared to the haunted houses for charity.

      Delete
  13. Roz, What an idea- I can't quite believe it was for real! My sons love haunted houses. In high school, they'd go to the for-profit one over on the west side- can't remember the name but they run ads on local radio. Nothing in that house scares them because they've been toughened up by living with all the stuff in our house. You reminded me. I need to get the skulls out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laura, is someone in your family studying to be a doctor? My daughter and I saw someone driving yesterday with a life-sized skeleton in his passenger seat. I was hoping it was facke.

      Delete
    2. No, the skeletons are for the artist! He has casts of cadavers too.

      Delete
    3. Ah, but they serve dual purpose. And I meant "fake" in the post. This writer can't type well. Ha!

      Delete
  14. I'm not a haunted houses kind of person. Or a scary movie person. Or a Halloween person, really. But I am a family and community supporter, so I will do what I have to in order to help those I love. Even if it means trekking in the dark to strangers' houses so that my nieces and nephews can go trick-or-treating. Or standing in long lines so that my son can go to a haunted house (I step out of line and meet them at the exit when they come out LOL). I've even been known to go in a haunted corn maze (but never ever again) because a pair of tearful eyes turned in my direction because she didn't want to go alone.

    I do draw the line at naked though. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Syndi,
      I have gone to a lot of corn mazes, but I always get panicky thinking I'll never find my way out.

      Delete
  15. Okay, I confess, I love haunted houses. My son wants me to turn our house into one for Halloween, but hubby is saying no. My birthday is near Halloween, so I always asked for "take me to a haunted house" as a present. We've gone through some great ones and some stupid ones. Usually, we laugh our way through.

    If I were naked in a haunted house, I'd be the one doing the scaring and the place would soon empty. Bad visual that.

    I don't, however, like scary movies. When I was a teen, I'd go and then I'd go in the lobby and read while my friends stayed.

    Great post, Roz. You always get us thinking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pam, Your son will be so in seventh heaven that he has the coolest mom in the world--who loves haunted house escapades.

      Delete
  16. I haven't heard of that nekkid haunted house, Roz. Who on earth thought of that? And how did they think they'd get away with it? I woudln't go in one nekkid or not.

    I've never been one for haunted houses. Even as a kid I knew they were fake. But when John and I were camping at an abandoned mining site in Idaho, something dripped on our tent all night long...except that it wasn't raining. It really creeped us out. We were far off the beaten path and the only humans for miles. The next morning I read further about the locale...the mining camp had been notorious for it's violence and boasted the highest rate or hangings in the area. Still gives me creeps to think about those drips. And being in a tent.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Suz, that is fodder for a book I think. Love those "real" haunting stories.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I thought I saw something on this somewhere online, but I thought it was so stupid, that I didn't take time to read about it. On that note, I would not attend or go through that haunted house. Even if they paid me to do it.

    My kids still like to go through the haunted houses, but I cannot. The strobe lights knocks me off balance and I get sick.

    Great post Roz, I enjoyed reading this.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Gail,
    I think some people will do anything for publicity. Maybe the people who set it up thought it would be funny. But how could they not think it would be shut down? Seems like haunted houses are really for kids and not their parents.

    ReplyDelete
  20. That's a new twist on "scaring the pants off" someone!

    ReplyDelete