When it comes to experiencing eldritch horrors Arkham is always the first place everyone thinks of. You might be surprised to learn that there are actually many great places right here in Baltimore, Maryland where you too can peer into the maddening void and experience reality bending horrors without leaving town. Here are the top 5 according to staff at The Nevermore Haunt:
#5 – The large dark puddle at the end of Pier 13, the one with the funny smell and the flies
Stare down into the puddle. Don’t touch the puddle, it’s gross. Just stare. If you look closely you might just see something familiar staring back. Spooky.
“The Eldritch Horror I encountered here wasn’t particularly horrifying. He was kind of cute actually” – Stephen F. Anderson, Nevermore staff Make-up Artist.
#4 – Chaps Pit Beef in the parking lot of the Gold Club
What is the secret to Chap’s success? How do they make such savory, juicy, magically delicious pit beef? Don’t ask the hooded figures that assemble for lunch every 3rd Saturday afternoon. Really, you shouldn’t even acknowledge the hooded figures chowing down on their pit beef sandwiches. We’ve probably already said too much.
“Treat yourself and get the Pit Beef & Corned Beef combo, don’t forget the onions and the tiger sauce. Definitely the best Pit Beef in America. The 2nd bathroom, the one with the door that doesn’t close all the way, don’t use that one. Yeah, ugh, Eldrich Horror in there. Trust me.” – Pat Westin, Nevermore Sideshow Performer
#3 – The 7-Eleven on Charles in Mt. Vernon
We know you already know. Everyone knows.
“Who do I have to summon on this Ouija board to get more of those Jalapeno Cream Cheese taquitos?” – Bill Turly, Nevermore Custodian
#2 – The Top of the Patterson Park Observatory, Just before sunrise on the winter solstice.
Before you head to the park you’ll want to pack some smudging sage, 5 tall boys of Natty Boh and a tin of Old Bay Seasoning (that is correct, the old Old Bay, it’s gotta be in the metal container). Sprinkle the Old Bay as you climb the stairs of the observatory to the top deck, feel free to eat a little on the way if you must. When you reach the top floor step out on the deck, feel the cold winter air in your lungs. Breathe deep. Before beginning the ceremony you’ll want to burn some sage. Create a circle of Old Bay Seasoning on the floor of the deck and stand inside. Place each tall boy of Natty Boh around the circle of Old Bay seasoning equidistant from one another, cracking each one as you place them. From the safety of your Old Bay circle look out across Patterson Park, find the red glow Natty Boh Man in the distance. Just as the sun crests over Highlandtown close your eyes, raise your arms skyward and singing out:
“Good morning Baltimore
Every day’s like an open door
Every night is a fantasy
Every sound’s like a symphony
Good morning Baltimore
And some day when I take to the floor
The world’s gonna wake up and see
Baltimore and me”
When you open your eyes you will see the full horror of Boh, a 6,000ft tall cyclopean horror rising from beneath Brewer’s Hill. You can watch from the safety of the Observatory as he devours the entire city block by block. You and everyone else properly stocked with Old Bay Seasoning will be safe from the destruction.
“This seems like a really bad idea, why are we telling people how to do this?” – Jon Jacobs, Nevermore Fire Safety Coordinator
#1 – Aisle 7 at the Giant on E. 33rd in Waverly
Walk the wrong way down Aisle 7 at the Giant in Waverly and you might encounter Gerald, the stock boy. Gerald is a friendly young man, earnest, helpful and friendly. He always has been. Ask Gerald where to find the pickled onions. Follow Gerald. Left down aisle 6, faster and faster, and right down aisle 2. Keep pace, do not fall behind. Left, right, right, left, Aisle after aisle pass by in a blur. You find yourself moving faster than seems possible. You move through a produce aisle, the fruits and vegetables rotting before your eyes. Don’t lose sight of Gerald. Another left just passed the organic greens, now brown and wilted. As you begin to float through the dairy aisle the air is thick with the stench of rotten milk and eggs. You effortlessly move through the bakery section. From the corners of your eyes you can see shadowy forms, hunched, baguettes held in their elongated claw like hands. Their eyes follow you as you move through. They clutch their baguettes closer as you pass. The aisles start to fall away. The Bakery Falls away. The Shadowy Figures in the bakery fall away as well. The stench of rotted foods fades. All senses fade. Don’t lose sight of Gerald. He’s moving so fast. Your mind is consumed with the goal before you; Gerald, a dream of pickled onions and the chase. Everything else has dissolved away, your family, your job, the entire world. Welcome to the pickle aisle.
“I do love me a good pickled onion” – Sara McMurphy, Nevermore Costume Designer