Twenty minutes. Not a long period of time, right?
When you’re in low-lit, foggy hallways, looking at rotting remains, mutilated corpses, getting yelled at by ghosts and chased by bloody guys with chainsaws, 20 minutes can seem like an eternity.
I had the horrifying pleasure of visiting the City of the Dead Haunted House, a heart-pounding experience I won’t soon be forgetting.
To start with, there are already a few horrors in the parking lot in the form of a very tall, bloody, giant mallet-wielding man, called The Big Death, and a lurking, bloody, butcher-type character that pops up when you least expect it. As soon as I saw them, I knew I was in for a frighteningly good time.
Inside the huge tent is dense fog and dim lighting, hindering how much you can see. Once you step into the dark entrance, the low visibility only adds to the fright factor. The sounds around you aren’t your run-of-the-mill “scary music.” Instead, the air is filled with rumbling, industrial sounds, interspersed with bangs, groans, the screams of other patrons and, most notably, chainsaws.
I nervously walked through dark passageways, viewing the gruesome scenes along the way: A birthday party with a corpse as the guest of honor, a chain-laden bed covered in blood and guts, a kitchen cluttered with organs and bloody knives, a man violently vibrating in an electric chair and much more.
The ghosts are clever, popping up front every angle: They materialize out of the fog, come from under furniture and open doors you never even noticed. Some of them remain still, like a mannequin, waiting until you get close before they suddenly come alive to scare you out of your skin. After a while, it becomes difficult to tell actors and mannequins apart, putting you even more on-edge as you meander through. These ghosts come in quite the variety, ranging from a creepy, laughing schoolgirl, to a twisted, hunkering ghoul that whispers next to your ear.
I’d like to make special mention, though, of the chainsaw men. Bloody and terrifying, there are a few of them that roam the dark halls. You can hear the intermittent loud motor of the chainsaws the entire time, but it’s still difficult to gauge exactly how close they are until it’s too late. Sometimes they chase you, sometimes they rush by you. But however they choose to make their appearance, it’s equally terrifying every time. (The chainsaws are, in fact, extremely loud, so consider taking precautions if you have sensitive ears.)
By the time I made it out, my voice was hoarse from screaming and I was certain that the place scared a few shades of life out of me. Once my heart rate returned to normal, though, I was able to take notice of what awaited guests at the end of the tour: a counter to buy drinks, a row of carnival-style games and free, classic video games — all manned by even more of the fabulously made-up ghosts and ghouls. But beware. Some of the more mischievous characters from the tour still like to haunt the game area.
Contact Jasmine Flores at email@example.com.