Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Haunted Dates

As you know, (or at least you should know if you follow my life with the rabid obsession that I assume you do) I have an annual tradition of going to a haunted house every October with my little sister, Mellen.

This year was no different.  However, there was a small complication.  Mellen was very pregnant and little Adalyn was going to come out any minute.  I was a little nervous, and part of me thought we should call it off.  Mellen assured me that she would not give birth in a haunted house.  I told her if I had to deliver a baby I was keeping it.  She didn't actually agree to those terms, but she seemed confident enough so I went with it.

We had heard that the Castle of Chaos was supposed to be pretty good.  I bought a Groupon that said that it was good starting October 1st at the Castle of Chaos. We drove up there the first weekend in October, all ready to get scared out of our minds.  There was a nice man there letting people know that it wasn't open.  He said, "Sorry, we tried to get the Groupon site to say it won't be open today."

I agree that the Groupon site should reflect that.  However, the website also said they were open.  Oh well.

For most people, they would have come the next weekend and not worried about it.  Unfortunately, if we came any later, Mellen was going to give birth and I was not interested in delivering a baby.  We decided that the Haunted Forest was a tried and true haunt, so we'd go there.

That's when we learned that where the Haunted Forest was supposed to be was a car dealership.  Luckily, Google knew where it had moved to.  We found it and had a great time.
You always have to pose being tortured.

Who do you think wore it better?
I actually think the new location is better than the old.  It's in a more rural area and really feels like you're in a forest and not just a grove of trees in the city.
Aren't we so cute?
The forest isn't as done up as it used to be.  There is lots of area where you're just walking on a dark path wondering if someone is going to jump out at you.  But truthfully, I think it works really well.  The old Haunted Forest had more things to see and more "scary" areas.  But there's something creepy about just walking down a dark path.  The lack of things jumping out at you makes the ones that do jump out more scary.  I really liked it.

We had a great time at the Haunted Forest but I still had a Groupon for Castle of Chaos.  

As predicted, Mellen had her baby and she was not up for going to any more haunts in the month of October.  Luckily, Castle of Chaos was open until November 14th.  So we decided to make a go of it on the last night it was open.
We tried to get a selfie with the sign, but the phone couldn't make out the bright words in the dark.
But we did get a selfie with the grim reaper as he hung over the door, so there's that.
Castle of Chaos has a thing where you can sign a waiver and the actors are allowed to touch you and move you.  They say that if you do that, you may get separated from your group.  We decided to go with a no touching policy since we came together in order to actually be together.  However, we quickly discovered that it's designed around people being touched.  The whole thing is super tiny.  If you're not being dragged around by the actors you just walk by other people being dragged around.  We quickly learned that there isn't much there for people who don't want to be touched.  We walked through the whole thing in 15 minutes.

I get that the program is designed around the "X-scream Hands on" as they call it.  And it actually looked like those people were having a fun experience.  But, I don't think they should offer anything besides that since there aren't really any scares for people who aren't participating in that.  Several areas were completely abandoned because the actors (I assume) had gone off with someone already.

Oh well, I guess we just weren't meant to do 2 haunted houses, especially not in November.   Maybe we'll try the Castle of Chaos again in 3 or 4 years after they've gotten more established in their new location.  For now, it wasn't too great.

It was fun hanging out with Mellen, and the Haunted Forest was really good.  The Haunted Date was still a success despite the attempts to thwart our good times.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Colonists, Pirates and Murder

Robyn and I recently had the opportunity to solve a murder.

It wasn't a real murder.  It was just a pretend murder.  Pretending that people were murdered is fun.  You should try it some time.

Anyway, our friend Jackie and her husband Giuseppe hosted a murder mystery party.  It took place at a tavern in colonial times where colonists and pirates come to drink their cares away.  Naturally, I was the governor of the colony and Robyn was a pirate wench.  We had to be mortal enemies for the night, but she was sure a cute pirate.
Do you see the preciousness?  I especially appreciate that this tavern had the Proclamation to the Family on the wall.
It was super fun.  Each character had secrets that they knew and could trade those secrets for other information.  Throughout the night the story unfolds and different character's motivations are revealed.  I did solve the mystery.  It was my BFF Jared W.  I always knew he was a murderer.

Jared is the sailor in the lower right.  His fiance, Breanna was the Governor's daughter, so he was begging for my blessing the whole night.  I finally told him it was okay to marry her even though he was a murderer.
I have to admit that I probably wouldn't have solved the mystery if Giuseppe hadn't shared some clues that helped me put the pieces together.  So, though I was one of 3 people to solve it, Giuseppe should really get the award.

But there was an even more important award available.  We all voted on the best costume, and Robyn won for her excellent pirate attire.
Aren't you so proud of her?

So if you need a mystery solved, I'm your guy.  If you need a good dresser, Robyn is your go to girl.  (Clearly that title would never go to me.)
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