...which means something remarkable should probably have happened. Maybe it did, but for me it was just another pyjama sunday. Technically, it was still 101010 when I started writing this entry, but by the time I finished, the clock had crept over to the early hours of the 11th. Damn my slow typing.
On Saturday night I went with my sister, her boyfriend, and a group of their friends to Farmageddon. None of us had much of an idea what exactly it was, it's one of those 'fright night' themes all the farms seem to hold over Halloween. We were expecting a bit of fake blood, maybe a few straw stuffed corpses and some dark tunnels, all in good fun but overall a bit naff.
It was a lot better than we expected. I'm not the type to scare easy... oh scratch that. I admit it, I'm terrible in horror movies, but I'm fairly confident I hide it well for the most part. I take pride in not being one of these girly girly types who puts on the screams for attention and to seem precious. But last night I was screaming more than a coulophoibic in a McDonald's character meal. That shit was scary.
It involved three different barns named Psychosis, Insanity, and Terror on the Farm. The worst of the three was definitely Insanity which we just so happened to go into first. On our way to the barn, we had to walk past a number of people in costumes; a creepy ass blood soaked clown, a possessed girl, an anthromorphic butcher pig, and some mohawked punk from hell, to name a few. These costumed people had a knack for creeping up on you and scaring the hell out of you while you were otherwise minding your own business. That, combined with the fact that we didn't know what to expect meant that the adrenaline was already pumping.
There were fourteen of us in total so we had to split into two groups. My sister and her boyfriend went first with a few other people, and then it was my group's turn. First we were shepherded into a metal cage, I guess one of those contraptions they normally use to hold and direct cattle when branding them. Once the doors slammed closed it was pitch black, something hammered on the sides, making us jump. And then the box started spinning slowly around. Then silence, nothing moved for longer than was comfortable until suddenly the door slammed open. In the doorway crouched a hissing zombie girl with blood oozing from her mouth and gaping wounds. It happened so suddenly and so effectively that we all cowered in the back but she kept coming for us. One by one the group ran past her, screaming as she lunged for each of them. I (as ended up the pattern of the night) somehow managed to be the last one in the box and I found myself stuck in the corner with the zombie girl focused entirely on me. It really was genuinely terrifying and felt real, especially when she chased me out of the box and down the darkened hallway, hissing and groaning for brains in my ear the whole time.
It didn't let up there, the next room was filled with a chicken wire maze and a strobe lighting effect that highlighted the world in brief flashes, giving a strange slow motion effect. It was disorienting and difficult to maneuver through, made more difficult by the fact that there was another zombie at the other end. Bellowing, he raced through the maze towards us, his figure imprinted seconds behind where he had once stood. We were only a few metres inside the barn and the experience was already way too intense, much more than we had been expecting. It was almost too much for three of the girls in the group who were all pressed into one corner of the maze, screaming and cowering from the zombie who raced towards them. At this time, I hadn't noticed, but a second zombie girl had crept up on us from behind, suddenly I found myself face to face with her, it nearly gave me a heart attack. She lurched by me towards the group of girls who upon seeing her screamed in unison and fled past the first zombie into the unknown. The rest of us soon followed with me, of course, still taking up the rear.
The rest of the barn was much the same with us inching through a series of rooms, each filled with a variety of scenes. Hospitals with flesh eating nurses clawing at us over the operating tables, cannibalist kitchens filled with bloody victims who begged us to save them from the bloody chef. Even though you were expecting more scares around each corner, it still managed to terrify you, it was very easy to suspend your belief. Have to give credit to the actors there, they were all very eager and very convincing. I imagine if I had that job, I'd just crack up laughing at the first person who screamed at me.
The grand crescendo (or what we thought would be) of Insanity was a long tunnel filled with billowing sheets that you had to feel your way through in the pitch black. It was a strange, claustrophobic sensation, made worse by the fact that I was almost convinced that any second we would be chased down by a super fast super furious zombie. But none came and soon enough we were out of the barn breathing in the cool night air and feeling the relief that finally, it was over. Our hearts could reach some semblance of regularity.
Only it wasn't, and here's what made Insanity race ahead in leaps and bounds for the best event of the night. Just when you thought it was over, it wasn't. I saw him first, a silhouetted figure standing in the shadows just by where we stood. For a moment I thought maybe he was a guide there to usher us along, but something felt wrong. He was too still and too quiet. That was when he turned on the chainsaw (not real of course, but it damn well felt it at the time.) We all screamed at once and fled but he followed, and damn he was fast. At break neck speed with chainsaw waving madly at us, he shepherded us into a smoke filled cattle pen. We found ourselves on a raised bridge in the middle of the room, you could barely see two feet in front of you, but you knew you had to move forwards to get out. And somewhere out there, hidden in the smoke, another chainsaw growled. Almost too scared to move, but definitely too scared to stay still, we all inched along the bridge, keeping as close to each other as we could. When the new chainsaw maniac came for us, we were stuck, only able to jump over his chainsaw blade as he swept at us. Once again, I found myself cut off from the group (I really wouldn't survive a horror movie), but this time two others were trapped with me. When we tried to run forwards, the chainsaw guy chased us back, when we ran back, he stopped us in our tracks. In the end, we only managed to get by when the other two threw me at the guy and made a break for it (as I said, I would suck in a horror movie, I am just the body count). Almost in a panic, I ran after them like a gibbering wreck. We made our way outside, once again finding what we thought was relative safety. We could hear the rest of the group up ahead screaming, chased down by yet another chainsaw maniac so we held back, unwilling to fac that horror just yet. The other two apologised profusely about 'sacrificing' me back in the shed, but I readily forgave them since honestly, I probably would have done the same if I'd thought of it first.
Of course, we weren't safe for long as the chainsaw maniac we thought we had left behind leapt through the doorway, chainsaw raging. He raced after us, right into the waiting terrors of another two chainsaw guys ahead. I can't stress enough how real it felt, you could even smell the fuel of the chainsaws, we were chased right until the very last moment where we found ourselves running into the bright lights of the food tent, right into the path of a quietly amused guide dressed in a flourescent jacket. "Enjoy it?" he smirked as he looked around the group, each one of us ashen faced and panting. We all had to agree, hell yeah we did, straight onto the next!
Unfortunately, whilst the other two barns were still of exceptional quality and enough to scare the bejeesus out of you, it felt like we had gotten the best one out of the way first, so no matter how great the other two were, they still felt a little anticlimactic by comparison.
There were however still some things that really stood out in them. Namely, a room in Psychosis with a metal bridge that arched through a spinning tunnel. The effect of walking through the tunnel was disorienting, it made your head spin, like you'd just downed a litre of vodka. No matter how much you tried to walk straight, you found yourself lurching to the side. The only way to get through without falling or vomiting was to either close your eyes or grip the handrails and drag yourself along. Not wanting to miss out on the experience, I opted to keep my eyes firmly open and only regretted it slightly when my head continued to spin once through the tunnel.
I've heard of these things before, haunted mazes, creepy hay rides, but I always thought they were a bit gimmicky. Good for a laugh but not particularly well done, I mean every farm seems to hold their own special Halloween night, how well could they actually be done? Turns out they can be very well done indeed, I loved it, it's a real experience finding out just how you act when genuinely terrified. Of course you're not allowed to touch any of the actors, but to be honest, even if we were handed weapons, I'd have a hard time imagining myself reacting in any other way than clutching the weapon to my chest, shrinking in a corner and screaming bloody murder.
There's another fright night event in another farm close by, I'm thinking I'll be going with my boyfriend and mother on the 28th, hopefully it will be just as good as Farmageddon, can't wait to see how the two of them will react. :)