HALLOWEEN PARTY FROM
This is the absolute true story of the longest and
most frightening night of my entire life.
I have always loved throwing my Halloween Party.
Dancing and Costumes go so well together and it is always
fun to promote a little mischief. People
appreciate my efforts. They compliment me on hosting
such a well-run party. Of course I enjoy the kind
words, but inwardly I always smile at the part about the
'well-run party'. These people of course have no idea
about all the screw-ups I made in the early years while I
was learning my lessons.
Of course most of the screw-ups occurred at one particular
party. The 1981 Halloween Party from Hell was a
catastrophe of unbelievable proportions.
Get ready to
be amazed at all the crazy stuff that happened. I
promise you will not be disappointed. This is
definitely one Hell of a good story.
PART ONE -
THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION
1 - THE PICTURES
TELL THE STORY
There were three important developments in the weeks leading up to the 1981 Halloween
Party . The
first significant development was an offer made by my friend
Jim Fogo to take photographs.
The 1981 Party was our fourth party in a growing
tradition. Up till now other than a snapshot here and
there, we hadn't taken pictures very seriously at the
previous parties. Fogo's offer to take pictures of all
the guests seemed like a great idea. Without any
hesitation I gave him permission to snap away. At the time I
never anticipated that these pictures would help catapult
our Halloween Party to fame.
During the party, Fogo took
pictures all night long. I immediately
frowned when I realized Fogo had decided to use his
photography as a babe magnet. I had forgotten Fogo
was a serious skirt chaser.
There was one pretty girl in particular that Fogo
took a shine to. Her name was Cindy Sawin.
Cindy, 21, was the
daughter of Pat Sawin, one of my favorite
dance assistants. Like a paparazzi tailing a movie
star, Fogo followed Cindy wherever she went all
night long. I reminded Fogo that Cindy was much
too young for him. He said
he didn't care. She was absolutely beautiful
and Fogo had no self-control. I think half the
pictures Fogo took ended up with Cindy in them.
As far Cindy was concerned, she spurned his
attentions. She could have cared less.
In fact she left the party early. Thank
goodness. At least now Fogo was emotionally
capable of aiming his camera at someone else.
Despite my misgivings at his intentions, Fogo did us
quite a favor.
When Fogo presented his collection to me a week
after the 1981 party,
I was flabbergasted at how well his pictures had turned
out. I was tickled pink to see the big smiles
and the great costumes. People had
obviously had a great time at my party! I was
In fact, I was so impressed
with Fogo's pictures, I immediately wanted to share
his pictures with all my dance students. So I
went out and got a poster at Texas Art Supply. There were about 80 pictures, 40 of
Cindy and 40 of the other guests. I glued the best
pictures on the poster. Then I hung the poster up at
the studio for all the world to see. As a result, even
though we had three previous Halloween parties, the 1981 Halloween Party became our first party to ever have a
The guests absolutely loved seeing the poster.
I grinned as everyone who had been at the party circled
around the poster to laugh and tease each other. I was
surprised to realize that even the people who didn't come to
the party were interested. Several of them whispered
to me how much they regretted missing the party now that
they had seen the pictures. They were so taken aback
with all the fun we were having that they became determined
to make the next year's party.
Thanks to Jim Fogo, this is how I discovered how much people
appreciated getting their picture taken and having it
displayed. The 1981 Halloween Party marked the way
for photos to become a major part of our formula for
success. These pictures were so phenomenal at
promoting future parties, taking pictures became a focal
point from that point on.
Also thanks to Fogo, for the purposes of this unusual
tale, we also get to see some pictures to help explain how
crazy things were as this story unfolds.
2 - RICK IS IN THE PENALTY
BOX FOR BAD BEHAVIOR
The 1981 Halloween Party is the only SSQQ Halloween Party I
have ever attended on my own. This was significant. The fact that I did not have a date for this party
would play a major role in the outcome.
was the year I was finishing out my final phase of punishment for the
greatest single mistake of my life.
I had been dating a married woman for three years. I will call
her Christie, although that is not her real name. This
affair was the
dumbest thing I have ever done. Thanks to me, Christie had
separated from her husband. Thanks to me, Christie was
constantly consumed with guilt over leaving her small child.
Indeed this affair cost me and the other
people involved dearly. In case you are curious, the insanity
of this relationship is described in thorough gory detail in the
adventure known as
1981 was the year that Christie was trying hard to rekindle her
relationship with her husband. Although Christie did
eventually re-connect with her husband in May 1982, this outcome was
still in doubt as the 1981 Halloween Party rolled around.
Christie was not the most secure woman in the world. Indeed
Christie insisted on keeping me around as her fall-back option just
in case her attempt failed. In other words, I was not allowed to date
other women. Christie
threatened to destroy my dance studio if I strayed. In other
words, it was okay for her to actively pursue her ex-husband, but I
had to behave until she made up he mind which direction to go.
Doesn't sound fair, does it? Actually, it wasn't her
blackmail threat that kept me in line, but rather my guilt over my
mistake that made the difference. I was willing to avoid
dating if it meant she could save her marriage. Christie had
been instrumental in helping me get my business started.
Through an odd combination of guilt and gratitude, I decided to bide
my time. Since Christie was
making steady progress towards reconciliation, I was more than happy to
Throughout 1981 I had waited on the
sidelines while my friend Christie vacillated between me and her former
husband. We had spent the entire year slowly drifting apart.
Things were rocky between Christie and her ex. After all,
there were a lot of wounds that had to heal. Occasionally she would have a
major disagreement with her former husband and come running back to me
for reassurance. But for the most part I believed a reunion with her
ex-husband was inevitable.
As Halloween approached, I had the feeling that Christie
had just about made her mind up for good. Sure enough, my instincts were
A couple days before the party,
Christie told me over the phone that she wouldn't be
with me at the party this year. This announcement was
a surprise. After all, Christie had been instrumental in
organizing the all of the first three Halloween Parties.
She loved Halloween just as much as I did. As you
can see from our 1979 and 1980 Halloween pictures, Halloween
was a special time for us.
But this year Christie had chosen to spend the evening
with her former husband. As they say, this was a major
omen, quite possibly the beginning of the end.
For Christie to miss this party meant the time she would still be
in my life was growing short.
I had some mixed feelings. After all, my past four
years had been wrapped around this woman.
Nevertheless, despite my sadness, I was completely okay with her decision.
In fact, I had been hoping for this moment for some time.
I had been waiting for the chance to get my freedom back.
My life spent in Limbo was getting tiresome.
I was still technically Christie's boyfriend,
but these days we spent very little time together.
During my time in Limbo, I had discovered
that not chasing women freed up a lot of energy.
Without one of my favorite pastimes to keep me amused, I found I had
a lot of extra time on my hands. SSQQ had grown by leaps and
bounds in 1981 because I turned every bit of that
energy into developing my dance studio. Now I wanted my 1981 Halloween
Party to be a grand triumph.
Now as the party was just two days away, I realized I would be
running the party alone for the first time. I wanted to prove
to myself I could have a successful Halloween Party without
Christie's help. I
gave it some thought and decided I could pull it off. Put up
the decorations and get the music ready. What else did I have
Back in those days, I had a different
much approach to the Halloween Party. I figured the
Halloween Party would pretty much run itself. I was
more interested in having a good time than I was in being a
responsible studio owner who keeps a close and sober eye on
Being free is kind of fun sometimes. Although I
had no intention of chasing women at the party that night, I
was definitely ready to let loose. I had a great time
being a wild and crazy Sailor Boy. I danced with
abandon, I flirted at every opportunity, and did whatever I
felt like doing as the evening wore on. Despite the
invisible strings attached, I didn't see any reason why I
couldn't scout for future girlfriends given the
As it turned out, there was a major consequence of my
independent status that night. Since I didn't have to
answer to anyone, I was free to drink as much as I wanted to. However, no
one was around to keep me in line when my drinking got out
This small detail would play a very significant role
in the evening's outcome.
3 - BOB JOB
TWISTS MY ARM
Bob Job was my best friend. In his spare
time, Bob was a brilliant
chemist who worked for Shell. But
his greatest love was the Texas Twostep. Throughout
1981, Bob and I had been working out the kinks in this new
dance we called the
He and I spent a lot of time together at the old
the place where SSQQ got its name.
I loved Bob, but he was always getting me into
trouble. For example, one time he almost got me beat
up by a bunch of Mexicans in
Acapulco. And of
course he would be the main reason tonight's 1981 Halloween Party
went to ruin.
With friends like Bob, who needs enemies?
Tonight's party seemed so promising. Back in the
early years of the Halloween Party, I was always looking for
ways to make my Party better. But in 1981 I was more
determined than ever to do well. I had some serious
atonement to attend to. I really messed up the
The 1980 Halloween Party had
been going very well until I made a terrible decision. A stranger
had asked my permission to put
dance wax on the floor. However he didn't know what he was
doing. He put the entire contents of the can down on the floor.
Suddenly no one could stand up
any more, much less dance. When we tried to sweep it up, the
dance wax simply coated the floor like glue. We had no idea
how to get rid of the stuff. Since any further dancing meant
risking life and limb, everyone began to head for the exit door.
The 1980 party ended over an hour early thanks to my stupidity.
It was now one year later, but I
was still bitter about ruining my favorite party
of the year. After the dance wax fiasco of 1980,
memories of all those people leaving the party an
hour early still burned in my soul. I was determined to
much better this year.
As the 1981 Party approached,
I decided to ask my best friend Bob if he had any
good ideas how to make
the next party better.
Bob smiled immediately. He was so glad
I had asked! Bob said that back in college he was
always in charge of mixing the brew for his frat parties.
Bob told me he could mix a wicked punch!
That's exactly what I wanted to hear! Caught up in his enthusiasm,
I was convinced this was a great idea. I
had no idea of the consequences, so I gave him carte blanche
to go about his mission.
Oh really? Tell me more.
me his strange brew would
definitely liven things up.
Thanks to his amazing ability to add just the right amount of
certain chemicals to the punch, he assured me this would become the
best party I had ever thrown.
Do I always have
to learn everything the hard way??
As it turned out, my
decision to put Bob in charge of the punch would pave the way to the
Halloween Party From Hell.
PART TWO -
You would have never guessed we were on the Eve
of Destruction if you came to the Party early. The
1981 Halloween Party was fabulous right from the
The dance floor was crowded and people were chatting.
Fogo was taking pictures right and left. Everyone was
smiling for the camera. I could not have been more
Truth be told, if the 1981 Party had ended at 11 pm,
this party would have gone down in history as easily our best
Halloween Party to date. Who needs Christie?
As you can see from the picture, Bob's punch
was DEFINITELY the hit of the party!!
His strange brew was popular with everyone.
Back in those days, the SSQQ Halloween Party was BYOB.
We didn't have a cooler. Nor did we have
beer, wine, or soft drinks. Therefore Bob's
Magic Punch was the answer if you didn't bring your own stuff and
wished to become chemically altered.
There was a long line as many of us availed ourselves of the delicious
punch. Yum. It tasted great!
Throughout the night, Bob hovered over his
making sure there was an ample supply for everyone. Bob's
concoction not only tasted delicious, it had our guests smiling from the
get-go. Everyone was misbehaving and people were having a great
As you can see, Bob had found the perfect costume for the
occasion. Dressed as the Mad Wizard with
cloak and conical Magician's hat, Bob certainly looked the part
as he stirred his strange brew.
Adding to the Magic was the
eerie smoke that emanated from the Cauldron.
Bob had added dry ice to give his work the
appearance of a mystical Wizard's Potion.
The illusion was very impressive! There
were plenty of people ready to try some.
It didn't hurt that he had his date, a lady named Carol , serving as his beautiful
Magician's Assistant. Everyone got in line so Carol could ladle up the brew. As
she filled each person's cup, she warned people with a wink and a
cackle that Bob was trying to poison them. Wha ha hah ha ha!
No truer words have ever been spoken.
The strange brew worked like a charm. Thanks to
Wicked Wizard Punch, the party quickly burst into animation.
Everyone was having a great time! We
danced, we laughed, we carried on, we made complete fools of ourselves. Gosh we were having fun!
For the first two hours, the 1981 Halloween Party was a
And now it was time for my big surprise!
THE NAKED DANCERS
Two hours into the party my guests were treated to
dancing entertainment. I hadn't told
anyone that I had hired professional dancers to perform. It was an
idea I had to boost the energy of the party. However I had
arranged things at the last moment. Since I wasn't
completely sure if the dancers
would actually show up, I kept it my little secret.
Back in the early days of SSQQ, I subleased
two back rooms at our Bissonnet location from Dance
Dance Arts was owned by
Glen was not only my landlord, he was also the man who taught me how to
Glen was a very gifted dancer in his own right. However
he took his greatest pride in training his dance company.
Glen was a marvelous choreographer. His dancers reflected his
creativity. My only regret was not seeing Glen himself
dance more. Glen typically preferred not to perform in his
own shows for fear he would dominate his protégés.
Although he was right, I selfishly wished he would change his
Still, I had seen the dancers perform several times. Glen
believed in making it sexy. The best way to describe these
kids was "hot hot hot"! And that's an
During a private lesson that week, I spoke to
Glen about having his company perform for us. Glen agreed to let me hire his dance
company to perform at our party. However
Glen said he had another engagement, so he wouldn't be
there himself. He said to look for the dancers to arrive
around 11 pm.
That night a gasp went out
as 5 women and one man appeared
to perform for us. The moment I saw
I took a deep gulp.
Glen had not told me
which routine they were going to perform, but
I definitely didn't expect their Jungle Fever
act. Uh oh. This could be trouble.
Sure enough, the girls took off their robes. The men's eyes lit up!
Ohmygosh, these girls were practically naked!
They say pictures are worth a thousand words.
That saying is absolutely accurate. As you can
see thanks to Fogo's expert photography, these outfits left
nothing to the imagination.
Every curve on their perfect
bodies was on display for the world to see. Do you think if I wrote a thousand
words you would begin to understand just how naked these
girls were? And do you think my thousand words
would explain why the men were practically falling over
each other to get closer? The pictures
explain it all.
As my intuition had warned me, not everyone was happy to see the
performers. The women in the audience shot me deeply disapproving
glances. If looks could kill!
But I knew the guys would protect me. The
seem to mind
at all. They were having trouble keeping their
tongues in their mouth and their eyes in their sockets.
Drool was coming out of their mouths. These men
were totally in lust.
I think the pictures are convincing enough, but let me
add these girls were very pretty. They had great
bodies and they were terrific dancers. Their
effect on my men was nothing short of lethal.
I was thrilled they had come. I watched them
practice at Dance Arts all the time, but my students
have never seen them perform before. Even though
we all shared the studio, the two worlds never crossed.
Usually the rehearsals took place after my classes were
over, but Glen would close the infamous door to Room One
as well. He preferred the privacy. Now my guests would
see first hand just how awesome Glen's dance company
I was not alone as I admired the
awesome figures and beauty of
They were poetry in motion.
Our women were still in shock at the outfits, but I have never
seen more grateful men in my life. They quickly
pushed the women to the back of the pack so they could
get front row views. These women were so hot!
performance was just as
as the outfits. The six dancers put on quite a show.
Their dancing was lurid, suggestive,
and (if you were a man) quite
arousing. The girls shimmied
their chests, worked their hips, undulated their waists,
and gyrated with wild abandonment. Glen had meant
for the dancing to be sexy and provocative.
Judging from the reactions of the men, Glen had clearly
succeeded. They were panting with
Thanks to Bob's
Wicked Wizard Punch,
the men were already pretty
lit. This was
better than a topless bar! The girls were
not only naked and beautiful, they could really dance!
You have no idea the effect that frenzied dancing has on
men till you see it first hand. By the time it was over, the
men were barely hanging onto any semblance of
self-control. Too many
bouncing breasts. Too many long legs and naked
waists. These girls were so sexy that every
guy in the place was really turned on.
Our men were screaming their heads off with
applause! I was actually kind of embarrassed at
how out of control the guys were.
Then something odd happened - the girls cut their
performance short. They were supposed to dance a
second number, but instead the five girls huddled after
their first number. Then without warning they
grabbed their robes and headed for the door! After they
saw our reaction to the
number, I honestly think they were frightened.
These girls weren't stupid. They had noticed
our blatant lust and decided to get the hell out of
there while they still could. Previously these women had only performed on remote
stages at gay bars. This is politically incorrect to
say, but I doubt these ladies had ever realized the
potent effect of their gorgeous figures and dancing
abilities on heterosexual men. Tonight they were
dancing within reaching distance of our men who were
howling like wolves. It didn't
take them long to figure out how uncomfortable this
Sure enough, the moment their
number was over, right in the middle of our applause,
the five women sprinted out of sight with the young man
struggling to catch up. They were
gone before we knew it.
I am surprised the men
didn't chase them. I guess they were too drunk to
react. These young ladies were gone before we could grab any of
And don't think for a moment we didn't
I am sorry to say the Jungle Frenzy
Performance turned out to be a huge mistake.
It seemed like a good idea at the time, but the performance
really backfired on me.
Our guests began to leave in droves immediately after the
performance. Jim Fogo (pictured up in the front wearing the SSQQ yellow shirt) was
so alarmed at all the people leaving, he suggested we do a group
photograph before anyone else could escape.
There had been over 100 people at the party, but as you can see,
only 21 appear in the
picture below. To save reputations, I will not list any names.
Every picture tells a story and this picture is no exception.
This picture reveals that Bob Job and his date are nowhere to be
seen. They are missing from the picture.
I will explain why not in a moment.
And please note my condition. Yep, that's me in front. Sailor Boy was midway through his steady
descent into oblivion.
WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
- WE ALL GO WILD!
Obviously the Jazz Performance was
spectacular. So why do I point to the Jungle Fever
performance as the beginning of the end?
First and foremost, many of the women at the party were really angry.
For starters, they were really pissed off at me for bringing naked
women into the studio. You have no idea how furious some of those women
were, believe me. And maybe they had good reason.
Their men were starting to act like sex fiends!
Watching their dates and husbands make
fools of themselves was very disturbing. The looks
they saw on their guys should not be seen in polite company.
The men were hootin' and hollerin' like they were at some titty bar.
And many of the guys were out of control. Inhibitions were
shattered. They were so aroused they were grabbing at every
female in sight. This was like a Frat Party gone mad.
Their women didn't appreciate how frisky the men were with
So the moment the Jungle Dancers made their escape,
many women in the audience decided that was it. They grabbed their
husbands and dates by the
hair and hauled them out of the building. Seeing their
men were barely under control as it was, the women were
determined to get their men out of there before he made some
mistake he would come to regret.
Interestingly, one of the female backlash casualties was my
friend Bob Job. He was not in the group picture above because his date
told him it was time to go. The look in Carol's eyes
said 'NOW'. Bob said okay, but first he had to
clean up the Wizard's station a little...
We took the Group Photo around 11:30
pm. We were now 2 1/2
hours into the party. Typically the party
is still going strong at Midnight. That's when I
announce "Last Song". At this point many of the guests are kind
enough to stay and help me clean up. With everyone
pitching in, the place is clean in about 30 minutes. Then we
all go home and get some rest. But tonight cleaning up
was the last thing on people's minds.
The sexy jazz performance had
totally altered the rhythm of my party. I was being
given a first-hand lesson on how Men's Clubs stay in
business - Watching naked women dance makes men want to drink.
Sure enough, immediately after the Group Photo, the men got
up like a herd of buffalos, and stampeded for another round of Bob's Wicked Wizard
Punch.... and then another.
From the looks of the pictures, I guess the women did their
share of drinking too. Maybe they got caught up in the
men's fervor. I had never seen so much drinking
at an SSQQ party before. Unfortunately I was way too
blitzed to do anything about it. Actually, now that I
think back, I was way beyond even caring.
I was so drunk I was barely holding on to consciousness.
Something was very different tonight. For
one thing, the dance floor was deserted. The dancing had a lot of trouble
starting up again. It wasn't like we didn't try.
After the Group Photo, I put the music back on and the guests
attempted to dance but it was obvious they weren't doing very
well. The men staggered around and realized with
embarrassment they couldn't remember any moves. Finally after one or two
songs, people gave up in frustration
and left the dance floor.
Soon the dancing had stopped completely. That was very
strange. Of course one reason was Bob's Magic Punch. Social dancing and drinking don't actually mix very
well. Sure, a drink or two relaxes everyone, but too
much drinking destroys the mental aspect necessary to
remember patterns and leads.
Besides the booze,
Jungle Fever had ruined the men for the
rest of the evening. The dancing had made the men so
horny, they couldn't even
begin to concentrate on Twostep or Swing dancing.
They had one thing on their mind. They were flush with sexual excitement.
So the men began drinking as a way to cope with their
arousal. That's when they discovered they were useless on the dance
floor. Unable to dance, they drank some more.
These people were too
clumsy to dance, but they were also too impaired to drive.
So they were forced to stick around. Now a curious
thing started to happen
- people began to act like stark raving maniacs!
Some people laughed hysterically. Other people began to wander around
the studio aimlessly like zombies.
At this point, the men couldn't contain their
libido much longer. Too much booze and too many naked
There were roving eyes and grabby hands everywhere.
Fortunately the women who were still there didn't seem to mind
people who stuck around began an embarrassing descent into
men started grabbing the women and drag them over to the
couches in the hallway. The women didn't seem to mind a
The picture was pretty bizarre.
Of course Halloween is all about letting loose and getting a
little crazy, but something was clearly wrong here. These
people were way beyond "a little crazy". They were drunk
out of their minds and definitely feeling no pain. I have
never had a studio party where the entire group was this drunk
(except perhaps the
1989 Toga Party).
The place was filled with mad men from an
asylum! What in the hell was happening?
This is tricky to explain. After all, people had been
drunk all night long. But the behavior now was way beyond
'drunk'. These people were hollering and staggering.
Something had changed and I was too drunk myself to figure it
THE WICKED WIZARD
LEAVES US A PRESENT
While I am correct in blaming the
Jungle Dancing for sending the party downhill, the Jazz Dancers were
definitely not the only culprits. They had plenty of help from a
Unbeknownst to the remaining guests, our Wicked Wizard had
cast an evil spell over us.
Obviously the drinking explains the bizarre
behavior, but the "degree" to which we lost control was new. It is
true that most us were somewhat drunk before the Jazz dancers made their
appearance, but our condition then was nothing compared to this insanity.
Throughout the evening, Bob had spiked the punch with Ever
Clear, an alcoholic additive that had no taste and no smell.
And Bob did not hold back. He used a lot of Ever Clear.
However we were big kids. No one was fooled. We all
knew the Punch was spiked. And by continuing to dance, we kept it
under control. We danced so hard that the alcohol really didn't
affect us like it did now.
It was AFTER the Dance Performance that our Wizard took us down
his desolate path to destruction.
This is when the Halloween Party
from Hell began.
After the Dance Performance, Fogo had rounded us all up for the
Group Photo. While we were getting our
picture taken in Room One, something very peculiar happening
in another room. Remember I pointed out that Bob was
missing from the picture? It seems that at the same time we were
getting our picture taken in Room One, my friend Bob was
next door in the
Punch Room making some last minute alterations to his Wicked
Bob had to leave early because his
date Carol insisted it was time to go. Like many of the
other women, Carol had decided the Jungle Frenzy
marked the official end of the party for her and for Magic
Bob didn't protest one bit. By the look in her eyes,
Bob knew she meant it.
However our Wizard had a problem. Carol was insistent
that they leave PRONTO. But Bob still had some
extra bottles of Ever Clear left. In his haste to
leave, Bob decided he didn't have the time to bag it all up
and take it home.
Bob decided there wasn't that much left anyway.
poured all his remaining supply of Ever Clear into the
Then Bob and Carol left the party without bothering to
Maybe Bob was a little drunk himself
and not thinking clearly, but this move was a killer.
His decision completely pushed us over the Edge of No
By the time we made our Buffalo Stampede to the Punch Room
after the Group Photo, Bob had already left the scene of the
crime. But the Wizard left a present for us - as
we entered the Punch Room we were delighted to find a
freshly-mixed brew waiting for us! Woowee, let's have
some right now!
Yes, there it was. The smoking cauldron with its
delicious punch was sitting on the table
calling to us. This deadly
Cauldron had been left behind to seal our doom.
We never had a chance. The Cauldron with its
seductive brew was irresistible. The Cauldron called to us -
Drink me! You know you want me. Drink me!
And drink we did. We drank as if there
were no consequences.
We had no idea Bob had made his Wicked
Wizard Punch twice as deadly. As a result, soon many
of us were in big big trouble.
We all began to fall off the cliff into
Talk about never seeing the Punch coming! We never
knew the punch was
And like idiots we kept going
back for more because we were too far gone to know any
Soon there was not even one remotely sober person in
the whole building!
This time we couldn't dance it off.
We were too tired and we were so drunk
that none of us
could even dance!! In fact,
even standing up was a problem. The floor
quickly became deserted. A
couple people who could still move
left, but the remaining twenty people
drifted to the Hallway where the couches were. They
realized they were way too drunk to drive. It was time to
find a place to collapse.
The partiers staggered around like extras from the
Night of the Living Dead. They searched for
a chair or a couch to fall down
every seat in the house was taken. But there
weren't enough couch spots for everyone. No problem. The rest of the
people sat down wherever they happened to be because
they were too damn drunk to stand up any more. Some
people would fall on top of someone already sitting on a
couch. Or they would slouch on the floor up against a
couch. Or the men would drag the women onto the
couches with them. The women were far too gone to put
up much resistance.
when the hysterical laughter began. They were laughing
their drunken butts off. For a while, the scene
resembled a Roman Bacchanalia (see picture). I don't
remember much, but I believe this was also the point were
people began to engage in serious hugging and smooching.
And I am not even sure if they knew exactly who they were
smooching and hugging... it was very dark and there were a
lot of bodies crowded onto those couches. Bodies were
I am sure you are curious to know if there are
any more pictures, but you are out of luck. I have no
other pictures to share for a simple reason - he was off-duty.
When I last saw him,
Photographer Fogo was happily sandwiched between several women and
much too busy to snap any further pictures.
The Smooching Orgy didn't last very long for a peculiar reason - the
Kissers started to fall asleep.
Most of those people weren't in very good
shape. They were so drunk they could barely move. They
were also exhausted. In an odd twist on 'It takes Two to Tango', people would be forced to give up when the person they were kissing
dozed off. At that point the other
person either went home or decided to sit there hoping Sleeping
Beauty would wake up.
As one man indelicately explained to me a few weeks after the party,
the woman he had hooked up with passed out right in the middle of
their kiss. She just lay there with her head back and her
mouth wide open. It looked like she was dead! He shook
her a little bit, but it did no good. Then she started to
snore! That was too weird for him so
he left. That's right; he just left her there sleeping on the
couch! He said they hadn't come together and he didn't
feel like waiting for her to wake up. Such a Prince Charming!
Now there's a twist on the Cinderella tale for you.
He said there were two other couples who saw him get up.
They stopped smooching and looked around. Whey they saw
everyone else was asleep, they decided to follow him out the
As he walked out, there were
only about seven people left. Not one of them was
Like me, they were completely passed out on those couches.
Sorry to be gruesome, but the Hallway looked exactly
Jim Jones massacre in Guyana years
back. Bodies were strewn everywhere!!
Murder. Bob had killed
every single one of us.
I don't have any other details to
share about the SSQQ Orgy because I was one of the people
who was out cold.
I can at least assure you I didn't do any of the
smooching. Not that I didn't want to, but I was still
committed to behaving myself for a change. Actually I
didn't have any problems with temptation for a simple
reason. It had been a really long day. I was on the verge of collapse.
I had started decorating at 10 am and had not sat down once
till now. My head was spinning as I staggered over to
the nearest couch. I had never been this drunk before.
I was barely conscious when the smooching began. It
was time for a rest.
I closed my eyes just for a moment.
Five seconds later I passed out.
PART THREE -
Bob's massacre was
complete. I was
No, that's not me on that table, but the
picture pretty much sums up my state of being.
I was totally and completely and utterly blotto.
I had drunk
as much and maybe more than anyone.
I had started
drinking the moment
Bob got to the studio and hadn't stopped
I was way way way over the cliff.
My head was spinning.
Like I said, after the
I found a couch in the hallway and sat
down to close my eyes for a
just a brief moment.
Big mistake. I
Many hours later I awoke
in the dead of the night. I did not wake up
quickly, but rather just lay there for a moment with my
eyes open. I did not even lift my head. My
first impression was how dark it was. Finally I
lifted my head and looked around. It was so dark
it took me a
moment to even figure out where I was. Oh
damn, I was still here at the studio!
I was in a lot of pain, but my biggest concern was how
dark it was in the hallway.
In order to explain
the rest of this story, I need to use a map. The
studio was designed differently back in 1981 than it is
Hallway from Hell was a major artery that
connected seven rooms together plus another hallway.
This hallway was the focal point of the studio.
The couches were located here.
There were three dance rooms.
Glen used Room One every night for his dance
classes and rehearsals. I conducted
my dance classes in both Room 2 (the Punch Room) and Room 3. I labeled
Room 2 as the Punch Room because that's where Bob
had mixed his brew.
There were two hallways. Me and the rest of the Zombies had passed out on the
couches which lined the Hallway from Hell.
In addition to the Hallway from Hell, the second hallway went out to the front door
and Bissonnet. This Exit hallway was long and narrow.
When I awoke from my drunken stupor, I was
surrounded by an empty sea of darkness.
Someone had turned off every light in the building.
The studio appeared to me exactly like the picture on the left.
The black area of the map
represents all the different rooms with lights turned out.
However thanks to a nearby Coke machine I had some dim light to
see by. I had passed out near Room One at the far end of
the Hallway from Hell (see the gray portion
of the map).
Since it was so dark and I was so wasted, it
took me a while to come to my senses. I didn't have a watch,
but looking back I estimate it was somewhere to 4 am. I had
been asleep for about four hours. Now I groaned. What on earth had happened to me?
In the dim light, I tried to look around. To my
left was Room One. The lights were off, but I could hear the
dance music still blaring at full blast. I wished whoever had turned off the
lights had been kind enough to turn off the music too. The
loud Rock music was hard to take. How did I ever sleep with
that music blasting?
It actually took me a few
minutes to realize no one was sitting next to me.
I could have sworn there were other people on the couch with
me. Where did they go?
To my right was the long Hallway from Hell barely illuminated by the Coke
machine. I peered through the darkness. That's when I
realized something was wrong.
Where the heck was
everybody? Oh shit. I had just figured out there was no
one left in the hallway!!!
You are going to laugh at this one. For a second I
speculated maybe they were in another room waiting for me to wake up
so they could help me clean up. Talk about a fairy tale.
Dream on. Nope, the party was over; turn out the lights.
Indeed, every light in the building was turned off.
Everyone else had left.
The realization that I had been abandoned hit
me like a ton of bricks. I was in this huge dark studio all by
I bet the front door wasn't even locked!
I shuddered. Oh geez. Anybody
could have walked in. I could barely stand the thought.
Earlier there had been a hundred people
at the party. And when I had passed out about four hours ago,
the hallway was lined with two dozen people nearly as wasted as me.
But now I was the only one
I assumed all
the guests who had been on
those couches had managed to get
while I slept. What other explanation
could there be?
As I sat in the darkness on my lonely couch, it freaked
out to realize I was the only person
left in the building.
This was way too creepy.
As I sobered up, I was stunned at my
vulnerability. Not only had every guest left me behind
while I was unconscious, this studio was wide open on
Halloween Night, the night when all the Psychos go trick or
treating! Any monster, pervert or criminal could have
wandered in the building while I was passed out and defenseless. At
this thought I was seized by fear. The possibilities
was in danger right now! Holy Guacamole! Was
there anyone in the building? I had no idea
what the status of the studio was. If someone was
still here, I would never know because it was too dark to
see. The studio gets very dark when the lights are out
because there are no windows. Weirder still,
the music was playing. The loud
rock music coming from the darkened Room One nearby
aggravated me. The music was deafening. I couldn't possibly hear if there
were other sounds in the building or if was
someone sneaking up on me.
eyes. No ears. No one to call for help. I
was alone in the dark. I felt completely helpless.
It bothered me to realize for the past several
hours, one by one, people had awakened and walked
past me on the way to the exit door. This was just pathetic.
Everyone of them must have stared at me laying there passed out.
I suppose I should have felt ashamed of myself, but they were probably
just as bad off as I was! No stone throwing from these people...
Where was Bobby Wizard? Even Bob was nowhere to be seen.
Bob had promised to stay and help clean up.
Damn him anyway for getting me into this mess. Fine friend he was!
I was alone in this
spooky dark studio
with that damn music bouncing off the walls.
This was so eerie it felt like a
scene from a horror movie.
Now what do I do? It
was 4 in the morning.
had obviously turned out the lights
on their way out. I was
alone in the dark and defenseless on the creepiest night of
the entire year. I could be attacked or I could be robbed
and there was little I could do to protect myself. I
was so weak I couldn't put up much of a fight in this
As I sat there struggling to
comprehend my lousy situation, I
was angry that no one
had awakened me. Why didn't someone
bother to wake me up? I felt so
sick inside to realize I had been laying there unconscious for
Then I began to think how lucky I was
to be alive! I had been completely out of control.
I shouldn't tell you this, but I have always been on guard
when cleaning up at the end of Halloween Parties.
Everyone who comes to our parties is always so friendly and
appreciative, but you know and I know that there is could be
an element of danger from complete strangers who come to the
SSQQ Halloween Party. What if someone stayed
behind to rob me?
As a result, I have always been extremely cautious at the
end of our parties... except for this night. This was
the only time I have ever let my guard down. You just
never know. It would only take one weirdo to
hide in the shadows till everyone left and then...
I couldn't get it out of my mind
that after the guests had left, the front door had been unlocked for
stalker or psychopath to walk
back in while I slept.
Although the studio has never been
robbed - knock on wood - there have been a few cars broken into over
the years at different times. What if a criminal had been in
the parking lot watching people leave?
Furthermore people wait outside the studio for buses on Bissonnet at
all hours of the night. Sometimes street people wander
into the studio asking to use the restroom. What would have
happened if a street
person had wandered in tonight while I was passed out?
I couldn't stand it. The
thought of laying there unconscious and
defenseless for all these hours upset me a
great deal. I could easily
have been robbed or attacked.
Talk about paranoid! One
horrible possibility after another kept haunting me.
Why did I let my guard down like that?
I could not get my brain to shut up. Spooked by the
darkness and that awful music playing in the pitch black
room to my left, one gruesome possibility after another
flashed across my mind's eye. This moment was playing
out just like a scene from a horror movie like Scream
or Halloween and I wasn't a bit happy
Visions of Michael Myers and his
slashing knife from Halloween crossed my mind.
Right now this huge empty dance studio
was much creepier than I wanted it to be! I couldn't
see. I couldn't hear. I was weak. I was
My head throbbed from all the
booze. I ached
I had an upset stomach. I
was so angry at myself for losing control.
How stupid can you get?
This was one of the most
miserable moments ever in my entire life.
ALONE IN THE DARK
I wallowed in self-pity for quite a
while. Finally I got a grip on my nerves. I
decided to take stock of the situation. I
realized I had one heck of a problem - even in the dim light
I could see the mess from the party was still sitting
there in the Hallway! I couldn't see very far, but within my range of sight there
I was in big trouble.
My mind drifted back to the previous
year's Halloween Party when I had stupidly let someone put
dance wax on the floor. The morning after the
party, Glen Hunsucker and his dancers could barely stand up,
much less rehearse for their next performance. Glen warned me if I ever pulled
a stunt like that again, I could look for a new
There was a dance rehearsal scheduled
for 9 am this Sunday morning. I was desperate to
go home and get more rest. But after the fiasco
of last year's party, I knew Glen
would kill me if I went home and
left this trash
till later. I had four, maybe five hours to straighten
this place up before they arrived. The drinks and the
food had to come up NOW or I was toast.
But I was too exhausted to move. My head throbbed
and I felt too weak to doing anything. I was nauseous.
I just wanted to lay back down and go back to sleep. I was in a
What was I going to do?
I sat there feeling sorry for myself for a long time. Finally
my paranoia got me going. I wanted to go back to sleep on this
couch, but I
knew I never could go back to sleep as long as the door was unlocked.
So I made a deal with myself. Go lock the door and I could
come back and take another nap. So about ten minutes after I
woke up, I reluctantly got up and went down the long hallway to the front of the building.
I locked the door and headed back to the couch, my only friend.
On my way back,
I passed garbage and spilled drinks
everywhere. I groaned as I realized what a
colossal mistake I had made by falling asleep.
Normally people stay and help clean up.
Not this time -
the place was a total wreck and there was no one
here but me!!
The place reeked. My ass was grass. If some axe murderer
didn't get me first, Glen might kill me instead. If I didn't
get this place cleaned up, I might as well start looking for another
location. But I was too weak to clean this huge place by
How would I ever get myself out of
After I finished locking the door, I went back
to my couch to feel sorry for myself some more. But I didn't sit there
for long. The music was still getting on my nerves. I
decided before I could sit down and rest a while, first I had to
turn off that damn music.
So I walked over to the Big Room which was about ten feet away.
The Big Room was a black sea of darkness. Plus the door to the
Big Room at the end of the Hallway was only half open. That
meant I couldn't see in. As I approached I could not see a
thing, so I slowed down. I realized I didn't like entering a
What if someone was still in there?
I told myself I was frightened about nothing. I forced myself
to open the Hallway door. The light switch was right next to
the doorway, so I turned the lights on. Ohmygosh, the pain to
my eyes was terrible! I quickly covered my eyes with my
Peeking out between my fingers, I was relieved to
see the room was indeed empty of any monsters. But this
brief moment of relief soon passed the moment I realized the full
extent of the garbage. There were drinks everywhere, food on
the floor, and dirty plates as far as the eye could see.
Several places on the floor that were sticky with spilled punch
would need mopping. Now that it was a one-man job, I
guessed there was at least three hours of cleaning to do,
Woozy from the booze, the thought of
cleaning this place
by myself was more than I could bear.
I felt sick and exhausted. In my condition, three or four hours of
cleaning was a tall order indeed.
Plus I still had to
huge speakers and the other
stereo equipment into my car
so I could take it home.
In those days, I had to carry all music
equipment from my house to the studio for any party since I was a
sub-leaser. There was no room to store it at Dance Arts plus
it wouldn't be safe from theft. Ordinarily my students helped
me carry these heavy items back to the car at the end of the party, but tonight I would just
have to carry the equipment by myself. Add
another burden to the list.
After I turned off the music, I turned
the lights to Room One back off again. I did it because I
didn't want to see the trash anymore. Maybe if I turned
off the lights, the trash would disappear on its own. Plus the
darkness suited my mood just fine. Paint it Black.
I must have been sobering up a little because my conscience would
not stop nagging me.
I reminded myself again that Glen's dancers were
scheduled for a rehearsal that morning.
There was simply no way I could put this off. I had to
get this place back in shape for them
NOW or I was a dead man.
But my pep talk didn't work. My shattered state of mind was unable
to respond to threats. I sank back down on the couch. In
the state I was in, it was just too much for me. It would be
so easy for me to fall back asleep right now. Unable to
cope, I wanted to sink back into oblivion and pretend I was
dreaming. I wanted to sit in the dim light of the Hallway and
wallow in my misery. As I lay there
on the couch, I could
not make myself get
back up. I was alone in this dark
hallway all by myself. I was worried sick with my dilemma.
I was nauseous, my
head hurt, I was weak, and I was grouchy. I was angry and
depressed that I had hours and hours of work facing me after hours
and hours of work the previous day. I should be home in bed
now dreaming sweet dreams of a party well done, but instead I had
all this miserable trash to pick up. I was also mad at myself
for passing out. Where was I going to get
I was totally paralyzed.
I AM NOT ALONE
As I lay on my couch
staring into the dark gloom, I heard a
I jumped up off that couch
faster than you can say 'Frankenstein'.
I was damn
scared!! What in the hell was that
sound!!?? Where had it come from? But no
matter how hard I listened, the sound was not repeated.
I was unable to guess anything about it.
All I knew was the sound had come from my right. Frantically I
peered down the hallway, but saw nothing. Horrified, I continued to
stare into the semi-darkness.
I wondered what on earth I had heard.
Now I didn't hear a thing.
Total silence. I was sweating with fear. Was this my
imagination? I swore to myself I had heard something. Every
hair on my body was standing on edge. I got in touch with the
meaning of the phrase 'spine-tingling terror'.
I trembled with near panic. I kept turning my head in every
direction looking for some sign of movement. Whatever that sound
had been, it had been REALLY SCARY...
My mind raced through the possibilities. Had someone from
the party stayed behind? Had a street person wandered in during
the night? Was it a burglar? Was someone
sticking around to play a sick joke on me?
Or was this real danger?
For the second time that night, I thought I was in a scene from
Halloween or Scream. That is how
scared I was.
My imagination was running wild. I was alone in the dark
and someone had just moaned like a ghost in a haunted mansion. It
was House on Haunted Hill all over again. Or was it
Psycho? This was not a dream. Or was it?
Wake up, wake up! In my shock, I was completely disoriented.
How much danger was I in? What should I do?
It didn't feel like a dream;
this felt all too real. My instincts screamed
there was real danger present. I didn't like the
sound of that moan at all. It definitely felt
'human' in origin. And there should not be
anyone here at this hour of the night, of that I was
certain. I believed it was either a burglar
robbing the studio or someone coming to play a trick
My heart went thump thump thump. What in the
hell should I do?
For a moment I refused to move. What if I were
to walk right into danger? But I
couldn't stay here in the Hallway either. This
spot was way too exposed!
If it was indeed a criminal, I
could be in very great danger. But that
didn't make any sense. What kind of criminal
announces his presence with a moan?
I decided this was the not the time to stand here
and figure it out. I needed to do something.
What if they didn't know I was
If I couldn't see who
made the sound, then they probably couldn't see me
Why not hide first and figure out what was going on
before shouting out and revealing my position?
That made sense to me.
Whatever the sound was, it had come from my right.
The darkness of Room One ten feet to my left made it the
obvious place to make my retreat. I had
briefly turned on the lights when I turned off the
music, so I knew no one was in there. I bolted out
of my spot over to Room One. I prayed whoever was
in the building had not seen me yet.
I reflexively closed the
Hallway door behind me.
I was shocked to see Room One plunge into
I was blind!!
If I were to do it over again, I would have
simply retreated a few feet into the shadows of Room
One and left the door open a bit so I could see down the
That way I would have been invisible
to anyone entering the Hallway, but would have a
vantage point to see if anyone was approaching.
Maybe a hero is that clever in the movies,
but not me. I was so panic-stricken that this clever idea never
crossed my mind. I was definitely not thinking clearly.
Too late now. The door was closed. I definitely didn't
want to compound my error and reopen the door just as someone entered the Hallway.
What if the door made a sound while I opened it? The
percentage move was to leave the door closed.
Since I could not see a thing, I slid my
hands along the wall and moved to a corner of the room (see map
above). Ironically, this was the same corner I had been in for
the Group Photo several lifetimes ago.
I was scared out of my
wits. I assumed that at any moment someone would come in the
room and throw on the lights. They would see me and I might be
facing a knife, a gun or maybe even a monster.
Any moment now, there was a real possibility I might be forced to
fight for my life.
My poor heart was thumping wildly!!
I had moved to
the corner in panic. My body was soaked in cold sweat brought
on by my fear.
By disappearing from the Hallway, I
figured at least I had bought myself some time to think and regroup. This was my
only chance to try to get a grip on this bizarre situation.
There had to be someone here! Nothing makes a
sound like that but a human. But I did not know why he was
here or if he knew I was in the building.
Now that I had a
moment to think, that same question came back to me, 'Why would
a burglar moan and warn me of his presence?'
That thought kept racing through my mind and I kept coming up empty
with answers. I was completely baffled. But in an odd
way that question made me happy. It became my only hope...
bad guys don't usually moan before an attack.
Who was in the building and why?
I kept racking my brain. If I could just get an answer to that
Meanwhile over in my corner I waited.
And waited. And waited. Where was the
intruder? Why didn't he come for me?
As I stood there shaking, I realized how pathetic my
situation was. For starters I was completely and
utterly trapped. Back in those days, the Hallway was
the only way in and out of that room.
I was completely blind. By closing that door, I
had plunged the room into complete darkness. The room was
devoid of any light at all. If there was indeed an
attacker, he had control over the entrance to the room and
the light switch beside it.
Furthermore I did not even have the advantage of
being hidden! There was nowhere to hide in this huge
empty room. What was I supposed to do, stand behind
the metal pole? Would good would that do?
Sooner or later someone was going to enter
this room and see me standing over in the corner. One
flip of the light switch and I would be as exposed as a deer
I was blind.
I was trapped.
had no place to hide.
I had no way to escape.
I did not know the nature of my
This was the worst
imaginable position to be in.
I was a sitting duck!!
Plus my confusion was driving
me crazy. I had no idea what was going
on. I thought of calling out to ask "Who is
there?", but stopped. Bad idea. That
would give away my position. I clung to the
hope my nemesis did not know I was there. Better to
be still and stay out of sight till I could figure
out what was going on. But in my
anxiety, I was dying to call out! I was having
fits forcing myself to stay quiet.
I was also going crazy because
I couldn't see! This was the same darkness you
would find in an underground cave. It was
pitch black in here! I cursed the darkness!
What if someone were creeping up on me at this very
moment? Beads of sweat rolled down my
face. This was the most terror I had ever felt in my
Then I heard the sound again
for the second time.
It was a barely audible moan coming from somewhere
in the building. I was totally
Was the person in the Punch
Room next to me? What were they doing in
there? What in the hell was
going on? What was that sound?
Who was making it? Why was there a 5-minute
gap between sounds?
That second sound really put
me over the edge because it proved that the first
sound had not been my imagination. I began to
ago I had been barely alive laying on the couch
feeling sorry for myself, but now
I was wide
awake. Fear does that sort of
thing to you! Adrenaline coursed through my
Think, Rick, think!
My mind was racing. What was the most logical
I wondered if this was a prank organized by
someone who decided my drunken stupor was too good
an opportunity to pass up. That made more
sense than some stupid burglar who announced his
presence with a moan. And I really didn't
believe in ghosts either. The supernatural was
the least of my fears. I was much more afraid
of humans than the Headless Horseman or Dracula.
Had someone from the party returned to
scare me and have some fun at my expense? I discarded
that idea. That made no sense. For starters, that
sound had to be made by someone already in the building. After
I had locked the front door 15 minutes ago... No
one could have just driven up and walked into the studio
unless they had a key.
Had a key? Hmm.
Well, that was a possibility I hadn't thought of.
Someone with a key. Was it Glen playing an
unbelievable trick on me? Or someone on his
Had one of the dancers returned to find a missing pocketbook
on her way home? Actually I would have been okay with
that scenario, but I doubted it. No woman in her right
mind would enter this building without turning on every
light switch immediately.
Only people who had been at the party would know I was still
in here, but they didn't have any keys.
What could be another explanation for leaving the lights
I suppose someone on Glen's staff with a key might come in the building at 4
am for a romantic tryst with a partner. That was the
best explanation yet, but it didn't explain the two moans.
No one entering
the building at 4 am was going to "moan" as they walked
down the hall.
My mind returned to the
possibility it was
a prank played by someone who had stuck around after the
Again I was skeptical. My instincts said this was not
a prank. Why would anyone stick around for four hours
after the party just to play a practical joke on me?
No one I knew had the patience to watch me sleep for four hours
just for the chance to scare me to death. How stupid
While I waited, my mind kept coming back to the Big
Question - Why would a predator moan twice and reveal its
I still had no answer for
that riddle. Why warn me? Why put me on guard?
Why not simply attack me before I could make a defensive
measure? That did not make any sense. My
inability to find an explanation bothered me no end.
Worst of all, I was totally blind. I couldn't
think straight in this dark. I was too afraid.
In my panicked state, I was completely unable to come up
with even the slightest reasonable explanation for the two
My mind turned to thoughts of escape.
I realized now how much I hated the fact that I had locked the
front door. I could no longer make a run for it.
Even if I could get past the Hallway from Hell and run all
the way to the front door, I would still have to waste time
getting the key in the lock. Surely in my haste I
would fumble a little bit. By the time my key opened
the door, the predator would surely catch me from behind.
I would be trapped and that would be it for me.
There was a second exit
at the farthest end of the building. I would have to
run all the way through the Hallway from Hell in the
vicinity where the two
moans had come from. Then I would have to go through
the scary storage area in the back of the building. If
anyone had been hiding all this time, that would be the
place to do it. I had no intention of testing that
Most of all, I did not want to go down that Hallway. The path to both
exits would force me to cross the area where the sounds had
come from. I would be completely vulnerable in the
Hallway. This was deeply discouraging.
decided trying to escape was out of the question. I
was certain I had no chance to get to either exit without
being caught first. I was trapped. This left me
only one other choice.
I had to prepare to fight back!
I began to debate whether to stay in
my current corner spot or move.
Surely whoever was here in the building had to have a
good idea where I was. And even if they didn't know I was
there, it was only a matter of time till they came into the
big room and flipped on the lights if for no other reason
than to look around. Then it would take two
seconds to notice me cowering there.
The only advantage this corner spot offered me was the
chance to run to the other end of the room when the lights
were turned on. That wasn't much of an advantage, now
was it? This corner was useless.
Someone could enter the room at any time. For
that matter, there could be someone in the room right now.
Damn if I would stand still and get my head whacked off like
Ichabod Crane! I would rather take my chances with a
But I couldn't fight what I
HEART OF DARKNESS
As all these thoughts raced through my mind, I was
having trouble coping with my blindness. In my
rush to hide, I had literally trapped myself in this
realm of darkness. When I say that Room One was
'dark', this is incorrect.
Room One wasn't 'dark', it was PITCH BLACK!
The darkness was wearing on my nerves and causing me
incredible terror. My heart pounded with fear.
I was already sick enough with worry at the
unidentified threat, but my blindness was allowing my
paranoia to run rampant. I was nearly scared to
death with all the gruesome possibilities that crossed
my mind's eye on a continuous loop.
As they say in the movies, the suspense was
killing me! My paranoia was stupefying. For example, as I stood defenseless over in that
corner, I was half-convinced something was creeping up
me right now and I couldn't see it coming!
Can you honestly say you have had any experience
with blindness? It can drive you insane.
I should know...
Over and over I cursed my stupidity for closing
that door behind me.
Study the picture on the left. That is the "Door
to Room One". Those two ladies
are standing next to the infamous door. That brown
door is what I closed when I raced from the Hallway into Room One. When the
door was closed, virtually no light from the Hallway could penetrate
into Room One.
Inside Room One there were no windows nor any Emergency Exit Sign.
The picture indicates how dark it is in Room One even with
some lights on. But now there were no lights on at
all. Like I said, in my initial frenzy to hide, I
had closed that door behind me without even giving it a
second thought. That impulsive move meant Room One
could not receive even a flicker of light from the distant
coke machine in the Hallway. There was not a single shred of light in this room.
My total blindness was infuriating! Closing the door had been a
move, but it was a bad mistake. I was already scared out of my wits by the moan,
but even that fear had been nothing compared to this
maddening darkness. I kept straining my eyes to see
something, but it was no use. That was the worst part
- feeling so helpless. The darkness was scaring me to
The two moans had chilled me to my
spine. I was blind and I was convinced that someone
was looking for me.
I had questions but no answers. What do you think? Give me one good
reason for two eerie moans at 4 am in the morning in this
vast empty studio.
Why couldn't I see who was making the sounds? Where
were the sounds coming from? Why were there only two
moans? Why didn't the moans continue? Why
did the sounds begin 20 minutes after I woke up? Why
were the moans spaced five minutes apart?
Adding to my paranoia was Halloween, the night when Evil
Rules. It was the spookiest night of the year!
Maybe there was more to the legends than I had ever
Under the circumstances I had every right to be
afraid. The darkness, my alcohol-induced daze, my worthless position, and the
lack of any rational explanation for those horrible moans
left me confused, disoriented and scared.
Worst of all, escape was impossible. Sooner or later I
would be forced to confront the source of those moans.
Nowhere to run.
Nowhere to hide.
So much to fear.
Danger is near.
Because I am blind,
I am out of my mind.
I am trapped inside the Heart of
TIME TO MAKE MY MOVE
Scared as I was, did I want to stand here in the dark
and let them come and get me? Or did I want to take
control as best I could? I certainly did not want to
fight with the lights off.
I couldn't stay in this corner any longer or else I would go
insane. I had to take action. I was convinced
that my next step had to be getting the lights back on.
Without the use of my vision, my ears
had begun to work overtime. At least I could hear.
Thank goodness I had turned off the music. I was
certain there was no sound coming from either Room One or
the Punch Room. Whatever the threat was, I was fairly
sure it had not yet entered Room One. I would have
heard the door open. No one could be that quiet.
Furthermore why would anyone stand around waiting for
me in the dark? If someone came into this room, their
first action would have been to automatically turn on the
lights. No one had done that. That made me certain I
was alone. I was ready to cross the floor to the light
It was time to play blind man's bluff. I slid my feet
slowly like a blind-folded kid at a birthday party. My
heart was pounding the whole time. I kept my hands
forward in case I ran into the metal pole in the center of the
I cautiously inched my way across Room One from the corner
towards the light switch (see map).
At the halfway point, I froze. Out of the void, three
red dots suddenly appeared to stare at me. They glowed
in the dark like evil red eyes.
What in the hell was this? Had the Devil come to get
As I stood there, I realized those red
eyes didn't move. Furthermore they were more like dots
or laser points than actual eyes.
Then it dawned on me the "red eyes"
were coming from the general direction of the music system.
Good grief, I was seeing the red lights on my amplifier.
I must have forgotten to turn it off.
I rolled my eyes. I was so nervous that I was finding
From this point on the amplifier lights became my friend.
I knew where in the room the music equipment was located. Acting
as a lighthouse in the dark, those tiny lights helped me
orient my position in the room. They allowed me to
increase my pace across the floor.
As I slowly crept across the floor I had to keep reminding
myself that I wasn't crazy. Nothing made any sense,
but I had definitely not imagined those sounds. Of
that I was convinced. But I still had no idea what the
explanation was. It was driving me crazy that I
couldn't think of a single plausible scenario that was
benign other than perhaps two lovers looking for a place to
make out. But why the moans? Was I in the presence of danger or not?
I froze. There it was again. It was the third
moan. As before, the
sound had come from somewhere down the Hallway from
Hell. Surely the bad guy had seen me duck into the dark Big
Room. He had to have seen me! Was he
coming for me right now?
Damn. Here I was exposed out in the middle of the
room. I was nowhere near any wall. If he came in
now, I was a goner. How was I supposed to hide in the
middle of the dance floor? I mean, if we were
playing hide and seek, I was in real trouble.
Fee Fi Fo Fum, I smell the blood of a dance instructor.
Come out, Come out, wherever you are.
Oh hell, what difference did it make where I was? That
is why I had left my corner to begin with. What was the
point of hiding if someone already had a pretty good idea
where I was?
After the newest moan, I fully expected someone to come
bursting through that door. I stood still awaiting my fate.
But nothing happened. No more sounds, no movement in the
I shook my head in confusion. Why couldn't I figure
out what was going on? And what do I do now?
No point in standing still any longer. I located the dim
red lights and started moving again. As I made my way
to the light switch, a new fear crossed my mind.
Surely the Evil One was in the hall right behind that door.
And that door was right beside the light switch. That
had to be where the trap was set. I was sure of it.
Someone wanted me to turn on the light and then they would
burst through the door and attack me. Maybe so. But what were my other choices? Stand there and do nothing?
So I kept going. Sooner or later I would have to
face the intruder.
As I got closer to the light switch
area, I discovered a dim sliver of
light at the bottom of the doorway made by the Coke machine
in the hall. I assumed the door
didn't go all the way down to the floor. The sliver of
light was just enough to let me know exactly where I was.
It was time for me to make my final move to the light switch
which I estimated was five feet away.
But I was afraid to take this last step. I stopped and
waited. I was still convinced after that last moan
that the monster had decided to wait right outside the door.
Maybe I could hear him breathing. I tried to hold my breath and
listen. All I could hear was my own heart beating
furiously. Could the monster hear my heart beat?
I had to breathe again. I was upset that I could hear my own breathing. I hated that my
fear made me breathe so loudly. I tried holding my
breath some more. No use. My terror made it
difficult to hold my breath. The tension was almost more than I
With the hallway door shut and the room
so dark, there was absolutely no way to guess what kind
of danger I was in. I hesitated moving to the light
switch because I was still afraid someone was standing there.
Didn't it make sense for a bad guy to wait for me by that
very light switch? Someone could be standing less than
five feet away and I would not have seen them. He had
to be somewhere in the building, but where?
I continued to think it over. If the monster wasn't
next to the light switch, I still worried he was right outside the
door waiting for me!
These were all crazy irrational thoughts, but that is what
blindness does to you. It makes you stupid!
I was alone in the dark. Blindness makes you afraid of
everything you cannot see. It makes your brain try to
predict every imaginable danger and ways to cope with it. I felt unbelievably
If someone was standing there or nearby, I would never know
until it was too late. Oh, don't be silly. Of
course no one was there. But what if I was wrong? Back
and forth, back and forth. I didn't want to make
a fatal mistake. I was paralyzed with indecision.
Finally I decided this was ridiculous.
Why would an attacker be so passive? Personally, if I
were looking for someone, I would have come in this room a
long time ago and turned on the light switch. I wasn't
going to wait for someone in the dark at the light switch
and neither would he. Nor would I hide outside the
door. Get a grip. It was time to move.
I screwed up my courage and made a desperate lunge for the
light switch. I bumped my head on a shelf, then
fumbled around the wall till I found the switch and flicked
the lights on. Just like in the movies, I dropped to
my knees in case there was some sort of
blow from an attacker. Then as the lights flickered
on, I jumped back to my feet prepared to run like a bat out
of hell if someone came crashing through that door and
started chasing me.
Nothing. All that worry for Nothing. All those
ridiculous movie stunts for Nothing. Nothing had
happened to me. I felt sheepish.
you wish, but all the concerns I have listed should give you
an indication just how worried I was. Fortunately
there were no Michael Myers knife slashes. No robber with a
gun. No ghost to steal my soul. No vampire to
bite my neck. No weirdo hopped up on cocaine. No street
person looking for a bathroom. No ridiculous
prankster. No lovers writhing on a nearby couch.
Thanks to my blindness and my vivid imagination, I had just
put myself through a ten-minute ordeal that was totally
unnecessary. It was all in my head. But it had
seemed very real at the time.
Now I was relieved. I immediately felt a
whole lot braver just being able to see again. My
excruciating trip to the light switch had been the right
move. Now it was time to solve the mystery.
I was relieved to see a short metal pipe laying nearby on
the floor. I picked it up for security. I waited
for any kind of sound, but heard nothing. Now it was
time to open the Hallway door and have a look, but first I
decided to turn the lights back off. I didn't want
anyone to see the lights on in Room One when I opened the
door and give them a reason to come running after me.
I had an advantage now and wanted to keep it. So I
flipped the switch. This time the darkness was my
With a darkened Room One behind me, I opened the door just a
crack and peeked into the long dark Hallway from Hell.
I could barely see a thing. I could see the Coke
machine. I could see most of the couches. But no
people. Nothing. I stood there in the
doorway and waited.
I COME OUT OF
That lead pipe was my new best friend. Against a knife
or a gun it wouldn't have been much use, but I was beginning
to doubt the intruder was armed. Whatever was going
on, the intruder in the building was behaving far too
timidly. If anyone was after me, they should have come
in this room by now. I was still pretty scared, but my curiosity
was starting to get the better of me. I wanted to make
So I decided to turn the lights in Room One on again, but
this time with the door wide open. I had a plan.
If someone came after me, at the last second I would flip
the lights back off and surprise them with sudden
darkness. Then I would bop them in the head with my
lead pipe. That idea gave me the courage I needed.
So I flipped on the switch and braced myself for a fight.
Whoever was in the building was certain to see me now.
I half-expected some crazy would come charging down the
Hallway after me. Nothing. No problem.
I wasn't disappointed at all. I really did not want to
fight if I didn't have to.
With the Room One lights on, now I could see almost to the other
end of the Hallway. Nothing. Where was my nemesis?
I had mixed emotions. Of course I felt a lot more in
control. The light made all the difference in the
world. And maybe there was a bogeyman, but he sure wasn't
being very aggressive.
However things still didn't make any sense. The
mystery should have been solved by now. Three groans meant
someone had to be in the building. Now turning
on the lights announced my presence to the world. If
there was an intruder out there, why didn't they come after
me when I turned on the lights or at least make noise when I
The second possibility was a person who meant me no harm,
but didn't know I was there. However, if it was
someone who meant no harm, why didn't they announce their
presence when the lights came on?
A third possibility occurred to me. By turning on the
lights, maybe I had surprised a burglar who was now afraid
of being caught. This was a deeply unpleasant
But maybe he would try to escape rather than fight me.
As I stood watching, there was still no one in sight.
I was definitely thrilled no one had attacked me, but I
remained deeply puzzled. Why were there no answers? Something fishy was going on,
no doubt about it. I wasn't about to let down my
guard. Nor was I going to say anything. I hate
it when they do that in the movies!
From my vantage point in Room One, I
counted six closed doors and two open doors. The
Hallway from Hell was a very scary place
because someone could jump out at me from several blind
I began to speculate that whoever was in the building was
just as afraid of me as I was of them. Maybe they were
hiding from me. Surely someone was behind one of
those doors. Or they could be behind the coke machine
just waiting for me. Up till just moments ago, I had
been in hiding myself. I now assume it was unlikely the other
person had even known I was here. Now maybe it was the
intruder who was worried. Let's say it was a teenager
who broke in to smoke some dope or to look for something to
That scenario made some sense, but I had a problem with it.
What sort of burglar moans in the middle of their work?
Why would any thief groan and signal their presence?
Or maybe it was two Bellaire teenagers looking
for a place to make out. Maybe those were moans of
pleasure. Not likely, but maybe. Then out of nowhere
I turn the lights
on. Now maybe the kids are the ones who are scared.
Maybe they were in the Waiting Room and took off down the
hallway to the door.
As hard as I tried, I still could not come up with any
explanation that made sense. My mind came back to the
possibility that some insane prank was being pulled on me
like the Headless Horseman tale.
Someone was deliberately moaning to scare me in the middle
of the night. Nonsense. I didn't believe that
answer either. It had been thirty minutes since I
first awoke from my drunken stupor. If it was a joke,
then the joke should have been over a long time ago.
The prankster would have come looking for me in Room One
pealing with laughter.
As you can see, I was back to the same possibilities I had
considered back when I was blind and cornered. Now
even with the lights on I still had no answers.
At least I felt better. I guessed this mystery had
been going on for twenty minutes now. As puzzled as I
was, the fact that no one had stepped forward gave me
Now what should I do?
I thought about escape again. Bad idea. No way I was
run down that hallway. Whoever was down that Hallway
had to know my position. I would never get past them
without a fight. Better to take it slowly.
I decided to start eliminating
possibilities. I would start with Room Two next.
This was the Punch Room. This was a real possibility.
While I was standing in the corner, the second moan seemed
to come from that room. This could be it. I really didn't want to go
down that Hallway, but what choice did I have?
Slowly I walked through the gloom of
the Hallway past the couch where I had been sleeping.
As I approached the Punch Room, I saw the door was partly open and
the room was dark.
Was my attacker waiting in the
darkness of that room? This was a strong
possibility. After all, the sound had come from
somewhere in this area. Maybe someone was in this
room. But I had maintained silence. Maybe they
didn't know I was coming.
Like an Indian, I snuck up as quietly as I could. If
there was someone in the building, this was a likely place
for them to be.
Fortunately the light switch was just
inside the doorway. It was easy to reach from the
hall. I gripped my pipe for all it was worth and
raised it high ready to strike. Then with my other
hand I reached in and flicked on the switch. Nothing.
I went limp with relief. This was
I began to admire any policeman who enters a building after
a silent burglar alarm has been tripped. Sure they
have guns drawn, but a bad guy can shoot first from a hiding
spot. I was gaining a real appreciation for the kind
of guts it takes a cop to deliberately place himself into
danger like this. My nerves were shot. I didn't
think I was cut out for police work. I decided if I
survived the night I would stick to dancing.
Now the Punch Room was lit up as
well. There was so much light in the Hallway from Hell that I was beginning to
doubt there really was an attacker. I began to feel
kind of silly. I had been so careful to be sure no one
could sneak up me. All that fear and nothing had
Had I imagined all of this? No way.
My instincts reminded me I had definitely heard a moan three
times. One time maybe it was my imagination, but not
two times and definitely not three times. Nor was the
air-conditioner on. This place was totally silent.
There was still no explanation for those sounds. Even as the
light suggested there was no one here, I refused to let
down my guard.
I was convinced now that someone had to be hiding from me.
But I was beginning to doubt whoever it was could be
dangerous. The element of surprise was long gone.
For that matter, maybe the other person had already
exited the building when they discovered I was there too.
A burglar doesn't necessarily want to get into a fight
either. That was what I was starting to believe...
whoever it was, they were gone now. I would never know
what had happened.
the explanation, I was beginning to get a lot braver.
Nevertheless, until I had explored every nook and cranny of
this vast building, I would continue to be wary.
There were still five doors and two other
entrances to be examined. Next I went to the main Hallway
which led to the front door and Bissonnet Street. Now I wished
again I hadn't locked the front door. It was too risky to go
down the Front Door Hallway because it would expose my back to the
dangerous Hallway from Hell. But I did poke my head into
small Waiting Room located right off the Hall and flipped on the light. Nothing.
This mystery had to have an explanation.
Brandishing my pipe, I slowly moved further
down the Hallway from Hell towards Room Three. If someone were
waiting to attack, this would be the perfect time to do it.
However I had the Punch Room at my back to retreat to. I
fantasized a circular chase around Room One with some monster at my
heels. Is there some way to turn off my over-active
I walked to the far end of the Hallway and flipped on the hallway
switch. Again nothing happened. I peered into Room 3.
Nothing in there either. 90% of the dance studio was now
either lit or had enough light to know it was safe. Five
closed doors left. One door led to the storage area.
That was the scariest door. I preferred to save it for last.
One door led to the drink room, one door to the Men's Room, another
door to the Ladies Room, and one door to Glen's office.
With the Hallway from Hell completely illuminated, I could see no
Whoever was in the building had to either be gone or hiding
behind a closed door. Wherever
they were, their best opportunities to attack were gone.
I was starting to relax a little. Perhaps the intruder was
just as afraid of me as I was of him and had gone skedaddle. I
was curious to check the front door and the back exit door to see if
either door had been tampered with, but that was still too risky.
Better to check the remaining closed doors first.
Now I began to wonder if the moan was some weird sound the
air-conditioner made late at night. Even when it was turned
off, I had heard the AC rattle on and right back off again many
times for absolutely no reason. But tonight's sound was not
mechanical. I began to feel
increasingly stupid. I had never been so scared in my life and
it was embarrassing to think it was all just my imagination.
No more drinking for me. Still, my inner voice said it was not
the air-conditioner and it was not my imagination. So I kept
Whatever the threat was, it was staying well hidden. As I
stood in the hallway, I scanned the five remaining closed doors.
Was it someone in Glen's office? Hmm. Why hadn't I
thought of Glen's office before? That was when a new
non-scary possibility occurred to me. There was a
couch in his office. Maybe two impassioned lovers had found
their way in there and had passed out just like me. Or maybe
just one of the Zombies had stumbled in there to crash. Why
hadn't I thought of these possibilities before?
That made sense except for one thing - earlier in the evening I had
checked that door. It had definitely been locked.
Then another idea occurred to me. Maybe one of the jazz dancers had a key.
Maybe she had brought a boyfriend with her and the two of
them had ducked in there after the Jungle Frenzy
dance. Maybe they locked the door, had some fun, then
Or maybe it was two of my own people who were in there.
Maybe they had gone in there BEFORE I had checked the lock
and locked from the inside. And maybe they didn't want
me to know they were in there. Maybe they didn't want
to be embarrassed at being caught in there.
Either way, it made sense that someone was in
Glen's office with the door locked.
This had to be it. This made more sense than anything
I had come up with all night long.
For the first time all night, a legitimate
non-lethal explanation had finally crossed my mind.
As I explored this possibility further, it
dawned on me that maybe they were afraid of me! Maybe they
heard someone moving around in the hall and they were hiding from me
just like I had been hiding from them.
I didn't know whether I wanted to check Glen's office or simply
ignore it. There were some negative consequences attached to
investigating Glen's office further. But I was still concerned
about my own security. Why not leave the building and be safe in the parking lot? The thought
of discovering two naked lovers on Glen's couch or even a solitary
individual was not my idea of fun. Even worse, what if it was
Then it occurred to me that I
had still not said anything. Turning on all these lights would
have made no difference to someone passed out or hiding in Glen's
What if whoever was in Glen's office had no idea I was in the
Did I really want to go down this path?
How about knocking? But I didn't want to announce my presence
either. I was still in stealth mode. It could still be a
bad guy inside that office. If a bad guy was
hiding in there, I would prefer not to confront him. Anything
I said would indicate I had him cornered. A cornered animal is
dangerous. Why take a chance? I was full of indecision.
So I just stood there staring at Glen's office door wondering what
I thought again about leaving the building. Bad idea.
How was I supposed to leave the building but come back and clean up
the trash? I had no choice but to discover the source of the
sound. Maybe I should call the police before opening any more
doors. The thought of having the police come over and finding
nothing shut down that idea. No, that probably wasn't necessary.
I didn't really believe any burglar was in Glen's office. At
that point, I had a new idea. Why not put my ear against the
door and try to hear something?
I had just put my ear against Glen's door when
I heard the moan again.
that scared me!
I jumped so high my head nearly touched the ceiling! I even
let out an involuntary little yelp. Damn! How crazy was
When my wits returned, I realized the sound was very close by. Much
too close for comfort. But it didn't come from Glen's
office... the moan had definitely come
I had not checked the
The restroom was located right next to Glen's office. It was less than five
feet from where I was standing.
I walked around the Coke machine to inspect the
door to the Ladies Room.
I was so scared I
practiced swinging my
metal pipe a couple times just to get the stroke. Keep
in mind I still had no idea what was going on and there was no one
around to help me. The front door was still locked, so running
for my life was out of the question. Maybe it was all a prank, but
maybe it wasn't. I could be in grave danger. If I was in
trouble, I had no escape route and no real weapon.
However, successfully turning on four light switches had emboldened
me. I was certain I had located the source of the sound.
Whoever it was, they were trapped in the restroom. Plus they
probably didn't know I was out there. I had surprise on my
side plus my trusty lead pipe. I bolstered
my confidence by thinking I was in a stronger position than they
were. But that didn't keep me from being afraid. I still
had no idea what I was dealing with.
Carefully I walked to the door.
Holding my club tightly, I
used my foot to nudge open the door.
Then I jumped back and raised my club. I was ready to smack
whatever came crashing through that door, but it opened and closed
That's too weird. Now what? My heart
was thumping madly. I really did not want to go in there.
So I waited another moment. Oooooooh!!!
There it was again.
that I was close by, the moan had a different feel to it. It
sounded like someone was in real pain! Maybe someone was
hurt! This possibility had never occurred to me. I had
been much too worried about saving my own skin.
For the first time I broke my silence. "Is someone in
there?" Still no answer. I waited for a moment.
I was going to have to go in there. I had no idea what to
expect. Whoever was in there, at least they hadn't come out to
Who was behind that closed door?
One part of me half-expected a psycho with a knife to leap out at
me, another part wondered if several SSQQ loonies were going to yell
'trick or treat!!' and start laughing at me hysterically.
Finally I screwed up my courage. I opened the door and
flipped on the light
most ghastly sight I had ever seen
in my life!
shocked out of my wits!
restroom floor, a
woman dressed in a
red belly dance outfit
was sprawled unconscious.
face down, her face and her entire costume were covered in vomit.
Even though the lights were on, she did not move at all.
I gasped and stared in disbelief.
This looked like a crime scene from CSI.
The woman's body was motionless. Was she dead? Face down on the
floor, her arms and legs were set at such strange angles
that I really wondered for a moment what I was seeing.
No, she couldn't be dead. After all, she had spent the
last hour scaring me out of my wits with her weird noises.
That's when I grabbed my nose. Ohmygosh the
stench! The woman had thrown
up everywhere. The restroom was covered with vomit.
Much worse, this poor woman was covered head to toe
with vomit!! She must
have rolled in the damn stuff.
This was horrible. It was so gruesome I wanted to throw up
The Mystery was over. Everything made
This woman and I had something in common. Obviously I was not the only person who had
passed out. This woman was another victim of
However it didn't take much to realize this woman's
condition was far worse than mine. I
was standing and she was unconscious. The woman really did look dead. I am not exaggerating.
The woman had thrown up everywhere. She had to have
suffered gut-wrenching agony before she passed out on the cold
hard tile floor. I couldn't imagine how much pain she had been in.
Plus her intermittent moaning meant that she must still be in misery
even as she slept.
As I stood in the doorway with the harsh neon light illuminating
every corner of the bathroom, the woman didn't even budge.
When I say 'passed out', she was completely and totally unconscious.
My intense fear gave way to overwhelming
sympathy. This poor wretched woman. I didn't know
who she was, but I did remember seeing her at the party.
The stench brought me out of my musings.
I moved my eyes around the restroom. What a horrible mess!
This was so disgusting. She hadn't made it to the toilet.
Instead there was puke all over the
floor. Even worse, there was puke all over
her belly dance dress. Apparently at some point in the night she had rolled in the
stuff because there was puke all over her costume.
It was caked on her mouth and face too. The woman lay
there soaked in her own
That was so horrible to see, much less
How could she even breathe? Can people suffocate
from vomit? I was worried this might be the
And the smell!! Oh my goodness, yes, the smell.
Who could forget that? Nothing has ever reeked like this before or since. The
I had to hold my nose just to
remain in the restroom with her.
was I going to do? I
unconscious woman was my responsibility.
I stood there in silence
trying to decide on a course of action.
My first thought was to wonder if the woman needed medical
So I pulled the vomit-soaked
veils from her face. She seemed to
be alive. Sort of.
So I got some paper towels,
wet them in the sink, and
slowly began to wipe her face clean. As I ran the wet
paper towel across her face, she began to moan. I
jumped for the ceiling again. This
woman was way too creepy.
A single thought raced through my mind
again and again - 'I am too sick to be doing this'.
on earth was I going to do
with this poor woman?
And where was I going to get the strength to do it?
But I had to keep going. I
steeled myself to the task and resumed cleaning her face.
The whole time I was disgusted beyond belief.
I wondered, 'How do nurses stand doing stuff like
I decided if I ever survived the night, I
wasn't going to become a nurse either. Not a policeman, not a
nurse. Two totally thankless jobs. But my fear of her
suffocating to death kept me from quitting like I wanted to.
Accompanied by my new-found respect for nurses, I
continued to clean
that smelly puke off her face.
Finally my nausea got too much for me to take.
I had to sit down for a moment. I closed the
restroom door and went to a nearby couch in the hallway. I
took stock of my situation. Now that the mystery was solved,
an overwhelming exhaustion had kicked in. I doubted I had the
strength to continue. This was a case of the sick tending to the
sick. I was just one notch better off than she was. Heck, I
needed someone to take care of me. How was I ever going to
take care of her and still clean the studio?
That's when I heard the woman begin moaning again on the
cold restroom floor. She sounded awful. I shook off my
own misery and went back in the restroom to help the woman.
I had never seen this woman before
Who was she?
Where did she come from?
I took another look at that belly dance outfit. Those clothes
reeked beyond belief. They had to go. I
wished there was another
woman around to get her out of those
horrible outer garments
and put her in a tee-shirt or something.
No such luck.
I thought of an old Robert Mitchum
movie called Heaven
Knows, Mr. Allison. Mitchum was a stranded
soldier on a Pacific island during World World II. He comes
across an unconscious Nun during a heavy rain storm. He drags
her into his cave and decides to get her out of her soaked garments
for her own safety. It was an interesting scene that was
pretty similar to my experience.
That might have been okay in the
movies, but this was different. I had no business
changing the clothes of a woman I didn't know
even though it was for her own good.
But this probably wasn't life or death. I decidedI had no choice but to let her remain in that
horrible vomit-saturated belly dance costume.
Oh well. I would have to wipe down her clothes as best I could
and try not to soak her to death in the process.
Barely able to
breathe from the smell, already sick from my own drunkenness,
exhausted from my previous gut-wrenching fear, I
experienced a level of misery I have never felt before or
since. I was disgusted. More nausea
swept over me. Twice I had to suppress my
own puke reflex. I felt so much revulsion. It was everything I could do
not to throw up. Puking on my own patient... now wouldn't that have
been great? Then it occurred to me she wouldn't
have even known the difference. I smiled grimly to myself... nothing like a good sick joke
at 5 am in the morning.
But I had to attend to her.
other choice did I have? I took off
her veil completely and cleaned up her face as best I could.
Then I wiped some more of the vomit
off her clothes.
It had been on her so long it had dried and caked. I could
just peel it off barehanded. Yuck.
I was gagging with disgust the whole time. This was so awful.
The woman never moved the entire time I
cleaned her. Not one single time. I rolled her from one side to the
other a couple times and there was not even a facial twitch.
She was literally dead to the world. There was one good sign
though. The moaning had stopped
once her face was clean.
I guess at some level she knew someone was taking care of
I finished, I decided she was
going to be okay. She seemed
more relaxed and she was breathing
normally now. But I had to get her out of that
I covered a nearby couch with newspapers. I
tried to pick the woman up, but I
was unsuccessful. She was a big woman and she was also
completely limp. I tried, but she
was much too heavy to pick up in my arms. She weighed
Finally I gave up. She was
just too heavy for me in
her condition and my condition.
So instead I grabbed her under
her armpits and dragged her out to
the hallway. There was no way I was
going to get her on that couch. So I put a
pillow under her head and let her
lay there on the floor.
The woman never even stirred. She
was out cold.
As the woman slept on the hallway floor,
I went back to the restroom and began to mop the floor.
Half an hour later I finished
with the restroom. The area stunk horribly, but there was no
spray available. Tough. I told myself I had done the
best I could. I wondered how badly I was going to get chewed
out by Glen for the smell. I worried the smell had moved over
into his office. Heck, I had other things to worry about.
I had not even begun to clean up the studio. When was this
ordeal going to end?
Now I turned my attention to
cleaning up the general mess.
I picked up the trash.
I emptied the drinks.
I swept the floor.
I mopped the sticky spots. I carried twenty
bags of trash by hand to the dumpster on the other side of the
parking lot. Carrying three bags at a time, the seven trips
nearly killed me. Actually I didn't carry the bags because
they were too big. So I dragged them. Small holes would
appear in the plastic bags as I drug the bags along the pavement. little
trickles of soft drink would pour out from these holes and create wet streams
of red punch on the
parking lot pavement. By the time I was done, the path to the
dumpster was well-marked with a big red streak. I called it my "Red
used a lot of profanity. Whistle while
you work? Drop dead.
The woman slept the whole time. I passed
her laying on the hallway floor every time
I took more trash to the dumpster. She was
starting to snore. I assumed this was another good sign.
It seemed like she was sleeping soundly. There she was right in the
middle of the Hallway from Hell. As I worked, I often had to put my foot
on either side of her face to get past her. I literally
had to walk over her, but she never once moved! That
was one very passed-out woman, trust me.
Oddly, I was
starting to appreciate her company. We were old friends now.
At least I wasn't completely alone. I realized in a
very strange way
had done me a bizarre favor - by scaring
heebie jeebies out of me,
her presence had actually
shocked me out of my own
I guess this is what they mean by a "silver
every dark cloud.
Maybe it is true the Lord works in mysterious ways. I definitely
something to get me going again, that was for sure.
It took me three hours to finish
cleaning the studio.
The sun was just beginning to rise at 7
am or so.
Now I began to load the audio equipment into my car. I
felt like hell. I looked like hell. And
don't ask how I smelled. I craved a bath. I craved a
bed. But I still had responsibilities.
After filling my car,
I went back inside. I was
surprised to discover the woman was
I couldn't leave until she left.
I'm sure Glen would just love to find her laying
in the middle of his hallway blocking the door to his office.
I prayed that I was going to catch a break and she would be
in good enough condition to drive home.
As she lay on the floor, the woman's eyes
fluttered opened. She stared up at the ceiling in
wonderment. Then she raised her head and looked around
in bewilderment. Finally she sat up
and noticed me. She began to look at me warily. I
had been standing nearby, but now I came
closer and sat down
about 5 feet away. I didn't want to sit too
close and take the chance of scaring her.
In addition she still reeked pretty bad.
I said "Good morning. How do you feel?"
She said nothing. Obviously she was having a hard time
figuring out where she was and what had happened. Hmm.
Join the club. I painfully recalled my own rude awakening.
Then her nose twitched. She looked down at her clothes.
the woman began to figure
Her nose practically
twisted into a pretzel as she smelled the
stench. It was all beginning to come back to
her. Her eyes grew large with shock. She had to
be disgusted out of her wits, but I did not know
how to spare her this embarrassment.
In spite of my own problems, I felt so
sorry for her.
I asked her again how she felt. This
time she spoke. "Like death warmed over," she
replied. No surprise there. "Too much goddamn punch."
I smiled and nodded in agreement.
As I talked to the
lady, I found out why I didn't know who she was. She said she
didn't really know anyone at the studio.
She had taken a couple lessons at the
and had seen a Halloween party poster on the
wall. This is how she learned about the party.
She added that she had come to the party
alone on a
I groaned to myself.
A bus? I did not want to hear this.
My shoulders sagged with this news.
I rolled my eyes. Here I was ready to go
home and collapse, but now I found
out she didn't even have her own car.
Add another hour to my ordeal. Would this
nightmare ever end?
So I offered her a ride.
What else could I do?
Leave her at the bus stop in that condition and
I don't think so.
I went outside, took the speakers
from the front seat of my car and put them back in the studio.
I could pick them up later.
Then I helped the woman into my car. The
thought of her sitting on my seat in that outfit gave me the
shivers. One part of me wanted to ask her to sit on some
newspapers, but I could not bring myself to be that callous. I
decided I could always clean the seat up later on.
drove slowly to her apartment which was near the University of
Houston. Apparently she was a student there.
This surprised me a little because she
appeared to be the same age as me - 31. Maybe she was a
teacher. We said very little since we were both
sick and exhausted.
I also imagine she was embarrassed
by her drunken collapse in the restroom.
I recalled how angry I was at myself for passing out and
giving people the chance to laugh at me as they left the building.
Did this woman have even a clue that a total stranger had been down
on the floor cleaning her face and costume? Talk about an
invasion of body space. If so, she didn't say anything.
I think she was just grateful to be alive.
It was a very long trip made longer because
the smell was so horrible inside the car. Her
clothes were rank beyond belief. Despite the cold October wind
outside, we had no choice but to roll the windows down and let the
smell out. Consequently we both shivered
in misery as I drove. Two complete
strangers were trying to make the best of the situation, but it was
To get that sick meant she had done an
awful lot of drinking. During the trip, I tried to
imagine the depths of loneliness that had contributed to this
woman's unfortunate incident.
I decided it was none of my business to
ask. For one thing I was just one step in
better shape than she was. Hey, who was I to judge?
Besides, maybe she had no idea how dangerous the punch was until it
was too late.
Believe it or not, she couldn't even find her
apartment. She explained she had been in Houston two months.
She only knew the way
home from riding the bus. I groaned to myself. I was too
damn tired to have any patience, but I summoned my final ounce of
civility. I am glad I did. I am sure if I barked at her
she would have begun to cry. She was right on the edge of
tears as it was.
I asked her if she knew where her bus stop was. She said
'Wheeler Street'. That did the
We had to drive around her neighborhood until we found her bus stop.
Then we found the
apartment. Although I offered to help her
walk in, the lady said she was strong enough to make it to
the door by herself.
I am sure it took every last ounce of
strength in her body, but her pride carried her
up the sidewalk.
Woozy, sick, wobbly
and dazed, reeking and wearing her
disgusting costume, slowly she staggered to
What a sight. That poor woman.
She waved goodbye
with as much dignity as she could muster.
Once I was sure she had her door open, I waved back and
nodded good luck to her. She would need a lot of rest to recover from
I drove home very carefully
even though the roads were still deserted on this early Sunday morning.
I was too tired to trust myself to drive fast. If I passed
out, I didn't want to hit anything hard. It was 8:30
am when I hit my bed.
I am sure you would rather not know this, but I didn't bother taking
a shower. I had no choice but to collapse. This
had been the longest night of my life.
I had survived the Halloween Party from Hell,
but just barely.
HOW MUCH DID
THE WOMAN KNOW?
Over the years, people have asked me several
questions about the woman who passed out. Mostly they wondered
what went through her mind after she finally woke up and how she had
managed to get so sick in the first place.
I honestly don't remember much because our conversation was
extremely limited. My main concern was to allow the woman to
regain a little dignity. Consequently I thought it best not
not to pry. Since she didn't volunteer much, I have no details
to share on how she got into that mess in the first place, what time
she entered the restroom, or what
crossed her mind when she awoke.
I do know the woman had no idea about my own ordeal that
night because she never asked any questions. She never had any
idea how badly her sounds had frightened me. She was just
trying to survive and I didn't see any point in filling her in on
the gory details. I do remember wondering if she was curious
why I just happened to be waiting for her at the studio on a Sunday
morning at 7 am. I guess she figured it was a service we
provide for all our comatose guests.
I never saw
this woman again. I am
sure she was too embarrassed to bother coming back to the studio.
I have no idea what her name
I don't even think she told me. It doesn't
matter. I can assure you I will never forget her.
WHY DIDN'T I EVER
GUESS WHAT WAS REALLY GOING ON?
I will start by asking you a question... when did you
first guess another person might have passed out as well might be
the answer to my confusion? How soon in the story did it
cross your mind?
I am telling the truth
when I say I was clueless right to the bitter end. I never
once suspected the true meaning of the sound until the moment I
opened the restroom door. Right up to the moment I turned
on the restroom lights, I was still worried there might be an
attacker hiding somewhere in the building.
That said, I remain baffled that the possibility that someone was
sick or hurt never once crossed my mind. I was so convinced
that someone was after me that my fear-driven mind never once
offered up this solution.
When I went back in 2007 to update this story, as I
was typing I asked myself over and over again why it never
occurred to me that the sounds I heard might have been caused by someone who
was sick or hurt.
My only excuse was that my incredible fear impaired my thinking
process. You know, squirrels are famous for changing
direction with no warning. When I see a squirrel
crossing the street, I slow down. The squirrel panics and runs
away to the side of the road. So I pick up speed again
thinking the squirrel is safe only to see the squirrel change its
mind and run right back in front of my car. Now I have to hit
my breaks again.
This is a perfect example of how fear makes us do stupid things.
You assume that humans are smarter than squirrels. Yes, of
course, but if we get scared enough, we can be stupid too.
Humans are not immune to panic. This was a night when I
WAS I REALLY SCARED
OR DID I JUST MAKE THAT UP TO IMPROVE THE STORY?
Yes, my fear was real. No, I did not
exaggerate. This was the night that I experienced the most
terror that I have ever felt in my life.
In my defense, it took several unusual factors to trick me into
thinking I was in great danger.
please understand that no one before and no one since has
ever passed out at the studio. In fact, I never even
encountered something like this in college either. I think
we can assume this was a once-in-a-lifetime event. This was such a bizarre
situation that the idea would not have readily occurred to me.
- Second, since the woman was hidden from sight behind a closed
door, I could not see her and the door kept her sounds muffled as
The woman may have been making painful sounds all night long, but
they were drowned out by the loud music playing in the room next to
me. When I finally awoke, I was pretty disoriented. It
took me a good ten minutes to even get off that couch and lock the front
door. I was preparing to lay back down on the couch when I
decided the music irritated me so much I had to turn it off to get
The silence allowed me to hear her moan for the first time.
She had probably been moaning all night long. But
the timing of the moan led me to incorrectly assume someone had just
entered the building to come get me.
the fact that it was Halloween Night played a huge part in my
Had the sound occurred on any other night of the year, I still would
have been scared, but certainly not to that extent. I admit I
overreacted partly due to a lifetime of associating Halloween Night with
danger and fear.
there was my extreme sense of vulnerability. I was
already spooked out of my wits by having the door unlocked for
several hours while I was passed out. Before the moan even occurred, I had just spent ten
minutes on the couch feeling like I was in a scene from a Scream
As I sat there on the couch, I was already worried that
someone was in the building. In other words, I was
not in the bravest frame of mind to begin with. Since I was in a
semi-panic condition when I heard the
unexpected moan, the sound hit me at the worst possible moment. It was a really
bizarre noise to hear at that hour and I overreacted. I
was hardly in any kind of mood to just sit there and calmly
speculate what it might be. I just wanted to hide!!
probably the major factor in my dilemma was my panicked decision to
run and hide. That made things so much worse.
Human beings have instincts we are barely aware of until they kick
in. When danger is present, our instincts tell us to act fast
and ask questions later. The fact that the woman was out of sight played havoc
with my reaction because it was so much easier to retreat rather than
to face the source of that unknown threat.
That is EXACTLY what happened
to me. The fear of the unknown is very powerful.
I was too scared to think straight.
The thought that came
to me first was
"I can't see him so he can't see me. Why not hide and figure out what I am
dealing with before I make my stand?"
lie. I was terribly scared and confused by the moaning sound. The darkness
of Room One just a few feet away was the perfect place to retreat
until I could figure things out. Hiding in Room One certainly
felt like an improvement over sitting on a couch where anyone could
see me and attack. But once I was stuck in Room One with my
blind condition, I experienced the most terror that I have ever
felt in my life.
shutting that door tight in Room One and being too afraid to
immediately reopen it was a colossal mistake. That was dumb.
Hindsight is 20-20, but if I could have stayed hidden right
behind the door and simply peered out into the Hallway
from Hell while I got my nerves settled, I think I would
have solved the mystery fairly quickly.
Instead I made my situation much worse. The blindness was terrifying. It was my bad luck
that closing the Room One door behind me sent the room into
pitch-black darkness. That didn't occur to me until it
was too late. The resulting blindness combined with
a threat of unknown origin affected me in ways I cannot completely
explain. All I can say is that you have to accept the blindness magnified my fear so greatly that it
took quite an effort to finally regain my courage.
PERCEPTION IS REALITY
There really is something to "Perception".
People can react differently to the same situation depending on what
kind of mood they are in.
Back when I was in college, the Night of the Living Dead
was said to be the scariest movie of all time. But I went to
see it on campus with a bunch of smart-ass college kids. These
kids were laughing before the movie even started. Then they
made fun of the movie from the opening credits on. Needless to
say, I wasn't even remotely scared. The evening was a complete
waste of time.
Four years later I went to see The Exorcist. The
theater was full of people who were screaming bloody murder from
start to finish. Caught up in their mood, I have never been so
terrified by a movie in my entire life.
After one woman read my story, she asked me to describe how afraid I
was. Did I really think I was in danger or did I
just say that to make the story better?
I can definitely see her point. Since everyone knows I
survived the Halloween from Hell experience, it may be
difficult to understand my point of view and accept that I genuinely
thought I was in danger. On that night given the context of
what had taken place, the fear that I experienced was very real to
me. I was absolutely terrified!
Although my fears turned out to be baseless, the fear I have
described in my story was not even slightly exaggerated. For
a significant period of time I honestly believed I was in terrible
danger. Trust me when I say I am not exaggerating.
DID I LEARN MY LESSON?
That was indeed the most fear I have
ever experienced in my life.
Ever since, I have always made a point of locking the door WELL
BEFORE our guests leave to avoid letting any suspicious late-comers
have access to the party. That same policy goes for our
Haunted House as well.
In a sense, that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I
learned many lessons that night, but one lesson in particular sticks
out. Now you know why I no longer drink at
my own parties.
Thanks to the Halloween Party from Hell, I have discovered I prefer
to stay conscious and alert at my parties. For one thing, it
sure makes cleaning up easier at the end of the night.
I learned to be more responsible as well. That was the
very last Halloween Party where I had the attitude that I was a
guest, not a host. Once I accepted my role as host for good,
not surprisingly the SSQQ Halloween Parties began to run much better.
WHAT ABOUT BOB?
In 2007 I wrote the updated version of the
Halloween From Hell story. After one of my
students read it, they asked me if I was still mad at Bob.
I looked at the lady in surprise. I answered, "Heavens
no, I was never mad at Bob. Whatever I wrote, I was
Yes, Bob made a mistake that night, but he didn't
intentionally make the
punch stronger. He learned a lesson too. He did
the Halloween Punch for several more years without further
I was no angel either.
If I had not been drinking, I would not have let the party
get out of control the way it did. We were just a
couple of young and foolish guys who were trying to create
fun and have a little fun in the process. It was a
learning experience for both of us.
Other than nearly having a nervous breakdown while I stood
helpless in the dark, no one got hurt. Even that poor
woman in bathroom managed to crack a couple weak smiles as I
drove her home.
Like I said,
Bob went on to serve his Punch again at several more parties.
Now that we had both learned our lessons, the problem was
Today Bob is retired. He lives up in the Colorado
mountains near Fort Collins with his beautiful wife Louise
(whom he met at SSQQ). And yes, Bob has read my
story. Let me add he tells me he likes my story a lot.
He says he reads it every Halloween to get him in the right
mood. That's funny because I like to read it every
Halloween too. This is a night I don't ever want to
To read more about my adventures with Bob Job,,