The Haunted House
I guess I was 5 or 6…Maybe 7. Maybe older… I don’t really know. My family was at some amusement park that included a haunted house. Part of me is thinking that it was the “Haunted House at Long Branch”, but I think that’s only true if there was a smaller haunted house there as well, because I can’t quite imagine wanting to enter the major Haunted House at Long Branch.
I figure I must have said at some point that I did want to go into the haunted house. I don’t know why I would have said this, but I’m guessing that I did, because I am pretty sure that neither of my parents would have tried to force to me to go into a haunted house. Knowing myself fairly well, I am also pretty sure that I would have been fairly terrified to go into the haunted house. I don’t know if my Dad decided to go into the haunted house because I said I wanted to, but was clearly scared, or if I decided that I would go because my Dad was going. Either way, we did go into the Haunted House.
A little aside here, as a kid, I did have a bad habit of being rather indecisive, and I think I drove my parents fairly crazy. I remember one time when we were down the shore, and there was a water slide. Everyone else in my family was going on the water slide. I wanted to go on the water slide. No I didn’t. Yes, I did. No, I didn’t. You getting the picture? I also did not have a swimsuit. I do remember that my parents bought me one, so I must have been pretty convincing for awhile that I really wanted to go on the water slide. Only I didn’t. And that was the final outcome. I did NOT go on the water slide. So, that is a little insight into what the lead-up to the haunted house might be.
This time, I did go through with it. We went into the haunted house. I honestly do not remember all that much about it, but there is one thing that I do remember. We were crossing this “bridge”(which I’m sure was a foot off of the ground, but at the time, I might as well have been above the Grand Canyon), and I recall that these other kids(damn teenagers) who were in the haunted house decided that it would be funny to jump out at us. I thought I was going to fall into the canyon, and I reacted with the correct amount of terror for such a fall. I didn’t think it was very funny, and neither did my Dad.
I didn’t hear exactly WHAT my Dad said to them, but I do know that he grabbed a hold of at least one of them, and made it clear that scaring his kid was NOT a good idea. I think at the time I probably embellished it a bit, and imagined that my Dad tossed them over the bridge and things like that, but I’m guessing it was just a few choice words.
I would like to say that I was super brave for the rest of that trip through the haunted house, but that’s not really the case, but I was a little bit emboldened by the fact that I knew my Dad had my back. Just like he always did.