Monologue for man or woman,
especially for Halloween
(free for students & auditions)
By G. L. Horton
Age range 30s to 50s. 5 minutes.
I hear it in a male voice, but a woman could do it equally well.
copyright © 2005
I always thought my uncle Barney was crazy. His family home is
one of those old Edward Gorey type Victorians, and every Halloween
since I was a kid hes turned it into a Haunted House. I
mean, when I was a kid I didnt think much about it. Halloween?
I was the kind of kid who could take it or leave it. Trick or
treating was OK but not my favorite thing-- not if I had to dress
up in a silly costume! But for my uncles family, it was
like the focus of their whole year. The house has these long corridors
that they line with black cloth, and every door opens onto a scary
scene. Very artistic, very professional.
Very much an insane amount of hard work. But just mind-boggling,
how top notch he got his effects. Really, top notch. Like, last
year I took my kids to the Haunted House in the next town over.
One of these officially town sponsored things, fund raising for
the Boy Scouts. That town does it in a derelict property, so they
have the whole place to work in, and unlike my uncles family
they dont have to try to figure out how to live in it at
the same time. Plus, professionals donate their goods and services--
some kind of a tax break thing. But its a big nothing! Compared
to my uncles. Its the paint by numbers Haunted House,
while my uncles is the Real Thing.
People come from miles around for the experience. The police
send an officer to direct traffic. Gives you goose bumps, going
through. I suppose uncle Barneys put a lot of thought into
it, tried things out gradually, getting it to where its
really really scary. But not gross. Not a human butcher shop.
Not the Disney day-glo stuff either. More like the-- like-- projections
of a guilty mind. Its not something that sets five year
olds to screaming-- they dont really understand, its
too subtle. Although five year olds have to come in holding their
parents hands, or carried in their arms so theyll
feel safe, uncle Barney insists. But if youre the parent
whos holding your kid, keeping her safe, whispering Its
just pretend-- you come out shaken. The things behind the
doors, lurking in the shadows-- theyre real enough to be
frightening. Dangerous impulses, curiosity gone wrong.
Natural fears, simple as spiders or inevitable, like death and
decay. You realize youre keeping the kids safe now, but
theres darkness everywhere, including our own hearts. Its
not fun exactly, but on the whole its a good thing to go
through. Brings you closer together.
Its the pre-teens who scream. Youd think they were
on a roller coaster. Screaming themselves silly. And then when
theyre outside they laugh and push each other around and
make monster faces and do that middle school bonding silliness.
Which works, I think. My uncle Barneys a medicine man. The
ritual magic of his Halloween House makes those of us who have
gone through it a little bit different from people who havent,
and you know what? -- the whole town recognizes this.
When uncle Barney retired four years ago he was thinking about
moving to Florida, but the paper wrote a story about how this
might mean no more Halloween. What an uproar! Letters to the editor,
an award banquet, a Save-the-haunted-house fund. Barney agreed
to stay for a while, while people put pressure on his kids and
even on me to take over for him. And I sort of wish I could. I
cant imagine this town without the House. But whether Barneys
crazy or some kind of genius, hes not me. Im the kind
that can take it or leave it-- not the kind who makes it happen.