The Scariest Places On Earth

The scariest places are always the ones that you least expect.

I was watching Headline News. It wasn’t by choice. That was all that was playing in the room where I was waiting while people worked on my car. Isn’t there a law somewhere that says that all mechanics have to play monster truck videos and clips of old wrestling matches in their waiting room? I’m not one for new laws but we’ve got to get this one on the books.

There were all of the typical HLN stories. Dr. Drew and Nancy Grace were talking about some celebrity court case we’re all supposed to be worried about. Those two ladies from Saturday Night Live won’t be hosting the Golden Globes after next year. And then, as if they pulled it out of a box that read News Stories That Must Be Shown Every Year At Halloween, we got to see the 13 scariest places in the country.

One place was, you guessed it, a former insane asylum. Another one was a place where tuberculosis patients were treated back in the 1800s. In each location we were shown images of people walking up creaking stairs. There were even two ladies walking around with, get this, ghost detectors. Ghost detectors! How exactly does one get in on the business of selling ghost detectors? My guess is that the inventor of the pet rock had something to do with it.

Here’s the thing about places that are supposed to be really scary. They never really are. In real life, the scary stuff is usually in the least expected places. Right under your nose.

It can be in a home where kids are given the freedom to roam about as they please. At a young age, the parents think that this is cute. As the children grow, their lack of discipline becomes more frustrating. By the time the teenage and young adult years come around the child, and I use that word purposefully, is a monster. The fact that disengaged parents would expect anything different from their offspring is truly frightening.

And consider the church. I’ve spent most of my life in church buildings. Sometimes, I’ve been in them late at night or early in the morning when all of the lights were out. I never saw a ghost but of course I didn’t have my ghost detector with me so that could have something to do with it. The scary things I’ve seen in churches haven’t been in grave yards or dark, empty buildings. They have been in business meetings where pastors and members act more like the church belongs to them than to Jesus. I’ve left churches frightened after sitting through sermons where the good news of salvation from sin was replaced with the just sort of okay news of how to take your awesomeness to the next level with the world’s greatest life coach, Jesus.

The frightening images aren’t confined to the walls of a house or a church building. You can see them out in the open too. Like when people sit by apathetically while injustice, crime and corruption grows. Zombies aren’t just the stuff of television and movies. They’re real people who only care about others when caring comes with the promise of another feeding.

If you haven’t already, you’ll probably end up watching a horror movie or going to a haunted house before Halloween is over. Have a good time. But just know this. If you really want to be scared, all you have to do is take a look around you.