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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

The Nicest Ghouls North of the Mason-Dixon

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

The Nicest Ghouls North of the Mason-Dixon

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These past two weekends have been full-on Halloween for Bobby and me. Halloween is my favorite holiday and high-ranking for Bobby as well, but our busyness this year and the fact that our house is half-destroyed has meant that we've had to scale back big-time. We're cooking feast for our barony's TNT event next weekend, so even the annual Halloween party got cut; we couldn't have done it anyway. The basement is still under construction, and the rest of the house is piled high with stuff that belongs in the basement to the point that we can barely walk through the living room.

Last Saturday, we went up to the Haunted Mill in Spring Grove, PA, with friends from work. We went to the Haunted Mill last year with Tristan and Don, and we went some years ago with friends on a disastrous trip that ended up burgeoning at the last minute to include a dozen people we didn't know, some of whom showed up over an hour late (meaning that we drove what was then a considerable distance to have time for only one attraction) and some of whom got so drunk on rum and Vanilla Coke (remember that??) smuggled in that they fell asleep somewhere like a bunch of wayward Hobbits and kept some of our group at the Mill until closing time, trying to find them. (Bobby and I rolled out, refusing to take responsibility for idiots we don't know and whom we didn't want to spend time with anyway.) Anyway, it's much more fun going with ... I hesitate to say responsible or mature people, since I don't think we keep company with anyone like that, but at least people who aren't stuck in that stage of mindless rebellion where getting drunk and falling asleep at a haunted house becomes brag-worthy. But I digress.

I think the Haunted Mill might have the most polite monsters north of the Mason-Dixon. Perhaps anywhere; I don't know any more polite south of the Mason-Dixon either. The fumes from the chainsaws were really bad at one point, so one of our group had her scarf over her nose, and one of the monsters asked if something smelled. She said, "No, just the fumes are really bad!" and he replied, "I'm sorry about that, ma'am." Another one, when we reached a point so dark that someone said, "I can't see where to go next!" turned on the light for us. And when a group of teenagers got lost in Maw's Crazy Maze, one of the clowns came in to rescue them.

What a warm, fuzzy experience.

Last night, we went to Bedlam in the Boro, which is put on by the Lineboro Fire Department each year as a fundraiser and is "cast" with local students. We went to that last year as well, with my mom-in-law and sis-in-law Erin. This year, we went with Erin again and my parents. My inlaws are in the midst of foster-parenting classes and couldn't come.

It was much busier this year, and very chilly, and I expected Dad to fuss because of the long wait and the cold, but he was surprisingly well-behaved and seemed to have a good time. The idea of my dad on a haunted hayride is hard to imagine to start, but he's getting more adventurous lately.

I've been on so many of these "haunted" things over the years that I am past the point of even being startled on them anymore. They're cheesy and campy and yet still fun, in a large part because of the cheese and the camp, and also because of the people who become downright terrified on them. Bobby and I have decided that we need to find a new one next year, though. We'll do Bedlam again to support the LVFD--after all, they'd be the second to respond if our house were burning down--but the Haunted Mill needs a rest after two straight years.

One thing I don't understand is people who take small children on these things. At least one kid on Bedlam last night was in tears by the end. At the Mill, people were going through the haunted houses with kids small enough that they had to be carried. I remember riding through Ocean City's haunted house as a kid with my hands over my eyes through the whole thing, and it was standard ghost/witch/vampire fare, nothing nearly as intense as the Haunted Mill or Bedlam. Well who am I to judge. I just can't imagine seeing an attraction where people run alongside the wagon with chainsaws and where one exhibit involves giant pigs slaughtering humans and thinking, "That'd really be something my six-year-old would enjoy."

This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

  • I just can't imagine seeing an attraction where people run alongside the wagon with chainsaws and where one exhibit involves giant pigs slaughtering humans and thinking, "That'd really be something my six-year-old would enjoy."


    I guess there are a number of places like that around Boston, but the biggest Halloween party of them all will be in Salem. Thuringwethil II and her friend plan on going to the Salem festivities. I'm being something of a worry-wart over this, but keep reminding myself that she and her friend Mike are adults now. Sort of.

    Edited at 2011-10-23 05:04 pm (UTC)
    • "Sort of."

      Being the operative phrase--I feel that was about the Avari and he is almost old enough to be Thuringwethil II's father! I am sure it is fine and they will have a wonderful time.
    • I think the number of open spaces in our area predisposes us to haunted attractions of various stripes. There are several in our area that we haven't even tried yet.

      Halloween festivities in Salem sounds like a blast! I hope Thuringwethil II and Mike have a good time ... and I'm sure they'll be fine! :)
  • I'm excited for you being in charge of a feast! I did it twice and had a blast both times, in spite of being beyond exhausted at the end.

    What's on the menu? (I made the mistake of planning seven removes at my first one. We had a ton of leftovers, LOL!)
    • We're not nearly so ambitious as seven removes! I got palpitations when I read that in your email the other day. We're also held in check by a budget of only $7/person, else I could easily get carried away. Ours is really four courses: starters, two mains, and dessert.

      Chevre, fresh bread, and seasonal fresh fruits

      First Course
      sliced hen with ginger
      ricotta and herb ravioli in vegetable stock
      lentils with tarragon vinegar
      braised spinach

      Second Course
      baked beef with horseradish sauce
      New World stew
      rice with kidney beans and fresh fruit chutney
      turnips with wine sauce

      honey vanilla ice cream with bittersweet chocolate sauce

      I just finish scrubbing the kitchen from top to bottom in preparation for spending the week preparing food. Tarragon vinegar is currently steeping, and the first batch of ice cream is whirring around in the ice cream maker! :)

      Bobby and I have cooked for a living and cooked for large groups in our home before, so this should be an interesting new challenge for us!
  • It all sounds like a lot of fun. I like Halloween too, despite not liking horror stories in general. I noticed I have a ton of Halloween or Halloweenish icons here even.

    We have two Halloween parties so far and a couple of parades to chose from if we should wish to participate in any. I'm not even counting the one in the Village in Manhattan which we will watch on TV.
    • You know me: I love the macabre to an unhealthy degree! :) This is my time of year!

      We don't have Halloween parades around here: can anyone in costume participate? Or is this like any other holiday parade, with bands and floats and beauty queens sitting on top of convertibles?
      • Halloween parades are all about anyone and everyone dressing up and marching. They might be music and bands and the occasional vehicle, but mainly it is people in crazy costumes from the ludicrous and horrific to the absolutely gorgeous. I saw a perfect Galadriel and Celeborn in one parade in Park Slope who were a beautiful couple, beautifully costumed and made up.
        • That sounds like fun! I have to admit that I lost interest in the normal kinds of parades when I was fairly young and learned to detest them after two years in marching band. But that kind of free-for-all sounds like a good time--to watch and participate in!
  • I've never been really keen on haunted houses, at least not the ones that people put on for the Halloween season. True haunted houses, on the other hand, those I would do. I stay home on Halloween, answer the door and give candy to the college students who come to the door. They have to have a costume on to get candy. Most years it's the girls who go out. I think last year I had 25 girls and a single guy. So funny.

    - Erulisse (one L)
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