Monday, October 10, 2011

Common Ground: Terror!

I've been enjoying this all day. Click it!

Some of these photos seem like fakes, but a lot seem completely legit. Anyone who has ever visited a haunted house during Halloween knows what's up. You go with your friends, you get all revved up, and you walk through, hoping to scream and yell, hoping not to pee. But honestly, how scary could any Halloween haunted house be?

Maybe really scary. Maybe just a bunch of Gomers in goth makeup going RARRR. I'm completely capable of being startled and, with a group hyped up on sugars and mob mentality, I am capable of reaching full girly shriekiness. True terror? Nah. Because you have to believe in ghosts and demons, I think. And even the surreal specter of true murder and horror, i.e. Texas Chainsaw Screamfest Saw Hostel on Crack in Europe makes me think, ehhhh, probably won't happen to me. Even participants in The Human Centipede never thought it would happen to them, right? But then, I'm not renting any cars in backwoods Europe like some idiots.

But there are plenty of people who believe in that otherworldly threat: ghosts, demons, malevolent magicians. And I guess that's why the haunted mansion/hay ride/cousin Eddie's bathroom of Meth really works for them. I respect that. I remember when I encountered my first true incident of superstition: In the dark, I crawled up the stairs in pursuit of my boyfriend and spoke in a "devil" voice. It freaked him out so much that he called a MAJOR "Time Out" and proceeded to command me to never, ever pull that shit on him again. Heh. Catholics.

I saw The Exorcist sometime during my teens and I was completely horrified. NOT terrified, horrified. Because how could they let that little girl pretend to stab herself in the nethers and scream, well, what she screamed. Seeing her defiled face spitting pea soup was gross, not scary. And I do not mean to discredit the beliefs of others is just that the faith I was raised in did not ever focus on demons, possession, etc. It just wasn't part of my belief system. So the one thing that really freaked me out was the sacrilege of what they'd filmed. It bothered me. It still does.

But I do get the fright of things that are genuinely scary. I have a recurring dream of a man and woman I know. They have a family. It is night and I am going to the house because I am worried. In some of the dreams I am outside in the dark, hearing the shots, and running. In others, I don't know what's happened and I enter the house to find them: the mother, the children. In others, I get to the door and he finds me and puts the gun to my face. In others, I somehow get away. Sometimes I am the woman, dead.

That is scary. A real thing that is scary. Demons may come to possess me, but it is far more likely to be running down an alley, shrieking for help to closed, dark windows, and cold streetlights.

This got dark, yo! Let me turn it around. My pleasure in finding these pictures is the following:

  1. I love the groups, how mixed they are, how different. You can see many cultures here. I know it is Sick As Hell, but I find great comfort in knowing that we all crave these cheap thrills. It's not a We Are The World moment, but definitely in the Coke commercial range.
  2. Scream Chains: Some of these groups are 7 and 8 people long. See how they cling to each other in uniform terror! I love it.
  3. Shirt yanking and catching a feel: Many participants left with stretched-out shirts, some left with warm handprints on their boobies. Some warm boobies were male.
  4. The Escape Artist: Priceless. I love the shots of people screaming in terror and the one guy leaping out of the frame. He's all like, "Fuck ya! I'ma live!"
  5. Men Clutching Men (see Scream Chains) and also shrieking like peacocks in the rain. Self. Explanatory.

I encourage anyone who can to visit a haunted something this Halloween season. Revel in the shared humanity. And, PS., there are no ghosts. Or demons. Do we really need them in this world? C'mon.

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