In the Halloween spirit—I won’t be home tomorrow night; I’ll be in Chicago at the Hawks game—I wanted to pass along the following Tribune piece by Christopher Borelli about war stories from haunted house employees who deal annually with losers (often drunk, often high-school age) who become belligerent, sometimes to the point of throwing a punch.
The article reminded me of a gig my brother had years ago for a local, higher-budget haunted house where he played a rat-like creature in a full latex mask (which I understand was difficult to breathe in), and often dealt with teenage guys who would hassle him, and sometimes slap his face and bolt from the room like real men.
My God, there are so many people on Earth who need a good beating.
As for me, during my brief stint as a student at NIU (circa 1989-90), I was talked one October into working a very low-budget haunted house set up in a dorm basement, and had a mixed experience.
The first night, when I was told to stay in a wide-open room—where it was impossible to sneak up on anyone—it was total boredom. The second (and final) night, however, I moved into another, darkened room where an ad-hock maze was built out of scrap wood and cardboard.
At first, I enjoyed jumping out and scaring kids, but soon found I could crawl and roll under the maze’s cardboard walls allowing me to grab a chick’s leg and quickly disappear.
I was also hit on relentlessly by a cute girl (who called me “pooky”) working the same room, but then oddly never saw her again.
Good times, I say. Good times.