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Boo, did I scare you yet?

By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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Scaring people is kind of addicting. At least, this is what I learned last Wednesday when I volunteered at the Haunted Castle in McBean Park. I was apprehensive about doing this at first because I scare easily. I scare so easily that when I first toured the Haunted Castle, I was freaked out even though it was during the day, and there was no one there to jump out at me. Not knowing what to expect, I did have some stipulations for where I wanted to be placed in the castle. The stipulations were that I would have to a) in a spot where I wouldn’t be confined and b) have an easy way to exit if I became too freaked out. And I wasn’t even going to be walking through the castle! Soon after arriving at McBean Park, Countryside Haunters volunteer Sally Tripp walked me through the castle, showing me spots where I could hide before jumping out to scare visitors. I chose the spot that seemed the least confining and scary, which was the tunnel of arms. I waited with a prosthetic arm to poke through a crack at those walking through the tunnel. Wes Tripp, a Countryside Haunters volunteer, told me the tunnel of arms was somewhat new so it was up to me to decide how to scare our visitors. I played around with just screaming at spectators as they walked by but it didn’t work so well. However, I couldn’t help but giggle, hearing the roars and screams coming from the other actors, and the shrieks and yells from frightened visitors. I found the best way to scare people in the tunnel or arms was to scream and poke them with the fake arm simultaneously. My stipulations for where I wanted to be placed started to break down after I started to get a little bored with where I was at so I was glad when Sally rotated the actors. The next spot I covered was in the room with the monsters and I hid behind some sheets, underneath a seven-foot tall monster. It was definitely more fun jumping out at people from under the monster because I could hear visitors trying to guess where the “scare” would be in the room. Most of the time, I could elicit screams from those I screamed and jumped out at, although there were some who guessed where I was hiding. A lot of them thought I was either a little kid or midget since I am 4 foot, 9 inches but they were wrong because I am neither midget nor child. I know this sounds sadistic but I really enjoyed scaring people. Hearing them scream because I made them actually made me want to giggle a little bit but I didn’t because a giggling ghoul kind of downplays the scare factor. I walked through the haunted castle the next night with my husband. He was excited and I was terrified. See, even though I’d already been the one scaring people, the thought of people in dark places popping out of nowhere was still scary to me. Walking through the castle, I found myself not being scared but amused and excited to see the people involved in the haunted house that I had enjoyed getting to know through covering the haunted castle. Volunteering at the haunted castle is something this reporter will definitely do again next year.