Staff Re-EEEK!-tirement Writer
Located close to the alligator-infested swamps and the Stench Quarter with its rotting zombies, and boasting incredible views of the world’s most popular lagoon and the creatures bathing there, the Black Lagoon (a Del SpiderWebb retirement community) provides a sought-after lifestyle with haunted homes that feature creaky designs, creepy old crypts and bad weather year-round.
Set against the backdrop that inspired New Orleans and the bayous in the human world, Del SpiderWebb offers residences, for 105-year-olds and older, in communities that promote active retirements.
“World-class amenities,” SpiderWebb said, “and the fact that our community is constantly buzzing with activities, clubs, classes and events -- that make living in the Black Lagoon a fun and exciting environment for active adult monsters and ghosts -- were two reasons why the Black Lagoon was voted the No. 1 place to go to retire for 200 years straight.”
Those who dwell in the Black Lagoon tell others not to be left out in the sunlight. The community still has plenty of room for more kooks and creeps, offering an enviable line-up of resort-style amenities, including 13 golf courses, six recreation centers, six toxic bathing ponds and six worship centers. There’s also a hospital at the Cypresses in Boo Bayou where doctors can do even more hideous things to your looks.
But according to SpiderWebb, the Black Lagoon isn’t a place you visit for fun.
“You don’t come here for a leisurely vacation,” he said. “You come here to find and buy a home.”
The Black Lagoon gets ghouls, goblins, werewolves and zombies from all over Transyl-vein-ia who are looking to take up residency in one of the many dingy homes on Haunted Mansion Row, a place where they can ply their trade of slinking around dark halls, practicing their terror and raising the dead.
“When we set out to build our housing tracts over 200 years ago,” said homebuilder Jerry Rig, “we put homebuyers at the forefront of the design process. The home designs are the result of extensive consumer research and analysis of buyer feedback that, in the end, we ignored but were glad to have done anyway. We instead took on the challenge of coming up with what we thought would best reflect the way monsters and ghosts would want to experience life and the afterlife.”
Over 70 percent of the consumers polled said they wanted to have their space. So SpiderWebb and company built the structures in Haunted Mansion Row on top of each other.
“We’ve got several different design layouts homebuyers are able to choose from,” SpiderWebb said. “And so far they’ve worked for all kinds of spirits. Take for example the haunter over at the Red Room Estate. He couldn’t be happier. About 100 years ago, he turned over his scaring duties in the top tower of the Haunted Hotel in the Carpathian Mountains to his son, and he’s now doing his red room routine recreationally in the tower of his own home. He chose the Haunted House With Tower design, which is probably our most popular model.”
There’s also the Haunted House With Conservatory design that man-eating plants typically choose to make their home. They love sitting in the glass room, just growing there all day and eating any unsuspecting guests.
All of the designs include cemeteries.
“About 60 percent of the consumers we polled said they wanted their own graveyards,” SpiderWebb said. “We actually listened to that request and, as a result, each home has its own, fully stocked cemetery.”
More than 90 percent of the ghouls and goblins questioned in that same poll said they had no interest in an entertaining atmosphere. That’s when the creators of the Black Lagoon got to work on Transyl-vein-ia’s best flow of eating and entertainment spaces that could provide residents the ideal setting for entertaining family and friends, which is right down the street from the housing.
The now-popular Stench Quarter is full of some of the most amazing restaurants with the most awful food you’ll ever taste.
“We pride ourselves in our brains here in the Quarter,” said Chef Gore May. “We even serve chicken, which many will tell you tastes like brains.”
The Quarter is also a not-so-lively place to go. Nothing is alive there. Zombies roam there night and day in their dead-alive state, finding joy in anything that moves.
The entertainment in the Quarter is top-notch.
“There’s nothing like shrieks and moans set to ragtime piano,” said popular ragtime ghoul Art Aitum. “I play at the Ghost Club down in the Quarter, and the walkers milling around there seem to howl and groan anytime I play a good old-fashioned rag.”
Then there’s the annual Mardi Gr-AHHHH! Festival, reflecting the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty brains before the ritual of eating them again the next night. Annual? The event is so popular they have it every day.
The most popular attraction in the Black Lagoon, however, is the lagoon itself. Made even more popular by the human world’s recreation of the lagoon in the Amazon for the movie “The Creature from the Black Lagoon,” the original Black Lagoon here boasts the greatest swimming areas at Creature Cove.
“We built fun ‘land features’ like beaches and resorts filled with people for creatures to attack,” SpiderWebb said. “And we have boats like the tramp steamer, Rita, that creatures can climb onto for the helpless prey onboard. They can pull any of those victims down into the mysterious depths of the lagoon for all the fun they can imagine.”
Creature Cove, SpiderWebb added, is one more example of how he and his Black Lagoon developers pride themselves in spending no money on capital improvements each year to ensure the amenities remain dangerous and enviable to all, and so that the community stays behind the trends that newer communities think are so great.
This is one in a series of TRAVEL STORIES from the 13 districts of Transyl-vein-ia. These stories run weekdays between August and September. Jack-o’-Lantern Press’s regular news and entertainment coverage will continue in October.