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Terror at Possum Creek: No Vacancy - 2009 Haunted House Review - Raleigh, North Carolina

October 2009 - It's that time of the year again kiddies... the time when the nights grow longer and the creatures that stalk the dark grow stronger. It is October and that means Halloween! Easily the best time of the year. But it is also the busiest time of the year for Ghouls like me, and I sure could use a massage. Luckily for me, The Possum Creek Resort and Spa is open for business.

I, The Cryptkeeper and my companion for the evening, The Demoness, had a night out on the town. We started off with a great meal of Chinese food to fatten ourselves up.... those guys at Peking Garden are magicians with the wok. No MSG in the food, but MSG was still on the menu this night (Minions of Scary Ghouls). We thought we were heading to The Possum Creek Resort and Spa for an evening of relaxation... but boy were we wrong. I guess we should have known that things in Possum Creek would get a bit hairy, given the previous history of the little town. I wanted a massage and The Demoness was dying for a manicure, but we probably should have actually read the brochures.

Once we arrived at The Possum Creek Resort and Spa, we checked in and received our VIP passes that gave us access to everything the place had to offer. In hind sight, maybe they should have been called RIP passes... because we got more than we bargained for. Once we received our passes, we made our way to the entrance. We were greeted by a few staff members that gave us the lowdown on the rules of the joint. Then with the cry of "Fresh Meat", we were sent inside... we probably should have taken that as a bad sign and made our way to the exit though.

Regardless of our fears, we sallied forth. We wanted that spa treatment in the worst way, and that is how we received it. The first room was where one could get their hair and nails done, but we decided to pass that opportunity up given that the hairdresser wanted to keep our head and the nail specialist wanted to take our fingers. Maybe we would come back... but for now we hurried to the massage room... only to find that the table was already occupied. It appeared that the massage therapists at this place like to get a little rough, because the guy on the table looked like he was having trouble relaxing. It was probably because the therapist had his legs and was dancing on the table and singing a creepy song about it. Instead of waiting to be next, we kept moving through the spa.

We eventually found our way to the fogged up sauna and thought it might be good to sit down for a schvitz. The benches we already occupied by people who looked like they might have spent just a little too much time in there, so we moved on. We continued through the spa, room by room... never really feeling comfortable enough to stop and be pampered. As a matter of fact, this place was so scary at times that I probably should have been pampered before I left home... if you catch my drift.

After quite a few rooms, we finally made our way out onto the grounds of the spa. There was a fellow fishing in Possum Creek, but we didn't stop to see if anything was biting... other than the fisherman himself. We also stumbled upon a cemetery while on the grounds. At first we thought that it was strange for there to be a cemetery there... but then with the treatments we witnessed in the spa... it now makes perfect sense.

Once we made our way through the spa grounds, we found our way back indoors... into what they called the Blackout. Whoever came up with the name for this was right on the money. The attendant at the door told us to keep going straight no matter what, but we did a lot of winding to find our way through. A few times, we actually got lost in there and thought we would never get out. We finally caught a glimpse of the moonlight through the final corridor and made our way out safely. I think next time I feel like getting some rest and relaxation, I will just do my taxes and avoid the The Possum Creek Resort and Spa.

This was yet another great haunt from the Raleigh Jaycees. There were lots of loud noises and scares throughout. I will not go into detail and give too much away, but will just say that there are scares coming from all directions and no matter your level of comfort in haunted houses... you will jump. They used a lot of great misdirection as well. Your attention is focused in one area and the scares comes from an unexpected direction. The actors also did a great job with the timing of their scares. Just when you thought you were safe and were ready to move to the next room... boom... they would get you.

There were also lots of great lighting effects to go with the sounds. The strobe lights gave you a feeling of disorientation at times, which added to the fright factor. There were also lasers in various places that gave it a creepy feel... like being in the sightline of an assassin's rifle at times. Even with all of the great lighting effects, the rooms were dark enough to make it difficult to find your way, which made you move slower and set you up for more scares.

Along with the visual and sound effects, there were tons of great props. Some rooms had things hanging above you like chains and string that you had to walk through. There were also some body bags hanging from the ceiling in one room that you had to push your way through. All of these props gave you an eerie feeling about being touched and you couldn't wait to hurry through those rooms. There were also smoke machines setup in several areas to give a spooky feeling. It worked especially well in the sauna area, as you could swear that it was steamy. They also threw in a few air cannons so you would feel a blast of air and swear that someone was touching you.

They sent you through in small groups, without a guide... so you had to find your own way through the many rooms. Each room was separated by black curtains, which hid the next room very well. It also darkened the room you were in and made it difficult to find your way out. It also added to the physical aspects of the haunt... since it forced you to interact with the haunt and dive right into the next room. Some rooms even had great blood splattered curtains to walk through... which was not only creepy to touch but also a great visual addition.

Along with all of the props and effects that assaulted your senses... you still had to deal with all the ghouls creeping around. There were plenty of people jumping out from corners and corridors or crawling around just below your sightline. There were tons of dummies sitting around in the rooms mixed in with the actors so you never knew which creature was going to move and which weren't. They did a great job of disguising the actors and when they made their move at you... it was a great scare. We did get lost a few times in the darker rooms and the actors stayed in character and would give us a spooky "wrong way" growl that sent us in the other direction.

The Terror at Possum Creek: No Vacancy was another great haunt in the Possum Creek series. I will say that I missed some of the previous characters from their other haunts, like Ma Hillbilly and the other Possum Creek residents. Having these characters there last year gave you a feeling of immersion into the storyline and it would have been nice to see them brought back and be a part of The Possum Creek Resort and Spa. Other than that one complaint, this was a top-notch haunted house. The journey through the haunt was long so you get quite a bang for your buck. If you are in the Raleigh area, you must stop by The Possum Creek Resort and Spa and see if they can fit you in. No appointments necessary.

The Story Behind The Possum Creek Resort and Spa

It took two years, but the town finally managed to sell the old Manor property. An out of town investment group chose the site for their new all inclusive family spa and resort. It has everything; luxurious guest suites, a spa, boat and bike rentals, and they even have on site Putt-Putt.

One of the biggest selling points for the investment group was the ability to annex the nearby abandoned Sanitarium for additional land and guest suites. The investors were not deterred by the locals' warnings about the haunted happenings down by Possum Creek or questions about the real reason for shuttering the sanitarium so quickly that they didn't even remove the equipment.

Did the developers make a deadly mistake? Are the guest at their new resort going to be tormented by the spirits believed to roam the Manor property? Is it really wise to reopen the sanitarium after all these years? Why was it really closed in the first place? Will the annexation open up a whole new world of mischief and mayhem to the demented beings that lived on the old family homestead?

So many questions with so few answers but I guess as the nights get cold again we will have our answer...

Terror at Possum Creek: No Vacancy
4601 Creedmoor Road
Raleigh, North Carolina

The Raleigh Jaycees' Haunted House is a tradition planned, designed, built and hosted by volunteers, with 100% of this year's proceeds going to local charities.

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