Mrs. and Mr. Tina Haver Currin peer into the abyss of their future together
A coworker recently asked me if I’m a “Halloween person.” I told her I didn’t think so. I certainly like the holiday, but Halloween people put a certain degree of effort into it that I’ve always lacked.
I’ve owned the same fallback costume, a Christmas Story
bunny suit given to me by a friend, for the last four years. When couples sporting the ubiquitous “key and lock” or “plug and socket” outfits are out celebrating, I’d rather be in bed. And I haven’t carved a pumpkin in forever. The last time I did, I cut a bloody groove deep into my thumb.
But I guess there was that marriage proposal at the Clayton Fear Farm
and I have been visiting the haunted attraction during the last week of October, usually after watching college football, since 2010. It was during a game that we first saw an advertisement for the farm, promising “a dizzifying adventure into the abyss, where no living being has ever been” and “The Haunted Hayride: Experience the longest 20 minutes of your life!”
As new couples do, we embraced the curious escapade. We hit the road shortly after the broadcast ended and arrived at the park long before it opened (it was much too bright outside to be scary, the teller said). So we tooled around Clayton’s country roads to kill time. A chance stop at a rural gas station delivered a few caffeinated malt beverages, which we sipped until the sun went down. I suppose drinking an orange Four Loko in the parking lot of a haunted farm is something that a Halloween person might do, but I’m not entirely sure.
We were admitted to the park several hours later, after my sweetheart taught me about tobacco farming, and we gingerly peered into the abyss of a future together. Before we hit our first haunted house, I asked Grayson if he’d accompany me on a holiday trip to Florida to meet my family. He agreed. The next year, we repeated the process, and he asked me if I’d join his folks at their house for Thanksgiving. I said yes.
And the year after that, in keeping with the spirit of spooky escalation, Grayson planned a proposal in the park’s giant corn maze—after we’d gone on the haunted hayride, that is.
We didn’t spend much time in the maze before a nervous Grayson dropped to one knee. When he did, a devilish “mua-ha-ha-ha” drifted from the buggy’s loudspeaker as the hayride ambled by toward a garage filled with ghouls. Grayson paused for a moment and then produced a ring. We embraced, our giddy laughter punctuated by the whir of chainsaws and teenage screams. In the garage, they had killed the lights.
When Grayson and I returned home, we took an impromptu set of engagement photos in front of a neighbor’s haunted house. We didn’t stay out late and we weren’t wearing costumes. Our porch wasn’t decorated and we hadn’t carved a pumpkin. But I have to admit, taking a picture of an engagement ring atop a fake skull—especially one from a haunted corn maze—definitely seemed like something a Halloween person would do.