Last night my family and I did something really fun. We attended Kings Dominion’s Halloween Haunt – a night time walk through an amusement park filled with ghouls, zombies and killer clowns. We  had gone to this event 2 years back – but then my youngest was only 8 and it really scared her, so we left early much to the dismay of hubby and oldest daughter.

But that year we did it wrong. We went on a Saturday and spent the whole day at the park. By the time 8 pm rolled around, I was exhausted. My feet hurt from the hours spent waking and waiting on line vs. the 78 seconds I spent sitting on each ride. All I had to hear was that little punkin’ puss was scared and I began lobbying for an early departure.

We decided to give the Halloween Haunt another try this year, but with a different approach. Rather than go on a Saturday or Sunday (where the price is almost $50 per person – that is scary!), we went on a Friday night. $31.99 from 7-midnight – a 5 hour night of fright.

Our oldest brought a friend – she likes going on everything that loops, twists and drops from incredible heights. Hubby and I have graduated to weenie status over the years, so she needs to have a like companion along in order for her to have any fun. I have become the running mate of my youngest, who’s amusement park tastes run more along the lines of bumper cars and the scrambler. She has yet to invert herself on any sort of ride, and for that I am grateful.

We split up for the first hour so the daredevil daughter and her friend could get their fill of thrill rides. Youngest was scared to start off, but soon got used to the blinding fog, and lasers and we got quite adept at spotting most of the ghouls before they got to you.

Most of them.

This one asshole ghoul had skid pads on his knees – he ran towards me and slid. I wasn’t expecting an assault from below and I screamed “Oh Shit!” fairly loud. This turned into a trend for the night. I discovered that when startled, Tracy does not scream. She yells “Oh Shit!”

Yes, I quite literally get the shit scared out of me.

Once we hooked back up with the girls we spent the remainder of the night entering the various haunted walks they had set up across the park. These were enclosed mazes that you walked through that had some freak around every corner waiting to jump out at you. There were 10 in total and we walked through every one of them.

Some were lame, others were just annoying. But a few were quite cool. One installation called “The Doll Factory” had a segment with mirrors, strobe lights and bloody, hanging dolls…only some weren’t dolls -some were live performers. It was freaky because the strobe made it really hard to see, and the mirrors really screwed up your depth perception – it was actually quite frightening. More so once one of the dolls whispered to me as I tried to grope my way through to the exit.

Another walk had a segment where a long and narrow hallway had walls made of a heavy cloth – they closed in on you – pushed up against your head and shoulders. It’s hard to describe but it was like walking through a hall made of overstuffed pillows. Hubby groped me a few times in that hall which annoyed the hell out of me. Here I am close to suffocation and hubby is looking to get lucky.

One maze that wasn’t all that great was made highly entertaining by a fellow park-goer. This one girl began screaming – like truly horrified screaming every time a ghoul would pop out at her. At one point she began to cry and yell “get me outta here, please! please!” I’ll tell you, Kings Dominion must take these pleas seriously because before you knew it, that girl was whisked out a side door by a quick thinking monster. The rest of that maze was less thrilling after she was gone.

Before we knew it midnight had come and the park was closing. My feet hurt, and it was beginning to get quite cold out. I must admit I was tired – not just from a day at work followed by a night walking around an amusement park – but from the constant stimulation for 5 hours. Being scared is exhausting – I don’t know  how Jamie Lee Curtis does it.

All I know is I was glad I didn’t have to drive home. While hubby manned the wheel, I did just as I did as a child – I slept until we pulled into the driveway.

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