Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Bigfoot National Park ‘Deceaseful Settings’ -- kiss the road back goodbye

By Sam Squatch
Staff ‘foot Writer

If you survived your first 12 or more hours in Bigfoot National Park, make sure you get some sleep. You’ll need the rest if you’re going to have any chance of escaping.

But don’t forget that back at Camp Slasher Psycho, where you have your bed, you’ve still got all those restless teens running around doing what they’re not supposed to be doing. Most monsters put in a couple hours of Torture-A-Teen before turning in, but, as stated previously, you’re going to need all the rest you can get, so you may want to reconsider.

Be advised: Just because you’re no longer at Lake Larry, doesn’t mean the latrines in other areas are safe, Camp Slasher Psycho included. The Larry Monster uses a complicated, very extensive underground network of sewage lines to move between most latrines in the park, and he’s just waiting for someone to take a seat. Don’t do it. Do as those in the wild do.

And speaking of the wildlife, you might spy with your little eye (or your one giant eye, depending on your orientation) those cute, cuddly little man-eating squirrels scurrying around the park. Stay the heck away from those devilish things. Lucky for you they can’t eat an entire man in one bite, despite what “man-eating squirrels” might sound like to you, but their hordes or brothers and sisters leave no morsels behind.

On second thought, put a collar on one of them if you can, and let it loose in the park. Then hang a leash over one of the leash law signs, which you’ll find everywhere, and hang out there for a while like you’ve taken your pet man-eating squirrel off its restraint and let it roam the area. That really ticks off Bigfoot and you won’t have to go to him -- he’ll come to you.

Last year, the sasquatch told park authorities that he was sick and tired of guests taking their pets off their leashes, so he had the park put up leash law signs. When no one enforced the laws (because there actually weren’t any laws, just signs), ‘foot took measures of his own and began treating pets off their leashes like hors d’oeuvres. He still likes the signs. He uses the posts as toothpicks after he’s “enforced the rules.”

A good place to set your bait is over at the Yeti Hot Springs. They’ve got a bunch of leash law signs over there because ‘foot spends a considerable amount of time in the springs and he likes to see the signs wherever he goes. He likes the springs because he has a bad back and the warm water is very calming for him. Just don’t let him catch you trying to catch a glimpse of him. He’ll bury you in the geothermal heated groundwater.

You definitely want to steer clear of the nearby canyons, so be sure not to set up your bait there. If he catches you trying to catch a glimpse of him in that locale, he’ll throw you down into the bottom of those canyons. It’s a long way down.

If he catches you trying to catch a glimpse of him near The Mighty Peaks (Bigfoot National Park’s mighty mountain range), no, he won’t throw you to the top. He has a bad back, remember? But you should steer clear of the Mighty Peaks and the Mighty River below -- that’s where the Davy Crockett’s Ghost haunts.

It’s not that Crockett’s Ghost is scary. It’s just that once he gets a hold of your ear, he never stops talking. In his tell-all book, “It Wasn’t a Bear; It Was Friggin’ Bigfoot,” he claims he didn’t kill a bear when he was only 3. He says he killed Bigfoot, and he wants to tell everyone and anyone all about it. Oh, and he wants to tell you all about how he fought saucers in real life, not Native Americans. Believe what you want to believe. He fought Native Americans. And he never killed Bigfoot. Bigfoot is alive and well . . . except for the bad back.

Wherever you end up in the park, set out your squirrel and leash bait, and then listen. You’ll hear ‘foot -- his stomp is mighty. Sometimes you can hear him and never see him. Look for the footprints -- they’re big. Have patience because you may be there a while and you won’t be getting any rest. Which reminds me . . .

Didn’t I tell you to get some rest? Get back to Camp Slasher Psycho and turn in. Lights out!

You’ll hear a loud ruckus coming from the Chainsaw Residence on the other side of the lake near Transyl-vein-ia Creek. Screams, maniacal laughing, lots of chainsaw carnage . . . Some monsters actually have a hard time falling asleep to those kinds of relaxing disturbances. But once you do eventually drift off . . .

The Nightmare Man will pay a visit. If you thought Freddy had the market on nightmares, guess who trained him?

In the rare case you wake up, it’s best to pick up quickly and go. By this time, most everything in the park will know you’re there and you can kiss your life (or afterlife), as you know it, goodbye -- for real this time.

The park buses will start arriving at camp when it’s too late. However, if you happen to be there when one shows up, get on and tell the driver to hit the gas. If he takes you back to Lodgers Square where your journey began, consider yourself lucky -- you made it. If you pull up to Loggers Landing and Tackle Shack, consider yourself bait -- plain and simple. Good news is you just caught your first glimpse of Bigfoot. He’s the one that’ll be making bait out of you, so it’ll also be your last glimpse. 

This is one in a series of TRAVEL STORIES from the 13 districts of Transyl-vein-ia. These stories run weekdays between August and September. Jack-o’-Lantern Press’s regular news and entertainment coverage will continue in October.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Bigfoot National Park ‘Hidden Harms’ -- if you’re here, you’ll be hard to find, too

By Sam Squatch
Staff ‘foot Writer

You’ve got your Bigfoot hunting license, a full stomach, you’re geared up and you may’ve even purchased one of those 103” Bigfoot stuffed animal toys, which make the Costco bears look like kid stuff. You can officially call yourself a Footer.

Now it’s time to get in line for one of the park buses to take you into Bigfoot’s playground and on your way to finding the most popular yeti of all time.

Buses usually show up right on the hour. Except they’re always late. In the meantime, enjoy the Bigfoot Finders Festival right there in Lodgers Square. You’ll see the banners everywhere: “Long Live ‘foot” and “Bigfoot or Bust,” they read. Monsters from all over Transyl-vein-ia will be singing Bigfoot carols. Take advantage of the Bigfoot snack carts in the square, which offer some of the best goodies, like Bigfoot gummies, chocolate Bigfoot bars and Bigfoot fungus. Yum!

When your bus arrives, it’s first come, first serve. To get a seat, you must claw, shred, bite, cast a wicked witch spell (which reminds me: No witches allowed in Bigfoot National Park -- go see the ranger immediately to be thrown into the Tar Pits) . . . All others should do whatever they can to get a ride. Werewolves are required to travel in a trailer -- they’ve torn up the upholstery on one too many bus seats in the past. If you’re a werewolf and there’s no trailer on the bus, ask your driver a special accommodation, and if he has no trailer to hook up, he’ll gladly throw you into the Tar Pits.

Once you’ve taken your seat aboard the bus, your driver will shut the doors and pull away. He’ll take you into the park by way of Bigfoot Falls. It’s a stunning view, especially as you go over the falls.

Once you’re in the park, be on the lookout for Bigfoot. He could be anywhere. Your bus driver will drop you off at Camp Slasher Psycho. That’s where you Footers will set up camp.

You’ll be happy to discover that the human campers you’ll be sharing the grounds with are dumber and more reckless than ever, which means, for all you hockey mask-wearing guys and gals out there, you’ll have your work cut out for you.

I recommend setting up camp promptly and getting on your way. There’s no time for rest and rel-axe-ation. You’re certainly not going to catch a glimpse of Bigfoot sitting (or slitting) around.

There are several trails leading out of Camp Slasher Psycho. Take any of them. Every trail leads you into dangerous wildlife corridors.

You may end up in Killer Bee Bend where yellow jackets the size of baseballs use their lethal stingers to play darts with your head.

Or you may run into Lake Larry, where the Loch Ness Monster has been seen practicing his backstroke. Hopefully, you filled up on coffee while waiting for your bus earlier in the day so you’ll be forced to use the larry (a.k.a. the latrine) near the lake’s pier. If you had nightmares of finding Bigfoot, kiss that possibility goodbye. The Larry Monster loves suckers like you. He sucks you right down into the toilet. He loves that coffee filling inside of you.

There’s also a trail that takes you to the Ghost Glaciers. You guessed it -- the ice is haunted. Not only do these slowly moving rivers of ice collapse and send guests into the freezing cold water below, but ghosts do their best to hold you under. It’s one of the perks. If you’re an ice monster, take advantage of the fantastic swimming possibilities.

Wherever you end up, chances are you haven’t seen a clue of Bigfoot’s presence. That’s because he’s hard to find. And he may be on to you.

Those of you who purchased the Bigfoot Survival Guide (which is still available on my website for a mere $6.66), you’ll know you should’ve been limited to a strict lemon juice-diluted-with-water diet for the past two weeks to eliminate your body odor so Bigfoot can’t smell you. If you drank the coffee in Lodgers Square while waiting for the bus, remember, you didn’t make it past the Larry Monster anyway, so it doesn’t matter. But if Bigfoot doesn’t smell you, you may be getting close.

Be quiet . . . Listen . . . Can you hear him? Can you smell his DQ Blizzard-breath? That might be him.

If it’s not him, you might’ve wasted your money on this trip. Even if you find him, it doesn’t matter, because if you’ve made it this far into the park, you’ll never make it out to tell anyone about it. The real fun is still to come.

This is one in a series of TRAVEL STORIES from the 13 districts of Transyl-vein-ia. These stories run weekdays between August and September. Jack-o’-Lantern Press’s regular news and entertainment coverage will continue in October.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Bigfoot National Park ‘Rot Spots’ -- to do before entering sasquatch country

By Sam Squatch
Staff ‘foot Writer

There are plenty of things you must do in Bigfoot National Park before you go hunting for Bigfoot, and there are no mummies or magicians allowed.

Let’s get this out of the way right away: Mummies are too slow and too much of a liability in these parts, and magicians will be able to find Bigfoot too fast, ruining the entire adventure business that’s booming out here.

Bigfoot National Park is home of many yetis. But there’s only one Bigfoot, and he spends his time between here, the human world in national parks all over, and the portals he uses between the two dimensions.

Will you be the first to get real proof of him? I’ve personally interviewed ‘foot for this publication, but nobody believes me. They just print my words for the fun of it.

You’ll arrive at Lodger's Square in Lodging Town at the base of the park. Step into Footers Lodge (home of the Bigfoot Burger and the 103" Bigfoot stuffed animal toy) and see the ranger at the front desk. He’ll put you on the right track to prepare for your Bigfoot hunt.

The first thing you’ll need is a Bigfoot hunting license. Once you fill out the application (if you can’t write because you’re a blob or a winged creature with no hands, we have park volunteers who can assist), go get yourself something to eat. Because it’ll take the lodge staff a couple of hours to decide whether you’re a mummy, a magician or not.

Right there in Lodging Town is Kimo’s Mai Tai and Fresh Seafood Ranch, the best seafood you’ll find on any ranch (with lots of bugs on the ranch and on the fish). How fresh is Kimo’s? You’ll see his boat out front, still dripping wet (no one is sure what’s actually dripping off that boat). He gets fresh fish daily. Don’t forget to try his world famous “Shark,” a Mai Tai with teeth. Actual teeth.

Once you’ve had enough to eat (or you’ve had enough of the bugs eating you), head on over to the Tar Pits. No, your license still won’t be ready. But the three tar ladies in the pits will be more than happy to see you.

Don’t get too close -- the ladies may pull you in with them and you may not need that license after all. Stand at a safe distance and listen to the ladies howl and wail and moan in agony. It’s always a tuneful, heartwarming performance.

Your license still won’t be ready, so follow the little logging road past Kimo’s, past Loggers Landing and Tackle Shack, across Broken Bridge over the Ravine of Death (much worse than Busted Bridge in Witches Meadow) and into Geyserland. It’s a fun spot for the kids.

Geyserland is a spring characterized by intermittent discharges of deadly, boiling water ejected turbulently from various points in the ground and accompanied by toxic steam. Yes, these geysers are most definitely fun for the kids. Try to put the little tots on a geyser hole before it blasts its mighty gush of poison.

After that, make your way back to Footers Lodge. Your license still won’t be ready, but you still have to gear up. Check in with the ranger again at the front desk. He’ll link you up with one of the park’s experts to get you outfitted for your upcoming adventure through the park.

Here’s typically what you’ll need before you go in search of Bigfoot:

-Bigfoot Survival Guide (This is essential for your adventure. All proceeds go to me. I wrote it.)

-Camouflaged/dark clothing (It may cost more to get the DQ camo, but it’s worth it. It comes with images of DQ Blizzard cups, which fits right in with all the empty DQ Blizzard cups strewn about the park. ‘foot loves Blizzards.)

-War paint (This doesn’t work so well on werewolves, fiery demons and blobs.)

-Sleeping bags for your party (The Lodge offers a wide variety of beddings, including roll-up coffins for all you vampires out there.)

-GPS (You don’t want to get lost in Bigfoot Country. No one will be able to find you because GPS units don’t work out here.)

-Deer urine (This is for attraction. ‘foot loves deer urine.)

-Rope (This is imperative. Because you can’t gear up without a big spool of rope to hang around your belt.)

-Bear mace (This does nothing to Bigfoot, but there are plenty of bears in the park you may come across. Bears want something to do, too, and the idea of you trying to defend yourself with a little can of spray is always amusing to them before they rip your face off. Please, feed the bears.)

-Video recording device (You’ve come all this way to see Bigfoot. You’ll want something to document him. ‘foot also wants something to do, and the idea of you trying to capture him on video is always amusing to him before he rips your face off. ‘foot can’t survive off DQ Blizzards alone.)

-Flare gun (This shoots fiery flares into the sky for signaling distress. Note: Smokey the Bear uses the same portals Bigfoot uses between the monster world and the human world. He finds you shooting fiery flares in the forest, he’ll rip your face off. Cancel the flare gun.)

-Cell phone (If you must call for help, use a cell phone. Cell service is terrible in the park. You can still play video games on the phone while the danger closes in on you.)

-Lighter (Good for building fires to keep warm and heat up your food. See comments on flare gun as it regards to fires in the park.)

-Flashlight (It gets dark in the park. You can make really cool shadow animals on the trees with a really good, bright flashlight.)

-Tent (This is the last thing to pack, only because you may not survive long enough to ever use it. If it’s too much to carry after you’ve loaded up with all the previous gear, consider leaving the tent at the Lodge.)

You may also want to carry along a net gun, first aid kit, night vision goggles, stun gun, fishing rods, tackle, water purification system, insect repellent, explosives and a watch. None of these things won’t keep you alive and they most likely won’t help you catch Bigfoot. But it all sounds really cool as the gear bangs together on your body while you navigate the woods.

Your Bigfoot hunting license should be ready by the time you get all that equipment and paraphernalia on. If you can move, go back to the ranger at the front desk and collect your card. He’ll take your picture, print it on the license. Or he’ll toss you into the Tar Pits if he suspects you’re a mummy or a magician. Remember: No mummies or magicians allowed in the park. And no wizards either, while we're at it.

If he presents you with your license, congratulations, you’re what the park calls a Footer. You can now head on out to the Bus Loading Zone.

These buses are the only way into the park. All other vehicles or modes of transportation are off limits. Don’t get caught trying to enter any other way, in which case, see comments on what happens if the ranger suspects you’re a mummy, magician or a wizard.

Buses leave every hour, on the hour into the park. You Footers should line up at the ramp and prepare for the time of your lives. It’ll be the last time of your lives.

This is one in a series of TRAVEL STORIES from the 13 districts of Transyl-vein-ia. These stories run weekdays between August and September. Jack-o’-Lantern Press’s regular news and entertainment coverage will continue in October.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Werewolftown ‘Deceaseful Settings’ -- you’ll howl while on the prowl

By The Lyle Canthrope
Staff Werewolf Writer

No, the moon isn’t always full in Werewolftown. But werewolves are always on the run in this part of Transyl-vein-ia. That’s because werewolves don’t need the full moon. The full moon only makes it easier for you to see where the heck you’re running all night.

It’s true, according to some experts, the full moon can bring out a wilder beast in you, but a werewolf is a werewolf and transforms back into a human only during the day. He/she is back on his/her paws every night. This is Werewolftown, home of the original strain of werewolves. This isn’t the human world of watered-down lycanthropes. So while you might be anticipating a moon that’s no longer big and bright in hopes you won’t have to keep running around so much on the hunt for anything and everything to satisfy your never-ending meat craving, think again. 

There are places in Werewolftown, however, where you can be more at peace with your lycanthropy. Out past Gypsy Village lies Werewolf Woods. You’ll still be on the prowl (those instincts don’t go away), but there’s a calm and quietness in those woods that’ll help the animal in you chill a bit, if only just for a bit. And the thick fog can be quite soothing as you breathe it in while you roam.

Out there you can howl and the sound reverberates off the pines. It’s so harmonious, but only to a werewolf’s ears. Everything else wants you to shut your face.

In the woods, you may come across Reverend Slade in his pipe organ wagon. Slade is the Organist/Reverend/Werewolf Whisperer to the wolves. He’ll play you a tune on his pipes, preach you a sermon from his perch and work with you on your issues until you leave him alone. If your new life as a werewolf is too much for you, the Reverend might agree. He can offer you a path toward coping with your curse, if that’s really what you want.

He might send you back to Werewolf Run Square to Fang’s Barber Shop. Many werewolves just don’t like being so unkempt. Get a trim. The Executive Werewolf Contour is a terrific cut and makes many beasts feel better about who they are. Your hair won’t grow back out for at least another hour or two.

And don’t forget, your barber is also your counselor. At Fang’s, all hairdressers are schooled in the ways and art of being better predators (dip your victims like you’re offering a kiss, don’t just shred the jugular), better howlers (take a breath in and exhale, but don’t drop your chest) and better at facing your dread.

Your barber might encourage you to be more like those miserable werewolves you see in the movies as a means to cope with your problems. In no time, you’ll be on the run from town to town, looking for the lycanthrope that bit you and turned your world upside down, with hopes that killing him/her will get your old life back. If that doesn’t work, there’s always a row full of mad scientists on Lab Lane in the Mad Science District who you can look up to do some kind of experiment to change you back.

Until then, enjoy long, long, LONG nights in Werewolftown. There’s still plenty to see, eat and experience, like the Lycanthrope Hotel (they offer the hairiest in werewolf entertainment), like the wonderful dishes at the Livestock Café (they serve so much meat) and like the river-rafting excursions down the Lych River (keep your fangs and teeth away from the canvas -- you don’t want to pop the boat).

One thing is for sure, when it finally comes time for you to leave Werewolftown, you’ll leave as a different, werewolfier monster. To you I say, OWWEWWWWW!

This is one in a series of TRAVEL STORIES from the 13 districts of Transyl-vein-ia. These stories run weekdays between August and September. Jack-o’-Lantern Press’s regular news and entertainment coverage will continue in October.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Werewolftown ‘Hidden Harms’ -- more than meats to your eye

By The Lyle Canthrope
Staff Werewolf Writer

When in Werewolftown, do as the werewolves do.

To the average monster, running through werewolf country may not seem so exciting, but once you have the curse, you’ll begin to see (and taste) all kinds of hidden beauty.

The Lamb Fields in the Moors are stocked fresh nightly. Your nose will take you to the best cuisine that’s there. Test it out. Bat it around. Have at it. It’s fun. In no time, you’ll be on the move again. Because that’s what werewolves do.

At the back end of the Moors you may notice that the modern world is nowhere to be found. That’s because Gypsy Village, which you’ve entered, stopped evolving in the early to mid 1900s.

The gypsies there still drive horse-drawn carriages. They live in tents and circus carts. They run a traveling carnival that makes stops at Gore Gardens in Shadow City several times during the year and, in October, all over the human world for the Halloween festivities. August and September are the best times to visit Gypsy Village because the gypsies are getting all set for October.

It’s especially important that you check out Lampini’s Chamber of Horrors wagon. Some say he has the skeleton of one of Dracula’s long-lost descendants that he puts out on display during midnight showings of horror exhibits during the traveling carnival.

However, you might be too busy sniffing out meat to scope out the skeleton. Gypsies carry all kinds of meat on the bone. They order out for it like its pizza from some chainsaw man in Texas (in the human world). Let nature take its course.

Because the gypsies in these parts are all werewolves, they like to stay on the move. Run with them. Where they go, lots of living things go, hence dinnertime. Let’s face it, who doesn’t want to see a show, have their fortunes told or see creepy people that are in town for a limited time only? Once you arrive, they arrive. They practically ring the supper bell for you.

You’ll find it’s great having these new powers added to your resume. As a werewolf, nothing can stop you. You can chase anything down, your teeth can get through the toughest layers of skin, and nothing can kill you except for silver bullets. Yes, those pesky things will do you in. But have no fear, there’s not much silver in these parts.

Despite being able to run around and eat whatever or whoever you want, eventually, it’s sad to say, you may grow tired of the same old thing. Yeah, you’ve made some great discoveries under that big blue Werewolftown moon, but maybe you’d like to settle down and relax for a second, and not constantly run around like a dang lunatic.

Check back here tomorrow for ways to take it easier in Werewolftown.

This is one in a series of TRAVEL STORIES from the 13 districts of Transyl-vein-ia. These stories run weekdays between August and September. Jack-o’-Lantern Press’s regular news and entertainment coverage will continue in October.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Werewolftown ‘Rot Spots’ -- see the best moonrises in the world

By Lyle Canthrope
Staff Werewolf Writer

You can be pure at heart and say your prayers by night, but if a werewolf bites you, that’s that. You're locked into the lifestyle, plain and simple. And there’s no better place to be than Werewolftown. The moonrises there are especially haunting.

When you cross over the border, Werewolftown looks and feels like your everyday high school football community. Stop by the Silver Bullet Pub and Beastro in Werewolf Run Square, and you’ll see how the locals are proud of their Blue Moon High School Wolves, with pennants, trophies and pictures of past teams covering the walls.

If you arrive on a full moon night (and it's recommended that you visit on a full moon night), you can enjoy happy hour at the pub. Listen to the largest collection of Howlin’ Wolf blues records, throw darts and savor the biggest, juiciest triple-patty burgers with over 50 ounces of beef done up “werewolf style.” Don’t worry, at the Silver Bullet, they don’t believe in cooking your burgers until they’re rare and ultimately ruined. They think it’s a sin to burn the meat. They serve ‘em up fresh.

Then, once that full moon begins its ascent into the sky, step out into Werewolf Run Square and participate in the world-famous running of the werewolves, where lycanthropes are lead through the streets and into the Moors. Most folks don’t last five minutes of the run before something bites them. Even if you don’t participate in the running of the werewolves, there’s a 95-percent chance a werewolf will chomp on you before you can spend even 30 minutes in town.

The bad news is a werewolf bite doesn’t necessarily mean you’re infected with the werewolf’s curse of the pentagram. If something bites you, take the opportunity to check yourself out at the Werewolftown Moonmorial Hospital. There they’ll patronize you about your bite, saying there are “no animals that could do that in these parts.” Go along with the gag. It’s routine. Then do what they say so they can test your blood and your brain.

The good news is that when you wake up from the tests, you’ll have the curse in your blood, guaranteed. As stated previously, not all werewolf bites infect you. Sometimes the bite isn’t deep enough. Sometimes the werewolf’s saliva doesn’t get into your blood stream. Sometimes a werewolf’s teeth are so caked with dirt or other victims’ flesh that it has no chance of getting into your body. So the wonderful doctors at Moonmorial will inject it into you while you’re out for their pretty ridiculous tests.

Once you’re cursed, be prepared to run, but not for the reasons you might expect. There’s a common misconception that werewolves are on the run because they’re in search of a mad doctor to cure them. Some think werewolves are hunting down the werewolf that cursed them in hopes that if they kill that lycanthrope, their curse will be lifted. That kind of thing only happens in the movies for dramatic reasons. It’s pure poetic license.

In real life, werewolves just like to run. Think of your everyday household wolf or even a puppy dog. They don’t know where they’re going. They’re just following their nose to the next snack. That’s all werewolves do. The sniff, they taste, they eat and they destroy. It’s fun. And if that’s your goal, Werewolftown has the meats.

That’s right, once you’ve got that werewolf nose, you’ll find you can snoop out some of the best quality meat the world has to offer right here in Werewolftown. In the Lamb Fields deep in the Moors, your journey begins.

This is one in a series of TRAVEL STORIES from the 13 districts of Transyl-vein-ia. These stories run weekdays between August and September. Jack-o’-Lantern Press’s regular news and entertainment coverage will continue in October.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Transyl-vein-ia Hills ‘Deceaseful Settings’ -- monsters pay for this kind of calm

By Cookie Cuttre
Staff ‘burbs Writer

It’s the Transyl-vein-ian Dream -- anyone or anything (with money) is free to imagine and realize a land in which life (or the afterlife) can be better, richer and fuller for all, with opportunity for each, according to one’s ability or achievement.

Transyl-vein-ia Hills is a place full of ideals. If you’re well off, like the monsters that live in this suburban Shangri-La, you can take (and the residents of Transyl-vein-ia Hills have already taken) what you want. It’s as simple as that.

It’s the good life, full of guileless pleasures like the Transyl-vein-ia Hills Skulling Alley with the best lanes and the freshest skulls; like the Library of the Dead with books (and authors) you’ll want to eat up; and like Local Trash Services, where you can take as much trash as you want to keep.

There’s the Transyl-vein-ia Hills Bus Depot and its dregs of society waiting for you to board a bus so they can fill the seat next to you. In this land, you’ll find lemonade stands monstered by the town’s little skull crushers who are more than happy to share their own brand of freshly-squeezed lemonade with you, made from real lemon tree people.

The Pink Flamingo Garden Shop is a great place to go to stalk up on the things you’ll need to build your own paradise wherever you reside. The Pink Flamingo breeds its own gnomes, killer flamingos and other lawn terrors that’ll make any front yard or backyard complete. You’ll want to spend all your nights there relaxing in a hammock . . . tied up for dead. These critters are also great at capturing beings for you to possess so you don’t have to put in the effort to capture them yourselves. You can just sit back and enjoy.

Probably the best destination for recreation and relaxation, however, is the Firehouse near the Trick-or-Treat Tract Shopping Center. A visit with the Red Devil will ensure a speedy resting place. If you’re good, he’ll send you to the human world to suffer a short (71-year average) “real life.” If you’re bad, you can enjoy eternity in the fires within his lair. The Firehouse is also a great place to shed some pounds and cleanse your body through some serious perspiration.

Goblin Street is home to rows and rows of bed-and-breakfasts for your leisure, surrounded by trees and the goblins that lurk in those trees. Resident goblins wait for you to go to sleep so they can call on you from their oaks to come out and play.

The tree people on Tree People Place, unlike the goblins of Goblin Street, won’t taunt you. They’ll just go into your B&B to take you away.

It may not sound very relaxing, but a trip to the Wreck Center on Wreck Center Circle is where you can go to relieve stress. There you can bust down walls, break windows, smash up furniture and practice your jump scares on combat sports grappling dummies that were scientifically farmed to physically respond to terrors like you.

You can also swim in the Wreck Center’s pools, caked with toxic sludge so that, when in the human world, you can be better equipped to chase down escaping swimmers or enemy boat crews who are on the hunt for unidentified life such as yourself.

There’s hiking and biking, flying and wall climbing activities, which is always a great way to promote quality sleep at the end of the night.

On second thought, you might do better promoting nightmares at the Transyl-vein-ia Hills Drive-In. If you’re open to demonic domination, a night at the movies is always a top recreational activity. The demons in the movies there are more than happy to come out of the big screen and enter your vehicle . . . and your soul. You might have a difficult time getting your soul back, but that’s not always a good thing, so heed the warning.

Probably the best place to go to retire for eternity is the haunted house at the end of Bat Court in the northern part of town. There, the bats are always swarming. Lightning never stops striking, thunder stays clapping and rain continues to pour forever. Skeletons will greet you and take you into their dwelling so you can experience true haunted house living. If you haven’t experienced haunted house living, take my word: it’s among the last things you’ll ever get locked into doing.

There are so many ways to enjoy Transyl-vein-ia Hills. It has that hometown feel so many of us desire. And while no one ever said the Transyl-vein-ian Dream was easy to attain, those from Transyl-vein-ia Hills will start telling you it is when you arrive. So we welcome you . . . for a small, but actually rather large fee. How much is in your wallet?

This is one in a series of TRAVEL STORIES from the 13 districts of Transyl-vein-ia. These stories run weekdays between August and September. Jack-o’-Lantern Press’s regular news and entertainment coverage will continue in October.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Transyl-vein-ia Hills ‘Hidden Harms’-- dark secrets in this picturesque nightmare

By Cookie Cuttre
Staff ‘burbs Writer

Behind the gates is the perfect town, the perfect race, the perfect terror . . .

Just check out the exclusive Transyl-vein-ia Pines, a gated community in Transyl-vein-ia Hills where some of your favorite monsters live.

Dracula has a home there, as does Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man . . . Sure, they each have homes in their native districts, but exclusive Transyl-vein-ia Pines is where they go to live the good life. And it’s where they go to play.

If you can get past the guards at the gate (they’re zombies, so just bring along some fresh corpses or brains to keep them busy while you pass), you can see how the upper echelon lives.

Start at the exclusive Transyl-vein-ia Pines Country Club. On any given night, you’ll find Frankenstein’s Bride playing golf, Mole Men playing in the wicked sand traps, the wicked giant sand worms playing with the Mole Men (winner eats all) and Godzilla cooling off in the pond -- the entire pond.

A tour of these famous monsters’ homes is something that can’t be missed. Many live in the popular ranch-style homes, characterized by their decorative rotted woodwork trim, cracked windows with diamond panes and shutters, mock rooftop dino-birdhouses, termite-infested wood shake roofs, faux-brick chimneys and garage doors detailed like barn doors. Some of these homes actually have entire garages in the shape of barns with real mutant barnyard animals inside.

Several famous monsters, like Medusa and her two gorgon sisters, live in the more modern homes in the neighboring housing tract. These residences are basically the same floor plans as the ranch-style homes with a façade change. Although, the Gorgon Sisters’ homes are all turned to stone, along with the men that have come to visit over the years, the majority of the structures in this tract have cleaner lines and rock roofs, and are more economical and much less embellished versions of the ranch-style places.

If you hang out in the exclusive Transyl-vein-ia Pines area long enough, you might catch a block party, which monsters like to host and ghost regularly. In the Pines, the monsters all know each other. It’s the type of community where, if someone/thing is out of brains or eyeballs, you can simply go to your neighbor and he/she/it will lend them to you. These creatures also share the streets.

Their block parties are typically centered on the block -- one big chopping block, where more heads is better than one.

If you’re looking for more of a “pick-me-up,” escape Transyl-vein-ia Pines and head over to Owl Orchard on the other side of town. You’ll never spot the owls there, but they’ll find you and take you away. No one is quite sure where they take you (maybe up into the trees), but no one’s dared venture up there, for that is where those giant, evil owls lurk, looking down for what they can take next.

Bird Mountain is an eye-opening experience. Just look at the existing eyeless visitors, laid out wherever the birds found them. It may be the last thing you see because the birds up there have an appetite for eyeballs. Some say these winged-predators are responsible for more than half of the eyeballs used in Transyl-vein-ia Hills’ popular eyes cream recipes (no, those aren’t cherries on top).

Regardless of what you might find in Transyl-vein-ia Hills, something there will no doubt find you.

This is one in a series of TRAVEL STORIES from the 13 districts of Transyl-vein-ia. These stories run weekdays between August and September. Jack-o’-Lantern Press’s regular news and entertainment coverage will continue in October.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Transyl-vein-ia Hills 'Rot Spots' -- the ultimate in suburban terror

By Cookie Cuttre
Staff ‘burbs Writer

One wouldn’t think there’d be excitement in suburbia, but Transyl-vein-ia Hills is more than just your ordinary evil residential area for monsters to raise their young dead.

Tract castles, parks and scaregrounds, shopping and shocking centers, swimming swamps, patios, barbecues and other types of torture . . . Transyl-vein-ia Hills is the place to live, shop and slay, all in a spacious, auto-friendly, overgrown garden setting planned for gracious and carefree monster living.

It’s true, happy monsters make happy homes. And while this happy suburb may seem like a place geared more for monster family living than visiting, think again -- there are plenty of things tourists can do.

The most popular activity in the area is the all-new Trick-or-Treat Wargrounds in the Trick-or-Treat Tract. At the end of the block, there’s a cute little dark, desolate shopping center that has a Deadly Weggly Supermarket, a pest store, a pest mill and an adopt-a-pest shelter. At the end of the plaza is the Trick-or-Treat Wargrounds office.

Check in with Jan at the front counter. She’s the sweet gorgon that’ll set you up with a faux residence in the Trick-or-Treat Tract. Once you have a home, it’s yours for the hour (or more if you pay) to lure in and take trick-or-treaters any way you please.

Trick-or-Treat Wargrounds uses only the best trick-or-treaters, brought in fresh and exclusively for the Wargrounds from the human world every day. It’s a good way to prepare for trick-or-treaters in the human world on Halloween.

Another similar activity in Transyl-vein-ia Hills is over on Babysitter Lane. And while the babysitters aren’t real, the animatronic creations of youngsters looking after the teeny tiny ones are so realistic, you won’t know they’re not real until you sink your teeth into them. But the creators of the attraction recently seasoned the catches with human flesh and human heart morsels (no artificial flavoring), and the taste is pretty palatable. The monster on the block with the most babysitters in his/her/its captivity when time’s up, and thus the monster with the most tickets, can choose from a wide variety of prizes from the Eyes Cream Truck, delivering the creamiest eyeballs anywhere around (no, those aren’t cherries on top).

The Eyes Cream Truck travels all over Transyl-vein-ia Hills at all times of the day and night. If you catch it -- or rather if it catches you -- you’ll get an endless supply of eyes cream for the rest of your life, which you’ll be forced to eat and eat and eat and eat and eat . . . You can’t stop eating. And you can’t get out of the truck either. Ever. Consequently, monsters that win tickets on Babysitter Lane of any quantity are going to get all the prizes one way or another.

If you can’t catch the truck, if it can’t catch you or if you don’t win any tickets by snatching trick-or-treaters, the Eyes Cream Parlor on Scream Street is always there for that such a low-grade monster. It’s the same idea there with the more-than-you-can-eat portions and never-get-to-go-home-again factor.

While you’re on Scream Street, be sure to check out the Scream Mall, the largest shopping and shocking complex in any dimension. It’s a top tourist draw.

Despite its name, the Scream Mall isn’t only a place to indulge in some retail scare-apy. It’s also a place with world-class entertainment venues and award-winning restaurants.

Right out front in the main square is a beautiful graveyard with nightly grave raisings. Mayor Ben Innagraevtu officiates the ceremonies and helps put others in the empty graves come dawn. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be in there next.

Don’t let this land of good and plenty fool you. There are several more evils yet to be discovered. And there are several more yet to discover you.

This is one in a series of TRAVEL STORIES from the 13 districts of Transyl-vein-ia. These stories run weekdays between August and September. Jack-o’-Lantern Press’s regular news and entertainment coverage will continue in October.