Somewhere between the talking heads in the human slaughterhouse and the chainsaw-swinging Jason Voorhees on the broken down school bus, it became hard to remember that none of this was real…
In case you were unaware, The Newsletter Pro is one of those work hard, play hard kind of environments. To celebrate the harvest and the work we’ve been doing, the writers, designers, marketers, and project managers descended on Linder Farms, a local property featuring a climbable hay bale pyramid, a six-mile corn maze, and the Tail of Terror, which is where this story began.
As we followed the path through “asylums” and hordes of insane clowns (fortunately, not in posses), I clung for dear life to the arm of my walking partner. I jumped. I screamed. I laughed. Sometimes all at once. Really, though, why in the world I would want to subject myself to walking through an attraction where every cast member is determined to scare the pants off paying customers? You’re reading the words of someone who got scared reading a top-ten-scariest-movies list. Why did I think this was going to be fun?! I thought frantically.
I highly doubt I’m the first person to think that; yet, year after year, people shell out actual money to be scared (the Trail of Terror was downright tame compared to haunted attractions so extreme they come with safe words). It’s something I’ve never found particularly appealing. Turns out, the mass appeal of being afraid all has to do with brain chemistry. Some people are more naturally drawn to being terrified than others, and making it through fake-scary situations allows for a heightened sense of pride and confidence. At the end of the day, humans have been scaring each other for fun for hundreds of years. From the telling of ghost stories to Graveyard Poets, Freak Shows, and modern Dark Rides. People respond to artificial scares, because on a basic level, they know they’re probably not in any real danger.
The good news is, there was a light at the end of the maze, and I made it out of the Trail of Terror fully intact and questioning how in the world I would handle a real zombie apocalypse if I couldn’t walk past a man in a pig mask without screaming.
Now, when I get home, I can pay the scares forward, and spook some unsuspecting trick-or-treaters.
Happy Halloween from The Newsletter Pro.