Content warning: mention of bugs
Done in the style of Mallory Ortberg’s “Everything What’s Wrong of Possums”
By Allyson Larcom ’17
The first time I ever went to a haunted house, I was five years old and I both cried and peed myself. I figure this is probably average childbeast behavior, it still feels like I was somehow wronged.
The question, “What don’t you like about haunted houses, Ally?” can be answered summarily and thus: MUCH.
Just listen, okay? Listen. Haunted houses are the worst Halloween tradition in all of times and eternity. I feel like the people who craft haunted houses are always using no-no words like “squelch,” “chuckle,” “grotto,” or “moist.” I hate all of those words, and the thought of this or any hypothetical conversation about designing haunted houses gives me stomach ulcers.
Every haunted house in human history can be described as “crankly,” and I assume this will continue to apply until the eventual heat death of the universe.
ONE TIME A DUDE WHO TRAINS ACTORS FOR HAUNTED HOUSES SAID TO THE HUFFINGTON POST, AND I QUOTE HIM DIRECTLY HERE: “A lion never feels more alive than when chasing an antelope.” AND THAT IS CREEPY, SIR! THAT IS A CREEPY THING TO SAY AND I WANT EXACTLY 10,000 NOTHINGS TO DO WITH YOU OR YOUR CREEPY, CREEPY METAPHORS!
Story time! The last time I went to a haunted house, it was at this place called This Is The Place, which is a cheesy and terrifying Mormon theme park where they bring every fourth grader in Utah on a field trip to churn butter and sprain ankles pulling pioneer carts around. The haunted house was called the “Haunted Village,” on account of it was being more villageous than houseish. One actor tried to obtain our cellular numbers. He was dressed in a ghillie suit and we could not see his face. His name was Brendan, though, and I think about him roughly four times a week—specifically, when I’m feeling undesirable, since I can always remember that ghillie-suit Brendan thought I was cute enough to break character. Anyway, when we got to the scariest part of the haunted house, my friends and I agreed to hold hands, but since I am a cold bitch, I sprinted away without them and it took fifteen more minutes for them to exit themselves from the house. They were in a mild annoyance at me for this antic, but it was not my fault! I BLAME YOU, HAUNTED VILLAGE, FOR THEIR MILD ANNOYANCE, BECAUSE I WAS SEVENTEEN AND YOU COULD NOT EXPECT ME NOT TO SPILL MY ENTIRE BOWL OF COOLIOS WHEN A LARGE SKELETORIAN HAD CORNERED ME WITH A RUBBER CHAINSAW. DEATH WAS IMMINENT, HAUNTED VILLAGE, AND IT WAS ME OR THEM! I PICKED ME.
I hate haunted houses mostly because I will continue to go to them every few years forever and ever until I die, and I will never die. I care for no holiday but excepting Halloween, so I will play your silly games, haunted houses, because I must. It’s part of participating in the holiday, or something. Take my money, haunted houses. I hate you, you snarled bastards.
One time last summer, a raccoon died in my backyard and I had to rid it from my premises. I thought, you can do this, Ally, and I went outside to extricate the corpse. However, upon approaching, I realized that it was covered not in reasonable if gross flies, but in UTTERLY UNREASONABLE FLESHEATING WASPS. That is how I feel every time I go to a haunted house: I think I am a fine and capable human, but I very much am not able for to handle the thing, and I must later cry deeply and shower my backyard with Raid.
Here is a list of common injuries that happen in haunted houses: faintings, elbowings, punchings, bitings, kickings, and something called “haunted house throat.” Stay away from my throat, haunted houses. My throat nor I want very few to do with you.
I will probably go to another haunted house this year. It is the same as with consuming eggs: I will convince myself that I will enjoy the experience if I add enough Sriracha, and I will not. I will just be sad and my life will be too spicy for a little while. I will become red and sweaty and my blood pressure will go up. Mayhaps I shall only go if that I should find a Groupon.
I am seven feet deep in revilement of this yearly institution.
From October 2016 issue