Sunday, January 30, 2011 | By: BlackGargie

Happy Haunting

I went to the RTB Media Carnival on Saturday after our lunch date (which I will blog with pictures maybe after a couple of posts later). Everything was standard procedure and all that, with the exception of something different: a haunted house.

Don't wanna spoil it so soon for you, since I'll be discussing about it in another post, but after going into the haunted house, though there had been a pretty good scare here and there, I suppose it cannot compare with the one that we've done for our own haunted house during our bazaar.

I was Form 5 back then and we were having 1st school bazaar in, like, ever. I come from a very conservative girls' school (80% of our population are Muslims, including teachers) and full-scale gatherings like bazaars are not allowed.

They wouldn't even allow us to have dance competitions or even anything that revealed a little skin. Jeans are banned because they reveal too much body figure and entering dikir barat (a musical poem recital backed up by choirs, drums and tambourines) competitions was banned when I was Form 2 because most competitors from other schools were males and may lead to 'indecent behaviour' among them.

The long and short of it, I was an ex-student of a friggin' Malay version of a convent school!

Thank God I graduated and was outta there before you can say "There's a ghost behind your back".

Anyway, we were thrilled that our school was finally opening its doors wider to a larger public and we were really hyped about the plans of how to create the greatest bazaar ever.

Our class decided to create a haunted house, but was met with utmost objection by our headmistress, along with other classes who had plans on creating game booths. Like I said, very conservative. She said something about game booths promoting gambling and haunted houses bad for karma or something, like inviting 'unwanted guests'.

Needless to say, we were furious. We thought that her assumptions were crazy. What would a bazaar be without games and attractions? It's not all about selling food and drinks, you know. We were all out protesting, well, maybe not literally going out in front of the Headmistress's office and holding protest banners and all, but we did have our own teachers to complain to.

I guess our teachers were so impressed by our passion to build our game booths and haunted house that they managed to persuade and convince their superiors that a little fun and game wouldn't hurt. All in all, our protest was a success and our plans were on the way.

We spent days to prepare for this. Everyone was assigned to a job in either being a ghost or a tour guide. Even friends from other classes who had nothing to do offered their help on creating our haunted house. We selected the classrooms that were situated at the back of the school as our haunted house destination.

We were a little apprehensive about choosing that place because there were banana trees nearby, and according to Malay beliefs, banana trees are where the djinn usually hang around, but we were too enthusiastic about the bazaar to consider such petty nonsense.

We got the dry grass and coconut leaves for the musty cemetery smell, the cardboard and dark curtains from the science lab to darken the rooms and the tables and chairs propped up to make a maze out of it. We even designed posters and banners to be stuck all over school, drawn by yours truly, and made costumes for those playing the role of the ghosts.

We were lucky to find a dead baby rat, in which we added into our collection of spooky jars of formalin, along with chicken feet, intestines and bull's eye (real ones, I kid you not). We also picked some pretty cool sound effects to make our haunted house sound creepy as hell, which one of them, ironically, was sound effects for rest and relaxation and meditation. Who the hell uses the sound of forests that is infested with creepy creature sounds as a method for meditation??

I had my own attire; I played the mad killer from 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' and all I need to wear was a windbreaker with a hood and fashion a hook out of a clothes hanger, coz there was no friggin way that I would ever smudge make-up on my face. I hate make-up with a passion.

Finally the day arrived. During the bazaar, our haunted house was a blast. There was a long line from the science lab all the way to our booth even before we 'open shop'.

My first shift was being the tour guide and as I led the petrified guests through the dark, eerie haunted house, I had to admit that I was rather scared myself, let alone the guests I was with, because they bloody pull and tug at my shirt and made me lose my balance more times than I could count as they scream bloody murder at my friends who scare the hell outta them, and I literally hit the wall when we finally got to the exit and them tearing their way towards it.

I kept warning that the tour guide is in front and not to scare the wrong person coz I was just a terrified, even though I know that those are my friends. I came across someone who was dressed in green with her wet-dog look and green slime all over her body and was rather impressed at how good the make-up she did on herself. She must've put a lot of effort to make it so realistic. I greeted her and continued my shift.

When my shift came to be the ghost, I had my share of being yelled at, being slapped, bonked on the head, kicked, stepped on and goodness knows what sort of pain people can inflict on you when they're scared. Some even posed kung fu and karate moves at me just to scare me off out of reflex, and once I scared the hell of a woman whom I thought was my friend because I came too close to see her face in the dark, though of course, the boyfriend that came with her put up a macho act. ^^;;

I remember meeting this group of jerk boys who think they're all that by trying to scare us instead to show that they're not afraid, but the moment they turned their backs at me, I pressed my cold hook against the back of the last person's neck and almost immediately he jumped and screamed like a girl. XD Reaching under the table that serve as our "maze" to grab at the terrified guests were also the best part of the scare.

Of course, I do play the good guy sometimes and help the guests to go through shortcuts, especially those who strayed away from the "pack" or families who brought kids who are too scared to go through the whole maze, but of course, I still have to be in character, so I showed them the shortcut the way a ghost knows how: standing and looming at the area, pointing to the direction cryptically.

At one point, wearing a wind blazer, playing as a murderer who supposed to be going around killing people under the fucking rain, inside a really hot room where you seem to dehydrate easily and no amount of drinking actually gave you the urge to pee coz you sweat it all off was really giving me the pits, so instead of playing the killer, I decided to just play a dead body who fell outta the wardrobe like a bloody skeleton in the closet kinda thing. It was awesome to just topple out with a bang and lie in their path, scaring the fuck outta them, but then again, revenge was sweet for them as, since my "ghostly compadre" are chasing them from the back and there is no way but forward, the next best thing was step on the poor corpse, i.e. me. I remember perfectly after the aftermath of being stampeded was this:

Friends: Oi, you alright there?
Me: Do I LOOK like I'm OK to you??

Again, I saw the green girl occasionally appearing at the first and second room scaring the wits out of everyone. I waved and greeted her anytime I see her and wondered which class was she from, because she definitely wasn't one of my classmates or any other friend I know from other classes.

We had a great 2-day bazaar weekend. Our haunted house was a big hit. We were the best selling booth throughout the entire school and we really didn't want it to end. But all good things must come to an end somehow.

On Monday, we started discussing excitedly about our best bazaar ever when one of my customers, who's also my friend, approached me and said, "Man, your haunted house was the bomb! Too bad your class is going to graduate this year or we would've asked for an encore next year."

"Thanks," I replied. "So, was I scary or what? You were screaming your head off when I approached you."

"Oh, I wasn't frightened by you. Your character was old school. I was scared by someone else behind you. You know, very tall and all black until I can't see the face. Oh, and who's the girl in green? Man, she's the hit of your haunted house! I must congratulate her in person!"

My skin crawled at the mention of something tall and dark behind my back. Everyone swore no one played the role of the girl in green. No one from other classes either played that role. They claimed to have seen her but no one knew who she really was.

That's when we all realized how true our Headmistress said about inviting 'unwanted guests'. Turned out that by creating such a life-like haunted house, we actually created an atmosphere for the 'unwanted guests' to live in and wander around being seen. The reason we weren't harmed was because 'they' thought we were one of 'them'.

Many have seen other outworldly stuff from our haunted house before and after the bazaar. Even people living in hostels of our neighbouring school claimed to have seen something white floating around inside our haunted house during the two day bazaar and the last person who saw it caught an almost fatal fever a few hours later. We realized that the girl in green could probably be one of the djinn residing in one of those banana trees.

We were scared for a while and were glad we weren't harmed by any of those 'unwanted guests', and we learnt a valuable lesson on tampering with the spirit world. But that didn't deter the future residents of that school.

The last time I visited the school to check out the bazaar, the new generation also made a haunted house at the same place, although not as good as we did it. I never saw the girl in green that day, but I'm sure she was there somewhere hanging around among 'her kind'.