Shrouded in groves of leafless trees, Darkside Haunted Estates looms ominously. Dilapidated black shutters hang from the two-story house's white, weather-beaten siding, and behind its black door, nightmares have stirred to life for more than two decades. Throughout its eerie grounds, the staff has installed dynamic special effects on a collection of attractions that has ballooned to more than a dozen, including a quarter-mile haunted trail and a backwoods hayride. Unsettling sites tell the estate's sordid story through the Darkside Mortuary, Rottenkorr Cemetery, and The Manor. They’ve also installed a "Fame of Shame" board, which keeps track of visitors who bail early and of monsters who faint at the sight of their own fake blood.
Entering its inaugural season, the 10 unique scenes of Haunted Forest at Panic Point challenge adventurous scare devils to brave 2,000 feet of moonlit terror, where they'll meet the meat-eating proprietor of a circus staffed by cannibals and a pack of grannies seeking revenge. Like a convention for claustrophobes, the entire attraction takes place outdoors, so the assorted axe murderers and maniacs can attack from any angle. After escaping the forest's treacherous tendrils, guests can gather any remaining sanity in the Circle, Panic Point's sphere of safety, where they can dance the devilish night away to tunes spun by a live DJ or watch classic horror movies projected on a 31-foot screen.
The mobile historians at Triangle Glides lead tours through the most exciting locations in Raleigh's past and present. They spin tales as groups glide past modern and historic landmarks on the Downtown Discovery tour or learn of riots, duels, and public hangings during a more macabre tour, aptly named Raleigh's Darkest Secrets. In other tours, groups travel into the 19th-century neighborhood of Oakwood and enjoy the lush grounds of Oakwood Cemetery, the final resting place of nearly 1,500 Confederate soldiers.
This sort of exploration is the foundation of Triangle Glides, but its Segways are restricted to land. To explore the area's waters, the company also sells and rents standup paddleboards. Resident instructors can help newbies master these watercraft during seasonal lessons on nearby Lake Wheeler, where paddlers find calm waters surrounded by leafy forests.
Now in its eighth year, the Downtown Raleigh Living Tour sends casual browsers and serious shoppers alike on a self-guided exploration of downtown dwellings. Contemporary condos, beautifully restored homes, and burgeoning neighborhoods join forces to present a mixture of housing styles and locations, enabling tour-takers to survey the city's full spectrum of living options. Information hotspots along the route dole out budget-saving tips, and for additional suggestions, most homeowners will be available at featured abodes to answer questions and make sure excitable garages stay on their leashes. In order to gain further perspective on urban existence, participants are encouraged to offset pad prospecting with stops at some of Raleigh's standout amenities. Restaurants, unique retail shops, and arts and cultural venues intersect searches with relaxing respites, which let groups kick back and drink in the city's ambiance without having to taste-test the water in each of its penny fountains.
After passing through Harvest Farm Nightmares' stone archway, brave adventurers discover too late the horrifying creatures stalking the haunted woods behind Ken's corn maze. Misunderstood chainsaw-wielding maniacs prowl the forested pathways of the Harvest Farm, offering frighteningly good haircuts and startling unwary passersby. Deceptively dormant scarecrows dangle from trees, and bloodied monstrosities scarily ask for a handkerchief after raising adventurer's hairs. Harvest Farm Nightmares' forested fright fest coaxes screams and cries from sunset to 11 p.m.