Friday, January 30, 2009


Image source.

This great photo of the Dark Ride at Coney Island reminded me of the local carnival that would come to the high school parking lot near my home when I was growing up. I was in early grade school and I can remember begging my mother to let me go into the Haunted House [trailer]. I was old enough and brave enough and wanted to feel like a teenager, or a manly man. So my mother and I entered the Haunted House [trailer] and moments later we were in complete and total darkness. I don't know what I was expecting from something that rode around on the back of a truck all across the country, but the entire "ride" was the pitch black interior of a trailer, probably with a crude maze to prolong the experience. I could hear my mother laughing as we both tried to feel our way along the walls and out of the Haunted House [trailer]. I'm not going to lie. By this time I was petrified. Truly about to panic from fright. I was way too young for this sort of thing and totally praising God that my mother emasculated me and came along for the ride. The agony of having no sight for that long was excruciating. And then it happened. Right before the exit, a massive interior-illuminated green head lit up along with a bladder-releasing buzzing sound - the coup de grace. It was behind glass and was really rather bizarre. In my mind, it looked like the weird Martian King Thing in INVADERS FROM MARS.

But it was probably just a large plastic head, lit from the inside by a green flood lamp. It worked perfectly. Everyone screamed. Except me. I said I had banged my head on the glass enclosing that horrible head. The tears, you see, were from the pain. My mother totally knew I was lying, but never let on.

Manly manliness still intact.


JHMDF said...

Carnival haunted house's have always had a spot in my heart. Some of my favorites were at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk...I have 2 really fun ones, cart style. Just old style props with black lights paintings.

jay's shadow said...

i went through one when i was a teenager called "scare mare". it was sponsered by a local church...."a trip through hell" they called was a 3 story building that use to be an old school. lots of twists and turns and going down stairs in total darkness, some areas dimly lit,things hanging from the walls and ceiling resembling flesh or whatever,going into complete dark rooms,then lights were flipped on and someone in costume standing 2" right in front of your face.
that haunted house tested the manly man in me. somehow i survied(i think)

The Captain said...

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk! I love the part where it is completely dark and "BAM!" TRUCK HORN/HEADLIGHTS! And then you swerve out of the way of the bus or truck, can't remember which but I remember it scaring the crap out of me? I love dark rides!
I grew up in San Jose, Dipper was my first coaster.

Rot you should be writing for a living, you have such an easy to read flow to your writing. I was totally picturing you and your mom in that skanky pitch black trailer, feeling your way along the dirty walls that if lit were probably covered in disgusting carnie graffiti.

JHMDF said...

hehe, a haunted house sponsered by a local church, great. Walking down stairs in total darkness sounds fun!

halloween spirit said...

Sounds a lot like the traveling carnival that came to a mall parking lot near my home every spring. Haunted house [trailer] and all. Seems hilarious now, but quite terrifying at the time :)

Grim said...

You have the best stories. I get excited every time I open a post and see lots of sentences because I know it is going to be another good one. They also bring back a lot of memories of similar things I did when I was younger.

Rot said...

Glad you liked the story.

Therapy. It's all therapy. : )

Anonymous said...

I see The Captain has already mentioned this, but have you considered writing, say, a little book of Halloween reminiscences or something? You seem to have both the writing ability and the material in copious supply.

Rot said...

Thanks, man. I'll call it HALLOWEEN FOR THE SOUL ; )

I appreciate the compliment.