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As I was ushered into the entrance of Erebus, probably the world’s scariest haunted house, my mind raced with ways of backing out. Could I faint? Pretend I was going to throw up? Trip and sprain an ankle? I was so scared I was literally ready to put my body in harm’s way to get out of going in. As we were pushed into the first area, a mad scientist’s room, I realized, there was no backing out. Even if I did one of those things, Kane would have grabbed me by the neck and dragged me through screaming. I was screwed, doomed to shorten my life by stressing my heart to the point of explosion… especially since I was told that the house would take almost FORTY-FIVE minutes to walk through. What kind of sick, sadistic people make a haunted house last that long!?
The first room wasn’t bad, it was wide open and there were a lot of people standing and watching some lunatic scream about how we were all doomed and would never return. I tried to make some jokes to ease my nerves, but they came out as ramblings that no one could hear over the booming noise. Seconds later, we were being ushered, around the corner to a series of doors with a few dozen other groups. At first I was happy thinking we’d be going through with dozens of people, but that was ruined the second I saw each group being broken up into small sections in front of separate doors. Oh boy.
When our door opened, we were crammed into a tiny elevator type room. Squished against each other and the walls, the lights went out, noise started, the room shook and an electronic voice started rambling stuff off about our impending doom. A light sweat started to creep over my body, my breath quickened. I was comfortable in this small room, I had a wall against my back and people in front of me, I felt safe, but I knew we would all too soon be thrust out of it, or that one of the walls would give away making me scream like a little girl. And of course, I was right. One of the walls shot away, I screamed and we were pushed out into a hallway, there was no one else around (where did the other groups go?).
From this point on, the next forty minutes were probably the most stressful in my life. I spent the entire time hunched over with my arms tucked into my chest in some sort of defense pose. How this protected me, I don’t know, really all it did was make my back sore the next day. In addition to this odd position, I started to sweat. And when I say sweat, I’m talking fat man in the middle of the desert wearing a parka sweat. I was drenched from head to toe and it took me two hours to dry off afterward. At least I learned something about myself, when I’m scared poopless my body defends itself by curling up in a ball and spraying sweat at its attackers. How this will ever help me, I do not know.
Most of the time I was too terrified to really spend any sort of time looking at what was going on. I kept my eyes on the floor, making sure to follow the feet in front of me and one hand always on the girl I made walk before me so she couldn’t disappear. Even with my reluctance to look, I was still amazed at this haunted house. It was flat out incredible. Every other house I have ever been into had bright exit signs ruining the illusion, as well as ushers keeping you on path. Not Erebus, no sir. There were NO exit signs, NO employees standing there telling you to move on and NO guide lights. When I say no lights, I mean absolute, pitch black in some areas, freaking scary. Things jumped out of everywhere, which is expected in a haunted house, but there were tons of things that were not expected. For one, I was not expecting to have to crawl through areas or to be standing in a corner of a room and then having the wall spin around leaving me separated from my group (I think that was the closest I came to peeing). There were also some amazing things like a room you had to literally push your way through and another area that they lock you in and bury you alive… seriously. The worst part about the experience… things touch you. I always remember telling myself as a child, at least they can’t touch me, they won’t touch me. Not here, nope, bodies get throw and land on you, you have to walk through rooms of hanging corpses, giant flying monsters reach down from the ceiling and grab you, animatronic dogs shoot out from the dark and almost trip you, dinosaurs pin you against the wall and even giant meat grinders force you out of a room. The “no touching” rule was out of the window and when I realized this, it made it all the more stressful. There were a ton of other amazing scares, I could write another fifty pages about this experience, but I don’t want to tell too much in case you ever go there, which you should!
Of course, as I crouched and grabbed strangers for comfort, Kane walked behind me, standing straight up… laughing. The man didn’t jump once, he didn’t even flinch. And trust me, they all KNEW Kane was going through the house. They were even watching on security cameras and radioing each other to tell them when he was coming so they could really, really get him… yet he still didn’t even bat an eyelash. The sick bastard was enjoying the whole thing, especially watching me freak the hell out. Here I was sweating, curled up in a ball and practically crying while he looked like he was taking a walk through a park on a nice sunny day. Part of me couldn’t help but wonder if this was what the inside of Kane’s brain looked like, a constant haunted house.
In the end, while Erebus probably took about ten years off of my life and left me screaming like a little girl… it was an utterly amazing experience for a horror fan, hell it was a great experience for anyone. When I went through it a second time the next day (which I was again forced to), it wasn’t any easier. Even though I knew most of the scares, they still got me as they changed things up, so you can experience it over and over again and never have the same experience. It was incredible. Overall, I’m just proud that I didn’t make it on to their list of chickens… and most importantly, the list of people who sh*t themselves.