The Halloween season was full upon us when my stepdaughter asked me to take her and one of her friends to one of the local haunted attractions. Now my background in planning and executing my own haunted house left me kind of jaded and I rarely ever visited any other attraction.
The asking turned into begging that started with the phrase of pretty please and eventually I gave in. Now my stepdaughter despite her love of horror movies was a bit of a scaredy-cat so this request was puzzling. However, she and her buddy were determined to see it through. So I finally agreed and it was shortly after sunset on a beautiful Friday, I set out with two giggly teenagers.
Now I had spent a great deal of time selecting the tamest of these haunted attractions based on what I had heard. Since this would be their first time and wanted them to enjoy the experience.
It was early when we arrived at the site and parking was easy. The girls of course had to take the lead and walked with their arms linked looking resplendent in the school jackets and announced to the world that they were members of the cheerleader squad. There was more laughing and a hint of excitement in their voices as they walked.
I paid the entrance fee and we stepped into the dark structure lit only by red lights and accompanied by sounds of screaming and roaring.
"Look at the pretty cheerleaders," an old witch cackled coming closer to the railing and pushing her grotesque white face into the girl's faces while the monster chained to the wall rattled his bindings.
"Pretty cheerleaders," he growled. The girls screamed and wished that had not worn their team jackets.
It was after the first two rooms where some dark-clad figure managed to get screams from both of them by repeating the pretty cheerleader phase that the girls decided that I should have the lead.
Now it was somewhere at the halfway point that a sliding partition separated my step-daughter from myself and her best friend and that's where the friend committed the ultimate no-no and yelled her name out loud.
"Lisa, where are you?" she screamed.
Now all the actors heard the name and soon began to use it.
"Lisa," more than one monster moaned.
The partition slid open and the girls were reunited. Now my being in the lead wasn't enough and they ducked their heads under my coat and clung to my belt as I made my way to the exit. I was even forced to growl at one actor to back off as the girls had had enough.
Once in the parking lot, they ran to my car and I couldn't open the door fast enough to suit them as there was a monster lurking near the entrance. Once inside the car, they dried their tears and composed themselves.
"Why didn't you warn me?" she asked.
"I tried a few times," I responded.
Once back at the house the girls refused to talk about their experiences to my wife and they headed to Lisa's room to get ready for bed. When they were out of earshot I told my wife everything that happened.
Before retiring I checked in on them and discovered that they were sleeping with the desk light on. They never asked to attend another haunted house attraction again.