4 Haunted Houses with Unexpected Benefits
Cons: Poltergeist; Pros: No roaches.
Halloween is just around the corner, hopefully with a shiv to stick right in the back of summer. With Samhain comes all of Art Attack's resident goth's favorite things: Spooky clothes, skeletal trees, long nights, horror flicks and macabre History Channel programming.
We've been on a haunted house movie kick lately. Mostly old-school flicks like the original House on Haunted Hill and The Haunting, as well as some more modern fare. Even though these adventures always end in bloodstained mayhem, sometimes we can't help but notice that not everything is bad about these haunted houses. For instance...
The Amityville House Has Free Pest Control Yes, we know that the book and movie detailing the Amityville Horror have pretty much been proven to be nothing more than alcohol plus a desire to make some money. Still, the movie scares the crap out of us whether it's actually based on a true story or not.
Except for one thing. The Lutz family notices that flies drop dead in huge numbers for no reason in the house, and for some reason they react with terror to this. Maybe it has something to do with the northern location, but down here in Texas we have roaches big enough to steal your children and force them to work on the weapons they will one day use in their glorious uprising.
Bleeding walls and whispered voices may be too much for the average homeowner, but if you told us we'd never have to buy ant traps or duel a flying tree roach with a rolled-up newspaper because the tortured souls trapped in the house kill all insects and pests, then we're putting down a deposit.
The House of Leaves Has Infinite Storage Space Mark Z. Danielewski wrote the scariest book of all time when he penned House of Leaves. The novel is the story of photographer Will Navidson and his family moving into a nondescript suburban home, only to find that it is actually bigger on the inside than the out.
Granted, that description leaves out a whole mess of different layers to the novel, not to mention the fact that its layout, footnotes and even the chosen fonts are clearly the work a raging psychotic. Still, it's basically the story of how Navidson's exploration of the house causes horror to be unleashed.
The explorations are the problem. Navidson just had to go poking around into the labyrinthine bowels of the house when a doorway leading into a black maze just randomly appeared one day. If it was us, we'd have just said, "Huh," and used the first couple of hallways to store things like boxes of CDs and that weird statue of a cat that is also a chalkboard our stepmother gave us.
The Overlook Hotel Provides Free Drinks to Guests
When you check into the Overlook Hotel from Stephen King'sThe Shining
, yeah, there are a lot of unpleasant things you may have to deal with. If you're staying in the movie version, the elevators have a tendency to vomit blood at you. If you're visiting the novel, beware the topiary animals that come to life. Both have old naked people who want to hug you in a bad, bad way.
And yes, the whole place is packed with ghosts who want you to kill your family because being dead in Colorado is kind of like being forced to become a living Internet comment section but with less calling people fags. On the other hand, those same ghosts are apparently willing to give you as much alcohol as you want!
Sure, that's a bad thing if you're a recovering alcoholic with a host of other problems, but us? We're a sleepy drunk, not an ax-wielding failure machine who has to have sex with Shelley Duvall and deal with a kid who thinks a friend lives in his finger. All we're going to do is swig merlot and play Portal 2 until we fall asleep, no matter how many spirits encourage slaughter.
The House on Haunted Hill Has Acid
No, it doesn't have LSD...we think. Actually, we should probably check that.
By the way, we are talking the original House on Haunted Hill. The only real amenity the remake had was free, albeit questionable, medical care from the ghost of Herbert West, Re-Animator. Let's go back in time to when Vincent Price was the king of all horror.
Whether or not the House on Haunted Hill is actually haunted or is simply a complex game of scares between the characters isn't really settled, in our opinion. Regardless, the house comes equipped with giant vats of acid for no reason that we can justify, save perhaps that someone wrote it down in the script and they kept going until it was too late to call bullshit.
Still, as long as we have them, let's put them to some use. All we need is for Batman to chase us until we dive into one and emerge as the Joker. Then it's laughing gas and banging that schizo chick in the black and red costume until the kingdom comes.
Get the Theater Newsletter
Get a rundown of upcoming theater events and ticket deals in Houston.