How My Little Toddler Girl Conquered a Haunted Funhouse

So my daughter earned a reputation today among the Haunted Forest funhouse workers at the Renaissance Faire. She’s two, by the way.

While my wife rested on a bench, I took my little girl towards the mock-up wooden castle with the skeletons perched all over it. The entrance attendant who took my money at the gate eyed my toddler in her Rapunzel outfit and gave me a side-eye. Her look said plainly, “If you want to pay $6 to have her run screaming after the first ten feet, it’s your dime.”

Immediately past the ticket station, my daughter realizes she’s surrounding by skeletons and immediately laughs and points. “Skeleton! Look, Daddy, skeleton! Oh, there skeleton too!” Her grin could swallow the world. “SKELETON!”

The gate attendants look at each other in confusion. These people don’t realize they’re dealing with a girl who, earlier in the day, ran up to a woman wearing a fox tail because my little Kiddo thought she’d found a werewolf.

See, my daughter refuses to go in car rides without her dollar store glow-in-the-dark skeletons to play with. She hugs the monsters in pop-up books. She howls during Werewolves of London. She can name every Universal Monster and distinguish a gug from a shoggoth.

The maze is unprepared for her.

A few feet inside, I see a a hooded skeleton peer at us from around a corner. He’s confused. After all, this schmuck has brought a ibby bibby girl into his forest, and he has no idea what kind of experience I’m expecting him to give.

My daughter waves at the reaper. “Hello skeleton! Come!”

He slowly comes out. She and the ghoul make friendly small talk until she notices a zombie horse and runs off after “skeleton horsey!” This level of enthusiasm generally continues.

A skeleton tied to a stake belches smoke. She laughs.

A coffin shakes, hands straining to force open the lid. “Hi, ‘pire!”

My daughter has found dark Disneyland, and she loves it. Well, the part where a blast of air shoot you in the butt? That she can deal without, but the monsters make her day.

We approach the curtained door of a structure, and before I can think about whether I should risk entering the room three grown women push it aside and rush out of the dark. “It’s too scary!” One whispers to me as they pass, bolting for the entrance.

My 2-year-old walks in and tries to make friends with the monsters.

Finally we reach the exit. Standing at attention is a skeleton knight with bulging bloodshot eyeballs. The Kiddo is so damn excited to see him, she smiles and waves at him for a full minute.

Then I tell her we have to go.

She starts crying.

Walking past later a few minutes later, I see the grim reaper talking to the attendants. He spots us, and Death himself points at my daughter. “Look, it’s that little girl!”

They loved her.

He lets us get a picture of her holding the scythe.