Field of Screams (flash non-fiction)

ZombieTentatively, I push through the battered wooden door, past its scarred reddish hue, into the adjacent room. I need to crouch down and simultaneously step up to squeeze through the tiny doorway.  The spring-loaded hinge offers enough resistance to make me question my plan to carry on, to follow this path. As I clear the door, the room beyond is black as a nightmare. Eli, behind me, grabs fistfuls of flannel shirt, terrified to release me, afraid I might disappear. A dim orange light winks twice revealing for an instant, rows of bodies–ghostly white with featureless faces–hanging from meat-hooks. In the following darkness, the image remains. Seared into my brain like a road-map pointing which direction to go. Slowly, we pick our way past the corpses, afraid to touch them, afraid they’ll touch back.

Eight seconds from the Den of Darkness. A haunted house at Field of Screams, “America’s #1 Haunted Attraction” in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

4 thoughts on “Field of Screams (flash non-fiction)

  1. Yikes, not my cup of tea. Somehow, my nervous system isn’t wired to appreciate the tension and fear generated by haunted houses and horror movies. Interesting for someone who works almost exclusively with people with PTSD. Then again, given that I hear about it all the time for real, its not something I’m inclined to do in my off time.
    Hope you and Eli had fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not really my thing either, but my kids wanted to go and I was curious. I was pretty impressed with the whole operation. Tonight as a family we watched Poltergeist and Sophie said meh. It just wasn’t scary enough for her. My kids are surpassing me.

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  2. Field of Screams, Jason’s Woods, Sickman’s Mill when it was still a thing, Eastern State Pennitatary, Shcocktoberfest… I’ve been a conniseur of them all. There’s something gratifying about safely engaging that primal fight or flight need. I was also usually the one pushed out in front, while a friend choked me by clutching my hoodie behind me. Have you thought about doing the zombie run there after the season? They’re super fun.

    Liked by 1 person

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