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It Came From Beneath The Partition

, , , , , , , | Learning | October 31, 2020

The elementary school I attended had an annual Halloween party where teachers, parents, and the oldest students would host games, scares, and general candy giveaways. There was everything you’d expect: a “feel the scary spaghetti” booth, bobbing for apples, group trivia, and, of course, a haunted house.

Well, haunted music room, really. They brought in partitions and covered them with decorated butcher paper to create a small haunted house experience. Students wanting to go through would be led through in groups by a guide who would tell us about all the spooky things we were seeing. Again, it was all fairly typical. A witch with a boiling cauldron, a skeleton pretending to be dead until we got close, and so on.

About halfway through, we came to a stretch where there was a gap at the bottom of the partition walls. Older students lying on the ground on the other side would reach through to grasp at our legs and spook us. Notice I say, “grasp at,” not, “grab.”

I was at the back of the group, so nobody noticed when one of the hands locked on my ankle, yanked me off my feet, and pulled me under the wall. It happened so fast I didn’t even make a noise and just lay there feeling stunned.

Eventually, my seven-year-old mind concluded that I must have been selected to help scare other groups and that I’d be grabbing at legs, too. This lasted up until the guide came back and hustled me out to my bemused parents.

Looking back, they probably thought I got scared and hid. I never did tell anybody about being volunteered to join the haunted house.

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