Oct 312023

So much has been going on but according to my blog, it’s all haunted houses and August vacation recaps. Blogging is a struggle in my old age.

Anyway, today is Halloween and I’m off but it feels like the day is slipping by so fast and I’m mildly panicked about not having time to get all of my pointless, absolutely useless tasks complete:

  1. finish a book (done!!)
  2. write in a blog that’s basically the equivalent of scribbling misspelled thoughts inside my closet wall that no one will see
  3. exercise
  4. hand out candy to maybe 3 kids
  5. go for a walk
  6. have 7 cups of coffee
  7. feed the squirrels x9

All of this while narrating each activity to my cats aka best friends.

Anyway, here are some pictures from the haunted houses we went to over the last two weekends. This season felt, weird. This October has been, weird. I feel out of place and, weird.

  1. Castle Blood!

Annual jaunt to Castle Blood! Tried to get people to go. Failed as usual. It was such a fun time as always, and great to chat with Gravely and Hexibart, but sad to not get much face time with my Castle crush Boris, and there were a bunch of familiar faces that we were missing that night. Nevertheless, the experience was still on point, the denizens (ever since I got into Kpop, I want so  badly to call them Netizens) were perfectly scathing, and the challenges were as fun as ever. I think my favorite part though was when I was tasked with giving a grumpy old vampire a new-fangled (OH SHIT I DIDN’T EVEN MEAN TO DO THAT, NEWFANGLED LOLOL) food alternative called a BLOOD DISK to prevent him from feeding on us. I thought I was doing a really great job selling it, calling back to my years as an Olan Mills telemarketer obviously, but then I added, “I heard you can even get a subscription box…” to which Henry started full-throttle laughing behind me and bro NEVER laughs at my jokes so I was on high alert, thinking he was laughing at something else and I missed it, was I suddenly the butt of the joke? And then the vampire was all, “OK, I don’t know what that is, you’re taking this too far.”


AKA the night Henry took the most unflattering photo of me in his entire career of taking unflattering photos of me. Anyway, we met my sister Amy and bro-in-law Dick here, and I made friends with this monster guy in line when he was going around asking children for string to add to his collection. It seemed like he was prepared to exchanged candy for said string and I was DESPERATE to be a part of this. I worked diligently on pulling a tiny thread from the sleeve of my denim jacket and then practically tackled him when he walked by and panted, “HERE! I HAVE A STRING FOR YOU!”

He straight squinted at my string and exclaimed, “WHERE IS IT?”

I was like, “HERE!” and aggressively dangled it closer to his face.

“That’s not a string! I can barely see it, I can’t use that!” And then out of sheer exasperation, he goes, “Here, just take a Tootsie Roll, NO YOU CAN KEEP THAT!” when I tried to force my denim thread on him.

Then he came back a few moments later and said, “Do you want to see what I do with the strings??” and lead Amy and me over to a staircase and pointed up. I honestly had no idea what I was looking at initially and then I saw the strings, like actual ROPE in some cases, tied from a railing.

“Do you like, hang people from those?” I asked, and he was HORRIFIED?? I was like, “Sorry, I just thought there was some nefarious use for them since you’re a monster or whatever!”


Apparently some broad gave him a bra. One of the other line monsters told us it only took her three seconds to take it off. Wow.

Anyway, the haunt itself was fine but not as good as past years because groups started catching up with each other and entire scenes were being bypassed to keep the traffic flowing. That was annoying because of the best scenes was done for the group in front of us but when it was our turn they had us just walk through and I wanted Amy and Dick to experience it :(

But for me, the highlight was AFTERWARD when we followed Dick and Amy to Hightower Brewing Co nearby in Ohio. I fell in love (you know me and my emotions!!) with their butter beer and also their orange hard seltzer! I also had a pumpkin cheesecake sour which I think I would have liked a lot better if I hadn’t also been drinking the incredibly sweet butter beer. And I had a peanut butter porter which my whole party advised against me ordering but I did it anyway like the girl with braces who went and ate the popcorn anyway, and boy I had regertz. Henry couldn’t even finish it for me.

But what a great night, two unflattering pictures of me aside! I’m happy that we hung out with Amy and Dick twice in a year, actually ALMOST three times if you count the pie party from 2022! I really gotta be better at hanging out with friends, especially actual family, but NOT relative strangers who send me unhinged and accusatory texts at inappropriate hours of the day.


This past Friday, Janna and I went to DARK VIEW in Toronto, Ohio!

But first, JANNA HAD TO PEE.

We had a nice chat with the ticket guy who I think I recognized from past Dark View visits. This was their first year at a new location, and he told us it was because their old location on the hill got completely trashed by “you know that storm from last year” and I nodded like I knew when in fact I do not know.

Then when I told him we were from Pgh, he immediately slammed Beto’s Pizza and I fully agreed because that pizza is SHIT and he said we should go to the nearby IGGY’S for good square pizza and he was really selling us on this pizza bro, like I was ready to ask Janna if she wanted to just leave right then and there and go get this critically acclaimed pizza instead. But then he offered a piece of FATAL INFORMATION:

“And they even grind up pepperoni and put it in the sauce to make it extra spice,” he said.

“Oh wow,” I monotoned. “Mm.”

“Well, there goes that,” Janna said later, and then I fell headfirst into a neurotic tailspin re: WHAT IF OTHER PIZZA PLACES DO THIS TOO AND I HAVE BEEN UNWITTINGLY EATING MEAT-SAUCE ALL THESE YEARS??


Anyway, Dark View is still doing these souvenir pictures which I love and also, they know what a good angle is, maybe learn from them, Henry. Find a way to pull a ladder out of your ass, don’t all you men come with one lodged up in there??

Anyway, there was a guy in there who reminded me lots of Bradley Walden from Emarosa because he was a “scare actor” but was “scared,” you know what I mean? So he was like, “Oh thank god, you guys are alive! It’s really scary here!” I feel like he was dressed like he was on safari.

Um, I dunno! This was not as great as previous years but knowing that they were forced to basically start from scratch, I gotta give them credit. And the kids they had in there generating the screams were a real delight. Super effective and they took their roles seriously.

Afterward, we went to SHEETZ where I got an iced nitro cold brew with hopefully NO HIDDEN MEATS and the cashier was SO CHATTY that I felt for a second like I was a real person again, like Erin pre-2004 even, and I was JUST ABOUT to say, “Don’t be nice to her” while jutting a thumbing over my shoulder but luckily I had half-turned around before the words came out so I noticed that JANNA WASN’T BEHIND ME but some burly trucker guy so whew, good thing my periphery vision isn’t as bad as my…frontal vision.

But yeah wow, substantive small talk with two strangers in one night (plus all that talking with JANNA ugh!!) – back to reclusiveness for me. Oh ho, just kidding, my new neighbors do not allow for any reclusiveness to be had. But that is a story for another day!


I think the most memorable thing about this night, and not in a good way, is THE FUCKING RAIN. It was miserable. Also (and um, sorry Janna if you’re reading this) but I realized at some point after we already bought our tickets that I had been looking at the weather for SMITHTON PA all day, and not SMITHFIELD which is actually where Rich’s Fright Farm is located. SMITHTON, wherever that is, said that there was absolutely NO RAIN past 5PM. So I was like, “OK great, we can still go tonight! This will be PERFECT!”


Then we had to wait for like 90 minutes. Chooch ditched us very quickly after we arrived. I think he only sat with us for approx. 10 minutes and then wandered off to act like an orphan, which is his most Oscar-worthy role. He’s basically type-cast at this point.

I didn’t really get the theme, except for the one part where I guess it was meant to feel like we were walking through a fumigated room? It was actually the best part of the whole fucking thing.


Overall, it was fine! No one was annoying which was good because they ended up sending so many people through at the same time that we were coming to complete standstills in certain areas because of bottlenecks. The one positive thing about that is that it gave us an opportunity to actually look at the props and stuff, since we’re usually flying through. Chooch and I were pushing every button we came across too. I started it.

I *think* Henry and I are going on our traditional date to the Wells Township lights out night this weekend but I’ll be wearing boots so as to not get my foot cut off by the chainsaw guy. 


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