The Haps: Do you like scary movies?

| Scene Columnist

Until recently, I thought I had what it takes to survive a horror film; I don’t answer the phone when I’m home alone, and I never go into a dark room if there seems to be no apparent reason for its lights not to work. But The Darkness, a seasonal haunted house in Soulard, showed me otherwise. When chased by a man wielding a chain saw, I will run to the nearest corner, curl up and unsuccessfully hide.

The Darkness is constructed yearly at 1525 S. Eighth St., and this year it will stay open through the first week of November. The attraction spans two floors and takes about 20 minutes through which to walk. Scarefest.com lists specific hours and directions, which may be necessary due to the highway construction. The Web site also offers $2-off coupons, making the entrance fee $18 instead of the usual $20.

But enough logistics. This place will scare you to the bone. I’ll admit that I’m naturally on the jumpy side, but almost every person I saw walking through the attraction screamed at least once.

“At one point my jacket got caught on something, and my friends kept walking,” senior Scott Lichtor said. “I thought I was going to die right there.”

Another senior, who wished to remain anonymous, said he screamed like a little girl. And honestly, even if you consider yourself fearless, there is such a wide variety of creepy things in this warehouse attraction that something is bound to give you the willies—from carnage to monsters to children with those freaky “redrum” looks.

While some special effects are mechanical, there are also actors, dressed up in an assortment of costumes, who will not only jump out at you but also follow you. Be warned: They’re trained to smell fear. They will single out whoever screams the loudest or, in a slightly sexist strategy, whoever is a girl.

If you’ve been to The Darkness before, you’ll still be entertained, as it changes each year. The classic scares are still there, including the room decorated like a dungeon and one clearly belonging to a murderous butcher. But there is also a fairly impressive twist at the end this year. I won’t say anything more, but it’s pretty cool.

So if you’re looking for things to do this month while the weather is cooling, the leaves are falling and the nerves are ripe for scaring, head down to The Darkness. As senior Albert Tzeng said, “It’s freaking scary.”