We went to all three "haunts," doing the evil clown one ("Dr. Bile's Freak Pit and Museum of Oddities") first. That was my least favorite 'cause it was just a smidgen too dark, lightwise, but it was chock full of gibbering evil clowns. You just can't go wrong with evil clowns. Although my favorite part might have been watching the group behind us. At the end, there's a chainsaw-wielding scary that lunges out and chases you from the premises, and one of those guys had apparently seen one too many slasher flicks. When Scary-chainsaw Guy came after him, he bolted out the door, launched himself over the stairwell, and tumbled down the embankment, before getting to his feet and pelting off. Goodness. I'm surprised he didn't hurt himself. Also, he left his female companion in his dust. Mmmf.
Next up was "Cursed," a more traditional haunt with undead bugaboos, cemetery decor, smoke effects, and shambling ghouls throughout. It was gorgeous! Some of the animatronics were mind-bogglingly impressive: huge, gargoyle-type creatures gesturing and snarling overhead, demonesque monsters flailing and writhing. Wow. I actually wished there'd been fewer monsters lunging out at me so I could just enjoy the spectacle of it without having my heart leaping into my throat at regular intervals. But y'know, gotta keep the adrenalin surging.
And last was "Shock-o-Rama," a psychedelic, 3D haunt full of fluorescent paint black light effects and twisted/macabre scenes to admire (I especially liked the twisted fairy tales gallery and the dominatrix Snow White with her sub Dwarfs) and a maze of mirrors--the kind you actually get lost in while scary monsters perch in the center stock-still, only to lunge out at you when you turn your back on them.
Tons o'scary fun, and I highly recommend it as a great way to start off the Halloween season.
Mary Robinette Kowal put together a raffle to help save Apex Digest. Inspired! I donated a signed copy of my chapbook, Inspirations End/Still My Beating Heart, to the cause, as well as my editing services. I'll edit/critique a story (up to 8k) to the winner. And there's tons of other great stuff, like autographed books by Brian Keene, Kevin J. Anderson, and Sherrilyn Kenyon; subscriptions to magazines including Dark Discoveries, Shimmer, and Clarkesworld Magazine; original artwork; and sexy outgoing phone messages by voice actor (and Shimmer editor) Mary Robinette Kowal. Go buy a raffle ticket, yo! Only one dollar each, amazing schtuff to be won!
- Part 1 of my article, "Writing Multicultural Fiction for Children," is now up at Writing-World.