Maryland Outdoor Club
Fri, Nov 5 2004 - Haunted Overnight Prison Tour / Adventure Wknd (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Shelley Sanner, KC Yi
Participants:Rob, Leilani Ho, Ellen Worthing, Jenn Welsh, Tim Conlon, KC Yi, Pal Braten, Kevin McCarthy, Jonathan Mikhalevsky, Laura Paszkiewicz, Tracy Bartlett, Kathleen Hinman, Kate Copanic, Patrick Haas, Shelley Sanner, Justin Housenger, Anders Lofstrand

Write Up:
It started in the basement. We were standing in a tight clump, our arms brushing every now and then just to make sure we were all still there, our headlamps and flashlights illuminating the thick beams overhead, the room eerily hushed as we listened to the tour guide explain how R.D. was attacked in the next room. We felt the air turn cool against our faces as we imagined R.D. dragging his heavy body over to the place just beneath our feet, how his prison mates slashed his body, how the blood pooled on the concrete floor. 'Now turn off your lights', our guide said. For a few moments we stood there in the pitch blackness, in the middle of one of the hottest spots in the haunted Moundsville prison, our hearts racing.

Some things are even more chilling when you look back at them through the sharp filter of memory. How did we manage to tour all of the dark places of that prison? How did Kate, David, Stacy, and Patrick manage to go back to the north basement, turning off their lights and sitting in the dark for 20 minutes? Or how did we manage to climb up into the rafters of the Wagon Gate, the floorboards creaking and sagging beneath our feet? How did we crowd into the narrow cells of the high security wing, waiting while the heavy steel door clanged shut behind us, turning off our lights again as the darkness closed in on us?

All of these things were scary on Friday night, but they have become even scarier away from the prison. Scary to look at the pictures--pictures we took with our own cameras--and see the unexplainable bright spheres, the pindots of light, the blurry faces. Or to hear how Patrick and Kate lost power in their flashlights at exactly the same moment, always in exactly the same place, with the same flashlights that worked perfectly at home a few days later. Or to remember how our guide looked at the locked metal gate leading up to the south tower--the tower where the lights had been shining all night-- and told us he didn't know how anyone had managed to get up there to turn them on. Or to wonder about those unexplainable noises.

But even scary things must come to an end, and at 5 a.m. Saturday morning, the first MOCers started trickling out to their cars and heading off to the lodge with Shelley's excellent directions in hand. Fearless KC (worn out from his relentless terrorizing of unsuspecting and easily spooked MOCers) kept watch in the warm office with Anders while Laura experienced her last heart attack of the night. 'Oh, look at that spooky bus over there! she said to her brave friends Kevin and Jonathan as they walked across the center courtyard. And at just about the same moment she uttered those fateful words, Pal (hiding out with Shelley in the spooky bus) decided to lay on the horn. Apparently, Laura broke her personal best that night (just one week after the Marine Corps Marathon, no less!) as she sprinted across the lawn toward safety.

The last of us soon gathered in the office and packed our things, vowing to keep our gracious drivers awake in the two- hour trip to the Laurel Highlands Lodge. But it's so hard to stay awake after a night of sleeplessness and the warm air and constant motion of the car lulling you to sleep. In fact, what seems to work best for keeping everyone awake (listen up, future event organizers) is a unique concoction of unlucky events. Want to keep everyone alert? Just try being an event organizer and distributing MapQuest directions that read: Turn left, turn right, turn left. Don't bother with any street names or milestones or route numbers, but give the vaguest directions and then, when your participants call because they've been frantically driving around for a few hours, offer to caravan them directly to the lodge. Then proceed to drive up steep, windy dirt roads, make everyone do U-turns, drive back down the mounta

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