To be honest, I've never thought highly of the Halloween Horror Night in Sentosa's Universal Studios (3rd year running now) and was more than ready to dismiss it as another run of the mill costume party, albeit with a giganormous budget and an elaborate publicity campaign.
So off I went, on the 12th of October 2013 (and that too upon much coercing and incessant begging from Star, Melanie and Steve) to the Halloween Horror Night 2013 at the Universal Studios, Singapore (armed with an express ticket of course at an additional sixty bucks because I wasn't interested to wait for hours to get inside a fucking haunted house).
Let's talk about the Haunted Trails. This area is filled with talents (and not so talented) dressed up as ghosts and ghouls and their main job is to scare the crap out of visitors and to indiscriminately be in hundreds of photos taken from and with ticket buyers.
Some were really into character and tried their level best to scare people and some are generally bad "actors", just writhing meekly in corners.
"In five minutes, I can writhe better while being tied up in bed and with my eyes closed than these girls can in their entire lives," Star said at one point, loudly to one of the poor girls at the entrance of the first Haunted Trail. She was dressed as this bloodied Victorian vampire.
First up was Vampires and I groaned and rolled my eyes. See, I grew up with an insufferable fear for Pocongs, Pontianaks, Toyols, Hantu Teteks, Hantu Galas, Pelesits, Penunggus, Hantu Rayas, Penanggals and the likes of it.
Vampires? Not so much. It has and will always be a Western concept for me. And in truth, they don't scare me at all. Show me a bloodsucking vampire and I'll show you a Malay housewife who sucks more than her husband's blood; and that too on a daily basis.
The next trail was The Covenant Of Evil, or something like that and it was filled with witches and shamans and again, boring. The only way I can be reduced to tears is if there is a Bomoh somewhere performing a real exorcism right there in front of everyone. Hey, go big or go home.
There was also a Haunted Jungle trail filled with sweaty bare bodied men posing as some kind of animal spirit and Steve was like, "Oooh, I would lick that sweaty body dry" and that that pretty much sums up the level of sex, I mean, scariness that trail had to offer.
Never change Steve, never change.
The last trail we went was filled with Pocongs (wrapped corpse ghosts) and Pontianaks (female ghosts who dies during childbirth) and it was a feeble homage to the Asian folklore and I was like, "Okay, now we're talking". There is something about coming face to face with the horror that you grew up with that really hits home.
I've always been terrified (and make no qualms or effort to conceal that fact) of Pocongs. It is possibly the only type of ghost that I am terrified of. I have no idea why but for some reason, it just scares the shit out of me.
And so Steve and I, hand in hand (please bear in mind that these are tow fully grown man holding each other's hands in public), walked slowly into the trail.
There were about 8 to 10 of these Pocongs lined by the side of the bridge and in the darkness of the night, we couldn't tell which is real and which is just a mannequin. About 20 people have walked past them in front of us and after three minutes to no movement, we both concluded that those were in fact, just mannequins. I mean, which talent in their right mind would want to be wrapped from head to toe throughout the entire night?
And then three of the Pocongs hopped.
"Fuccccccccckkkkkkk!!!!!! It moved! It moved! It moved! It moved!" I kept screaming and running; Steve equally hysterical. Star and Melissa were nowhere to be found and when we stumbled upon them about 50 metres ahead, hand in hand, Star sharply said, "You look like to gay men running away from a Catholic clergyman with a machete in his hand. Stop embarrassing me!"
"The Pocongs moved, it hopped! It was real!" Steve spoke between breaths, still clutching my hand.
"Shut up faggots," Melanie hushed.
The rest of the night was more fun because after that damn Pocong incident, Steve and I became jumpy with every passing moment and the Haunted House became an abyss of "Stop it!", "Oh my god!", "Fuck you!", "No!" and god knows how many shrieks and screams. Many times I found myself screaming at random staffs just working there as ushers in The Haunted Houses.
All while holding Steve's hands.
Halfway through the third Haunted House Melanie said, "Let's just go for the rides. I'm tired of you two ass lickers screaming at everything and anything!"