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Resident Sea Monster
Oct 25, 2009
Raleigh, NC
Maybe someone can help me realize something here but I felt like this year's Howl-O-Scream wasn't quite as good as last year's. Leading up to my visit this past weekend all I heard was that this year was the best one they've had yet and even the receptionist at my hotel said it was so scary she had to leave because she was so frightened. I just didn't find this to be the case, though. Of course that's not to say it wasn't well done because it was, like every year. But I didn't see many street actors and those I did see were just walking around or leaning against walls letting people pass. They didn't jump out, they didn't follow closely behind guests or any of that sort of thing. I miss the roaming hordes of clowns. That was really awesome visually and with the whole "gang mentality" it encouraged the clowns to interact more.

I went to Root of All Evil and it was womp womp. Nothing really to write home about. I liked the strobe light room but wasn't very impressed with much else. The pirate one, on the other hand, was great. The actors jumped out at me left and right, they shouted, they followed me a short ways down the corridor and the house itself seemed longer than I would have expected it to be. Unfortunately though I was only there for two nights and didn't get a chance to do more houses.

I appreciate the pirate bar, I do have to say that. Like the vampire one in Germany I liked that they've set up another one with its own theme. Plus I very much enjoy alcohol.

As for the decorations, once again it was very well done. I especially liked the sort of hellish nightclub thing with the fire and the skull and whatnot in France. The music was great (that was a live DJ there, right?) and I danced a little bit but I wasn't quite sure what the actual activity was supposed to be. Was it a queue for a house and I just didn't see it? Or... what? In any case, the theming there was great. Walking out of the dark next to the Lorikeet area and coming up over the hill and the train tracks to see all that fiery orange decor was great.

Lastly and granted not really Howl-O-Scream specific but I again noticed the continuing decline of employee enthusiasm. My friend wanted one of those stuffed pumpkins at a game booth so we approached the girl sitting on her stool behind the counter just staring out into the night. No one was anywhere near the booth at that particular moment and she looked conspicuously irritated that we had interrupted her staring. When my friend asked what you have to do to win a pumpkin she said in the most bored expression possible that you couldn't win any of the pumpkins (which btw, what?), only the stuffed candy corn was available despite fifty of them hanging right there all around her. She was very condescending about it as if this information should have been obvious. Then as we turned to leave another of our friends who had been standing back and watching the whole thing saw her roll her eyes at our backs. I completely understand that this probably wasn't the girl's dream job but I hold BGW to a higher standard than, say, Carowinds or a county fair. My expectations aren't all that lofty but I do assume the employees will put their attitudes in check. Anyways, it's just something that keeps getting worse. Pity, really.
I also liked CTC more than Root. My wife had her arm in a sling for a broken collarbone and the pirates didn't hold back. The bungee pirate actually brushed her hair when he went over and a female pirate noticed my wife's condition and offered me the use of her chain room for any future beatings.
We won a small pumpkin right next to The Dark Side of the Gardens Store at the water pistol booth. It is a 2 player minimum to win, so $6 for a pumpkin. They had the big ones at several other booths, but nothing I'm good at. I won my 2 smurfs for my children at the Festa skeeball. My daughter wanted brainy and they were out and would not let me have one of the display brainys. One of the booths in Oktoberfest had some brainy smurfs and let us swap for him, so it worked out in the end.
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Lol!!! That was clever, the chain room bit. Yes, good, I'm glad you noticed all the same stuff I did.
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