Every year our family endeavors to have the spookiest house on the block, and possibly in the whole country. But, for the past three years, we've been consistently outdone by one home in particular: The White House! Well, not this year. Now at our haunted house, every scare comes with an eerily astute political allusion.

First up is the hand sanitizing station. Before you continue, spray your mitts with a witches brew of ethyl alcohol and “Ahh”-loe vera. It won’t exactly deliver a jump-scare, but isn't pure madness that we are even allowed to be doing this during a coronavirus surge?

Next, sign a blood-curdlingly detailed release form. It will certainly remind you that, in Trump's America, your life is in your hands. And that the owners of this residence are not liable for any injury incurred at the attraction.

Enter the front yard and you are immediately confronted with the Graveyard of the Norms. Every tombstone reads the name, “Norm 1776-2016.” Try not to think about how believing “things have never been this bad” means accepting the premise of “make America great again” as you creep up to the front door and enter the…

Foyer of Fake News, a room filled with dozens of fearsome ravens, each carrying a “tweet” from our Liar in Chief that PolitiFact rated anywhere from “Mostly False” to “Pants on FIRE!” Speaking of which, take some time to warm up by the fireplace. Notice the sign on the mantle reading, “Insert Emoluments Clause Here.”

The arrows that say “wrong direction for the country” are actually the ones you should follow. As the markers guide you down the hall, peer into the Home Gym of Appeased Strongmen. Despite what our commander in chief may think, those cardboard cutouts of Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Il are not depicting “nice guys,” for they have literal (fake) blood on their hands.

Next you’ll pass the dining room, where—are those ghosts? No, they’re klan robes! Who gave them a seat at the table? I think we all know who.

In the Kitchen of Climate Disaster, there’s only one thing on the menu: denial! What's that burning smell? Is it the entire West Coast of the United States, perhaps? Ah! Look at the chopping block on the kitchen counter. What’s on there? Oh dear lord, it's grandma's prescriptions. There's a slasher on the loose, and he's coming for Social Security, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act!

And do you hear that sound? Who is chanting, “Help! Our hands are tied”? Follow your ear to the source of those decrepit moans: the Opposition Pantry. There you'll see skeletons of the ancient Democratic leadership. Careful not to give them your email, or they'll be asking you to “throw them a few bones” several times a day for all eternity.

Hurry as fast as you can out the back door! We sort of ran out of ideas here so we stuck a sign in our unkempt backyard that just says, “The Swamp.” Follow the flagstone path back to the street and congratulate yourself on surviving the Haunted House of Heavy-Handed Political Parables. But remember this! The nightmare isn’t over until the orange goblin is out of the White House and we can return ignoring politics.


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