The Coast Guard Station in Destin has created a Haunted House, which they opened to the public last night.
We're going to be camping over Halloween so we decided to take the kids to the Haunted House for a little Halloween spookiness.
We pulled in and followed signs that said "Victim Parking" to a parking lot. From there we followed the chalk outlines on the concrete to find the Haunted House.
I'd read in the paper that the Haunted House wasn't recommended for kids under 10 but the Youngest Island Boy was adamant that he was going in so we agreed.
As we were walking in from the parking lot we passed some people on their way out and the woman stopped long enough to say that if the boys were going in there that they must be very brave because her 16 year old daughter got so scared she wet her pants.
Which just made the boys want to go in even more.
Admission was a donation of canned goods to the Destin Harvest group. They do a great job of feeding a lot of people, especially during the holidays so we brought a bag full of canned goods.
We waited in line, the Youngest getting more excited by the minute while the Oldest Island Boy and I started thinking maybe we would just wait outside.
While we were waiting this woman shuffled up and down the line. She never said a word, just moved quietly in and out of the people.
She startled the Island King when he realized she was standing right next to him but then he decided that she was kind of cute.
There were several other people in dark clothes and scary masks that would just suddenly appear behind you or next to you. Very unnerving.
They were only letting small groups in at a time and finally it was our turn.
The Youngest wanted to go first so he opened the door and as soon as we were inside the door slammed and we were in total darkness.
From there everything gets a little fuzzy. And hard to describe.
It was dark but there were flashing lights. There were people screaming and as you'd turn corners a light would come on and there would be someone really scary right in front of you.
There was an execution room with a man in an electric chair screaming.
There was a party room with an absolutely terrifying clown who jumped out of a corner.
Lots of rooms filled with lots of scary stuff. And lots of scary people jumping out at us.
We followed this winding maze from room to room and at some point the boys and the Island King were no longer in front of me. The Island Girl was behind me, holding on to me for dear life with her head buried in my back and suddenly I realized we were totally alone.
We rounded a corner and there was a little light so I could see that next we were going to pass into a pitch black room, filled with who knows what, and I decided that I just wasn't going in there. Not first anyway.
I stopped and tried my best to get the Island Girl to go first but she wouldn't come out from behind me. And I was NOT going any further. So we stood there. Not moving at all.
After what seemed like an eternity but was probably only a couple of seconds some people came up behind us. Saved. The hallway we were in was too narrow for them to pass us so we all had to turn around and go back into a room behind us so they could get ahead of us.
Turns out the room I hadn't wanted to go in was as scary as I thought it would be and it didn't matter who was first, there were several men with chainsaws and they fired them up as you walked by - in the dark.
About this time I had a true moment of panic. I was done. I wanted out and I wanted out right then.
At that same moment the Island Girl, who was still buried in my back, let out a blood curdling scream and tried to run right through me.
And that was all it took.
I closed my eyes, put my hands out in front of me and then took off running. The Island Girl was practically on top of me and then suddenly I pushed into a door and we stumbled out the exit.
We stood there, gasping and being really glad that we were out and I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I turned and one of those guys wearing a scary mask was standing right there behind me.
I have no problem telling you that I've never screamed so loud in my life.
If I had a bad heart I would have dropped dead right there.
A moment later the door opened again and the Island King and the boys came out.
And suddenly the guys in the masks appeared from nowhere and scared them as bad as they scared me.
Geez. You're out, you think it's over and then they scare you all over again.
We moved over to a corner of the parking lot to catch our breath and I asked the Island King how I ended up ahead of him and the boys.
He says they went into one of the rooms and the Oldest Island Boy wedged himself into a corner and refused to move. In the dark and confusion we passed right by them.
I asked the Oldest about it and he said "I'm not even going to deny it - Dad had to drag me through there"
I asked the Island Girl what made her scream so loud at the end and she said that someone came up and grabbed her from behind and growled in her ear.
The Island King started laughing and told her that was him. He'd had a glimpse of us during one of the flashes of light and couldn't resist sneaking up on her.
As we were standing there talking the door opened again and a middle aged woman came flying out the door at a dead run. She didn't stop until she got way out in the parking lot.
I know exactly how she felt.
I was more than ready to go home but all 3 of the kids started saying they wanted to do it again.
Even the Oldest who promised he wouldn't have to be dragged if they did it again.
I told them I wouldn't even consider going back in there.
We walked back around to the front of the building and saw that the line was really long and luckily the kids agreed they didn't want to wait in that line.
We talked about it on the way home and it's funny that we all noticed different things. There was so much going on that you'd have to go through there several times to see it all.
It was really fun and all of us are glad we went but it will be awhile before they get me back into a haunted house. The kids on the other hand want to go back tomorrow.
My hat is off to Coast Guard Station Destin. They really outdid themselves and the Island King and I agree that this is the best haunted house we've ever been in.