First haunted house almost ended up being my last PDF Print E-mail
Written by George Browning   
Tuesday, 10 October 2017 09:48

It’s hard to say with the destruction we’ve seen on TV caused from the weather, but here in the Ohio Valley, we sure have been blessed with a great end to the summer.
August is usually the hottest month of the summer and this year, there were only a couple of days where the temperature was even worth mentioning.

Then September came in like a lamb.

This is the week when we usually see bon fires and pumpkin spice everything start flooding the market, but that has been underway for a couple of weeks.

With fall in full swing, I thought I’d share my first haunted house experience.

I was in the fifth grade and my friend Todd told me his family had connections at a Haunted House on Preston Highway in Louisville.

Those two words were music to my ears, “Free Tickets.”

There was a problem, though larger than most kids – I was a bit of, let’s just say, scarddy cat.

I wasn’t a fan of things that go bump in the night, I didn’t like the dark and honestly my instinct when someone or something jumps out at me, is to draw back my fist.

Todd, like most good best friends do, encouraged me to face my fears head-on and not wanting him to spread my unwillingness to do that to the entire Okalona Elementary fifth grade, I was in.

The line was long and and the screams from within the house had me thinking that any fifth-grade ridicule that I would face from backing out wouldn’t be so bad.

I am not sure what it was, but something kept me there and though it may be revisionist memory on my part, no one was aware of the inner struggle I was facing.

We went through the house and really it wasn’t so bad. There were a few moments that startled me, but they kept us moving so fast, I never felt like my life was in danger.

At one point, I even started doing what I see a lot of young boys do, make jokes to seem even cooler than I was.

Then the fast moving line we were walking in stopped.

This couldn’t be part of the plan? Why had we not stopped until now? Was there something wrong ahead? Had there been a mass murder on Preston Highway?

The room we stopped in featured a coffin and in the coffin was Dracula’s wife or at least I assume it was his wife.

Behind the coffin a very tall and very real looking Dracula stood watch over his wife. Sprinkled throughout the room were some of Dracula’s friends.

All at once, the woman in the coffin woke and sat straight up.

She seemed very mad and wanted to know who woke her from her sleep! That’s when things went next level.

This crazy woman pointed to me and said, “It was him!”

Every ounce of fake “toughness” I had built to this point was gone in a flash.

Then what was already next level got even more next level when she continued to point at me and then said, “It was George!”

As she said my name, Dracula and his friends started to walk toward me.

Just as my scream reached glass-breaking levels, they whisked us out and we were behind the haunted house.

My friend Todd was doubled over laughing. There wasn’t social media back then, but whatever the equivelant was, this story was hitting the circuit.

After I caught my breath I asked Todd how in the world they could have known my name and he confessed that it was his aunt who was in the coffin and the entire thing was staged.

I love the line from “Stand By Me,” “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?”

Todd and I grew apart as friends, but he helped me find my love for fall, and haunts, and things that go bump in the night!

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