Haunted Carnival or Kiddie Carnival?

My eyes adjusted to the dark the moment I walked into the black box where I was immediately startled by a loud crash! My head jerked upwards to land on a pair of crash cymbals in the hands of a deranged ringmaster cackling at our group. 


Straight after, I was frightened by a ghost girl, who had come around the corner and maniacally laughed in my face. I continued on, wary of my surroundings. I came upon a half-door, and that same ringmaster popped out, grabbing a patron and pulling him in, screechily laughing. Whipping my head around, I had seen a kind boy running from behind a corner, hopelessly trying to warn us about an exit, but was doomed by a ghost pulling him into a closet.


Just when I was beginning to calm myself down, I had turned around and come face to face with that same ghoulish girl from earlier before, who then screamed in our entire group’s faces. We then made our way down a separate hallway, where clowns roamed all around us, and we pretended to not be affected or frightened.


Perhaps the most frightening room was the one we set foot in next, where a girl was lying on the ground, pleading for help. It clicked as to why as we went deeper into them room, where a madwoman was “asking” crazily if we wanted to join her collection of dolls. Her eyes then landed on a patron, and ordered her assistants to seize her. I can only imagine what went on behind their huddle, as the only sounds escaping were maniacal laughs, hacking and the screams of a poor girl pulled into a fate worse than death.


Falling into the rhythm of jumpscares followed by a few seconds of calm, we entered a room where, upon entrance, we were greeted by a magician who seemed, at the very least, a bit mad. Him and his assistants seemed all too excited to see us, and began to move towards when, all of a sudden, a body fell out behind him. His assistants began to enclose us when our tour guide started hastily leading us out of the room.


Nearing the end, we came across what was seemingly a normal wooden box, which then was introduced by a handler as his “treasures.” The box surprised us as the top creaked open and a porcelain doll arose. Looking to the left as to not be followed by her eyes, we continued walking until we came upon an odd person, called Hungry Hugh, who was sitting on a chair, barred by rope. As we neared him, this handler told us about his unpleasant diet of human skin and warned us to keep away from him. The handler had then presented his last treasure: a supposedly human girl with a horrifying glass apple face, who seemed more desolate than Misery herself.


Just as the end was in sight, a tarot card reader stopped our group and asked the bravest of us to pick three cards for a reading. I, of course, was not the one to pick those cards; I was just longing for the exit at that point, wishing for the sun’s bright light and the comfort of safety. The girl who did though, was doomed with a fortune of never making it out of there alive.


Just as she had begun to realize what that meant for her, two clowns had come up behind us, emerging from the dark and screamed in our ears, causing all of us to scream and run for the exit, our tour guides trying in vain to calmly lead the way out.


Going in, I was prepared for anything, from a world of cotton candy, to the haunted house of my worst nightmares. While I wasn’t exactly left fearing for my life, I will say I felt it was rather successful, especially for a haunted house put on by and for high schoolers. Happy belated Halloween Clements Theatre!