It is Halloween and the neighborhood dogs are barking, possibly at Trick-Or-Treaters. Reminiscent of our early childhood, my cousin Ted invited me and my much younger cousins out for Halloween to the Haunted Conover Ranch and Corn Maze along with a few of his friends. I believe the last time the cousins spent Halloween together was the year we "dressed up" in costumes. Their costumes were fantastic - Robin Hood and Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Mine, I can not remember.
As a terror movie weenie who runs between the back of the sofa and the bathroom in avoidance, I had first thought that I couldn't handle a Haunted House experience. Then some internal dialog and reasoning said that I should go and try something new. Besides, if I scream like a girl, I am a girl.
First, we navigated the Corn Maze and filled out 20+ clues in the harsh evening cold snap. Lesson One: Being in farmland in the middle of the night is cold and no amount of fast walking (running is against the rules) really warms you up "right toasty". By the time we finished that, we were ready to file into the haunted ranch portion.
Lesson Two: Being kept waiting in a tense atmosphere for long periods of time doesn't actually increase anxiety. In fact, if you were anxious going in, by the end of the wait to enter "the haunt", you'll have gotten over most of your jitters.
The staging area was well done and the scariest character (for me) was a tall raincoat wearing cowboy who scraped two sharp "machetes" and make the metal "shriiiiick" like horror movie sound effects. He also reminded me of a old friend who normally dresses in cowboy gear with a duster, cowboy hat, and boots; he also has been known to covet pokey things that look dangerous. (Hi Sean!) The scariest thing in the line were the teenage girls behind us who didn't get that singing "99 bottles of beer on the wall" actually involving decreasing the bottles of beer. And they liked to surge forward in elation and fear.
Lesson Four: Successfully launching a pumpkin from a slingshot is harder than it looks. Small Pumpkins are better. A trebuchet (with sling) or catapult might be more efficient than an oversized slingshot.
Lesson Five: It really is more fun to spend Halloween with others.
Hope your Halloween is full of fun!
P.S. Ted and I wore our headlamps, marching through the corn maze. We only got positive remarks about what a great idea that was.
Edited to Add:
P.P.S. You candy snatchers that took an entire basket of candy. You Stink. Little kids were greeted with an empty basket of candy because of you. It is not cool.