Written by Deanna Hutchins
I travelled from Renmark to meet my son who was my team mate, at Mt Crawford on a lovely Saturday afternoon. Witches pointed us to where we should camp and we settled in. To get our maps, it seemed to be overly important that we had a whistle within easy reach so we could blow the ‘safe’ sound as ‘screams will be disregarded’. This seemed a little over the top.
A lot of effort had gone into costumes. A couple of zombies even started the event running with a stiff-legged zombie run; that was commitment to their characters.
We had set our course and scooted off to the north, quickly finding ourselves alone and wondering if we would see anyone else during the event; we need not have worried about that. A couple of checkpoints in and we arrived at “Ruin of despair” where the ghost of a little girl was wandering around in her night dress. Completely freaked out by this, we ducked and weaved around the ruin to avoid her and buzz the checkpoint. As we skedaddled out of the ruin we ran straight into some masked person standing on the other side of the road. Neither of us can tell you what they looked like as we both ran screaming in what we hoped was the right direction.
The next few checkpoints required some bearing setting and night navigation which was eerie, but very satisfying, although the cows mooing in the distance sounded very much like minotaurs surrounding us.
Enjoying the bright moonlight, we often had our torches off letting our eyes adjust to the night. At one point, we set off and confidently walked straight into another team, who gave us a virus. Doh!
The next checkpoint was very suspicious as it was quite exposed on the other side of a dam. We could hear another team coming so we hid thinking we could ambush them, give them the virus and hope that they would flush out any scary beings lurking. This is kind of what happened but the details are a blur to me. My son passed on the virus, however, at some point I was chased around the dam by a guy with a chainsaw. It took quite some time for my heart to stop pounding in my ears.
Surely there cannot be any more checkpoints where people will chase us, we thought… incorrectly.
Off to “House of Horrors” we trotted. Set up a hill, it was lit up but look quiet. As we boldly approached, a schoolgirl/ghoul sat up from her grassy ditch announcing “I like to play with dollies! Would you like to play with my dolly?” Dolly being what looked like a shrunken head on a string. Our strategy was to blast in and out as quickly as possible, so we dodged past her to get to the door where there was another schoolgirl/ghoul just inside the door and another sitting by the checkpoint. Aaaarrrggghhh! Quick, quick, quick, we just did it as fast as we could and tried to ignore the reaching hands and requests to play dollies with them. We leapt out the front door and belted down the hill. As it turns out schoolgirls/ghouls can run really, really fast and soon I could feel fingers on my shoulders. Concerningly, they continued past me and headed for my son. He admitted to me later that he was ready to keep going and leave me behind. Luckily another team was on their way and the schoolgirls/ghouls had their attention diverted from us.
Shaken to the bone we found our way to the bonus check point and stood for quite some time deciding if we had the nerve to go in towards the flashing lights and strange noises coming from it. I mean, it was only 100 points, did we really need them??? Eventually we stepped towards the forest only to find someone suddenly behind us yelling at us, which propelled us into the bramble-surrounded checkpoint. Bagging that and forcefully escaping the grip of the brambles we decided it was time to head towards the Hash House.
On the way back we had a brief discussion about a 50-point checkpoint that wasn’t far from the Hash House. It went like this:
Me: “Shall we get the 50 points on the way to the Hash House?”
Son: “Yeah, we should.”
Me: “It’s in a cemetery.”
Me: “Good call.”
Exhausted, we made it back to the Hash House and finally breathed a sigh of relief that we had survived.
This certainly is a rogaine I will never forget. Kudos to the sick and twisted minds who thought up and carried out the many, many theatrics of the event. Bravo!