Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Scenario: In the Kitchen of Ghoulia Child


In the Kitchen of Ghoulia Child
Style: Shock
Position: First half of house

Cannibal miniature golf
Originally uploaded by angrylambie1

The aforementioned Bayou Brewing Company haunted house had a role that I ended up defining, because I was the only one to truly get into it. This scenario requires two people and some specialized props, and both actors have to be willing to get into the roles because it doesn't work otherwise. The name "Ghoulia Child" was a newspaper columnist's invention; she started out aged and grey but we soon discovered it was much more effective if she were young, perky, and wearing a pretty apron. The chemicals involved can stain, so be careful.

The group enters into a deli. In the case are plaster replicas of horribly punnish foods - ladyfingers, head cheese, face in the pie, and the like. A pretty young woman comes up and starts exclaiming in delight about the customers. After a short spiel, she offers the guests their choice of meat from a head on the platter. She slices into it - blood starts pouring down, the head opens its eyes, and starts screaming. With many apologies, the guests are sent on their way, Miss Child hoping that she'll see them again soon.

The "head on a platter" trick is well known; I won't explain it here except to note that the platter edge should be well-padded and is most effective when hidden with "extras" such as plastic fruit. The guy we had was a towhead blond; with makeup, he looked as if he were plaster too. The butcher knife was, of course, plastic. How did we do the blood? There's a theatrical compound, called A-B blood, which is sold in two bottles. Apart, they're clear. Put them together, there's blood. They are safe to use on the skin but prolonged exposure (such as over the course of several weeks) can cause irritation, so consider putting a piece of fake skin on the forehead (as the most visible place to cut.) Put one chemical on the skin and one on the knife, and wash it off after every group. And make sure the guy can scream - one guy we used didn't do anything, greatly lessening the shock.

As I said above, Ghoulia Child became very perky. People are more disturbed at the happy fun psychopath than the dark, brooding one. In fact, my spiel - which was entirely improvised at the start - was delivered in a bouncy manner, the better to talk over any replies. The spiel, as I remember it, eventually ended up something like this:

"Customers! Oh, it's been so long since I've had" (licks lips) "customers. Come in, come in. Would you like some head cheese? Or face in the pie? I'm afraid my ladyfingers are a bit stale..." (looks at one woman's hands) "but I'm sure I could get some fresher ones if you're so inclined. It's been a while since anyone's been by... Oh! I know! You're just in time, I just got someone out of the oven!" (indicates head on platter) "It was mother's favorite recipe, you know." (reminiscent) "She went so well with it... Well, let's dig in. Would you like light meat or dark?" (Slices head, which opens eyes and starts screaming.) "Oh. Oh dear. He needs a bit more cooking." (group starts leaving) "Do come back sometime. Bring your friends!" (thinks) "Bring your enemies! We'll have a ROAST!"

With something such as this, you don't want a fully prepared script, because guests are unpredictable, up to and including bringing small children into a haunted house which they are obviously unprepared for. (The scene ended up bowlderized more than once because of small children.) Instead, pick an actor who is capable of improvising, because who knows? They might come up with some better puns...

No comments: