October 24, 2007 Edition

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A good scare

Amber Adams
Staff Writer

Every year, I look forward to Halloween, which was only recently replaced by Christmas as my favorite holiday. I love displaying ghosts and spider webs and seeing what creative decorations others have come up with and I enjoy the challenge of coming up with an original Jack-O-Lantern.

When I was a child, I expected my parents to go all out. I had several Halloween parties with ghastly ghouls and frightening finger foods. My dad always made the best Jack-O-Lanterns. He could carve a detailed cat sitting on a quarter moon or a wolf-man howling ~ anything we could come up with, he could do.

My favorite part of the holiday is the scariness of it. Telling ghost stories at the witching hour, calling the ghost of Bloody Mary in the bathroom mirror, Halloween hayrides and watching scary movies were some of my all time favorites, but nothing beats a really good haunted house.

Last weekend I got my Halloween wish a little early. Two of my friends, Alison and Amanda, and I went to Scared City in Imboden. I had been looking forward to the trip since I took a tour of the unfinished haunted house in late September. I knew it would be good, but assured myself that it couldn't be too scary since I knew what to expect. Was I ever wrong ~ I can't remember the last time I was so scared that I literally cried.

When we pulled up at the Imboden Area Charter School, across the street from Scared City, we could hear the people screaming inside. Alison decided at that point that she would be taking pictures near the exit rather than going through the house. Amanda and I got in line anticipating the thrill of being scared.

We were greeted at the door by a witch, whose costume and makeup were exceptional, who told us the rules of the maze. The main rule is once you start, the only way out is to make it to the end. I knew that inside the space would be tight and we would be traveling in total darkness. I also knew where and when someone or something would be placed to scare us. Once I was inside the dark maze, I forgot everything. There's just something about being in a small dark space, not knowing where you are going that is terrifying. Rationally, I knew nothing in the house would hurt me, but for some reason, I couldn't muster rationality.

Amanda and I ran through the first part of the maze, screaming at every turn. When I'd had all of the suspense I could take, I stopped completely and made the other couple who had entered at the same time as us, get in front. The rest of the way through, I just screamed constantly. When I got a little oriented, I started telling everyone what was next. Amanda was afraid I was ruining it for the other two, but the lady said it was okay. She liked having some idea of what was ahead.

By the time we made it through, I was screaming, crying and shaking. I have several friends I'd love to take, and though I like a good scare, I'm not sure I have the strength to go through it again. Maybe by next year I will have forgotten how terrifying it was.

Scared City is one of the best haunted houses I have been to in 10 years. For those faint of heart and those with small children, I don't recommend it. For anyone who loves a good thrill, I definitely do.

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