Thursday, October 29, 2009

Haunted Housing

I'm not particularly a huge fan of haunted houses because I don't think it's fun to be scared. I've only been to one haunted house in my entire life, and it was because I was reviewing it for my university newspaper. I apparently made a big mistake in writing the review from a first person perspective, so someone else wrote up a review of it and included it with the other Halloween features. Needless to say I was a little miffed. The house I went to was the Culbertson Mansion in Evansville, Indiana. The mansion is haunted, but there were no tours of it going on at the time because it was under renovation. I believe the "haunted house" part was set up in the carriage house.

I went with two guy friends, and we had to wait a long time in line. There was guy outside trying to get us all worked up, nervous, and a little scared before going in the haunted house. It didn't work on me. I was pretty much bored. The guy didn't tell us anything about the history of the mansion or about the ghosts that haunted it. When I finally went inside the house, I was still pretty cocky and brave feeling. I walked through and sidestepped all the creatures and people trying to scare me; I recognized many of the rooms as being scenes from movies. I got a little nervous going through "The Ring" but didn't really get scared until we had to go through a tight, narrow hallway with a low ceiling. There was a guy with a chainsaw (Mike Myers from Halloween I think...) following close behind us. I freaked out. I held on tightly to one of my friend's hands and tried to rush through the tunnel as quick as possible. I could feel the vibrations from the chainsaw on the back of my neck, and it made really nervous and scared. Oh there was a creepy clown too. I made it through the rest of the house no problem. In the end, I was a little scared but never terrified. Nevertheless, I don't want to try my luck in a scarier haunted house.

Recently I watched a couple documentaries on the History and Travel Channels about the top, scariest haunted houses in America. I was scared silly watching it. The effects and costumes and sets some of them have are amazing, not to mention horrifying. They're far from the predictable cheesiness of the haunted house I went to. One haunted house I would be tempted to brave would be the Headless Horseman hayride in New York. There's a story and most importantly you stay on a truck bed, nice and safe while you watch all the creepy things on the side. There's a real headless horseman that chases you, but I don't think he actually gets on the truck and neither does anyone/thing else. I'm big on distance and personal space.

I keep thinking I'd like to do a corn maze haunted house, like Field of Screams. It just kind of sounds fun. Then again, I lack any sense of direction and with scary people chasing me with chainsaws, I think the scare factor would outweigh the fun factor. I'd be lost in there til close, and then the people would be thinking, "Man, now we gotta go in and get this dumb girl who can't find her way out and is too easy to scare."

There's some really scary haunted houses with actual, horrible histories located in Louisville. The Baxter Avenue Morgue and Waverly Hills Sanitarium are two of the most well known and scariest places nationwide. There's the Haunted Hotel which is a haunted house  which is worked on all year and located close to campus.  Many people I know rave about its awesomeness and scare factor. Thinking of local haunted houses reminds me also of Paducah, where I used to live. The houses well known to locals are the Judgment House and Talon Falls. I would imagine the Judgment House to be very scary and over the top. It is a very conservative, Christian, Heaven and Hell themed haunted house. The story changes every year, but it's meant to scare teens out of their wits so that they all become or remain good, moral Christians and go to Heaven. I've never been to either, but my sister has been to Talon Falls. She told it was corn maze and really fun to go through.

I've always been fascinated with the rumors of the haunted house that you have to sign a waiver before entering. At minimum it has 7-10 rooms or floors and at max up to 100. You pay around $100-150 to get it, however it you make it through the entire haunted house you receive a full refund or a refund plus extra--up to $500. The people inside can touch you and do pretty much whatever they can do to scare you. I've heard that a group of marines went in and made it to the 20th floor or room before getting so scared they had to leave. No one I know has ever been to this haunted house. I always hear about from friends who hear about from their friends. Again, nobody personally knows anyone who has ever been in such a haunted house. It's one of those Halloween urban legends.

So anyone a frequenter of haunted houses? How many have you been to? What types have you gone through? Is there a favorite? What's the allure or turn off of haunted houses? Do you enjoy being scared? Or do you like to see other people, specifically close family or friends being scared? What's the scariest room in a haunted house (i.e. kids room, insert horror film room)?


  1. You know me, scared of my own shadow. Though the Waverly hills hospital does intrigue me, but I would NEVER stay the night there. I think I would just do the one hour tour and that would be enough for me! Heck I have never even been to the Talon Falls thing either! I am such a chicken!

  2. I've been to a couple. Mostly the amusement ride types. I love to watch shows about haunted places though, it's really interesting.

  3. I'm terrrrrified of scary things. I've been to a few haunted houses though - there is a prison in Philly that is supposedly haunted and it is scary beyond belief. I actually started crying when my bf at the time talking me into going...
    but i recognize that i'm a chicken, at least! haha

  4. The Culbertson Mansion is in New Albany, not Evansville. And the Baxter Avenue Morgue- It was never a morgue. It's a story line.