So you may know, but I’m a bit of a Halloween aficionado (see here, here, here, here, here, and a small essay comparing inquisition techniques and modern day kinks here). I absolutely love haunted house attractions, and love to visit all kinds. I also enjoy horror movies, and between that and kink, there can be a lot of crossover (witness the movie Hostel and its infamous torture scene in which Jay Hernadez is chairtied and ballgagged).
That said, traditionally, haunted house attractions are more of a group experience… one tends to go in with a small group of friends. But lately, there has been a trend of haunted attractions where you go in very small, intimate groups, or even alone. The first of note that I had heard of was Blackout, which is still going on as far as I know (during the season, of course). While I still haven’t done that one, I have done one of the other more famous ones, Alone.
But what most people don’t realize about Alone is that it is not the usual haunted house. There is no gore, and very little in the way of people jumping out and scaring you. It’s more about creating surreal experiences. Like being in a dark room, and seeing a person off in the distance that just stares at you. Or someone else walking up to you and smearing your face with lipstick for no reason. It’s more about being unsettled and unnerved rather than grossed out or startled.
I’ve actually had four separate experiences with Alone, as they do a few a year. And I only recently realized a side effect: they’ve given me more confidence. This past year for Halloween, I attended a more traditional, frightening haunted house–by myself. Before, I don’t think I would have had the courage to do that. And while I was a bit nervous, I did end up having a great time, and was actually a bit proud of myself for doing it alone.
When I tell most people I went through this, they think I’m absolutely nuts. Maybe, but if a bit of bravery is a side effect, I’m not knocking it. I think it’s given me a better sense of courage, and a willingness to try new things. If you get a chance to try it, I recommend it. Do some things on your own, and let it make you strong.
On a side note, Alone is moving their experience to Australia this year (2017)… so if you’re down there, give it a try!