Monday, October 31, 2011

How To Catch A Rooster

Finger licking good.
Do you too have problems at night with stray roosters? Are they keeping you up all night as they cock-a-doodle-do0 from your rooftop at three o'clock in the morning? Are all the neighborhood dogs rubbing their tired eyes and gargling for scratchy throats this morning from barking and howling all night at this red combed fowl?

If this sounds like something you've experienced lately, as have we, then pay close attention. You might think that the local Police or animal control would gladly assist you in ending this ordeal but you'd be mistaken. So I have come up with a plan. Yes, all on my own. Amazing me. I will explain to you, step by step how to catch yourself a wild rooster. Then you can donate him to the neighbor with some happy rooster land.

You see the main thing is to remain patient. You must not let them see you sweat! Just remember that this old T-Rex now lives in the time where you, the human, have the upper hand. This may take a little time but eventually you will be triumphant. You see I am still waiting, but have I conceded? No! Have I lost my cool? No! I remain calm, determined and persevere.

First , once you have drug yourself out of bed you must locate the individual. Then the plan. Coax the little guy closer with some freshly popped popcorn. As he gets closer it might be a good idea to keep you 2 year old from yelling and running to scare it away. Just take my word for it.

Next step, as you lure him to the porch get ready to throw a laundry basket on him. Make sure you aim properly as not to once again frighten him. And, keep the 2 year old from screaming at him and throwing pointy objects.

Now that you're all warmed up and finally getting the hang of this ask your sweet, out of shape, neighborly fellow to join in the crusade. As the neighbor corrals the rooster you quickly, carefully and precisely jump in to grab the feathery, spurred beast. Careful he may be faster than lightening. The little ones usually are. If this is not successful after 20 minutes just chase him around the yard like an idiot as your two year old watches and cheers.

Next step. Always have a plan B. If after all this your suspect flees, you must set a trap. If you are not quite clever enough to figure out how to make that homemade rooster trapping device you eventually move on to something else. Face it we can't all be Macgyver. Set the bait= more popcorn. Sit and wait. He'll be back. And when he does return SHOW NO MERCY! GOOD LUCK FELLOW ROOSTER NABBER!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Build Your Own Redneck Water-craft from 2 litter bottles

It's the dream of every American to own a boat, to go fishing in, to get drunk on, or if you're Dexter to dump dead bodies from; now you can set sail on your own redneck boat with this pictorial instructional. The redneck yacht is made of duct tape, 2-litter bottles, and powered by someone who has to much time on their hands, it's the boat every backwoods hillbilly can build: The Redneck Watercraft:

1 Drink lots of cola

2. Steal duct tape and tape 20 bottles at a time
 more if you're fatter.

3. Now tape the rows together

4. Add cross bracing.

5. Find a foam board and cut to size.

6. Find a lake.

7. Impress the natives.

8. Drown your neighbor's pet.

9. Pretend like nothing happened.

10. Wish you invented a motor when the neighbor's attack in
an upside down dog igloo.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Devil's Tramping Grounds

Inside the Devil's Thinking Circle

Legend says that this is the very place the devil himself can rise from the depths of fiery hell, and come to earth. It's at this place, the devil walks in circles on certain nights and brings his evil into this world.
It's here. Here in North Carolina. A portal, a gateway that exists due to a rift in space and time directly over Chatham county that allows passage of demons and devils to come to earth each night at 3 AM, otherwise known as the Devil's hour. Think I'm joking? Greensboro journalist John Harden stated:

Urban Legend, Ghost Story, or Gateway to the Underworld?

There, sometimes during the dark of night, the Majesty of the Underworld of Evil silently tramps around that bare circle-- thinking, plotting, and planning against good, and in behalf of wrong.
As we approached it began raining upwards.
I've attempted to go there before and couldn't find it. In fact it's been over 4 years since any recent pictures have been taken of the Devil's Tramping Grounds, and the area around it has been logged, and much has changed so I found it very interesting we could even find it. But we did, and here's the story:
For at least the last hundred years, nothing has grown within the 40 foot ring and the phenomenon is thus far unexplained. A United States Geological Survey team could uncover no scientific explanation for the lack of growth within the ring.
Stories about the ring are well known in local communities. These include the disappearance of objects left within the ring overnight, and strange events occurring to those brave enough to spend the night within its boundaries.
Dead animals lined the road as we approached the Devil's portal.
On a lonely stretch of two lane highway in Chatham County North Carolina exists a place sacred to the followers of the dark arts, the devil, and satanic religious followers. Ten miles south of Siler City, North Carolina on our way to Southern Supreme, a fruit cake factory, our travels became sojourned when we accidentally stumbled upon a single street sign labeled the Devil Tramping Grounds Road. I had been here before, I knew what went on here. This is where the Prince of Darkness, Lucifer, the Devil himself rises and brings Hell upon earth. In an area of religious fruit cakes, where every mobile home has signs with Bible passages in their yard, you have ironically- the sacred ground for their adversaries.
The Devil's Tramping Ground - It is a patch of land in a perfect circle- 40 feet across, the perimeter of which is a path about a foot wide. It's said that the devil himself walks that path every night pacing as he spins his evil deeds, no one has ever been able to spend the night there, and nothing will grow on the path, it is said that anything placed in the circle will disappear by the next morning.
I swear I heard a banjo Shannon.
This is when I turned to Shannon seated beside me and asked "Will you go to Hell and back with me?" She replied with a resounding "Uh, yeah... the cake place doesn't open till nine! What else are we going to do?" So after accessing via mobile web for the co-ordinates and loading them into the GPS unit, we were off. Within moments we began seeing the signs of evil upon the road as it was littered with dead carcasses.

It was at this moment just feet away from the Devil's Tramping Grounds the car shut completely off, lost all power and required us to get out and investigate this supernatural phenomenon from outside the safety of the car.

As we peered upon the horizon, we looked back upon what could be our last moments upon the mortal world. There was no turning back now, there it was.... the Devil's Tramping Grounds, the gateway to the underworld.
Devil's Tramping Ground Road

Shannon and I were overwhelmed. We felt drawn to it... after all my mother-in-law said I was the devil incarnate, so this meant I was coming home:
Yes, that's my mother-in-law!
Shannon, a good little Christian girl immediately became possessed by the devil and started throwing signs like a demon from Compton.

In the end we walked around, found a few shotgun shells, and decided it was time to try and escape the evils of this world by getting back on our journey to Southern Supreme. We went back to the car, jumped in and luckily it started. This time we survived, this time we made it back from the lava filled pits of Hell to see another day. It's not every day you go to Hell and back... but we did, and survived. Now where is my T-shirt?
The Caldera!

The Devil's footprint!

The Devil's Tramping Ground is approximately 50 miles south of Greensboro. It is not easy to find and be prepared for mild hiking, rural driving, and super-natural phenomenon. 
Where no Ford has gone before.

GPS Coordinates to the Devil's Tramping Grounds:
+35° 35' 3.54", -79° 29' 13.26" (35.584317, -79.487017) @35.584317,-79.487017
 Human Directions:
Take 421 South Approximately 38 miles.
Turn Right onto State Route 902 Follow For about 7 Miles.
Turn Left of Devil's Tromping Grounds Rd. (Not Marked) Follow for 1.7 miles.
You should see a gravel pull off on the left. The Devil's Tramping Ground is about 150 feet down the dirt path.

The Devil's Tramping Grounds as it is today.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Payne Road - The Truth Behind The Haunting

The following is a guest post from Crystal C.:

First of all, let me introduce myself. My name is Crystal, I'm 27 years old, and I have resided in the surrounding area for the length of my life. I am a natural clairsentient and working on becoming a certified medium. I have a Christian background and am college educated. The reason for my giving details of myself as well as my background is so you may see that I am a "mentally normal" individual who has dedicated a great deal of time to the paranormal. What I am about to tell you my have you question the truth of what I say, but I will tell you the absolute truth; in whole.
I have always been fascinated with the paranormal since as far back as I can remember. Thus, the reason for my certifications. Being extremely interested in the paranormal, I have come across many stories and investigated many possible hauntings, but the one that stands out is about Edward Payne. I was taken to Payne Road when I was a young adult. The company with me was not aware of the fact that I am clairsentient, and I had no idea where we were going. I thought we were just driving around. Let me state here - at this time, I did not know of the Payne Road incident. I turned on a desolate road and was 1/4 down, when I felt like there was a shortage of air. I immediately felt like I was punched in the stomach and was instantly nauseated. I burst into tears. I felt an over abundance of outward sadness, and asked my friends exactly where in the world had they taken me. They then said that we had to get out of there. Once we reached their home, they proceeded to inform me of the history that had taken place there. 
My dear friend, who is now 39 years old, told me what had happened there to cause what is now going on. For her privacy, I will call her Dee. When Dee was 14 years old, she and her boyfriend - who is now her husband, and another couple went there one night. At this time, the house was still standing. They parked the car in front of the house, and the girls dared the guys to go in and take a look. While the girls were in the car, they heard children in the woods singing the popular childrens' song, "Ring Arounds the Rosies." When the "children" sang the part "...and they all fall down," a shot rang out, and the guys ran out off the house. To this day, Dee's husband will not discuss what happened in the house and what he saw. As the drove away, Dee and her friend saw oil lamps lit in the upstairs windows. The next morning, Dee informed her step mother what had happened. Her step mother felt the need to prove to Dee that there is no real hauntings and then proceeded to drive to the house with Dee. They got out of the car and went in the house. Dee states that there were empty beer bottles all over the floors and graffiti on all the walls. The strangest part of this day-trip was the Dee saw that the staircase had been haphazardly built to run directly into the ceiling, not allowing access the the upstairs rooms. How was it then that the night before, she had seen oil lamps burning in the upstairs rooms if there wasn't a way to gain access to the rooms? She had taken pictures; therefore, I know that this was the case. As her step mother rummaged through the rooms, Dee opened a closet in the hallway. The noticed that a small square "door" was located near the floor inside the closet. One would assume that it may serve as a crawl space. There was a rusted old master type lock guarding the little door. Dee went to the car outside and removed a crowbar from the trunk. The busted the latch off of the door. The door opened up into a large room under the staircase. She called for her step mother. Dee found a makeshift alter that contained many books about Black Arts, bones from animals, and what seemed to be a cow skull. She had also spotted Edward Payne's diary. She pocketed the diary and her step mother called her to come out of there. She did not tell her step mother what she had taken. Dee still has the diary in her possession to this day. Let me tell you that this diary is very twisted and odd. I tell you that the first several pages were handwritten, detailing the growth of the crops on his farm and the weather, as well as the patients he treated. Dee stated to me the Mr. Payne was some sort of a doctor, whether veterinarian or medical doctor, I do not know. Another page has his thoughts of his father. Edward Payne used several curse words describing his father. The next page was filled with little circles lining the page. The next and final page has little reddish brown splatters on the page. Dee has never returned there again. Now, she even refuses to talk about the subject. She simply states, "that place is of the devil."
You can see the culverts on the sides of the road.
I've never heard of slave murders. I know that those shacks you refer to were NOT in fact slave shacks. They are and always have been tobacco barns. I have always heard that Edward Payne murdered his family and then committed suicide. He supposedly studied the Black Arts and used his family as a sacrifice. (This is not to be confused with the Lawson murders that took place on December 25, 1929. If you would like more information regarding the Lawson subject, I recommend that you read, "White Christmas, Bloody Christmas." This is now a rare book to locate; however, I own a copy handed down to me by my grandmother. I have also seen it one time long ago for sale on E-Bay.)
A close-up of the bridge location.
Back to the "legend" of Payne Road. The house burned down in 1992. I am not sure what caused the fire. I DO know that once the ashes cooled, the locals surrounded the property with salt, a method that Christians used in the 1600's to purify an "evil" area. Since then, new houses have been constructed around the area, but no house will be built on the actual location that the Payne house once stood. 
As for the do not have to whistle "Dixie." You simply have to own a car that was made before 1990. Cars made after 1990 have plastic starters in them. Cars prior to that year have metal starters. I believe that there is a natural magnetic energy in the earth under or close to the bridge, thus, causing older cars the inability to start. 
This is where I conclude my information. I do have personal incidents that I have had while venturing there in my latter years. If you are interested in hearing of those, I will be more than happy to inform you of those. They include a four wheeler incident, a Jeep incident, a man I met at a restaurant near the area and a friend in college. 
I investigate reportedly paranormal areas, so I try to keep abreast of news that surfaces.
Let me know if you have questions.
Crystal C.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Vick's Vapor-rub Elves of Greensboro

Next time you cough, think about the poor midgets.
This came across my Flickr stream this morning, and I learned something new. Ever wonder what Santa's elves do when they're not making toys? Apparently they're right here in Greensboro. (or were.) I'm aware of a lot of major brands that have historical significance in Greensboro, but I never knew about Vicks. The questions is are they really individuals with dwarfism or merely children?
It was in the back of the store or maybe in the basement where Richardson mixed ingredients that became Vick products, which he named for his brother-in-law, Dr. Joshua Vick of Selma. After Richardson left in 1905 to start Vick Chemical Co., the store remained a drugstore under different owners. For years it was aptly called O. Henry Drug Store. Preyer is proud that VapoRub saved lives during the terrible flu epidemic in 1918. The jellylike stuff has stuck around. It recently received praise from Joe and Terry Graeden of National Public Radio's "The People's Pharmacy" show. cite
Of course it's been pointed out, that Vick's doesn't actually save lives, immunizations and antibiotics do. However it may have lessened the symptoms by loosening the mucous during the flu epidemic. Of course we'd hate to steal their thunder.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Obama Comes to GTCC, but it's all a facade.

Not quite law school huh?

So let me get this straight. Obama is coming to the campus of GTCC, my campus, during school hours and the administration refuses to let us out of class. We're supposed to becoming thinking participants in this society and we're following some silly procedure?

To make matters worse is they're blockading half of campus. The half that my exam is in to be precise. It is suggested we show up before 7:00 because this is before they block off the roads into campus. One small problem, some of us have kids due at school at 8.

So not only can poor average students not get access to see Obama, but we can't even get to class because of his secret service. Seriously? So GTCC is being used as a set, a facade of education and poverty for him to deliver his speech, when he should be in Washington getting me health-care and free college.

Several students were selected, and pre-screened by the selective service for the "impromptu" meeting with the President.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

North Carolina's Clean Coal: The Cancer Inside

Today is the day I die. 
Stone heart, cancer deep inside. 
I choke upon the lie, 
my children burned my inside.
NC's Clean Coal: The Cancer Inside

In 1987, an industrial acronym, C.C.T. was coined within congress as warning bells began sounding among environmental scientists concerning the Earth’s carbon-dioxide levels rising. (1) The term, never meant for public consumption was Clean Coal Technology, and unlike the popular tag-line used as institutional advertising today, it was meant solely as a label for a group of technologies based around scrubbing filters used on coal plants. The oxymoron, quite simply an advertising slogan, later became a part of the American lexicon as coal companies later used the term to counteract the Green politics of the last decade. With the threat of solar and wind power, coal companies have attempted and have partially become successful at convincing congress, and citizens that their fuel source, coal, is the antithesis of what it really is. In 2007, the coal conglomerate spent thirty-five million dollars to clean public perception of coal’s dirty image. In essence coal executives have managed to equate hypothetical, non-existent clean technology with today’s current usage of coal. In essence, what may never actually exist is being sold to the public as “Clean Coal” when only dirty coal currently exists.

In the 1980s, a whole new lexicon was being created, like “acid rain”, and “global warming”. The primary cause of the emergence of these new scary words began as they were being associated with coal production and usage. To make matters worse by 1984 the U.S. Government allocated 42 million dollars to relocate an entire town, Centralia, Pennsylvania, in which a coal fire had occurred and continues to burn today. (2) Author David Dekok wrote in his book Fire Underground: “This is a world where no human could live.”

Yet the U.S. has nearly two-hundred-and-fifty years (240 billion tons) of coal reserves left while the world has less than fifty years of oil left. (3) However the earth’s Co2 levels are the highest in two million years, cancer is now an epidemic, and the inconvenient truth, as Al Gore may suggest, is that the world has a “fever”. The Earth, our home and planet is dying because of coal production and usage. It’s been suggested that summer artic ice will cease to exist as of 2013. (4) Combined with the byproducts of cadmium, lead, mercury and arsenic that accompany coal soot, it appears we don’t have time to wait for this elusive Clean Coal Technology.

In fact Greenpeace commissioned a report, titled “False Hope, Why Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Won’t Save the Climate” (May 5, 2008) which projected the soonest possible deployment date of CCS technology would occur no sooner than 2030. According to the report, within three years, by 2015, the pollutants of coal could trigger unusual and unprecedented atmospheric and climatic changes. In other words, it may be too late already. Droughts, food shortages, water shortages, this is what the guise of Clean Coal has been designed to keep you from seeing.

There is however a caveat to villainizing coal, at least at the current moment; coal is a necessary evil, powering approximately 50% of the electrical grid in the United States. More importantly Clean Coal Technology, the sequestering and storing Co2 is an actually technology which coal companies have used in the past to flush out pockets of coal and it does sound reasonably viable if we could deploy it successfully the way it’s been hypothesized. The only downside is that by expending energy to re-sequester Co2 emissions into the earth, every bit of efficiency that’s been gained by more efficient burning over the last two decades is lost. In essence, by going “green” with Clean Coal, you ultimately burn more coal to reduce the pollutants. So why would we ever consider such a fallacy in logic when it comes to our energy future? The short answer is that coal companies are businesses, and investors whom love profits might enjoy an increased demand of their resource while netting marginally little benefits from Clean Coal. It provides coal companies and their stock holders an empty “good corporate citizen” image while increasing profit margins and preventing the industry from collapsing due to rival, less controversial, eco-friendly energy sources. It’s important to question the motives of an industry that runs publicity-adverts on television framing coal as “clean”, yet not one single home in the United States is powered by clean coal today and there are no clean coal plants selling electricity.

Ultimately the question comes down to capitalism. Clean Coal was coined in a world of change, born in a time of solar, and wind power. The question then became whether you continue to pursue a fuel source which is cheap, dirty, abundant and makes tons of money for not only the companies that produce coal, but industry in the United States as a whole who benefit from it to produce cheap goods, or do you choose to save civilization from itself?

My fellow Americans, people all over the world, we need to solve the climate crisis, it's not a political issue, it's a moral issue. We have everything we need to get started, with the possible exception of the will to act, that's a renewable resource, let's renew it.
-Al Gore, Academy Awards Speech (2/21/2007)

Works Cited
1. Clean Coal Technologies, Air Legislation, and National Energy Strategies. C. Lowell, Miller PHd. Washington D.C. : s.n., 1987. US Congress. pp. ... 4-0003.pdf.
2. Centralia Pennsylvania. s.l. : Wikipedia,,_Pennsylvania.
3. Rudolph, John. Green : Less than 50 Years of Oil Left. s.l. : New York Times, ... sbc-warns/.
4. Amos, Johnathon. Arctic summers ice-free 'by 2013'. : BBC, 2007.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kersey Valley Spookywoods

Freddy hearts Shannon
So last year Shannon and I went to Spookywoods. It's a local attraction, which might bud into a local theme park. I'm waiting for them to announce the building of their first roller coaster. Unfortunately, like anything good- it's expensive, and this year I can't go, however, I just received a message from someone who went, who wasn't too happy.

Spookywoods 2011 is not scary or even very fun. 
The laser tag needs to be an option.  It was boring, there were 8 zombies (not nearly enough), and the equipment doesn't work well (or in my case - at all). Everyone was confused and the only entertaining part were the other patrons shooting at you.
The maze through the woods seemed promising, but in the end it's just a nice walk in the forest with green Christmas lights.  
They're very proud of their new cafe and restrooms, which are nice, but they need to focus on their core competency – scaring people with great effects.
Instead of pouring money into toilets, pour it into more haunted houses – there are 1 ¼ haunted houses, a Christmas walk, and laser tag – not very Halloween.  And the main haunted house has a great subway scene, but it can't make up for bubble machines that don't appear to work and just leave you wet & cold, a small pipe crawl whose end you can see before you even get in thereby killing any effect (except for the mud stains on my jeans), and what happened to all the cool 3D that's always SO effective?
I am utterly amazed that they are ranked as one of the best haunted attractions in North Carolina when Woods of Terror, just 20 minutes away is a thousand times better.  That is until I started looking, really looking, for customer reviews - and they're not favorable.  I wish I had Never trusted because there's No reason for this attraction to be ranked 6 in the country.
This is coming from two people who drove from Asheville to get some scares.  We saved Spookywoods for last and went to Woods of Terror first.  Do yourself a favor and skip Spookywoods altogether until they remember to bring back the good scares and live up to their reputation.
Now on the other hand, we had a fairly good time when we went: (October 23, 2010)

Greensboro in the 1800s?
 So our little monsters, aka our children are off with the Grands at some retreat center in Asheboro, probably singing Kumbaya and shoveling marshmallows into their little mouths. This left me and Shan with the unusual opportunity to go out and be adults. (or the lack thereof) Since it was Friday, and I did have class earlier in the morning, this meant I had been up since 5am, and was fairly tired when my excited spouse busted through the door and asked what are we doing. I said Spookywoods. She replied "huh?"

See Shan's never been to a "real" haunted house like we have in NC. She's seen some hokey California crap, but not the award winning, we-leave-the-chain-on-the-saw, crazy haunted houses we have here. Let's be honest, NC is good at at least two things: deep fried foods, and haunted houses.

This is what a real nightmare looks like.
Now if you want the best haunted house in the Triad, its pretty much Kersey Valley Spookywoods. (No really its rated #1) Now this fact is reflected in the high ticket cost and the lack of coupons available, but I can honestly say I think its worth it.... but I did start to wonder last night.

Last time I went to Kersey Valley Spookywoods, (not even sure what it was called then) I was a teenager and it was pretty much just some rednecks with big speakers, a scary house in a field, and a foot-path with a buried mattress. Fast forward 10 years, and the place looks like its a budding amusement park. It was a bit shocking to see how much effort has been put into Spookywoods. However their ticketing system lacked the same appeal. If I had one complaint, it would be that- though technically its partially my own fault. I waited till the evening to buy the tickets online, confirming Shan had the gumption to handle it. Once confirmed I went online (about 6PM) and discovered the soonest time was 8:45. So I purchased and we headed out after taking the dog for a walk. Most of these haunted houses like Kersey demand you be there at least 30 minutes prior anyways, and with parking I thought maybe they'd let us in early. (We arrived about 7:30.) Unfortunately the answer is no. In fact we would have been better to buy our tickets there and stand in the non-VIP queue. We ended up waiting 1.5 hours till our 8:45 reservation time to get in. (Didn't feel very VIP at that point.) You can't leave without another $5 parking fee (another caveat) and unless you're shoveling your face with funnel cakes, or wish to be "buried alive" all you can do is stand there and hang out with Freddy Krueger. (He doesn't talk much.) At one point the "wench/gypsy" suggested she'd try to get us in earlier, (she ended up being super nice, just somewhat distracted) but failed to do so. Meanwhile on several occasions she would scurry off and a few individuals (lets call them lost sheep) would slip into the secondary line (past the barrier) while we stood there obeying authority. It was really odd and it became a tad bit frustrating. They weren't all that busy, but yet we were forced into waiting much longer than those who bought their tickets in person on the spot. (and without the surcharge I suspect) I realize, we arrived earlier, but I did feel there was an opportunity to leverage a better experience since they weren't that busy. If you're considering going to Kersey Valley Spooky Woods, do so before 9. When we finally made it into the secondary queue, we witnessed a flood of people from no less than 10 Greyhounds.

Rednecks on a farm.
So finally we're ready to go in and if you're reading this contemplating whether it was all worth it, and trying to decide whether to go- then yes, it was... GO! Kersey Valley Spookywoods rocks! It was another 10 minute wait before your actually enter the Kersey Valley Farm House and are met with a scene from SAW, a mirrored maze, and decapitated heads hitting you in the face. Its at this point you're starting to bond with the other 10-15 people that you're with as you begin a tractor pulled tram ride deep in to the Spookywoods of Kersey Valley. Down the dark footpath with a single strobe flashlight for the entire group, where you're attacked from every direction. Screaming, running, cringing. The two young women behind us took note of our hand holding and made a comment to each other they were going to do the same "they did not care what people thought". By the time you exit the woods, you're sweating profusely in the 40F weather, hoarse and giggling like some mad person.

Back on the tram to the cornfield, while in transit you're attacked by monsters who scare the crap out of you. This is when we're told by our group that they want us to lead. "What?" Shan pushes me to the front.... I felt like I was in an episode of Scooby Doo, tip toeing slowly through the Kersey Valley cornfield waiting for something to pop out and get me. At the same time, I'm trying to use science to determine shadows, looking down corn rows trying to perceive movement from swaying cornstalks. Its all futile, because the monster is standing beside you camouflaged as a plant as it grabs you and you scream and run!
I see you crapped your pants.
It's then you lose all rational thought as events spin out of control. Chainsaws, screams, people grabbing you. Now of course; your fun is directly related to the group your with, but willing suspension of disbelief isn't that difficult.... because this place is really good. It's dark, treacherous, and once you initially become emotionally engaged, there's very little difference in reality in make-believe.

The Kersey Valley Spookywoods experience continues with a castle, and Egyptian palace with many rooms, rocking walls, tumbling floors, spinning caves, and lots of screams. This is when we got to one of my favorite parts. An area of the Spookywoods where the plants come alive, and the statues (angels) (like Doctor Who's "Blink" [weeping angel]) come alive and attack you. "Don't turn around, Don't blink." Kersey Valley Spookywoods had put me in the midst of one of the scariest science fiction episodes in the history of mankind, and for all intensive purposes it was real. I screamed, and screamed, and screamed, and screamed, and screamed some more... so much so that when the angel returned to her stoic position it appeared she was trying to contain a smile in her grin.

My gravestone marker when I'm dead.
The whole experience takes about 45 minutes once you actually get going, and its super fun. Like the most fun I've had in months. We thumbed up the gypsy on the way out, and realized the wait was well worth it. I do believe the experience is much better when they're less busy, as the quiet isolation makes for more fear. If you buy your tickets online, I wouldn't show up more than 15-20 minutes early since there's nothing to do unless you want to do the buried alive simulator, eat funnel cake, or roasted nuts (which smell like heaven while you wait).

I was not able to find any coupons for Kersey Valley Spooky woods, sans the one for the $5 off the $99 zip line which we did not do. In fact be prepared for some hidden costs. It's $25 a person, and you probably should book 12 hours in advance. However, the $25 is actually a lie. There's also a $3.00 convenience charge, and $6 processing fee (I'm guessing charged by the ticket vendor for facilitating the online ticket process) which brings the cost for 2 people to $59.00. This doesn't include parking, another $5. Total cost $64.00 for the date, and that doesn't include dinner. (We did not partake in any of the extra activities or foods.) Is it worth it? Absolutely. Kersey Valley Spookywoods is the most impressive, intense, haunted house I've been to and a lot of passion and hard work seems to have gone in to operating the place. It's also a one time thing. (or once every 10 year thing). Worth the money for a truly uniquely spooky experience. Go while you still can before you get a heart problems.
I once stayed at a hospital like this.
Shannon, of course had this to say:

It really was the most fun I've had in a long time! If felt like such a dork afterwards at how much I screamed, but couldn't help giggling and stop smiling afterwards. I loved the group dynamic of the whole thing. Like in the good horror movies the group put in tense situations suddenly allows for a group of complete strangers to quickly become comrades. At one point when a scary person flew out of a solid wall at me I turned to look towards the group to jump and scream like an idiot. Some complete stranger was so scared at one point in the dark that she hung on to me, grabbed and pinched my arm for dear life. It was hilarious! Not only do they play up the creepy factor but the startling is what gets you every time. At one pint Liv was shoving me as we were running from something behind her and I found myself screaming just because she was screaming. I have issues with claustrophobia and there was this part where you literally feel like you're being swallowed just to get through the tunnel. Holding Liv's hand is the only thing that kept me from freaking. It's a really great effect with inflatables. This place plays on all of your most primal fears. The use of fog and lack of light is used in balance to keep your adrenaline up and you on the defensive. Even when you know it's coming you still get startled in all the twists and turns. All rational thinking gets thrown out the window and instincts take over. Sometimes it's fun just to let it all go and admit that it's alright to act like a moronic idiot.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Top Wedding Ceremony Locations In Greensboro

Married like a fairy tale at Castle McCulloch.
Wedding Ceremony Locations
 Updated for 2014!

One of our most popular posts on my blog is this. Sort of ironic when you consider I got married in a jail house. Here's to regrets, and happy endings:

Where to get married in Greensboro? Here's your list.

1. Magnolia Manor
Dreaming of the Southern Style Wedding, set in countryside? This turn-of-the-century estate with double stairways and marble-laden rooms will make your wedding almost as good as the movie Gone With The Wind.

2. Bona Manzee 
Bona Manzee's website says the phrase means place of water, and I'm familiar with the African proverb: Drive peace my colleagues (Dere amani manzee). It's retreat and reception center about twenty-five miles north of Greensboro, and looks to be the definitive remote, rustic cabin in the woods, capable of being dressed up as southern seclusion, or Swahili exotic. Owners Hardy and Cornel can make this place bonafide perfect.

3. The Arboretum (Giant Wind Chimes)
Old Mill
If music is an important part of your life, consider having your wedding in the beautiful flower gardens of the Arboretum, sports thousands of different flowers and trees, the most perfect rose gable, and my favorite part: giant, thirty foot tall, resonating musical wind-chimes that prove to be the perfect backdrop to the beginning of your new life. Here's a youtube video to give you and idea, but I highly recommend a visit there to get a sense for how cool this thing really is. 

4. Old Mill of Guilford
Imagine an 18th century working grist mill as your backdrop, with the best pineapple cornbread in as parting gifts. You'll love their little wooden swinging bridge over the river, to always remember the riverside wedding in your picturesque pictures.

Bog Gardens
5. Bog Gardens
I always think of Ray Bradbury's A Sound of Thunder every time I go to this park. It's certainly my favorite of all of Greensboro's beautiful parks. Adorned with an elevated boardwalk, winding through 8,000 trees, plants, and flowers; it's the metaphorical Garden of Eden for right here in Greensboro.

6. Chinqua Penn Plantation
 (Unconfirmed closed temporarily)  It's an English manor estate built upon tobacco money. Sure the Penn's with their riches traveled the world and "bought" King Tut's chair for you to have your wedding in front of, but while you're giving your vows, some Pharaoh has no where to sit. Yet if you must have an English Wedding, my dear princess, then clearly you might check into Chinqua Penn. My tip is schedule it around Christmas and get the thirteen Christmas trees for free.

7. The Gardens at Gray Gables.
 Think 'Sweet Home Alabama', and southern style weddings. It's a vintage house, in a rural area, just close enough to the big city so you don't forget where you came from. We're not sure if you can rename it Gay Gables for your same sex ceremony or not, but it's worth asking.

8. The Grandover Resort
 Let's say you can't afford to fly the entire family to Europe, but you're darn sure your Eden's day is going to be on par with a wedding in Monte Carlo, well, then, The Grandover is the answer. Expensive, but cheaper than a private jet to the south of France. The heart's you'll break getting married here will be worth your mother-in-law's second mortgage to pay for it.

9. The Carolina Theatre
Into Phantom of the Opera, or maybe just a lover of drama? Perhaps you and your beau met in Ragsdale High-School's performance of "Something Happened on The Way To The Forum?" If so, the Carolina Theatre is the most dramatic backdrop for your black curtain, red-rose wedding.

10. Castle McCulloch
One of the most popular places to have a wedding in the Piedmont. This one of a kind real life castle with draw-bridge and medieval forest is sure to be on the top of Greensboro brides.

11. O'henry Hotel
Perhaps the most historical and elegant place to have a wedding in Greensboro is the O'henry hotel. Its great for those looking for a place to have a 30's style wedding and the big band to boot.

12. Bicentiennial gardens
If you love flowers and want a beautiful outdoor wedding. Greensboro's Bicentennial gardens are exactly the place to get married.

13. Kress Terrace
For that unique roof-top wedding, look no further than Kress Terrace. Atop, the Kress building in historic downtown, breath-taking views await the bride and groom on their wedding day.

14. Blandwood's Carriage House
The Blandwood Carriage house is the ideal location, for the bride in need of both a historical setting, convenient location, and a multifaceted reception space all in one.

15. The Groome Inn 
The Groom Inn is a country side manor built in 1900. Set in the countryside of Greensboro, this refurbished home provides the perfect backdrop for your Carolina wedding.

16. The Empire Room
A photogenic, elegant space located on the tree lined Elm street in downtown. This elegant ballroom is the perfect wedding space for your royal wedding.