6 Nights 'til Halloween (Part II) / by Deborah Clague

Upon arrival at Double Spurs Ranch, a gentleman with a slouched demeanor and curious spectacles approached our vehicle. I assumed he was part of the set up, a nearsighted ogre-type character perhaps meant to scare us into paying a parking fee. Unfortunately, he was just the disgruntled neighbour informing us that we were parked on his property and had to move immediately. I wasn't aware that public roadways were considered part of someone's private residence, but I guess they do things differently in the country, y'all. I also noticed that disgruntled neighbour had turned all his lights on (including a flood light shining onto DS Ranch). Despite being a Halloween-themed event, it was clear that Ebenezer Scrooge took delight in ruining the merriment of others year-round. 

We made our way in, guided by a giant inflatable spider and hoardes of drunk teenagers looking for a cheap legal thrill. Snaking under a circus-style big top, the line was lengthy but expected. In total our wait time was about 20 minutes. Added to the hour we spent finding the place, I admit that I was more prone to let out a blood-curdling yawn than a piercing scream but I still anticipated a good fright. 

We happened to be paired with a group of middle-aged woman. Being the fearless 20-somethings that we are, we let them head into the unknown first both out of respect and fear that our potential squeals would somehow undermine the disaffected facade we worked so hard at maintaining. The first display depicted an Egyptian tome that quickly segued into a pirate motif. Admiring the extraordinary details, I couldn't help but notice that there was a lifesize dummy of Fabio. It may have even been the real deal...I'm pretty sure he's hard up for work these days. 

Following the winding trail of terror, we encountered an alien probe, a reenactment of The Exorcist, a tribute to Juggalos/Stephen King's 'It', and a torture chamber playing the collected works of Creed. Pretty scary stuff indeed. I screamed like a girl more than once, which shouldn't be surprising considering I am one. Upon departure, we were chased by a chainsaw-wielding maniac which may or may not have been that disgruntled neighbor. All-in-all, it was a fun way to spend a Friday night. My only complaint is that the entire walk-through lasted less than 10 minutes and there were no other attractions on-site to really compensate for the lengthy, out-of-the-way drive out there. Hopefully they expand on their offerings in the future.