I choose treat every single time.
As the celebration enthusiast that I am, I get excited about all holidays. I love any excuse for seasonal recipes, decor, and dressing up. It’s what makes this little adventure of life so exciting! Halloween isn’t an exception. I love the pumpkins, the gourds, the 5 million squash and apple recipes, the changing leaves and the kids in adorable costumes.
What I don’t love is all the scary elements. I hate horror movies.
I’ve never seen most of the classics like The Shining, Rosemary’s Baby, or any of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. I have zero desire to be scared on purpose and to be haunted by thoughts of a violent murderer as I try to fall into a peaceful sleep. Violent crimes happen enough in real life. Why do we need a scripted story and actors to get us all worked up?
Truth: when I was a kid and watched Harrison Ford’s The Fugitive for the first time I had nightmares for months. That creepy one-armed man was always camping out in the closet in my bedroom and I was terrified to breathe, let alone get up for a midnight bathroom break. I have to turn away in violet scenes of The Walking Dead and any medical procedure, even a basic needle puncturing ones skin makes me cringe. So, you can see what I don’t think I’ll be able to handle real horror movies.
I hate the novelty “haunted houses” that creep up everywhere around this time of year.
Just thinking about walking around a dark building or corn field not knowing when the next teenager with a chainsaw is going to jump out in front of me gives me anxiety.
Meandering my way through an extremely narrow hallway while strangers hands grab at me and scary clowns get up all in my face is not my idea of money well spent.
Now, real haunted houses I can get into. I think historic ghost stories are simply amazing – take me on a city ghost tour any day. And I will totally get into mystery thriller novel or movie – a story that actually has some intellect and theory behind it and characters I really care about. All of that is lost in these over the top haunted houses and campy horror movies. They are true sensationalism.
Let me tell you a little story about the very last time I went to a haunted corn maze. All my friends wanted to go and insisted I should come along. I firmly said no, I’ll just stay home. But then the new guy I was dating said he wanted to go too. And of course the stupid 21-year-old girl that I was said “Ok, yes!” All my friends knew of my aversion to scary things. Or as they liked to call it, pathetic. They thought going with them would teach me to not be so scared.
So we get to the haunted corn maze. Luckily we snuck in some drinks. With my water bottle of Frutoipia and vodka in hand (ah college) I felt a little braver. I cam up with a perfect defense mechanism to get me through the next hour of my life. As my friends are having a grand old-time, marveling at the multiple masked men with chainsaws, the zombies, the clown, I decide to pretend I’m taking a romantic evening stroll. As I was walking through the corn maze I’d loudly say out loud every time some one jumped out at me “Oh, hello there! Lovely costume you got!” or “Isn’t it a beautiful evening!” Avoidance and stating what these “scary” things rightly were – people acting helped me survive. I ignored my friends mocking and stayed focused on remembering this was all just a game of pretend. And guess who won this night of fun?
After a particularly heavy zombie populated and horrifying twisty section of the maze it appeared we were in a little bit of a break zone. My friends were high on fear adrenaline. We heard no sounds of other patrons. No sounds of the corn rustling – the do tell sign that an attacker was about to make his move. The moon was shining down brightly and I think we all assumed me must be nearing the end of the maze.
I was hanging near the front of the crowd – so glad that my defense mechanism was working. When, all of a sudden a large man with the largest, shrillest chain saw emerged from the corn right in front of our little happy-go-lucky group. I continued my plan and just laughed it off while my friends were screaming at the top of their lungs – scared out of their minds. While I continued to grin and saunter forward, my two good friends barreled into me from behind and knocked me over. As I lay on the ground confused, my friends all left my behind, running to the end of the maze.
I went home that night with a grass stained blazer and the knowledge that if we were ever attacked in real life, my friends would leave me for dead. Survival of the fittest I suppose?
I know that we’re all just wired differently. That some people live for the adrenaline rush of watching a scary movie while knowing they are safe. That this is a good time for them. These same people also enjoy roller coasters. I do not. My idea of a good time on Halloween is candy, dogs in costumes, carving pumpkins, and ogling cute baby costumes while The Monster Mash plays in the back ground.
Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you get your fill of tricks or treats!