Maybe you already know that Castle Blood is one of my all-time favorite, can’t-miss haunted houses, but if you didn’t already know, Castle Blood is one of my all-time favorite, can’t-miss haunted houses. I think there were only 2 or 3 Halloween seasons that I didn’t make it out there since I first started going when I was 16. (DAMN! Sixteen years ago.)
(And probably you’re thinking, “Why is this broad writing about haunted houses in May?!” Keep reading.)
Castle Blood is undergoing a makeover, which includes a brand new location for 2012! This location, an old library in Monessen, PA, will serve as the temporary digs for the Castle, after which the denizens and decor will mosey on down to their future, permanent abode, also in Monessen.
Gravely MacCabre graciously invited me out last weekend for a sneak peek of the new soon-to-be Gothic space. (I let Henry and Chooch come too, God forbid.)
Gravely was at the old site, loading up carfuls of decor and props to be sent to the new place, where our friends Chris and Dawn (whom I hadn’t seen since the Trundle Manor Halloween party since she has the nerve to live in dumb Canada!) were doing all sorts of heavy-lifting.
Essentially a shell yet to be filled, I still insisted that Dawn give us the grand tour of the building, during which we had to heavily rely on our imaginations to picture what the new Castle Blood experience will entail. (This means Henry basically blacked out and drooled, probably thought about maps and buying more Vidal Sassoon for his unkempt McNichol-locks. “Uh-maj-uh-nayyyyy-shun? Wot’s that?”)
Transvestite Little Mermaid mural in the childrens section of the old library, which was scary enough in itself. There were also Teletubbies in there. I shivered.
During our visit, a revolving door of denizens arrived with more stock to be moved into the new building. I didn’t recognize anyone sans graveyard makeup and prosthetic facial slabs until Dawn would point them out by their Castle Blood names. (This was also the first time I had ever seen Dawn without her makeup on too! It was exciting.)
Eventually, Dawn reluctantly said that while she would love to stand around with me and talk about how fantastic I am, she had better get back to work. I know Henry was itching to flash his blue collar, his foot was experiencing phantom pallet jack twitches, and the fact that Dawn was wearing work gloves was definitely giving him a manual labor boner, so the next thing I knew he was marching past me with a dead pirate balanced on his shoulder. Chooch decided he wanted to help too (which is a surprise since he’s basically Little Erin when it comes to doing things for other people, especially things that require lifting and being a good person), and actually took his role very seriously. He made me hold a cup of water, which he’d pause and chug from theatrically, I guess to show everyone how hard he was laboring, I don’t know. Holding his water was really asking a lot from me, since I was so busy standing around, taking pictures, and doing what I do best: generally getting in the way. It was truly my time to shine.
OMG I wanted to swim in this.
Chooch thankfully didn’t bust anything. He was even entrusted with glass lanterns at one point and I almost had a mom-stroke.
Chris pointed out that this was basically just Henry doing his regular day job: lugging beverage. And then everyone talked at length about Henry’s awesomeness and I almost vomited. HENRY HENRY HENRY!
Chooch is absolutely obsessed with Castle Blood now, even moreso than he had been. I think he really enjoyed helping out that day, and getting to see what it looks like before all the magic happens. As soon as we came home that day, he immediately made me go to their website for him, which he pored over for quite some time and talked excitedly about wanting to have a part in their no-scare matinees. (I believe what he said was, “Yeah. HELL yeah.” when asked.)
The next night, I came home from the movies and he proudly showed me the Castle Blood mascot he crafted.
“Is that a weener?” I asked exasperatedly.
“No. It’s his….zipper,” Chooch stammered. “Yeah, it’s totally his weener,” he eventually conceded.
I was about to lecture him when I remembered that he’s only like this because of me. Dammit.
Even though this is essentially an end of an era for Castle Blood, I do think it’s exciting to see what will rise from the proverbial ashes. I know that they’re going to own it, totally make it their bitch, because that’s what a cast of haunt-loving geniuses do. And let’s be honest, Gravely could make a shanty under a bridge into a world-class haunted attraction, and would probably even find a role for the hobos living in it.
I have a feeling that the future of Castle Blood is going to be bloated with Really Great Things (and hopefully another celebrity appearance by Alex Vincent). October can’t come fast enough!
(P.S. In the end, I actually carried THREE WHOLE THINGS from a car into the building! I find it hard to believe that no one patted me on the back.)