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Live Short And Decompose

, , , , , | Friendly | November 2, 2016

My husband and I are at a local theme park for their yearly Halloween event, which includes “haunted” houses, areas set up as themed scare zones, and employees dressed as various monsters running around in “hordes.” I’m waiting outside the bathroom for my husband at one point, when I’m suddenly surrounded by a group of about a dozen or more yelling, howling employees dressed as zombies. I’m genuinely startled and almost leap out of my skin.

Suddenly, one of the “zombies” points at the Star Trek logo on my shirt and begins loudly hooting and growling. He throws up his hand, making the well-known Vulcan hand sign for “Live long and prosper.” All the other “zombies” do the same, clearly excited, before they turn and run off back into the rest of the park, howling and waving the Vulcan sign in the air.

Husband: *having just come out of the bathroom and caught the tail end* “What the h*** was that?!”

Me: *mildly dazed* “The single most surreal moment of my life?”

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Toddlers Can Be Terrifying

, , , , | Right | July 26, 2016

(I work at a pretty popular haunted house in my town, and I’m outside on my break, near the entrance line.)

Customer: “Excuse me; can I ask you a question?”

Me: “Yes, absolutely.”

Customer: “What’s your age limit here?”

Me: “I don’t believe we have a technical age limit, but we don’t recommend anyone under the age of 10 or so.”

Customer: “Well, would it be all right if I brought in my son? He’s ten months old.”

Me: “Uh, ma’am… I’m sorry, but I don’t believe that would be a good idea. The house can be pretty intense, and your son being as young as he is, he would probably cause a fuss and disturb the other walkers and the actors.”

Customer: “But he’s, like, really brave.”

Me: “Believe me, I don’t think it’s a good idea. He’ll be terrified.”

Customer: “Okay, then. Thanks!”

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Halloween Has-Been

| Friendly | December 31, 2015

(A friend of mine is known for really hamming it up during the Halloween season. Two of his trademarks are a cackling laugh and a deathly vocal tone that manages to skirt the boundaries between comical and genuinely pants-wettingly terrifying. We’re walking through a haunted house, which also features cameras that will record when the costumed actors jump out to scare you so everyone can see your reaction. Being a veteran of such attractions, my friend is on the lookout for the cameras and, upon seeing one, proceeds to let loose with his maniacal laughter while cutting a very psychotic facial expression. Later we’re at the booth where one can watch the recordings and we see the playback of him looking just as frightening as the actors around him. There are two women standing in front of us watching the screen.)

Woman: “Well, I’m certainly glad that guy was nowhere near us while we were in there. I was scared enough without worrying about someone like him stalking me.”

(My friend is unable to help himself.)

Friend: *in his best scary voice* “How do you know I’m not? AH HA HA HA HA HA!”

(Both women promptly turn, scream, and run for the exit.)

Friend: “I swear, my work place would be so much more pleasant if they’d let me use that on actual customers.”

Clowning Around With Your Friends

, , , , , | Friendly | November 9, 2015

(During the Halloween season, my local amusement park turns into a “haunted” park. It’s great fun with multiple attractions, one of which is a very slow ride on tracks through an “old abandoned chemical factory.” Completely in the dark, at different points in the ride, people dressed as monsters pop out and say scary things or go “boo” or whatever. My friend and her husband are riding, and my friend HATES clowns.)

Friend: “If something jumps out at me, I’m going to scream!”

Friend’s Husband: “Well, that’s kind of the point of a haunted house–”

(Suddenly, a worker dressed as a creepy zombie clown pops up out of nowhere and starts following the car.)

Creepy Clown: “BOO!”

Friend: *screams*

Friend’s Husband: “Oh, come on, that wasn’t even that scary— Wait. Don’t I know you? [Clown’s Real Name], is that you?!”

Creepy Clown: *straightens posture and smiles* “Oh, hey, dude! Haven’t seen you since high school! What’s up?!”

Friend’s Husband: “Nothing much, just figured we’d stop by here on my day off. Nice weather for it.”

Creepy Clown: “Isn’t it, though? Well, hope you have fun!”

Friend’s Husband: “Thanks, dude! See ya!”

Creepy Clown: “See ya later!” *goes back to creepy posture and voice, then turns toward my still-cowering friend* “BOO! I’ll see you later, as wellllll!” *laughs evilly and then runs off*

Friend’s Husband: * bursts into laughter*

Friend: “I HATE YOU ALL!”

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Giving Haunted Houses A Good Name

, , , , , , | Right | October 24, 2015

(I am working weekends at a popular amusement park in one of the haunted houses. My scare is to run out of the shadows and strike a wall while screaming whatever I want, within reason.)

Me: *striking the wall* “YOU’LL BE ONE OF US SOON!”

(The girl at the front of the group screams and I hear a familiar laugh. As I reach my reset position, I realize that she is being held back by a kid I’ve known his entire life. So I decide to do a second scare.)

Me: *striking the wall again* “DON’T LAUGH,  [FRIEND’S NICKNAME]! I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE!”

(He screamed and bolted through the rest of the maze.)

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