- Andy Murphy
Supernatural Situational Awareness: Staying Left of Boo!
This Halloween you will most likely be with a group of friends who experience car trouble at midnight in the middle of nowhere while it is raining. You will not stay with the car and call AAA or the police. Instead, you will run to the abandoned farmhouse nearby to seek shelter.
Here are some tips from The Secure Dad to keep you one step ahead of the zombies and help you stay "Left of Boo".
Supernatural Situational Awareness - Situational awareness isn’t just for parking lots, restaurants, and any location in which you travel. You must also be supernaturally situationally aware as well.
Don’t make yourself a soft target for a ghoul. Keep your head up and be prepared to escape the situation even if you have to leave a person-shaped hole Scooby Doo-style in the nearest wall.
Time and Distance - When dealing with a vampire remember that they have to be close to bite you. Give yourself the gift of time and distance (and life) by moving away from any fanged individuals in your area.
Anomalies - Understanding the baseline for your environment can be helpful in threat assessment. For example at the grocery store, we expect people to be minding their own business, quiet, and shopping. So a zombie eating the brains of the stockboy is a red flag that you need to leave.
Conversely, if in a haunted house full of ghosts, masked psychopaths, and lizardmen the calm little girl in a red dress is the anomaly. What's her deal??? Don't stick around to find out.
Iconography - Graffiti and logos are all examples of iconography. Depending on their placement and use, it can give you a significant understanding of your environment. For example, in a haunted house a pentagram freshly painted with goat blood is a cue that someone is about to get sacrificed.
Kinesics - When a large-headed clown doll on a bike rides up to you to ask if you want to play a game you need to respond firmly verbally and non-verbally. Point your shoulders, hips, and feet at the doll and make good eye contact. Then say, "I'm not your guy." He'll know you mean business.
Be Vocal - If a little girl with a backward head approaches you in a threatening manner, or if a menacing clown offers you a red balloon, be sure to vocalize your intention for "it" to stop. Hold out your hands in a stop position and say with unwavering authority “The most high God compels you to stop.”
Trust Your Gut - Your brain has a built-in warning system called intuition or a "gut feeling". This is when your brain is warning you of danger. Most likely you will ignore the crap out of this feeling when you enter a haunted house.
The best thing to do is not get distracted. So when approaching a coffin covered in cobwebs your intuition will warn you that a chainsaw-wielding clown is about to pop out of it.
Don’t Be Complacent - Don’t assume everything in your situation is under control. If a scarecrow with a sickle is making threatening motions at you and your group, don’t wait to see if he’s really going to cut you up.
Be proactive and remove yourself from the situation. Don’t run back the way you came, they will be expecting that. If movies have taught us anything about supernatural situational awareness it is that you must flee to a room where there is no escape. Look for an interior room with no windows and a gothic mirror.
Watch Your Back - It is just as important to know what is behind you as well as what is in front of you. Cops call this, “checking your 6.” When you are in a group make sure you are not the last person through the door.
I suggest you bring someone dressed as a Red Shirt from Star Trek and put them at the back of the group. That way you won’t be the first to be killed.
Most haunted houses are not a race to see who is the fastest to get out. In reality, it’s a race for second slowest.
Have a happy and secure Halloween. To learn more about real-life situational awareness, please check out my conversations with Greg and Brian of Arcadia Cognerati.
The Secure Dad does offer some legitimate tips for Halloween safety, you can read them here. For more serious safety tips, consider The Secure Dad Podcast.