Sure, this Halloween season you can take the kids to the local Jaycees haunted house for some thrills or even travel to Orlando to see the Bates Motel or Disney’s Tower of Terror.
You may even know someone who lives in a haunted house where appliances turn themselves on and off, butcher knives suddenly disappear or mysterious moans emanate from the attic.
Almost every town has an abandoned or neglected house at the edge of the city where a prostitute was axed to death in the later part of the nineteenth century, and then there are the new neighbors down the street who only take their garbage to the curb under darkness of night and peer out of their drawn curtains when you pull out of your driveway to get a six-pack and a bag of chips.
But what you don’t realize is that there are a few haunted houses out there that you may frequent without even realizing it. They don’t affect you like the creepy houses in the movies.
The true house of pain, one where you are dragged kicking and screaming in a state of agony is the dentist’s office. It begins in the sterile waiting room where there is no eye-contact with other victims. Once the initial shock of filling out insurance forms is over, you take your seat. It is quiet, too quiet, until you hear the faint sound of a drill buzzing from behind closed doors.
Once inside the examining room you wait even longer as you are fitted with a clip-on paper bib, a tube with air gushing out of it in your mouth and the drill hanging above your forehead. From the moment the dental assistant announces “This may sting a little” as she sticks you with a needle full of Novocain until you get home with a mouthful of cotton and blood trickling from the corner of your mouth, the experience is an exercise in terror that stays with you for weeks afterward.
Another scary house is in your own living room. You turn on the television, dim the lights and suddenly, “Little House on the Prairie” comes on. The innocence of growing up, the rigors of a settler’s life and bad acting trigger a gag reflex until you can’t take it anymore.
On top of that, if you take a close look at the show, the little house on the prairie has no electricity, no cable television and no indoor plumbing. All ingredients in a classic haunted house.
The third is a visit that can scar you for life. I am talking about a trip to the hospital. You enter with an ailment that your doctor suggests be treated at a medical facility. X-rays are ordered and you are fitted with an eighteen pound lead apron. A technician stands behind a concrete wall as pictures of your insides are taken. Your doctor enters an exam room and waves theses radioactive images in front of you. The pictures of your skull or bones in your body look like the bodies found at a crime scene on CSI.
If you are admitted to this house of torture, there is the roommate in the bed next you behind a drawn shower curtain who is clinging to life. But not to worry, a cart rolls in and you are served your first hospital meal, everything will be fine.
A day or two or even a few weeks later, you are cured and discharged, probably a few vital organs lighter, but you feel better.
The true terror after a stay at a haunted house of medicine is a month later when the bills start arriving in the mail.
Eight-dollars for a Tylenol and $15,000 surgical procedure make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. It is one that inspires back of your neck stand up.
The last haunted house is the weekend visit to the in-laws.
It is one that inspires terror from the day you find out until you arrive safely at home. If you arrive home.
Ask your kids about it after you pick them up from a weeklong stay at Grandma and Grandpa’s house while you were away on a Caribbean cruise. They have that wide-eyed look and they scare easily. Comments like, “Grandma’s house smells funny” or “Grandpa makes weird noises when he watches TV”.
In-laws play by different rules. Coasters are required, plastic has been freshly removed from furniture and if you are a son or daughter in-law, beady eyes follow you around the house.
Before retiring in the guest room for the night, always check under the bed or in the closet for a chain saw laying around for a loose rope with a noose attached to it.
Smile and nod often and when you pack up the mini-van and give out the hugs and handshakes, pull out of the driveway quickly and don’t look in the rearview mirror.
So think about these real haunted houses this Halloween season. You never know when you will find yourself in one.
Axe Murderer Recipe
1 splash 7-Up
Amaretto Almond Liqueur
Mix it up like you would a Long Island Ice Tea.
Check out the slide show for more.
Turn blue and happy Halloween everybody.