Henry, Chooch and I visited Castle Blood last weekend and had the most amazing time as always! It felt, to this dumbo blond anyway, to be even more challenging this season. If you don’t know, Castle Blood isn’t just your run-of-the-mill cheap jump-scare, blood&gore animatronics, chainsaw-finale haunted house. This place is full of the snarkiest collection of undead you will ever encounter at a haunted house. You don’t just get pushed through like sheep either – you stop in each and every room and have real interactions with the denizens, wherein you have to solve puzzles in order to earn one of three talismans.
I am blown away every year by the creative and ingenuity that goes into planning these challenges and the accompanying scripts. If ever you want to be knocked down a peg or five intellectually, this is the haunt for you! Some of these challenges have sincerely had me boarding the Struggle Bus straight to StüpVille, and this year was no exception. First of all, Chooch and I are too stubborn to work together so he kept taking over and wouldn’t listen to me, and then Dead Weight Henry just stood there contributing fuck all.
My eyeballs thought that this picture turned out OK at the time, but nope. Anyway, this is Chooch with one of our favorite denizens!
I still want to donate to have my name put on the crypt wall, but I haven’t decided what name I want to use. OHHONESTLY? APPLEDALE? It ain’t gon’ be ROBBINS, that’s for sure, lol.
Somehow, we managed to acquire all three talismans no thanks to Henry’s refusal to participate, Chooch’s bull-headedness, and my brain essentially shitting the bed. I am definitely starting to feel my age lately because I can’t retain simple instructions – someone tells me what to do in the simplest of terms, and I immediately have to turn to someone else and ask, “Wait, what am I supposed to do?” This happened a few weeks ago at another haunt where the ticket-ghoul told us to walk up the steps and do something and as soon as I got to teh second time, I hissed, “Wait, what?” and Chooch was like, “OMG are you kidding me.”
I was feeling extremely nostalgic after we left last Sunday so the next day, I pulled out my old haunted house journals and photo albums to collect some ancient artifacts. If my records are correct, the first time I went to Castle Blood was in 1996 with my mom and best friend Christy. It was one of the original locations, and I remember standing in line in a room full of horror movie memorabilia and autographed pictures of people in the biz like Tom Savini and George Romero (probably – my memory is not that grand anymore, remember? I JUST TOLD YOU).
This picture must have been from the second time we went, when my friend Lisa came and my mom’s friend Debbie. I really miss that shirt I’m wearing BUT NOT THAT HAIR CUT.
I’m cracking up at the fact that I actually took my 35mm camera with me to haunted houses in the 90s and the actors were, I guess, just like, “Yeah sure” when I would giddily ask to take their pictures.
That’s a whole mood.
We learned that for this season, the Castle has actually incorporated some of the old costumes, like this one, as a throwback!
My friend Chris has served in the role of Professor Scrye for 25 years now, so this picture is definitely from more than 25 years ago! I can’t believe how long I’ve been going to Castle Blood – so long that I have the honor of calling many of the denizens (including the famous Gravely Macabre) my actual real life friends. If you would have told me that when I was a teenager in the 90s, I would like, “DUDE, NO WAY!” and then put my yellow Aiwa Walkman back on, blasting a mixtape that no doubt had at least 9 Bone Thugs songs on it mixed in with Gino Vannelli.
Please enjoy some ticket stubs now.
I’m sure I must have missed a season or two, and I know that 2020 was definitely a sit-out for us (I can’t remember if they were even open – I think they were but I was scared to chance it), but I have been around for nearly every season, multiple moves, cast changes, and eventually even started going to the no-scare matinees once Chooch came onto the scene:
Baby’s First Castle Blood Walk-Thru!
Getting to attend the Friends and Family Event one years was basically my crowning achievement! I remember going to work and bragging about it and everyone was like, “Wow, you have such a charmed life.”
I will never ever ever ever shut up about Castle Blood. It’s such a unique and spooky alternative to the corporate haunts out there. If you are someone who loves haunted houses but can’t get any friends to go with you because they’re scared, please suggest this one to them because while it is spooky (it’s located in a former funeral home, for God’s sake), it leans more toward the gothic Addam’s Family vibe. You *will* get heckled and belittled by the undead residents, and you *will* have your intelligence put to the test (literally), but you will have so much doing it. Get some co-workers together for a team-building experience! Take your kids/neighbor’s kids/grandkids/random kid from the corner for the matinee event!
Just trust me. Go get your tickets here. And tell them that Oh Honestly Erin sent you! (But if you tell BORIS*, he probably won’t care!)
*(MY FAVE. HE IS SO MEAN TO ME AND I LOVE IT.)