By Togo Ornottogo
Staff Trav-Hell Writer
For those tired of magical sunsets on idyllic tropical beaches, clean, fresh-air hikes through majestic mountains and the vibrant nightlife of cool, cosmopolitan cities, it’s time to explore Transyl-vein-ia, a monster’s paradise packed with dark, very alive graveyards, endless, life-threatening jungles and seedy metropolises with horrors around every corner.
Transyl-vein-ia travelers are popping up everywhere, coming through portals from the human world and anxious to see the homes of their great, great and not-so-great ancestors. Even humans are coming through to try their luck in this danger zone.
This is your guide to Transyl-vein-ia. Each weekday through August and September, Jack-o’-Lantern Press will take you on a tour through all 13 districts of our great land. We’ll tell you what’s hot and what’s rot in each district in our Rot Spots stories. Then we’ll share the more charming places to visit and things to do in our Hidden Harms stories. To cap off each district, we’ll share with you the more serene locales in our Deceaseful Settings stories.
In the end, you won’t be any more able to take on the horrors of Transyl-vein-ia, but by knowing what to expect, you’ll be more terrified. And that makes all the difference.
Transyl-vein-ia was discovered centuries ago by The Founder. The Founder is part vampire, part werewolf, created in what we would call a lab today, was hunted by mad villagers, caught, mummified and tombed alive. Over 100 years later, tomb raiders freed him. He killed them and then sought his revenge on anyone who had anything to do with his torture, and then he found himself very alone.
In his search for a place to spend his endless days and for an endless supply of blood for his craving, The Founder came upon a land in the middle of what we now call The Unknown. There he found rivers of blood, enough for three lifetimes. So he needed more, but it was a start.
Due to this artery of red liquid running right through the land, The Founder named the place, Transyl-vein-ia. Note the “vein” in the name. We’re told The Founder was a punster. He built his home high on a hilltop, which still rests in the far corner of the Transyl-vein-ia Pines gated community.
Over the years, The Founder would travel the world, discover other dimensions through portals we still use today, terrorize all walks of life, get more needed blood, and attract other like-minded creatures on his way back home to Transyl-vein-ia.
These monsters, ghouls and goblins who followed him back would find their own corners of Transyl-vein-ia and make them their own, gradually forming the 13 Districts of Transyl-vein-ia:
1) Witches Meadow
2) Downtown Transyl-vein-ia
3) The Mad Science District
4) Transyl-vein-ia Hills
6) Bigfoot National Park
7) “The” Carpathian Mountains
8) Shadow City
9) Monster Island (in the Dead Sea)
10) The Black Lagoon
11) Valley of Doom
12) UFO Springs
13) Jack-o’-Lantern Park
Jack-o’-Lantern Press hopes to shed a little darkness into each of these gloomy districts. We won’t cover all the things to do, the shopping, the places to eat or the lodging, but we’ll highlight what we think is worth checking out on your own way to checking out.
Transyl-vein-ia is a great, big, horrifyingly terrible land. We look forward to you visiting. And to those of you who already live here, we look forward to you getting to know your home better . . . for the badder.
This story (actually by Michael Picarella) also appeared in Jack-o’-Lantern Press, a monster blog for monsters only, from Michael Picarella, his brother, Tom Picarella, and Michael’s son, Robert Picarella. JLP posts monster news and entertainment weekdays between the months of August and October, and occasionally throughout the year.