We're making our way through the dark, narrow, rickety halls (remember, this is state fair-quality stuff), emitting occasional squeals. I was probably clinging to my friend's sweatshirt, when a dude wearing a hockey mask in a dark corner lets his (de-chained) chainsaw rip. This scares us so bad, we fall over in one screaming, giggling, clutching mass of twelve-year-old girl nerves. At least I think I was giggling, until I feel my head smack against the aluminum floor.
Our friend the Jason impersonator immediately kills (HA! pun intended) the chainsaw. My friend and I untangle ourselves and flail around in the dark until we're both standing again. This is when I notice Jason is suddenly very close to me. Still wearing the hockey mask, he calmly says, "Are you okay? Did you hurt your head?" I manage a whimpery "No" (which is true) and allow my friend to drag me out the exit - luckily not far from the scene of the crime.
Looking back on it now, I guess I should be proud. How many people can say they got Jason Voorhees to break the fourth wall out of concern? Plus, this was a moment of epic clumsiness that would give Russo a run for her money. Even so, I'm still no great fan of haunted houses. It's about the anticipation, the knowing that any moment, something is going to jump out and startle me.
That said, I braved not one but two houses of scares this weekend. The first one had a "zombie apocalypse" theme. Yes, there was fake blood everywhere and plastic body parts and giant cockroaches and people writhing around on the floor and a guy in an electric chair and kids in psychedelic, 3-D clown make-up (she told me I smelled like cotton candy). But the most disconcerting thing for me was something my friend Diana (a true haunted house aficionado if ever there was one) calls the "Butt-Crack of DOOM": a dark passage made of two giant, inflatable canvas bags that you have to push your way through. Claustrophobics, beware.