I have always wondered what it would be like to be scary. So when I heard, last year about this time, that a haunted house needed volunteers to help scare people I jumped at the chance, just as I hoped to make others jump in fear.
Long story short, I succeeded… sort of.
But let me back up.
Halloween was a scary time growing up in Southern California. Not because of the darn dentists who handed out floss instead of candy – we kids learned to skip those houses – but because of those persistent rumors of razor blades hidden in candy.
And then there were the jerks who would throw eggs at kids going trick or treating.
But for me the scariest Halloween moment happened when someone stole my bag of candy. There I was, just trick or treating, when suddenly a teenager stole my bag of candy.
I’m not sure whether I was more bothered by the theft or the sudden reduction in accessible candy, but either way I made the right move: I returned to a previously visited house and begged for mercy and refills. And got both.
I have always wanted to get that guy back by having a good time at Halloween as if to exorcise that demon.
And so it was that I became a demon of sorts myself, for a haunted house in Frederick.
I showed up the first night and volunteers showed me where I can put on fake blood and asked if I was interested in playing someone crazy.
Afterwards we all went out to eat, with half of us still having bloody make up on, and nobody batted an eye.
The next night was more of the same except I started flirting with someone there.
I mean, how often do you get a chance to use out this line: “So what’s a cute mad scientist like you doing in a haunted house like this?”
And when the female scientist I said this too shouted out her line, “Blood! I need blood!” I went over and rolled up my sleeves while she called me a smart aleck!
The next night I was in a different room: I was the mad scientist who needed blood.
When I got there they did not have anyone around that could do my make up.
So I improvised.
I put my fingers on some “blood” on a table and put it on my face with fingers. Later I used a paper towel to first move the “blood around” and then put it in my shirt pocket. I was hoping a visitor coming through would sneeze or sniffle so I can offer them my bloody tissue.
Anyway I switched shirts – putting on the pre-bloodied one I’m wearing in the picture – after I almost got a bloody ring around my collar.
So I’d hold the syringe and point at test tubes full of blood and say, “I need blood! Can I have your blood!?” and while some adults and teens just laughed a few younger ones got scared.
I had that arm there and so when an adult would be unfazed by my presentation I’d tap them on the back with the arm.
One guide that would walk kids through had a running gag where she’d say, “I’m looking for my mommy.”
“Is this her arm?” I asked one time.
Another time when she asked that question I said, “Is this her blood? If so I drank her last nite.”
And so it went.
To some I offered a drink – after taking a swig myself – of this “blood” in a bottle.
To others this move in their direction was enough to freak them out:
So I don’t know if I look scary but I made a few people scream.
And that made me happy.
Yes, I cackled myself to sleep that night.