25 March 2008

Young Adventurers - The Haunted Mansion

As evening approaches, and the lights of candles appear in the windows, you here the eerie howl of a distant wolf calling to you from beyond a mansion on the hill. Quietly you make your way around the front of the mansion to the other side. There you find a family cemetery, where gruesome deaths seem commonplace. You realize that you are not the only person who has ventured this way recently, as a rose sits perched upon the headstone of Master Gracey. Suddenly, and shockingly, a servant of the house summons you inside, where you are met by an ominous and foreboding voice.

This voice, a self-appointed Ghost Host, conducts you through a room that stretches disturbingly, and then into a doombuggy to tour the mansion. Through portrait galleries with shocking secrets, libraries and conservatories filled with unseen presences, and a never-ending series of stairways the Ghost Host beckons you to come further into the house, even though your heart and every hair on your body is calling for you to find a way out. Some of the 999 residents attempt to contact you, they go as far as to plead for you to help them. As you make your way down endless hallways you stumble upon a séance, presided over by the striking and farseeing Madame Leota, who resides inside of her crystal ball. Here the Ghost Host leaves you to discover a rowdy and uncivilized clan of ghost cavorting about in all sorts of party frivolities.

Your path turns and leads you up to attic, and to the grim truths of the bride and her former husbands, before you crash through a window and into a much larger graveyard at the rear of the manor. The cemetery is filled with the lively phantoms, all in search of a good time. There are ghost on bicycles, spirits using tombstones as a teeter-totter, even a phantom choir, in perfect harmony, crooning about Grim, Grinning, Ghosts. When the Ghost Host finally catches up to you in the mausoleum he offers you one final warning, that hitchhiking ghosts have been known to follow guests home.

As a hauntingly beautiful voice calls for you to hurry back, you follow the beating of your heart and race through the mausoleum, past the pet cemetery, and a far as your feet will carry you away from this Haunted Mansion.

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