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Nightmare’s Gate 2015


This past weekend I decided that I needed to relax in anticipation of the upcoming 11th Annual PiratePalooza™ Pubcrawl & Pubsing, so I called around to my friends hoping one of them was foolish enough to answer their phone and reveal their location to me.  In retrospect I rather wish that I stayed on the ship and watched an Alf marathon because I’d have saved myself a rather extensive laundry bill and avoided a shocking case of full-body poison ivy caught from hiding naked in the woods overnight.

At least I can provide a public service to my friends and crew by telling you to STAY AWAY FROM DOUGLASVILLE!!!

Seriously, those people are not messing around out there.  If you are for some reason unable or unwilling to consider this general advice (freely given), you should consider my next nugget of more specific advice regarding Douglasville, namely:  do NOT go near the haunted hall of terror named Nightmare’s Gate!!!!!!! {}

Allow me to explain why I say this…

So the only person to answer my phone call that day was Miss Lindsay, one the sponsors of this weekend’s PiratePalooza pubcrawl. As happens, she had been feeling particularly fearless that afternoon and had dragged her timid beau Thomas out for a preview of Nightmare’s Gate, and so I agreed to meet them there, arriving as the sun set.

The first thing I noticed about the place was a thickening mist that seemed to emerge from the shadows as the clear sky faded from blue to indigo.  As I walked up to make my greetings at the front gate I felt tiny pinpricks on the back of my neck, as if a thousand eyes were watching me – glancing over my shoulder I caught the hint of a thousand glowing eyes, infested with some dark malice.


Lindsay quickly introduced me to several others: Carson, a hip young man wearing a trilby and sporting an elaborate neck tattoo; Dana, a busty blonde girl wearing a remarkably tight university t-shirt; and Alfeo, a middle-aged African-American man sporting a Panavision hat and an Atlanta United soccer jersey.

With the fog closing in an indefinably disturbing noise emerged from the trees. As the noise grew louder we were driven closer and closer toward an imposing wall that loomed over the gravel lot in which we stood. Were I to hazard a guess I would say that the wall was designed more toward keeping things in than for keeping us out, yet the mounting threat of the glowing eyes and keening buzz made the other side of that wall quite desirable. The gate was locked and impenetrable, but fortunately for us some poor soul had crashed a large automobile into the wall. Growing closer it became quickly apparent that the vehicle was a hearse, which did nothing to calm Thomas’ mounting hysteria. Carson peered into the back of the hearse and gave the handle on the back door a tug. It opened!

Thinking quickly, Lindsay yanked the handle of the coffin door from Carson and flung it wide to reveal that the car had been somehow stripped from the inside and now served as the entrance to some great burrow dug down into the earth. She shoved Carson and Dana into the passage, then motioned for the rest of us to follow her. Alfeo yanked the door closed behind him then slammed the door lock. There’s no way to know whether this was of any use, but it certainly made me feel better!

The stench was awful inside that burrow, but it was quieter than the mounting madness outside and we counted ourselves lucky for such a trade. We wanted to distance ourselves ever further from what was happening outside the hearse, and after feeling around a bit Lindsay discovered a twisting passage and pulled us along after her until we emerged in what I can only describe as a sewer to Hell.


Alfeo loudly and clearly announced “Hell, NO!”

But Alfeo wasn’t about to go back the way that we’d come, so we moved forward.  Dank water slicked the sides of the sewer tunnel and trickled beneath our feet as we stumbled and splashed our way ahead and ever downward.


There were things that I witnessed (or believed that I witnessed) during that passage that I dare not allow my mind to wander back upon.  This place was not right, nor good, nor wholly of this world.  Dana had settled into a state of permanent shivering and she cried constantly. At some point I realized that, mercy of mercies, we were at least climbing upward again, and so I allowed myself to believe that we were returning to the world whose rules I knew and understood. Instead, we emerged into a back-alley chirurgeon’s gore-filled workshop. Thomas’ shrieks and Dana’s sobs were drowned out by the shouts of the mad denizens of that place, and were it not for Lindsay’s quick thinking we would have died upon that spot, I have no doubt.


But we did not die then, for Lindsay found an escape hatch…


…and dragged us out of the laboratory, past the cells of the unfortunate souls held in cages, being slowly tortured out of their life essences. I shall never forget their cries mingled with my own, or the coppery smell of death hanging in those pitch black passages.


We emerged into a gladed mist-shrouded marsh, safe from the madmen behind us, but unsure of every footstep through this treacherous swamp.  And we were not alone in that swamp, for fell beasts sprung from nightmares roamed just at the edge of our vision.  Thomas found a boat in the reeds, but it had an enormous hole in its side and there was no way to free it from the mud.


So we pressed forward until Lindsay spotted a ramshackle voodoo shack, seemingly floating along the edge of the swamp.


I was in sight of the shack when I felt the ground rumble and felt a great passage of air to my left. Turning to look behind me I saw Carson rising up in the air like a ghost, blood draining from scores of puncture wounds made by the enormous teeth of an enormous alligator that had burst from the depths. The last I saw of Carson was his dead eyes staring at me as his body sank quietly beneath the water.

From that point forward I can only remember bits and pieces… being lost in a terrifying expanse of clawing creatures, clambering through a hole that had been broken through a brick wall into a slaying chamber, a dizzying passage through a supernatural tunnel, a terrible shrinking room, and nearly getting Dana to hold me tight.

Mostly that last one.

So you can imagine how infuriated I became when Alfeo pushed busty little Dana into the maw of an impossible large creature which was attacking him outside of a haunted carnival (seriously), but when I confronted the guy about getting rid of the darling little wench that I’d had my eye on he dropped me with a left hook and screamed down at me “Screw you Drew, this black man ain’t about to die in this stupid ass scarehouse!!”

To his defense, I believe that Alfeo lasted at least 3 more rooms before being cut clean in half by a thing that you would not believe unless you’d seen it for yourself.

By the time Lindsay, Thomas and I crawled outside to the parking lot, we were bathed in terror, but ready to do it all over again!!!


However the ticket line was really busy and I was feeling a bit peckish so I decided to first treat myself to a chocolate rum butter parfait from a nearby Dairy Wench location, and before I remembered that I sometimes have strange reactions to rum butter I had a strange reaction to rum butter, stripping out of all my clothes and running off in the woods, where I rolled around until sometime after daybreak.

Nightmare’s Gate opens on September the 25th if YOU would like to attend, but please allow me to repeat my first statement: STAY AWAY FROM DOUGLASVILLE, because I do NOT want you people making the line any longer for ME!!!!!

That place is seriously fun!


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