This is the story of how I (very reluctantly) agreed to go to a “Haunted House” on the weekend. Despite the fact that kids were coming out laughing and without fearful faces, I nearly cried. It turned out to be a combination of “The Grudge” and “The Ring” – thus my worst fear in real life.
A “Haunted House” has opened up on one of the popular streets in Matusyama. My friend Katie, who loves scary movies and scary things in general, suggested that we go. Not wanting to seem like a giant scaredy cat, I agreed to go alone, as did Catherine. Zeno, however, was clearly too frightened, and left us girls to go by ourselves.
On our way there we met another ALT friend, who told us about his experience going last year. He told us that it was not the least bit scary because the people working there, upon seeing the foreigners entering, just shouted “JESUS” the whole time. I find this to be the most amusing thing they could have shouted and was at this point hoping the same thing would happen to us. It did not.
The line to enter was long and mostly filled with children. Katie’s students, to be exact, who wanted to go through the house with us. Luckily there were too many of us, so we had to go on our own (this turned out to be a blessing, as I would not have wanted the kids to see my in the state I was in).
We bought our tickets and went inside. Each group (for us, the three of us) goes in one at a time and the whole experience is about 2 minutes long. At first, it is difficult to see anything at all, and we have a quick debate over who should go first. Obviously it would not be me, as I had already latched myself onto Katie, with my arms around her waist and my face buried into her back. She would tell me afterwards that her shoes kept coming off because I kept stepping on her feet. I obviously didn’t even notice this because I was so afraid. So, on we go. We can’t tell what we are walking on, the texture of the floor keeps changing, and we can’t see where we are going. Things aren’t so bad until we approach some stairs. After walking up them we can hear scary voices. This is where true terror sets in. People, in full “The Grudge” and “The Ring” style, with hair in front of their faces, arms out, come chasing us. I scream like a crazy woman, Katie and Catherine are saying “Jesus, Jesus” in an attempt to make the situation lighter, and we rush by each person. More keep coming, however, and in my pure horror I scream “RUN”, and as I round the corner I can see the light of the finish. Scary people are in my way, however, so I push Catherine towards them scream “KEEP RUNNING” and aim for the light. The light, it turns out, is the end, and opens over top of the line to enter the haunted house – something I didn’t notice coming out, maybe because no one came out screaming in pure horror like me. We were supposed to attach our tickets to the last wall before we exited the house, but I was already out and there was no way I was going back in. Catherine thought she would though, and opened the door back up to stick her ticket in, but the people were waiting for her, and she quickly came back out again.
Although we survived, I think the moral of this story is: you would not want to be stuck with me in any time of horror, as apparently I lose all sense of safety for my friends and focus only on escaping myself.
I’m ever going to a Japanese Haunted House again.