By Orrin Grey
Kim Parks considered himself something of a connoisseur of the haunted attractions that sprang up every year around Halloween. While he was getting his masters, he had been to haunted attractions all over the country—New Orleans, St. Louis, New York.
He worked as a systems analyst for a major telephone company, a job that required him to travel all over but that kept him occupied only during the daylight hours. At night, he was left to his own devices, and during the month of October those devices took him unfailingly to the doorsteps of the haunted houses.
Every city had one or two, most had more. Some were professionally run, put on by people who attended the HauntWorld trade show in St. Louis every year, but Kim was particularly fond of the more amateur affairs—the haunted equivalent of putting on a show in the barn.
He was not, in any of his other habits, a morbid individual. At work he wore suits in colors with names like “charcoal” and “fawn.” ‘There was nothing to mark Kim out as a habitue of haunts, yet some exploratory urge drove him to them, time and again.
After a while, they became so uniform—dark rooms and strobe lights and men in masks wielding chainsaws with the chains re- moved—that every deviation was like a precious stone unearthed unexpectedly in his driveway. These deviations became what he lived for. (Continue Reading…)