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The Mania Anti-Travel Guide
A cabin in the woods is not the only place should fear
By Tim Janson
September 24, 2012
Travel guides are frequently filled with destinations of beautiful sandy white beaches, lush crystal clear oceans, and exotic locales featuring four star dining and accommodations. But this is the Anti-Travel Guide. In it we’re going to point out destinations that you should avoid at all costs. Go around! Forget the shortcuts, spend the extra gas, and forget what the local Chamber of Commerce claims about the spot. Whatever you do…avoid these places. If you don’t, you’ll yearn to be on a 500 mile drive in the family station with your little brother farting and making faces the whole way! And remember, the Mania Anti-Travel Guide is designed to be interactive so be sure to share your own Must Not See destinations.
The first stop on our must-miss destination list is Haddonfield, Illinois. Haddonfield claims to boast quaint Midwestern appeal, and each year they send out the welcome mat to tourists for their world’s famous Halloween festival. But don’t be fooled. Their Halloween Festival is all a front to allow a nut who escaped from a mental institution to run around killing people with a butcher knife. And if that’s not bad enough he prances around in a ghoulish mask of a terrible monster…William Shatner. And if you do get hurt and are taken to the hospital, you’re odds of survival are even worse as the hospital apparently only has a staff of about 4 people and they are usually off drinking and soaking in a hot tub.
Next up we take a tour to the east and picturesque coastal village of Amityville, New York. Here, small town charm meets murder in some of the area’s historic Dutch Colonial homes. The clever real estate salespeople will hit with an offer that seems too good to be true…and it is! The homes in Amityville tend to be infested with flies, have doors that open and close by themselves, and walls that bleed. Oh, and they may have been built on ancient Indian burial grounds. Nope, don’t stop here. Keep moving along and find a nice ranch or even a well-kept condo. You do NOT want to take up residence in Amityville, NY.
From New York we travel up the coast for the next stop on our Anti-Travel Guide itinerary to Maine. Now we could have chosen to point out specific towns in Maine such as Castle Rock with its serial killers, rabid man-eating dogs, or its delightful antique stores specializing in cursed items. We could have mentioned Derry, Maine with its demonic clowns and hostile alien infestations. Then there are the vampires in Jerusalem’s Lot, the monsters in the mist of Bridgton, and the rat infested town of Harmony. Here’s a tip…ignore Maine completely. If you really need lobster that badly get it in Rhode Island or New Hampshire. No lobster is delectable enough to go through the trouble of traveling through Maine.
Camp Crystal Lake in New Jersey might sound like the ideal location to send little Jimmy and little Cathy for a couple of weeks to get out of mom and dad’s hair. They promise a beautiful lake with swimming, boating, and all sorts of other activities. What they fail to mention in the brochure is some of the other activities…like running for your lives from a maniacal killer in a goalie mask. Don’t look for help from the drunken, sex-crazed counselors either…If they’re not completely ignoring your kid’s desperate cry for help, they’re busy getting decapitated or disemboweled.
Springwood, Ohio is a very nice place to live…that is unless you have the misfortune of living on Elm Street. For years the residents of Elm Street have suffered from rampant insomnia and a rash of teenagers dying in their sleep. And their fashion sense or lack thereof? Who wears red and green striped sweaters and in the Summer no less? Oh and if for some reason you pass through Elm Street and the neighbors invite you to the block party barbecue…just say NO!
Just to the north of Boston lies a home rich in history…and insanity. Arkham, Massachusetts and environs will lure you in with its many historical 17th and 18th century homes but once they get you in, don’t plan on getting out. At nearby Mikatonic University mad scientists are bringing rotting corpses back to life. Strange, liquefying bodies are known to shown up uninvited on people’s front porches, houses are haunted by the spirits of witches, and then there’s those weird looking people from the nearby port town that look like fish. There is simply nothing good that can be gained in journeying through Arkham.
Woodsboro might be in Texas, it might be in Maryland, or it might be in another state. So here’s a fool-proof travel tip…If you see a sign that says Woodsboro, no matter where it may be, just turn around and go the other way. Putting on costumes to scare the neighbors is fine…Putting on costumes to kill the neighbors? Not so much. The teenagers there are obsessed with horror films. They can tell you what’s going to happen before it actually happens. And yet for some reason they still end up getting killed.
Generally it’s just a bad idea to travel the backwoods anywhere but especially if you take a Wrong Turn in the backwoods of West Virginia. Sure it looks tempting and serene for backpackers and campers but most people don’t make it out alive. In fact, if you go traipsing around the backwoods of West Virginia you’re more likely to end up on the menu of some seriously hungry mutants who have generations of sleeping with their sisters in their blood. And don’t think you’re going to be safe trying to hideout in that rundown mental hospital because they were there first!
And finally, the latest entry to our Anti-Travel guide is the Cabin in the Woods…ANY cabin in the woods. It doesn’t matter where it’s located. Bad things happen in these places…Demons are known to hide themselves in cellars, serial killers make these a home away from home, and cannibals cook up mouth-watering feasts. You might, if you are extremely unlucky, encounter a cabin in the woods that a bunch of tech geek chuckleheads are controlling just to get their jollies and bet on how you and your friends will all die, only to find you are a sacrifice to some ancient Gods.
Near more Cabin in the Woods features?
Check out Mania’s review of the Blu-ray’s Special Features (here). Check out the Shock-O-Rama Column where Mania breaks down all the creatures/ zombies/ dragon-bats and what inspired them (here).