Sometime in the mid 90’s, this happened. I was 13, Chumbawamba blasted from my mom’s Suburban as we drove to the hippest part of Oceanside on a school night to go to a haunted house. If I were a few years older at the time, I’m pretty sure I would have scoffed at the low end quality of the whole production, but I wasn’t and I thought it was awesome.
The door man could have been a linebacker and didn’t speak. He was a co worker of my friends mother, but that didn’t matter. By the time we reached the front of the line, we had already been jittery with anticipation and his looming presence made it impossible to pass him without getting a shiver down your spine. The inside of the haunted house smelled like sawdust and fog machine fluid, but you forgot about that as you are scanning your surroundings trying to spot the next scare before it jumped out at you.
We didn’t know this photo was taken, but it showed up on the front page of the paper the next day. I love it because it reminds me of how great Halloween used to be when you were a kid and let yourself get caught up in the thrills of haunted houses and scary movies. It was when slasher films got you so scared ,you sat back to back with homemade weapons to make sure nothing could sneak up on you. That’s the Halloween I strive for, even though I may not always be successful, I always want to experience sheer terror and laugh about it a minute later. I think there is nothing that makes you feel more alive.