Halloween Haunted Houses: A Love/Hate Relationship
Welcome to the sarcastic sexy suspense stop on the 2015 Snarkology Halloween Hop!
Be sure to stick around until the end of the post for information on a freebie book, a few book giveaways and the massive hop-wide giveaway going on this week.
You know, I’ve never quite understood the allure of the haunted houses that pop up all over the place once October rolls around and pumpkin spice everything is in full swing. I’ve tried multiple times to enjoy them, but…I guess when you’ve lived in an actual haunted house, smoke in mirrors loses much of its appeal.
But the tale of what it was like to live in a 100-year-old Victorian home being restored as a child–and the ghostly encounters that came with it–is really a tale for another day. I mean, the traditional Halloween haunted house really doesn’t have much in common with houses that are truly haunted. Besides, I’ve got a funny haunted house story I’d rather share anyway.
Picture It. Halloween. Freshman Year
When I was in high school, our honors theater department had the opportunity to take part in Fright Fest, the annual haunted houses that Six Flags Over Texas puts on to add a little variety to rollercoasters and overpriced funnel cakes. Since the State Fair always comes to the metroplex at about the same time, and the local school districts always gave us a day off for it, those of us who lived closer to Six Flags than the fairgrounds used to head to the amusement park instead. I agreed to go with a guy who would end up as my boyfriend by the end of the day…although…looking back at how this story plays out, it’s pretty obvious why this one didn’t last long.
We did a few rides and then headed into one of the haunted houses. And I use that term loosely. It was more like a poorly constructed maze draped with enough black cloth and filled with the right amount of fog to make it semi-interesting. Reality check time: I was there in the middle of the day. In the absence of actual ethereal beings, any haunted house will seem cheesy as pizza in broad daylight.
So, we’re walking through the dark, foggy maze with the occasional blast of creepy music and flash of a black light to tempt us into forgetting that it’s still 9,000 degrees outside because we live in Texas. I kid you not, Boyfriend had just made a little quip about how he’d protect me when a shadow jumped out of the dark corner and grabbed his shoulder.
Boyfriend (whose name is clearly changed for his protection) shrieked like a very tiny, very scared 5-year-old girl. And jumped away from me, leaving a clear path for the psycho killer to get to me. You know, to protect me, right?
After the shriek of terror, things got eerily quiet and still for about 10 seconds before we heard, “Boyfriend? Is that Sydney with you? I didn’t know you two were a thing.”
Yeah. We knew the guy. Mutual friend. Totally blew whatever little suspension of disbelief we had going at that point.
As you can imagine, we got out of there in record time after that. Well, he did. I had a little trouble keeping up.
No More Haunted Houses for Me?
That was pretty much the last time I went to a Halloween haunted house…actual haunted houses, of course, are a different story. Even though every Halloween haunted house I’ve been to has been a disaster, I still love writing about them. Since Texas is one of those states where we can’t decide whether we love Halloween or think it’s a demonic celebration, it’s a toss-up whether you’ll get an actual haunted house or a fall festival that magically coincides with Halloween. Either way, the haunted house/fall festival fundraiser is a big deal for a lot of local schools–especially in the smaller, rural areas.
So, of course you know that’s going to seep into my writing. In fact, the Sherlock Shakespeare Mystery I’m working on right now features a Halloween haunted house fundraiser that just so happens to be legit haunted. Good thing teen sleuth Sherlock Shakespeare has the ability to communicate with ghosts, even if she’s currently doing her damnedest to pretend ghosts aren’t real.
Free Book Time, Yo!
Okay, so I was hoping to have THE CASE OF THE HAUNTED HAUNTED HOUSE ready to giveaway in time for Halloween, but life decided that plans were boring, so…
Please enjoy a copy of the sarcastic sexy suspense novel THE SHATTERED ALLIANCE available for free through all Amazon country sites October 26-October 30. Be sure to check the price before you download, you know, just in case Amazon gets glitchy on me.
We Need More Free Stuff, Right?
Okay, so THE CASE OF THE HAUNTED HAUNTED HOUSE isn’t ready yet, but the first Sherlock Shakespeare YA Paranormal Mystery, THE CASE OF THE MISSING MASCOT, is totally ready to go. If you’d like a chance to win the first book in the series right now and get a copy of the next installment sent to you the moment it’s ready to go, be sure to leave a comment to enter. Just remember to provide a valid email address so that I’ll know how to contact the winner. As usual, my cat will pick the winner(s) on video on November 1.
Note: I won’t use your email address to spam you, but you will be added to the newsletter rolling out in January unless you specifically add “OPT OUT” at the end of your comment. (I’ve got fun stuff planned though, so you might want to stick around if you’d like to know how a hero cat with catnip addiction, a possessed plate and an idiot savant kitten team up to save the world, like, a lot.)
Recap before I give you the info on the hop-wide giveaway and send you off to trick-or-treat at another stop:
Trick-Or-Treat For More Great Prizes
Enter for a chance to win:
(1) $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or
(1) $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
Now, leave your comment to enter the drawing for some free ebooks and head off to check out these awesome peeps:
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED
The winners of The Case of the Missing Mascot (right now) and The Case of the Haunted Haunted House (when it’s released are:
- Renee G.
- Frances Eborn
- Karen Brozina
- Katherine Riley
I was only going to do three sets, but two names stuck together when I drew the third one, so let’s call that a sign.
© 2015, Sydney Katt. All rights reserved.