We had a SOLID weekend, which included a visit and a review of the haunt from horrorsociety.com. Check it out.
The Haunted Trail is full of new surprises in 2013, so we are issuing a challenge. Can you spot Hugo The Clown before he spots you? It is very important. Life or Death important. Somewhere on the trail, in one of the scenes, Hugo awaits you in all of his gory glory. Good luck finding him before you wet your pants.
Its 3:07 a.m and the Haunted Forest is looking quite good as we tap into the spine of all things freaky. Yours truly, The Reaper, has finally done what he refused to do over the last few weeks – enter the forest alone after everyone else has gone home. I don’t mind walking through the huge spider webs (they only bite once). I don’t mind the skeletons, zombies, or the darkness. Its the howling. Something in that forest lets go every now and then with a human-sounding shriek that turns my stomach. But tonight, I completed a round through the entire haunted trail changing out batteries and making a list of the last-minute fixes that have to be done before opening night on Friday.
Come on out! We’re letting the first 150 people in for $10 each. Tell two friends. Then they’ll tell two friends. And so on, and so on…
When Panic Point had a prison, decades ago, the inmates only feared one man. It wasn’t Warden Jenkins, he of the baby-face and easy smile. No. “Warden J.” was cleaner than a frog’s armpit. And it wasn’t the guards. Those guys were dumber than a bucket of gopher puke, and only slightly more useful. One man, and one man alone put the “Panic” in Panic Point, and made the convicts wish they were somewhere better (like hell, for instance, or being hunted like big game by mustached-men in safari suits in some perverse reality show). His name was Dr. Mortimer F. Corpus (aka “Monster F”, “The Real MF.”, or “Doc Mort”)
The mortality rate at the infirmary ran at about 30%. Thing is, nobody who checked in could accurately recall exactly what happened there. They suspected Doc Mort of drugging the infirm. That was OK by them, really, if not for the death part. What really stood out were the smells. Awful, sick, vomit-inducing, unrecognizable odors that only confused them more. Years of rumor and foggy recollections birthed the theory that the Good Dr. was killing inmates for their organs, and then preserving them through some occult ritual and selling them to brokers from the shadow world of the organ trade. When not enough prisoners checked in, Dr. Corpus would pull invisible strings to spark violence at Panic Point.
One fateful day Rex Skulling, bus driver by trade, checked himself into the infirmary. Rex was sure he was dying, so he figured if Dr. Mort could fix him he’d have at least a 50/50 shot of getting out alive. Rex’s crime was reckless driving and vehicular manslaughter….23 times. He only felt at home behind the wheel. That night Corpus drugged him and attempted a new technique. He wanted to see what would happen if he began preservation before harvesting Rex’s brain. He removed Rex’s skull, exposed the brain, and worked his magic. To the Doctor’s surprise rex sat up, looked around, and walked out the door. He wasn’t dead, so you couldn’t call him a zombie, but he had definitely crossed over into “creature”, and hovered somewhere in between living and dead.
Rex headed straight for the prison bus, started it up, and busted out. The partially-zombified Rex Skulling continues to drive the Panic Point Bus to this day, running over bunny rabbits, nuns, little old ladies, and anyone else he can mow down. He made a stop in at the prison a year or so after his escape. He found Doc Mort asleep, ripped out his heart, preserved it with a ritual incantation, then returned it to Mortimer Corpus’ chest. He dragged The Doc out, chained him up in the back of the bus, and took off.
Now the two are a team. Rex is compelled to mow ‘em down, and Doc Mort stands ready to operate on the victims (dead or alive). So watch your back, and watch out for the Panic Point Ghost Bus. You may hear it coming, but Rex won’t flip the lights on until about a half second before impact. He wants to see the look on your face the moment you become part of his grill.
Lately I’ve been paying a lot more attention to those Ghost shows on TV. You know, the ones where everybody is holding some sort of Ghost-Buster-style PKE (psycho kinetic energy) detector. In the low light everybody looks green ,with glowing eyes. Then, ALL OF A SUDDDEN, the camera fast pans to a chair in the corner where “somebody saw something”. Cut to commercial. When we come back from the commercial break we see most of the same footage again and the narrator asks, in forty different ways, if what they saw was a ghost. That’s entertainment?
I’m not against ghost shows, but I’d much rather tune in to watch real people take on the challenge of spending a night or two all alone in a haunted place. Here’s how it would work. We take our victim to a remote location, preferably at least 5 or 10 miles away from any type of civilization, and drop him/her in a house or a cabin to spend the night. On the way out the victim is informed of the haunted history of the place, along with the names and documented appearances of any ghosts that inhabit it. We rig cameras everywhere, drive away, and let the fun begin.
Even if no ghosts show up, how freaked out could one person get when they are truly alone in the dark? I know, first hand. One night, in just such a remote cabin, I was sleeping alone in a bed. In the same room, one bed over, a couple of my buddies were slumbering (they drew the short straws and had to share a bed). The generator was off. There was no moon. It was DARK in the room. In the middle of the night I felt the unmistakable presence of a giant tarantula crawling up my thigh. I woke up screaming, leaped to my feet, and dove across the space to land on my buddies. “SPIDER! HUGE SPIDER!!” After they recovered from the shock of me jumping on them we got out the flashlights to find the beast.
Nothing. There was definitely no spider in the room of any size. I thought about it for a while and then recalled the position I had been sleeping in: fetal,with my hands straight down, right next to my thighs. I was the spider. Or, rather, my fingers and brain had conjured it in the dark, eerie silence of the cabin. I’m just glad I didn’t have a gun. What if I had tried to shoot it?
So that’s my formula for a ghost show. Plant the idea, isolate the person, and let their imagination take them where it will. Any volunteers?
When it comes to Halloween music, I can only listen to “Monster Mash” so many times before tearing my eyebrow hair out (I shave my balding skull). If Halloween in Raleigh is really going to be “killer”, we need a play list to set the energy level at the haunted attraction. I usually hit shuffle on the ipod while working, and my new favorite sort-of-halloween-themed-song is I’m Gonna DJ by REM. Casey Casem, voice of Shaggy, would have to agree. Wait, is he still alive? Have he and Dick Clark ever been seen together? We would be honored to have one or both of those musical celebrities haunt our forest, alive or dead (but preferably dead – its so much scarier for the patrons).
Coming in at #2 is Psycho Killer by Talking Heads. And, yes, I “got any Blue Oyster Cult”. Don’t Fear the Reaper makes the cut, for sure. Drop in Boris the Spider by The Who, and Highway to Hell by AC/DC, and we’ve got a cool 15 minutes.
Also making the cut:
Nightmare on My Street – Fresh Prince
Ghost Town – The Specials
Hell – Squirrel Nut Zippers
So, our Halloween play list is currently pretty thin, and we need your help. Suggestions?
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