My Nightmare in Nashville

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So, there is one thing that Luna has held us back from doing this year…haunted houses. They aren’t exactly baby friendly and it isn’t easy to find a babysitter, especially one who can sit until very late at night. Last year we went to 11 haunted houses, this year we finally made it to one on Husband’s 30th birthday.

We went to Nashville Nightmare in downtown after the annual Birthday dinner at the Melting Pot. As always, the lines were long, the crowds were obnoxious and 97% of them were smoking. (What is that attracts smokers to haunted houses?) Since we’re awesome we managed to entertain ourselves by being hilarious and playing Heads Up. We also began reminiscing about previous years haunted house experiences. I arrogantly began saying things like, “I wish I got as scared as I used to get….I guess I’ve just been to so many Haunted Houses over the years that they no longer frighten me…It kind of takes the thrill away.” Well, you know what happens when you’re overconfident, right? The universe come back to bite you in the butt, which is exactly what happened.

If you’ve ever been to a haunted house, you’ve probably had the pleasure of avoiding the creepy costumed people who walk around spooking everyone waiting in the long lines. I have never EVER been scared by these people, ever. But, as they say, there’s always a first time for everything. First, there was the creepy guy-in-mask who leaned on me for too long, then there was shovel-dragger, then scream-in-my-ear man and scare-me-from-behind girl…all made me jump and embarrassingly scream, but it didn’t end there. In fact, all that jumping and screaming made me one big target.

During my turn at Heads Up, I was going for a record (and you know I’m very competitive), when a zombie girl came over to try and scare me. She startled me as she snuck up from behind and whispered something creepy in my ear. I tried my best to ignore her because I was clearly trying to win the game. The zombie chick did not give up. She began panting in my ear and literally breathing down my neck. Now… you must know that I hate, absolutely HATE, strangers touching me, and breathing on me might be even worse.

I wanted to throw-up and take a hot shower after I felt her hot breath in my ear. OMG, I am reliving it as I type this and I just want to curl in a ball in cry, which, ironically enough, is what I did. I tried to move away from her quickly and continue playing the game, but the more I moved the more determined she became. She got in my face, stared into my eyes, and KEPT HEAVILY PANTING ON ME. The girl would not let up. At this point, I was close to panic mode, I began running circles around our little group and was laughing/squealing as I tried to play it cool and really did not know how to react. I guess laughing is my defense mechanism?

THEN, get this, another zombie girl sees the spectacle we are creating and decides to join in on the fun. The two of them are coming at me from all sides and my only choice is to curl into a ball in cover my face. They were touching me, breathing on me, panting, whispering and making me soooooooooooooooo uncomfortable. I was trying to yell or scare them off or something, but really I was only capable of mumbling “stop” from behind my hands. That is until, zombie chic #2 decided to up the ante and bite me.

Yes, she bit me, with teeth. I instantly stood and shouted, “OMG she bit me! That’s against the rules!” For some reason the “no one will touch you, if you don’t touch them” haunted house rule compelled me to finally shake off these creepers. I felt as if she broke a commandment. I mean, really, that one rule is what has always convinced me that I’ll be okay in a haunted house. I used to constantly go over that one rule before entering to assure myself that nothing bad could possibly happen, and this girl had the nerved to break the golden haunted house rule!

Everyone in line who wasn’t already watching the little show, was now looking at us, and I was not the only one horrified that I’d been bitten. Zombie girl #1 even felt compelled to tell me that she was not the biter. Although, heavy breathing in one’s ear isn’t much better than biting.

The 2 Haunted houses at Nashville Nightmare were good, even scary, but the creepers in line were definitely the worst part. And, I will never again say aloud that I have not been scared in a very long time.

Anyone else get frightened this year? Or bitten?

Cheers!

The Final Haunt

Saturday night we went to one last haunted attraction here in Tennessee. We have been to eight haunted houses this year, but had to squeeze in one more, even if Halloween had already passed. Why? Well, who wouldn’t want to go on a haunted hayride that requires you to shoot zombies with paintball guns?! Not us. We got our friends and drove to Columbia, TN to get a glimpse of what it would be like if The Walking Dead were reality and not just one of the best things on TV right now.

their symbol

MIller’s Thrillers has, unbeknownst to us, been around for 6 years. They have the Zombie Haunted Hayride, the Haunted Woods and an Entertainment Zone. We paid the $30 for all attractions and got in the long line for the hayride first. We had to wait for an hour and a half, which stunk, but wasn’t terrible. For one thing, smoking was not allowed! Yay! The lines for both attractions are in the Entertainment Zone. So, while we were waiting we got to watch their Zombie drum-line, a comedian Zombie, a juggler and an illusionist. Unfortunately, between waiting for the hayride and waiting for the Haunted Woods, we saw the show about 5 times. When things got boring, we played Head’s Up!

entertainment zone

We saw dozens of people playing Head’s Up in line at Halloween Horror Nights a few weeks ago, so we downloaded the app and gave it a try. Turned out to be hilarious, really fun, and a good way to pass the time. You pick a category (like movie titles), put the phone on your head, titles come up and the people around you have to give you hints or act out what is on the screen. If you guess correctly, just flip the phone down and back up and another title comes up. Try it. Everyone in line wanted to play with us or download the app themselves.

heads up

Okay, the hayride was pretty cool. The concept was genius; everyone wants to hurt the scary people in haunted houses and have the chance to shoot a paintball gun without the fear of getting shot in return. The trip began with 20 of us being split into two groups: The Black Ops and Code Red. Everyone is told that their job is to save the town by killing as many zombies as possible. We were then loaded into a trailer lined with 10 guns on each side. Everyone got 75 paintballs (more if you pay extra) and the ride began! It was fun to ride around hunting for scary zombies, but it went by too fast and it would be better if their were about twice as many zombies. We will have to go back next year and see if it improves from year to year.

zombie paintball

Back in line, we drank hot chocolate and took a bunch of ridiculous photos of us squinting into the flash. They all came out horribly…

surprised

Stilt people and ballon animal/swords
Stilt people and ballon animal/swords

squinty happy crazy faces

We are all just so photogenic.

The Haunted Woods was the BEST, and I mean THE BEST haunted attraction we went to this year. Monster Mountain was cool, Dead Land Woods was cooler, but Miller’s Thrillers takes the prize. It wasn’t even the scariest, it was just so good in so many ways! First of all, it was long. I think it took us 45 minutes to walk through, (although we did stop for a while when we lost our friend Steve). The trail is amazing. It winds up and down hills, goes through huge natural rocks, swinging bridges and thick trees. It’s so nice that I want to go back and walk through it during the day. The actors and scenes were good and unique too. It was unlike any other haunted house/attraction.

They actually take a photo of you at the beginning of the trails right after the jump out and scare you out of your seats. That's a legit scared face.
They take a photo of you at the beginning of the trails right after they jump out and scare you out of your seats. That’s apparently my scared face.
Zombie dance party!
Zombie dance party!

*Spoiler Alert: The trail led up to a haunted building, which then led to a pitch black tunnel that opened up to a dark maze! We didn’t even realize we were in a maze at first. The maze then dumped us into a dance party room and the entire thing ended in a spinning tunnel full of lights that made all of us almost topple over. It was SO good!

Don’t you want to go???

After 4 hours at Miller’s Thrillers we had everyone over for a backyard bonfire and weenie roast. Thank God the time changed; we needed that extra hour.

bonfire

It was such a good night. Husband and I felt completely hungover the next day. I, of course, drank nothing, and I’m fairly certain he had one beer. Just goes to show you that we are getting old and staying up all night is starting to take it’s toll! Oh well, it doesn’t seem to slow us down.

Cheers!

It’s Halloween-O-Ween Everybody!

Happy Halloween and Happy 30th Birthday to one of my bestest friends, Danica! xoxo

Here we are...totally acting our age
Here we are…totally acting our age

I love today! We have celebrated all month! We have gone to a pumpkin patch, carved pumpkins, been to a couple haunted houses (or haunted woods), celebrated at Mickey’s-Not-So-Scary Party at Disney, walked with the dead at Universal’s Horror Nights and had a horror movie/whiskey night last weekend! This weekend we are going on a haunted hayride where you get to shoot zombies with paintballs! (For real!) However, tonight, October 31st…we have no plans.

It’s Thursday, it’s storming, we live in the woods in what most would consider the middle of nowhere (so no trick-or-treaters) and I’m pregnant… there just isn’t a whole lot to do tonight. I’m thinking It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, a pumpkins spiced latte and American Horror Stories are in the cards for tonight.

What are your plans for tonight? Anyone lucky enough to not be stuck in a storm?

Here’s an ode to Halloween’s Past (I have SO many costume pictures that I can’t find! I’ve been Miss Frizzle, Lucille Ball, Hermoine, Tinkerbell and so much more! These will just have to do):

Thriller! Halloween 2009 at my former job.
Thriller! Halloween 2009 at my former job.
Halloween in Albania 2012
Halloween in Albania 2012
Bumblebee and Ninja, Halloween 2009
Bumblebee and Ninja, Halloween 2009
An owl, also at work last year, 2012
An owl, also at work last year, 2012
A raincloud at work last year 2012
A rain cloud at work last year 2012

And, of course, Belle…

BumbleBelle!
BumbleBelle!

Have a Spook-tacular night!

Cheers!

Monster Mountain

I get scared very easily. We all know now that death and sickness cause me lots of anxiety, but I am also just a jumpy, scream-easily, sort of girl. One of Husband’s favorite hobbies is hiding around every corner of the house and jumping out and scaring the bejesus out of me EVERY SINGLE TIME. I have nightmares after watching Pretty Little Liars and I will not go downstairs when I am home alone at night. (Although, it’s possible this is just my clever attempt to get out of finishing the laundry.)

I get scared very easily, but I LOVE scary things. Not real scary things (like cancer or bugs), but Halloween scary things, like Children of the Corn and haunted houses. I LOVE dressing up, carving pumpkins, holding the covers around my face as I scream at Michael Myers and running blindly through dark haunted houses. I love it so much that I am dedicating several October blog posts to reviewing local (and not-so local) Haunted Houses.

OMG, so scary!
OMG, so scary!

My first haunted house of the season was Monster Mountain, located just north of Nashville. Before my Monster Mountain experience I should tell you a bit about the attraction. The idea is that you are walking through multiple horror movies, which makes you the “star” of each scene. You roam through “the cabin of the dead”, walk to “Voodoo Bayou 2”, find a scary side to Santa in “Krampus: Home For the Holidays” and even get a taste of the Walking Dead in “Zombie City 2”. It’s an outdoor haunted area that spans 20 acres. You must walk uphill, through some brush, over a “swamp”  and through the woods. However, there are houses and shacks every 30 yards or so that house most of the actions.

My face before entering the clown themed movie scene
My face before entering the clown themed movie scene

*Disclaimer: Like all haunted houses, there are rules. One being, pregnant people should probably not attend. Before, I get several emails and calls from my concerned loved ones I want to make it clear that this rule is only because of tripping hazards. I am not quite to the point in my pregnancy where I am unable to see my feet and felt very comfortable walking slowly through the scary scenes. I also forced Husband and Steve to each hold an arm so there was no chance of falling. Promise.*

They had a large TV playing scenes from scary movies to entertain us as we waited in line.
They had a large TV playing scenes from scary movies to entertain us as we waited in line.

Now, let’s get down to business. Monster Mountain is scary, as it should be. We tiptoed around corners, ran from zombies who followed us and argued over who had to go first (never me). I have two favorite scenes. One being the first house (cabin?).

 

As we walked up towards the porch we seriously questioned whether or not we were walking towards a real person’s creepy front porch. Then right as we decided to keep going, the door opened and a giggly bald overweight beat-up man stood in the doorway. He appeared to be out of his mind. A second later he closed the door and when it swung back open, he was gone and the door was left opened, obviously inviting us to enter. My second favorite scene was the Zombie town. It was like walking through a combination of the wild west and The Walking Dead.

scared

The sets were great! A lot of work went into preparing each movie scene. I especially liked that it was not just a bunch of fake cut-up bloody body pieces, there was more detail and interesting set pieces than your typical haunted house. I also like the fact that the attraction covered such a big area. It gave us an opportunity to walk through by ourselves. If we caught up with a large group in front of us we could just wait or walk slowly, allowing them to get ahead of us. Or, if a group caught up to us we could simply allow them to go ahead. Haunted Houses are so much better and scarier when you can’t hear the people in front of you getting scared by what’s to come.

I do have a suggestion for Monster Mountain: more actors. The actors they had were good, good costumes and good acting. There just weren’t enough. I am sure this is largely related to the fact that it is a large and spread-out haunted attraction. It would be difficult and expensive to hire tons of scarers, but there were a few areas that seemed lacking in that department.

There is a dance club scene that appeared to be just a dance club. There are disco balls, colored lights, great dance music, poles, a huge floor…and nothing scary. Obviously, we decided to have a 5 minute dance party and danced our hearts out until we were sweating. FINALLY, as we left a creepy monster came running out of a hole near the exit door scaring the crap out of us. I can’t believe the monster waited, crouched in that little hole as we took our sweet time partying.

The scariest part for me was the guy with a chainsaw. There are two things that scare me most in a haunted house, one is a chainsaw, and Monster Mountain has two!

Overall, I give Monster Mountain 4.5 out of 5 skulls.

4.5

 

I wish I had more photos to share but it’s not easy to take photos in a haunted house. “Excuse me, scary murderer holding a chainsaw, could you run out one more time, and uh look a little angrier this time, thanks!” It just doesn’t work.

Can’t wait to share more next weekend!

Cheers!