BY SARAH TEREZ-ROSENBLUM
I’ve been looking for a way to earn a little extra cash. I know what you’re thinking: isn’t an “MFA in Creative Writing” essentially an American Express black card? And blogging, that’s almost as lucrative as teaching, right? What use could I possibly have for more money? Greedy me, but lately I’ve been daydreaming about having enough toothpaste to brush all of my teeth, maybe even enough for a toothbrush, my index finger is rubbed raw. I was sitting at my cardboard box, typing on my manual typewriter when it hit me, it’s almost Halloween and moneymaking opportunities abound! Maybe you’ve heard about the 63rd St. Beach Haunted House. Historic and picturesque, it overlooks the lakefront, but on select days, October 22nd through October 30th, it’s set to go goulash. (I actually meant ghoulish, but I’ve run out of whiteout so please just proceed.)
Anyway, according to the website which I briefly accessed by breaking into a neighbor’s house and using her computer), the house “will contain over ten terrifying and chilling horror scenes spanning two floors.” So, I’m thinking maybe eleven.
Granted, my second floor two-flat is hardly a picturesque beach house, but Halloween is all about fear, isn’t it? Well, fear and candy, and I have both of those in spades. The candy helps with the fear you see. But enough about self-medicating. This year, I plan to open my creepy home to thrill-seeking kiddies and grow-ups alike, and while the 63rd Street Beach House is charging $10 admission, I’ll let you in for $5. From the moldy basement with stacks of ghastly yearbooks from 1953, to the rickety back porch where the eerie one-eyed squirrel makes his home, you’ll sweat (cause I don’t control the heat, my downstairs neighbors do), you’ll scream (cause there’s so much dog hair all over the floor that it looks like an actual dead dog), you’ll wonder if you’ll ever make it out alive!
As an added bonus, I’ll let you gaze from the sinister study window into our spine-chilling neighbor’s appliance-filled yard. What’s that evil flapping noise, you ask? It sounds like rabid bats, doesn’t it? But actually it’s the twenty-three plastic bags the neighbors hang on the laundry lines crisscrossing their uncanny yard. No one knows why! On a windy Autumnal day like this one, their sound fills the air. Fwap fwap fwap. It almost drowns out the bloodcurdling leaf blowers that start up at the frightening hour of eight a.m. Going so soon? But I haven’t even opened our disturbing refrigerator. The malevolent smell alone is worth four of those five bucks you paid. Now, walk this way to the creepy closet, I’ll let you look at the prom dress I wore junior year. No, not to prom. I wore it every day. Whoops, careful on the steps, the wicked landlord hasn’t fixed that creaky banister since we moved in. Mwahaha!
Come back at Christmas! I’m going to declare the apartment a happy holy historic landmark and cover it with merry tinsel! Tours are only $3 if you flash your Halloween ticket stub.
To learn more about the 63rd Street Beach House, visit http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com or call (312) 747-7661.
A freelance writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum, when not writing, supports herself as a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago's Story Studio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She’s kind of looking forward to it actually.