Halloween is the best time of the year. Costumes, candy, and h-h-h-haunted houses. Not real ones. The attractions you pay to go see. I love those places. Imagine the glee when Sweetpea told me she would be one of the actresses at one of these things.
Last night Spanky and I had to go take a ride out there to bring something to her. We didn’t think we’d get to go see the attraction, we had plans to go next week, on family night. When we got there, however, different story.
We HAD to go in there. It being a Sunday night and close to closing, seemed perfect, we would have Phantom’s Haunted Ranch all to ourselves.
Now you know I love these things. I don’t scare or get grossed out easily. These places are usually filled up with gory things and people banging on the walls, screaming, sneaking up on you. I was expecting the same old same old. Like the movie Hostel. That sort of scary.
This was different. Really different. More like the movie 1408. The person who planned this thing as well as the “actors” were absolutely brilliant. It is like no other haunted house I’ve ever been. I got the crap scared out of me. Like mental-mess-with-your head scary.
The ghouls and ghosties are improvisational actors. I admit, I laughed at first when they spouted the rules at the door, “The actors will not touch you, do not touch the actors.”
Now if you plan on going out to Phantom’s Haunted Ranch and Hayride in McKinney, Texas (near Dallas) do not read any further. There are spoilers here. Come back and read this later.
If you make it back.
The inside of this place is a dark maze. The hallways are lurking with dark characters. Not so much at first. It’s dead empty and you are not sure where to go after going through the entrance.
The first one to greet us led us around a few turns. He had a plastic hatchet in his hand and face paint, wore a dark robe. Spanky and I had our arms locked together.
He seemed nice and helpful, though, telling us how to work the maze. Other ghouls came around and hissed. I guess it was some sort of good cop/ bad cop con they were playing on us, because we came to depend on this guy with the hatchet. He asked if we are friends, all sorts of questions to figure out our relationship. I told the nice hatchet murderer I was Spanky’s mother.
That is when he said, “You must be separated.” We laughed, said it wouldn’t happen…
Next thing you know we are in a dark corridor with about six closed doors. We can’t even tell where we came from. Creeps are telling us to choose a door. I open one door and a monster comes out, the next, another freak. And so on, until the last door. This nice looking nerdy guy comes out. No makeup, nothing. I tell Spanky it is probably the scariest room. There has to be a trick. She goes into that one and does not come out. I get bombarded with ghouls and am so disoriented I don’t know which direction she went.
My thinking is any minute now, Spanky will rejoin me. But nooooooooooo, and choose what must have been the wrong door.
The freaks bombard me with lights, loud noises… I don’t know what else. All I know is I was lost as all shit in the dark and there were monsters coming at me from the ceiling, the floors, in front of me, behind me, everywhere. I’m worried to death about Spanky, surely she is getting the shit scared out of her, too. Somewhere. This is what messes with my head. Drives me insane.
There is a crazy bridge thing with a tunnel, this huge barrel that spins around. I’ve done that thing a million times before and have never gotten dizzy. The trick is to just run through it fast. These guys did what they had to do to make sure I went through it sloooooowly and I swear, I thought the room was really spinning. There were lots of other optical illusions which blew my mind. Like the room of dots. And the people in there with dot costumes that blended into the walls perfectly. Until the started moving.
Finally, Spanky joins me for the rest of the haunted house. I didn’t find out until we got to the car that they did not try to scare the living daylights out of her when we were separated. All she had was that one nerdy guy “acting” like he was trying to find her mother but failing to do so. She couldn’t believe that they worked me over like they did.
There is also a haunted hayride which is the part where Sweetpea works. It goes through a dark forest and is so creepy because the woods are full of actors, too. Some of the people on the hayride are actors and get “attacked” by creatures on that dark path. There are even ghosts on real horses out there.
A total freakout experience and no doubt a fun family outing. Especially if you have teenaged kids. Muhahahahahaha.