Fairbanks Asylum is a haunted house that goes on annually in Fairbanks. Last night, Blanka and I went. This is easily the best one I’ve ever been to. Partly that was because of the production values, but doing it with Blanka was extra entertaining. For those who haven’t been to one, a haunted house is typically a dark, disorienting maze with rooms filled with scary images, devices, and people. You work your way through by groping around, and nasty surprises await around every corner. The theme for Fairbanks Asylum is, naturally, an out-of-control insane asylum.
Blanka is a big horror movie fan. She’s seen all the classics, and let’s just say that she’s …suceptible… to horror imagery in a way that I’m not. The whole thing lasted maybe only 15 minutes, and it’s all blurred together, so I can’t give a chronological narrative. Here are the highlights, in no particular order:
- A man in bloody clothes, with circular saw blades on his wrists, holding a bone saw. He jumped out at us from a dark room. I strategically maneuvered Blanka so she was between me and him. Saw man went along with it: “ooh, a sacrifice”.
- Blanka, screaming at the sight of the man behind us in line wearing ordinary clothes. He growled back at her!
- Screechers: female “patients” standing in dark corners, suddenly screaming as a dim light goes on. There were several of these.
- At one point Blanka had enough, and went for one of the “wimp doors” at my encouragement. I had no idea that a man in a Freddy Kreuger outfit was laying in wait. Blanka later related that she is particulary afraid of that character. This caused Blanka to panic (but also laugh) and run away from the exit, deeper into the maze. “Freddy” taunted her with “scaredy cat”.
- After the next scare room, Blanka fainted, and collapsed to the floor! I had to help her up, and prevent her from falling into a prop table. One of the screechers broke character to ask if Blanka was ok.
- The rest was a blur, but I remember strobe lights, fog, body bags and the grand finale, a man wearing a hideous mechanical outfit with glowing red eyes, and speakers or some device emitting horrific sounds.
Blanka insists that she’ll never do a haunted house again! But we both agree that that it was worth it.