Monday, October 17, 2011

Terror in Daylight


Every fall, we make a trip to the local nursery to get our Halloween pumpkins. And every year I end up, for a short time, scared out of my wits. Why? Because I’m afraid of the soon to be Jack-o-Lanterns we buy? No. My fear stems from something much more sinister.

The corn maze.

On the surface, what’s to be afraid of? It’s a small maze, and from the outside I can see where its borders are. Some of the stalks aren’t even that tall. It’s a maze designed to be fun for the smallest of children. I know all of this. Plus, it’s broad daylight as we head for the “ENTER” sign.

But once we are in there, among the corn, my sense of reason leaves me. I am the last to go into the maze. Stuart heads down one row, Amy heads down another. My indecision lasts for just a few seconds, but it’s long enough to allow the corn to swallow them both up. I start down the path that Amy has chosen, hitting one dead end after another, the corn  suddenly seeming much taller than it did from the outside. As hard as I try to stay calm, I am gripped with the unreasonable terror that if I ever do get out, my family will have vanished, never to be seen again. I’m about ready to run blindly through the stalks and make my own exit (strictly against the rules, by the way-but then so is leaving your parents unattended) when I suddenly catch up with Stuart.  I’m ok after all, and maybe I’m even having fun. “Have you tried going that way?” I ask him. But when I turn to hear his reply, he has vanished again.

For two years, when I was a kid, my family lived next to a big corn field in Pennsylvania. “Stay out of the corn,” my mother would warn us. Why, I wondered? But I never asked. Maybe it was best not to know. When I was older, I read some Stephen King stories, and I understood. Terrible, terrible things happen in fields of corn.

I am so spooked by this time, and so lost in my thoughts of worry and regret for even allowing this trip into the corn maze, that I can hardly see. And then all of a sudden, I am standing in a clearing. Miraculously, I have found my way out. Stuart is right behind me again, and Amy is up ahead, running in the grass and playing with a fat brown cat named Pumpkin. I take a deep breath, straighten the collar on my coat, pull a stray piece of corn silk from my hair, and soon I’m laughing and enjoying the beauty of a bright fall day in October.

I do have just one last piece of advice though.

Don’t ever, ever go, into a corn maze after dark…


Photo sourced from the internet.


  1. We did our first corn maze last weekend. Felix loved it, and I let him take the lead, but let me tell you, I kept track of our progress with a red crayon on the little map -- just in case...

  2. Smart idea Cam! I don't know why, but corn mazes bring out that "just in case" instinct, don't they! I'm glad Felix had fun-Amy has always loved them too:)

  3. It's interesting how the corn mazes take on a life of their own, once you're inside them. It's almost like something out of a dark fairy tale. I haven't been in one for a few years, but we used to go through a huge one when the kids were younger ... But, we'd all stick together throughout!!

    Sounds like you had a fun weekend, though. I hope you found a great pumpkin :)

  4. Left you an award at my place!

    I do enjoy a good corn maze, though it can seem a bit daunting if it is a super giant one. Mostly I'm in it for the hot apple cider.

  5. Last year they started putting helpers in the corn maze. So if you got lost and freaked out, they were around to help point you in the right direction, or even lead you out. We plan to hit the pumpkin patch this Sunday afternoon.

  6. Joanne-they are like something out of a dark fairy tale, aren't they! They definitely make me lose control of my rational side!

    Tina-I love hot apple cider too! I've never done a super giant maze-I wonder what that would be like!

    Lisa-helpers is a great idea. I'd be the one needing to be lead out, too:) Have fun on Sunday!

  7. I think in the dark would be more fun.
    I read a news article about a couple who couldnt find their way out so they called 911.

  8. That's too funny! I wonder what the police did? Dark would be more fun if I could have some chocolate to comfort me;)

  9. Yay for the popup box!! I too am creeped out by corn mazes - you won't find me even entering! We have so much in common!

  10. Kim, I'm so glad it worked! Yay!! We do have a lot in common! I get creeped out really easily. Last night it was the radiator banging that scared me. Amy thought I was a nut case:)

  11. I told Mr. A that I am not going into a corn maze with him because I just know that he will try to scare me or make me think that we got separated in the maze, and then he will actually get lost on accident. It's something that would happen to us.
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  12. I agree Bonnie-getting separated on accident is bound to happen-it sure scared the daylights out of me. Every time I heard the corn stalks rustle I imagined all kinds of horrible things moving around, and ready to get me!

    Why do I put myself through this, year, after year, after year...