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, , , , , , | Learning | July 24, 2021

I attended elementary school — kindergarten through fifth grade — from the early to mid-1990s. Every year for Halloween, and the three days leading up to it, our entire school became a haunted house. The ticket sales went to various other school programs and activities. This being an elementary school, you might think it was more of a kid-friendly haunted house. Nope, it was an actual haunted house. The different rooms didn’t change much, but it was pretty gruesome and people really got into it. A lot of parents would help out and the high school even gave extra credit to the students who volunteered to help. Considering how conservative the little town we lived in was at the time, I’m surprised they were even allowed to start this, let alone keep it going for nearly twenty years.

The final scare at the end of the haunted house happened when you reached the cafeteria. A man, usually one of the coaches from the high school, popped out in a Jason mask while revving a real chainsaw (with the saw chain removed) and chased you through a wooden maze that had been built in the cafeteria.

By my fifth grade year, my friends and I weren’t really scared by the haunted house anymore, since most of the scares were the same every year. We were part of the first group to go through and were mostly giggling and goofing around. We made it to the cafeteria, but we weren’t sure when or where Jason would pop out.

We made it nearly to the end of the maze when Jason appeared, revving his chainsaw. The people at the front of our group screamed and ran out the door to the school lobby. One of my friends thought he’d be funny and decided to dart through Jason’s legs on his way out. Jason lurched back, sending the chainsaw over his head and into one of the maze walls. We all froze when we heard the sound of wood splitting and the chainsaw choking as it got stuck.

A teacher who’d been monitoring the area came running in and turned the lights on. There, stuck in the maze wall, was a chainsaw that most definitely still had the blades on. Coach Jason had forgotten to take the chain off.

The teacher herded us out of there while Jason tried to get the chainsaw free. They shut the haunted house down for about an hour while all the teachers met and talked about what to do. Different volunteers dressed as monsters, zombies, etc., switched in and out of the cafeteria for the rest of that Halloween season. They kept doing the haunted house for several years after I graduated on to middle school, but they never had Jason back again.

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A Haunting Lack Of Parenting

, , , , , , | Right | October 31, 2020

I’m working at a haunted house selling the tickets up front. The manager puts me in charge because he has to make a change run.

A young woman, who looks like she could be twenty, with her child, who looks like he might be five years old, is next in line. We have a rule that no child under seven is allowed inside; signs are put on the door entrance and on the ticket desk that say this. She puts her money on the table and asks for two tickets.

Me: “Ma’am, we cannot allow children under the age of seven to enter the haunted house.”

Customer: “He’s fine; don’t worry about it.”

Me: “No, that’s the rule: nobody under seven.”

Customer: “FINE, HE’S SEVEN!”

It’s already been a long day and I really don’t want to get into it, so I just give her the tickets after taking her money. She snatches the tickets and drags her son to the attraction. The walk in the haunted house usually takes about five minutes.

After about two minutes, I hear a child scream and cry very loudly in the house. Shortly after, I see the same lady, carrying her son, out through the entrance rushing towards me.

Customer: “What the f*** is wrong with you people?! You made my f****** kid cry in there! I want my money back and I’m going to sue this g**d*** place for traumatizing a four-year-old!”

At this point, her ignorance breaks through my tolerance level.

Me: “Lady, I told you, nobody under seven years old! You even said he was seven! If anything, I can call CPS on you for dragging a four-year-old in there!”

Customer: “Stupid b****! How dare you talk to me like that?! Where is your manager? I bet your tone will change once I tell them you’re threatening me!”

Me: “My manager is not here. Right now, I’m in charge. I’m not gonna argue on an issue that is clearly your fault. So get out, or I can get security to drag you out!”

After a few minutes of calling me names and screeching about how she was going to bring her baby-daddy to “f*** me up,” our security guard finally came out of the office after watching the cameras and proceeded to escort her out.

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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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Violence Is Fine But Sex Is Ungodly

, , , , , , | Right | October 30, 2020

This happens the first season I am working at a Haunted House. This one has a Halloween store attached to it with costumes and the like. The haunted house exits right into the store. Our Haunted House is long, roughly an hour or so — depending on how fast you run — and extremely gory and scary.

Tonight, I’ve been pulled out of the haunt to work in the store. Management has decided, in an attempt to sell costumes, they will dress me up in a cheesy “sexy” devil costume. It actually works really well; we sell out of the costume I am wearing.

I have been getting many compliments on the costume, until I run into this customer who has just exited the haunt. She is roughly my age. She starts eyeballing me at the desk.

Customer: “Oh, no. Oh, h*** no.”

Me: “Can I help you with something?”

She gestures to me up and down.

Customer: “What is this? Are you into this?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, into what?”

Customer: “That Devil lifestyle!”

Me: “Um… no. This is just a costume. I’m wearing it to help some of our stock.”

Customer: “Oh! Okay, that’s good, that’s good. Didn’t want to think you were into all that devil worshiping.”

With that, she strutted out of the store. I was completely confused, especially since she had just exited our Haunted House complete with an insane asylum, cannibalistic hillbillies, and murderous clowns. But sure… draw that line at my sexy, sparkly devil costume.

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Sadly Rewarded For Horsing Around

, , , , , | Right | January 2, 2020

I work at a place that is a historic mansion during the day, a haunted house at night. For the most part, we avoid scares where people lunge out at you. The way the house is built doesn’t really allow for it, and the risk of guests panicking and damaging walls is too high. This year, however, we have constructed a maze in an unfinished area, which we call “the Grinder.”

I did not give this tour but was told about it later. A man was scared by an actor in the Grinder who popped out of the fake wall — the intended purpose of this. This man had also happened to purchase a toy, a stick with a horse head, earlier. 

Instead of any kind of rational response to being scared, this man stayed behind, waited for the actor to pop out again, and then hit him in the face with the horse. Four times. 

The most frustrating part? Not only was he not arrested, but he was also given a full refund, despite going through a good 90% of the house and assaulting an actor.

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