Oct 192017
 

Castle Blood: 2017 (Nostalgia Tour?)

Saturday, October 14th we went to Castle Blood and I’m not going to tell you too much detail what happens because it might ruin the fun for you. 

First, in the beginning where you get info on what you have to scavenge for, this year there was a clock in the middle of the room and you pick a number and the number you pick is the year of a random tour that has the items you have to search for. The kid in our group picked 6, so it gave us the year 2006 which was a Witch’s Goblet, Web, and a Widow. With the web it allegedly was a token but we ended up not getting it because we couldn’t solve the puzzle.

Also, in the part where we go up the stairs, we couldn’t get up because we had to tell a Halloween joke to get approved. So I panicked because I wish my friend was here because she is a jokester!

I stuttered and said, “U-mm, what- what does- is a ghost’s favorite -fruit- berry?”

There was a brief uncomfortable moment of silence and while people stared at me I gulped and said awkwardly, “A “booberry”, oh haha!”

The guy who asked us stood there perplexed and said, “Umm, I guess, umm, I guess that will be acceptable.”

I stood there all flustered and hopeful to get the beads because I like being praised, but he bequeathed the beads to the other kid and he was pronounced the leader of the faction. The kid strolled up the stairs like he ran the place and I slowly trampled up behind him.

The next most important part was how we searched for a specific piece of glass around the place, I won’t tell what it is, you will have to find out yourself.

We made it to the lab where there was a puzzle to get the token, but it ended up being too challenging so we didn’t get it. I sensed the blood rushing up to my brain about to burst because I felt agony. Agony from not solving the puzzle.

Then, there was a funeral and mum was picked to kneel down to the corpse (Freddy?) and say that she misses him. Which then some girl had to put the roses/flowers in one of the heads that she thinks could be Freddy’s and then the head would talk and say like thank you and stuff. Then we got a glass piece.

Then there was a part where I got sprayed by like water. It was a part with a spider queen and she asked if we had anything for her and we all said no and she told us to leave. Then one of her baby spiders sprayed me because I was standing right next to it. 

Finally, we got to the part where we would get the witch’s goblet. The witch said that she had some glass transforming thing that turned glass into (not telling) and she took our glass piece and put it in a pot. 

Then she pulled out a goblet out of the other pot and said, “Hmm, this isn’t a (not telling) I’ll just put it back.”

So she reached for the other pot and was about to drop it, so I said, “Oh no, don’t do that! We need that goblet!”

“Need it? Why would you need a goblet?”

“For a quest.”

Ahh I see, so here you go,” and she handed it to me and I refused.

I said, “Oh no, give it to him he needs it,” and I pointed at the other kid.

She handed the goblet to the kid and his dad snatched it from him, and then they started “brawling” and “screeching”.

That was the end of the quests and we got our fangs along with some oozing red candy as blood for the fangs. In my opinion, Castle Blood was marvelous because I loved the part where I got to tell a joke, I loved all of the puzzles, and I love how the actors take good responsibility with their roles. They really take part in their characters! You should all go and enjoy yourself.

So enjoy your day and stay tuned because I will be doing another Haunted post pretty soon!


 

 

Oct 122017
 

Wednesday, we went to Hundred Acres Manor, and by we I mean my mom and me because Henry was spooked and scared. In my opinion, HAM this year was better than last year’s HAM. At the same time we were there I had an essay to finish but I will get to that at the end.

While we were in line waiting for HAM to open there was this couple, and another guy who was the third wheel, which the guy kept picking up the girl so she could see something and she kept saying she could see and for him to stop, so he was very annoying.

Getting ready to go in!

When we got into the inside line there were these two girls with the “Plague” and they were traumatizing everyone in line. Then they both saw me and started traumatizing me instead. They ignored mom because they said she was already “sick”. Then one of the girls was a Victorian lady and she asked me how I wanted to die and I said with no hesitation at all, “I want to get eaten by a cat!”

Then she said confusedly, “Well that’s different.”

Then she walked away because she was weirded out. Then I had to say very loud so everyone can hear me, “I am safe right here!”

So then the Victorian girl came over and leaned very close to my face and said, “You are not safe here, the monsters inside will eat you and you will end up like me, and if they don’t eat you, I will.”

Then mom said, “You like her.”

Then I glared back at her, crossed my arms and said, “Sure I do.”

Then she rolled her eyes and said, “You keep smiling when she comes over.”

“She is IN MY FACE!”

“Well you keep taunting her!”

“UGHHHHHH!”

When the doors finally opened we waited a while then I kept doing the word “elevator” in sign language because of the next part in the haunted house. Then we were by ourselves and mom instantly squirming and asking, “Is that real?”

Then I say no and we kept walking towards the elevator and the house owner (I guess) asked us if we were ready and we were quiet. Then he said, “I said are you ready!”

Then mom said, “Yes,” but I said, “No.”

Then quickly realized that that was a bad idea because he started glaring at me. Then the elevator door opened and we walked in.

A little bit further in we got to a whole outside part and it smelled of a mix of sewage, fog machine gas, and also the smell that the people spray to make it smell bad intentionally. So mum started gagging and making the noise you make when you are about to throw up because it smelled really bad. Then there was her favorite part, the re-birth part, where you walk through those cushioning things, but it was like we were actually getting re-birthed because the room was glowing red and there was a thumping of a heartbeat.

Then another one of her favorite parts was when we were walking through the foul stench of butchered meat in the slaughterhouse. She was also coughing herself moribund. Then we got to a house that had a Halloween party going on inside, and the girl who answered the door said,

“Oh thank you so much for coming! But you guys aren’t DRESSED UP!” 

“Well we forgot, sorry.”

“Don’t LIE to me!”

“Sorry.”

“It’s okay. Enjoy your time here!”

So we walked through the house and then music came on and I started grandma dancing. While I was dancing the host came out and said, “Why aren’t you enjoying yourself!?”

Then I said, “I am. I was just dancing to the wonderful music!”

“Oh you were! Thank you guys so much! Have a great day and thanks for coming!”

That was my favorite part because it was the least scary!

 

Me after HAM, I am spooked!

We left Hundred Acres Manor and while we drove away, we could really smell the sewage. Then me and mom told dad all about HAM because that’s what we do.

 

We started heading to Eat n’ Park to meet our friend Chris. While we were waiting to order I was very tired and also couldn’t think about anything else but my essay because I only had two paragraphs on it and I needed to write 5 bodies. Then our waitress came over and took our orders.

Suddenly it became such a ludicrous moment because I ordered the salad bar and came back with a salad with no dressing. Chris and mumsy started making fun of me because of that. I didn’t understand but I thought maybe it was adult humor that I didn’t understand because it’s bad.

Haha, Cheerio!

Oct 022017
 

So this is it, the first haunted house review of 2017. So this place was about an hour away, and GOD was I bored. We got there but it ended up being the wrong place, it was some redneck festival or some kind of derby. We don’t know that for sure but the amount of middle-aged men and women in camo jackets and bandannas covering their bald head was immense. The actual haunted house was down the street a little more.

So we finally arrived at the actual haunted house and not some stupid festival. The place was somewhat crowded but yet again not really. It was also very frigid, but thankfully they had fires. Oh and also this photo was taken right after I saw this little witch and said,

“Don’t even ask-,”

“Go stand over there and I’ll take a picture.”

“Well, I expected this.”

,

We eventually got our tickets, after the ticket people asked why only two, so I said with no hesitation ,

“Because he is too scared,”

Then one of them asked, “Why are you too scared?”

“I’m not scared,” Dad groawled (my new word for groaning and growling at the same time)

Example: The tone of every word Henry Robbins says.

We got in and I instantly ran to the fire and warmed up.

 

 

We were bored and mom made me get a picture with her even though I was still warming up by the fire, oh and also we were waiting because the present hay-ride was crowded and we wanted space to ourselves so we waited till it left, and we were also waiting for it to get darker out. Somehow it got super dark in like 30 minutes, and I was confused how I didn’t see the night getting dimmer.

I asked daddy to be the killer because he has a beer-belly in real life and in the cutout, and also because daddy is a country man with a chainsaw.

We got on the hay-ride sooner or later, but it took forever because I guess the first one didn’t go until it was super dark out, and then while we were on the next one we had to wait for the first one to go through the whole thing just so we can get all of the people because while we were on, most of the guys followed us forever. While we were waiting, this dude was driving some like tractor thing with a coffin on the back of it and then some lady was like,

“Oh that’s a coffin ride, you pay $5 per person to ride in the coffin, and he takes you to the little cemetery and you get your picture taken.”

Then some lady said, “Oooooh, we have to do that! We have to do that after this, we are going to do it, right???”

The lady was way too stoked I thought maybe she was gonna push everyone out of the way to be first in line for it because she kept saying how fun it sounded and how she was going to do it.

So after like 20-30 minutes we finally started to go and move forward. We saw the fake cemetery that you drive past in the coffin. I thought it was real and you go a pretty far distance but, no. Also it was a pretty long while until the first guy approached us, and of course it was a fun house/show, but it wasn’t a clown like you would suspect, no it was a ring master type guy, he wore mostly all black with white stripes on most of what he was wearing. He also had white face paint with black eye shadow and outline around his mouth. Then some psycho patient guy was climbing on all of the bars and poles on the trailer and he was getting in everyone’s face and business. Then I saw Freddy, of course because he is a very popular choice at haunted houses, he started climbing and doing weird gymnastic type stuff all of the tractor and I could of sworn he was going to fall and break a leg or something, but no. He also jumped onto a hearse and started riding on top of it while it was moving, and it was some crazy stuff.

During the hay-ride, I didn’t want all of the monsters to stay all over me, so I told all of them that my mom was making fun of them even though she wasn’t.

Then, there were these chainsaw guys who made me cringe because they had they saws pressed against the bars and it was making a screeching sound and it started to vibrate the whole floor of the tractor, and he did it right next to me!

Then we came to a stop and we got off. Now we had to separate into 2 groups, I guess 5 to 5. We ended up with the two ladies who were talking about the coffin ride thingy. They were fine, they weren’t annoying. We had to go through a corn maze which was really simple and boring because the 1st group got every single chainsaw guy and we got through no problem what so ever. Then that was the end of the hay-ride/maze part. Now onto the actual haunted house! So mom and I went through by ourselves and she was like panicking and stuff and I held onto her so she didn’t get scared, but it made her even more scared because she kept asking if that was me holding her. Then every haunted house has to have a doll room, so we got into the doll room and the girl asked if we wanted to play and I said,

“Sure! What do you wanna play?”

Obviously, no one ever asked her what she wanted to play because most people run and scream. So she took a while to find something to play, and then she glanced at the dolls and then mum pulled me out of that room and I called,

“Sorry! Can’t play right now!”

Skipping ahead a little bit we got to one of those cushioned tunnel or in mum’s words, Birth Canal. Of course mum hates it so she zoomed through it while I fell behind.

She was running so fast that I had to keep up with her and then we caught up to the group that went in 10 minutes before us. Oh and she also kept going,

“What is THIS???”

“What is THAT???”

“Omg!!!”

Then there was this weird hearse road thing and there were two hearses that were like crashed and trashed. Then some pig guy jumped at us and mum left me behind.

After all of that there was a slaughter house type thing where a pig looking butcher dude was staring at me and I said,

“I don’t approve of what you do for a living,”

Get it? I don’t like how he chops up, you know? No? Whatever.

Then there was this man with a cattle prod and he was snapping it constantly and it was creepy.

Then yet again with the cringe there were these chainsaw guys using the saw on metal again! And it was very CRINGY!

So those were all of the important parts of the Hay-Ride and Haunted House part of Valley of Terror that I could gather for you all today, but there is still one more thing I need to add.

 

This was taken in the coffin ride because mum and I chose to do it together because she refused to do it without me, definitely not the other way around….

So she thought it was just going to be a plain old boring ride in a fake coffin but there was a twist. It took forever basically and when we got to the cemetery the lights in the coffin turned off, and there was this weird lullaby or chant sang by these creepy kids, and then the base of the coffin shocked us, and also mum would not stop talking through the whole thing.

So there you go, those are all of the important details that I could possibly gather up for this post. See ya!

Nov 232016
 

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As someone who is very into haunted houses and has been keeping haunted house journals since 1995 (!!!), it was a no-brainer that I needed this tattoo when Erin from Kyklops posted her original painting of it on Instagram.

I just got it today after work and I am so smitten with it! It’s on my upper back and it’s been a long time since I got tattooed on my back so that was a nice eye-opener. (And thumb-biter.)

It took Henry fifteen minutes in three different rooms with 726397 different variations of lighting to try to take a picture, and none of them were right. So then Chooch took over and got it done in two tries because Chooch is the best. (Just ignore the fact that part of the left side is cut off and my hair is in it. I take what I can get around here.)

Anyway, now I’m stoked for next October! 

Thanks for another supremely magnificent tatttoo, Erin! And I only almost passed out once! 

 

 

Oct 192016
 

Hey guys it’s Riley back again with a review, a haunted house review. So its 2016 finally back in October, back in haunted house season!
So we went to three already and I’m going to tell you about all three.

Hundred Acres Manor

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Hundred Acres Manor wasn’t that good this year but it was still pretty cool. Daddy took us to Hundred Acres Manor. So yeah, you probably guessed I asked daddy to let me use his phone, and he was pissed but I didn’t care. Anyway when we got there daddy started to watch T.V. Shows on his phone like NCIS and Person of Interest. We got in line and i saw a kid that was in 6th Grade at my school, lets call him Paul. But that’s not important, whats important is there was a costume, a person, a person in a costume, A CHAP STICK COSTUME!!!! It was a weird costume but awesome. I was hoping for a fist bump for when i got up front and she did it! I was so happy.

Okay so to the important stuff. When we went in (Finally) it was the exact same as every other year (I WASN’T SCARED) so of course it started with the elevator then, I don’t remember what was next but i do remember this part where there was a guy getting shocked/executed and Paul was scared to go past because the (fake) guy getting executing was blocking the way. So Paul finally jumped out of the way and we got to move on. Then the group in front of us since the group in front of the group we were in (Paul’s Group is the group in front of our group I forgot to mention we weren’t originally in their group) were going so slow we caught up to them. So there was this part where a zombie was above you trying to get down but there is a rail in the way, so he pushes it down and he starts going like *Ahhhh* and this guy (lets call him Joey) was going clueless as hell and didn’t know where to go so Joey was just like *DOOOY* and there was clearly black plastic strips you had to walk through and we were just standing there in perpetuity.

So instead of writing every freaking detail I’ll just tell you the new parts. So instead of having the maze there was an Alien Part where we were going through a UFO of some sort and this General guy told ME (SPECIFICALLY) not to touch ANYTHING in the UFO thingy so I listened and didn’t touch anything. Oh and also it’s good to be petite because I don’t have to duck in the like cave parts where it swoops down and adults have to duck to get under. All I have to do is nothing. I just keep walking. I don’t have to duck or anything.

Then we went into some house that had music playing *Mr.Sandman Specifically* and Children’s Drawings all over the walls  *UGH SO CREEPY* and the lady who lived there lived right next to the Space Craft thingy. So I told her “Are you aware you live next to a giant Space Craft?” and she said “Of course! It’s the best part of living here” (She doesn’t actually live there for the people who thought ‘Wow, she lives in the property of Hundred Acres Manor!’ No she role-play’s like she lives there obviously.)

That was the last part I think. So when we left the building there was a table with two guys giving out some like TEAM NUTZ slip thing and mommy thought it was for bands playing somewhere but then she realized “Oh” its… these. So yeah that is this part of this (Essay?) If you enjoyed this part, comment “Vote H4M”

 Allen’s Haunted Hayride & Tavern of Terror

Okay so to start off Me, Mommy, Blake, and his girlfriend Haley went to Allen’s Haunted Hayride first, then we went to the Tavern of Terror.

Okay so we got in line and it was horrible because it was muddy and stuff, so my shoes got dirty. Well they didn’t really get dirty but they were pretty dirty. We finally made it to the Hayride and the first significant parts was that there were TMNT people and they through candy into the hayride and mommy got a piece and i wrestled her and got it and she whined and said “Ha! I found another one!” and I wanted to take it. So she whined the whole time. The second significant part was there was a part with clowns, and Haley hates clowns, so I said “Take her she hates clowns!” so they got in her face and she was freaking out.

The next significant parts was there was  “The REAL Michael”  came, and you’ll see why I call him that in a second. So there was a fake Michael Myers and then mommy was like “That’s creepy” then the “actual” Michael ran at us and Mommy slid away so when I tried to lean back on mommy I hit the girl sitting next to her. Mommy said “OH THAT’S THE REAL MICHAEL!” and moved away and then Michael crouched/tea-bagged me. Okay then there were these girls at the other side of the tractor and they were talking to this guy (said to be named Avery by the girls) and he was supposed to be their friend, but I don’t think he was.

Then one of the Allen’s who sat with the driver got kicked off of the tractor because he was smoking. So we were like “Yeah, You can’t smoke on the tractor.”

So that was the Hayride! If you enjoyed this part go comment “Vote H4YR1D3”

This is the of Terror and there was no one in line for it so we were the first to go in. But we kinda had to wait because the nurse wasn’t in her spot. In the enterance there was a pirate and he told me to go first so I did and there was the bar first. And  there was a bartender and a pirate, like I told you about. There was also another part where you walk through a tunnel and there are these gloved hand that grab you and it’s weird.

There was also a carnival with the Joker and the main attraction Shark-Ini, but he’s gone and you have to escape before he finds you. You had to walk through this mirror tunnel, which was trippy as hell. There was a monster guy who looked a little like Sloth from The Goonies.

If you enjoyed this part go comment “Vote B33R”

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Mommy told Jason that daddy was scared of him so Jason stared at daddy.

Demon House

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So for Demon House I went with Blake and Haley again, but my friend, Dimajio went, too so it was an 1 hour away so it was a boring ride because Maj (What I call Dimajio) was listening to music. But we did play a game on the way there. Okay so skip ahead about 45 minutes, we were in the parking lot of the Demon House van that took you to Demon House. So me and Maj had Gatorade’s and mine was empty so we played catch and football with it. So we did that for another 45 minutes. Then finally, Blake and Haley got there. So we finally got to go in the van to get to Demon House. So I forgot to mention it was Maj’s first haunted house. He said he wasn’t scared. Maj also told me if I or an actor jumped at him he would punch me or them.

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So we got our numbers and stamps that told us we were number 9, to go in. We waited for them to call our number’s and when they did we got to sit down and wait even more. So Maj got jump scared by a ghost groundskeeper and he almost punched him across the face, but he stopped himself in time. So the whole time we were walking through Maj was holding me or Blake in front of him “Because he wasn’t scared.” We were being chased by a chainsaw guy and Maj freaked out and I thought he was going to run home. Mommy ran for her life and I only ran because the chainsaw touched me. Maj ran for the hills, if I didn’t say before.

Then we were playing hide & seek with some girl’s brother and if he found us we were dead. The whole time we were being pushed by Maj through a dark tunnel. Luckily we weren’t found. There was a carnival part and it was creepy as hell. Well Maj was really scared. There was a clown at the end of this weird fence zig-zag we were going through and he screamed in my ear and my eardrum popped.

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Well that was the end of the haunted house, but we still did more stuff.

Me and Maj got Hot Apple Cider and BBQ Lays. But daddy gave me 4$ for balloon pop 3 pins for 1 dollar. So I had 2 dollars and Maj had 2 dollars, so we both got 6 pins. He popped 1 balloon his first try and I popped none. Then with out three last pins I popped 2 balloons and he popped 1. Maj got to get 2 glow sticks and I got bubbles. There was a movie playing called “Dead Alive” and me and Maj hated it, it was so fake. Mommy said “Well, Of Course. It’s supposed to be.”

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On the way back home we got a Basket of Fries from McDonald’s and they were good. Well that brings an end to my review. If you enjoyed this part comment “Vote D3M0N”

Hopefully you vote, oh and you can’t vote twice. Good Bye!

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Nov 112015
 

Sewickley Haunted Church

We were going to 2 Haunted Houses on the day before Halloween. We were hungry so we stopped at Taco bell. There was a huge commotion going on. A mom and her kids were here. The kids were acting up so she was yelling at them IN THE MIDDLE of Taco Bell. They were dressed up and I’m guessing they were going to a Halloween Party. Then we ordered and sat down where we wanted to sit. It looked like there were 2 guys and a girl all dressed up like they were in a band. Mommy got excited, of course she did.

When we got to the first one, ITS THE TITLE. There were a couple mini games. It was PING PONG TOSS, Ring Toss, Tick Tac Toe, and a hockey game. I mostly played Ping Pong Toss, because I was good at it. Since I could make a shot from the other side of the room I was called savage by a about 12 yr old. No seriously he did. I tried Ring Toss but it was way too easy for me. I played PING PONG for about 30 minutes and It and I got really famous.

Mommy saw a guy dressed up as Jason and she said he was hot. She told me this today because I didn’t know. Also when we went in the actual haunted part they asked for our names and it was actually accurate because boys can be named Erin and girls can be named Riley. Yeah I said I was Erin and mommy said she was Riley. It was a carnival part. There was a huge Jack in the box and when it popped it hit mommy in the face and one of the guys touched her back on accident. There was a butcher part next and there were human body parts, not real ones, you freak!

It was really good, the HAUNTED HOUSE , not the flesh! Me and mommy went back in to say it was better than last year. Then they said we can come back for a Worship Concert. Me and mommy played it cool and as soon as we walked out the door we said WTF! ~.~

Haunted Expeditions

There is really nothing to write about because we weren’t noticed at all. The Spookers completely ignored us and we were really excited to go because it was awesome last year. But nope they changed areas so it was in a corn field. It was so %$#@*&! stupid this year. Last year there was no groups AND it was in a forest, and this year it had groups and it was out in the open so you could see what was going to happen and the group behind us kept catching up and we were invisible! OMG! We need to go to a better haunted house. Thank god we went to the Church one the same day because that made up.

There was 6 other people in our group that were in three so like friends of 3. They all became friends and when we went to the chainsaw part you could hear the f^&*$#@ chainsaw in the house so you knew what was going to happen. We got in there and the other people in our group were all standing there like “WHATRE WE GONNA DOOOO!?” like idiots. There was a curtain to exit right there and they were all blocking it. MOMMY ditched me and left me in the house with the ding dongs and idiots. And f$%^&*@ chainsaw smoke so I was dying in there. It was the end of the f%&^$#@ sh&$% a$$ haunted house for this year.

When we got in the car mommy and daddy were talking about how stupid it was. Then I said “Its like when you buy a Barbie doll and It comes with a hairbrush accessory. And you never use the hairbrush, COMPLETELY IGNORED!” then they laughed. Since me and mommy were so hungry and wanted dessert we stopped at Kings since it was on the way home. And daddy went to pee so I took mommy’ phone and took a picture of him peeing. So that was our awesome, epic/HORRIBLE day!

Nov 052015
 

(Chooch originally posted this last weekend but half of it got deleted somehow — probably Henry’s fault — so here is a new version.)

Okay, So last Thursday we went to Fright Farm and it was just me and mommy because daddy he sucks and he was “so manly”. We waited in line for less than 30 mins and then we got close to the front and a girl with a hula hoop that was on fire. Was spinning it on her waist! When we got to the front and went in, we went on a hayride and a guy (THAT WAS SO FREAKING ANNOYING) sat next to me and he wouldn’t shut up! Same with mommy except a girl sat next to her and the girl thought she was so funny. (,; ! Also, after the hay…… wait never mind let me say something. I’m not going to say what happened on the hayride in case you wanna go!

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Then, We got into the asylum and we ad to wait in line for like ever!  We got to the front of the line at the top part (WE HAD TO GO TO ANOTHER LINE AFTER)  a crazy girl who had a high pitch voice and colored eye contacts (a bright green)  was at the front of the line and then she told us to go to the bottom line! Then we got to the front of the bottom line. Thank God! The girl at the front of that line was like “Ooooooh looks like we have a kid. My sister. You know, shes crazy.” She let us go in and right when we got in, we caught up to the group in front of us and the group behind us caught up to us.

The leader of the group was Dennis. Screw him. They were all la de da and “STOP!” “Look at this!”  We were so annoyed we wanted to push them into a lake and leave. But we would probably go to jail for that, so. Then there was a chainsaw guy and they were all like “OMG” “LOOK! HAHA!” It was our chance, we could finally run through! I felt free like a unicorn in the sky! Then we caught up to another group because we ran so *!@$&*# fast. But they went a decent speed. Thank god for that because I’M not waiting an hour looking at some stupid decoration. *WHISPERS TO SELF: God screw Dennis*

When we caught up to them it was near the end so we were close to “THE MAZE”. The maze wasn’t as good as it was last year, when we went with “GODFORBID JANNA. There weren’t as many spooky people in their. We got out to see a small crowd of people waiting for a friend they lost in the maze. I think her name was Jody but that doesn’t matter. Wait does it? But what if she died. R.I.P Jody: Died October 21, 2015: You will forever be in our hearts. Died of “LOST IN MAZE SYNDROME. Hmm, So then was a sort of “Disco Stew” part, and there were flashing lights, lasers, strobe lights! Oh yeah and fog, so we couldn’t see #$@*! 2 guys came up on us, and mommy scared the crap out of me because she jumped. Then there was girl who said “They r doin the whip n’ nae nae down there” K to start this off, MOMMY HATES THE WHIP N’ NAE NAE! She hates it so much. What did Silento ever do to her? Who knows? Comment to tell me. Then we found out they weren’t doing the whip and nae nae down there. ):  Then I saw a guy that I saw before we went in line. I was going to the porta potty and some guy came out. I went in and that was it. I know beautiful story. No need to tell me. That really it, beside the fact we got lost after and we had to find a sheetz because I was hungry and she wanted a coffee, and we had to call daddy and he told us to download the sheetz app and so we did and we ended up finding in the direction were going. The easiest spot ever! That’s it!

DUNGEON OF HORRORS

We went to Dungeon of Horrors (ITS BASICALLY JUST A PENITENTIARY, BUT HAUNTED). We went with my aunt, Amy, my cousin, Brooke, and my uncle, Dick. We went on October 25. Daddy was too big of a wuss and he sucked. There was a projector projecting the rules of conduct that you have to follow in the prison. One part there was a guy urinating and the rule was “no urinating please”. Amy said that they wouldn’t say that if someone didn’t do it. But it didn’t say you couldn’t do it outside. When we got in there was a little height and number thing you could hold up and get your picture taken. We had to act like we were actually going to prison. They made us put our hands on our head and it hurt so freaking bad. Some lady smiled so she had to go in a cell for the rest of the time. Then WE had to go in a cell and scream as loud as we could. We ended up being able to come out but cell 9 had to stay.

Then we had to go in a coffin ONE-BY-ONE. I was last so the 2 people who were putting our group in the coffins were torturing me.. It took us through a curtain thing into another room. Mommy, Brooke, Amy, and Dick were waiting for me. When I came out there was a guy who opened the coffin door and screamed in my face. We then had to go in a doctors room. The doctor needed a new face so he asked Brooke. She didnt talk to me, mommy, or daddy for the rest of the day. I think it was because she was still scared. Then it was A WALKING DEAD part with the theme, zombies, gates. It was sort of like the “PRISON” season with the gates all falling down. Makes so much sense! There were a lot of zombies and then were 2 and they were all on mommy. It was Fun House part and there were 2 clowns and they said something and I said “How is it?” the clowns asked “How is what?” Then another kid said how is life and the clowns said it’s good. Then I said it’s about to end! The clowns laughed and thought it was funny.

There was one of those spinning tunnels that paralyses you or something. There was a part where there was a guy in some torture device and he got executed. Then after he was executed he got up, and scared the crap out of mommy. I don’t know how but yeah. There was a paintball part and if mommy knew about she would’ve got money but nope. I would’ve shot her anyway. I would have to turn around to shoot her. Then we went to the gas station and guess what the total was. $6.66, Holy crap! That is some devil @#!* right there. We had some weird and creepy night!  Then we came home and watched The Walking Dead. Don’t get me started on THAT!

 

Oct 222015
 

If you’ve ever read this blog before, for either recreational or self-torture purposes, you might know that I’m just a tiny bit obsessed with haunted houses. Some might even consider it to be a glaring character flaw.

I’m lucky to live in Pittsburgh (and that’s one of the few times I will ever say that) because this region is popping off with haunts every October. While I’m sure it’s possible to go to every single one if you have the time (and money!), I try to mix it up every year. But there is one that is always in my official lineup, and that’s my beloved Castle Blood. I first went to this one in 1996 with my mom, and it’s been in my repertoire ever since.

(I think my favorite time ever was when I met Andy from Child’s Play there. Swooning for days.)

This is Castle Blood’s second year in its current location—an abandoned funeral home in Monessen. A funeral home, you guys. This joint is naturally creepy! Henry, Chooch, and I brought Janna and Kara with us on opening weekend. It was Kara’s first time visiting the Castle, and I was really stoked for her to experience it because it is absolutely unlike any other haunted house around. They don’t rely on blood and gore, or chainsaws and puking animatronics. Instead, what they have in spades is brilliant story-telling, originality, and a committed cast that never break character and will back hecklers into a wall with their human-hating snark and impeccably-timed ab-libbing skills. You might think you’re just buying a ticket for a haunted house, but you’re getting a little slice of theater, too.

(My current favorite denizen is Shard. He is a fiendishly blasé, apathetic vamp; getting past him requires one to practically wade through his ennui. Don’t eff with Shard, you guys. He’s not in the mood.)

(I told him, in a giddy half-whisper, that he was my favorite the last time I was there, and Henry muttered, “You’re so dumb.”)

The Castle Blood storyline changes every year, but the premise remains the same: in the beginning, your group is given three talisman to collect, and then you’re sent through the Castle, where you interact with various denizens who are there to reluctantly assist you on your quest.

This is an intelligent game, one that behooves the player to pay attention and engage their brain, not their vocal chords.  And while I consider myself to be at least mildly astute, Castle Blood never fails to reduce me to a giggling airhead. This time around, we were told to find the bone, the stone, and the crone. “What’s a crone?” I whispered to Janna.

“It’s an old lady,” she patiently told me. This is why we’ve been friends for 20+ years — she has a boatload of patience.

Meanwhile, Kara was looking for a hood ornament the whole time, because she thought it was “chrome.” And Chooch thought it was “crumb.” It’s a good thing we had Janna with us. Even though she has a million college degrees and couldn’t open Gravely Macabre’s puzzle box so we didn’t win the game. Thanks a lot, Janna!

We learn lots at Castle Blood!

Professor Scrye, silently judging my mortal inadequacies.

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After her maiden voyage through the Castle, Kara was inspired to come back with her kids, Harland and Theo, and husband Chris for the no-scare matinee that Castle Blood offers on select Sunday afternoons. We met them out there with Chooch’s two friends, Olivia and Sophia. Harland and Olivia were a little leery of entering the Castle, but they keep the lights on for the matinees, there are no jump scares, and the denizens pass out candy! And the kids still get to go on the quest, so they still get a taste of the true spirit of the haunt.

Before we went in, I told Chooch to let the other kids do all of the volunteering parts, since he was just there and also, HE ALWAYS HOGS THE ATTENTION. He said he was cool with that, but I could tell it was absolutely killing him to not shoot his arm into the air and cry, “Oooh, oooh! Pick me!” and I could see him twisting and contorting his lips as he struggled not to blurt out the answers to questions.

I can only imagine how annoying he must be in school.

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The matinee is the perfect stepping stone into the haunted house scene. We started taking Chooch when he was 2 and it wasn’t much longer after that when he said he felt ready to go to the real thing. Plus, it’s a way cooler alternative to the obligatory pumpkin patch field trip.

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The kids took the quest very seriously (and Kara’s other son, Theo, took the job of choosing candy very seriously!). It’s impressive how well the cast is able to bait and hook the attention of the younger set. (And mine too, for that matter.)

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Gravely with one of the few mortals he can tolerate.

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Henry has since replaced me with this younger broad with no gray hairs.

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Afterward, Sophia mentioned that she wants to go back at night, and Kara told me a few days later that Harland drew a maze with a bone, stone, and crone in it—the next generation of Castle Blood fans!

***

If you’re local to the Western PA area and want a unique Halloween experience, I highly recommend it. Additional info can be found on their website. And if you don’t have time to get there this Halloween season, they usually do Christmas and Valentine tours too, so keep your eye on their website or like them on Facebook. Tell them Chooch sent ya!

Oct 182015
 

Demon House  

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Ok! Hello. Well we went to Demon house on Friday and we went with Janna. But half way there God forbid Janna had to take a SH**! Ok so when we got there It was kind of chilly. But there was a fire pit! We had a group but I wanted a group so we got one! In the group was a dad a mom and a daughter, Hanna. Ugh, Mommy says I have a crush on her.  She cried through most of it and she had makeup on so you could see the mascara ink run down her face. So there was a “Really Dark Maze” That wasn’t a maze at all because it was just a zigzag tunnel. So Janna led us and we had to follow but it was ok because Janna’s not scared of anything.

So half way in the Dining room there was a blanket covering everything. So I had a feeling a ghost was going to come out. But the dad tried to look for a way out and the ghost followed cause’ it didn’t want us to leave. So then the ghost got tired of being with us so it showed us the way out. Through a bookcase. So then we were in a Carnival part and the Carnival Ringmaster came out and made me, Me, ME! Throw a ball threw a hole. I made it touch the hole but the ball was to big for the hole. So then we had to go through a CLOWN part. God Forbid Clowns! K, then on the way to the parking lot we had to take a shuttle and ride to it. Me and mommy sat down and then this smoker girl and guy who wanted to kill himself because he thought she was so freaking annoying sat across from us. But then we realized they were on a date, TO A HAUNTED HOUSE! WTF? They could go anywhere and they picked a haunted house? Wow! On the way off of the shuttle, the lady said “YOU SURE KNOW HOW TO TREAT A LADY.”  Me and mommy laughed.

 

The Shadows

K hope you read the Demon House part because it was funnay!!!! So the next day on Saturday (the day before the PIE PARTAY!) Daddy was baking so he couldn’t drive so mommy had to drive, and you know how bad she is at finding things with the GPS. But that’s not the thing. Me and mommy got lost because… Oh wait let me tell you where we went, lol! We went to The Shadows. The GPS took us somewhere completely different. It took us in the middle of the road and said you’re here! Ugh so annoying. So then after about 10 minutes of looking we finally found it! I thought we would get lost forever because the GPS died. ); . So then we saw a fake dead cat and it got so famous. People were taking pictures and touching it.

In line me and mommy were talking about Ju-on (AKA The Grudge) and the stars and how they were formed into illuminati. But yeah um. Oh when we were walking in the trail we saw a girl. Well I saw a girl standing at the end and mommy was too busy looking at a tree. Lol! Oh probably because there was a guy standing there but everyone knows the kids are scarier. So then the tree monster came out and spooked mommy. Then at the end we caught up to the group in front of us and the chainsaw guy came after them and not us but mommy still got spooked when he said “Hey what are you doing!?!?”

I liked it.

Dark View

Yesterday on Saturday we went to Dark view in Ohio. But the best part happened before we got there when the GPS told us to go through an industrial area which mommy almost puked because she hates industrial areas. But when we got there it was freezing cold and the parking guy dude asked us if we had any alcohol, marijuana, weapons, or any sort of drug. I had a paper gun and I said “What if he thought it was real?” Then when we parked I asked mommy “Can I have my marijuana yet?” Lol! Then we saw this devil guy with beaver or squirrel shoulder pads and a cane. Mommy wanted me to get a picture with him. So I did. Then in the line there were two parts and we didn’t know which part we needed to do. So then we picked the smaller one. Then a lady came and asked “How was it?”. We said “We didn’t do it yet.” So then she told us to go do the bigger one first.

So we did and in the line for that I said if daddy got scared he could do Kawaii! But he wouldn’t get scared because he’s “THE MAN!” . When we got inside the actual haunted house part daddy almost peed his pants because he got spooked of the talking portrait that was yelling at the old lady who brought us in the house. I don’t really remember what he said but I do know he said something about taking his house. After that part we went into a library I think and the librarian was screaming and I was this close = to  saying no screaming in the library. Then we got to a graveyard part and some camouflage guy got up from the ground and spooked mommy. The part after that was a garage and the guy in there was trying to build a birdhouse so then he asked who here knows how to build a birdhouse I pointed at daddy. He asked him how many can you make in an hour. Daddy said 2. I said you can make way more than 2.

Then we got into a bathroom and the girl in there said mommy wasn’t potty trained yet and some other dude needed to take a bath because she didn’t want him stinking up the house. Then she made us smell some weird smelly thing. Nobody liked the smell but me. ):  The we ran into a doll room and the bathroom girl was trapped inside the wall. The dolls didn’t do anything. After that we went into a dining room with food on the table. The girl there said whos hungry well I was was so I said I was. But she didn’t feed me anything. );  Then her husband “chainsaw dude” chased us out of the house. I didn’t run. Mommy pushed me into the wall. Then in the “small house” we got in and it was like fisherman and hunter room. I had a feeling daddy wanted to go fishing after the haunted house.

 

Then we had to get our picture and  I looked creepy as hell. Then he said he wanted to shoot one of us and we he did the lights turned off and a really loud speaker with a shotgun sound went off. But then it was just a butcher that wanted to butcher someone so me and daddy pushed mommy into him.  But he ended up not butchering her. Then it was just a sort of outside thing with another camouflage guy a guy going to hang himself and he tied the rope around his neck and it magically untied. Then it was just some more outside and then a maze. The maze had a chainsaw guy and me and mommy lost daddy. BUT THEN ANOTHER CAMOUFLAGE GUY WAS THERE. Daddy went a whole different way then us because the chainsaw guy was blocking him so he didn’t want go with us. Then we froze to death. I loved it and it was worth driving that far even though we had to go through the freaking black forest in Ohio.

Oct 062015
 

 I’m not over here blowing on my fingertips or anything, but I am basically the (un)official Pittsburgh haunted house tip line, OK? Of all the things to be an expert of….Anyway, I decided to repost this thing I wrote two years ago since it’s the beginning of the haunted house season and even though some of the things in this are dated (some of the referenced haunts aren’t around anymore), it’s still PRETTY HELPFUL — so read it, don’t read it, print it out and send me your heavily red-lined copy of it — it’s a free country. Also, if you live in Pittsburgh and want to go to a haunted house with me and Chooch, WHY YES WE WOULD LOVE TO.

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Every Halloween season, I get pretty nostalgic about the “old days.” Way back in the age of flowing flannels and Contempo Casuals (where I would buy all of my slutty “I’m a slut who has money” slut uniforms), it was possible to go to two, sometimes even THREE haunted houses in one night for under $20. True story! It seemed like every last VFW, YMCA and Boy Scout Troop had hoarded enough black garbage bags over the course of a year and used their dues to stock up on slipshod Halloween masks from K-Mart to pull off a “haunted house.” And it may have been hokey and rudimentary, full of blacklit Jason Voorhees masks and “accidental” boob-brushes, but fuck if it wasn’t fun.

In high school, I would scour the newspaper for haunted house ads and then my friend Lisa and I would stuff her parents minivan with our ragamuffin group of friends and proceeded to exercise our god-given vocal prowess. We were Those Kids that everyone else hated standing in line with. And I was That Girl who flirted obnoxiously with Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers, hoping to make my crush Evan jealous. (HE NEVER EVEN NOTICED.) There was the Bethel Park Haunted Yard, Clairton’s Haunted Pool, the Glassport Haunted Fire Station, and then all of the Haunted Schools: Castle Shannon, Victory, the Tri-City Jaycees one that I lost my keys in and then it burnt down (no correlation to my keys). Before there was Hundred Acres Manor, there was Phantoms in the Park and Terrors By the Lake. Before Kennywood had their Fright Nights, Station Square transformed into Station Scare and offered carnival rides just in case all of the fog machines, hyper-jealous boyfriends and diet pills* didn’t get you nauseated enough.

*(What? My weight issues go waaaay back.)

But then the behemoth, corporate haunted houses started popping up and taking over. The ones that pay to have haunted house listings and the Travel Channel call them the #1 Haunted Attraction. The ones that make you wait in line for upwards of 3 hours because OMG WE ARE THE BEST IN THE BIZ SO STAND AND WAIT, JAGOFFS. They pour loads of money into their advertising, production and animatronics, but they lack the true Halloween spirit and moxie that the smaller haunted joints have. Money can’t buy moxie, you guys. I’d rather walk through a haunted trail lit by flaming jugs of moonshine in some hick’s backyard than give those corporate bastards my money, if we’re being totally frank here.

People are usually shocked when I start waxing contrary about the city’s most popular haunted attractions, so I have compiled a list to offer some insight into what makes a “good” haunted house.

Here is the official Oh Honestly Erin Haunted House Criteria:

1. Will There Be Chainsaws?

It doesn’t matter how many times Henry exasperatedly assures me that there are no chains on the chainsaws, the moment I hear that whirring, no matter how far away it is, I am suddenly in booty shorts at Camp Crystal Lake and Jason Voorhees is mad as fuck because I just had sex on a hammock, and where the hell did this adrenaline come from? I don’t know, but look! I can scale the backs of the people in front of me!

Even when I’m standing in line chanting, “I hope there are no chainsaws. I hope there are no chainsaws” the truth is that there better be at least one fucking chainsaw guy who takes his position really fucking seriously because I just gave you $15 to scare the shit out of me, so please, do just that. Henry does my laundry, so what do I care.

*THIS SEASON’S UNOFFICIAL WINNER*: Chainsaw Guy at Cheeseman Fright Farm. It was really cold that night on that bale of hay, and your persistent wielding provided warmth to my shivering extremities. Also, you didn’t give up even when I used my 7-year-old son as a shield. Good for you, Ambitious Non-Hockey Mask-Wearing Chainsaw Guy. You were way better than the apathetic Voorhees-wannabe at Freddy’s Haunts who whir-whir-whirred for approximately 10 seconds before walking away.

2. Will There Be the Possibility of Simulated Horror Porn by Michael Myers?

So, maybe it’s just me, but when I’m singled out in a crowd by some dude who looks like his face got violently bear-hugged by bologna slices and green olives, maybe even corners me and snorts and snarls in my ear, I am REALLY FUCKING EXCITED to be there at that haunted attraction. Especially if it’s a particularly sexy-savage Michael Myers. And for those 30 seconds you’re towering over me with your fake machete and vacant eyes, I promise to pretend that you’re not actually some pizza-faced 17-year-old band nerd. NO, YOU ARE A FUCKING HOT PSYCHOPATH WHOSE EVERY PRIMAL INSTINCT IS TELLING YOU TO KILL ME, BUT WAIT! WHAT’S THAT!? YOU ARE FALLING IN LOVE WITH THIS CHUBBY MOM-BROAD WHO IS SCREAMING HER FACE OFF!

And then I’ll go home and write about it in my haunted house journal and it goes something like this: Holy fuck, I am so hot for Michael Myers! I bet he doesn’t pay that much attention to anyone else in that wing of the haunted maze! When we made eye contact, I think he winked at me but it was hard to see over the strobe lights. AND SPEAKING OF HARD! I’m not sure if that was Michael’s tumescent cock-machete or the Pizza-Faced-Kid-Dressed-As-Him’s satchel of dork dice, but I’m totally probably maybe pregnant now, you guys, right?

Just to really illustrate my alarming Michael Myers crush, my kid wouldn’t exist today if I hadn’t thought his dumb dad looked like Michael Myers when he would wear his stupid blue Weiss Meats coveralls back when we were co-workers in 2001. THAT IS WHAT MADE ME WANT TO SLEEP WITH HIM, OK?

Anyway…

*THIS SEASON’S UNOFFICIAL WINNER*: Rich’s Fright Farm Michael Myers. You smashed your fist into the wall in front of me every time I tried to escape and at one point BROUGHT ME TO MY KNEES while Janna stood off to the side, staring at her imaginary watch. I could feel your hot murderous breath on my neck and it was, well, fucking hot. Now your demon seed is sprouting inside my womb. Womb, womb, womb.

3. Will Someone Please Entertain the Fuck Out of Me?

Hi. I just dropped the cost of a concert ticket* down on your haunted establishment, so please prove to me that I didn’t make a mistake. *(What? I like underground bands, you guys.) If you’re charging me approx. $18 for 30 minutes, then I better come out the other end feeling like I just came. I mean, feeling entertained. Ridicule my blondness with your biting wit! Tickle my eyeballs with your macabre decor! Make me follow directions! Engage me! (No really—do you want to get engaged? Because Henry apparently doesn’t.) Pay attention to me, to me, to me!

*THIS SEASON’S UNOFFICIAL WINNER*: Castle Blood, duh. You still never fail to call me out for being a dum-dum. (Remembering three talisman is trying. IT’S HARD FOR ME TO PAY ATTENTION, OK!?) You still make me believe I’m going to be poisoned in Professor Scrye’s lab and turned into mortal mana pua by some convincingly realistic witch. (I don’t know why I picked a Hawaiian food that I have never eaten.)

But let me tell you something about this sanguine estate—if you came looking for chainsaws and robotic corpses hemorrhaging on toilets, queue the Sad Tuba soundbite. This is half past Saw, more toward Nosferatu. Castle Blood’s tagline is “Halloween the way it oughta be” and they mean it. It’s elegant and unique, it’s intelligent and interactive, it’s humble and passionate about the season. I’ve been going to Castle Blood since the late 90s and it’s still just as refreshing and inspiring as it was when I was a teenager. We’ve been taking Chooch since he was a baby (first to the no-scare matinees; he’s since graduated to the nighttime tours) and he loves it because it’s magical while still maintaining a high creep-factor—-plus, sometimes Henry gets presented with a death certificate.

4. Will You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman Teenager Again?

As previously mentioned, I long for the old-school haunts of yore. The ones in vacant buildings that charge $12 and under and probably meet the safety standards of a treehouse in 1954. The ones that aren’t mentioned in the obligatory WHAT TO DO THIS OCTOBER newspaper write-up or any of the haunted house listings online. The small haunted house put together by members of a local community and advertise by tacking up flyers in Spirit Halloween stores or sticking bright orange signs in the ground next to the highway. I like giving these people my monies! They know how to crack me up while also making me pee my pants. (I had a longstanding reputation at the now-defunct Victory Haunted School, and every year, from the moment I set foot inside, the “monsters” would start chanting, “Erin’s here! Erin peed her pants!” So fucking obnoxious but I loved every second of it.

If I’m in such pitch-blackness that I need to walk with outstretched arms while simultaneously screaming to no one and everyone that I AM SO FUCKING SCARED OMG WAS THAT A BREAST I JUST TOUCHED, then this haunted house rules. If I’m told, “GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES AND CRAWL THROUGH THE TUNNEL OF LOVE…OR DEATH!” and I literally find myself scrambling on my hands and knees over top of what I really really really hope are pieces of a CLEAN mattress and I start screaming about how I CAN’T BELIEVE I HAVE TO DO THIS! I AM SO SCARED! OW I JUST HURT MYSELF! then this haunted house rules. If the volunteers are so over-the-top with their theatrical lines and fake gunfire that I am literally doing pee-squats from laughing so hard, then this haunted house rules. If I tell the guide that my name is Erin and he decides that “Smellvin” is a better name even though that would only make sense if my name was Melvin, but everyone else thinks it’s hilarious, then this haunted house rules. If some kid pops out of nowhere and freaking feeds me a mouthful of Silly String and even HENRY laughs, then this haunted house rules.

*THIS SEASON’S UNOFFICIAL WINNER*: Ohmygod it’s a tie! Teen Quest’s Scaremare in Mon City and the haunted basement of the Sewickley United Methodist Church. Can we please admire the irony here, that two of this heathen’s favorite haunted houses are Christian-based? IDGAF, these two haunts made me laugh until I almost peed. (ALMOST, I swear!) It was like being in high school again, faced with the threat of falling down a staircase and inhaling asbestos. And the volunteers at these two places had way more enthusiasm than any of the ones anywhere else, especially Terror Town, who apparently pays their actors and that is just ridiculous because for the last two years, their “employees” were relatively ineffective and I’m officially done giving them Henry’s hard-earned Faygo money. Especially after seeing one of those “actors” on Facebook turn her nose up at people who, god forbid, volunteer their time to play zombies. The people at Scaremare and the church in Sewickley had HEART. The church even had a babydoll displayed in a very horrific, decidedly un-Christian way! I applaud them for that, for being able to recognize that it’s OK to be outrageous and controversial in the name of Halloween, and for being so balls-to-the-wall. I actually wish I had the time to revisit both of these places this month. Even if it’s just essentially dropping money into a collection plate. I’m OK with that.

5. Do You Have a Worthy Haunted House Companion?

Chances are, during this season you are going to sometimes be driving great distances and are probably going to get lost at least twice (are you going to a hayride on some jackass’s farm? Yeah, good luck trusting your GPS with that), so you better make sure you don’t bring some douchebag along with you who is going to drive you so insane that you need to buy your first pack of Camel Wides in 7 years at some sketchy gas station in the middle of downtown Sharon, PA. (True story.) And then once you’ve arrived at the haunt, you might be standing in line for an hour at least. DON’T BRING A DUD OR YOU ARE FU-HAHAHAHA-UCKED. I was lucky this year and have gone to haunted houses with quality peeps (and Henry), but I have been pretty unfortunate in the past. Your company can make or break the haunted house experience, especially if you are so fucking over-the-top annoyed at who’s ripping your shirt in faux-fear that you forget about the actual haunted house itself. Did you like it? WHO EVEN FUCKING KNOWS?!

*THIS SEASON’S UNOFFICIAL WINNER*: And the award goes to my good friend Janna. No one handles being pushed and shoved into chainsaw guys with quite the panache as she, nor can anyone tolerate my extreme giddiness with such a steely veil of patience. Except Henry, but he hates going to haunted houses. I like to believe that every time I scream, and I mean SCREAM, “JANNNNNNAAAA LOOOOOOK OUTTTTT!” that I’m actually saving her life for real. And she just kind of chuckles a little at first, but by the end of the night, I sometimes detect some eye-rolling and sighing.

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Those are my unofficial winners because I still have at least four more haunts to attend before Christmas starts shitting all over my fun. And remember, all of this is subjective. The things that I look for in a haunted house might not be the same things that make you scream like Laurie Strode or make popular local radio DJs jack off into each others’ cupped hands. If your haunt isn’t going to be gonzo enough to scare the FUCK out of me, at least entertain me. Make me laugh, make me push Janna into a chainsaw guy, have a hot Michael Myers, make me have some F-U-N if I’m giving you twenty goddamn dollars out of Poor Henry’s wallet.

(And let me just tell you, now that Chooch is brave enough to go to every haunted house with me, October is officially waaaaay more costly than December.)

Some extra tips:

  • Look for coupons! Sometimes haunted houses will offer them on their website. Hundred Acres Manor usually offers $3 off coupons at Eat n Park or Burger King. (They’re only good on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, I believe.) And you know, check Groupon and Living Social or have a boss that forwards every single haunted house deal to you like I do. Maybe stop in your local corner pub and gather up enough barflies to qualify for a group rate. Just trying to save you some bucks, OK?
  • Go on off-nights! If a haunted house is open on a Sunday or Wednesday night—GO THEN! You will beat the crowds and probably have a better victim:monster ratio. Have you ever gone through a haunted house with just the one person you arrived with? SCARY AS FUCK. Real talk.
  • Try to remember that no haunt is perfect and “bad nights” can be expected. Maybe I went to Cheeseman’s Fright Farm last weekend and had a blast, but you went earlier in the month on a night where they happened to have a lot of volunteer no-shows. Shit happens, ya’ll, and most of it is behind the scenes. This is why I try not to do too much bashing. (And believe me, I’ve been to a few duds this year.)
  • If you go to a haunted trail after it’s been raining all day, you’re PROBABLY GOING TO GET MUDDY. Don’t be that dickhead who complains about it. Maybe you should have stayed home and watched a Duck Dynasty marathon instead.
  • Bitching about standing in line isn’t going to make the line move any faster and pro tip: NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR YOUR STUPID YINZER MONOLOGUE ABOUT IT, EITHER.
  • Pretend that you are actually running for your life. BECAUSE YOU JUST NEVER KNOW.

Hey! Why don’t you leave me a comment and tell me about your best (or…worst) haunted house experience?

 

Oct 052015
 

This weekend was good, a strong start to October. I got one painting started, another finished, and yet another closer to its anticipated deadline. Baby steps. No pressure. Constant loops of Pentimento and State Champs music videos on YouTube. This is how I function. 
 Roots.

Did you know that Henry is a wedding handyman on the side? It’s true. He’s in the process of helping Chris and Monica build a display for their wedding desserts so we had to run to the craft store Saturday afternoon, which usually I bitch and moan about because the craft store is annoying but I love it in October because of all the Halloween shit. Plus, I had stuff to get for the upcoming pie party, decoration-wise. When we were checking out, the elderly cashier asked us what we had planned for the burlap sacks we purchased. First of all, none of your business? Also, Pinterest-approved body bags.

AND ONE OF THEM WILL BE FOR YOU IF YOU DON’T STOP ASKING QUESTIONS.

I was in a mood on Saturday.

 

Moving on.

Chooch is bona fide infatuated with YouTubers (what 9-year-old isn’t) and has much love for Hannah Hart. We actually just had a huge argument because made the mistake of telling him  that I have known of her existence for quite some time now and fun fact about Chooch: he knows everything and also, he knew it first. He’s worse than a hipster in that regard.

Anyway, all last week he was begging us to take him to Barnes and Noble because he wanted to get her book and if you read my blog like a good little pair of Internet eyeballs, you already know that Henry took him there on Friday and they struck out.

Well, Saturday evening we were on our way to a haunted house in Sharon. Chooch fell asleep because he was pouting about something or other, it all blends together. Henry, feeling a moment of charity, pulled off one of the exits and stopped at a B&N, where he successfully procured said book and Chooch was one happy jerk-son when he arose from his backseat nap.

(I like Hannah Hart. I used to watch My Drunk Kitchen and thought it was hilarious. But this book….? It makes me seriously think any ol’ motherfucker can publish pages of basic thoughts and call it a book.)

(John Green wrote her foreword. Apparently it’s a thing for YouTubers to have John Green help them with their books? I learned this from Chooch the other day when he told me that if I ever wanted to be an author, I would have to seek a LOT of help, maybe from John Green.)

After the haunted house, which Chooch is supposed to blog about, Henry and his deep pockets took us to the Middlesex Diner in Middlesex, PA which made Chooch and I laugh hysterically and Henry yelled at us for being 12-year-olds.

Our waiter was new. Possibly even new at life. He screwed up nearly everything but in such adorable fashion that I implored Henry to leave him a decent tip. Poor guy.

I got a salad with oil and vinegar and Henry to walk me though the ratio process.

Then there was a guy whistling and I sincerely thought it was a prelude to murder, like after receiving the chicken salad he came to pick up, he was going to whip out an Uzi and let loose.

I’m super paranoid. I think it might be a bordering on an actual psychological condition at this point. The amount of times I’m walking around downtown, see something shady, say “Nope,” and then change directions is alarming.

Oh wait, I just remembered that’s normal.

There was hand sanitizer behind Chooch which was a good thing because that kid needs it. Also, I ordered coconut cream pie and the waiter brought me french silk. I really liked that kid, I sincerely did, so in lieu of slinging it back to him Chinese throwing star-style, I peacefully held the pie out to him and in a gentle tone said, “Thanks, but I could I have the coconut instead?”

“Right,” he sighed, “because that’s what you ordered. I’m so sorry.” And then I thought he was going to punch himself in the head, but maybe he waited until he was locked in the broom closet at Ma’s house to do that.

My pie was eh. I always have high standards for diners when it comes to pie because if you’re calling yourself a diner, you should have the homemade pie to back it up. This pie was definitely not homemade. It was firm yet gelatinous, and had a layer of skin between it and the meringue, which was the worst part for me, the meringue. I really dislike meringue and prefer my coconut cream pie to have a heavy helmet of fresh whipped topping on it.

I peeled off the meringue and threw it on Henry’s plate, which was really Chooch’s plate of pumpkin pie that he didn’t like so now Henry was eating that along with my meringue, in addition to his own dinner and also half of Chooch’s dinner because WASTE NOT WANT NOT or whatever your grandma had embroidered on her idiot tea towels.

On the way home, Chooch and I had such strong laughing fits that Henry barked, “If he pukes back there, you’re cleaning it!”

The next day, we went to visit Wendy and baby Summer after Chooch’s piano lesson! (Don’t worry, I ended up not actually being sick like I thought I was on Friday. It was all in my head, even though everyone kept telling me that and I was like, “No no no this is West Nile.”

Is West Nile still a thing? Don’t tell me. I don’t need to know. Anyway, look at how miserable Henry made Summer! One look at his grizzly visage sent her over the edge, man. Don’t worry, Summer, that mean man has the same effect on me.

Wendy looks amazing, by the way. A-MAYYYY-ZING. I was like, “How the hell is it possible to look so good one month after birthing a child?!” I still looked like a sebaceous glob for a good year after Chooch was born.

Fine. Two years. Then Jillian Michaels helped me.

Then I got fat again.

Then, Jillian.

Next, fat.

Now, Jillian.

It’s a vicious cycle. Chooch has actually been working out with me and he hates Jillian but I think he is secretly enamored of her. I know I am! At first, he bitched about it but here’s the thing: 4th grade was when I started my journey to Fat Status. And that journey was at break-neck speed, you guys. I was unlocking that level faster than my mom could replace my wardrobe with huger sizes. Without giving Chooch a complex, I’m trying to subtly teach him that fitness and exercise are such important things to make a habit of at an early age, plus healthy food. Otherwise, he’ll be 36 and terrified of food just like his broken mother. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I wish someone in my family would have come to my aid back then instead of waiting two years and then flipping out because I looked too hideous to be a junior bridesmaid in my aunt’s upcoming wedding, thus putting me on Slim Fast. Because that’s normal, right? For an 11-year-old to be substituting meals with Slim Fast shakes and getting Slim Fast popcorn in their Easter basket?

So yeah, exercise was done over the weekend, too.

Then we went to Castle Blood! That will be its own post though. I think Chooch and I both going to review it, so that should be interesting.

These weekends are just the absolute best. I love you, October!

Oct 272014
 

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CASTLE BLOOD:

I like the castle blood this year. First,  We got back from Knoebles and I was fricking tired.  We got FREE Tickets, Yay! So we went in and this guy was telling us stuff. He said we were on a quest to find a Broken Heart, Blue Sapphire, and a Brain. He asked who wanted to be the leader I said I wanted to. So we were walking and I held Erin’s hand. Next, We entered this Gravely’s Office and a Butler was cleaning Gravely’s desk and bookshelf. He gave us a ghost named Destiny she with us to protect us. Then we went into a Mausoleum where there we bones of animals, mermaids, and human skin. This guy said is we looking for anything and I said “Yes a Blue Sapphire. a Broken Heart, and a Brain. He said that we wouldn’t want the blue sapphire because it was stolen and said you wouldn’t want a stolen sapphire would you? We said no. So he gave me the thief’s hand. And we went on with our journey. Last, We went into the Gypsy Room but before that I got a ring from some girl to give to the gypsy. So we went in and I had to go sit on a chair and give her the ring but it wasn’t hers. So we went into the next room and there was a girl showing us the rings she got from her husband that she killed after. She said she was missing one so I gave the I had. That was the one she lost. She gave me a broken heart because the ring I gave her was from someone that left her. After that we entered the Cemetery and that was the last part and nothing really happened there then we went into the Gift Shop and I lost the Broken Heart there and so I got a FREE Pumpkin. I was bad after that and I had to go to bed when we went home. All in all, Castle Blood Is awesome the way it is now.

 

WEST DEER NIGHTMARE:

West Deer Nightmare was good and cool this year. We were in line and my shoe was untied and so I went into the light and I heard people laughing so I looked beside me and there was a clown standing right next to me. I said “Good day mate.” and then said “Hows your day mate?” Then I walked back in line. It took awhile to get to the front but then we did a lady opened a door and made us watch a video of dead people like Lizzie Borden’s mom and dad. I got a flashlight and kept shining it in GODFORBID HENRY’S eyes and he was pissed off. Then we went to an adult with a baby mask on and it was acting like a baby too. It was following us and mommy was so scared I laughed. We came into this room where there were REAL people under blankets, (Maybe they were supposed to come out) but they were sleeping. We were walking and Freddy Kruger came out of the wall and I said “Hi.” and then “Bye!” Mommy was scared. We went into this room where nothing happened but then I gave the flashlight back. (We were outside now) I warned mommy there was something behind us but she didn’t listen. Then about 5 seconds later VROOOOM VROOM (That’s my chainsaw noise) I ran so it could get mommy and GODFORBID HENRY. But it kept coming after me! Thats how good or may i say cool West Deer Nightmare was!

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HAUNTED EXPEDITIONS:

It was so awesome! But daddy didn’t want to go because he was being a wussy but then he realized he was to jealous and didn’t want to be a wussy and be on NBC News! We went on a hayride but it wasn’t a hayride it a trail. We waited in line for about 20 mins. But this guy with a pumpkin mask tried to scare mommy but i ruined it because i kept saying Hi to him. He was talking to me about the Krampus and scared me about the Krampus. We went in  and watched a video of the rules and then walked mommy got scared about 500,000,000 times. One time she got scared i peed my pants. No really i actually did. I’m not joking. Then we came to this thing that popped out from behind a tree and scared mommy so bad she ran and punched me in  the face. Oh god I hate her! Then a WEREWOLF came out and scared mommy I tripped, fell down the hill and Henry was so mad he yelled at me and said GET UP kind of like SHUT THE DOOR if you’ve never seen Erin’s Youtube.  Then the manager scared us! Then we waited for the other group. He went to go scare them and so I did too. I was the last scare. The manager said F*** and he said sorry i’m so sorry but mommy said i don’t care he has a mouth on him. So he said I mean FIDDLESTICKS. The hayride came back to pick us up and so we went on and drove and this guy came out of the woods and said Wheres Angie? WHERES ANGIE? Angie was scared and he saw her and pulled her into the woods. And daddy lost his hat on a tree like a LOSEERR*. That’s how cool and awesome I think Haunted Expeditions is.

 *(Erin here: Normally I wouldn’t care if Henry lost his hat because they’re just dumb Faygo hats but this time it was an EMAROSA VERSUS HAT! Luckily, the nice Haunted Expeditions kid leapt off the wagon like a goddamn hero, found the hat and rode his trusty golf cart back to the parking lot, where Henry’s dumb head was reunited with the best goddamn beanie in the world. PEACE OUT, BITCHES.)

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Oct 262014
 

 

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I have been dying to go back to Knoebel’s ever since I was there on opening day in 2013 with the DAFE crew. I know this sounds weird coming from the likes of me, and that this is the opposite of what I should like, but this park is ADORABLE. It’s all quaint and family-friendly, far away from the Big City and rife with fluffy dogs on leashes. And that’s just on a regular day! They have Halloween-themed weekends in October, so Henry earned a million brownie points (do those still exist? is there an app to keep track of them now?) by taking us there last weekend.

It was goddamn precious. Leaves on the ground. Hay bales painted like pumpkins. Ghosts hanging from the trees. A Halloween-music light show on the front of some building. There were no chainsaw guys or zombies popping out from behind garbage cans, but who the hell cares? Sometimes a little Halloween Lite is just as magical.

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Also, the novelty of amusement park rides in the fall!

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On the way through the parking lot, Chooch declared that whoever stepped on a leaf first loses. Because I am an 8-year-old too, I was all about this game and nimbly tip-toed past crisp leaves skipping across the pavement in front of me, all while giving Chooch sharp shoves to try and make him trip up, Once we crossed the threshold into the park, though, I decided that we should stop playing because I wanted to look around at the seasonal decor instead of keeping my eyes on the ground.

“Besides,” I added. “Everyone knows I won anyway, Chooch.”

“Hey! I didn’t step on any leaves either!” Henry cried from in front of us, and I laughed because what the fuck, guys? Who invited Henry to our reindeer games?

I didn’t know this until we got there, but Chooch could have worn a costume and participated in the trick-or-treating stops around the park. I am always so woefully unprepared.

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CHOOCH: I thought the skeletons in the car were Ron and Jim from the tombstone right in front of it.

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First up, Chooch waited in line for the much-anticipated new ride of 2014, Flying Turns. It was the longest line we’d wait in all day, because this bitch is a hot commodity. (It took something like 8 years to build it, I think.) They had cute Halloween decorations set up along the line though, so we at least had things to distract us from the violent thoughts and ideas our minds were drawing up regarding the three teenagers in front of us who were totally obnoxious and kept rough-housing (ladies and gentlemen, I’m officially my dad) and every time they would lower their voices and side-eye me, I was certain they were making fat jokes.

(Chooch can’t write his thoughts on those kids because I won’t let him swear of make violent statements, so he said he has nothing to say then.)

Did I mention that there were signs along the way that threatened an approaching weigh-in? Because of the type of coaster this is, and physics that make my brain bleed, the ride attendants have to make sure that the weight is dispersed between the cars in a very precise manner and that SOME RIDERS MAY NOT BE ABLE TO RIDE TOGETHER. I texted Henry and said, “Great. I have to get weighed just to ride this thing? I want to die.” And he was all “lol.” I’m sorry, how is my body dysmorphia/eating disorder/obesophobia FUNNY? Fuck you, Henry. Have fun sitting on benches all day with the old people.

Turns out, it wasn’t that big of a deal. There were three large metal plates on the coaster platform that you had to stand on with your riding partner while waiting for your turn, and the weights weren’t displayed, and even if they were, it was a combined total anyway. Chooch and I got the front car and several pre-teen kids filled up the other two and I guess my thunder thighs didn’t break the ride because we made it back in one piece.

All of that for a ride that seemingly lasted for all of 40 seconds and was just OK.

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Meanwhile, Henry had been roaming about like a child predator on the loose, and won Chooch some stupid plush peace finger thing, but it says YOLO on it. I kept hoping Chooch would lose it.

CHOOCH: I had it put in my sleeve and I kept acting like it was my hand and just holding it up.

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I think that the Phoenix might be my favorite wooden coaster of all time. It makes me laugh so hard that my face hurts (I KNOW, I KNOW: AND IT’S KILLING YOU). The second time Chooch and I were in line for this, we had an actual argument over where we sat the first time (he said it was the third car, BUT IT WAS THE FOURTH).

Anyway, the first part of the Phoenix has you going through a tunnel, which is fun on its own, but at night it was all foggy and lit up with Halloween shit! IT WAS SO EXCITING! CHOOCH AND I SCREAMED LIKE ASSHOLES!!!

CHOOCH: When it was nighttime, me and mommy were just talking and then we didn’t even know a hill was coming up and we screamed like idiots.

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This park is really not that big at all but Chooch and I would have been lost, literally, without our maps. Except that later that night, we had our maps and still got lost, literally, when Henry was naïve enough to think we could handle finding a bathroom on our own. Yeah, good one, Henry.

After Chooch and I went on a ride called Fandango and he continually cried YOLO instead of POLO when the ride operator wanted us to play Marco Polo, I decided it was time to break for food before I lost consciousness or murdered some nearby campers. Whichever came first. So Henry got in line to procure food for us (pierogies and potato pancakes!) while Chooch and I went to find somewhere “nearby” to sit but apparently it wasn’t near enough for Henry, who had a hard time finding us. MAYBE IT WAS INTENTIONAL, HENRY.

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We took pictures of ourselves while sitting next to two scarecrows who were apparently on break. Remember when we all carried around 35mm film cameras and practically no one took selfies because what a goddamn waste of film? Those were the days.

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Then Henry pouted because he didn’t want anything from the place Chooch and I chose to get food from, like he wasn’t grazing the entire time Chooch and I were on the rides. No one’s crying for you, Henry.

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CHOOCH: While we were in line for the Black Diamond, daddy was creeping on us and everybody else. He went on the side of the Black Diamond to look at the eagles, I guess. That’s what he said. Nobody else had a group of two and they needed a group of two for the coaster, and we were the only ones that had two and we got to line jump and it was so awkward. But I was happy because we actually got to go on quickly.

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CHOOCH: This lady was eating an apple and it was so awkward because she was creeping on people and I was laughing.

I only took this picture because I’m jealous of people who can eat apples without cutting them up first. SORRY THAT I WASN’T RAISED ON A FARM!!!!

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I know, it sucks to be at an amusement park!

Oct 242014
 

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Fright Farm was scary 10/10. First, It took 1 HR to get there but I survived. When we got there the line was like 25 minutes long. There was a dj on a stage and then Taylor Swifts Shake it Off came on and i started twerking. And then 5 minutes for the Hayride to start. We have to sit at the edge of the Hayride it was like we would fall off. Next, after 45 or something minutes after the Hayride we went in the haunted house. It was scary 10/10. But Janna almost had a seizure. But she actually didn’t. Mommy was scared when I warned her about there was someone going to pop out. Then we went on the slide. I loved it. Janna almost fell on the steps so I warned her. She tripped on the steps one time. Last year, Erin and GOD FORBID JANNA said it took them forever to get through the maze. But when I was with them I said follow me but I purposely ran into a clown and he trapped me and Mommy in a corner and I ran. But the clown said to mommy Do you want to play death? She said No but the clown chased her in the maze. GODDFORBID JANNA tried to save her but the clown pushed her out of the way. She had a seizure. I said follow me again and they did and I lead to victory. Finally, We went to the last part. We got blindfolded and had to follow a rope. But sometimes it got higher and I couldn’t reach it so mommy said she had it and then It got lower and I could touch it again. I was scared like so bad I could cry and my eyes were closed and I almost fell asleep. We kept touching people and they said we were in line. But Erin’s blindfold fell off and they pulled it back up. We finally got out of terrifying death creepy maze like idiotic mean place. Then I had Hot Coco because it was freezing like a Winter Wonderland. Walking In A Winter Wonderland. When we were leaving Chandelier came on and that was my favorite part. In conclusion, That’s how I felt at Riches Fright Farm.

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Oct 232014
 

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Last night, Janna and I took Chooch to Rich’s Farm. This post is not really about that. (Chooch claims he will be guest-blogging about this and Castle Blood tonight; WE’LL SEE.)

This post is actually about how he and Janna could have easily filled in as Dorothy and Rose for Kristy’s Golden Ghouls group costume at Zombiefest last week.

Before we left Fright Farm, Janna decided to be nice and buy Chooch some hot chocolate. On the way back to the car, he spilled some of it.

“Did you spill your hot chocolate?” Janna asked, noting that he had stopped and was looking at his pants.

“No, I pissed myself, Janna,” Chooch said dryly. “YES, I spilled my hot chocolate!”

I mean, that haunted house was fucking awesome, but this might have been the highlight for me.