From the haunted house to the football field

Story by Caitlin Jones

Photo by Miguel Rodriguez

It’s two days after Halloween, but there is still fear in the air. There is darkness all around you. The door you push creeks open and you walk through to see the fenced boarder of a cornfield path. The crickets are loud and the lights are limited. Glancing up you see the three scarecrows looking down at you, the first and second both have a sicscarecrowkle. Waiting for the first to move you dodge under it or run past it before something can happen. Little do you know that that this scarecrow is only stuffed. As for me, I am the second scarecrow and I am very much alive. Perched up on a post stuffed with hay, I am ready for my first victims. All of you loud and scattered, I aim for the middle of the group. “AHHHHHH” the sound triggers as I lung off the sound pedal. I swing out with my sickle barley missing the tops my victim’s heads. I hear the screams of men and when I look down you are all struggling to get off of the floor as fast as you can.

The University of Utah’s football team came through Nightmare on 13th haunted house as a team bonding practice outside of our public   hours. In exchange, they offered to give us free tickets to the upcoming game. Mike Henry, the owner, agreed. This meant that he needed to get a cast together for that night and being costume girl I had no choice I had to be there, but I made a compromise with our cast director, Jimmy Dilly. He would put me in my favorite role: Scarecrow.

Regarding the football game tickets that we got in return, I had no interest… until the team walked through the cornfield. I watched all these big muscular men walk up to the fence of the cornfield like they could handle anything but as soon as they saw the first scarecrow they would hide behind each other or push someone else to go first. I thought to myself after the night was over “if these so called men were screaming and running for their lives in a haunted house then I need to see what they are like on the field.” I took the ticket and waited for November 28th to come. I had never been to a football game and since I am a U student, I thought I should get a little school spirit. I didn’t know much about the game before going and I wasn’t one to go research the rules of football before the game, I would wait and learn from watching.

On game day, Nov 28th I woke up to snow on the ground. It was going to be a cold and snowy day without any sun. I questioned myself about really going to the game or staying home and keeping warm. No, I had to go and my Nightmare family wanted me to go. The game was at 12:30 in the afternoon and the temperature was only around 29 degrees. None of us Nightmare kids were ready to see snow and I am sure most everyone had thought about bailing out on the game.

When we got to the game every one was bundled up and still freezing. This game was going to be rough. It was cold and we were on frozen bleachers. The game started then two minutes later it stopped. I was confused “why are they stopping the game?” I asked my friend next to me.

“It’s the first down,” he told me with a look of pure amusement on his face.

This was going to be a long and confusing game for me, not only was I freezing but I was also asking questions about downs, offside and holding. There is even a rule about the helmets. This was all new to me.

In the first quarter we got our first touchdown. Everyone went wild and I joined the crowd, (later asking questions.) I had noticed by this time that the players weren’t affected by the cold. They were tough and fought through the game; they weren’t scared. It was something I hadn’t seen at the haunt.

By the end of the third quarter the score was 20 to 7 and things were looking good for Utah. Everyone in the stadium was hopeful and those who were freezing were hiding in the bathroom. Five minutes to the end of the game, Colorado made their last touchdown with a good field goal. The game ended 20 to 14. The Utes had won and I had watched my first football game.