I learned to ride a horse in preschool thanks to Rawhide. Once upon a time, this cowboy touristy town was located in north, north Scottsdale . My dad loved to go to Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse and then take his two little ones to enjoy a piece of the wild wild west. I have a photo, wearing a turquoise blue polo shirt and plaid shorts, on the back of a donkey at Rawhide. I am in kindergarten and am already a prissy girl wanting a pony.

Laura Ingalls Wilder-inspired

So when a friend gave me tickets to visit the new Rawhide (relocated to the Chandler area) — I jumped. Little did I know how much I was actually going to jump…

Giddyup, pardner

Giddyup partners, this is a scary tale of how my childhood memories of a cowboy town were turned upside down, inside out and into a tale of adult horror.


The wild west has been taken over by zombies.


And death.


And while the marshal no longer wanted to find me a pony, he did want to shoot me, chase me and scare the living bejesus out of me.


Alma agreed. Death did not suit her either.

Alma and a zombie

Especially when the zombies snuck up behind her…

Scared the crap out of her

Although it does make for a pretty funny photo!

The Asylum Haunted House at Rawhide is now open and may I just say, it is very, very scary. I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone younger than 18. While the shoot-out western show is campy and fun, the haunted house is nothing short of terrifying. At one point, I was being chased by man carrying a chainsaw.

So, if this sort of thing is up your holiday alley, give it a whirl.  It was a spooky, fun time, but I did miss the peaceful pony ride.