As much as I love being my gargoyle alter ego, there were times back in my early days at Literally, a Haunted House that I needed a break. So once in a while I would throw on a tattered, hooded robe, make myself look sickly and slightly evil, and just wander behind groups as they ventured thru the House. I not only provided security, I got to see all the other actors in action. And I got to see customers freak out all night long.
Altho there are some tried-and-true classic scares (clowns, chainsaws, drop windows), sometimes just being silent can be way more intimidating and frightening.
And, as they always say when interviewing neighbors of a serial killer: “He was real quiet and kept to himself mostly.” It’s those quiet types you gotta watch out for.
One night I’m doing my stealth roving I notice this one woman in my current group being a general loud-mouth wise-ass. She’s crass, rude, disrespectful of our actors and a general pain in the ass. She’s blonde, aprobably in her late 30s (old enough to know better), and surprisingly not drunk. But she’s being a real bitch.
So that when I start staring. Right. At. Her. Unblinking. Eyes wide. And with those yellow cat-eye lenses, not to mention the sickly face, it’s pretty damn creepy. Hell, look at the photo. There is no sexy in that get-up.
Well, needless to say, she felt the eyes on her and glanced up to catch my unwavering gaze, and that cocky attitude went poof. I’ve never seen a face fall that fast.
As we went from room to room, I stayed behind the entire group, remaining in the background so as not to disrupt the action in each scene. But Blondie is not watching the actors. She keeps glancing at me.
And I’m not looking at anyone or anything but her. And I’m not blinking.
By the third room, she’s no longer enjoying herself. She grabs her male companion and, whispering loud enough for me to hear, says, “That thing’s looking at me.”
Blondie’s companion looks up at me but doesn’t seem to care. He’s having a good time watching the show so he doesn’t care that his girl is getting freaked out.
This continues from room to room. Blondie is getting more and more nervous, uttering “That thing’s still looking at me!” at least two more times.
And my face never changes. And I never say a word.
By the time we reach the end, Blondie is a complete mess. Once she makes it out the exit she relaxes and says to her group, “Did you guys see that thing looking at me?”
One of the nice things about being roving security is you get some decent exercise, since you’re on your feet walking all night. Another nice thing is that you are not limited to one room. Or even the House itself. You can go anywhere you want.
That includes chasing people out the door. Across the yard. Down the street.
Blondie had only a second or two of peace before I emerged from the exit, still staring at her, and started following her. Blondie broke out into a brisk walk up the street, constantly looking over her shoulder at me.
Don’t worry, friends and neighbors, the street she was on is a well-lit dead end with little traffic, so she wasn’t in danger of getting hit by a car. But getting run over by a vehicle was the last thing on her mind as she started to run. Meanwhile, I’m just walking at a leisurely pace behind her. And only her. By now her pals are howling with laughter as they watch their friend run away screaming from a slow moving spooky person.
Finally, I stopped in the middle of the road and slowly raised my right arm and pointed to her, never saying a word. It made for a nice visual.
Blondie made it home safe, sound and un-traumatized that night. How do I know this? She and her companion came back the very next week.
It’s always a compliment when you have repeat visitors in the Haunt business. It gives you that warm, sticky feeling to know you and your organization are so damn scarey that folks are willing to undergo the ordeal all over again.
So, yes, Blondie and her man came back the very next weekend. And guess who followed them thru the house again?
In the first room Blondie noticed my presence and nearly lost it. She held tenaciously to her man while nearly screaming, “It’s that thing again! It’s still looking at me!”
I’m going to give yall a few minutes to bask in this moment of great satisfaction that I, too, was experiencing....
Aaawwww, yeeeeaaahhh... This is gonna get good.
Once again, Blondie’s companions are having a great time. Once again, Blondie is a mess. Only this time the volume has been turned up to 11.
By the time we reach the exit, she’s become an Olympic sprinter. Her pals are still laughing as she dashes up the street again. And I, too, am slowly following her.
But this time I throw a little humor in the mix. Humiliation is the greatest thing to serve to someone who deserves it.
I stop in the middle of the street, just like before, but this time, in my best toddler voice, I shout, “Bye-bye, lady!”
Blondie screeches to a halt and turns around to make sure she really heard what I just said.
I put my hands to my cheeks, giggle like a little girl and go skipping (yes, skipping) back into the House.
I don’t know who was laughing harder; her friends or our staff.