University House, my dorm, had one of the Haunted House events going on. Last night, I helped with the set-up... which took longer than the actual event. It was rather intricate- standard stuff of orange balloons, streamers, signs, etc., but also papering over all the windows for darkness' sake and building a maze by taping 11' sheets of butcher paper to the ceiling and floor.
Today, we actually held the event. We had the maze, with people inside it to scare the kids, a jungle-gym sort of intricate tunnel crawl made of old cardboard boxes and a lot of the furniture, and the standard "Feel This" thing- cooked spaghetti and tell them it's worms, sugared peeled grapes for eyeballs, wet coffee grounds for ants, carrots for fingers. We got some good reactions out of that.
I was working inside the maze. I was hiding behind a fake wall (sheet of paper) with eye holes punched out, and free motion to, say, reach out an arm for some of our guests. That and make weird noises.
And that's all I did for two hours; why did that tire me out so much?
It had its moments. The group of five kids giving this perfect simultaneous scream- then running back to the entrance; the child terrified of Alex, wearing no costume and not being particularly intimidating... other than being an RA; the kid who jumped at least two and a half feet straight up- not bad for a four-foot child.
My moment of pride was the "Yagh!" and corresponding jump I caused to a 6' black guy with the build of a professional wrestler. He then had a good laugh, congratulated on a job well done... and gave me a handshake. (Appropriate... remember, all I was doing was reaching for people.)
Then there was the less-fun bit when whoever it was (can't think of his name... heh) in the alien costume, wearing that and a string of blue christmas lights (really) and holding a bowl of candy, scared a group of kids. This is normally good; he actually did an exceptional job of freaking people out. He's getting a major in Acting, so it's a good sign- and it was all a pantomime act. Nothing particularly threatening, and no lines at all- just managing to be exceptionally disquieting.
What wasn't so good was those kids then running blindly around the corner, which happened to be the corner I owned the fake wall in. Predictably, they slammed right in to me. I caught two of the three by blocking them (through the paper) with my arms; the smallest one got his elbow in my groin.
That was far more painful than the first reading of that sentence might imply.
Fortunately, we had no more groups for a few minutes, and groaning was very much in keeping with the event.
No photos; my digital camera's battery has finally bought the farm. It gets exactly one picture before the battery conks out- and that's without a flash. I've got a replacement ordered.
Anyway, it's done now, and I'm exhausted. And I have a Physics exam tomorrow. At least getting to bed early means I can wake up early to study...