Sunday, November 3, 2013

BOO!!!! An author shakes in fear of her life

I have not blogged a lot lately, although I know there's plenty for me to blog about. For example, my bowling team in bowling league is named BOWL MOVEMENT. I was gonna do a post on cool team names but never got around to it. Maybe in a few days, I can.

Something happened last night that I want to blog about, though. Maybe because it's kind of embarrassing.  Okay, so, here's the thing. I love haunted houses (the paid attractions, mostly near Halloween time unless they're a tourist attraction in a beach town or some such). I adore them. I always have. When I was a kid, my dad would take me. They were always great fun. Then on a vacation to Tennessee a few years ago, I emerged from one of the haunted houses, already being scared sh*less from the past 15 minutes, sat down to relax, and ended up getting chased by a creepy bogeyman who found it prudent to emerge from the house. ;)  That scarred me, but I don't think I realized how badly until another trip to Virginia Beach in July. I didn't give a second thought to doing the haunted house there, but when the time came for to buy tickets... uh-oh. I chickened out. Couldn't do it.

Fast forward to this Halloween season. The wife got Groupon tickets to what seems to be the queen of haunted houses in this area. The Haunted Graham Mansion! We planned to go the first available opportunity, which was in September (she got the cheaper tickets). I chickened out. And the weekend after that. Finally, though, our last opportunity was this weekend. We had plans Friday night, so we went last night. I warned her that I was very nervous, all that. We got in a line for an hour and fifteen minutes. Every once in a while, creepies would go by, and yeah, scared me. This 34-year-old woman's mind KNOWS LOGICALLY there is nothing to be scared of. Nothing. Really. Still, I couldn't help being scared. My wife told me a few times that if I needed to leave at any time, just to tell her. It would be fine. She wouldn't get mad or anything. I told her I was determined to try. And I did. I made it through the first two rooms before bolting. The last straw... a woman "ghost" blowing on my neck. *Shivers*  That had never happened to me before, and I knew if I was going to back out, it had to be before I got stuck smack dab in the middle of the house.

So, we turned around and left. I'd like to say that's the end of my scaremare, but on the very empty, deserted path on the way out, a creepie came along and did his utter best to scare me despite my wife warning him not to. Siiiiigh.

And this kind of got to me to thinking about fiction and stories. Authors and readers know none of it is real, but somehow, a good story comes alive in imaginations. It's not real, but it kind of is. So are haunted houses. The scares and the emotions are all too real, and that's what stories do, too. So I'm not going to look at my recent change of heart about haunted houses as a negative thing, but rather, just an evolution of the part of my brain that likes to imagine and believe in stories.


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