The Sideshow Field Guide – Spooktacular Edition: How To Survive A Haunted House
The towering structure of what had once been a luxurious mansion looms high above you. Lightning flashes across the sky, thunder claps, and you can smell the coming storm as you walk closer. The ravages of time have not been kind, and much of the formerly proud house is falling apart. Still, a light in the window indicates someone is home and beckons you closer.
Plus, anything has to be better than your terrifying escape from the beasts of the Forbidden Forest… right?
You’d think that, but you’d be wrong. Dead wrong.
It’s a good thing you brought along your handy Sideshow Field Guide to Fairytale Myths and Monsters because that mansion is definitely filled to the brim with all the ghoulies and ghosties that go bump in the night. Unless you know all the specific do’s and don’ts, not to mention the proper etiquette, you’ll never make it five feet through the foyer of that place before a chandelier ‘conveniently’ falls on your head.
So if you stick to the rules of this guide, ignore the rattling chains and slamming doors, and pretend you ain’t afraid of no ghosts, you might just live to see the sunrise.
Just keep an eye out for those chandeliers…
Rule 1 – Don’t Go Off By Yourself
This should go without saying, but if you arrived with a group of friends, you should stay in that group. Don’t split up to ‘explore the house’ because odds are if you do that, one of your friends (or possibly you yourself) will end up as the newest happy haunt to take up residence in the ramshackle mansion.
There is strength in numbers, but even so, that is not a guarantee of survival. A collapsing support beam can take out the whole group in one quick crumble, or a weak floor can break apart under the weight of your team, sending you all tumbling down to the basement.
The basement is the absolute last place you want to be. Trust us on this. (No! Don’t go into the attic either!)
Rule 2 – Don’t Touch Anything
It’s safe to assume that the current inhabitants of the house have everything exactly how they like it. So whatever you do, don’t touch anything. Think about it, if some stranger came into your house and just started touching your stuff and moving it from room to room, you’d be pretty irritated too.
That said, some items come with their own history… and troubles. Some particular things to be wary of as you explore include but are not limited to: puzzle boxes, music boxes, dolls, books bound in human flesh and inked in blood, televisions, audio recording equipment, puppets, life-size statues, dumbwaiters, pianos, mirrors, bleeding walls, staircases, and VHS tapes.
And for goodness sake, take off that old-timey hat! You don’t know where it’s been or if its owner is watching you. Yes, you look better in it than him. No, you cannot keep it.
Rule 3 – Do Not Provoke The Ghosts
As you explore the house, see if you can learn a bit about its history. There may be documentation to explain how the building came to be in this state, and it may help you figure out where the ghosts are coming from and why they are so angry. Was there a murder in the house? Multiple murders? Is the house built on a cemetery or ancient burial mound? Maybe it was used as a hospital during the war, or sits on the grounds of an abandoned asylum?
No matter what the origin, there is one thing you must never do, and that is provoke the ghosts. I know you have seen the tough guys on television attempting to taunt the spirits by yelling at them and goading them to appear. Sometimes it works, most times it doesn’t do anything but anger them. Best to leave the taunting out of your repertoire, unless you wanna come face to face with this…
Rule 4 – Sleep (?) and Get Out
Wait, why are you still in the house? Unless you are being hunted by the demons of the Forbidden Forest or there is a massive, world-ending storm outside you should really … Oh? Both you say? Okay, then the best thing to do is get some shut-eye and ride this out till morning.
If you manage to find a safe place to sleep – again, we can’t stress this enough – make sure to stick together with your group in the same room. No wandering off to answer that strange knock at the door or to investigate the unknown footsteps in the hallway. Stay put, and make sure you thoroughly lock all the doors and windows. Not that this will help, but it will at least give you some small semblance of security.
For the remainder of the night, you may see or hear a lot of unsettling things. Doors opening and closing by themselves, gaunt faces staring at you from outside your window, babies crying, dogs barking, etc. Our only recommendation will be to pull the covers up over your head, keep your eyes closed, and hope for the best. Don’t worry, it will be dawn soon, and then you will be free.
I mean, let’s be honest, it really comes down to how much the ghosts like you. If you make a good enough impression, they may just let you rest in peace…
It’s morning! Congratulations. You have now successfully avoided the zombie apocalypse, a forbidden forest full of monsters, and mansion of malignant spirits. We hope you have enjoyed this special edition addendum to the Sideshow Field Guide to Fairytale Myths and Monsters.
And one last thing… Happy Halloween!
This October, we’re putting the “eek” in Geek from October 24th-31st for our annual Spooktacular celebration! Head to spooktacular.com for all the creepiest content, most ghoulish giveaways, and most devilish deals to get you in the mood for Halloween.