By Togo Ornottogo
Staff Trav-Hell Writer
MONSTER ISLAND—Nightmarish works from your mind and everyone else’s minds are now on display in the Hole of Nightmares at the peak of Monster Mountain, the mightiest volcano of them all.
Dr. Nightmare, who began many years ago as the dull and studious Dr. Night, figured out how to rip people’s nightmares from their thoughts and bring them into being. Upon the overpopulation of the monster world in the early days of monsterhood as a result of this creation of life, causing a housing crisis for nearly every district in the land, Transylveinya officials banished the doc and his creations to the giant hole in the mountain, and have had him and his monsters trapped in there ever since.
“Holy smokes, that hole’s a mess,” said former Transylveinya President Phantom of the Opera, who was a city councilmonster at the time of the banishing. “The doctor is constantly accessing nightmares from your sleep and mine, and he’s been bringing them to life in that hole with no room to spare. You see, when we designed the hole, we lined it with monster proofing that can’t be cracked. And guess what? There’s no bathroom and no seepage in that hole, which is a whole other mess.”
Now, for the first time, those interested (and armed with the proper full-face respirator mask to combat the stench) can take the Scare-ial Tramway, the longest and most dangerous aerial tramway in any world, to the top of Monster Mountain and walk up to the rim of the Hole of Nightmares to look down through the monster-proof glass at all the horrors inside. You might even see Dr. Nightmare himself.
“B.Y.O.N.,” said the skeleton that operates the Scare-ial Tramway at the foot of Monster Mountain. “That means ‘Bring Your Own Nightmares.’ Because if Dr. Nightmare gets a hold of your thoughts, he’ll bring them to life, and some creatures’ nightmares are truly, truly awful. It’s awesome!”
According to curators of the exhibit, secret codes, emergency release levers behind glass and evil spells are easily accessible in and around the mountain, and just waiting for some evil mind with evil plans to release the nightmares in an evil plot to take over the world. It should make for a really bad, really predictable monster movie, but without all the stop-motion effects.
If all that doesn’t scare you, then hop aboard the Death Cruise at the Monster Mountain Docks near the foot of Monster Mountain (admission included in your Scare-ial Tramway ticket in a 2-fer deal that’s for a limited time only—expires in 100 years). Seagoing vacations have come a long way since the Titanic. These days, passengers have the opportunity to go down in flames for their fun and enjoyment.
The White Cloud, a ghost ship that once sailed every year on the first new moon of the fall, is known for catching fire.
“Back in the days of sailing ships,” said historian Wade Pickwick, “people from all over the world were coming to America looking for a new start in life . . . The White Cloud was a vessel that carried people on those journeys, and during one such journey the crew plotted and murdered the wealthy passengers aboard, took their belongings, set fire to the ship and escaped in a long boat. During the escape, however, the wind shifted and the ship, which had become a mass of flames, bore down directly on the long boat. The mighty villains took to the oars, but it was no use. The blazing, sinking ship split the small boat in half, and all hands were lost.”
According to the story, the ship reappeared annually for years, bursting into a great fireball, and the lost souls of that historic journey reprised their roles as the doomed ones with howls and wails while they relived the magnificent disaster.
“About a decade ago, we got the idea to turn the yearly excursion into the hourly, luxurious ‘Death Cruise’ that it’s known as today,” said White Cloud Cruises CEO Earl Denning. “Families, for instance, will enjoy the pure terror that our unique cruise line has to offer. The smell of burning canvas, rope and human flesh is one of the big takeaways. Of course, all monsters love the part where they catch fire and sink into the mighty Atlantic. Everyone screams along. It’s great.”
You don’t have to purchase tickets for the Scare-ial Tramway to get tickets for the cruise. Individual cruise tickets are also available for the same price as the tram (admission for the Scare-ial Tramway and the Hole of Nightmares included in your Death Cruise ticket). Ships set sail every hour on the hour from the old world and never reach their destination. Go to WhiteCloudCruises.mon to book your trip now.
Leonardo da Vampire, Jack-o’-Lantern Press Staff Arts, Crafts, Blood & Guts Writer, contributed to this story.
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. It will be included in their upcoming book, “Transylveinya Traveler: A Travel Guide for Monsters, Ghosts, Vampires, Aliens, Werewolves, Witches, Zombies, Demons . . . And Mad Scientists, Too.”