The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Haunted house hell

Fear: A distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc whether the threat is real or imagined.

Whether it be the dark, ghosts, heights or something totally random, everyone is afraid of something.

A few weeks ago, I was conned into going to a haunted house with some friends. At the request of my other friend to stay with her instead, I brushed her offers aside, laughing about how fun the haunted house sounded. While I spent nearly 45 minutes trying to convince her to go, she spent those minutes telling me haunted houses are the cruelest and scariest attractions she has ever experienced. In the end, my friend stayed behind. I, on the other hand, wandered off on an adventure that would become one of the scariest nights of my life.

We drove from Dallas to Terrell County, nearly an hour away before pulling off to a pitch black dirt road. Having been to nearly a dozen haunted houses throughout the years, the dark parking lot and haunted house gleaming eerily in the distance was not unusual. The $25 price tag that came with admission was though. What kind of twisted haunted house was that expensive?

We passed through the gates and descended the hill to the first of eight houses. Immediately, a clown and werewolf started sauntering up to me, both with the most disturbing expressions painted on their faces. I stopped walking, and tried to play it off as if I wasn’t scared. That lasted about three seconds, before they had completely surrounded me. I started crying and screaming. Wrong thing to do. I couldn’t help myself as my fear of these two creatures intensified. Honking horns in my face, batting at my hair and snarling in my ear as I covered my eyes with both hands, the clown and werewolf were relentless in their game. Finally, one of the guys I was with grabbed me and pulled me away from them. I was safe … at least for now.

As the group trekked to the first house I looked back, and to my relief, saw the clown had discovered a new victim. The werewolf, however, was nowhere to be found. Walking up to the Haunted Mansion another wave of fear overtook me. My friends laughed as I pleaded they not drag me through the maze inside. Finally, they proceeded without me.

Trying to rid my face of the smudged mascara surrounding my eyes, it quickly dawned on me that I was completely alone in a corn field with the only source of light coming from my cell phone. Fantastic. Oh, and I had found the werewolf.

I could just make out the outline of his stupid tail when before I knew it, his eyes were illuminated by the screen from my phone. As my friend answered, the werewolf started crawling around by my feet, pawing at my legs and growling. In any other situation I would find this pathetic attempt to frighten someone hilarious, but letting my imagination get the best of me, I started screaming again.

My friend on the other line was in stunned silence. I had failed to tell her I was at a haunted house, and the first sounds she heard were the chilling screams I suddenly had no control over. Finally, I got away from the costume-clad creep inside the animal suit, and found a concession stand. Standing in the light it quickly became very obvious that about 100 people had witnessed my breakdown.

Now, I don’t know what it is about Halloween that makes people think they can dress up like they are part of the show when the holiday itself is nearly three weeks away. And what right do they have to judge me for my fear of clowns and werewolves? By the looks of them, I could have made fun of them for being terrified of sunlight, but I guess I was the bigger person in the corn field that night.

I could see my friends walking up the hill towards me when I saw another character headed in my direction. “Great,” I thought, “The clown and werewolf have sent in reinforcements.” Lucky for me, a little boy no older than six was their target, not me. (The little boy just laughed, making me look like a complete idiot as I sprinted away from the monsters).

I begged and pleaded with my friends to take me home, but they refused. Determined to get their $25 worth, I tagged along in hopes of steering them towards the parking lot. In the end, I lost, and was stuck between going in the house (yeah, right), or standing alone in the field. It was then that I found the ticket lady, wearing the nicest smile and cutest Halloween sweater, waving me in her direction.

I took a seat next to her as she asked me if I was alright. Explaining the night’s events to her, she politely laughed at me before explaining the only reason the clown targeted me in the beginning was because I refused to make eye contact with him. Had I known this an hour before I would have dominated in a staring contest. She also explained that she gets one person like me at least once a night who gets too scared to go in the houses. While most are around eight years old, she explained, she once had a 70-year-old woman faint when a skeleton dropped from the ceiling of one house. Great, I was in the same category as children and the elderly.

Around midnight, my friends came to retrieve me from the ticket booth. We walked to the car (in complete darkness) before one of the guys finally apologized for abandoning me all night.

As I opened the door to my apartment later that night, I froze. Gripped by the same fear that came over me in the initial moments spent on the haunted house grounds, I couldn’t bring myself to climb the stairs to my bedroom. I flipped on every light in my apartment on my way to the third floor before finally realizing there really was no one else in the room.

Nicole Jacobsen is a junior journalism and advertising double major. She can be reached for comment at [email protected].

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