Halloween houses, holiday flicks harbor horrors for faint-hearted

I’ve always been a big fan of Halloween, and it’s only partially because I’m addicted to chocolate (I’ve been known to demolish an entire pillowcase-full in one sitting).

I love the whole atmosphere of America’s favorite fall holiday; everything from the pumpkin carving to the horror movie marathons that are inevitably on at least three different TV stations.

There’s one problem, though.

I can’t decide if I love being terrified or if I hate it.

This past weekend did a little bit to help shed some light on this issue for me.

After refusing to ever see any of the movies in the “Paranormal Activity” trilogy, my friend finally convinced me to watch the first two on Friday night so I could go with her to see the new one on Saturday night.

First of all, the movies aren’t even that good. I don’t know why I thought they were so horrifying, but the first one brought me to tears, literally. Nothing that scary even happened. There were no gruesome or creepy images.

All three of the movies were basically just all suspense, with everyone waiting for these terrible things to happen that never did.

So some pots and pans fell to the floor, big deal.

That’s just what I tried to tell myself, anyway.

The truth lies in the six total hours of sleep I got all weekend long, most of which happened during the day with all the lights on.

Scary movies aren’t the only thing I use to torture myself during the weeks preceding Halloween, however.

I do enjoy a good haunted house from time to time.

And when I say enjoy, I mean that I force myself to go and end up leaving with some embarrassing stories that I try to look back on with a laugh.

For example, let’s look at the last time I went to “Halloweekends” at the best theme park ever, Cedar Point, with my high school volleyball team.

The haunted houses there are supposed to be pretty mild, or so I thought.

One of them was harboring a gang of several of the worst things you can find at a haunted house: clowns.

That was game over for me.

Clowns are probably among the top five scariest things known to man.

As soon as one jumped out at me, I sprinted for the exit, leaving my teammate to fend for herself.

I glanced over my shoulder to make sure the perfectly demonic replica of “It” wasn’t following me as I burst to freedom, and the next thing I knew I was flying head over heels over a baby stroller that had gotten in my path.

No, there thankfully wasn’t a baby in it, but the mother standing next to it looked down in fury at me sprawled on the ground and clutched her baby closer as I hastily tried to apologize.

The 8-year-old kid who had just strolled out of the cave of terror behind me looked over at all the commotion I had caused and just shook his head in disgust.

But even with all of the traumatic experiences I have had with the holiday, I will always love Halloween, though I’m not so sure how many more horror movies or haunted houses I can handle.

CHRISTINE PEFFER

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