This is how we usually decorate our house for Halloween each year.
But for this year... nothing.
We decided to use the time required for set-up towards installing a fence instead - something we've wanted for 12 years. So to make it up to our kids we've done a few other things to keep the Halloween spirit alive this year; one of these things was promising the 4 oldest kids a trip to the Haunted Forest. Allen and the 3 oldest kids had gone last year and came back with stories using the phrases 'totally freaked me out' and 'scared me half to death' which pretty much cemented in my brain that I would never have any desire to see it for myself. I mean, seriously, who PAYS for fear? Not me.
Until this year.
After numerous pleadings that I HAD to come and how it would be SO much more fun to go with someone who had never been, I caved. I live to please.
I had been to Knott's Scary Farm in California enough times as a teenager to know that the spooks and creepers can see fear in your face and that's when they target you. So my plan was to never look them in the eye.
Every creeper in that blasted Haunted Forest swarmed around me like I was the last piece of chocolate in a bowl of Halloween candy. And I didn't have to look at them... they would just breathe on the back of my head and I'd get the shivers and then they'd smell the fear oozing out of every inch of my body and follow me around relentlessly.
Can you say FREAKED. ME. OUT?!
Did it matter that I knew it was just a bunch of teenage boys for hire under those masks and cloaks? No. There is something about the whole atmosphere of a place that can dispel any words I had used to convince myself I could handle this.
Big 9 foot tall masked oxen? Gave me goosebumps. (made me scream) Freaky cloaked ax-bearer? Stalked me. Twice. (made me scream) Creepy clowns? Made me jump. (made me scream) White-masked chainsaw-wielders? MADE. ME. SCREAM. And that's the embarrassing part. I could not stop screaming! I would tell myself how ridiculous it was for a 37-year-old woman to be screaming at every turn in this blasted forest and to STOP IT RIGHT NOW but I couldn't listen to myself! Those stupid creepers made every last bit of common sense just disappear from my brain and I could not help being petrified.
When we finally escaped the maze I was exhausted. Every inch of my frame had been tensed up for the better part of an hour and I just needed to sleep. The next day I was aching as if I had done some strenuous sort of exercise the night before. But I will admit - in a strange way, it was a great time. Because who pays for fear? Me. And everything that was endured at night always looks better when you analyze it in the light of day.
For those of you who enjoy our home each Halloween, don't despair... next year we're going all out with some new features you haven't seen before - as well as a full-blown spook alley. And the best thing? At our house, no one pays for fear.
We give it to you for FREE.