Here's the thing with haunted houses: No matter how loud and surprising and scary they may be, they're not truly terrifying because you know nothing's actually going to hurt you. The zombies won't actually eat your brains, the ghouls are just mirror and light tricks, and the guy with the chainsaw is just some actor who wishes he had his SAG card. Or at least, that's how it's supposed to be.
But the scares at one haunted house got a little too real last weekend after one guy showed up for a spooky time and wound up getting stabbed with a real goddamn knife, the Tennessean reports.
James Yochim was out with his friends last Friday for a night of scares at Madison, Tennessee's Nashville Nightmare—an annual Halloween carnival full of games, themed haunted houses, and escape rooms. The 29-year-old and his friends were hanging around one of the haunted houses when someone he assumed was a Nashville Nightmare employee approached them with a knife.
The stranger handed Yochim's friend what she thought was a prop blade and ordered her to stab Yochim with it. "Keep in mind, we'd been chased by chainsaws, holding other weapons, all kinds of stuff all night, and it was all fake," Yochim told the Tennessean. The woman took the knife and did what she was told, not knowing that it wasn't part of the carnival act at all—the knife was real, and she accidentally drove it straight through Yochim's arm.
“As she pulled back, she realized that there was blood on the knife, there was a hole in the victim's shirt and blood was squirting from the victim’s left arm,” the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department later wrote in a report about the incident.
"Everything got really black," Yochim remembers, according to the Tennessean. At that point, he and his friends started to lose it, naturally, since he was bleeding profusely and all. But the stranger who had pulled the horrifying prank also apparently got pretty upset, too.
"The thing I remember is the guy who gave [the knife] to her kind of freaking out and saying things like, 'Oh, I didn't know my knife was that sharp. I didn't know. I'm so sorry.'" Then the guy reportedly grabbed the knife back and disappeared.
Yochim was raced to the hospital where he was given nine stitches. Police quickly opened an investigation into who the stranger was and how he got the knife through the carnival's security in the first place, seeing as visitors have to go through metal detectors. According to a statement from Nashville Nightmare, the company believes an employee may have been involved and has placed one person on leave while it gets to the bottom of the nightmarish incident.
As terrifying as the ordeal was, Yochim is expected to make a full recovery, and the guy sounds surprisingly chill about the whole thing. He doesn't even have any hard feelings against the friend who stabbed him.
"No one wants to stab their friend," he told the Tennessean. "I've been stabbed and I still can't even imagine what it's like to accidentally hurt your friend like that."
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