The room was pitch black, and eerie music was playing from somewhere. We can’t go back so we must push on. A few meters away, we can make out a shape in white coming slowly towards us.

My 7-year-old son pulled back in fear and screamed. My other son, 12, was no better, gripping my arm and mumbling “Don’t scare us. Don’t scare us.”

I think I would have been scared, too, if I hadn’t been overcome with humor at how the three of us must have looked going through the twists and turns of the horror booth called Carnival of Souls in Parkmall at the North Reclamation Area in Mandaue City.

My sons have been wanting to visit the booth ever since they learned about it from their classmates. Their promise to not get scared was quickly forgotten as soon as we stepped inside.

Even my pre-entry advise to always keep in mind that it’s just a room in a mall and the supposed monsters are just people was lost in the darkness of the booth. That’s how effective the blackness, smoke, strobe lights, and people in horror outfits were.

So if you want a scary Halloween experience, try out Parkmall’s Carnival of Souls. It’s ongoing until October 31, and it costs only 25 pesos per person.

Marlen is the editor of and co-founder of Cebu-based journalism startup InnoPub Media.

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