Sunday, October 5, 2014

Connected Dots

I want to discuss something interesting that happened to me this weekend that made me realize this class has changed my perspective in so many ways. Every year, I go to several haunted houses. Yesterday, I went to my first one of this fall season. As I was standing in line, I began to hear people scream inside the "Haunted Hotel." I began to get really anxious and nervous to go in because I was about to be scared. I instantly started thinking about how the people inside were just actors and none of it was real. I use this as a mechanism as to not get so scared, naturally. My partner and I began to slowly inch forward and it hit me! The parallelism between haunted  houses and pro wrestling was undeniable! The purpose of the haunted house is to pay money in order to lose track of reality for a short period of time and get scared. Everyone who enters knows that the people scaring you are actors and aren't actually going to hurt you, but we intentionally forget about that so that we can engage in the entertainment laid before us. This is just like pro wrestling! People forget about how the wrestling isn't real so that they can enjoy the show. Same concept! The idea of kayfabe was also demonstrated last night. A person in line in front of us told us a story of how he was kicked out of a haunted house because he attempted to hold a conversation with one of the actors. The actor escorted him to the exit because the actor said that they guy, the one in line with us, was "breaking his character and causing others to have less fun." I instantly related it to kayfabe in my head. The wrestlers do everything possible in order to keep their identity, as were the actors.


Timothy S. Rich said...

Excellent connection Marshall. Both are escapes from reality and follow a script of sorts or at least expected norms of behavior.

Full disclosure: I tried having a conversation once too at a haunted house. It went about as well as in your account.

Sam Ford said...

Love it! This made me think back to the woman in "Tonight: The Hulk Vs. Ox Baker" that we read earlier this semester. The woman wants to get into a fight with Ox Baker, while simultaneously reminding those around her that he had killed two people in the ring. She simultaneously believes and doesn't: there's some credibility to the account, but she also doesn't seem to legitimately be worried to get in his face and chew him out. And haunted houses bring you to that liminal feeling as well...The fear is real; even as you logically know what you're experiencing isn't. But immersing yourself is indeed the fun.

As an aside, you must try to seek out Haunted-ween, a movie made in Bowling Green about a slasher who sneaks into a haunted house and takes over one of the acts...and is able to kill people openly because everyone thinks it's part of the show.