With the people dressed up like all of your favorite fictional characters, a haunted house brings to mind horror films and scary novels of yore. They spring out from the darkened corners and scare the beejesus out of you, while Death Metal pipes, surround-sound style, from the speakers. The House of Torment, located in North Austin, was no different. We strolled through the maze of rooms with various ghouls and ghoulettes jumping out at us, uttering sweet nothings into our ear. One guy even told me he wanted to give me a kiss. Aw, how sweet!
The thing that stood out the most was the set design, most memorably the "butcher shop" scene, which looked like something straight out of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," complete with dead animal and human carcasses spread-eagled before our very eyes. I was expecting Leatherface to jump out at any moment, reminding me that I saw way too many horror films in my youth. Carcasses seemed to be a recurring theme throughout, with half-rotten torsos, a giant horse, several animal-like husks, unindentified bloody objects hanging from the ceiling, and even a dead lady in a bathtub. "The Shining," anyone? A clown with a giant mallet made several appearances, bringing to mind Pennywise the Clown from Stephen King's seminal novel "It," a book that scared the wits out of me at the ripe old age of thirteen. I think my mom was the one who gave me the book to read. Sick.