I love being scared. Seriously, those pops and cracks you start hearing in your home after you watch a scary movie, or waking up in the middle of the night seeing a shadow dancing on your wall, or feeling like someone is behind you and slowly turning your head in hopes it's all your imagination. The heebie jeebies can be thrilling hence why I decided to go see The Ring by myself when I lived in New York - I had never been to a movie by myself so why not start with one of the creepiest movies in existence. Bad idea since that night my roommate was not coming home. Not to mention that there are people in New York who resemble the little girl in The Ring walking down the street on any given day. I slept with one eye open hoping that her eerie little zombie body wouldn’t walk through my bedroom door.
Recently, a group of girlfriends and I had scary movie night and due to wanting to sleep that night we opted not to watch The Excorcist (did you know it was based on a true story?) or It (a serial killer/monster who attacks children), but rather The Lost Boys - sexy vampires why not? Even with the 1980’s special effects still pretty creepy.
Then on a trip whitewater rafting down the Nantahala, I was reminded by our guide Becky of one of the scariest movies ever created (in my opinion) because the story is about people in the wilderness not ghosts or ghouls. You see Becky and her boyfriend Graham are going as Burt Reynolds and a banjo player for Halloween - very clever although just the mention of the award winning creepshow Deliverance has me crawling with fright. And of course I am so glad Becky mentioned this as we are rafting down a river in the ‘middle of nowhere’ over rapids. Did I just hear dueling banjos playing?
There we were enjoying nature and all its splendor when the darkside of escaping citylife hits - the possibility of a toothless banjo player or even Jason enters the realm. The reality of enjoying nature and ‘getting away from it all’ is when you decide to go hiking, camping, or rafting in the mountains it is either completely safe with nothing to worry about or very very very dangerous (we're talking locked-in-a-shed-and-tortured-to-death-by-a-man-named-Boris dangerous). You give up population density and traffic lights for a starlit sky. The soulful rejuvenation comes with rustling leaves, whistling wind, unlit gravel roads, and sparsely scattered houses against hillsides that look like someone went in 10 years ago with a baseball bat breaking everything in sight and never came back. Perhaps wilderness is the perfect dose of relaxation combined with a little fear that leaves you feeling refreshed and happy to be alive instead of hacked into tiny pieces.
Now if you want some simulated fright, I will recommend Atrox Factory. I went for the first time a few weeks ago and it is truly a shriekfest. I screamed at the top of my lungs, ran for my life, fell down in fright, and left with a scratch down my shoulder from where someone in our group got so scared they clawed me. So bloody terrifying you might leave with staph.