Monday, October 8, 2012

Ravenwood Manor: A Haunted Night of Fun

Ravenwood Manor
"The Bloody End"; 13th Year
Beccaria, Pennsylvania
October 7, 2012

I don’t know why I was under the misconception that I couldn’t be scared around here for Halloween.  Don’t believe everything that you think.  I also thought I was maybe a little old for a night out in fake blood and zombie face, but it turns out 32 is not too old to have a good time and almost piss yourself in public.  Last night I went to Ravenwood Manor, a haunted house attraction in Beccaria, Pennsylvania.  It was a wonderful seasonal experience; it was pleasantly and freakishly exciting to discover something so local and legit was offered to the public. 

Ravenwood is offering their 13th year of scares this October.  I have never even been to the place until now.  I actually wasn’t even aware of its existence these whole 13 years it has been happening.  Needless to say, this was fairly exciting for me.  It is located at the Hegerty Mansion, in Becarria at Hegerty Crossroads which is a little out in the middle of nowhere.  This only adds to the creepy atmosphere. 

The mansion is decked out in its own Halloween costume, under the glow of eerie colored lights, accessories and sounds.  There is a backing of eerie music loud enough to be heard from the parking lot.  We hit up the port-a-potties beforehand, which was probably for the best as I am sure it prevented some urine from escaping throughout the tour.  The grounds are complete with a Cadaver Café where you can get refreshments prior to or after your tour.  The ticket booth is outside and there is a roped section to accommodate a line when there is a crowd.  I was informed it was quite busy the night before we went, and people waited almost two hours for the approximate half hour tour.  Even the ticket taker was in costume.  Thankfully we didn’t have to wait and were able to go right in, and by that I mean purchase our tickets at the booth to be immediately chased across the yard onto the porch by a creepy clown wielding a chain saw.  There were four of us in the group I went with and we huddled into the form we would assume through most of the house, a ball of squeals. 

There are supposedly 27 rooms in Ravenwood Manor.  I am not sure how many we viewed; I have to admit in all honesty I wasn’t counting as we were going through the tour.  We were ushered into a foyer of sorts and then led into a study type room by a man in full costume.  Our guide had a top hat, sunken eyes and a bit of a gimp to him.  With a booming voice one could hear at a theatrical production he gave us back history about Ravenwood Manor.  A resounding voice beckoned to you through the darkness.  “This way!”  Actors were jumping out behind us from unseen hiding spots.  We were led to room after room, each one adorned with horrifying scenes and disturbing characters.  Every room I entered I assessed in the darkness, finding a spot to stand that I didn’t think was in front of a lurking actor waiting to jump out at me.  They were coming from all sides!  This shit was authentic! 

In one room we were approached by a scary clown, in another a creepy doll woman, surrounded by large doll figures.  A lot of the actors were so convincing that it took a little time in the poor light to discern if they were real or not.   By the time you figured it out, they were jumping at you with a startling scream or coming at you with knives or hatchets.  In one room a mad dentist drilled into a mechanical body.  In one room a clown swung sideways down the wall at us.  The actors approached us and were convincingly freaky with their interactions.  It was hard not to laugh in defense, which I hoped didn’t make them think I was mocking them.  They all did a very good job.

We moved from room to room, the doors closed behind us, all the while being guided from room to room by the tour guide.  In one room that sported body parts hanging from every inch of the ceiling, we were urged to “Step toward the bed...”  This is when I had a moment of physical defense and stress.  In a normal life situation this wouldn’t be very wise and would have drastically different results.  It was authentically scary and if all of the limbs weren’t obviously fake you could have sworn that you had been abducted into a house of torture.  After veering through narrow stairways and hallways being warned to “Use the handrail, 3 steps down!” in a villainy vibrato voice, we eventually came out into what seemed a large vagina.  I jest, but that was what it was like, being born.  I actually got hung up in it at one point.  It was a pitch black tunnel that was vibrating.  There were curtain type foam barriers you had to push your way past.  I lost my friend I was with at one point and couldn’t see where I was going so I slowed to a near crawl for part of the tunnel, fumbling through the dark, feeling for the floor, until I could see my surroundings again.  It successfully threw me off balance and was genuinely hard to navigate. 

After finally making it out of the pitch black vibrating vaginal canal, we were spit out into a smoke filled room with three clowns coming at us with cowbells, chainsaws and scurry faces.  At this point our group wasn’t exactly sure where to go so my friend just asked them; it was quite humorous.  With straight faces in full character, still coming at us with noises he nods to the end of the tent we were in.  Apparently we had exited the house via the vagina and entered a party tent filled with clowns and smoke.  All around it was a good little spook show! 

Front of Ravenwood Manor
For only being $12 and within 100 miles of my house, I must say it was a very good local attraction.  Until now the scariest Haunted House I had ever been to was one I had visited in Daytona Beach while on vacation; you had to sign a Death Certificate before entering.  Ravenwood Manor was more authentically scary and interesting to tour by far than the house in Daytona.  The house itself was magnificent; I would love to tour it without all of the haunted tour décor, let alone just see it in the daylight!  The ceilings looked to be about 12 feet high in most of the rooms and each doorway was fashioned with a gloriously tall ornate door.  There were tiny passages and interesting angles.  I was very pleased with this attraction!  Kudos to the actors, staff, and owners at Ravenwood Manor!  Thank you for offering such an entertaining local haunted attraction!

Boo to You!
Missie Sue

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