melaniesuzanne: (Haunted House)
It's extremely late but here it is, ghouls and boos: the 2011 edition of MelanieSuzanne's Halloween Haunts!

Haunted Nightmares Haunted House - 933 Barley Lane, Winchester, VA
Weekends starting Oct 1
1-11pm
Daytime: $10, Nighttime: $12
Not recommended for kids under 7.

The Devil's Den - Jim Barnett Park, 1001 East Cork Street, Winchester, VA
Weekends starting Sept 30
7-11pm
$13
Probably not suitable for little kids.

Darkwood Manor - 104 N. Hawksbill Street, Luray, VA (website has sound)
Weekends starting Sept 30
Oct 14/15 is Munster Mania Weekend with Butch Patrick
7-11pm
$10 (VIP Fast Pass is $20)
Probably not suitable for little kids.
This has been my favorite haunted house for the past two years.

Terror After Dark - Dulles Town Center Mall in front of Macy's, Sterling, VA (website has sound)
Weekends starting Oct 1
7-11pm Friday & Saturday, 7-10pm Sunday & 7-10pm Monday, Oct 31
$19 at door; $15.50 online (VIP Fast Pass is $25)
REALLY NOT suitable for children. There are "No Scare" children's matinees Oct 22, 23, 29, & 30 for kids 12 & under from 1-4pm. ($10 for that)

Halloween Woods - Algonkian Regional Park, 47001 Fairway Drive, Sterling, VA
Weekends starting Oct 7
7-11pm Friday & Saturday (last ticket sold at 11pm) 7-10pm Oct 30 & 31
$15 (Speed pass is $25)
Tweens will have nervous breakdowns.

Bradley Farm Haunted House - 13159 New Parkland Drive, Herndon, VA (website has sound)
Oct 28 & 29
6-10pm
$3
Oct 29, 1-5pm is for the little ones.

Markoff's Haunted Forest - 19120 Martinsburg Rd, Dickerson, MD (website has sound)
Weekends starting Oct 1
7ish-whenever (patrons must be in the parking lot by 10:30, though)
Tickets must be purchased online for $25
I scream a lot at this attraction. Consider that fair warning.

Cox Farms Fields of Fear - 15621 Braddock Rd, Centreville, VA
Weekends starting Sept 30
7-11pm (last tickets at 10pm)
$19 for Fear + (Firegrounds, Unlimited Hayrides, & CornNightmare)
Daytime festival from 10am-6pm for the kiddies.

My personal visiting schedule is looking like this:
10/15 - Luray attraction & maybe Winchester
10/28 - Bradley Farm, Halloween Woods & Terror After Dark

I'm giving Markoff's a pass this year.

Sing out if you want to come along and be spooked.
melaniesuzanne: (Autumn)
The Ponte Alto Newcomers' Meeting was a smashing success. We had six newcomers attend and a veritable slew of SCA members. Hubbyfink and I have decided that we shouldn't host any more parties until we finish the basement remodel. We definitely need the extra space. On the other hand, the cats were completely worn out from all the attention they got during the gatherings and slept soundly until fairly late Saturday morning. Win! Another win was in meeting a fairly new lady who also lives in Sterling and is interested in making late 15th century Venetian clothing. She was very bubbly and enthusiastic.

Saturday was chilly, breezy, and sunny. After cleaning up from the party, Hubbyfink and I donned warm clothes for walking over to a friend's home to feed their cats and then walked back home via the bike trail. We didn't stay home for long, though, as I had a bag of canned goods to drop off at the food bank and Hubbyfink was ready to buy an HDTV at Costco. We got back home and pretty much the last productive thing Hubbyfink did this past weekend was assemble the TV and hook up all the connections to the other A/V equipment. I'm so happy to have fully joined the 21st century with our pretty, pretty TV picture. We christened the Blu-ray player with "How to Train Your Dragon". Sooooo pretty.

Saturday night was a trip out to the wilds of the Blue Ridge and Shenandoah for Darkwood Manor in Luray and Devil's Den in Winchester. Darkwood Manor was just as pretty as last year but had a lot more actors this year. Lots of fun! Devil's Den had a hayride and haunted trail that had a lot of potential. The haunted house part of the attraction, however, was complete fail. The smoke machines were on overdrive and everyone in our group was hacking and coughing their way through the house. We couldn't see the vignettes and most of the actors because of the smoke. Very disappointing. Plus, all that smoke set off [livejournal.com profile] psalite's asthma. Not cool. I'm so glad we opted for the Cut-in-Line passes instead of standing in line for two hours for that. We celebrated surviving the haunts with a victory midnight meal at the Winchester IHOP.

Sunday completely spoiled us with more beautiful weather. I raced out to Bluemount Nursery and picked up mums, corn stalks, and more pumpkins. After futzing with items for half an hour, I was happy with the arrangement for our front stoop. Autumn cheer! )
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
I bit off most of my nails Wednesday night. I really needed to trim them down and I did so with a nail clipper. But that left them jagged. To smooth them, I wound up filing them nearly to the quick to get the edges smooth. And then they were so short I couldn't help but continue nibbling them off.

*sigh*

Oh well. I still have my right thumb nail in all its glory and the others will grow back. It's weird being able to feel things with my fingertips again and it's definitely a lot easier to type without the talons.

In other news, tonight is the baronial newcomers' meeting at my house. I won't have my typical huge spread of yummy food -- so that I'm not tempted to gorge myself on sweets -- but there will be plenty of healthy nibblies to tide us over as we get acquainted with new folks.

Tomorrow evening, I'll be roaming the country-side with girlfriends as we begin the 2010 Halloween Haunts tour. Must pack a couple of lozenges to soothe my throat after all the screaming.
melaniesuzanne: (Haunted House)
Here it is, ghouls and boos: the 2010 edition of MelanieSuzanne's Halloween Haunts!


(Please note that some of these links have sound on them.)

Haunted Nightmares Haunted House - 933 Barley Lane, Winchester, VA
Weekends starting Sep 25
1pm-11pm
No price listed on site.
Not recommended for kids under 7.

The Devil's Den - Jim Barnett Park, 1001 East Cork Street, Winchester, VA
Weekends starting Oct 1
7pm - ?
$13
Probably not suitable for little kids.

Darkwood Manor - 104 N. Hawksbill Street, Luray, VA
Weekends starting Oct 1
7-11pm
$10
Probably not suitable for little kids.

Cox Farms: Fields of Fear - 15621 Braddock Rd, Centreville, VA
Weekends starting Oct 1
7:30-11pm (last admission at 9:30)
$15 - Buy tickets ahead of time on the website.
Cornightmare, Scary Hayride (of the daaaaaamned), and bonfire (of the daaaaaamned).
Take the kiddies to the daytime Fall Festival.

Terror After Dark - Dulles Town Center Mall in front of Macy's, Sterling, VA
Weekends starting Oct 1
7-11pm
$19 at door; $17 online
REALLY NOT suitable for children. There are "No Scare" children's matinees Oct 17, 24, 31 from 1-4pm.

Halloween Woods - Algonkian Regional Park, 47001 Fairway Drive, Sterling, VA
Weekends starting Oct 8
7-10:30pm
$15
Tweens will have nervous breakdowns.

Bradley Farm Haunted House - 13159 New Parkland Drive, Herndon, VA
Oct 22 & 23
6-10pm
$3
Oct 23, 2-5pm is for the little ones.

Markoff's Haunted Forest - 19120 Martinsburg Rd, Dickerson, MD
Weekends starting Oct 1
$25 (BRING CASH, no credit machines)
I scream a lot at this attraction. Consider that fair warning.


My personal visiting schedule is looking like this:
Sat 10/16 - Winchester & Luray attractions
Fri 10/29 and/or Sat 10/30 - Sterling, Herndon, & Centreville
Sun 10/31 - MARKOFF'S

Sing out if you want to come along and be spooked.
melaniesuzanne: (Haunted House)
Here are the spooky attractions slated for this weekend:

Bradley Farm Haunted House - 13159 New Parkland Drive, Herndon
Oct 23 & 24
6-10pm
$3
This one is open only this weekend.

Halloween Woods - Algonkian Regional Park, 47001 Fairway Drive, Sterling
7-10:30pm
$13
Kind of sucky last year, but we went on opening night. I'm willing to give it another chance. Also open next weekend.

The Fright Night - 19790 Ashburn Rd, Ashburn
7-11pm
$20
I'm not sure what to expect. This one is also open next weekend.

The weather looks iffy for this weekend. Right now, I'm planning on hitting all three attractions Friday night if the rain holds off. If we get rained out Friday, we'll try again Saturday.
melaniesuzanne: (Haunted House)
Nightmares from Elmridge
Cheesy, and not just because it was in the basement of the Arbutus Domino's Pizza. Props, actors, and "story" were okay. [livejournal.com profile] psalite was nibbled to death by ducks a giant head person in a top hat. Weird. The deranged pig people and toothy clowns went after the tweens (thank God). The best part was the dark hallway with hands (both real and rubber) that grabbed at us. Some shrieking ensued.

Bennett's Curse
The directions said this attraction was located at Arundel Mills and we looped the mall three times before finding a security officer who could send us on our correct way. The attraction featured two "houses": "House of the Vampyres" and "The Sanctuary of Insanity". Vampyre House was full of animatronics, strobes, gorgeous gothic architecture, and people in black robes jumping out at us. I think I'm getting jaded because I found the attraction only okay. Oh sure, I jumped when spooked, but there was a lot of uninteresting dead space in this one. We thought we'd accidentally gotten stuck behind the attraction one time, but that was the path to the next vignette. Hm.

This is getting long. )

Terror After Dark
After a disappointing dinner, we four RACED back to Sterling to visit the three haunts of the Terror After Dark attraction outside Dulles Town Center and arrived with about twenty minutes to spare. This attraction houses "Bloodstone Manor", "Darkmare", and Cell Block 13 Death Row". We, of course, purchased tickets for all three.

A breakdown of the three houses. )

In order of enjoyment, Terror After Dark: Darkmare, TAD: Bloodstone, Bennett's Curse: Sanctuary of Insanity, BC: House of the Vampyres, Nightmare from Elmridge, and TAD: Cell Block 13. Like [livejournal.com profile] pirategirleee, I think that Darkwood Manor in Luray is my favorite haunt thus far; I wish it weren't so far away!
melaniesuzanne: (Haunted House)
Last night, [livejournal.com profile] dawnhutchings, [livejournal.com profile] pirategirleee, and I trekked out to Luray, VA to experience Darkwood Manor. The two-hour drive down featured bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-66, banjos, and a "Jeepers Creepers" vibe coming off a car travelling waaaay too close to my bumper in deepest, darkest rural Virginia. The drive home was even more frightening and featured a REALLY scary no-tell-motel parking lot where I had to reset the GPS.

Ahem.

The attraction featured an H.P. Lovecraft-inspired theme complete with cuddly plush Cthulhu. The rooms were GORGEOUSLY decorated and we three spent much of our time admiring the props. Unfortunately, the scares were few and far between. There was a lot of -- pardon the phrase -- dead space between scares. We would walk into a room, fully expecting something to leap out of us, and there'd be nothing except the beautiful room itself. There were hallways full of non-working doors which really should have had actors lurking behind them. I'm not entirely sure how the "contaminated" corn field (Bad Wolf Corn Company Reminds You to "Eat More Corn!") and zombies tied in to Lovecraft, but the decontamination shed was a nice touch. Same deal with the pirates, but Dawn really liked the cyborg pirate captain. I, of course, got us lost in the pitch black maze room and PG cheated by pulling out her flashlight.

Last night was Darkwood's opening night and that might explain the lack of a fully populated haunt. We three enjoyed ourselves and the attraction was definitely worth the $10; unfortunately, it wasn't worth the two hour drive. So, if you're closer to Luray than I am, go and check out this fun haunt.

Tonight's attractions: Nightmares from Elmridge and Bennett's Curse in Maryland. Perhaps, even Terror After Dark in front of Dulles Town Center if it's not too late.
melaniesuzanne: (Spooky trees by valo_queen)
Here it is, boys and ghouls: the 2009 edition of MelanieSuzanne's Halloween Haunts including a New! Expanded! Maryland section.

Look here, if you dare! Muahahahaha! )

I'm thinking about hitting the Luray haunt Friday and the Maryland haunts Saturday night. Anybody want to come along?
melaniesuzanne: (Autumn)
I'm still jazzed about winning the costume contest at Markoff's. The posse is already plotting next year's costumes; we'll be sure to enter different contests during the evening so we're not competing against each other this time!

[livejournal.com profile] carthew, [livejournal.com profile] psalite, [livejournal.com profile] pirategirleee, and I raced down to Old Town Alexandria Saturday evening to meet up with more friends for the special Halloween Ghost & Graveyard tour. The tour was okay: the guide stopped in front of various homes and garden walls and entertained us with ghost stories which (supposedly) happened in Alexandria. We stood in the Presbyterian Meeting House cemetery and saw the grave of the Unknown Soldier of the Revolutionary War. The tour ended on the second floor of the Schaeffer house where poor Laura Schaeffer suffered fatal burns on her wedding day. I'd like to go back down there and take the regular tour sometime and hear some true stories about the area. I thought the best part of the tour was just our roaming through the residential area looking at people's Halloween decorations and peeping in their windows (is there a rule that every sitting room in Old Town must feature a portrait of a founding father over the fireplace?).

It was a busy October full of "haunted" outings. I can't wait to do it again next year!
melaniesuzanne: (Halloween by sparklypoof)
First things first: If I didn't drink any alcohol (AT ALL!) last night, and did drink lots of water, why the heck do I feel headachy and hung-over this morning?

We got TONS of trick-or-treaters last night, most of them adorably costumed. I'm so glad I picked up a couple extra bags of candy yesterday afternoon. During the candy frenzy, [livejournal.com profile] psalite was the first to arrive. She looked SO CUTE as a ghost girl. [livejournal.com profile] pirategirleee almost got candy because her bobby-soxer outfit was so freaking adorable. Cassie showed up in street clothes, but quickly donned her Princess Leia ensemble. Her hair was perfect. Hubbyfink wasn't feeling too well, and he took over candy duty when we girls left to fetch [livejournal.com profile] dawnhutchings and explore the Haunted Forest.

Do you want to know how awesome I am? I am so awesome I won $100 at Markoff's Haunted Forest last night for best costume. Okay, full disclosure: they ran costume contests all night long and I won the 10pm contest. But still, I won! And I won despite the judge having NO IDEA who Mina Murray was; she announced me as "Mina Marie". *facepalm*

PG, Psalite, Dawn and Cassie all had a grand time as well. We dined on hot dogs, hot cider and funnel cake. We screeched and screamed our way through Haunted Trail #2. (When the chainsaw guy came out, I was behind Dawn and the other three girls were behind me. Chainsaw guy passed Dawn and me to menace the others. I pushed Dawn's back yelling, "Just run! We'll come back for them later!!!"). After we recovered from the hike in the woods, I treated everyone to the Haunted Hayride with my costume contest spoils. No Civil War Earth Pimples of the Daaaaaamed this year, but we did nearly get whiplash of the damned. PG was disappointed with this year's Civil War pinata of the damned. After the hayride, PG and I had our palms read. We then closed the place down and got back to my place around a quarter after one.

Now I must scarf down some Advil and shower so I can toodle on over to [livejournal.com profile] carthew's to review Ponte Alto's financial books. Tonight: ghost stories and cemeteries in Alexandria. Ooooooooh.
melaniesuzanne: (Halloween by sparklypoof)
Why isn't "Young Frankenstien" in my movie collection?

The "horror" marathon is going well. "Twice Told Tales" with Vincent Price, "The Devil Bat" with Bela Lugosi, "Night of the Living Dead", plus assorted shows about Halloweeen, hauntings, and various creatures of the night. Hubbyfink, Margie and I curled up on the red sofa of AWESOMENESS together and having a grand ol' time. Tonight we get dolled up and roam the countryside being menaced by ghouls and chainsaw-weilding maniacs. Yay!

And I'm still waiting to see photos of my mother dressed as a chicken...

Oh, and I went with "Brides of Dracula" for today's BPAL scent.
melaniesuzanne: (Spooky trees by valo_queen)
The October newcomers' meeting for Ponte Alto is at my house this Friday evening at 7pm. If you're local and either interested in the SCA or already in the SCA, come on over and enjoy good company and good snacks. Let me know if you need directions.

This Saturday's spooktacular event is the Manassas Haunted Trail at 9505 Dean Park Drive, Manassas, VA. I haven't decided yet if folks should meet at my place or at [livejournal.com profile] pirategirleee's (because the haunt is closer to her place). I'll post time and location after careful negotiations with herself.

Or maybe not. The site states that this attraction has been closed this year due to the death of a local teen. Leesburg Cornfield MAiZE, instead perhaps? There's also the Mystery in Liberia Mansion tour in Manassas. Tours run from 5:30pm to 9pm and are about an hour long.

There are several decant circles going for Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab perfume oils over on [livejournal.com profile] sca_bpal including Wind in the Willows, Marchen, and the Yule 2008 scents. These circles are a great way to start (or beef up) one's collection without dropping a whole lotta green on untested scents. Come and join the (fairly low-traffic) community.
melaniesuzanne: (Spooky trees by valo_queen)
[livejournal.com profile] pirategirleee and I braved the unknown and ventured through the Haunted Woods at Algonkian Park. PG ranked Haunted Woods just above last year's Haunted Manor: Legend of the Grey Ghost outing. I'm torn about that ranking, myself. Yes, the Haunted Woods trail was spookier in spots, mostly because groups must traipse through the unlit path with a dying flashlight -- and you never know for sure if you're still on the path -- but there's no other entertainment. No concessions, no bonfires, no bellydancers (of the damned), and the sound system kept cutting out (although, the heavy metal mixes of "This is Halloween" and other seasonal songs were kind of cool).

The woods had some interesting looking vignettes; although, our group's "leader" didn't shine the light on them long enough for us to get a good look at the artistry. The actors were fairly good except for the one guy who made the little 'tween in our group cry. (Poor dear. She had a death grip on her mom's arm and on mine. I had to be good and not poke at her fear. *sigh*) There were long expanses where nothing happened though, and some of us got bored. [livejournal.com profile] pirategirleee and I kept whistling the "Colonel Bogey March" during the, ahem, dead spots.

Sooo... it was okay for $10. I think it's $13 for the rest of the season. I may go back next year to see if they improve, but there's no need to go twice in one season.

PG and I capped of the evening with sundaes of the damned at Friendly's, playing with the fangs we'd picked up at the Spirit Store (it's in the old SCAN furniture spot across the street from the mall), watching the fourteen horror-movies-as-done-by-bunnies shorts On Demand, and laughing at Eddie Izzard on Graham Norton's show.

Next haunt: Manassas Haunted Trail on Saturday, Oct 25!

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