With Halloween quickly approaching, it’s time to examine one problem with this non-holiday holiday: While we appreciate what we see, we’ve seen it all before. With that, I’m talking about the haunted house. Ohhh, a big scary mansion. I wonder what the guy around the corner is wearing? The outfit from “Scream?” A werewolf? An unidentifiable who-the-fuck-knows-what-that-is monster? While the scare and shock factor for haunted houses always peaks, there’s a sense of letdown when the expected, well, happens. Sure, you jump. But that’s because the guy in front of you jumped out of a dark corner. Once you see his trivial costume, you brush him aside.
I recently visited a Halloween attraction site that brought different themes to the game. There was a mine shaft, “fun house” (clowns, lights and lots of disorientation) and the tried and true (yet remarkable authentic) insane asylum. It was a fresh take on fabricated terror. I saw a girl cry; real tears of terror. It was terrific. Another girl cracked her head open and was bleeding like she had bladed like a pro wrestler. She wanted out that bad that she ran into a low-hanging object. We need more of this.
These are 10 haunted house themes that can both entertain and scare the shit outta ya.
The Abortion Clinic
What could possibly be scarier to a group of onlookers than a deranged doctor sucking fetuses from his unsuspecting patients? This has real potential to disgust on a large scale. Whether you’re for or against abortion, seeing this blood-thirsty physician work the drill and Hoover vacuum in a dimly-lit, filthy room is creepy.
The Military Embed
The minute you purchase your tickets for this attraction, everything is fair game. Good luck dodging the souls and zombies of those soldiers and civilians killed in battle. When you attempt to seek safety and salvation at your base, you’ll learn it is being haunted by conflicting political groups looking to take your resources and life in the name of their ideology.
Michael Jackson’s bedroom
True life is often scarier than what we can conceive in a fictional setting. All you need to make this work is the corpse of Michael Jackson (who was plenty scary alive) and his dimly lit room to give people the heebie-jeebies. Scatter it with the spirits of the children he molested and you have a pretty bizarre room.
A Hollister Co. store
The soulless drones that walk this dark store have taken lifeless conformity for the lesser good to new heights. You’ll gag with the smell of 8th grade cologne if you don’t have your life drained by the sales tactics of the uneducated staff first. It may look like a West Coast oasis, but it’s far more terrifying than that.
Anthony Weiner’s photography lab
Enter, but only if you have a strong stomach. The vain Weiner litters his lab with his best sexts. The grown Weiner has a wall full of his best dick pics while working on a collage of mirror shots of his ass. In the corner, a nearly-nude Weiner laughs in a maniacal to himself while snapping away with his iPhone. Kindly decline if he asks you to “send to receive.” Failing to do this will land you a life of shame and regret.
The organic food co-op
After struggling to crawl through the cloud of smugness that will meet you at the entrance, you’ll have to remain low to the ground as not to be spotted by a sales associate looking to sell you expired quinoa. Keep in mind that the associates aren’t zombies, they’re just baked out of their skulls on pot and mushrooms. Avoiding falling for the popular marketing term “organic” and you just might make it out alive.
With all lights off you have to navigate your way through deals, poorly made products and yokel shoppers to escape the confines of the big-box store. Don’t expect directions or help from employees – those worthless fucks’ only means of communication is a mumble and a groan. Around every corner, down every aisle and placed on every endcap is a reason to be frightened. The best way to escape Walmart is to avoid going there in the first place.
Take the worst time of your life and make it even worse. The assholes you remember are now … … … you know, on second thought this need not change at all. The only thing not making high school a horror house (it’s already a whore house) is the quality of the building. Take those little fucks and throw them in a broken down, podunk structure to fend for themselves and you have the worst place on Earth. (Many of these kids double as cast members at Hollister.)
The night club
You’ll definitely have to sign a release waiver for this one. There’s a very real chance you’ll be raped by a faux macho clubber. This haunted attraction is highlighted by body-numbing bass from the shitty music you love to hate to male zombies drugging female zombies. Grab a pool cue to use as defense and destroy as many yuppie clubbers as you can. This is a free-for-all. Make the world a better place.
Your childhood own home
This is a stretch, but what would be scarier than seeing a mock creation of the place you grew up in as a child haunted by god knows what? Even better, a depiction of your dead family is there feasting away on house guests. This would be spectacular! Driving by familiar childhood sites can be eery enough. Take it to the next level by immersing yourself in a completely haunting portrayal of your past.