The Terrors of a Haunted House

The Terrors of a Haunted House
by Jennifer LB Leese

A cloud moves across the full moon, plunging into darkness. A tall dark, spooky mansion looms up ahead. Everyone's on alert. Tension fills the air. The line starts moving. Your heart pounds. Owls hoot in the distance. You hear others who are waiting talking amongst themselves, but you're trying to get yourself ready. Your palms sweat. The door creaks open. You follow the others inside.
You're heading for horror-filled rooms designed to scare even the bravest of men.

Sound familiar?

Every year during Halloween people of all ages visit haunted houses. And every year, we get scared enough to say 'I'm never going back!' But you do.
Haunted houses are known to be fear inducing with the intention of causing adults to quake in their shoes.

Forget ketchup blood and tape-recorded "oohs" and "boos" in a rundown barn or basement of someone's home. Today's haunted house attractions are now high-tech with Hollywood-style special effects, set designers, and some truly terrifying performances by actors portraying ghouls and madmen. Haunted houses are so well done they seem realistic; the stories of why the house is haunted work at the mind of the visitors as they tour the structure.

The actual structure of a haunted house can be anything from a decaying European castle to a newly occupied suburban ranch-style home. However, haunted houses are usually seen as a run-down-windows-hanging-cob-web-invested gothic mansion. The most famous haunted house was that in "The Amityville Horror" movie.
A haunted house is the most popular form of fright during the Halloween season and dates back in folklore several thousands of years. Typically a house becomes haunted after a person dies. However, sometimes their ghost will remain and haunt the area of its death. Legend has it that this is usually caused by terrible death taking place.

Researchers have said that the ghost in the house usually doesn't like having other people live in their house and will do supernatural things to drive the visitors out.

Due to the relationship with ghosts, the haunted house is associated with Halloween. In fact, the haunted house has become a huge Halloween attraction. At the beginning of October haunted houses begin springing up all over the place trying to give its patrons the scare of their life.

Featured Haunted House

Creekside Manor- This haunted house is part of the KOA Kampground off Kemps Mill road and has been around for 5 years. It is owned and operated by John and Judi Durham and their son JC. "The house is truly thought to be haunted," said Judi.
Creekside Manor is a house with all the fixings to make your visit to Creekside Manor a real life horror. Mable and all of her friends will try their best to scare you out of your wits. Last year, Richard, Mable's brother, struck terror in visitor's hearts...this year Mable and her sister arrive for revenge!
When visitors arrive they will see an old two-story boarded up home and a hearse delivering a fresh body to the graveyard where fog rolls under your feet. Screams from inside the house will cause you to shudder and second-guess your confidence and amount of courage.

"Creekside Manor intends to scare our customers," said JC, "but we do not touch people. We do get in their face. We change props around pathways and add something major every year so the show is fresh even though you have been here before. We began to purchase annimatronics 5 years ago at the largest Halloween show in the world held in Chicago, IL. We add to them and other props every year."

The mysterious house is filled with the perfect mix of story lines with dramatic acting, 13 fully decorated rooms, 8 dark hallways, and 1 maze.

When asked what was added "new" this year, John said, "A 1989 Cadillac Hearse in the graveyard, 4 new annimatronics and 2 life size static props in the house. Every year we introduce at least one new character."

Mable and her friends will scare you and your friends. Once you've experienced Creekside you will want to come back for more...that is if you make it out alive!

Also available at Creekside Manor are sodas, chips, candy, popcorn, hot cider, coffee and hot chocolate. "We do nothing distasteful in the house and have nothing to do with babies, religion, sex or demons. Our scares are real and the house is not suitable for children under 12. There is a not-so-scary blow up maze for children not wanting to tour the main house. It is free for the children of our paying customers."

Tickets are $12/person with group rates of 10 or more people at just $10/person. They go on sale at 7pm and doors open at 7:30pm. The last ticket is sold at 9:30pm on Thursdays and Sundays and 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays. They continue until the line is empty. Dates (in comparison to this article publishing) include October 22,26,27,28, and 29.

Creekside Manor is located in Williamsport, Maryland, 30 minutes from Chambersburg, Frederick, and Martinsburg, and just 90 minutes northwest of Washington DC and Baltimore. Creekside Manor is located at 11759 Snug Harbor Lane, Williamsport, MD, at the KOA Kampground off Kemps Mill Road. Call 301-223-5149 or visit for more information.

More Haunted Houses Near You

Leitersburg Haunted House- This is the 29th year for the Leitersburg Haunted House. Leitersburg Haunted House is located at the Old Leitersburg Schoolhouse off Rt. 60 in Leitersburg, Maryland--minutes from Hagerstown, Waynesboro, and Maugansville. Leitersburg Haunted House, as with most haunted houses, is not recommended for small children. There's plenty of screaming, blood, scary ghouls, and monsters at this haunted house. Tickets go on sale at 6:30 and last until 10pm, doors open at 7pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Wait time is posted at the ticket booth. Shows run until everyone gets in. Funds benefit community projects. Call 301-797-7727 for more information.

The Haunted Theatre- This attraction takes you on a haunted tour of the theatre. During the tour you will walk the theatre to different rooms until you end up in the ballroom maze. Going into its third year, the Haunted Theatre is known for its original ideas and great scares. The Haunted Theatre is located at 128 East Martin Street in Martinsburg.

Olde Towne Martinsburg History & Haunts Tour- Spend an hour strolling Olde Towne for facts, frights and folklore. Meet at the MBCCVB Visitors Center behind the Caperton Train Station at 229 A East Martin Street in Martinsburg Saturday nights at 7pm October 7, 14, 21, 28 and November 4. The History & Haunts Tour is sponsored by Martinsburg-Berkeley Convention and Visitors Bureau and Gourmet Ghost Hunter. Advanced reservations are suggested but not required. Call 304-264-8801 today.