Sinful Sunday


It’s no secret that Sundays are much slower than Fridays and Saturdays but ticket sales were up noticeably from one week prior and a couple of noteworthy groups kept things interesting. All in all, it wasn’t a bad few hours of haunting.

Once again I was charged up upon arrival and beat a hasty path to the front of the house but discovered no guests present at the ticket booth nor inside haunt zero. However, I did note that Brother James was not at the entrance of the haunt, his usual post. Instead, we were joined for the evening by Sister Nena whose lashing tongue and no-nonsense attitude were a welcome addition to the SIN brood.


Devoid of playmates, Vermin forcefully exited the front of the building and dared somebody to look at him. This is one of the routines I love to employ when the house is empty. I bust out the front doors with purpose, like a man on fire and the first person to look into my eyes becomes the target. In most cases the person in question first has a look of apprehension and fear in their eyes and then they retreat a few steps before attempting to clarify my status with the haunted house.

I think it works well for three reasons, the first is the crazed state — I can draw up real anger and I think people sense that. The long, wild hair whipping about my face doesn’t hurt either. The second reason is my costume or more accurately, my lack of a traditional costume. I’m basically in street clothes so it’s reasonable to believe that I may just be another customer or some unknown guy who’s upset about who knows what. Third, and this is key, the customer cannot yet have interacted with me. I’m a total stranger looking pissed off and unkempt and I’m coming right at them. I think people know fairly quickly that I’m likely a part of the show but when combined the aforementioned elements are enough to plant that seed of doubt and that’s all it takes. It’s a rush to pull off this scare.


Daffodil was already engaged with a group of three, two tall males and a female who all looked to be in their early to mid 20s. One was quiet and standoffish while the other two were talkative, affable and primed to be scared. Vermin was all piss and vinegar, issuing insults and commands. I specifically targeted the tall, dark-haired male who talked too much for his own good. He compared me to the character Jesus from The Walking Dead as he spoke to his friends as if I wasn’t present and after a few iterations of the comment I got in his face and said, “Call me Jesus one more time, boy.” He was nervous but I could also tell he was enjoying the whole routine and wasn’t likely to swing at me which isn’t true of all customers. After some additional interaction from Daffodil and Vermin the trio entered SIN.

When they had exited the attraction, we picked up where we had left off. Daffodil introduced a gagging bit in which she coughed up blood and then ran off frightened. Two of the three expressed genuine concerned so of course I just played along. Truth be told I was momentarily confused myself because Austin, the actress behind Daffodil, has had a sinus infection in recent days. By the time she had run away I was certain it was all an act but the knowledge of her recent ailment did give me pause if ever so briefly. Regardless, she pulled it off well and then reemerged and chalked it all up to an absurd condition called, Clownitis.

As it was slow at the moment, we continued to entertain the trio. I inquired about a necklace that Jabber-Jaw was wearing and he began to rattle off facts about something that vaguely registered as anime. I’m not a big anime fan so the reaction to come was one of genuine boredom and borderline contempt. I held my right hand near his face, cut him off mid-sentence and said, “Stop talking.” His friends laughed as if they too found his love of anime tiresome.

The tall quiet one was getting a bit antsy, he was named Malik. I dropped his name and he seemed surprised. The female in the group reassured him that I had probably heard them use it which was of course how I knew it but they didn’t know that. She turned to me and with a hint of pleading reassurance said, “That’s how you knew it right?” Whenever I can I like to use the neither-confirm-nor-deny strategy because I feel to simply imply something is much more unsettling than plainly answering a question. I issued that strangled Vermin laugh and said, “Yeah, let’s go with that. Whatever makes you comfortable.” People are supremely weirded out when you possess knowledge that they think you shouldn’t know. It’s a beautiful thing.

I proceeded to take a thoughtful, purposeful look at the license plate of their car which drew a reaction and then ripped an impressive chunk of my hair from my head and gave it to the female as a memento. It freaked her out, she asked me to stop while the act was in progress and even stepped back several paces. As I handed it to her she questioned the authenticity of it. It was real and it was more hair than I had planned to yank out of my head. I don’t believe I’ll be doing that again.

The group paid Daffodil and myself a lot of compliments and I was flattered but I wasn’t about to let it show on my face. Talking Tommy repeatedly asked about our accents and seemed determined to examine the folks behind the characters but to pull back that curtain so cavalierly would only have been a disappointment and neither of us seemed inclined to oblige. We took a picture with two of the three (mousy Malik snapped the photo) and then they departed. I liked them, they were good people.


The night was drawing to a close when a group of five turned up. I was just inside the door of haunt zero when I spotted them at the ticket booth; four girls and one guy. I estimated that they were all in their late 20s to early 30s. I sauntered over as only Vermin can saunter and I eyed them creepily, the way a mangy wolf might look if you substituted hunger for perversion.

Ready to savor the interaction I noticed an attractive brunette among them and as I looked closer I became slightly unnerved and then fascinated. Why, you ask? Good question. I managed to remain in character but the scene spooked me. This woman was the spitting image of a good friend of mine; it could’ve been her twin sister. Granted, her build was slightly different but the hair color was the same as was her complexion. She had the same eyes, same smile; she even possessed a few shockingly similar, minute mannerisms. It was freaky as hell. I thought I was staring at my friend and it was definitely not my friend for those of you who may be wondering.

As Vermin I informed her of the striking, spooky resemblance and even dubbed her, Doppelganger. I stalked circles around her so that I could examine her features from all angles. I was legitimately mesmerized by this woman who said her name was Lena. When her group had emerged from the house after being chased by Edward and his chainsaw that is — I examined her face further and elaborated on her unbelievable resemblance to my friend.

She and her friends prodded me for more information and I joked that I would contact them through social media. You see, they’d already let slip their names, employer and the city in which they lived. When I strung all of that together and flatly stated that it was more than enough to find them, they exchanged amused but slightly concerned looks as if it had just dawned on them that indeed, the information was likely sufficient to track someone down.

As I write, I’m not convinced that this Lena and my friend were not separated at birth. The resemblance was truly surreal and it gave me goosebumps.

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