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Terror at Possum Creek: The Penitentiary - 2008 Haunted House Review - Raleigh, North Carolina

October 2008 - Alright all you Halloween lovers, it is that magical time of year again... that time when the hunter's moon shines down on the hordes of demons and ghouls that walk the streets in the endless search for tricks and treats. That time when the air is full of blood curdling screams that echo from that Haunted House down the block... it is the Halloween season. It should be a crime to not love this time of year... and those offenders should be put behind bars... and we know just the place - Terror at Possum Creek: The Penitentiary

I, The Cryptkeeper and my companion for the evening, The Demoness, found ourselves at the aforementioned Penitentiary with the intentions of visiting an Uncle who was doing a stretch for shoplifting cans of garbanzo beans (he loves his hummus). We were greeted by news that the prison may not be safe and that we should probably turn away. But a promise is a promise, and we told Uncle Beany that we would bring him a file... I mean a cake... so we soldiered on. Based on what we were hearing, this is not the type of place you just want to wander into blindly. Thankfully, one of Possum Creek's finest dressed residents wandered by... donning his overalls and porkchop sideburns. He saw to it to lay down the survival rules that just might help you get through this pen of pandemia alive.

While standing outside of the facility, trying to muster the courage to sally forth... we were greeted by a friendly voice. Ma Hillbilly, who has lived in the area for 70 years, rocked in her chair and regaled us with stories of times gone by... a time before the dreaded Possum Creek Fever hit. The inhabitants of the Possum Creek Penitentiary have all become infected and have taken over the prison and killed off all of the guards and staff. One of the prisoners managed to find her way out, screaming that she had killed the Warden. One of the visitors in front of us may have already caught Possum Creek fever, because she answered the killer's proclamations with... "what's a Warden?" Hopefully the prison has a good educational program going where we can drop this girl off.

With some loud and scary bangs emanating from inside of the main entrance, we were informed it was time to go in. To my surprise, we were being sent in without an escort... charged with finding our own way through the dark halls of the detention center. Hopefully the fact that we were going in as part of a small group, no one would be lost to the madness.

As one would hope upon stepping into a prison, we found our way in the security room. Unfortunately, the guards had been slain, so this place was no more secure than my investments on Wall Street. The closed circuit television flashing the words "you will die" did nothing to ease our fears.

The group slowly moved forward, room by room through the winding corridors of the big house, eventually finding our way into the cafeteria area. Uncle Beany says that prison food is pretty bad, but I can't even imagine the putrid portions that are being served up now. As we shuffled along, we found ourselves in the prison laundry.... and there was nothing clean about it. I doubt even Billy Mays is peddling a product that can get their whites clean.

After a while, we managed to stumble upon the weight room... where some unlucky soul bought the farm while pumping iron in the yard. If he waits long enough, he may reach his ideal weight yet. This looked like a tough prison before the takeover, as one of the death row inmates was still sitting in the electric chair when we walked by. I wasn't sure if that smell was from the unfortunate victim who was riding the lightning or if it still lingered from the gruel being served up in the galley. Apparently, the workers at this hoosegow had an overabundance of bodies to dispose of... we know because we saw body bags lining the ceiling of one room that we hurriedly made our way through.

As you can see... we did manage to finally find our way out of Possum Creek Penitentiary, but we never did find Uncle Beany. Our only hope is that he made it out without being infected. If he did catch Possum Creek Fever... then beware. I hope we hear news of a panacea soon, or we all might be infected next.

In usual fashion, the Raleigh Jaycees put on a great haunted house. We love their theme haunts, and hope they continue next year. It was a great concept to have you be part of a small, unguided group... leaving you to fend for yourself. This also allowed you to move at your own pace. Finding your way through the prison was difficult at times, but that only contributed to the uneasiness you felt. From the moment you walk in the front door, you are bombarded with loud noises, disturbing imagery and creatures jumping out from the darkness. The rooms were separated with black curtains that you had to pass through. This made it difficult to tell the walls from the doors sometimes and forced you to feel your way around. This added a lot of mystery and thrill to the tour and kept you guessing what the next room would hold.

If you do make it out of Terror at Possum Creek: The Penitentiary, The Last Ride awaits you. Set up next to a hearse was a coffin rigged up with hydraulics to simulate the last ride to the cemetery. They mounted a night vision camera inside of the coffin so bystanders could watch the victim writhe in fear as they experienced what was no doubt, a scary ride.

The Jaycees found some scary and innovative ways to spook you. A good deal of the rooms were lined with multiple bodies, so you were not sure which were fake and which were going to move and frighten you. They also found unique ways to make it seem as though something or someone was touching you. They did a great job of assaulting all of your senses and giving a good scare. The kid that was in the group with us was crying when he left... and that is a good gauge of a spooky haunt in my book.

This year's effort was just as good, if not better than last year's. If you are in the Raleigh area... you must take a tour.

Terror at Possum Creek: The Penitentiary
6234 Glenwood Avenue #112
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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