Tag Archives: High school

10 Haunted House Themes for 2011

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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

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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.

High school

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.

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‘Like’ puts our lazy lexicon in spotlight

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My tenth grade English teacher was on a crusade to eradicate excess usage of the word “like.” He went out of his way to assign more class speeches and presentations to demonstrate that our minds didn’t consciously seek out the word “like.” Rather, it was a byproduct of thinking faster than you can speak or failing to find the right word and feeling that a speech should be fluid without pause.

Mr. Phillips understood the word “like” was necessary to draw comparisons between two similar objects. After all, you can’t form a simile without “like” or “as.”

Phillips was unaware of Facebook, as it did not exist when I was in high school. Had it, I believe he would have taken shots from the nearest clock tower after hearing its fundamental form of communication was a “like” button.

Perhaps Phillips hated valley girls. Maybe he was just a bitter man; after all, he was teaching English to a demographic of students who made up new words every day … none of them English. The latter seems more likely.

After his class, I consciously picked out every extraneous “like” from a conversation. I can only conclude that Phillips is a madman, because this attention to detail can drive a man insane.

I thought, at the time, kids my age would grown out of the “like” trend. Surely, with more high school education and higher education, we would learn more words as we gained more experience. After all, the adults I knew didn’t use the word “like” as if there were a daily quota they had to meet. This didn’t happen. So many people my age – early, mid or late twenties – fill the air with “likes.” Their stories are unbearable (if they ever get to the point.) Conversations with them are nonsensical and obnoxious. “It was, like, this and he was all, like, what am I, like, supposed to do?” Just get the bullet. I got your target right here.

Communication quantity, not quality

There are many things my undomesticated generation cannot do that it should be able to do. I have a cousin that filled a dishwasher with Dawn dish soap. And for some reason, the “art” of laundry eludes many college freshmen.

Communication should not be a foreign anomaly for my generation. We have more opportunity to communicate than ever before. Facebook, Twitter, cell phones, texting, office messenger communicators … even face-to-face communication. (Look it up)

There is an interesting pattern on that list, however: Nearly all of them involve a keyboard. How come I don’t read the word “like” a dozen times in a text message, but hear it in verbal communication? We only seem to be succinct when we type out what we are thinking. (I’d say write, but who has the motor skills to do that anymore?) When many of us try to speak verbally, our language becomes cluttered and gaudy.

Lazy lexicon

At a point in time, I was just like this (High school.) It ended after Phillips’ class. We had lots of vocabulary tests in his class. His theory was that you can’t become a better conversationalist if you don’t know words to help you improve and become a more efficient speaker. Again, however, students succeeded on paper where they could see what they were writing. When it come to verbalizing their ideas, out came the “likes.”

Then he told us to shut up.

Huh? We’re supposed to evolve into better speakers by not talking? Then he told us to mimic his tone and pace of conversation. Phillips was a slow talker with a smooth voice. I called him “white Morgan Freeman.” His point of advice: Talk smart. Talk like a snob (without the accent.) Slow your thought process down and your verbal skills will grow and follow in pursuit.

It worked … in his classroom setting, at least. Speeches and presentations became tolerable. Phillips seemed less homicidal.

So, please. If you’re older than 16 but talk like you’re 16, learn some new words and think about what you want to say before you speak. Not only do people turn you out and not hear what you say, but they don’t care because they associate your inability to verbalize a sentence with a meaningless sentence.

A conversation I can follow is a conversation I “like.”

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