Haunted Houses

Photo credit: RJS Photography

Photo credit: RJS Photography

Going to haunted houses is one of my favorite things ever.  I wait all year for Halloween season.  In years past, I’ve had more or less friends willing to go with me.  When I first met my husband, he wasn’t “into” Halloween, but as time has gone on, he’s gotten more and more excited about it with me.

Last night we went to Nightfall at Old Tucson Studios.  By day, Old Tucson Studios is town that’s appeared as a set in many movies, such as The Quick and the Dead, Rio Bravo, and the Outlaw and Josie Wales.

It’s a perfect place for creepiness, and they did a great job.  They had a lot of different monsters circulating, and didn’t just rely on the typical chainsaw stuff.  They had a gnombie, a bad rabbit, and a really tall creature, among others.  There were three houses: Revenge of the Blood Witch, The Mine Shaft, and Dia De Los Muertos.  Although Revenge of the Blood Witch was the scariest with the best scary effects, my favorite house was Dia De Los Muertos.  We liked it so much that we did it twice.  It was all neon with black lights and they played mariachi music as we walked through various rooms with a dead mariachi band and sugar skulls.  This is a great bargain for people living in Arizona who love Halloween.

In previous years, I’ve enjoyed 13th Floor, Arizona Scream Park, and the Crypt.  I’m going to give the Chamber of Fear a try this year.  The only local attraction I don’t like is the Nest.  Lots of people love it, but I find it overpriced and lame.  If you can only do one thing this year, I’d recommend either Nightfall or Arizona Scream Park.  They both give you a nice bang for your buck, and you can spend a few hours enjoying either one.

Fear and Haunting in Arizona

I went to a haunted house with a couple of friends last night.  It’s called the Crypt, in Mesa AZ, and it was pretty good.  Good scenes, good jump factor.  I’d recommend it for someone who wants something scary, but not too scary.  I’m off track, though.  One of my best friends doesn’t like anything scary.  She only likes romance novels and romance movies (how did we get to be friends?).  So, when I suggested a haunted house, and she agreed, I didn’t think anything of it.  I’m pretty blase when it comes to scary stuff.  I mean, my husband and I laugh at horror movies.  I’ve been pretty disappointed by most movies that are supposed to be scary.  She was really scared though, and it got me to thinking about fear.

I’m not afraid of much.  Mostly, I’m afraid of things I can’t see.  The dark really scares me because of what could be there.  I live in a neighborhood in Arizona, and it’s never dark in my neighborhood.  Back in Pennsylvania, I lived in a pretty rural neighborhood, and when the lights were out, it was DARK.  I remember getting home after dark, heart pounding, eyes scanning the darkness, jumping at every little noise– the stuff of real nightmares.

I kind of miss that fear.  I miss that pulse jumping feeling.  Maybe it doesn’t feel great at the time, but it always made me feel alive.  That’s why I keep watching scary movies and reading scary books.  I want to recapture that feeling of being safely scared.  Of knowing that there’s a monster out there, but that it doesn’t really want to eat me.

Maybe that’s why I prefer psychological horror these days.  Psychological horror is not about a monster I can see, but a monster that could be out there.  Something that could be lurking in the darkness.  It’s the possibility of fear that I’m addicted to.

What are you afraid of?