For Eric, the best
part of Halloween was always the haunted house attractions. Each year he made a
point of visiting each one in the city, from the big-budget event at the
amusement park to the home-grown spookiness of Mrs. Henderson’s decorated
garage. He had become a kind of local celebrity for the blog he maintained,
called “Horror Highlights,” wherein he would write reviews and descriptions of
every spooky hotspot. It was always a big hit among the season’s
This year, his favourite was a charity event called The
Factory. Hardly an original name for a haunted house set inside a
decommissioned industrial plant, but the atmosphere and high-quality actors
more than made up for what the moniker lacked. The old building had a history
of fatal workplace accidents, which set the stage perfectly for a maze of
whirring machinery and gory costumes.
“The Factory is a good old-fashioned horror fest,” Eric
wrote, “And your entrance fee goes towards feeding hungry zomb… I mean kids!
What better way to spend your Halloween?
“The foyer may seem a little clichéd, with smoke and strobe
lights and eerie music, but the manufacturing floor will scare your socks off!
You’ll have to navigate through a maze of malfunctioning, sparking machinery
while undead employees stalk you at every turn.
“Next is the boiler room. Towering industrial furnaces clunk
and roar while cooking unfortunate workers alive. Don’t get too close; a crispy
hand will reach through the grates and try to pull you into the fire! I may be
a haunted house veteran, but even I was scared in this room. Noise warning:
lots of screaming, so bring earplugs if you’re sensitive.
“The last room is reserved for maintenance. Come see the
broken-down machines that have claimed lives! Watch in horror as the grisly
accidents of the past come to life. Drawn into a bandsaw feet-first! Crushed by
a hydraulic piston! Mangled in gears! Relive these workers’ final moments of
agony. Gore warning: pretty realistic makeup and acting; not recommended for
“This is one attraction you can’t afford to miss this year.
The design, atmosphere, and acting all earn this haunted house two severed thumbs
Satisfied, Eric posted his latest review.
Within a few hours, he was pleasantly surprised to see an
email in his inbox from the event’s organizer. He opened it, read it, and
frowned. Then he re-read it. Twice.
“Hi Mr. Dowell, and Happy Halloween! I wanted to write to
you and tell you how much we at The Factory loved your review. We’re glad you
enjoyed it and appreciate that you took the time to publish your experience.
“That being said, I
just need to double-check that you haven’t gotten us confused with another
attraction. While the plant does indeed have a boiler room, it was not part of
our tour. In fact, no one’s been in there since we bought the place!”