Interviews

with survivors

Survivor, male adult: It's like I said since this whole thing started, ghosts can't be trusted. But does anyone listen to me? Obviously not.

Survivor, male adult: It was weird, man. A bunch of us got herded together by some really aggro ghosts. Pushing us around, hitting us, that kind of stuff. Then they sit us all down at the amphitheater and this huge orchestra of ghosts starts playing "Take It Easy" by the Eagles. Like, heavy metal guitarists and glam rock singers and big band stand-up bass players and a New Orleans drumline. Surprisingly, it wasn't awful, and I hate the Eagles. If anyone tried to leave, the ghosts that brought us there—some wiseass thought it was funny to call the band the Hateful Dead, and we started calling the bouncers the Hell's Angels—they would swoop over and push them back in their seat. These guys just wanted someone to listen to them play. Like I used to play in a band, I get it. But did they have to be so rude about it? They really kept the riffraff out of the show so I guess I gotta give 'em that.

 

Survivor, male adult (crowd interview): How am I feeling? What do you think? I just watched my whole… G.D. family die. How am I feeling. How am I feeling! You really need to find another line of work, you know that? I'm done. This is done.

Survivor, male child: It was scary. My mommy died. It hurt real bad, I cried a lot.

 

Survivor, female adult: We were some of the first to notice a problem, me and my friends. We were at the cowboy exhibit—Ghost Town USA, or whatever they call it. This heavy dude wearing a wrestling t-shirt was strutting up main street like he owned the place, shooting finger-guns at all the outlaws. All of a sudden it was like I could tell there was something wrong—people called it a glitch but it looked like the main bad guy, Freddy? Henry Smokes, the outlaw, his face changed. No one else I was with saw it but I was sure of it. It was that writer guy, Garrote something, the one making stupid puns at all the exhibits. It was only for a second, and then the big guy walks right into his line of fire and he drops dead—wham. They say it was a heart attack, but I don't know. What are the odds of a heart attack happening at the exact same one of those "phantom bullets" hit him right in the chest?

First responder, male adult: The first thing I noticed was the smell of blood. Bodies everywhere.  I was scared like I've never been in my life. Going in, none of us knew what we'd find. We heard the screams from the other side of the wall. I was watching when the chopper went down. The explosion. Then the house. You never know what you're going to be walking into. I've worked car crashes, planes. Bodies scattered all over the place, burning, decapitated. But nothing like this. And the worst part was, when we walked in we couldn't tell what caused it. Some kind of brain-altering toxin? Mass murder? We didn't know. That's what scared me the most. I don't believe in ghosts, no matter what they say on the news. There was nothing there. This was a terrorist act, no doubt in my mind. And it needs to be treated that way.

 

Survivor, male adult (crowd interview): Oh man, it was wild! There was like, ghosts and [expletive] flyin' everywhere, man. I was buggin' out too, 'cause me and my boys smoked a big fat blunt before we came in so like, when shit started goin down I was like, this ain't real—but then people started dyin' and [expletive] so me an' my boys ducked out, we ran like [expletive], you know what I'm sayin'? But yeah, like, it was [expletive] up, for real.

 

Survivor, female adult: I was terrified. At one point I just had to take the glasses off because I couldn't take seeing anymore of it. But then that was worse because then all you see is people dying around you and you can't see why.

Survivor, female adult: This is exactly the sort of thing that happens when you oppress and brutalize a community. When you treat them as less than human. Did anyone really think they wouldn't retaliate? Did no one think of the repercussions? That's why myself and others at GRP2 are leading the class action lawsuit against the Hedgewood Foundation. What happened was a completely preventable tragedy. If we'd only left them alone none of this would have ever happened and hundreds of innocent people would still be alive.

Survivor, female adult (crowd interview): I was in the arcade. It was… I don't want to talk about it.

 

Survivor, male adult (crowd interview): You never think something like that could happen here until it does and you're completely unprepared. I'm a high school teacher. We do active shooter drills all the time. We preach diligence. Awareness of surroundings. When it happens, you can never be ready. Death is unpredictable.

 

Survivor, female adult: When the [expletive] goes down, you better be ready 'cause no one else will be. That's my motto. You bet. I took on a whole cadre of them ghosty motherbrabbers all by myself. Got one of those silver suits the zookeepers were wearing. A dozen of 'em came at me at once. Damn thing zapped 'em all to Kingdom Come. Battery ran out pretty quick after that though, one of them ugly sumbitches threw me up against the sno-cone truck, damn near broke my ribs. Had to hole up in the deep freezer after that. Don't feel too good about it but what're ya gonna do? Can't win 'em all.