Saturday, October 17, 2015

A Funny Halloween Memory at the Spooky Walk

I’d like to preface this story by saying that I am not only a man, but I’m also a chicken. I’m afraid of lots of things: spiders, snakes, lightning and thunder, dogs (some of them), and especially things that go bump in the night. I can be very jumpy at times, scaring others with my often over the top reactions to being startled.

Halloween is all about being scared, but the kind of scary you experience during Halloween is fun. I’ve got a lot of funny personal memories of Halloween, and many of them involve these haunted hayride/haunted house thingys events that have become so popular in recent years. My funniest personal Halloween memory took place at one such event called the Spooky Walk.

The Spooky Walk is held at a campground in Moriches, NY. It was one of the first of its kind in these parts, and still one of the best. The setting is perfect for scaring the bejeezus out of people and sending others into fits of hysterical laughter. There’s an old cemetery adjacent to the grounds that’s in plain sight for fun seekers as they wait their turn for a walk through the woods.

Vampires, werewolves, and zombies lurk about amongst the trees waiting to pounce on unsuspecting hikers. Mad scientists display their wondrous and odd experiments in their laboratories. Bands of wily pirates beckon walkers to their fiery camp along the lake. And then there are the more recent monsters like Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers (no relation), and Jason.

One year, late in October, Joe, myself and a couple of friends decided to make our annual trip to the Spooky Walk for some frights and laughs. It turned out to be the funniest of all Halloween memories. I remember it was a cold, cold night, an early frost taking a bite out of our fall. The line was long, as it usually was, and we chatted about excitedly waiting our turn to enter the campgrounds and see what new frights these folks had in store for us.

After about an hour’s wait, we finally came to the front of the line. Zombies greeted us at the first turn, triggering the first screams from my friend Vera, a notorious screamer. Slowly, we made our way through the walk. Much of it was the same as it had been the year before, but still very frightening and fun. Then, towards the end of our journey, we came upon a new exhibit.

The four of us walked through a narrow path through some thick brush. Straight ahead of us sat a small outhouse with a door-less doorway. It was dark inside. My eyes fixated on that doorway, fully expecting some sort of creature to come charging out of the darkness towards us. My heart started beating quicker from all the anticipation.

We inched slowly towards the opening, trying to determine which way the path would lead us. My heart raced! Suddenly, there was the sound of a chainsaw being started up. I was the last to see the man in the hockey mask coming out of the bushes to our right, with the revving chainsaw in hand. I instinctively screamed like a little girl, running in the opposite direction, away from this Jason character, and in the process I knocked Joe to the ground.

I turned to see Jason standing over Joe, mask removed, asking him if he was okay. He was fine. He helped Joe to his feet and the four of us continued on our way, the three of them hysterically laughing at my panicked reaction all the way back to the car. We made our way home after a long evening and when we got there, Joe could not find his house keys.

We searched the car, on the ground, and every place in between. Then seemingly out of nowhere, the four of us were hit with the same notion. Uh oh! My friend Joey said. I bet they’re back at the Spooky Walk. Without a word, the four of us jumped back into the car and rode the twenty minutes back to the campground.

We explained the situation to the operators of the event, who brought us over to where Jason lurked at his post. They shut the area down and turned on some floodlights. Sure enough, the keys were laying on the ground right in the spot where I had knocked Joe to the ground in my panic. The three of them looked at me disapprovingly.

What? I was scared!

Once again, we all broke out in laughter. Every once in awhile, when some of us are together, we reminisce about that night. That evening at the Spooky Walk remains as one of my funniest personal memories of Halloween to this day.

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