About the Colony

Atascadero has its share of scares

With Halloween coming up this Friday night, we’ve been seeing numerous reports on haunted houses. I’ve never paid much attention to them. Even as a youngster I wasn’t too fond of Halloween and rarely participated by wearing any kind of costume or going to haunted houses.

I remember when the Atascadero Jaycees would convert the basement of the City Administration Building into a haunted house.

Children and parents would enter through the little door on the north side of the building and descend slowly into the very dark bowels of that building.

Believe me, that basement could be very, very dark. I’ve even followed Atascadero firefighters down there in training drills where they learned how to find their way out of a very dark place.

The Jaycees worked hard on that Halloween event.

There were portions of the basement that were still dirt, so there was always a cemetery. There were caskets and tombs and all sorts of places for something, or someone gruesome to jump out and scare you to death.

These days much of the “horror” deals with the walking dead and plenty of blood — too much as far as I’m concerned. I’d never take my grandchildren into the extreme displays the news seems to feature each night.

I have never gone to see any of the horror films produced by Hollywood for the specific purpose of scaring me — with the exception of one.

The film kind of snuck up on me. I wanted to see it because it was filmed in Cambria. It was billed both as a comedy and a thriller. All the school scenes were filmed at Coast Union High School, and the locker room and players were actually students at CUHS.

“Arachnophobia.” That was the film. I’m not scared of too many things unless you count the possibility of Sarah Palin being elected vice president of the United States.

But I don’t like spiders of any kind. I had to actually close my eyes during any scenes with spiders, or even the possibility that a spider would enter from stage left.

I don’t know how the film ended because my eyes were closed.

That was scary.

So whatever it is that scares you, Happy Halloween.


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