Hauntings 2010: An Introduction

Eric Larson

I remember my first scary Halloween experience vividly. I was 7 years old, and my best friend invited me to the haunted house put on by the high school drama club at the town pool. High on Halloween spirit and dressed in my finest OshKosh Bigosh, I felt ready – and nervous – to experience the mysteries within.

What followed, though, was far from fun. Within the first two rooms, I was struck with a bundle of new and terrifying sensations: thick smoke, flashing lights, bloody zombies, and spiked walls that closed in as we entered the room. My first-grade mind could simply take no more. I burst into tears and dived into the arms of my friend’s father for safety, sobbing as he carried me through the rest of the dimly lit rooms and ghastly ghouls. I vowed that day to never return.

Now, 15 years later, I can finally embrace a good ole’ fashioned scare, though with some trepidation. I always despise being scared at first, but find myself craving it again shortly afterward. The initial adrenaline and nervous sweating always lead to a desire for upping the ante and doing the whole thing over again, only bigger and better. It’s a rush, and what makes Halloween such an exciting part of the year.

Thankfully, the Valley shares my affinity for thrills and has successfully gotten bigger and better over the last few years. We have long-running haunted houses, trails, and an unexplained conference, plus new ventures like a bus tour, a DIY ghost investigation, and an entire village taken over by the season.

Find details about them all herein, and because we’d love to see this time of year grow even more, we included a bunch of tips on how to create your own spooky experience or make the one you already have even better. So turn these pages with reluctance, for you don’t know what resides on the other side, and embrace your thirst for more by the time it’s done – this is Volume One’s Hauntings special section …