Every time I visit a haunted house, one thing inevitable occurs. No matter how big the group I walk through with is, I always wind up taking the lead at some point. Usually this occurs during the dreaded pitch black room/maze/hallway that most haunted houses feature. Everyone freezes, as I slowly edge forward and feel for the wall.
This is undesirable to most, since each dark room has the possibility of a hidden ghoul waiting to pop out. Some of the really sly houses leave it empty, and let the anticipation heighten exponentially as you move further in. Occasionally the floor has been altered and sinks, or fishing wire is hung from the ceiling (to simulate spider webs). The sudden surface changes and sensations are very disorienting. But I love pushing ahead to see what hidden scares are in the dark rooms.
Until 10:30 am on Friday, June 8th, this was not a skill that had real life applications. That morning, I was kneeling in front of a filing cabinet in a storage closet searching for old paperwork when the power suddenly when out. The closet was completely dark. I was able to calmly feel for the door knob and get out to the hallway, but I had a new problem. None of the emergency lights had gone on, and the hallway was only lit by a few windows. That meant the stairwells were completely dark. And I needed to get from the third floor back to the fourth floor, where the reception desk is located (along with my cellphone!).
I made my way to the nearest stairwell and opened the door. Sure enough, it was completely dark. Propping the door open made no difference, since the hallway had barely and light. I slipped in, and slowly felt for the wall and the banister. When I found it, I moved up the steps one by one.
Fortunately, a coworker of mine remembered I was downstairs and came to the stairwell door with a flashlight. I was glad to be rescued, but it’s still a little empowering to know that I could have made it alone if I had to!