October 2011 - It's that time of the year again kiddies... the time when the nights grow cold and the ghouls that haunt the nights grow bold. As you well know, Halloween is my favorite time of the year and The Demoness and I like to celebrate by going on vacation. This year, we decided to take our vacation in Possum Creek. Little did we know we were in for days of darkness in what has now come to be known as Terror at Possum Creek: Power Outage. Hope you aren't afraid of the dark.
It never fails to rain when we go on vacation, and this time was no different. As a matter of fact, big storms ended up rolling through and knocking out all of the power in town. The word on the street was that we needed to head across town in the dark to a safe shelter that had been setup. However, we didn't know our way through town... so we headed towards the only lights we saw. Apparently, this one lone house had a generator to keep their power on so we walked towards the light. We were greeted by a lady sitting on the front porch. I think her name was Beverly, I don't recall... as I was distracted by the raccoon or some strange creature she was holding like a pet. We have heard of the Possum Creek hospitality and she didn't disappoint. She said her husband Clarence was in the house, but we could cut through and head for safety.... so in we went. In hind sight, her yelling 'fresh meat' as we walked in the door should have sent us packing.
I don't like to criticize, especially when someone appears to be trying to help you... but the inside of their house was a trainwreck. Clarence appeared to be passed out on the couch, so we scurried on past. Unfortunately, we had to cut through his bathroom before we could head out back and start our walk. Again, not to be critical... but I don't think Mr. Clean himself could get some of the stains out of there that we saw. Just when we thought things couldn't get any worse, we walked out the back door and into a cemetery. Who has a cemetery in their backyard? We didn't want to stick around any longer to find out... so we headed out through the darkness towards where the shelter was supposed to be.... and there were many scares along the way.
Once again, the Raleigh Jaycees put on an awesome haunted house. We were sent through the house in a small group and pretty much were on our own. There were a few demons bringing up the rear, just to make sure you kept moving at a decent pace. There were lots of sudden, loud noises and actors timing their scares just right. There were actors walking around in each room, some that were part of the scene and even some inside of the walls. You never knew when someone would pop out from the darkness and give you a good fright.
The props and effects looked very nice. With some of the characters, it was difficult to tell which was real and which was fake. This can cause you to be looking at the wrong figure, waiting for them to move... and then you get a scare from a totally different direction. Those distractions and misdirections are a great way to handle a haunt. They also had some fog machines, strobe lights and other disorienting effects... which all add to your uneasiness. I will not give away too many details, but there were quite a few items hanging overhead that you had to walk through... very creepy.
My only gripe is that the haunt was a bit smaller this year, so it was a little shorter. However, they masterfully took advantage of the smaller space by having smaller rooms and making it very intimate and just as scary (if not more so) than a bigger haunt. You felt like you were immersed in each scene with the smaller rooms, because you were close to everything and the actors were close to you. Everytime you turned around, it seemed as though some creature of the night was standing there looking over your shoulder.
Alot of the rooms were pretty much pitch black, except for small lighting effects that they setup. Given that the haunt is called "Power Outage", this shouldn't come as a surprise. It was very difficult to navigate through some of these dark rooms to find your way out, and that certainly makes you uneasy. To top it off, the rooms are separated by black curtains again, so you have to push through into the unknown and into yet another dark room.
From the scares, to the interaction with the scenes and actors, to the intimate and spooky environment... the Jaycees have done it again. Even though the space they had to work with was smaller, they did a great job of taking full advantage of the space. The location is a pretty good one too... close to downtown and the colleges... so foot-traffic should be good.
This tourist trap...err... attraction had alot of great whiplash inducing scares, but we made it out alive. Do yourself a favor and pay Terror at Possum Creek: Power Outage a visit. Now I must pay my travel agent a visit... where's my chainsaw?
The Story Behind Terror at Possum Creek: Power Outage
In 2011 the weather has been highly unpredictable. Severe storms are expected to hit Possum Creek during the end of October. As a result, you can expect damage to the power grid and blackouts throughout the community. An emergency shelter has been set up at the local school. If you get caught in the storm, make your way to the shelter, where you SHOULD be safe.
History Of The Town of Possum Creek
In the early 1800s, Raleigh didn't have the "urban sprawl" it has now and small towns were popping up everywhere. Not far from downtown Raleigh there was a tiny crossroads called Possum Creek where a prominent family decided to settle down and build a magnificent Manor. The Town of Possum Creek grew from the land surrounding Possum Creek Manor. The founding family lived on the property for decades; minding their own business, sticking close to themselves, and becoming more and more reclusive as the town grew up around them. The most notable were Ma, Pa, Evelyn, their daughter, and Ezra, Evelyn's fiance. They were affectionately known by the community as "The Hillbillies". Although the family lived there for generations, no one's quite sure what happened to them....
Some rumors claim Ma Hillbilly lost her mind, chopped up the family, and fed them to the rats that run rampant on the property. Others claim to have seen strange creatures down near the creek, but only during the cool months of the year. And best yet, some folks say the family is still hiding in the woods and the hidden passages of the Manor. They claim the family mutated due to generations of inbreeding and no longer wants to leave the property.
Any way you look at it, no one has confirmed human life on the property since the 1940s. Over the past two decades people have wandered down to Possum Creek from time to time come back with strange stories of swamp monsters, live scarecrows and hearing painful moans begging for help.
While the original homestead fell into disrepair, the Town of Possum Creek continued to grow with Raleigh eventually surrounding it. The town has always prided their self sufficiency. They have their own water and sewer system, parks, hospital, and all the other municipal facilities you would expect a town to have. In the old days they even had their own Sanitarium. In the 1960s the building was shuttered with all the equipment inside when locking away the handicapped became taboo and it was no longer profitable.
Even with all its shaded history, the Town of Possum Creek is still a great place to raise a family. Just remember not to go down to the old creek on a cold fall night. You might get more then you bargain for.