Terror on the Hill
Beginning to arrival
The people who went were Mark – the husband of my best friend; Stephen and Alice – recently married; and me. Another person had agreed to come but she didn’t realize that there would be actors.
I made everyone take flashlights, which took some time to accomplish since people needed batteries and so forth. I refused an offer of gloves or a hat. I did visit the restroom before we left. (This is all pertinent information.)
Mark’s GPS had a skeletal hand pointing the way and a Vincent Price voice giving directions. We liked it and then forgot about it. Stephen, Alice and I were startled when the voice said, “pay no attention to the noises in the trunk.” Alice and I shared ghost stories.
Parking to Ticket
The parking lot was unlit ($2 parking) and we were glad we had flashlights. When we reached the gate, a woman told us to go to the front of the line to buy tickets and then return to the end of the line.
On our way up the line, we saw a couple of concessions stands and a tent with golf carts and a sound system. The music was blaring “Thriller.” One of the workers came over to us and tried to convey something. We could tell he was angry but we couldn’t hear him. It turned out that we were in the way of dancers whom we hadn’t seen. That was dispiriting so we trudged up the hill to buy our tickets.
The woman I bought my ticket from had strange white contacts on – creepy and effective.
Later, in line, we saw that the dancers were wearing dark clothing and they were in the corner without any lighting.
I read some wrong information on the website: You can buy tickets at 7:30PM and the gates open at 8PM. It did cost $20 for a ticket so that part was right. It also turned out that we couldn’t use our flashlights. I carried a mag light in my pocket through the tour for nothing.
Beginning of the line to entrance
At one point, Mark and I had to use the rental potties. Mark figured that even if he managed to sneak into the woods, he might pee on the dancers. So we went to the row of rental potties that was at the head of the line. When I entered it, I discovered it had been placed on a slight rise that tilted the front of it toward the asphalt. When seated, I realized that I had closed but not latched the door. I reached to pull the latch. Because it was leaning downward, it started to open. I almost exposed myself in front of the ticket holders, the concessions workers, the camouflaged dancers, and two cops. That was a couple of seconds of terror. But I grabbed the door in time.
Mark reported that the tilted potties made the urinal a challenge.
We were bored waiting. Some of us claim it took 45 minutes and others an hour and 10 minutes to reach the head of the line. The weather was clear but chilly, and we were shivering. I regretted not accepting the hat. Mark played some songs on his cell phone and then Stephen played some on his. Finally, the others started telling dead baby jokes, which helped pass the time. Then, we reached the head of the line, and it was too noisy to talk. Stephen started dancing to “Crazy Train.”
Alice and I tried to look at the building itself which was impressively large, although we could see very little of it. It looked abandoned still. I tried to imagine what it might have felt like to arrive as a TB patient, look up at the building, and know that I might not leave.
Because we spent so much time in the line, it was hard not to notice people around us. One man had apparently gotten his lip pierced recently. He said nothing but spat the whole time. There was a woman who talked loudly and bitterly to one of her parents who was divorcing the other. Then she hung up and glared around for a few minutes. Then she called some one else and quarreled with them.
Alice and I were most disturbed by the third man who was clearly on drugs. He only occasionally opened his eyes and he swayed until someone pushed him and he’d stumble a few steps ahead.
We were relieved when the worker let the four of us join the next group and separated us from ‘High Guy.’
Details of haunted house after cut.
Through the House
The first room we stepped into was great – a gaggle of happy, screaming teens drowned out all other noise. But that was fine, as the scare didn’t depend on sound. First, I saw a big stuffed werewolf in the corner – then it waved its arms like an animatronic – then he got up and we backed up – then he started walking toward – we emptied into the next room. This was Mark’s favorite moment.
We lagged behind to let the teens go ahead of us. At first, I was a little nervous that it would be disappointing because a few of the early room were empty and were decorated a little unimaginatively.
But that changed quickly.
As we went along, we had to keep checking the walls, the ceiling, and the path before and behind us. I started out in front but then it was too scary so I got behind Mark and in front of Alice and Stephen – that was my favorite spot. Later, I wound up at the back of the line, which meant I got a lot of attention from the actors.
It didn’t take long for the show proper to start.
A giant spider fell down on Mark and I was reluctant to follow him, even though I knew it was fake. Icky, hairy legs.
Then we turned the corner and there was a woman dressed in white with snow-white skin and blonde hair. She was throwing herself against the plexiglass and screaming at us. There were bright white lights strobing into the box. She threw herself so violently against the plexiglass that it bowed and hit Mark on the shoulder. I liked this scene.
One place was scary – a passage that was narrow and completely dark. The noise was deafening and we had no clue when it would end. Alice, who is a bit claustrophobic, held my hand and Stephen’s hand as we went along.
Even though I knew that someone was likely to jump out at me each time I reached a doorway, I screamed and jumped away from one of them anyway.Alice laughed at me and said I’d been gotten. She was right.
In one scene, a woman cornered Alice and me. She came very close and made clicking sounds like a Japanese ghost. I was impressed but Alice was irritated.
Mark and Stephan really liked the zombie librarian. She shushed them sternly, and then slammed a book shut on them when they continued to talk.
The jack-o-lanterns on the fences were charmingly spooky.
We turned a corner and I saw a tall man with a hatchet advancing toward us. He was lit from behind and walking through the fog. Very nice moment.
Stephen, who doesn’t watch movies, would walk up to the actors and exclaim their names with pleasure. He later explained he’d seen their posters. He especially amused the Hannibal who broke character enough to say that no one else had gotten it yet. Hannibal then offered to share the severed head with Stephen who refused.
Near the end, we left a room and a couple of the actors followed us. I stopped looking back because making eye contact meant being pounced on (figuratively). I could still hear their footsteps but they didn’t speak at all. They just slowly shuffled after us. It was a getting a little eerie, and then Mark looked back and said, “We’ve got zombies following us.” Stephen said, “Those aren’t zombies, it’s High Guy.” He was right. The group behind us had caught up.
High Guy did not seem to have noticed Mark’s comment.
We heard chain saws up head of us in a foggy alley and so we proceeded cautiously. Mark almost stepped on Pinhead’s robes as we passed up the alley. The chain saws were hidden and I think something jumped out at the end but I was too far down the line to see what it was.
We stumbled out of the exit. Mark tripped over the poorly lit doorway. The actor stationed there belatedly warned him. I was deafened and smelled like the artificial fog and my eyes had been dazzled by the strobe lights.
Stephen summed it up. “It was pro.”