There I was, in complete darkness, corn stalks surrounding me and chainsaws randomly going off in the distance. The Haunted Corn Maze in Moorhead, Minnesota caused me to go in circles upon circles on the brisk fall evening just waiting for someone to jump out of the darkness.
I found myself stumbling through, trying to avoid constant circles and endless dead ends. Through the dirt walkway, it is hard to walk, I almost twist an ankle.
The only peace of mind in sight is the sky covered in stars, but this was no time to enjoy the night sky in complete darkness where screams are being heard in every direction.
I began to analyze the places people in the group tend to gravitate toward. When walking with four other people, there is not enough room to link arms and take on the maze together. It was much easier for it to be two in front, two in the back and then one in the middle.
The front of the group: this is the spot the leaders take either until the scared people run in front or they figure out when you are in the back you get snuck up on.
The middle of the group: this is the safest area for all the people terrified, but it is also the area where you get crushed in between people running and the others jumping back into you.
The back of the group: this is the scariest place. People like to follow you, and through the loud noises you cannot hear them coming; this is also the most entertaining area because you get to see everyone else in your group get scared.
As the bravest soul to take on the actors, I took the front and drag one of my friends with me. As we link arms, I slowly fell into the back as people ran in fear to the front.
Wait, what was that? Was that a corn stock or a person hiding within the darkness?
That shadow moving through the maze, I cannot tell if they are an actor or a person trying to find their way as well. “Hello?” Because that’s not cliché, like the actor is going to be like, “Hey, don’t mind me just waiting for you to get closer.”
“Hi, we’re trying to find our way too,” the figure says. A sense of relief calms me as now I see we are not the only lost ones among the corn.
I hear chainsaws going off in the distance and know it must be coming soon. But, when they bring the loud noise out of the corn stocks my heart drops for a second until I remember it is fake.
Is that a clown? Of course, there is always a clown. I put my head down and walk through the narrow area as two clowns follow behind. They let me go through the tunnel and trap my friends leaving me alone in the darkness with a bright light strobing in my face blurring any type of vision I had. My vision becomes blinded and now I am alone. My mind starts to rush, what do I do? Should I keep going? Is this a part of it? Are they going to make me take on the maze alone?
I spin around toward the bright light hoping to see my friends exiting the tunnel. I close my eyes hoping when I open them I can focus on the building and not feel so distorted. I blink my eyes open and the only thing I see is a clown charging directly toward me. I scream and hope that this is not one of those “killer clowns” that were a craze years ago. My heart pounds as he reaches just inches away from my face. I take a deep breath and turn around facing the darkness. Finally, I hear my friends running up behind me and start to walk toward the darkness.
What just happened? Why were we separated? Get over it, just keep walking.
Wait. Is that a door? There is a building in front of me, the smart thing would be not to enter, but obviously I must. I walk through and there are three men in creepy masks. I ask them their names to try and end the creepy staring that is making me uncomfortable and confused. “Bubbles,” one replied. “Well, that’s some comic relief, thanks. Nice to meet you, I’m going to keep walking now,” I said as I shuffled toward the other door.
I come to an area where people are waiting for another door to open. The wait is causing a sense of anxiousness and hopefulness that it will not be too scary, but also hoping it is terrifying, since it is Halloween. We go through the door and make our way through the strobe lights blinding our vision. Loud noises slowly deafen us as we scream from the unexpected bangs.
The next building is only one person at a time with a cylinder that you must go in alone. This was the scariest part, separating the group, once again, one by one through a claustrophobic tube you must turn around to get out of.
Constantly walking through, hitting dead ends and trying to see what is in front of you. From building to building and small spaces I go. Darkness consumes everything especially in the dark rooms. Once your eyes adjust, they throw a strobe light in your face or a person coming out of nowhere that you thought was just the darkness.
I see a light straight ahead, and go toward it. Dead end. Turn around. To the left? To the right? Just go straight, that’s wrong? Turn around once again. Wait, there is a light again, keep going that is the end.
Is someone following us? Turn around, no one there. A sense of feeling watched overtakes me, I become skeptical, waiting for another clown to appear from the corn or a chainsaw to block our path. A sense of relief and anxiousness overcome me. Run. Keep going. Don’t think and don’t stop; the end is near. Or is that just another dead end?