‘Literally the scariest thing in my entire life’

In order to write this article, we decided to visit the ScareAtorium on Sat. October 1st. Dylan McWilliams (scared writer), Molly Cooke (not scared writer), Cindy Manngard (Courier writer), and Casey Keller (non-Courier member) went on this adventure.

Photo credit by Casey Keller

Going to it, I was nervous, but not as nervous as I was in line. I didn't expect to be scared going into the night. I hoped I would be, in a way, but I didn't expect to be. During the whole day, I was a bit nervous, but when I arrived I became super nervous.

The drive was about 20 minutes from Lewis center, my stomach began hurting 10 minutes in. Nerves? Maybe. The anticipation during the drive there did not help my nerves. Right before we arrived, a police car drove by with it’s lights on, which made me even more nervous. Not to mention this wasn’t the safest part of town.

When we arrived, there was a line trailing around the building full of nervous yet eager people. Casey and I met up with Dylan and Cindy in the parking lot. As soon as I saw how terrified Dylan was I thought, ‘Oh good, this should be fun’. When I saw Casey and Molly, it hit me that this was actually going to happen, and I was going to go into this place I have avoided for years.

As we stood in line there were already costumed people walking around in an attempt to scare us. There was a very diverse clientele in line, with guys vaping in front of us and a group of about 20 squealing girls behind. Funny enough, the costumed men elicited the same shrieking reactions throughout the line. When I saw those girls come behind us in line, I felt better because some of them were already crying and screaming, I could only wonder how they would do inside the house. Right before we went in, they started selling glow sticks and half of the group of girls bought some. I wanted to buy one but Molly told me not to because they would be able to spot us easier in a darker space.

Dylan became fast friends with the people in line with us, from the two girls in front to the giant group behind. If I’m being honest, the house didn’t scare me nearly as much as our new companions did. The people who I met were super nice, and it showed me we were all in this together.

When we got to the front of the line a bald, heavily-costumed, man ushered us inside in groups of 10. Was he supposed to be scary? He seemed nice enough. He gave us the general rules of the house, primarily that there were to be no phones.

After that we approached a desk and paid the $20, which apparently gets you into two attractions. I was feeling even less nervous as we ventured further inside. After we finally paid, it finally hit me that we were actually doing this. I wasn’t as nervous as I was in the line outside and I was a sorta excited to finally get inside the scary part to see what the hype is all about.

We then waited in yet another line to get into the first attraction, the asylum. We were greeted by a promiscuous-looking nurse, who we named Mary-Anne to calm Dylan’s nerves. Mary-Anne warned us, “Try not to scream, Big Jack likes screamers, if you know what I mean,” and proceeded to wink. This made me laugh so hard, was she supposed to be scary? I really couldn’t tell, but it helped to calm my nerves.

Another nurse, this one named Terry, took our tickets and let us into the attraction. It began with a decontamination chamber, followed by a series of other creepy-type settings, including a meat-packing room and a padded cell. THE DECONTAMINATION CHAMBER WAS LITERALLY THE SCARIEST THING IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. The scene starts out by setting the mood, and it talked about how Lester, an inmate, broke out of his cell. We had to run through a completely pitch black maze to get away and we kept running into the wall.

I, being the not scared side of this story, was of course nominated to go at the front of our group when we walked through. This posed numerous problems for us, one being that it was difficult to walk through when everyone is attached to each other, and another being that someone had to be left vulnerable at the back of the group. I didn’t mind this at all, and actually found the whole attraction rather funny, especially when the actors would converse with you. The rest of my group, however, was not as amused. Apparently I was walking too slowly as well, as I wanted to take in all of the sights and my group wanted to be out of there as quickly as humanly possible. During the whole experience, Molly was in the front, Casey was behind her, I was behind Casey and Cindy was in the back. There were a couple of times when we had to rearrange because Molly wasn’t in the front. We would stop in our tracks to rearrange so Molly was always in the front, the rest of us were too scared to do so.

The asylum attraction ended abruptly, when I opened another door, which instead of all of the other doors we had passed through let us back out to the main area (confusing) We promptly got in line for the next attraction, this time a 3D funhouse guarded by a clown. I was so glad when it ended! I was so excited for the next one because I had heard a lot of hype about this one and how it's much better than the last one.

We again submitted our tickets, and were given some 3D glasses that just did not fit. We met up with two girls Dylan had become friends with earlier, who had been equally traumatized by the asylum as the rest of my group had. I couldn’t relate. The girls behind us were A LOT more scared than me. They were super nice and it felt good seeing that there was also Rest?

When we entered the so-called “funhouse”, my eyes were immediately assaulted by neon designs which jumped out at you. Throughout the funhouse, it was a mix of jump scares from various clowns and other similarly dressed people, and 3D designs that hurt my head more than scared me. When we got to the end, there was a man with a chainsaw who would let you leave. One look at me and he nodded and stepped aside to let me through. When we first entered, I immediately knew that this part is a total 180-degree flip from the last. Bright neon lights flashed through the 3D goggles guiding the way through this part. It wasn't nearly as scary as the first house we went through. I enjoyed this part a lot more, but there was some parts where I was scared. Almost at the end, it looked like someone was behind bars, but nope! He popped through and scared the living daylights out of me. If I had to pick one part that was the scariest, I would have to say it was the end. Right when you walked into the last part, there was these demon-looking people and they started breathing on my neck! It was super scary like who breathes on someone's neck?!? But in the end it was alright, I survived both of them.

I waited outside of the attraction for what felt like hours for the rest of my group. Eventually, after numerous new groups had exited, Cindy, Casey and our new friends came out. Apparently Dylan had been pulled away from the rest of the group. Was I surprised? Heck no. Yeah the clown with the chainsaw picked me out from our group and tried to terrorize me, but I didn’t let that happen. I held onto Cindy and I made sure if one of us was going to leave, we both were going to. When I passed, he tapped me on the back of my legs with his chainsaw.

Overall, it was a fun experience, especially getting to watch my friends freak out. I definitely wasn’t scared, I sort of wish I would have been, it might’ve been more exciting that way. But still, I’m glad I went. Overall, I had a great time and I wouldn't have asked to go with anyone else! Even though I was scared, I had a great time and now reflecting on it, if I was asked to go back again I might.


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