Clown sightings:Here’s my hot take

First, a teeny bit of back story……..I am really into haunts! I love going to haunted attractions, etc. Long story short, I invested in a VERY GOOD custom made mask for my son this Halloween season…….creepy doll/zombie kinda-thing… me…..creepy. So, the other day, my daughter decides to stage a ‘clown sighting’ in our yard…..with him wearing said mask, hiding behind a big trash can……and she videos it from her room, while feigning shock and fear. She sent it out (via Snapchat) to her peeps. No biggie, right? So, her friends were a little freaked out and that’s about it.

But, later I tried to counsel her (maybe not as well as I should have) about fanning internet-based mass hysteria. The internet is FILLED with hysteria……most things going ‘viral’ is nothing more than an example of that very thing (not always, just most of the time). I like to say, ‘On the internet, he who is most offended gets the most attention.’ Later, she was asking me about the ‘clown sightings’ phenomenon. She really hadn’t heard much about it, and I knew it’d been bubbling over about the preceding 10 days or so. So, I told her about the Bermuda Triangle thing. Where the researchers took about 5 random spots on the map, and just drew triangles……and guess what? There were loads of ships/planes that’d gone down inside EACH and every one of those areas!

Yes, there may be an uptick in ‘clown’ sightings. Possibly, one factor (I believe) is the modern prevalence of excellent clown masks! One can put on/take off a mask within just a few seconds…….”Look, I’m a creepy clown. Oooooo, now I’m not!” But, people see weird and creepy things ALL THE TIME! In the 70’s, it was UFO’s. In the 80’s it was Satanic ritual sites deep in the woods. I ran across a pretty cool article today on CNN with some pretty cool stuff…..give it a read!


Number 7

So, this is stretching the ‘distinctly Texas’ locations bit just a smidge, but technically, no other Spirit Halloween store in the U.S. looks exactly like this one on the outside, now does it? I’m really going to have to pick up the pace on my 500,000 photo mark, aren’t I?

Spirit Halloween Tyler

Terror Nights (Tyler, Texas)

The 'Prepper' room at Terror Nights in Tyler.

The ‘Prepper’ room at Terror Nights in Tyler.

Well, this was an article I’d submitted at but it didn’t make the cut, so I thought I’d throw it up here (slightly modified, considering the venue-shift) instead:

Haunted attractions all across Texas are opening this month, promising scares and frights for attendees. ”’13th Floor”’ haunted house in San Antonio, Texas opened last week and is the first attraction of its kind to open this season in the city. ”’Zombie Manor”’, a long running attraction near Dallas, also opened last week. Billing itself as a haunted house “park”, ”’Thrillvania”’ features 4 separate haunted houses located near the city of Terrell. With names like ‘Sam Hain’s Trail of Torment’ and the totally dark ‘Thorn Hall’, this park opens on Friday.

”’The House of Torment”’, another multi-haunt attraction opened last week in Austin, offering up 3 separate attractions.

I visited Terror Nights haunt in Tyler recently. About a dozen people were gathered there for new employee orientation. The haunt’s general manager, Ryan Laepple, told new actors to be aware of their surroundings when working the attraction. He also cautioned them, saying, “Don’t get involved with boisterous guests.” He went on to say the haunt usually has 200-300 people who can’t get through the attraction without leaving via one of the “Chicken doors” located throughout the attraction. Offering two haunts, namely ‘The Toy Factory’ and the newly designed ‘Chiseltooth Manor’, Laepple told employees his haunt offers the, “…most intense experience you’ll find this Halloween in East Texas.” He noted that in recent years, the haunt saw as many as 1800 people go through the haunt in one evening. Laepple said he and staff spent five months building Chiseltooth Manor, a set beaming with apparent influence from the film, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.