WASHINGTON—Addressing the nation from a candlelit and cobweb-strewn Oval Office, President Barack Obama, wearing a black cape and plastic fangs, emerged from a cloud of dry ice Tuesday night to announce the official opening of Washington, D.C.’s annual Spooktacular.
“My fellow Americans, it gives me devilish delight to declare that the annual D.C. Spooktacular is once again back from the dead to terrify and scare-ify each and every citizen,” said the president, as the sound of rattling chains and disembodied screams emanated behind him. “Every single citizen, both living and deceased, is invited to Witchington, D.C. for a night of 1,776 frights. Join us on Capitol Chill, if you dare, for a sinister celebration of creepy crawlitics and representative demonocracy.”
“Whether you’re a Deadocrat or a corpservative, you are assured a ghoulishly good time,” he added before cackling maniacally. “Tickets are $12 online or $15 in person. Bleh!”
The yearly festival, which runs for the nine days leading up to Halloween, features lantern-guided tours from government officials dressed as one of the nation’s putrefying Festering Fathers, and includes dozens of activities for children, including bobbing for apples in the Reflecting Pool and a contest to guess the number of candy corns packed inside the Washington Monument. In addition to viewing the 535 terrifying jack-o’-lanterns on the Capitol steps that are carved in the likenesses of all sitting congressmen, visitors can reportedly take hair-raising hayrides along the Potomac, which is dyed blood red, or have their picture taken in front of the Supreme Corpse.
Sources confirmed that the attractions along the so-called National Maul will remain open until midnight throughout the Spooktacular, allowing patrons to enjoy the grisly, moonlit exhibits at the Jefferson Mummyorial, The Smithsonian Mental Institution, and the National Ghoulery, which boasts ghastly postmortem portraits of the nation’s 44 cadavers-in-chief.
The most popular attraction, according to sources, is the Capitol Punishment exhibit at the Lincoln Memorial, in which the iconic seated statue of the 16th president is adorned with restraints on its wrists and ankles as well as a large metal electrode on its head that shoots sparks and emits smoke every half hour to the delight of onlookers.
“I’ve been helping to put on the Haunted House of Representatives since I was first elected in 1987, and I have to say, I think I have just as much fun as the kids do,” said self-proclaimed U.S. Representative Nancy Decompelosi while applying several fake lesions to her face and adding plastic spiders to her hair. “We jump out at the tour groups from both sides of the aisle, show them to a live meeting of the Wails and Moans Committee, and then, when they least expect it, the Shrieker of the House bursts out of his casket and delivers a long, terrifying chillibuster. And for the older kids, we have the gruesome Senate Torture Chamber, where they can watch as the sadistic Majority and Minority Whips viciously gut and kill a helpless bill right there on the floor.”
“And on the way out we have all the kids put their hand into a bowl of cold spaghetti and tell them it’s John F. Kennedy’s brain,” she added. “That really grosses them out.”
Sources noted that the festivities extend beyond the city limits to Arlington, VA, where patrons can visit the Pentagram, which this year will reportedly feature a constantly circling swarm of spooky Predator drones painted to look like bats. As in years past, Arlington National Cemetery is likely to be among the Spooktacular’s biggest draws, with workers once again erecting thousands of temporary tombstones with rhyming epitaphs and adorning the grounds with fake limbs emerging from the earth. Additionally, visitors can gather to hear ghost stories every 20 minutes at the Tomb of the Undead Soldier, where for the past 30 years John McCain has lurched out from behind the monument at the very climax of each skin-crawling tale, typically resulting in dozens of visitors screaming, fleeing, and even fainting in terror.
According to many visitors, though, the highlight of the D.C. Spooktacular remains a guided tour of the Fright House at 1600 Transylvania Avenue.
“It was really fun when Press Secreterror Jay Carnage led us through that creepy old mansion and told us all about the Executioner branch of government,” said 8-year-old Logan Zaffino, dressed in a Wolverine costume, shortly after emerging from the Fright House. “The spookiest part was going through the Evil Office. I got so scared when Count Obama came out and gave his State of the Boo-nion Address.”
“It was kind of a rip-off at the end, though,” Zaffino added. “I thought they’d give us Kit Kats or Snickers or something, but the lady who lives there was just handing out apples.”