We’re back with another dose of Howard Rice, this time coming all the way from North Carolina. Join us tonight as our anonymous writer gets a dose of the Halloween spirit after a recent trip through a haunted hayride. After a visit early in the season, she wrote to us, and we’re happy to scare—er, share—her spooky discovery of one Mr. Howard Rice.
A Scary Good Time
For the past few years, I’ve been attending this local haunted hayride, mostly to visit a good friend of mine. He’s always one of the scare actors, and while it’s no Halloween Horror Nights, it’s a good time. They always get me by myself, yell my name, and do whatever they can to get me especially scared.
Unfortunately, something went wrong this year.
It wasn’t on the scare actors, really, but it was in the haunt, so they had to shut down for the evening. The guy had gotten really sick due to a medical condition, so while he was being taken away, I stuck around with the scare actors. Admittedly, it’s hard to focus on anything but the scary doll makeup, but I managed.
I had to admit, I was a little curious about what led him to scare acting. “Why do you want to work at a haunt anyway? I mean, you’ve got a good job and all.”
He laughed. “Yeah, I know, but I don’t get to scare people at my day job. I could probably lose my license to practice if I tried. But it just really ended up being fun, and Shawn got me into it.”
Of course, I had to ask why Shawn decided to try it out. The place had only been up and running for a few years, so it must have been a new thing.
“Yeah, so, first of all, Shawn got in a bad accident about a decade back—he hurt his spine, and while he can walk a little on his own, he’s a little shaky. But he got a personal injury lawyer in Charlotte, and he won this huge settlement, so he was kinda set to just focus on his legs.”
Of course, that’s not all Shawn wanted to do—he had dreams of being a scare actor.
That next Halloween, he got a job at a haunted house, where he could lay on a table and pretend to be a horrified patient being operated by a scary doctor. It was all your standard haunted house stuff, and he loved it.
“After that, he started this place. I mean, I can’t act like that first job was all it took to get him in deep enough to use part of his settlement to open this place, though.”
One of the other scare actors nodded. “Yeah, he actually named it after his grandpa. The old guy loved playing tricks and scaring people, so he felt all inspired. That’s why it’s the Howard Rice Haunted Ride.”
I looked down at the “HRHR” stamped on the back of my hand in black light ink. “Well, that explains it.”
Finding the Next Howard Rice
Who would have thought we’d come across such a haunted Howard Rice? Just in time for the season, too.
Maybe next time, we’ll have a Thanksgiving Howard for everyone. Until then, though, we’ll keep looking through the many submissions we’ve received. Thanks again to all our readers who so thoughtfully shared their stories and allowed us to publish them. We couldn’t keep this site running without you, so thank you all.
Keep your eye out for more—we’ve got a handful of Howard Rice stories we’re looking forward to sharing, so stay updated, and check out our site for more of our stories.