The 13th Gate, Baton Rouge’s premier haunted house destination, plans to amp up the thrill of fear and anxiety this year with a simulation of what it feels like to park for an LSU football home game.
“We’ve dealt with some truly frightening subjects, but nothing compares to the dread felt by LSU football fans when trying to find a parking spot for a home game,” 13th Gate owner Dwayne Sanburn says. “And we’re not talking about a Division II opponent, either. No sirree, Bob. This is conference-game levels of fear.”
While some details have yet to be divulged, Sanburn offered a taste of what to expect.
“For starters, nothing will be available within six blocks of our building at 832 St. Philip Street,” Sanburn explained. “We will have several dozen staff members giving conflicting reports on where people should go to park. These employees are also instructed to change their minds every 30 minutes or so, followed by other staff members driving against traffic, yelling and honking at the same time. It’s going to be a horrific mess.”
“Can you imagine being stuck in a car, not knowing when you’ll ever be able to leave, or if you’re even headed in the right direction? I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.”
Fans of The 13th Gate are optimistic this new attraction will top their previous excursions to the popular haunted house.
“I’m a fan of being spooked, but this sounds truly terrifying,” loyal 13th Gate patron Fran Stenton said. “Can you imagine being stuck in a car, not knowing when you’ll ever be able to leave, or if you’re even headed in the right direction? I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.”
Meanwhile, some haunted house fans believe The 13th Gate has gone too far with this brand of terror.
“I can handle the jump scares, but this is where I draw the line,” Dan Stimmit said. “Nothing will get me near campus during a game. I avoid that place like the plague.”
Sanburn says if the new parking exhibition works out, he plans to introduce other LSU-sports-related vignettes.
“LSU has so many possibilities, especially related to their athletic program,” Sanburn insists. “Spending hours in bad weather to see a sloppy rent-a-win game. Waiting in line to buy overpriced, inedible food. Making Gerry DiNardo head coach again. Just thinking about it makes my skin crawl.”