Post-Apocalyptic Scare Zone

Zombie Thursday! Brought to you by the iPad, so missing graphics for now!

Like most Thursdays, I often have an idea of what to write about earlier in the weekend. But every once in awhile I have to throw aside the idea I was going to work on for something else. Today is one of those Thursdays. I was all set to blog about seeing Night of the Creeps on the big screen, but today on the train, I had this weird flashback to when I was thirteen and went to Six Flags for their Fright Festival over one weekend. Why I had a flashback to that weekend, I'm not sure. It could be that October 1st is fast approaching and I consider that the official kickoff to the Halloween season. It could be that I had zombies on my mind, or maybe just a sound or graffiti jogged my memory. But whatever the reason, let me tell you about one of the most frightening "haunted house" experience I've ever had!

If you've never been to an amusement park Halloween festival, I highly recommend it! Every year Six Flags has "Fright Fest," Busch Gardens does "Howl-o-Scream," and Universal Studios does their "Halloween Horror Nights." If you live near any of these types of parks, go to one this season!

The attraction I went on took place in the channel of the drained rapids ride. October in Illinois is typically very cold, so of course they don't have the water rides going. There was a sign outside of the attraction warning that it was a very intense walk-through attraction and might be too scary for younger children. Of course my friend and I scoffed at this. We weren't going to be that afraid. Little did we know...

The theme of this haunted walk-through was a post apocalyptic setting. While we waited in line, there were tv monitors with fake news reports talking about some sort of nuclear disaster and how average people were beginning to display odd behavior. Basically, people were turning into zombies. Once we got inside of the area, the first girl who came up to us looked like a little girl carrying a dead rat asking us if we wanted to pet her kitten. It might not sound creepy, but it was pretty freaky! From there we dealt with slow walking dazed zombies, roaming gangs of looters, people screaming at us and general chaos as things exploded around us. It was intense!

When you are inside one of these attractions, while they may be scary, there is still a level of personal security involved. The characters are not allowed to touch the guests, even though they may get incredibly close and in your face. And as guests, you're not allowed to touch the cast. Pretty standard rule for haunted attractions. In remembering my time at Six Flags in a controlled apocalyptic setting, this morning on the train I tried to think about how I would behave outside of the rules of the amusement park and normal society.

Yesterday on the train, there was a man sitting across from me who was clearly crazy. He was screaming and yelling at people, signing loudly, and as the trip went on, he was becoming increasingly belligerent and I worried if he may become even more confrontational. Of course if someone started to threaten me physically, I would react equally. But even though he wasn't being physically violent, a part of me really wanted to punch him to make him shut up. Does that make me a bad person? I feel like I perceive a threat and want to react. I saw the same man this morning, but soon after a police officer came up and escorted him away.

So these two situations bring me back to the appeal of zombies and post-apocalyptic worlds. Sometimes, I wish I could have the freedom to live in a world where I could be a bad ass. It's inappropriate to carry around baseball bats or crowbars in our society, but wouldn't it be kind of fun? There would be chaos and death, sure. But also adventure, excitement, uncertainty. It would definitely be more exciting than listening to crazy people screaming at me on the morning commute.

What are some of your favorite haunted house moments? And how do you feel you would react in a real situation? Would you hide and wait out the disaster, or would you gear up and take the fight to the streets? Share your thoughts!