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“Alright, let’s go!” Abby called as we walked confidently up the ramp to the U.S.S Barry. It was an old retired ship, but our Girl Scout troop had slept over on it two years ago, and we believed the haunted house set up tonight wasn’t as scary if you knew the place.
We walked into the big, empty room with some of the names of the Barry’s previous captains engraved upon a plaque. A giant blow-up spider hung menacingly over the entrance. Abby’s head brushed its inflated leg, and she cried out, “Anna! The spider will get you!” Anna was in front of me, and she was more than a little scared, but we all were. She just had the humbleness to admit it.
We looked around for a door, but saw no appointed hallway or room. Then we came to a door Sarah remembered from our stay and said, “Let’s try this one.” She pulled down the big, gray lever which was the doorknob, and we all peered in, expecting a gruesomely staged scene. We got utter darkness. “There’s nothing in there,” Skye said. “Oh, we’ve got to go in there,” I groaned, but as Abby and I almost stepped into the hall, a loud knocking echoed off the walls of the blackened hallway. We all stood petrified for an instant, and the next, we bolted. We raced down the ramp, not as confident as before. We kept running until we came to Skye’s mom, Mrs. Smith, our troop leader.
“That was short!” she remarked. We all told her about the knocking and debated if we should really do it. “Okay, this thing is really scary,” Skye said. Anna just ducked in her jacket. We thought of all the pros and the cons, but in the end, we decided it would give great memories, so we marched up that ramp again, resolute.
We went in with another family, but the younger girl with them quickly resolved to turn back. Alone, we found another door where a lady showed us where to wait to start. Wait, wait, and wait we did. From hearing all the morbid sounds on the ship’s Halloween soundtrack we tried worming our way into another group, but the lady directing us figured it out and told us going by ourselves would add to the experience. You bet it did!
We all held hands, and off we went. Abby was in the front, and Skye and Anna were in the middle, and poor little (I am by far the smallest) me was trailing as bait for the monsters lying in wait. Hooray.
We walked through halls lined with bloody, shredded linen, and the anticipation was heightening. We all began to try to sing the song we made up at the Brownie encampment, but we were all too freaked out and it just sounded like insane jabbering.
To make things scarier, there was a big curtain ahead, and Abby kept uttering, “I just know someone will pop out there, I know it!”
Her predictions were correct. A guy in a crazy mask jumped out from behind the curtain and yelled a guttural cry. We screamed like banshees, and the red and white strobe lights began flashing.
We were running, still holding hands, screaming at the top of our lungs. Every other yard, a guy with a mask on would jump out and yell, “Gaaaaaaaarrr!” We came to a steep ship ladder, and Abby and I, being Navy brats, prepared to bound up those stairs and away from the pursuing monsters. But Anna and Skye stumbled and fell, sliding all over the stairs. Crazed with fear, Abby and I dragged, hauled, pushed, and picked them up, and we continued running.
My heart was racing as we fled through the passages in the ship. I was truly amazed I didn’t hit more than I did. We were going through as lull in the monsters, and I had a little time to turn around. Less than two feet away from me, an amazingly tall guy holding a knife-ish thing was mumbling like a maniac and following us. I screamed, “There’s someone following us! There’s some lunatic WITH A KNIFE following us!”
I was going to say something else, but I turned around and met metal. I slammed into a wall, but Anna’s unfailing grip pulled me off it like a squished bug.
We ran a little farther, and he was still plodding after us. But then Abby, our line leader, stopped abruptly, and I almost crashed into Anna. “What was that?” Skye whispered in horror. Through her arm I could see something, too. It looked like a man crouched on the floor. “Guys, we need to move! The guy is getting closer!” Anna shrieked.
But they backed up. The man on the floor was shuffling toward us like a monkey. Fear iced into terror in my stomach. I thought he was just going to turn a corner and scare us to death from there, but he kept on coming. Abby and SKye were backing up, and Anna and I were desperate to move forward. My heart pumped fast with adrenaline, and then, two ghouls leaped from the sides of the hall at us, sandwiching Eileen, and we all shot forward like a speeding bullet.
Abby collided with the monkey man, and she gave him a hard kick or two. She KICKED him!! We ran away as fast as we could make our jello legs go, but Abby was suddenly crying, “I lost my shoe, I lost my shoe!” She started to turn back to that fearful hallway, but Skye took the lead, pushing Abby to the end, screaming, “We are NOT going back!”
We saw a lighted room, and immediately gravitated to it. With the ability to see clearly now, I understood Abby’s cries. Sure enough, one of her plaid ballet flats was missing from her foot. A man came up to her and asked her where she lost it; he quickly retreated to get it.
Now, Abby and Skye were in the light, but poor Anna and I were still in the dark. One of the guys with a hideous Freddy-like mask was leaning into my face, and repeating the words “the shoe” in a creepy voice, and soon two other guys joined in, surrounding me with raspy “the shoes.” They must have thought I was younger by my size and tried to freak me out, and I am sad to admit it pretty much worked. I told them it was Abby’s shoe and I as innocent and small and too gamey to eat. Finally after the “shoe taunting,” the man came back with Abby’s ballet flat and everyone gave around of applause.
Finally, Anna and I were rescued from the gaggle of monsters and pulled into the light. We were pumped up on adrenaline, and still clenched each other’s hands. We started to tell anyone who would listen of our traipse through the ship, but most tuned us out until the “I lost my shoe” part. Eager to get away from the horror-house, we galloped down the exit ramp, yelling to Mrs. Smith standing of the pier.
There, she was standing and talking with a lieutenant who had helped make the haunted house, and we gave him a very thorough report. We still were jittery from adrenaline, so after relaying a “job well done” to the lieutenant, we raced down that pier as fast as we could go, trying to outrun the spooky sounds emanating from the ship.
We waved our scarves over our heads, and anyone who saw us probably thought we were four ghouls escaped from the ship. We sprinted to the bridge to the next pier, and we examined our injuries. Abby had been attacked by a monkey, Skye had taken a pretty hard slide down some stairs, Eileen had marks on her throat from fake spider web trailings in the ship, and I had hit a wall and been mentally scarred from “the shoe” taunting. After a couple hilarious monkey imitations, we walked back to where Mrs. Smith was. “Do you want to do it again?” she inquired. “NO!” we all shrieked.
We walked to Mrs. Smith’s car and piled in. Of all my Girl Scout trips, this one was probably the most memorable. Nothing else could make me scream, fall, laugh, and be interrogated by monsters all in one night.
We all learned some very important lessons that Friday. Never stop in a haunted house, turn around, kick a monkey-ish creature while wearing flats, and know matter how well you know the Barry, on Halloween, it’s Barry Scary!