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Your Go-To Source For Mid Atlantic Destinations


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The Ultimate Pumpkin Experience in Kenova, WV; October 24 & 25, 2014

Image Courtesy of C-K Autumn Fest, Inc.

Image Courtesy of C-K Autumn Fest, Inc.

Many people drive miles to see elaborate Christmas displays, but Kenova West Virginia lights up the night for another holiday celebration—Halloween. In 1978, the Pumpkin House tradition began with only 5 pumpkins carved for a Halloween display. Since then, the number of hand-carved pumpkins has grown to 3,000. At night, the lights can be seen from across the river in Ohio.

Image Courtesy of C-K Autumn Fest, Inc.

Image Courtesy of C-K Autumn Fest, Inc.

Every Halloween season, the house at 748 Beech Street in Kenova, West Virginia is transformed into the Great Pumpkin House. The owner, Ric Griffith and hundreds of other volunteers carve thousands of pumpkins for display at his home every Halloween.

Image Courtesy of C-K Autumn Fest, Inc.

Image Courtesy of C-K Autumn Fest, Inc.

This illuminated wonder, which welcomes nearly 30,000 visitors each year, takes center stage at a Victorian house, dating back to 1891, at 748 Beech Street. Formerly, the house was notable as a stopping place for President Grover Cleveland. Now, it’s famous the number of glowing jack-o’-lanterns.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/C-K-AutumnFest-Inc/373688296037794?ref=stream


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Zombie Shoot-Out at WV Penitentiary in Moundsville, WV

Image Courtesy of West Virginia Penitentiary

Image Courtesy of West Virginia Penitentiary

West Virginia Penitentiary has added a thrilling new attraction to the fall line-up of fun with their Zombie Paintball. Zombies are loose on the South Yard, and it’s up to you to save the town at the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville, WV. Grab one of their stationary paintball guns and do your best with live, unarmed zombie targets. From 7:00 p.m. until closing, zombies will be waiting for you. Zombie Paintball runs concurrently with the Dungeon of Horrors and the North Walk.

Image Courtesy of West Virginia Penitentiary

Image Courtesy of West Virginia Penitentiary

The Dungeon of Horrors is filled with new and thrilling experiences this year. Over 10,000 people each year are introduced to one of the scariest places behind bars. In The Dungeon of Horrors you can experience the fright of being locked in a cell, the fear of being lost in a maze, and the terror of an eerie walk through the dungeon of horrors. Will you manage to keep up with your group and not get separated? Do you have what it takes to make it through? Don’t worry, our actors will be there to help you along. (Snicker.) Warnings and rules apply; take them seriously. Especially the one about live bats.

The North Walk will take you through the oldest part of the former West Virginia Penitentiary. It is also known as the area with the most paranormal activity, a place where murders, violence and brutality were common everyday occurrences. This was where the most dangerous inmates were housed, the maximum security area, North Hall; the inmates called it – The Alamo.

Image Courtesy of West Virginia Penitentiary

Image Courtesy of West Virginia Penitentiary

You will enter this part of the prison through the “Administration Building” and the “wheel” – these areas have been closed to the public for years and only opened for the Haunted House season. The North Walk is not an attraction, but a flashlight tour of an area that was once considered one of the bloodiest institutions in the nation.

There are no actors on the North Walk. It’s just your group, your tour guide, a flashlight, and a few tales from the past. The areas that you will visit include: North Hall, the Boiler Room, The Infirmary, and The Psych Ward.

If these events sound a little too intense for the younger members of your family, the WV Penitentiary has a Kid’s Night on Monday, October 27th, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Designed for children ages 1 – 6, the trick-or-treat style event, allows children to spend time gathering goodies from several tables, playing games, taking pictures on a fire truck, face painting, and having fun.

Family Night, October 28th, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. is designed for Kids ages 7-12. The “Lil Dungeon of Horrors” is a scaled-down version of the haunted house specifically designed for younger children that might not be ready for the “full” Dungeon. They do not recommend anyone under the age of 13 to attend the regular season Dungeon of Horrors.

The actors will NOT be in full costume and will respect smaller haunted house attendees. Use the phrase “Monster Be Good”, if it gets too scary!

http://www.wvpentours.com/tickets.htm


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Bridge Day Tandem BASE Jump Contest, New River Gorge, West Virginia

Do You Have What it Takes?

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The countdown has started to the New River Gorge Bridge Day on Saturday, October 18, 2014. On that day, BASE jumpers leap 800+ feet into the New River Gorge below, or are launched by the Human Catapult. Rappelling, skydiving, and more adventure abound. You ready?

Image Courtesy of Bridge Day

Image Courtesy of Bridge Day

BASE stands for Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth. BASE jumpers leap from any and all of these four fixed objects with parachutes designed specifically for rapid deployment. Known around the world as the most extreme of extreme sports, BASE jumpers look forward to Bridge Day ® every year.

The New River Gorge Bridge saw its first BASE jumpers in 1979, just 2 years after the bridge was completed and opened to the public. As more and more people entered the sport, the tradition of coming to West Virginia for Bridge Day has grown- more than 800 jumps were made last year.

The vast majority of people (more than 80,000 expected) visit to Bridge Day to watch. All of the jumpers are registered, and can make as many jumps as they are able to within a six hour window.

Image Courtesy of Bridge Day

Image Courtesy of Bridge Day

This year the folks at Bridge Day are once again teaming up with Vertical Visions and Subaru to offer one lucky winner the chance to tandem BASE jump off of the New River Gorge Bridge.

Think it should be you?

Then create a video that shows the world why you should be chosen to jump. A charity of your choice will also receive a $1,000 donation, courtesy of Subaru. So be sure to also tell everyone all about your charity and why you’re willing to jump off a Bridge for it.

Guidelines & Requirements:
-Must be at least 18 years of age
-Must weigh 200 lbs. or less and be capable of an active lifestyle
-Must wear athletic shoes or hiking boots
-Must sign our liability waiver

Video submissions will be accepted on Facebook beginning Friday, August 15, 2014. All submissions must be uploaded by 11:59 PM on Tuesday, September 2. Voting will begin on Wednesday, September 3 and end on Wednesday September 10 at 11:59 PM.

Contest Rules:
-Videos should be no more than 3 minutes in length
-Creativity is encouraged
-Voted on by Bridge Day fans
-Video becomes property of Bridge Day

To enter, go here: http://officialbridgeday.com/tandem-base-jump-contest/


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Zombie Splatter Fun at Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, Weston, WV

Image Courtesy of Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Image Courtesy of Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

More dates added for fall splatter fun!

Zombies have risen from the graveyards back on the farm, help contain the infestation.
The truck leaves every 30 minutes.
Every Friday and Saturday night.
Starts at 7:00 pm last ride is at 11:30 pm.
September 26th, 27th
October 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th, 24th, 25th, 31st
November 1st

Details:
Advanced tickets can be purchased over the phone at 304-269-5070
$20 dollars a person
100 paint balls included
Reloads of 100 available during ride for $5.00
No equipment needed. You do the shooting.

Tickets can be purchased Friday and Saturday Evening either at the ticket booth or over the phone if you need a certain time.

BE AWARE there are only 18 tickets every 30 minutes and is expected to sell out fast.

Any questions please email Secretary@talawv.com or
call 304-269-5070.

http://www.trans-alleghenylunaticasylum.com/main/zpb/zombiepaintball.html

Sometimes being a travel writer is too much fun, especially when you come across notices like this first thing in the morning:

ALL ZOMBIE TICKETS ARE FIRST COME FIRST SERVE TODAY!!! Don’t worry about getting your timed ticket online today, just come to the main entrance and choose your time to battle! No equipment or experience necessary and you will not be shot!

I had to back-track a bit, to find out that the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia is holding a ZOMBIE PAINT BALL event today, Saturday, August 2, 2014 from 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm. Truck leaves every 30 minutes. 100 paint balls included. Reloads available for $5.00. http://www.talawv.com.

I feel like the notice should come with one of those movie disclaimers, “no actual zombies will be hurt during the filming of this event.”

Get out there and do your best zombie shuffle.

Update: They are running the ZOMBIE PAINT BALL in the daytime, every Saturday until the last weekend of September. Volunteers still needed to be zombies. Tickets until October are $15.00 per person.


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Durbin & Greenbrier Valley RR, WV brings the Wild West to Life

Image Courtesy of Durbin & Greenbrier Valley RR

Image Courtesy of Durbin & Greenbrier Valley RR

Western characters make surprise appearances during Durbin & Greenbrier Valley RR Wild West Weekend. Their steam driven trains are tempting targets of robbers, but never fear, there hold-up is all in fun.

Durbin & Greenbrier Valley RR operate beautifully refurbished and historic locomotives that depart from both Elkins and Durbin depots, which allow travelers the opportunity to enjoy scenic West Virginia from an entirely new perspective — aboard any one of their four unique trains. From April to December, The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad offers Five Mountain Rail Adventures, each with its own unique journey, into some of the best scenery this side of the Rockies.

Their unique collection of trains roll through a potpourri of West Virginia mountain wilderness areas. Choose to chug alongside a clean, mountain river, and take in the sights of rolling meadows of wildflowers and the sounds of a genuine steam locomotive. Climb to over 4,000 feet in elevation in a powerful diesel, burrow under the mighty Cheat Mountain and negotiate the two sharpest mainline railroad curves in the U.S.

For more information: http://mountainrailwv.com/
Durbin & Greenbrier Valley RR Wild West Weekend
AUGUST 9 & 10, 2014
Departs Durbin Depot 10 am & 2:30 pm both days
Ticket Prices:
Adults (Age 12-64) – $35
Seniors (Age 65 & Older) – $32
Children (Age 4-11) – $25
Children under 4 – Free


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Mid-Atlantic Mothman Alert! Sightings in Point Pleasant, WV

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

Okay, it’s a TV series and not an actual sighting, but when a cocooned skeleton is found in a tree, Bones’ bugman Hodgins (played by T.J.Thyne) had high hopes that they’d found a Mothman.

While “The Archeologist in the Cocoon,” the eleventh episode of the eighth season of Bones, featured a run-of-the-mill murder, there have been real Mothman sightings in and around Point Pleasant, WV. Even the Animal Planet has featured the creature.

http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/lost-tapes/videos/mothman.htm

Mothman legends have been around for close to 50 years. Original reports date from November 12, 1966 to December 15, 1967. Eye witnesses say the bird-like creature stands about 6 feet, 10 inches tall, has glowing red eyes and a 15-foot wingspan.

  Images taken by Kristin Cozart of Ashley Watts Photography (AWP)


Images taken by Kristin Cozart of Ashley Watts Photography (AWP)

Five men preparing a grave in the local cemetery made the first reported sighting on November 12, 1966. They described a “brown human being” rising out of nearby trees and flying over their heads. In typical fashion, the newly designated monster wasted no time and began stalking lovers parked on sequestered dark roads. On November 15, 1966, two young couples from Point Pleasant told police they saw a large white creature whose eyes “glowed red” in the car headlights. The “large flying man with ten-foot wings” followed their car as they tried to escape through “the TNT area,” the site of a former World War II munitions plant.

TNT area during WWII. Image Courtesy of Mothman Festival

TNT area during WWII. Image Courtesy of Mothman Festival

  Images taken by Kristin Cozart of Ashley Watts Photography (AWP)


Images taken by Kristin Cozart of Ashley Watts Photography (AWP)

If you want to add the Mothman to your life-list, check out the Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant, WV, home of the largest collection of props from the 2002 movie “The Mothman Prophecies,” artifacts, and Mothman memorabilia. Mothman bus tours will take you through the area where sighting have been reported.

The Annual Mothman Festival is one of the biggest and strangest events in the region. Each September, visitors travel to see the famous “Mothman Statue”, Mothman Museum; meet original eyewitnesses, authors and Mothman experts. I’m curious about the “Mothman Ball, but no details are available at this time. If it’s costume, but sure to take a close look at your dance partner. 😉

During the Mothman Festival, bus tour tickets sell out early. Plan well in advance.

2014 MOTHMAN BUS TOUR SCHEDULE:
July 12th & 26th
August 2nd, 9th, 23rd & 30th
September 6th & 27th
September 20th (The Mothman Festival)
September 21st (The Mothman Festival)
October 11th & 25th
November 8th & 23rd
December 6th & 13th

For more information:

The Mothman Museum
411 Main St
Point Pleasant,
http://www.mothmanmuseum.com/index.html

The Annual Mothman Festival
http://mothmanfestival.com/

Mothman Lives!
http://www.mothmanlives.com/


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West Virginia’s Free Fishing Weekend is June 7-8, 2014

Photo Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce. West Virginia's Free Fishing Days are June 7 and 8, 2014.

Photo Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce. West Virginia’s Free Fishing Days are June 7 and 8, 2014.

National Fishing and Boating Week 2014 will be highlighted by the 24th annual Free Fishing Weekend June 7-8, according to Frank Jezioro, Director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR). During these two days, residents and nonresidents can fish in West Virginia without a license.

“It is a great opportunity to remind people of the fun of fishing, especially with family and friends. If you already have a license, take someone fishing — it may be your children, spouse or co-worker – and introduce them to a lifetime of outdoor enjoyment,” Jezioro said.

DNR participates in a number of activities during National Fishing and Boating Week and Free Fishing Weekend. One of the largest and most successful events is the Bowden Fishing Derby that will be held June 7 at the Bowden Hatchery in Randolph County. Children must register for the event, and they will receive basic fishing instruction and will have the opportunity to enjoy time fishing with friends and family. Registration information for the Bowden Derby can be found at http://www.wvdnr.gov/2014%20Derby%20Flier.pdf.

National Fishing and Boating Week began as a promotional activity sponsored by the sportfishing industry, encouraging fishing around Father’s Day. The recreational boating industry partnered with its sportfishing counterparts to develop a fishing and boating educational campaign.

http://www.wvdnr.gov/2014news/14news093.shtm