My first real taste of poker came in grade 10. I was maybe fifteen, sixteen at the time, and we organized a five card draw game during second period spare. Eventually we got busted by the teachers. I was eighteen when the poker boom hit. My friends and I played $5 SNGs and WPT Tournaments were a big deal on TV. Then a .10/.25 NLHE home game (some nights .25/.50). This game was classic. Actually I played a rather effective loose aggro style at the time. Well I would switch gears, a bit looser early on, some bluffs, and then straight value towards the end of the night. Really we didn't know anything, but we the great thing about poker is you only have to be slightly better than your opponents. There was a raked 1/2 game in my town, the Rounders Club or something they called themselves, that I cut my eyeteeth on. Then casino trips. I remember sitting down at a 5/10 limit hold'em game. This was so long ago people actually played limit hold'em. One day there was a tournament in town, someone had rented a warehouse and set up a tournament. I busted in the tournament with an underpair to the top pair, but with the $200 I had left in my pockets I cleaned up on the cash game, playing 1/2 with a bunch of degenerate cabbies. I'd swing crazy amounts online. I was still in high school the first time I ran up a tiny amount of money to three grand on pokerstars, before losing it all quickly. I was fairly degenerate at that age, but we were young and invincible. I went broke a bunch of times, and then scraped together a bankroll and grinded online. At one point I moved to Niagara Falls to try my hand at live poker. It went pretty decently for a couple of months. It was full ring NLHE, and the games were very soft, filled with rich tourists. I was living in a nearby hotel and grinding the casino all day. One day I tried my hand at blackjack and lost almost ten grand. I had a ton of cash on me, from all my poker winnings, and I started degening on blackjack for a while. I ran pretty good and had a stash of 5k chips. Then I started losing a bunch of my profits back. That is when I learned about card counting online. With my history at the casino as a whale, I was able to count full time in the high limit room for about ten days straight. And any time the count started to drop I would just hop to another table. There was always a new deck, ready to go. So I played A TON of rounds. And my poker career had steeled me not to hit and run. And I play very fast. The result was a huge winning streak. I was using a fairly aggressive spread, 1 to 16 on black. By the time they banned me I had around $200,000. Paranoid, I spent that night in a hotel. From that point I was backed off, so I travelled Canada playing blackjacked, getting backed off and banned with my high stakes action. more to come
If You See Graffiti Reading "FOR A GOOD TIME CALL:", follow this "Rule of the Road"...
The following contains a transcript from a short radio broadcast that has been picked up by various listeners across the continental United States. Many have been perplexed by its sudden appearance and how it seems to preempt whatever song or radio program they are listening to at the time. It has even been known to appear on streaming programs such as podcasts or Spotify. Listeners have described hearing different episodes and there have been many situations and incidents. A 23 year old college student named Yuvisela contacted me with her account of hearing the broadcast. She and her boyfriend had encountered the broadcast while driving one sultry summer afternoon from Austin, TX. So I have this thing with waterfalls. I’m a little obsessed with them. In my free time and when I’m not paying attention in lecture, I like to look on the internet at pictures of them and daydream that I’m there: the roar of the splashing water, the white foamy spray, my bare toes dipped into the icy spring. I’ve got a Pinterest page with hundreds of falls that I would like to visit one day. Niagara, Havasu, Victoria Falls, Gullfoss, Iguazu; they’re all on there. I keep them all catalogued for my bucket list. Yet, how many people go to the grave with their bucket list hardly finished? I bet a lot. My boyfriend, Gabriel, likes to mess with me about my obsession. He’ll come up behind me while I’m on my computer or look over my shoulder at my phone and see that I’m looking at waterfalls. “Don’t go chasing waterfalls, stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to,” he’ll sing when he catches me. It’s this old song he knows, TLC or something. He’s about six years older than me. I’ll joke with him to leave me alone and quit singing that old music, ask him if he used to listen to that on an 8-track or something. “No, my older sister listened to it on CD. You know CD’s? Those little plastic things with the holes in them? That little slot in your car’s stereo, a CD goes in there. They don’t make ‘em in the new cars anymore.” We’ve had a variation of this same conversation a bunch of times. It’s kind of a running joke between the two of us—him poking fun at my waterfall obsession and me making fun of how old he is—and while he thinks the waterfall thing is a cute little quirk of mine, he also has been supportive of my passion. That’s why he surprised me with the trip that summer. He knew that I was yearning to see some of these places. He knew that he wanted to make me happy. He knew that my resources were limited. He knew that we weren’t getting any younger; I was 23 and still had a semester to go. But he also knew that we weren’t getting any richer, either. At least not anytime soon. I know I’m a little bit older for a college student, but it’s taken me a bit longer on account of having to work and stuff. I can’t take a full load every semester. Money’s always tight. I work full time and barely stay ahead, even sending some of my money to help my mom out. Gabriel offered to help me out some and we’d even talked about moving in together, but we had only been together a year at that point and I wasn’t quite ready. Before my dad had passed, I’d promised him that I was going to get my college degree and I wanted to do it all on my own. While I loved Gabriel and could see myself marrying him, I didn’t want to deal with a transition like that so close to the finish line. Besides, we were getting along so well as it was. Why mess with a good thing? And it was a good thing that kept better. Just when I thought that I couldn’t love Gabriel more, on my birthday he surprised me with the best present I’ve ever gotten. It was a little black notebook with this kind of leathery cover. While the notebook itself was nice, it was what was inside that was the true present. At some point, he had gone onto my Pinterest page and written down page after page of waterfalls, organizing them by country and state. He had put little squares beside them, boxes to check off. The last two pages were Texas and Oklahoma. He had written a note there. It read:
“Let’s start now...” -Gabriel
* * * So far, the trip had been a blast. We had started out in Abilene where we both lived and where I attended college. From there, we went to a place called Gorman Falls at this state park. It was one of the tallest waterfalls in the state and all of the foliage and moss around it was lush and green and for a while, if I crossed my eyes just right it was like I wasn’t even in Texas. We couldn’t hit all the sites in a day. It was a road trip with multiple nights in hotels. After Gorman Falls and staying at a hotel, we headed towards Austin and stopped off at Hamilton Pool Preserve. The waterfall wasn’t as tall as Gorman, but I have to say I liked it better. The water formed a curtain as it poured off of a rocky shelf and into this sunken grotto of blue green water. We stayed at this magical place for hours, swimming in the water and soaking up the sun. I could’ve stayed longer, but it was starting to get crowded, so we headed to Austin for a night on the town on 6th Street. The next day we slept in and got a late start on the road. Lunch was at a Whataburger outside Waco. We sat and ate our food and looked at our phones. I browsed Instagram and my eyes skimmed over a gorgeous site. Yep, another waterfall. I slid my phone over to Gabriel. “Look!” I said. “Am I supposed to be looking at the butt or the waterfall?” he asked. An Instagram model was standing with her back to the camera, looking up at the water in awe. “The waterfall, silly.” “Seriously, that skinny white girl ain’t got nothing on you. Better let me take a look, just to be sure.” I stood and twirled around quickly, teasing him. “Ok, so back to the waterfall. Did you look at it?” “Yeah, it’s beautiful babe. Where was this one?” “Iceland,” I sighed. “Oh, right.” “It’s not looking good for the time being. Maybe in a few years, yeah?” “Just gotta see how the election goes. I ain’t holding my breath.” See, neither of us were U.S. citizens. We were what you call DACA recipients. Both of us had wound up in America via illegal means on behalf of our parents, back when we were kids. This was when we were too young to have any say in the matter. I can hardly remember my life before, my life back in Mexico. I grew up here, went to school here. Texas and America is the only home I’ve ever known. Gabriel, he was originally from Guatemala. His situation is more or less the same. If we were to leave the country, then we might risk not being able to get back in. You could apply for eligibility to travel if you had special circumstances, but they didn’t allow travel for leisure. We didn’t even have passports. Until then, our dreams of traveling—something we both wanted to do—were just that: dreams. There was a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. Obama and that DREAM act, I’m sure you’ve heard of it. You know, the dreamers or whatever? That’s what they call us. I guess they call it that because it’s just a freaking fantasy that disappears at the slightest thing—the sunrise, your phone alarm—out of your grasp as soon as you start your day. Anyways, I applied for the DREAM act, but it hasn’t been a guarantee. We’re all stuck in a sort of limbo, waiting for the people in Washington to figure out what the hell to do with us, using us as a bargaining chip. Not Gabriel though, he didn’t apply for the act. Part of it was that he was bad about procrastinating. The other part was that he was paranoid about signing up. I told him that he was an idiot and if he blew his chance to become a legal permanent resident, then I wouldn’t follow him to Guatemala if he got deported. He told me that he didn’t trust the program, that once they had you in the system they could track you easier, keep tabs on you. Said he knew a guy that got deported this way. I told him that the guy must’ve gotten into some legal trouble, a DUI or something, to have been deported. “We’re all just one slip up from some legal trouble. Hell, some people consider us illegal right now,” he had said. It was hard to argue against that, I guess. At least he knew where he stood, didn’t have that false hope. Sometimes I think it’s the hope that gets you, makes things worse. Gabriel frowned and handed the phone back to me, looked out the window and took a sip of his Coke. I suddenly felt bad and ungrateful. Here was this amazing man that had planned out an awesome road trip just for me and I was busy looking at other far off adventures, not appreciating what I had right in front of me, the moment I was living in right now. I leaned forward and kissed him. "I don't care where I'm at as long as you're with me," I said and he smiled. What I told him just then, it was true. That didn’t mean I was going to grow complacent and quit dreaming. They did call us dreamers after all. It was one of those giant truck stops, the kind that was a little smaller than a Wal-Mart or Target, but just barely. We filled up and paced around inside and looked at the aisles and aisles of candy, the funny toys and souvenirs, and the tacky t-shirts. “Hey Yuvi, whaddaya say? It’s your size.” Gabriel asked, holding up a black t-shirt with glittery letters. “PROUD TRUCKER WIFE” it read. “Only if you get that one,” I said, pointing at a T-shirt with a semi-truck on it that read “I JUST DROPPED A LOAD”. “Eww,” Gabriel said, laughing. We both wandered around on our own. They had a huge candy section and I was looking to see if they had any vero elotes candy. I had just found a bag on a bottom shelf when Gabriel came skipping up. “We are so getting this,” he said, holding up a plastic CD case. “What is it?” “Best of the ‘90s. It’s got your song on there, see? ‘Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls.’ Can we get it? It’s only 3.99.” “Ha, ok. But only if you buy me this,” I said, handing him the candy. There was traffic from hell just south of Denton on account of construction and a car wreck or two. We were stop-and-go for what seemed like an hour. I was passenger side and Gabriel idled along. “Ok. I think now’s the time to break out this bad boy,” Gabriel said as he started tearing at the plastic wrap around the CD case. “I think this is the first time I’ve even used the CD player in this car.” “Aw hell yeah,” Gabriel said as the first song started playing. “Gettin’ Jiggy With It.” “Getting what, now?” “It’s your boy, Will Smith. Y’know the Fresh Prince? Betcha didn’t know he had a little music career.” “That guy from I Am Legend and Aladdin?” Gabriel rolled his eyes. “I guess. His older work is much better.” “Well I don’t know. You act like you're this old and wise millennial. You’re not that much older than me, y’know.” “I’m telling ya, my Gen-X sister raised me on all of this stuff. I think she was Gen-X. I don’t know the damn cutoffs. Anyways, she babysat me a lot growing up while Mama was working and stuff. She cultured my little ass. Ooh, here it is!” A new song started playing. I couldn’t help but laugh at how it started. “It sounds like porn music!” “Nah, shhhh. Shhh.” Gabriel bobbed his head along to the beat. The chorus started to worm it’s way into my head. The song was ok, I guess. I still can’t really listen to it to this day. “You gotta listen to this dope rap coming up,” Gabriel said. There was the sound of hissing and popping, wet logs burning in a fire. Whispers intermingled with the sound effects. One of the voices rose above the others and said “Listen!” harshly in Spanish, you know, “Escuchen! Escuchen!”, several times. We both looked at each other with wide eyes. The traffic crept forward slowly and Gabriel kept his hands on the wheel and I kept mine in my lap and that’s when he started to talk. It was this happy sounding older guy, talking right there on my car’s speakers. Gooood afternoon folks, Buck Hensley here with a special rush hour edition of “The Rules of the Road”. Hope ya’ll are doing alright out there while you’re idling on the clogged arteries of America’s highways and byways, breathing in those delicious exhaust fumes. I know that good ol’ Mother Earth likes to take a big fat rip of that stuff from time to time, although as of late she seems to be getting quite a contact high from that delicious Co2 and starting to feel the effects just a little too much. And yet you all keep puff-puffing and passing, never slowing down. What with your jet planes and your driving and your travel and your neverending consumption and your cow farts and whatnot. All I’m saying is that you folks might wanna slow down a bit on that stuff, because I’ve seen the end results and all I can say is that they are hilarious. But I understand if you wanna keep on keeping on and having a good time. All I can say is smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. Speaking of good times, that reminds me of today’s special “Rule of the Road”. You’re gonna want to listen to this one as it’s all about good times. Why that was Carla’s favorite sitcom for a spell there, “Good Times”. She’d watch reruns on into the night, the TV casting a pale glow that was kinda comforting across the bed, and I’d wake up to live studio laughter and her snoring softly beside me, the serene look of slumber on her face and the years I’d wasted. Gabriel and I both looked at eachother. He shrugged and reached for the stereo. I shooed his hand away. I wanted to listen to it. The voice continued. But I digress...well now, on to today’s “Rule of the Road”. If at any point during your journey you stop off for a pitstop or a potty break and you enter a public restroom to do your business, take note of the writing on the stalls. You might notice some graffiti that reads, “For a Good Time, Call” and then a phone number listed after it. If you do notice this, then take the number down for later use. Whenever you are in dire need of a good time, then give that number a call. Now before you go off with a bee in your bonnet and tell me how you ain’t gonna call no sketchy phone number taken off a lady’s or men’s room wall, let me just tell you that this will be worth it. You can trust me. When has old Bucky ever let ya down? I know what you’re gonna say next though, you’re gonna say, “Buck, I don’t ever call no numbers on my phone. I’m deathly afraid of voices on the other line. If I can’t text and send little emojis and the like, then forget it. If I can’t use an app to order Thai food or a pizza, then I go hungry that night. I haven’t even made an appointment to a doctor since I’ve lived with my parents. What if since we can’t see each other’s faces we start talking at the same time and we talk over each other and then say, ‘oops sorry, no you go ahead’ and then we both say it again at the same time and then we both start trying to talk again and then get stuck in some sort of infinite loop?” And to that I say, “fair enough.” Don’t use the phone. The consequences of not following this rule are a little less dire than previous rules you may have heard. If you don’t follow this rule then you will simply miss out on a good time. That’s it. But you wouldn’t want to miss out on anything, would ya? Welp. That’s all I’ve got on this fine late afternoon. May the wind be always at your back, your picnic basket full of snacks, and your cheese ever be pepper jack. Ya’ll stay sane out there. Stay symbiotic. Stay lonely. I'm Buck Hensley and these are "The Rules of the Road". The voice instantly stopped and the song returned playing. Gabriel had a dumbfounded look on his face. "What the hell?" he said and tried to rewind the CD. "Umm, was that part of the song? Maybe a different version?" "No way," he said and kept rewinding and playing the song over. The little skit that we heard never returned. “Weird,” I said. “Beats the heck out of me.” “Maybe the CD is haunted. That was pretty spooky, y’know? That voice telling us to listen.” “Maybe it was like a hidden track or something. They used to put those on CD’s back in the day. And this CD was pretty cheap and has all these songs on it. Could’ve been like a pirated deal.” We weren’t really scared by the broadcast or whatever it was, just more confused. It was only looking back that we saw the importance of what we had heard and how from there our path seemed to be led a certain way.. At the time it was just this weird little thing, a funny little mystery that was forgettable for the time being. We crept along for a while without incident, the traffic slowly gaining momentum. The music on the CD played on as usual and we heard no extra voices. The songs played like they were supposed to. Everything was fine. Of course, outside of Gainesville, it hit me. I had been trying to ignore it and power through until we stopped for the night, but I had the sudden urge to pee. All that slow traffic and iced tea and a bottle of water must’ve caught up with me. This was intense. Usually I could hold it pretty good, but I had to get Gabriel to stop at the first exit we saw. It was this gas station kind of off by itself and it was all dingy and old and faded and didn’t look the cleanest. Gabriel parked and my lower stomach and bladder ached as soon as I stood up and got out of the car. I burst into the place and made a beeline towards the restroom, over in the corner past the ATM and the glass fridges down a hall with burnt out fluorescent lights. They were singles that you could lock, one for men and one for women. The floor was sticky and paper towels piled out of a trash can and a strip of toilet paper floated in a pool of standing water. A condom dispensing machine was on the wall opposite the toilet. It wasn’t the worst public restroom I’d ever used and I didn’t have many options; I was literally about to piss myself. I would have to do the hover move over the toilet seat. No seat covers in a joint like this and I didn’t have time to prep it with toilet paper anything. So I was doing my business, my thighs burning from the squat, and kind of laughing to myself at the condom dispenser machine with its brands like the “FRENCH TICKLER” and that’s when I saw it, the graffiti written in Sharpie, right there on the vending machine. It said, “For A Good Time, Call 9xx-XXX-XXXX [Redacted]”. After I finished and had washed my hands, I snapped a pic of the graffiti. I figured Gabriel would get a kick out of it. “You’re supposed to call it. That’s the rule,” Gabriel said when I showed him. “I’m too nervous. You call. You heard it, too.” “Chicken.” “Yep.” “How many of those things do you even see? I’ve seen them all the time. I bet it’s just dudes pranking each other or fucking with their ex-girlfriends.” “Well I found it in the ladies room, so hopefully it wasn’t dudes.” “Okay, you enter it in your phone and I’ll dial. I’ll try to do a caller ID block or something. Let’s just see what happens.” “Are you sure?” “Eh come on. Maybe it’s fate.” The Texas travel center appeared on the southbound side of the interstate and we were soon crossing the Red River on into Oklahoma as I transcribed the numbers from the picture to the keypad on my dialer. A large casino came into view. It was ginormous with this sort of facade of all these famous buildings on its outside. I could see Big Ben and that Roman coliseum and all these other world architecture things. The casino just stretched on and on. “Aw, not again,” Gabriel said. I had just finished transposing the number into the phone. The crazy casino had distracted me. “What is it, babe?” “Another jam.” The traffic was veering into the right hand lane, but it was still moving at a decent clip, like 45 mph or something. After a mile of this, I could see a couple of highway patrol cars parked across the interstate, blocking both lanes of traffic. A state trooper stood out in the middle, waving a flashlight thing and directing traffic to take the exit. There was still about an hour of daylight left and you couldn’t even see the light. He was just using it as a baton. Somewhere off in the distance there was a thick wall of smoke filling the evening sky with this surreal haze. “Wonder what’s going on?” I asked. “Who knows? Grassfire, maybe.” We followed the other cars and trucks down the exit ramp. Some turned right, some turned left. “Right or left? Right or left?” Gabriel asked. There seemed to be more cars turning left. Maybe they knew something we didn’t. But then, we would be stuck behind them and it was getting dark and we were already behind schedule. I wanted to get the hell out of the car. “Um, right! Right,” I said, trying to pull up the GPS on my phone. It was lagging and my service had kicked over to 3G. “Freaking Verizon,” I muttered. We drove down a highway past empty fields fenced off by barbed wire. There were houses and barns and oilfield pump jacks every so often, but not much else. No gas stations or a sign of a town or much else, really. After driving into all this nothingness for a while, my phone completely lost all signal. The cars around us thinned out and there was only a black SUV in front of us. “Hey babe, I have no service and can’t pull up the GPS. Wanna turn back around?” “Nah, let’s just keep going. We’ve come this far, yeah? We’ll hit a main road eventually, get some service.” I sighed in response as he kept driving, let him know I didn’t approve. “We’ll turn north soon, ok? All roads lead to Turner Falls.” I checked my phone every fifteen seconds, looking for a signal. “C’mon Gabe, we’re gonna get lost out here. Let’s just go back, follow the other cars or see if they’ve opened up the interstate again.” “Look, this looks like a good road. We’ll cut north here and drive aways and then cut back west towards the interstate. It’s literally impossible to get lost out here. Just trying not to lose any more time.” But it wasn’t so simple and the nervous feeling in my stomach was validated when the road we drove north on turned to gravel. The sun was long gone and our headlights cut a tunnel through the night as barbed wire whizzed by, separating us from pastures that were elevated above the road on grassy rises. I started to fear the worst, thinking of every horror movie I’d ever seen that had started out this way: the headstrong man refusing to admit that he was lost and didn’t know where he was going and the increasingly pissed off and worried girl that was with him. “Babe, please just turn around,” I pleaded. “Ok, ok. Still no signal, eh?” I looked down at my phone. Finally, there was one bar of service. “Yes! Hang on.” “Oh fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck,” Gabriel said, his voice growing louder. My stomach dropped as what appeared in the rear view mirror was just as scary as any sort of Freddy or Jason or Leatherface from the big screen. Part 2
History of Clifton Hill Part 5 (Final): What Could Have Been, and What Can Still Be
Thank you to everyone who has followed this series or voted for it's creation. I'm glad you've enjoyed it and I'm always happy to spread the important history of the amusement industry, especially pertaining to the place that inspired me to go into the industry. For parts 1-4 scroll back in this sub or click my profile. In 1989, Welland Securities, who owned the entire south-west side of the Hill, would develop the final portion of unused land on Clifton Hill. They would become HOCO (Harry Oakes Company) and gain ownership of almost all the attractions on land they leased out. This included Movieland, The Space Spiral Tower and the Cliffside Motel. The only attractions that would continue being leased were Ripley's and Circus World, meaning HOCO not only owned all the land on the South-West side of the hill, they now ran everything between Circus World and Ripley's, as well as the Fudge Factory (in its original spot) and an ice cream stand immediately down the hill from Circus World. They planned to keep everything that was on the hill but build on it. Movieland was remodeled and the outside was given a more noticeable Egyptian theme to match the lobby. This meant large lion statues and Costello's talking pharaoh. The lobby was remodeled as well. Rather than a cameraman and a director filming Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra, they would now be filming Costello's Indiana Jones figure, who lowered up and down on a rope above a fogging pit with a cobra rising out of it. Many of the early talkie-era stars in the hall immediately after the entrance (along with Elizabeth Taylor) were moved to 2 large display cases in the middle of the attraction with multiple figures, instead of each one having their own scene. In their original spot just inside the entrance an intentionally scary scene was created to match the popular Indiana Jones series. Many of the figures Costello had added since he became the museum's artist were slightly frightening, like a lunging alligator or a startling Joker scene with a machine gun sound effect. The museum had been expanded at the end, and a large horror section had been added, with many figures like the mummy being from the same mold as the House of Frankenstein/Castle Dracula mummys. Unlike when it would move to it's current location in 2005, the old location's chicken exit was placed before the horror section rather than the haunted house portion. In fact, there was no haunted house section, many of the figures that would end up in the haunted house section of the new location were simply scattered throughout the museum. Many of the figures in the horror section of the original museum were actually less scary and less animated than the Jurassic park scene or the alligator encountered earlier in the museum. To prevent unsuspecting parents who had no clue what kind of attraction this was dragging their children in and expecting static figures of washed-up movie stars, getting the living daylights scared out of them, then end ending up filing complaints with HOCO's customer service department, an intentionally scary scene was put at the beginning. This let people know what they were walking in to, an experience rather than a museum. Costello designed figures behind plexiglass such as a man upside down in a cocoon thrashing around, a skull that popped up from the floorboards in a scene full of snakes, a man on a bed of spikes that fell towards you, and a scene with spiders on fishing line "jumping" all over a rotting corpse. The Cliffside Motel was amalgamated into a wing of the Quality Inn, and the driveway into it off the hill was removed as it was no longer necessary because it could be accessed from the Quality Inn parking lot. In the driveway's place was now a large empty space between Circus World and Movieland, with the Space Spiral Tower (with a relatively small footprint) stuck in the middle. HOCO called upon attraction design and layout firm White Hutchison Leisure Learning Group (WHLLG) to design an attraction around the Space Spiral that would use the final undeveloped land on Clifton Hill. And so WHLLG designed Dazzleland Family Fun Centre. Dazzleland was a courtyard of buildings arranged in roughly the same layout as the Great Canadian Midway (for reasons we'll get to later) that sits on the land now. The buildings around the outside of the courtyard were long and narrow, picture a courtyard of carnival game trailers but permanent, appealing buildings. These buildings included a Skee-ball building, a sports game building (basketball games, football toss etc.), a racing game building, a pinball building, a funnel cake shop, and the prize counter. In the back corner, roughly where the XD Theatre now is in the midway, was a larger building: an arcade housing video games and more pinball machines. In the middle of the courtyard was a small carousel, and a small building housing games that dispensed their own prizes (claw machines, prize egg games, etc.) and coin-op kiddie rides. The Space Spiral was incorporated into Dazzleland, still being accessible directly off the hill. As mentioned in part 3, the tower was exactly where the Fudge Factory now is, as the circular store was once the loading area for the tower. At this time the snack bars beside the tower right on the hill were constructed: a pretzel/hotdog stand and an ice cream stand, both of which are still there. The Wendy's was built on top of Circus World, replacing the mini golf that had formerly been on the attraction's roof. Across the entrance to Dazzleland's courtyard from Wendy's was a Domino's Pizza, roughly where the photo booth just to your right is when entering the Great Canadian Midway now. Between the Space Spiral and the Dominos was a fortune teller machine built right into the wall: "Ask the Brain". The brain still lives on inside Movieland, except now he wants a loonie instead of a quarter. Just up the hill from the Space Spiral, on top of the hot dog and ice cream stand, a small sports bar was built. Very little is known about this sports bar, but obvious remnants of it still exists. The area of Boston Pizza closest to the hill (the back corner near the kitchen, the bar area, and the raised dining area) was the originally the sports bar. It featured a small coin-op bowling lane, arcade games, and food. The stairs in the Midway up to Boston Pizza beside Ghostblasters is the original stairs up from Dazzleland to the sports bar. Additionally, the Boston Pizza entrance closer to the hill (not the one with the big bowling pin, other one) was the main entrance to the sports bar. Little is known about the bar, including it's name. It may not have had one, simply being part of the Dazzleland complex. Many of the areas in Dazzleland didn't have a name, simply having signs heralding "Arcade", "Sports Games", "Skeeball" rather than naming the areas like the "Game Factory", "Sports Zone" or "Strike! Rock 'n Bowl" like in the Midway. For this reason, the bar may have been nameless, simply being part of the Dazzleland complex, but it's unlikely a dining establishment geared at adult nightlife wouldn't have a name. Because the mini golf on Circus World's roof had been operated by the Cliffside Motel operators, HOCO acquired all the assets from it when they stopped leasing the land out. When the aforementioned Wendy's was built, the mini golf was moved just up the hill from the sports bar. It's entrance was right on the hill, but the course wrapped around the sports bar and ran back behind Dazzleland, between the back of Dazzleland and the parking lot of the Quality Inn. It would now be dinosaur themed and heavily landscaped. WHLLG designed the course and HOCO contracted Costello to build all the fiberglass dinosaurs. It's unknown what it's original name was, but in the early 90s, with the smash hit of Jurassic Park, it was renamed Dinosaur Park and given a similar logo. Up until the 2018 remodel, Boston Pizza had a patio. This patio was the exact location of the entrance to the mini golf, and the reason the restaurant's building curved in such a bizarre way surrounding the patio was originally to accommodate the course. Underneath the sports bar and mini golf and was an underground building accessible from a back corner of Dazzleland's courtyard. This area housed all of Dazzleland's miscellaneous ticket redemption games and 2 shooting galleries. The low-ceiling area of the Midway called the "Game Factory" is this original building. The Bonanaza Company shooting gallery is still there albeit heavily remodeled, but Blasteroids, an early project by arcade game company Lazer-Tron, was removed in 2016. Interestingly, the chase lights along the back wall of the Game Factory are Dazzleland holdovers. Between the shooting gallery and where what's left of the racing games now are is a bank of maintenance doors. If you get lucky and see them open, you'll see a stairs that was originally an entrance to Dazzleland from further up the street, beside Dinosaur Park. This now lets out somewhere in Boston Pizza's arcade (although I haven't been able to figure out where) and is used by staff to get from "a" to "b" faster. Dazzleland has been the hardest to dig up information on in my research on Clifton Hill. Although I now know what was in each of the buildings around the outside of this "courtyard", I haven't been able to find which one was where. The only things I've confirmed is where the video game building was, what was in the building in the middle, and confirmed that the Game Factory was originally part of Dazzleland. The rest is beyond me and my memories of it have long faded. If anyone worked here or visited it frequently and has any answers, they would be greatly appreciated. Additionally there was a small pool near the front with a Costello dragon figure in it that spit water out it's mouth. I've heard conflicting reports that this was just a fountain, and others saying it was a small bumper boat or RC boat attraction, but my guess is it was just a fountain as it seems like a pretty small pool. The same year, fiberglass dragon waterslides were added to the Quality Inn pool. Although bearing striking resemblance to Costello's dinosaurs and Dazzleland dragon, at least one more of each of the dragon slides exist, all the way down in Texas. It was originally thought this Texas waterpark bought them off HOCO when Quality Inn closed, but one of the Quality Inn dragons appeared on an episode of shipping wars going to Kansas and the other was recently found abandoned on a private residential property in Niagara, proving they are in fact not the ones at the Texas waterpark. This is evidence they may have been mass produced. By the time Dazzleland opened in 1989, it was the 8th arcade on the hill (after Circus World, Q-Balls Billiards Pub in Quality Inn, the arcade in Ripley's, the arcade in the Foxhead, the arcade in Castle Dracula, Funland in the basement of the House of Frankenstein, and an arcade that had recently opened in the Pilgrim Motel in their gift shop.) These were just the large-scale, dedicated arcades right on the hill. Many others could be found nearby in Maple Leaf Village, the Skylon, the Seagram, Pyramid Place and the Imperial Hotel as well as many mini golf courses and family fun centres along Lundy's Ln. and the QEW. Also, virtually every gift shop on Clifton Hill and Victoria Ave. had a game or 2. The mix of arcades, haunted houses, fast food, nightlife and stores selling t-shirts and posters had started a well-known rock culture in Niagara Falls among Southern Ontario youth. The epicenter of this was "Rock World", a rock-themed gift shop that had opened in 1983 on Centre St. (the street Clifton Hill becomes just above Victoria Ave.) They would later add a second story and build Rock Legends Wax Museum above it, with all the figures sculpted by the store's owner Pasquale Rammuno. In 1996, Maple Leaf Village was replaced by Casino Niagara, and many of the attractions found new homes on Victoria Ave., including Screamers and Nightmares. The Elvis Museum, Antique Auto Museum, 50s diner nightclub, and arcade all moved to Pyramid Place adjacent to the IMAX pyramid. Screamers prospered on Victoria Ave., and 2 "sequel attractions" were built in the early 2000s: Creatures of the Night on Victoria Ave. and Horror Manothe Zombie Zoo Nightclub on Centre St. Another attraction, Alien Encounter, would open at the corner of Victoria Ave. and Clifton Hill beside the Criminals Hall of Fame. This slightly thematically darker "north of the hill" area with the Screamers chain, the Criminals Hall of Fame, Rock Legends, Nightmares and Alien Encounter became a "main strip" all in it's own. As mentioned before, since the cabin courts were all town down in the early 50s, nothing had been torn down on Clifton Hill. The only exception was the Houdini Hall of Fame that burnt to ash in 1996. Some of Houdini's Last Words were claiming that anything revealing his secrets would perish in flame, and even though the fire completely leveled the museum, the plywood and fiberglass paneled House of Frankenstein only separated from it by a 2-foot wide alley was completely untouched, leading a lot of Houdini's fans to believe he was conducting some kind of post-mortem practical joke. The metal objects like handcuffs and the water tank could be saved, and were bought by David Copperfield. Ripley's Moving Theatre was built in it's place. Over the 30 years from Tussaud's opening in 1959 to Dazzleland in 1989, Clifton Hill had expanded and filled up the land. However that didn't mean it was time to tear things down. Things were simply moved around or remodeled to keep them fresh, not out of an unwillingness to change, but because these things had become ingrained in the landscape. Examples of this were Tussaud's moving to its current home in the old building of a restaurant that had since moved on Victoria Ave., rather than the attraction shutting down, or the Adventure Dome Theatre oepneing in part of the Honeymoon City's gift shop. In Tussaud's old place was built the MGM walkthrough/store, Pink Panther ride and 4D Ride in 2002. The beer garden beside it was replaced with the WWE building and the Piledriver ride, but the beer area was moved to between the 2 attractions. In 2004 the Foxhead's arcade was expanded and re-themed into the Marvel Superheros Adventure City. Another great example of re-freshing an existing attraction was Dazzleland. A simple realization was made, more games = more money and higher guest enjoyment. The outdoor courtyard style with it's room for walkways between the buildings was re-designed, and HOCO again called upon WHLLG. WHLLG designed not only a remodel of Dazzleland, but an incredible 5-step plan that would have made Clifton Hill financially on par with a major theme park. Steps 1-3 came to fruition. Step 1 was remodeling Dazzleland into the Great Canadian Midway in 2002. The level, concrete foundation Dazzleland was built on was kept as the foundation of the Midway, hence why it has the same layout. The former video game building at the back became the FX Ride Theatre (now XD Theatre/Wild West Coaster) in the Midway. The funnel cake shop was kept where it was in Dazzleland except now it was in the Midway, between the FX Ride and the Prize Counter. The area housing Dazzleland's ticket redemption games became the Game Factory. The middle building housing the claw games and kiddie rides was demolished, as it was no longer needed because the Midway was fully indoors and there was now a massive space to put games. The sports bar was expanded and became Boston Pizza, so Dinosaur Park was moved to in front of the Comfort Inn. Under the expanded Boston Pizza, Sally Corp. was hired to build the interactive Ghostblasters dark ride. All of Dazzleland's old games made the transition into the Midway, however very few are still around. With the Midway making serious buck, HOCO went ahead with phase 2 of WHLLG's plan. Movieland was moved to Circus World's former location in 2005, and Circus World's owners moved the attraction to what was then the popular Victoria Ave. area. In Movieland's old home, Cosmic Golf, a blacklight golf was temporarily set up. 2 years later in 2007, the golf moved to it's permanent home in the basement becoming Galaxy Golf and the gift shop that had been formerly in the basement was moved upstairs. Movieland retained all the figures and sets they had at the time of the move, moving them all into the new space. All the scary elements were put in the new "House of Horrors", a small optional haunted house at the end of the attraction. Phase 3 involved beginning to demolish the only thing that WHLLG's 5 phase plan would have torn down: Quality Inn. In it's place an amusement park would have been built, anchored by Canada's largest ferris wheel. The wheel would be phase 3 and the amusement park phase 4. Though both WHLLG and HOCO recognized the historical value of the hotel, it had reasons to go. The hotel may have been full of your usual hazardous mid-century building materials (however Comfort Inn built by the same firm the same year was found to have no hazardous materials when it was torn down in 2015, so who knows) but the main issue was elevators and the amount of space it took up. Comfort Inn only had 2 wings, one on each side of the lobby, and only 2 elevators would have needed to be installed. This wasn't legally necessary, as no law states that buildings of age absolutely have to be 100% accessible, it was more something HOCO wanted to do. Quality Inn had multiple wings that weren't accessible from one another, so an elevator would need to be installed in each wing. In addition to the elevator issue, Comfort Inn was chosen as the hotel to keep because the building was integrated with Kelsey's, Rumors Nightclub, Ripley's, and Dinosaur Park, all of which wouldn't have been touched in WHLLG's 5 phase plan. Finally, Comfort Inn's land wasn't big enough for an amusement park whereas Quality Inn's was. 2 things would justify the demolition of Quality Inn. One, it's sister hotel, Comfort Inn, would have been kept. The other reason justifying the demolition would be phase 5: a skyscraper hotel and indoooutdoor waterpark in the field between Clifton Hill and the Skylon Tower. The dragon figures from Quality Inn's pool were kept in HOCO's storage for a time for this waterpark. The final vision can be seen here. Phase 3 would go ahead in 2006, with the lobby, Golden Griddle and Q-Balls Billiard pub of Quality Inn being torn down and the Skywheel built in it's place. For the last year Quality Inn was open, you would need to register at Comfort Inn's lobby. The same year, the Space Spiral was torn down, as 2 observation attractions wouldn't be needed on the hill. However, a new spiral tower would have been constructed during phase 4 in the theme park. The reason the tower would be demolished rather than moved was because a tower manufactured by the same company in Wildwood, NJ, had begun to sway a few years earlier, resulting in it needing to be removed entirely for safety reasons. Phase 4 was set to go ahead in 2010, so in 2009 the remainder of Quality Inn was demolished. It seemed as though everything would fall into place, and with the exception of Quality Inn making it's sacrifice, everything on Clifton Hill that had been there for 20-60 years would be there forever, just greatly expanded on. Unfortunately, this came at a turning point for Clifton Hill, when the recession was in full swing and tourism had declined since 9/11. Changing technology and interests, but no real nostalgia trend yet, created a perfect storm, and the idea was scrapped. Especially now that there would be no amusement park, a lot of area attractions closed. HOCO now needed to find a new design company to completely re-design the project. The problem was, Quality Inn was already torn down to make way for the amusement park. HOCO reluctantly found a new design company who had no projects under their belt yet, IDS. HOCO was hopeful the Canadian company could help give them a similar vision to their previous 5 stage plan, that would help them re-use many of the already implemented stages and despite scrapping the amusement park, would simply scale down and redesign the hotel. This was done in hopes that the city would be much more likely to approve just another high rise hotel than an amusement park as well. IDS' new plan was much different than what HOCO was looking for. It featured tearing down Ripley's, Comfort Inn, Kelsey's, and Rumours Nightclub and building a Titanic Museum shaped like the boat. It also featured building a large mall within the hotel rather than a waterpark and relocating and expanding Dinosaur Park into Dinosaur Adventure Golf on Quality Inn's old land. While HOCO thankfully chose not to go ahead with the mall and Titanic Museum, they would build Dinosaur Adventure Golf and work with IDS to make a more feasible plan that better suited Clifton Hill. The new plan featured Dinosaur Adventure Golf and Strike! Rock 'n Bowl as phase 1. It also included removing a lot of the thematic brand identity elements WHLLG had implemented to coincide with their final amusement park vision and replacing Galaxy Golf with Wizard's Golf as phase 2. Phase 3 would feature tearing down Comfort Inn (that never got it's elevators due to it no longer being planned to be kept), building Niagara Speedway in it's place, and removing Rumors Nightclub to accommodate the new Kelsey's bathrooms and Zombie Attack. Phase 4 would feature remodelling Wendy's, Boston Pizza and Kelsey's. Phase 5 would feature a mall (no hotel) in the field between Dinosaur Adventure Golf and the Skylon, but this final phase will likely never come to fruition. Multiple attractions have closed since the late 2000's, such as the entire Screamers chain, Circus World, The Criminals Hall of Fame, Funland Arcade and Alien Encounter. The Hilltop Motel became the current home of the Upside Down House, and the Pilgrim Motel became Captain Jack's. Ironically, the only part of the building that's not part of the entertainment centre is a Mini Mart at the back that was the original arcade in the Pilgrim. Virtually everything in the Falls. Ave. complex other than Rainforest Cafe and the 4D theatre is gone. Marvel Superheroes Adventure City lost its license after Disney bought Marvel, and it simply became Adventure City. The Hulk Mini Golf became jungle themed, Spider-Man references were (poorly) removed from the dark ride, and X-men referenced were (also poorly) removed from the bumper cars. References to Marvel can still be found in the arcade, such as Spider-Man's face on a tree that was only covered up a few years ago. The WWE Store, after being abandoned since 2012, was turned into the Niagara Brewery Beer Store in 2016, fitting considering the land's history as a beer garden. Planet Hollywood on Falls Ave. closed around 2014, and is still abandoned. The MGM walkthrough was abandoned for over 10 years before becoming a barbecue restaurant in 2019. The changes in the Falls Ave. complex are an example of good change, replacing abandoned attractions with ones that if anything are closer to what used to be there, such as Adventure City becoming an unthemed arcade again or the Beer Store being where the Beer Garden once was. Another example of this good change would be the long abandoned (and burnt) Adventure Dome that had briefly held a Lego attraction being turned into the Amazing Big Top Mirror and Lazer Maze in 2017. However a perfect example of negative change is the Rock Legends Wax Museum being forced out of business because a YouTube video of the museum was flagged for copyrighted music by YouTube's algorithms. This lead Sony Music to investigate the museum and shut it down last year if it wouldn't pay ridiculous licensing fees, which it couldn't afford. Another example is IDS' redevelopment plan. HOCO is now locked in a contract with them, even though they obviously have very different ideas on the direction of Clifton Hill. Phase 1 was implemented in 2011, with Boston Pizza expanding their arcade to include Strike! Rock 'n Bowl and Dinosaur Park moving to where Quality Inn was and being renamed Dinosaur Adventure Golf. All of Costello's original dinosaurs (with the exception of the original Pterodactyl) would "migrate" to the new location where they would be joined by dozens of new mass-produced dinosaurs. Interestingly, foundations were built back in 2011 for the original 2 Brontosaurs to appear as if they were coming out of the ponds, but they wouldn't show up until 2019 when they were brought back out of storage to be installed, only to lay on the ground for a few months before going back into storage. Although it didn't use new hand-made figures, this attraction was a change that fits the spirit of Clifton Hill and was a good replacement for the empty plot of land that had once housed Quality Inn, even if an amusement park would have been better. The same cannot be said about the rest of IDS' plan. Many thematic elements installed throughout the hill by WHLLG (especially in Movieland and the Midway) were removed in phase 2 in 2013 simply to fit with IDS's image better, costing HOCO a lot of money. Phase 3 went ahead in 2015, and the 60 year old Comfort Inn was demolished, along with the old HOCO offices in it that if you remember from part 1, was the original nearly 200 year old stable building for the Zimmerman estate. Niagara Speedway was built in it's place, and if you look at the prices to drive it, then watch how many people do, you realize just how much they're making off it. Rumors Nightclub, originally the Queen's Door Nightclub in 1956, was gutted and turned into Zombie Attack and the new Kelsey's bathrooms, as the old ones had been in the Comfort Inn building. Phase 4 in 2018 extensively remodeled Wendy's as well as Boston Pizza, removing the patio. Ghostblasters is now the final untouched WHLLG era attraction on the land. This is made even more troubling by the fact the signs for it were just removed and replaced with temporary ones, as I said in the post that started the entire discussion on whether or not I should do this series. If the attraction does go, we can only hope that a new interactive dark ride utilizing artistry, dimensional scenes and props much like Ghostblasters does is built, however that likely won't be the case. Triotech is the lead designer of ride through shooting games, that feature a dark ride car that travels through a hallway with screens on each side of it rather than real props. Triotech has dealt with HOCO before, building both the Wild West Coaster and Zombie Attack, so all signs point to one of these attractions replacing Ghostblasters if it closes. There is still hope that Clifton Hill can retain it's spirit, but it stands at a crossroads. The House of Frankenstein for example, while retaining many original scenes, has had many removed and replaced with nothing, and many areas of the museum taken out entirely. Castle Dracula on the other hand hasn't updated a thing, but hasn't cared for the original scenes either, leaving them to fall into disrepair and only having 7 or 8 of the original 70 still lit, and none of them still functional. There are 2 directions Clifton Hill can go. With many attractions like the ones on HOCO's side being demolished to make way for whatever is trendy and lucrative, and many hanging on by a thread like Castle Dracula or Ghostblasters, the Hill is in real danger of becoming an endlessly overturning and developing area. However, with money recently being poured back into attractions like the Haunted House, Ripley's, and Guinness and attractions being redeveloped like the Falls Ave. complex or the Big Top Mirror maze, there is hope. If people, including the companies that own them, can recognise the historical value of attractions like Castle Dracula, The House of Frankenstien, Movieland, Tussaud's, etc., this can be promoted and the recent nostalgia boom can create large profits if this is played up. Additionally, future developments can still be more in the vein of what WHLLG envisioned for Clifton Hill, or what the Burlands recently did with the well done Big Top Mirror Maze. This is both profitable and economically sensible, as repeat customers that make memories and come to the area for generations with occasional new updates/re-themings (like what Clifton Hill did from the 50s-2010s), is far more profitable than a constantly turning over wave of new developments that cost millions to build that changes with each generation. Thank you to everyone who has followed this series. Sorry for the length of this, but I promised this would be the last installment, so it has to be longer. If you have any information pertaining to Dazzleland or anything you know that I didn't cover in this series, let me know. Additionally, if you would like me to dig up photos on anything that I mentioned in the series, let me know, as unless it's the Dazzleland dragon, I probably have a photo of it. I will likely post many of them here anyway in time. Thanks again.
Thank you to everyone who read and commented on part 1, your feedback is much appreciated. If you haven't read part 1 or want to see the original poll that brought me here, scroll back in this sub or (if you're reading this in the future and it's long since buried) click on my profile and find them there in my posts. By the 50s, it had become clear that using Clifton Hill as a series of budget, away from the falls tourist camps wasn't nearly as lucrative as the land could potentially be. Welland Securities opened the Quality Inn Fallsway where Dinosaur Adventure Golf now sits and the Park Motor Inn (later Venture then Comfort Inn) where Niagara Speedway now is. Clifton Touring Camp was torn down to make way for these, save for the snack bar where Wizard's Golf now is that was an original Zimmerman estate gate house. The guest house building and gardens of the estate that remained at this point were torn down, but the stable building was gutted, re-enforced and turned into the Welland Securities offices in the Park Motor Inn. This remained Welland Securities (now HOCO)'s offices until Comfort Inn was torn down in 2015 (and the nearly 150 year old stable building with it). Quality Inn featured a restaurant and nightclub in it's lobby building: the T-bird room. The T-bird hosted a variety of early rock and roll acts over the years until it's eventual transition into a Golden Griddle and Q-Balls Billiards Pub in the 70s. The hotel also featured 4 swimming pools: a large outdoor pool, an outdoor kiddie pool, an indoor pool and an indoor hot tub. The Park Motor Inn only featured a single outdoor pool and hot tub (area became an enclosed atrium in the 70s.) However, it featured a gift shop (where Kelsey's has been since the 80s), the Queen' Door Nightclub (became Rumors Nightclub in the 80s, now divided up into multiple things like the relocated Kelsey's bathrooms and Zombie Attack) and Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum. Ripley's leased the land from Welland Securities. It was the second attraction in the Ripley company's popular chain of "Odditoriums", predated only by the original St. Augustine FL location. The Niagara Falls History Museum had opened a few blocks away in the early 1900s in the building currently occupied by the Bird Kingdom, but it was closer to a museum than a tourist attraction. Ripley's was the first real attraction to open up in Niagara. Ripley's was a massive success, becoming Niagara's must visit location second only to the falls itself. It (along with Marilyn Monroe's breakthrough film "Niagara" in 1953) opened the floodgates, and by 1960, all the cabin courts had been demolished. In 1955, Charles Burland tore down his Niagara Falls Tourist Camp and bought all the land from the aforementioned field where Captain Jack's now is to Tussaud's. He tore down all the cabin courts on this land, building the Honeymoon City Motel (known as Travelodge since the early 2000s) in the place of Reinhard's Riverhurst Inn and his Niagara Falls Tourist Camp, a parking lot (now Castle Dracula) in the place of the Darling Cabins, and the Clifton Motor Inn (known as Thriftlodge since early 2000s) where Clifton Camp was. The Honeymoon City Motel had a restaurant where the Guinness museum now is, as well as the gift shop that's still there beside Guinness. Clifton Motor Inn had the Clifton Hill Family Restaurant in the old Camp Clifton restaurant building (still there), a "Bonanza" company shooting gallery (now replaced with a newer gallery) and the iconic Dairy Queen, which was then a Frostee Freeze. Burland responded to Ripley's in 1958 by opening the Life Museum in the former restaurant in the Honeymoon City and moving the restaurant a floor up (now Ruby Tuesday's.) The Life Museum was a bizarre attraction celebrating the life cycle from conception to death for both the male and female body, incredibly taboo for the time. Ripley's and the Life Museum would begin Clifton Hill's staple of bizarre attractions themed to the curious and macabre. In 1959 Louis Tussaud's Wax Museum had opened attached to the Foxhead Hotel where the building with the Pink Panther ride/former MGM attraction is now. In 1960, 2 hotels opened between the Frostee Freeze and the old Victoria Ave. railway station at the top of the hill. These were the Clifton Motor Hotel (renamed the Pilgrim just 3 years later, now the building now occupied by Captian Jacks) and the Hilltop (the land now occupied by the Upside Down House.) With these hotels came Oneida Ln. running off Clifton Hill towards what's now Casino Niagara's Parking lot. Of course, in 1960, this was the parking lot for the Oneida Plate Factory that was the Casino Niagara building's original life. At the front of the factory between the 2 Falls Ave. hotels was the Antique Auto Museum, opened the same year, and a few years later in 1964 they would add a large observation tower sticking out the top as part of the factory tour, now the abandoned steel-plated tower that simply says "Casino". The Clifton Motor Hotel had a restaurant and gift shop on the main floor adjacent to the lobby as well as a pool on the third floor at the back of the building in a room with a glass ceiling. The Hilltop Motel's office was where Beavertails now is, and the motel contained a snack bar (now burger king), and 2 gift shops. One was in the current location of the Crystal Caves attraction. A fun history tidbit: this basement gift shop was leased out, and apparently a brother of the motel owner conspired with the gift shop operator in the mid 60s to run a bookie racket, but a Toronto investigator seemingly found out the jig fairly fast. This brother would mysteriously disappear years down the road in the 80s, which may or not have been related to his criminal activity nearly 20 years before. The other gift shop was what's now the first floolobby of the House of Frankenstein. The building was only one story at this point, seen here. The second story wouldn't be added until 1969, in a business move by local businessman Robert Dunham that would forever change the face of Niagara Falls, the world of animatronics, and the amusement industry as a whole. We'll cover that later in part 3. Meanwhile, riding high on the success of Ripley's, Welland Securities leased more land to private companies for more attractions to be built starting in 1965. The first was a motel built between Quality Inn and the hill, the Cliffside. The Cliffside resided roughly where the employee parking space is now between Dinosaur Adventure Golf and the large cliff down to Victoria Park. It's driveway in off the hill was where the Great Canadian Midway now resides, as can be seen here. At the end of the motel farthest from the hill, it was adjacent to one of the wings of the Quality Inn. This often created confusion as to things like which lobby was who's, if guests from one were allowed to use the other's pool, etc. This confusion would end much later in 1989 when Welland Securities stopped leasing the land out and amalgamated the Cliffside into being part of the Quality Inn. Just down the hill from the driveway into the Cliffside was a small snack bar on land leased from Welland Securities by the same people as the Cliffside, with a miniature golf course on the roof. Further up the hill, the last remaining gate house from the Zimmerman estate that was being used as a snack bar was torn down in 1965 to make way for a new attraction. Malcolm Howe leased the land from Welland Securities and would take 2 years to build a pivotal attraction: Movieland Wax Museum. Opened in 1966 in the building now occupied by Wizard's Golf and the Upper Canada Trading Co., the museum was on the main floor with a gift shop called Niagara Marketplace in the basement. All of the figures were sculpted by legendary halloween mask creator, artist Don Post at his Don Post Studios in Florida. Chances are, if you know anything about trick or treating from 1950 to the early 90s, you're familiar with a celluloid plastic mask created by Don Post. However, Post's artistic abilities went far beyond disposable plastic monsters. His team at the Florida factory, headed by sculptor Pat Newman, created 60 wax figures for the museum. The lobby was Egyptian themed, with two torches on either side of the door in to the white building and simulated Egyptian sandstone walls in the lobby. Beside the ticket booth in the lobby, just beside the entrance was Elizabeth Taylor dressed as Cleopatra from the 1963 film of the same name, with a cameraman and director filming her. The museum itself contained many stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Bing Crosby, Lucille Ball and Laurel and Hardy. The most impressive figure however was a 12 and half foot tall King Kong figure, the largest wax figure ever made at the time. The news article about his creation can be read here, however it incorrectly calls Movieland the "Hollywood Wax Museum". Noticeably absent from Movieland on opening day was a horror section. The notion of putting horror movie sections in wax museum hadn't caught on yet, with Tussaud's "Chamber of Horrors" being dedicated to torture methods and historical tyrants rather than film. This would later change and Movieland would receive a horror movie section as we'll cover in part 3. To coincide with Movieland's opening, Howe also leased the land from Welland Securities just up the hill from the driveway into the Cliffside. On this land he constructed the 184 ft. tall Space Spiral Tower, built by Universal Design of Wildwood, New Jersey. The tower was half ride-half observation deck, with a large, circular, slowly spinning observation deck that rose up the tower that held 30 riders. This is exactly where the Fudge Factory now sits, as the store is circular because that was originally the loading area for the tower before it was demolished in 2006. So by this point, the hill had gone from a budget, off the main strip camping and cabin area to a strip of motels and small attractions, with a large observation tower ride it's focal point. Motel strips like this could be found all throughout North America in the 60s, in tourist hot spots like Lake George, Gatlinburg and Myrtle Beach. But a single attraction was about to usher in a wave of arcades, haunted houses and testaments to the weird that would make Clifton Hill unlike anything else on earth... And it would all be thanks to a young artist, beloved city engineer, avid horror fan and technology wizard who was about to change everything. Stay tuned for part 3!
Red Roof Inn offering free lodging for HCW/ first responders
https://www.redroof.com/deals/national-deals/room-in-your-heart I thought this information could help those who want to use protective distancing from their loved ones. stay safe! ❤️ Room in Your Heart: Opening Doors to First Responders Red Roof®, the leader in upscale economy lodging, is giving back to our country’s first responders—dedicated nurses, doctors, firefighters, police and emergency medical providers—who are fighting tirelessly to combat COVID-19. Many of these essential workers on the frontlines need a place to self-quarantine away from their homes and families to protect their loved ones. From April 3 – May 31, Red Roof is donating a limited number of available rooms to these brave heroes, giving them a place to sleep and stay in between shifts at participating locations across the country. Many Red Roof locations are exterior corridor hotels where separate hotel room doors open to the outside of the building instead of an interior hallway. After check-in, guests can drive to their room instead of walking through the building, reducing contact with interior touchpoints. Rooms have free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, a workstation and a communication package that includes free local and long-distance calls as well as free in-room coffee (in most rooms). One well-behaved domestic pet—cat or dog—is always welcome to stay at no charge. Call a participating hotel directly to book your stay. *Each guest must provide valid medical, firefighter, or police identification. Offer does not apply to guests staying under a current government contract and all rooms are subject to availability. Pet accommodations policy may vary at some Home Towne Studios by Red Roof locations. RED ROOF INN MONTGOMERY - MIDTOWN 2625 Zelda Road Montgomery, AL 36107 HOMETOWNE STUDIOS PHOENIX - WEST 4861 W. 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I made a list of every crime committed in The Office and it only took seven months
Below I’ve listed every law that was broken in The Office (from destruction of property and battery to homicide and kidnapping) whether legal action was taken or not, as well as ideas that people had that were illegal; I’m not a legal expert, I just have a lot of much free time (I labeled the episodes the same way that Netflix does.) S1E3: Dwight claims that multiple people in the office forged medical forms for their health insurance plans S1E6: Michael claims that Dunder Mifflin employees in the 80’s constantly used cocaine S2E1: Pam, Kelly, and Phyllis reveal that there is something written on the women’s bathroom wall, later Pam reveals to Jim that she was the one who wrote it; people throw food at Michael (would fall under battery) S2E2: Packer reveals that he’s been convicted of a DUI S2E3: Dwight reveals that sometimes teenagers use his farm for sex (depending on their ages, this may be illegal as the Pennsylvania age of consent is sixteen) S2E6: Dwight punches Michael in the stomach twice with considerable force (Michael does bait him into doing it though) S2E8: Jim punctures a hole in Dwight’s “fitness orb” with a pair of scissors; it is implied that a former accountant killed himself; Dwight reveals that he made a copy of Michael’s key to the office S2E10: Meredith flashes Michael in his office S2E11: Michael tells everyone on the cruise that the ship is sinking when there’s no danger (creating a false panic is illegal in most cases) S2E12: Dwight crashes his car into a telephone pole outside of the office and leaves his bumper in the street S2E14: Michael says that Packer once held a man’s head into a toilet; it is also implied that Packer was the one who defecated in Michael’s office S2E15: Michael causes lots of damage in the warehouse by improperly using the lift (he also doesn’t have a license to operate it) S2E16: Michael jaywalks (technically illegal though typically not enforced); Michael comments that someone was pooping in a cardboard box in the subway S2E17: Dwight tackles Ryan, Creed, and Stanley to the ground S2E19: Michael finds out that he’s involved in a pyramid scheme S2E20: Dwight finds a joint in the parking lot (Pennsylvania didn’t make steps to decriminalize marijuana until 2014); Michael believes he unknowingly smoked marijuana at a concert; Dwight gives Michael some of his urine so that he can pass a drug test S2E21: Creed faces sideways after his company photo is taken, implying that he’s been arrested in the past S2E22: Creed steals casino chips and also admits to stealing things all of the time; Dwight kisses Angela and she hits him in response (though it seems like both parties were okay with the outcome) S3E1: Roy reveals that he was arrested for drunk driving S3E4: Creed reveals that the reason Ed Truck got decapitated was because he was driving drunk (though this was never confirmed and Creed tends to lie); the bird funeral is lit on fire (probably illegal as they did not have a permit and it was mainly paper and not wood) S3E5: Ryan and Dwight egg the front of Axelrod Ltd’s building S3E6: Jim rides his bike drunk (believe it or not, this is actually illegal) S3E7: Creed sells office equipment S3E8: Andy steals a computer from the Stamford office; after poking holes in everyone’s tires, Michael claims it was Vance Refrigeration workers that did it S3E9: It is revealed that Martin went to jail for insider trading; Kevin admits that insider trading sounds a lot like what he does as well S3E10: Creed removes a present from the charity box (removing uncollected items from charity drives is theft); Pam reveals that she has been sending fake letters from the CIA to Dwight, Jim later gets involved (illegal to pass yourself off as a CIA agent) S3E13: Andy punches a hole through the wall S3E16: Michael reveals that his eighth grade teacher hooked up with at least thirteen students; Dwight reveals that he hunted a werewolf as a child, but it’s more likely that he killed his neighbor’s dog; Dwight traps a bat in a bag over Meredith’s head S3E17: Creed reveals that he has a side business where he makes fake IDs for teens; Creed also reveals that he stole a laminating machine from the sheriff’s station; Dwight accidentally damages David’s roof while inspecting the chimney; Roy and his brother destroy multiple objects in a bar including a mirror, a chair, and multiple glasses (Roy’s brother later reveals that he paid off the bar owner to not call the cops on them) S3E18: Roy attempts to assault Jim in the office after finding out he kissed Pam; Dwight uses pepper spray on Roy when he attempts to assault Jim (this was done defense of Jim however); Jim reveals that Dwight has weapons such as nunchucks and throwing stars hidden in the office; Dwight uses pepper spray against Andy; Dwight is found to have more weapons hidden in his desk such as brass knuckles, a police baton, and a taser S3E19: Darryl reveals that Michael once kicked a ladder out from under him and caused him to break his ankle; Michael accidentally smashes a watermelon on the roof of someone’s car; Michael tries to convince the office that he’s going to commit suicide S3E20: A former Dunder Mifflin employee from the paper mill put a watermark of two cartoon animals having sex on about five-hundred boxes-worth of paper; Creed frames Debbie Brown from the paper mill for not catching the watermark on the paper, which results in her termination; it was revealed that Andy was unknowingly dating a high schooler (only illegal if they had sexual contact); Andy reveals that he and his high school girlfriend knocked over a mailbox with her friends S3E21: Phyllis claims that she was flashed by a man in the parking lot; when Jim calls the police to report the flasher, he says that the police have already gotten three calls; Creed implies that he has flashed people in the past; Jan offers Michael money in return for him driving to New York and having sex (it is illegal to accept or pay money for sex, even if the other person is not a prostitute); Meredith throws her trash out of her car window onto the street while also driving recklessly; while parking her car, Meredith scrapes another car; Creed reveals that he uses the women’s bathroom for bowel movements and has “paid dearly” for it in the past; Dwight and Andy put up barbed wire on the parking lot fence of the office (using barbed wire is typically illegal if the fence is adjacent to a public street) S3E22: Michael lights a bonfire on the beach (he likely did not have a fire permit) S3E23: Jim and Karen sneak into a theater to see the second half of Spamalot (would technically burglary, believe it or not, since they snuck in with the intent of stealing services); Jan claims that the reason she is being fired from Dunder Mifflin is because of her breast implants (though David says it is because of her work ethic) S4E1: Michael hits Meredith with his car and fractures her pelvis; Dwight attempts to mercy kill Angela’s cat by trapping it in her freezer S4E2: Michael claims that when he was a child, he had a foreign exchange student living with him that stole all of his blue jeans when he went back to his home country; Kelly tells Ryan that she is pregnant with his child in an attempt to get him to go on a date with her (this could fall under intentional infliction of emotional distress) S4E3: Michael and Dwight detain the pizza deliveryman in the office conference room; Dwight reveals that the pizza deliveryman steals hemp from his farm; Andy reveals that he stole the ice sculpture he brought to the party; Michael and Dwight steal a tray of sushi and some accessories from a restaurant S4E4: Dwight admits that the permits on the bed and breakfast side of Schrute Farms are still pending even though he is actively taking customers; Creed reveals that he has a second identity that he transfers his debt to; Michael and Jan are likely trespassing while they are sitting on the stationed train S4E6: Dwight attempts to create molotov cocktails to throw in the Utica office; Michael drives recklessly on the highway; while stealing the Utica branch’s industrial copier, Michael and Dwight break it; Dwight reveals more weapons that he has in the office, including a pack of knives, a pair of sai, a sword, and a blowdart (having these weapons in the open is not illegal, but concealing them is) S4E8: Michael purgers himself during Jan’s deposition S4E9: Jan throws a Dundie at Michael’s TV and breaks it S4E10: It is revealed that the model from Micahel’s chair catalog died in a car accident (Dwight says that she was stoned at the time and crashed into the side of an airplane hanger) S4E11: Ryan states that the Dunder Mifflin website was infiltrated by sexual predators (only illegal if they used it to transmit child pornography or arrange meetings with minors with the intent of sexual contact); it is heavily implied that Ryan and his friend Troy are under the influence of cocaine S4E12: Michael places his face in wet cement outside of the office (would be considered destruction of property) S4E13: Andy drives a golf cart recklessly and ends up destroying its roof (and potentially the cart as well) S4E14: Jim sets up Dwight’s cell and work phones to go to his Bluetooth and pretends to be him when clients call (could fall under criminal impersonation); Ryan commits fraud by having people re-record sales and is arrested for it; Dwight, Meredith, and Mose release a raccoon into Holly’s car (only illegal if it does damage to her car) S5E1: Phyllis blackmails Angela by threatening to reveal Angela and Dwight’s affair unless she lets Phyllis run the Party Planning Committee S5E3: Kelly reveals that she downloads pirated music onto her work computer, to which Michael responds, “who hasn’t”; Meredith reveals that she’s been sleeping with a supplier in exchange for discounts on supplies and Outback Steakhouse gift certificates (could fall under the scope of prostitution); Michael threatens to kill everyone if they don’t go to the conference room S5E4: Dwight tries to destroy Jan’s $1,200 stroller S5E5: The office is robbed after Michael and Holly forget to lock the office’s front door; Creed implies that he made the last person who stole from him disappear, and that he stole the identity Creed Bratton from them S5E7: Kelly falsifies customer surveys regarding Jim and Dwight S5E9: Michael attempts to purchase marijuana from two Vance Refrigeration workers, and they trick him into buying a salad in a bag rather than drugs (intent to purchase illegal drugs is illegal, and so is selling counterfeit drugs); Michael and Dwight attempt to frame Toby with drug trafficking and possession of marijuana; when the cops arrive, Creed becomes incredibly worried that he’ll be arrested, implying that he either has drugs in the office, or is a drug dealer S5E10: Dwight tricks Angela into marrying him (this would be considered fraudulently inducing someone into marriage) S5E11: Creed is seen smoking out of a pipe likely containing kif, which has cannabis in it; Creed says that he can get fire permits very quickly, implying that they are possibly fake; Michael forces Meredith into going to a rehab facility (technically falls under the definition of kidnapping) S5E12: Jim uncovers more weapons that Dwight has hidden throughout the office; Andy pins Dwight against a fence with his car, Dwight dents Andy’s car S5E13: Jim connects a red wire to Dwight’s computer which leads outside to the top of the power pole (would qualify as vandalism to the pole); Michael and Dwight attempt to learn information about a competitor under the guise of a potential customer and potential employee (could be considered corporate espionage, but I couldn’t find any specifics) S5E14: Dwight induces panic law by simulating a fire in the office, he additionally damages multiple doors and cuts the phone wires; during the fire drill, multiple office employees damage items in the office including ceiling tiles, the copier machine, and the vending machine; Dwight reveals that he is planning a bomb scare; Dwight is shown to have a hunting knife strapped to his ankle, and he uses this knife to cut apart the CPR dummy (though corporate payed for the damages to the dummy); Andy, Jim, and Pam watch a pirated film S5E15: Dwight buys cookies from Toby in exchange for him signing a form (quid pro quo on this is illegal); Dwight attempts to have his coworkers sign his form under the guise of it being a sign-in sheet; Michael throws full slices of bread on the ground to feed pigeons (it was winter and there were no birds, so this could be considered littering) S5E16: Jim cuts the cord that connects Michael’s phone to the office’s PA system; Dwight finds out that Kelly went to juvenile detention when she was younger; Creed gives Jim a $3 bill (counterfeit money is illegal) S5E17: Creed says he knows where to buy a kid for $7,000; it’s revealed that the reason Kelly was in juvenile detention was because she stole her boyfriend’s father’s boat; Michael cuts off a sleeve from Holly’s sweater; Michael also takes a file off of Holly’s computer (would be classified as unauthorized computer access) S5E18: Phyllis and Bob have sex in a restaurant bathroom (this is technically public sex which is a misdemeanor); Creed steals a bag of blood from the blood drive S5E19: Dwight slaps Michael; Jim slaps Dwight S5E20: Dwight pretends to have kidnapped David’s son S5E21: Michael sneaks back into the office after being asked to leave (technically trespassing as it is private property and he was escorted out of the building) S5E22: Michael breaks his condominium agreement by having the Michael Scott Paper Company located within his condo (though the owner only sent a warning that he needed to stop); Ryan steals three pairs of bowling shoes before he quits the bowling alley; Michael asks Billy to sell him a ‘secret office space’ off of the books within the Scranton Business Park S5E23: Dwight claims that a woman named Haddie McGonagle was murdered in the Dunder Mifflin office space in 1816 (though he probably made this up) S5E24: Dwight steals supplies and files from the Michael Scott Paper Company’s office S5E26: While fixing her dress, Meredith accidentally reveals one of her breasts, as well as her crotch and her backside (was accidental, but could be considered public indecency) S5E27: Dwight cuts open the back of Phyllis’ blouse so he can give her a massage; Creed reveals that he doesn’t have any mirrors in his car that let him see behind the car (in Pennsylvania, it is illegal to drive without at least one mirror that lets you see behind the car) S5E28: Dwight’s friend Rolph once inquired about shoes that increased speed and didn’t leave any tracks, implying that he was going to commit a crime S6E1: Stanley wrecks Michael’s car with a tire iron S6E2: Dwight and Toby accidentally crash into a few trash cans outside Darryl’s house; Dwight uncovers that the real cause of Darryl’s injury was from misuse of company equipment S6E4: Michael ties full beer cans to the back of his car which left debris all over the road; Dwight implies that Mose is going to be castrating horses (only legal if Mose has a veterinary license, which is unlikely); Dwight also claims that he has a device which can make hamburgers out of horse meat without killing the horse (likely animal cruelty) S6E5: The Niagara Falls hotel staff incinerated Kevin’s shoes (they claim they did it because it was a safety issue); Dwight gifts a turtle to Jim and Pam for their wedding and appears to not have made any holes in the box (likely animal cruelty); Dwight accidentally kicks Isabel in the face while dancing S6E6: While answering Jim’s phone, Kevin pretends to be Jim and accidentally cancels his credit cards S6E7: Dwight secretly records the conversations in Jim’s office (Pennsylvania has a two-party consent law which means that all parties in the conversations must consent to being recorded); Andy talks about a 60 Minutes segment that went into working conditions of a paper mill in Peru (the 60 Minutes segment likely went into illegal conditions within the mill) S6E8: Meredith reveals that she has had sex with a known terrorist; while writing down things that people don’t want to be made fun of for, Creed says that if he writes his down, he cannot be charged for it; a custodian reveals that when Michael fell into the koi pond, he accidentally killed one of the fish S6E9: Ryan shows Erin a topless photo of Kelly in the office (could be considered indecent exposure since it was in a public space within the office); Creed implies that a shipping order was never supposed to reach it’s location, possibly indicating that he stole a shipment S6E10: Creed flees the office when Michael tells him that there was a murder and that he was a suspect, implying that he may be involved in a murder S6E12: Dwight secretly records a phone call between Jim and David S6E13: As part of Secret Santa, Andy gives Erin the Twelve Days of Christmas, inadvertently resulting in physical injury to her and potentially her home and car; Creed implies that he’s done “evil” things; Michael says that he has often claimed to be David’s childrens’ pediatrician to get him on the phone S6E16: Andy accidentally gives Meredith a large paper cut on her throat; Ryan implies to Dwight that they should torture Jim S6E17: While escorting Jim and Pam to the hospital, Dwight puts a police light on the top of his car; Michael uses his phone to text and make a call while driving; when being pulled over, Dwight throws multiple large weapons out his window; Michael parks in an ambulance-only parking spot S6E18: Dwight breaks a window to enter Jim and Pam’s home; after breaking in, Dwight discovers mold in their home and destroys walls and cabinets with a crew of workers so he can refurbish their kitchen; Jim comments that he had five parking tickets on his windshield S6E20: Creed tries to act casual when Michael announces that the lost and found has gone missing, implying he may have stolen it; Andy aggressively tries to take a pen from Darryl (could be considered battery); Dwight strangles Kevin in an attempt to get information from him; Michael and Dwight, and then later Andy and Erin, walk around the Scranton dump (would be considered trespassing); Michael and Dwight throw large pieces of garbage at each other; Michael and Dwight take two chairs from the dump S6E21: Phyllis claims she likes getting men to flirt with her so that Bob will beat them up; Michael accidentally damages multiple objects while being reckless at the bar; Dwight breaks his contract with Angela (unsure as to whether a lawyer was involved with the first contract, but Angela served Dwight with a summons for breaking it, leading me to believe it was legitimate); Hide admits that he killed a Yakuza boss on purpose and then came to America illegally S6E22: Meredith steals and uses Pam’s breast pump S6E24: Michael hires Dwight to follow Donna around to see if she’s cheating on him (following someone isn’t illega, but it could be considered stalking or harassment); Creed implies that he’s committed crimes for low levels of reward; Michael says he’s going to kill the guy who’s kissing Donna in her Facebook photo (though he immediately takes it back) S6E25: Michael keeps throwing out radon kits that Toby put around the office; Michael once again claims that he would kill Toby; Dwight claims that his money is buried underneath someone (though we don’t know if this is a grave or a buried corpse); Dwight and Angela’s lawyer comments that their sex contract is dangerously close to prostitution and illegal S7E1: Dwight tears the head off of Phyllis’ teddy bear and pulls a knife on Jim; Meredith breaks into Michael’s nephew’s car; Michael spanks his nephew S7E2: Dwight attempts to open a daycare center that is absolutely not up to safety codes; Toby allows Michael to forge his counseling paperwork S7E4: Dwight is shown attempting to pick up what would appear to be illegal immigrants for day labour and then instead of paying them, has Mose pretend to be an INS agent, kidnaps the workers, and then drops them off in Harrisburg; Holly claims that multiple people died in a traffic accident (though it’s incredibly likely that she was kidding); Michael takes an incredibly quick turn without his turn signal on S7E5: Michael, Dwight, and Jim secretly watch Danny’s meeting with Meredith through hidden cameras (only illegal if they are recording the footage) S7E7: Angela steals all of the scones from Cece’s christening (though they were for public consumption so it probably wouldn’t constitute as theft) S7E8: The Scranton Strangler leads police on a high speed pursuit; Michael tells Pam that he has a loaded gun hidden in his desk at the office; Michael cuts the cable going to Gabe’s apartment S7E10: Erin floats the idea of hiring a new employee, killing them, and then cashing in on the life insurance policy; Dwight and Phyllis float the idea of bombing China; Pam accuses Dwight of breaking property code laws S7E11: Dwight and Jim keep throwing snowballs at each other with force, and some that contained pebbles (snowball fights themselves aren’t illegal, but it’s illegal in most places to throw objects which could be considered missiles, and Jim is also shown with what appears to be blood on his clothes afterwards); Dwight asks Toby is he’s on the jury for the middle school teacher who tried to turn a foreign exchange student into a sex slave; Meredith asks Toby if it’s the case with the postman who rubbed his genitals on deliveries; Michael throws out supplies and food meant for the Christmas party; Dwight is shown dragging the Christmas tree out of the office to throw it out; one of the snowballs that Jim lobs at Dwight breaks a window; Michael throws Holly’s Woody doll into the trash and pours coffee on it S7E12: Jim stabs a few snowmen with his umbrella hoping that Dwight is hiding in one of them S7E13: Michael claims that regardless if Holly gets engaged or not, he will probably either attack people in rage or burn the building down in happiness S7E15: Michael leaves without paying at the Chinese restaurant; Creed is also listed on the wall of diners who did not pay for their meal S7E17: Michael most likely did not have permits to film in some of the locations featured in Threat Level Midnight; multiple characters in Michael’s film are seen using guns (you do not need a permit to have a gun in your home or business place in Pennsylvania, but multiple characters concealed their weapons during the film, though the guns are likely fake); a mannequin of Toby is blown up during Michael’s film (depending on the type of explosive used, certification may be required); during the hockey scene of the film, Michael comments that it was filmed during an actual Scranton High hockey game (could be seen as defiant trespassing and/or disorderly conduct) S7E18: Packer humps Michael and Dwight while they’re underneath a desk; Dwight throws away Holly’s zen garden; Dwight offers Packer a hot chocolate laced with many laxatives (depending on the amount, it could be considered assault or even homicide since extreme dehydration could kill someone); Andy purposely does damage to his computer’s keyboard and hard drive; Andy and Pam slightly damage Andy’s new computer; Jim and Dwight pretend to be Sabre employees and tell Packer he can jump the gate at Jo’s house S7E19: Ryan uses Phyllis and Oscar’s faces on his mom’s pesto and salsa recipes (would fall under right of publicity laws); Ryan adds a Kosher certification onto his mom’s pesto recipe (against FDA regulations); Michael pours gasoline all over the parking lot; Michael wants to steal a corpse from a medical school to use in his proposal to Holly S7E20: Michael eggs Toby’s house; Kevin colors on a restaurant tablecloth with crayons; Ryan admits to have done drugs in the past S7E21: Gabe confronts Andy and threatens him to stay away from Erin (could be considered criminal threatening); Deangelo claims that he caught the person who stole one of Jo’s dogs S7E24: Dwight accidentally fires his gun through the floor; Meredith claims that during the shooting she lost her necklace, a ring, and a painting and will be reporting it to the insurance company; Ryan claims that Dwight’s accident felt like an act of terrorism; Pam claims that Dwight has hidden more weapons in the office S7E25: Creed parks his car in the middle of the parking lot S7E26: Dwight admits that he would have created a fake identity for his character of Jacques Souvenier if Jo had hired him as manager S8E1: Dwight uses a fire extinguisher to knock Meredith off of the top of a bathroom stall, drops a ream of paper on a warehouse employee’s head to get him off a table, and flips a table over to get Toby off of it; Dwight throws Jim’s phone against the wall with force and a shatter is heard; Dwight instigates a fight between nearly everyone in the office S8E2: Andy says he will streak across the parking lot if the office accrues enough points S8E3: Dwight pours his drink on the inside of someone’s car; Oscar smashes the car’s window and brake light with a crowbar; Dwight drives the baler through the warehouse wall; Erin and Kevin spread grease all over the warehouse floor; Dwight, Jim, Erin, and Kevin damage multiple boxes of paper S8E4: Dunder Mifflin billboards across town are shown to be vandalized; Mose crashes Toby’s car into a corn field; Mose very tightly lines up everyone’s cars so that he can run across the roofs (he likely made scratches and dents while planning and executing this plan) S8E5: Dwight is shown to have brought many weapons into the office in the past as part of Halloween costumes and threatened to kill Toby with them (though the weapons were never concealed and Toby usually confiscated them before he entered the office S8E6: Oscar stated in an email that he believes that Robert has strangled at least one stripper; Kelly states in an email that they should kill Robert; Dwight’s accountability booster is dangerously close to a form of blackmail; Gabe says that he is going to go to a cemetery and drink (it’s actually illegal to drink in most cemeteries); Pam stops Kevin from hitting Dwight over the head with a frying pan; Jim takes Robert’s phone and attempts to deletes an email (technically illegal to use someone’s phone without their permission) S8E7: Dwight repeatedly grabs Jim’s crotch S8E8: A Civil War informational video reveals that the soldiers from Schrute Farm were soldiers that went AWOL S8E9: When Dwight suggests that everyone in the office is in a suicide cult, Creed strongly denies it, implying that he probably is in one; Jim leaves his car running and unattended in the middle of the parking lot S8E10: Dwight punches Jim in the arm; Erin asks Andy for Jessica to die; Meredith threatens to drive drunk if Andy doesn’t drive her home; Meredith rides in the back of her van without a seatbelt on S8E11: Andy asks Oscar to add $800 to their quarterly sales, implying it could be seen as a rounding error; Kevin offers to make that rounding error for Andy S8E12: Jim drives over Robert’s lawn and breaks his mailbox S8E15: Jim creates a fake murder scene in his hotel room for Dwight which involved stained towels, knocked over and possibly broken furniture, a writing on the door; Dwight threatens to light Jim’s face on fire; Dwight leaves the hospital with his IV solution bag, which implies he likely didn’t pay for his visit before leaving S8E16: Gabe sprays an inhaler into Packer’s drink; Dwight damages his hotel room keycard; Dwight sprays a compound of chemicals in Jim’s hotel room creating what he claims is a biohazard S8E17: Multiple homeless people are sleeping on the sidewalk outside the Sabre store (it’s usually only illegal for homeless individuals to sleep on the sidewalk if a shelter is available); Dwight tells Packer that he should act like a sexual predator when talking to the female teenage customers; a group of children throw pinecones at Andy and Pam, and one of them punches Andy in the face resulting in a black eye; Creed strikes the back of Meredith’s head; Ryan calls his uncle to get a prescription for Ritalin; Kelly attacks Toby and then accidentally elbows Andy in the face S8E18: Dwight leaves a treasure chest in the office which fires a poisoned dart upwards at whomever opens it; Jim and Dwight tackle and punch each other; Kevin forcibly kisses Meredith S8E19: Darryl drags Dwight out of his office by his hair; Andy tosses a container of eggplant parmesan onto the street; Andy leaves his car unattended in the middle of an intersection S8E20: Dwight offers to hit Nellie with a candlestick; Jessica’s friends throw food at Andy’s car S8E21: Andy smashes the frame holding a picture of Nellie; Andy punches another hole into the wall S8E22: Andy loiters at the office parking lot S8E23: Dwight and Jim create a fake identity to work around the commission cap (Dwight even admits that it’s extremely similar to embezzlement or fraud); Harry threatens to choke out Toby; Dwight tells Jim he should dent the hood of Harry’s car or slash the tires; Dwight attempts to activate the elevator’s seismic failsafes to stop the elevator; Pam steals Nellie’s phone and deletes all of her voicemails (technically illegal to use someone’s phone without their permission); Andy tells Robert if he doesn’t hire him back, he will give Prestige Direct Mail Solutions’ business to a competitor (technically blackmail) S8E24: Kevin and Robert accidentally head butt each other; Andy mops the carpets, likely damaging them; Dwight steals Philip’s used diaper so he can have a paternity test done (this is called gene theft); Angela and Dwight both speed and drive recklessly; Angela hits Mose multiple times; Dwight and Mose both leave their cars unattended in the middle of the street; Robert forcibly kisses Andy; Dwight forces himself on Angela (though seconds later she is a willing participant) S9E1: Andy threatens to make up a reason to fire Nellie (since Toby is aware of this, if Nellie were to sue Andy, Toby would have to testify against him); Andy purposely pushes Nellie off of the slack-lining rope; Dwight deconstructs Dunder Mifflin equipment to create his trapeze set; Dwight gets stuck on the slack-line and the fire department has to come to get him down; Andy places all of the recycling bins near Nellie and has people throw their trash at her S9E2: While the building’s janitor is on vacation, the building becomes incredibly dirty to the point where rats can be seen (likely against multiple health codes); Nellie forces Dwight into a situation where he has to chop off her hand (though he doesn’t go through with it) S9E3: Nellie drives recklessly; Nellie uses her phone while driving S9E4: Dwight and Toby find EMF hotspots in the office which could imply that there’s poor wiring in the building (depending on how bad the wiring actually is, this could actually break laws); Stanley threatens to spank Clark; Dwight drives the work bus (depending on the type of bus it was, Dwight would need a certain license to drive it); Phyllis asks someone to just start driving the bus while Dwight is on the roof; Dwight drops himself through the rooftop emergency exit on the bus onto Jim; Dwight drives the bus recklessly S9E5: Creed comes into the office with blood stains all over his clothes (it likely was not his blood, so he may have harmed someone); Andy reveals he had sex with a snowman while at Cornell (would fall under public indecency); Dwight catches Meredith in a net and causes her to fall to the floor S9E6: Kevin leaves his car in the middle of the parking lot so he can run to the bathroom; Oscar forges documents to make it looks like Kevin has been taking money from Dunder Mifflin; Nellie, Jim, Pam, and Darryl create a situation where Dwight believes that police have surrounded David’s house; Pete’s friend Flipper once drunkenly flipped a table over at a bar S9E7: Dwight claims he used to have a barber who fought dogs and made dogs fight each other; Clark is used as leverage by Dwight to get Jan’s business (this trade would be dangerously close to prostitution) S9E8: Dwight reveals that Trevor has had numerous guns stolen from him; Angela hires Trevor to murder Oscar; Dwight claims he has left poop in a paper bag on people’s porches (would be classified as vandalism); Trevor claims that people have left poop in a bag on his porch multiple times; Angela asks Trevor to break Oscar’s kneecaps instead; Trevor brings a concealed weapon into the office; Phyllis taps a stranger on the back with the sharp end of a knife; Phyllis forcibly removes a decorative wine bottle from its base; Angela kicks Oscar in the shin S9E9: Dwight hits Oscar and Jim with a stick; Darryl collapses on a table and breaks it in half S9E10: Dwight throws his coffee cup up in the air, likely staining the carpet; Dwight sprays a disinfectant in Erin, Pam, Angela, and Meredith’s faces; Erin tackles Stanley; Meredith reveals that one of her exes keyed a bunch of people’s cars; Meredith also reveals that she pooped into an office shredder; Dwight accidentally sets off an insecticidal grenade (I don’t believe there is a real insecticidal grenade but I’m sure there’s some law against either setting one off or doing so with people nearby); Angela hits Oscar in the head with a coffee pot; Kevin misuses one of the warehouse machines and causes it to break; Dwight accidentally sets off another insecticidal grenade in his car (he most likely still drove his car after while experiencing hallucinogenic side effects) S9E11: Jim is seen driving a motorcycle (Jim likely did not have a motorcycle license); Dwight suggests that Jim should drive 240 miles per hour so he can get to the office faster; Creed steals Phyllis’ ring; Kevin forcibly lifts Angela up multiple times; Darryl misses a basketball hoop and accidentally breaks a wall lamp and electrocutes a fish tank (though Darryl agreed to pay for the damage); multiple people in the office tear up the carpet flooring S9E12: Dwight rips open a couch cushion with a knife; Dwight drives one of the delivery trucks (he likely does not have a license to drive the truck); Dwight throws a milkshake through the drive-thru window at an employee; a customer in the drive-thru throws a milkshake at Dwight S9E13: Dwight reveals that Rolf uses hand grenades to fish; Mose is seen running in the middle of the street (could be considered jaywalking); Dwight reveals that when he was a child, he went to a school that was run by a conman; one of Dwight’s friends reveals that the school used the students as labor; Melvina reveals that she’s been double parked for about two hours; Dwight gives the sales rep applicants Jim’s home address so they can toilet paper it; Rolf tells Dwight to be weary of any suspicious packages he may get, implying that he’ll be sending him potentially dangerous packages; Dwight attempts to suffocate Clarke S9E14: Frank vandalizes Pam’s warehouse mural; Angela hits Oscar; Dwight and Pam vandalize Frank’s truck; Frank rushes at Pam with the intent to hit her; Brian hits Frank in the face with his boom mic S9E15: Meredith suggests that everyone in the office should try cocaine S9E16: Dwight’s Aunt Shirley slaps Angela; Andy snoops through Erin’s phone; Andy kicks Toby; Angela accidentally sets off the hose on Dwight (the hose likely has the same pressure as a firehose, which is about 150 PSI, so this could be considered assault); Toby leaves the prison wearing a neck brace after visiting the Scranton Stranger, implying the Strangler attempted to strangled him; S9E17: Dwight throws dirt in the faces of Erin, Phyllis, Kevin, Oscar, Meredith, Angela, Stanley, Pam and Jim; Dwight’s brother Jeb drives his car into Aunt Shirley’s grave; Packer reveals he’s in Narcotics Anonymous, implying he used to use drugs; Dwight reveals that his family members have accidentally buried family members who were thought to be dead but were actually in deep sleep; Dwight unloads a shotgun into his aunt’s corpse; Jeb reveals that he owns a worm farm in California (medical marijuana was not legalized in California until 2018); Packer reveals that the cupcakes he gave out to everyone in the office, as well as to Jim and Darryl were laced with drugs, some legal and some not; Packer is seen having parked his car halfway between a handicapped spot and a do-not-park zone; Clarke reveals that while drugged, he defected in some bushes S9E18: Dwight dumps a bucket of water onto Phyllis, and is likely the same person who dumped a bucket of water onto Andy as well (technically would be classified as assault); Meredith exposes her breasts in the office; Angela slaps Oscar S9E19: Dwight shoots Stanley with three tranquilizers meant for a bull (horse tranquilizers can cause serious harm to humans, and a bull tranquilizer likely has a higher dosage); Meredith squirts some of the bull tranquilizer into her drink (probably not illegal since she put it into her own drink, but it would be classified as placing a foreign object into an edible, which is actually a felony); Dwight and Clarke accidentally slam Stanley’s unconscious body into two walls; while sliding down a flight of stairs, Stanley’s unconscious body makes a dent in the wall; Andy kicks over an empty trash can; a man at the talent agency claims that through his dog-cat-mouse act, he goes through a lot of mice (allowing your pet to eat live animals can be considered animal cruelty); Stanley tranquilizes himself so that he doesn’t have to climb the stairs S9E20: Creed smashes a melon on the warehouse floor; Pam accidentally hits Toby in the eye with a paper airplane; Erin reveals that when she was in the orphanage, she once ripped Susan’s pigtails off of her head; Erin crushes a box of packing peanuts; Clarke asks Pam and Jim to share the drugs he think they’re high on; Angela is seen taking rolls of toilet paper from the office S9E21: Lackawanna County takes away “two sacks” worth of Angela’s cats because she is violating her apartment complex’s pet rules; Dwight throws his briefcase and hits multiple items; Dwight nearly kicks and punches multiple in the office; Andy asks Toby to falsify files; Andy attempts to grope Toby; Andy dedicates on David’s car (this would be classified as vandalism and public indecency); S9E22: Dwight reveals that his grandmother was shot by Adolph Coors; Dwight throws the summoning bag against the back of Jim’s head; Casey Dean jumps on the back of the a cappella show host; Meredith spanks Darryl; Dwight is seen driving with his police light on his car; Dwight drives recklessly S9E23: Dwight reveals that Creed faked his own death; Dwight also reveals that the police are looking for Creed as he sold drugs, trafficked endangered animal meat, and stole weapons-grade LSD from the military; Oscar reveals that Kevin used to make up numbers to balance the books; Mose kidnaps Angela and locks her in his trunk for three hours; Creed changes his identity; Ryan reveals that his partner abandoned him and their child; Ryan purposely gives his son an allergic reaction; Kelly and Ryan abandon his son with Ravi; Nellie takes Ryan’s son as her own child (she didn’t legally adopt him so this would be considered child abduction); Pam attempts to sell their home without Jim’s knowledge (since Jim bought the house as a surprise, his name is likely on the deed as well and Pam wouldn’t be able to sell it without him); Kevin spills alcohol all over a cabinet while filling up glasses
Angela was the coolest supervisor I’ve ever had. At the time, we were working at a little advertising startup called Digital Marketing Technologies, or just DMT. She was a graphic designer and I was hired out of College to manage Google ad accounts. But to Brad, none of that mattered. Brad was the owner and only salesman of our little startup. A balding, late thirties wannabe celebrity, he envisioned himself as the next Gary Vee. So much so that he regarded his LinkedIn self promotional videos as more important than his clients. He was a good salesman, but he had nothing even remotely approaching anything resembling knowledge on how to effectively run a business. Case in point, almost all of the staff who wasn’t strictly video, were designated as ‘graphic designers’ whether or not they actually were one. That was the bucket I currently fell in. Brad had tossed me into that position after jerking me around his company as an intern for the better part of a year, and treating me like absolute garbage. At first, I took it with a smile, figuring that’s just how it was. While I was working under Angela though, she made it abundantly clear just how fucked up Brad actually was. Being a young white man, with little experience, I didn’t see the rampant sexism, barely subdued racism and ethically dubious business practices that defined Brad. He hid it well for the most part under his fantastical razzle dazzle of technobabble and pompous self importance. He paraded around like a rock star, hosting $10,000 seminars in Toronto that no one came to, and uploading what he considered to be nuggets of marketing genius, most which were barely more than drunken ramblings. He was a sham and Angela saw right through him, and she made sure he didn’t try and fuck over his own employees. Brad’s startup was already circling the drain. His VP, Craig had quit in a rage about a month ago, followed by his assistant Janice. With the structure of his upper management compromised, he’d made the crucial mistake of bringing in Jake. Jake was Brad’s biggest fan. A mechanic by trade, who sold juice for a multi level marketing scheme on the side, his ‘job application’ had been an overlong fan letter that Janice had shared with us just before she left. While Brad didn’t openly call him Craig’s replacement, that was basically what he was.I would have felt bad for him. An inexperienced Yes Man getting put into a role he couldn’t possibly fill. Maybe I could have even related, but Jake had one fundamental flaw. He was every bit the asshole that Brad was, and something of a creep to boot. He stared at people too long, smiled too wide and acted so condescendingly friendly. He’d ask the stupidest questions in a tone that implied that YOU were the idiot who didn’t know what was going on, not the other way around. Like Brad, he fancied himself a Marketing guru. He even had his own website that was essentially a blank screen with a link to his merch store. Yes, he had a merch store. No, no one ever bought anything off of it. His one redeeming quality was that he was about as dumb as a box of rocks, and it was almost pathetically easy to slip stealth insults into casual conversation with him. So, to put a lid on it all, DMT was already a rapidly sinking dumpster fire of a company, with more problems than I have time to list. Being the ‘genius’ that he was however, Brad had a fix. Since the holidays were coming around, and I’m pretty sure it was impossible not to notice that his modest staff all hated him, Brad elected to throw the Christmas party early, and he wanted to pull out all the stops. He booked everyone individual hotel rooms in Niagara Falls for a Thursday-Friday night of partying. To Brad, that meant enough alcohol to kill most living things and gambling away that years profits. The idea was not a popular one… But, most of us stuck it out, hoping that maybe, just maybe it wouldn’t suck. It did. Angela and I had driven down together, and suffered through the disappointment together. I wouldn’t call that Thursday night much of a Christmas party, as much as a disorganized bender. We all watched Brad knock back drink after drink, getting louder and more obnoxious. Given that it was a Thursday in November, very little was open late, and the evening barely lasted until around 10 before Brad decided it was time to hit the casinos! I bowed out at that point. Gambling never interested me, and I had absolutely zero interest in watching Brad get hammered and waste more money that he probably didn’t have. He didn’t take that so well. “Come on, Greg!” he slurred, just outside the Fallsview Casino. “Okay, I’ll tell you what. I’ll stake you. If you win, it’s yours man!” “No thanks, it wouldn’t feel right to gamble with your money.” I said. “Okay well… Okay… What about a years payroll, right?” He looked around at the others with us. I saw Angela’s brow crinkle in disgust. “Let’s just pool it, and see where we get?!” No one took him up on that offer, and he waved it off, enthusiastically going to feed another of his many addictions. According to Angela when I talked to her the next morning, it had gone about as well as expected. Brad hadn’t gone broke, but he had needed Jake to carry him back to his hotel room. Angela herself had left shortly after I did and only got that information from one of the other ‘Graphic Designers’ Leanne. As soon as we had the chance to leave, Angela and I were in my car and headed back to Hamilton. “You know, you’d think he would’ve taken the hint that none of us wanted to go, but he did it, and then he wonders why no one had a good time. It’s Niagara Falls at midnight on a Thursday. Of course nothing was open!” Angela said as we drove. “Well, least we got free food.” I said, it was just about the biggest and only positive aspect of the event. Angela scoffed. “Yeah… Funny how he ran out on the bill and made Jake pay.” I hadn’t noticed that, but I still believed it. She looked down at her phone, checking a game she was playing on it, before pausing. “Oh shoot, hey, do you mind if we make a quick stop?” “Not at all, why what’s up?” “I figure we’re in wine country, right? I wanted to pick up some ice wine for my Mom, I didn’t really get the chance while we were in town.” “I don’t really see why not.” I said, “Google it, lemme know if there’s a place nearby.” She did, and sure enough there was a place a few exits ahead. “Looks like the only one open today…” She murmured, “Greystone Winerys.” She scrolled through their website for a bit, as the GPS told me where to go in a soothing British accent. The exit led me to a narrow backroad. On either side of us, all I could see was empty farmland and sparsely populated trees. No sign of anything resembling a winery. “How much further?” I asked, and she checked her phone. “Says about fifteen minutes… I dunno, it’s acting up.” I scanned the horizon for any indication of a driveway or something. But the road was just a straight unbroken line through empty lifeless land. The only sign of civilization was the phone lines on the side of the road. “Up ahead!” Angela said, just when I thought I saw something past a patch of trees. The turn she indicated led us to a worn out, empty parking lot. A skeletal gazebo sat in the middle of it, amongst patches of snow. The building in front of that gazebo was old and looked almost Victorian. Behind it, I could see what a vineyard that looked strangely empty. “This is the place.” Angela said, as I parked my car. I couldn’t help but admire that creepy parking lot. I snapped a photo of it, before following her to the building where she was trying the door. “Locked.” She said, and frowned, “Maybe they aren’t open then.” She checked her phone again, since there were no listed hours. “Google probably just lists their summer hours.” I said, “This place has to be abandoned right now.” “Yeah… Maybe I’ll stop off at a liquor store or something then. They might have some there.” Angela seemed to shrug it off, and we headed back to the car after our very brief little adventure. We were barely halfway there when I saw a familiar bright orange Corvette round the corner into the parking lot. I actually felt disappointment upon seeing it. The Corvette sped into a parking spot right beside my SUV, and Brad got out wearing the biggest grin on his face. “Hey! What are you guys doing here!” Jake got out of the passenger seat, as Brad approached us. Angela looked like she had to fight to keep from rolling her eyes and groaning in disappointment. “Keeping the party going, huh, Champ?” Brad asked playfully, and punched me on the shoulder a little too hard. “No… We were just stopping to-” “Hey, we were gonna do a wine tasting! C’mon! Join us, it’ll be fun!” That was the worst idea I had ever heard in my life, and I hated Brad even more for saying it. “I really don’t feel like it.” I said, and Jake helpfully chimed in with; “A bit of wine won’t kill you y’know, have some fun! It’ll be good for morale!” He wore the sort of smile I imagine must have physically hurt to maintain. I also felt my eyes drawn to his shirt, which naturally came from his merch store, the one that no one on the planet knew existed except for him. Shiitake Happens Real original. Brad was already pounding on the door of the winery as if the people who weren’t inside owed him money. “HEY! COME ON! WE’RE HERE FOR A WINE TASTING!” He yelled. Amazingly, no one answered! Who’d have guessed? “They’re closed.” Angela said, “We already tried.” “But Google says they’re open!” Jake chirped. “And no one’s here, so they’re closed.” Angela replied. Jake didn’t take the hint. “But Google says-” He started to repeat, but he was thankfully cut off by a gruff voice behind us. “We’re closed.” A man had come around the side of the building. He looked gruff and wore wading overalls. “Finally…” Brad murmured under his breath, “We’re here for a wine tasting!” “Those are in the summer.” The man replied, “We’re closed for the season.” “But you have wine, right?” Brad asked. The man frowned. “We do… But we’re closed.” “Well, obviously not entirely or you wouldn’t be here.” Brad said, and took out his wallet, “Look. We’re here for a wine tasting. For four…” I started to protest, but Jake had to cut me off, to avenge the stupid sentence he didn’t get to finish earlier. Angela sighed in exasperation. “Yes sir, four please!” Brad took a handful of bills I didn’t think he actually had, and offered them to the man. “Come on, it’s fine!” He assured the man. The Man just stared at him. He looked at Brad, then at Jake, then finally at Angela and I. He took the money and jammed it into one of his pockets. “Come on then… I suppose I can arrange something since you came all this way. Lemme just call Mr. Greystone.” He marched off towards the back of the building, fumbling with his cell phone and Brad followed him. “I told you it was open!” Jake said smugly, as if Brad hadn’t just begged and bribed the man to give us a wine tasting. Angela and I stayed put for a moment. “Fuck it, let’s just go.” She said. Me, misconstruing that, took a weary step forward to follow. She hesitated for a moment, before going after me. She didn’t bother correcting herself. The man led us to a long barn out behind the vineyard. Going through the empty grapevines felt a little unsettling, and as we headed out towards the barn, I heard the man and Brad talking. “So, where abouts are you folks from?” He asked. “Well, I’m from Texas originally, but I settled down here. Jake, you’re from… What, Oshawa? Hey Greg! What’s that town you live in again? Brantford? Our office is in Vaughan and this guy commutes from Brantford, can you believe that?” I didn’t answer, even though he got it right. Angela trailed behind us, being ignored by Brad, but I could tell she was furious to be caught up in this. “He’s supposed to be meeting with a client.” She said, once Jake and Brad were far enough ahead of us, “That’s where he said he was going this morning. Did you smell the booze on him?” I hadn’t, but it wasn’t hard to guess that Brad was drunk. “This is why he keeps losing business.” She said. We’d had conversations like this countless times before. I knew Angela had even brought it up with Brad, and he’d laughed it off. The Man opened the barn door, letting us inside. “I assume you’d like the tour first.” He said coolly. “Hell yes we want the tour!” Brad said and immediately stepped inside, followed by the rest of us. The Man followed us in, and closed the door behind us. As soon as he did, we heard another man speak. “So, you’re the ones Archie found out front?”The speaker was a younger man in similar wading overalls. He had a full beard and sparkling blue eyes. His handshake was firm. “I’m Isaac Greystone, I own the place. Archie tells me you were looking for a tour?” “That and a tasting!” Brad said, and hastily introduced myself and Jake. He didn’t even bother introducing Angela. “Well then, it’s a pleasure to meet you all. You just came at a really exciting time. We’re not open to the public right now, but I figure since you’re offering to pay for it, I might as well show you around, right?” “Damn right.” Brad said, “A man after my own heart.” Isaac tipped a thousand watt smile that almost rivaled Jakes. “Well, let’s get started… I suppose you know how ice wine is made, right? How we freeze the grapes, and press them to make sure our wine is concentrated. It takes a little longer to ferment, but the final product is so, so worth it.” He led us deeper into the barn. Massive machinery worked on the frozen grapes around us, and it was almost too loud to hear him speak clearly as he walked Brad and Jake through the process. I barely paid any attention, hoping we could just get this over with as soon as possible and looking for the earliest opportunity to make an excuse to leave. “We just finished our harvest this year!” Isaac said, “So the wine we’re making now is going to keep us stocked for the next year or so. It’s not going to be ready quite yet, but we’ve still got some samples!” “Well bring them out then!” Brad said, “Let’s taste these bad boys!” Isaacs grin never faded, and he led us to a side room. “I think you’re gonna love this.” He said, “We have a bit of a special fermenting technique, I can’t say too much about it right now. Trade secret and all, but it gives our wine just the right amount of body and personality. It’s why Greystone is one of the top selling ice wines in the world. We even have some exclusive labels, that we make special for some of our particularly discriminating clients…” Isaac went behind a small bar, and fetched a couple of bottles of the ice wines from a fridge beneath it. He set out four glasses. “So you do special blends?” Brad asked, and traded an approving look with Jake.“See that, that is branding. That’s what having a brand is all about!” Jake nodded enthusiastically in approval. “It’s amazing branding.” I was pretty sure that had very little to do with branding. “I’ve got some samples of those right here.” Isaac said, as if he hadn’t heard a word they were saying. He held up a bottle with the Greystone logo, and a stylized wolfs head on the label. “This we manufacture for one of our best private companies. You ever heard of the Tallinn Corporation?” “No, I don’t think I have, who are they?” Brad asked. “Our best customers, that’s who. They’re Estonian, but they love us. Here. Try a glass…” He filled all four glasses, and Brad immediately snatched one up. I saw Isaac set a bucket on the counter for us to spit the wine into after tasting it. I’d never been to a wine tasting before in my life, but even I knew you weren’t supposed to actually drink it. Brad drank it. He drank it all in one big embarassing gulp. Isaac looked at him with a bit of surprise, as if he hadn’t quite expected that. “Oh Jesus, that’s brisk!” Brad said, “Here, lemme have some more of that…” Jake, for all his flaws, had the decency to drink the wine slowly. Angela didn’t drink at all. He did not however, have the decency to not make weirdly sexual moans as he enjoyed the drink. I hated it when he did that. “Greg, try that!” Brad said, as Isaac filled up another glass for him. I took a sip. Never in my life had I ever had ice wine before, but it was delicious. Easily one of the sweetest things I’d ever tasted! I spit it into the bucket. “What? You don’t like it?” Brad asked. “No, it’s delicious!” I said, “I just thought…” “Well, here’s a toast then!” Brad raised his second glass, “Hey, Angela! Come on! Don’t be a spoilsport.” Angela just glared at him, as if to ask ‘Do you know what the fuck you’re even doing right now?’ She set her glass down. “No thanks.” “Alright… Fine, whatever.” Brad said, shrugging it off. He tossed back the glass, and Jake attempted to do the same. I just took another sip and swallowed it. I guessed it would’ve been a shame to let it go to waste. “That’s got kick…” Brad murmured. I watched as Angela headed towards the door. “I think I’m just gonna wait by the car.” She said, and I understood that she wanted to get out of there. I did too. “Greg, have some more!” Brad urged me. Angela was waiting by the door, before sighing and stepping out. I didn’t, and set my glass down. “I think I’m good, actually. Angela’s got an appointment and we should get going.” “Oh boo!” Brad said, “You can be a bit late, come on!” “We’re already late.” Angela said, “Thanks for everything, Brad. Really. See you on Monday.” She left abruptly and I followed. “Who the hell does he even think he is?” She growled as she stormed towards the exit to the barn. “Seriously, blowing off his meetings to go and get drunk? What an idiot!” I tried to keep up with her, but was starting to feel a little woozy. “Yeah, he’s a prick.” I murmured. Angela stopped in her tracks and looked back at me. “Hey, you alright?” “I think so.” I said. I could see the door to the barn, and the man who’d led us in, Archie, still standing out front of it. “How strong was that wine?” I asked. “It’s wine. There’s no way you’re drunk!” I took another few steps forwards before my legs gave out from under me and I hit the ground. Angela was on top of my immediately. “Whoa, whoa, whoa! Greg, Greg, are you alright?” My vision was going hazy, and the last thing I remember was seeing Archie coming up behind Angela and raising something over his head. I woke up to someone shaking me. “Greg! Wake up, Goddamn you!” I recognized the voice was Angela’s, and slowly as I came to, I could see her standing over me. “Finally… I was beginning to think you weren’t waking up.” “I’m awake…” I murmured, “What happened?” “You passed out and someone hit me.” Angela replied, “We’re in deep shit, Greg… Look!” My vision was groggy at first, but as I slowly pieced together my surroundings, I began to feel a creeping fear seep into my gut. We were in a cell, and outside of those bars, was a sight I wish I’d never seen. The machinery around us looked similar to what I’d seen before, but this was a completely different part of the factory. This looked more like a butcher shop. I could see bodies, human bodies suspended from the ceiling. Their throats had all been cut, and I watched the blood dripping into one of six swimming pool sized mixing vats full of ice wine beneath them, and I suddenly felt sick. That was what I’d been drinking with Brad and Jake… Just above the surface of the wine in each vat, a large propeller spun slowly, making sure that horrible concoction of blood and wine was evenly mixed. I patted my pockets. No sign of my wallet, keys or cell phone. Of course they’d taken those. “Angela? Greg?”Jake sounded like he was in the next cell over, and I’d never heard him so terrified in my life. “What the hell happened!” I asked. “I don’t know! We were drinking the wine, and then Brad was on the floor and… Jesus Christ, did they drug us?” That was the most logical explanation, wasn’t it? “Let’s just shut up, and figure a way out of here!” Angela said, “Jake, Brad’s in there with you, right?” “No! They took him! I don’t know where! Jesus Christ, we need to get out of here! D-do you see the vat?” Angela didn’t reply, but we’d all seen it, and we all knew that. She reached up towards her hair, taking out a hairpin. Something that whoever had emptied our pockets had missed. “I might be able to get this lock…” She murmured, and immediately set to work on it. “Are you picking it? Come on, come on, come on…” Jake groaned, “Hurryyyyy.” Angela worked diligently, before pausing suddenly, and putting her tools into her pockets. I heard the voices down the hall too. “We’ll get them processed today and have this whole thing taken care of. Later on I’ll call our usual guy to get the cars... ” I recognized the voice as Isaacs, and heard his footsteps getting closer. “Ah, you’re awake!” He said. It sounded like he’d stopped in front of Jake’s cell. “What the hell do you want from us?!” I heard Jake say, “You can’t just keep us here! Where’s Brad!?” “Well, like I said you’ve come at an interesting time…” Isaac replied. His tone was even and calm. “Usually, we buy our secret ingredient from the Tallinn Corporation. They deal in that sort of thing mostly. People go missing in the old Soviet Union all the time and no one cares. So we don’t really hurt anyone and we get a better tasting product! But, we do care a lot about quality and we’d like to keep all our ingredients locally sourced, if you catch my meaning.” “W-what the hell…?” It sounded like Jake was crying and Isaac chuckled. “You’ll see soon enough… Shock him, let’s get him processed.” I heard Jake scream as he was tased, and the sound of the cell door opening. Archie and another worker carried Jake past our cell. As they passed, Isaac stepped into our view. “Hey there.” He said smoothly, “I understand if you’re not excited to be in this position… I got the feeling you two didn’t really want to get dragged into this.” “No shit!” Angela snapped, “Where are you taking him?” “To become part of the Greystone legacy.” Isaac teased, and looked up towards the bodies hanging above the mixing vats. “It’s a slow process, but quality takes time… Anyways, I wanted to say, before you get angry, that I am sorry you got dragged into this.” He smiled, and walked away from us, following the others. Angela was silent for a bit, listening to his footsteps fade. When she was sure he was gone, she got the hair clip out of her pocket, and worked on the lock with renewed vigor. It didn’t take long until we heard the click of the lock, but Angela didn’t open it. It didn’t take me long to see why. Archie, his associate and Jake came into view again, this time on a catwalk above the nearest mixing vat. Jake was still unconscious, which made it easy to bind his ankles and place a hanging hook through the rope. “W-what…” Jake’s voice was faint and echoed from the distance, but he was starting to come to. He let out a startled yelp as the hook yanked him up just like the other bodies. “Wait, WAIT, WAITWAITWA-” He didn’t get to finish his pleasing. Archie pulled a knife from his overalls, and opened his throat. Jake squirmed and choked out his death rattle, blood pouring over his face and dripping into the vat below. Shiitake happens. The other worker took a long pole, and used it to push Jake out towards the other bodies, right over the center of the mixing vat. We watched as they prodded the others, before choosing a few to pull towards them and take down. As soon as they were gone, she opened the door to our cell. “We’re leaving.” She said curtly. I didn’t argue. For a moment, I thought about Brad, but Jake had said they’d already taken him. He was probably dead, and I could have cared less! Neither of us knew which way to go, but we opted for the way that Archie and the other worker hadn’t taken Jake. That way led to a hall that seemed impossibly long, and on either side were massive chilled vats of Ice Wine. I tried not to think about just how many people had died to fill these… But the thought still came.How many people around the world were unknowingly drinking human blood in their wine? How many people did it knowingly? Down the hall, I heard a voice, and paused.I ducked into the narrow space between one of the vats, and I saw Angela doing the same across from me. “50% in under three months, now that is unprecedented growth, but it’s doable! I’ve done it. Not everyone can, but if you’ve got the product, you’ve got the brand, and you’ve got the know how, it’s already done!” That was Brad’s voice! I had to peek out from behind my vat, and I saw him and Isaac passing through the hall in front of us, side by side like old friends. “It’s a bold claim.” Isaac said. I wasn’t sure if he was impressed or not, “But you sound like you can back it up.” “Dude, if you just let me show you my numbers, gimme a phone, something. I won’t try anything! But I’m telling you, you’re making the right call. Those other guys? Fuck ‘em. They’re disposable, I mean, hell. I was honestly looking for a chance to get rid of Angela anyways. But me, I’m the one you wanna keep. I get it, this whole operation here, it’s about adding value to your brand. What you’re doing gives the wine it's signature flavor, and it’s honestly kinda hardcore! I dig that! But you and I both know, that I can give you more value right here, like this, then I would in a bottle of wine.” Isaac and his workers were going to slaughter us for wine, and Brad was trying to fucking sell them on his service? I sincerely hoped someone would show up to drag Brad off to the same fate Jake had met, but I didn’t get that wish. “Well, if you’re half of what you claim… Maybe you’d be worth it.” Isaac said thoughtfully. He idly played with his beard. “Let’s say I kept you around, huh? I’m gonna need to make sure you don’t try anything. I’ll give you what you need to work. Just work. Nothing else. You let me down, and you’re going in with the next batch.” “Hey, that’s A-okay with me! I just want the chance!” Brad said, grinning from ear to ear, “Trust me. You and me are gonna do some amazing shit.” Isaac nodded slowly, and from my vantage point, I could see the rage on Angela’s face, but she stayed still. “HEY! CELL’S EMPTY!” Archie’s voice cut through the hall, and both Brad and Isaac looked up suddenly. “They’re out. Find them.” He said, “They can’t be far!” Isaac was coming towards us again, with Brad trailing behind him. I heard Archie coming up from the opposite direction, and I realized that sooner or later, one of them was going to see us. I think Angela knew it too. She moved suddenly, running for her life, and I did the same, but I wasn’t as fast. She slipped past Brad easily enough, but I didn’t get past Isaac. He grabbed me, and I felt Archie grabbing me too. Both of them wrestled me to the ground, and the last thing I remember was a terrible jolt of electricity before everything went black. I woke up in the hall. I don’t know how long later. Archie and another worker had me draped over their shoulders, and dragged me slowly. Ahead of me, I saw Isaac. “Shock him again.” Isaac said. I hadn’t even given any indicator that I was awake, but Archie didn’t waste any time. I didn’t pass out this time, but I wasn’t in any condition to fight. “I know you probably think this is barbaric.” Isaac said, still not looking at me, “It’s… well, an old family tradition. One gets desensitized to it. But as heinous as this all must seem, I need you to understand that this really does make it a superior product! The blood sweetens the wine, and the corpses do wonders for the vineyard. Every year, we have a bountiful harvest. It’s because of this that we’re the best, and if your friend Brad delivers on his promise, we might even be the biggest.” Up ahead, I saw the hanging bodies… But now they were much closer to eye level. “I wouldn’t take it personally.” Isaac said, and stopped, letting us pass him. “Make it quick for this one!” He ordered, “Suffering taints the wine.” With that, I heard him walking away. We were at one of the vats, and Archie shocked me one last time. I felt his associate starting to tie my legs together. Archie pulled the knife from his overalls. “It’s never personal, kid.” He said gruffly. I looked at the knife, my heart racing as I waited for what was coming. Then I heard the worker behind me scream, along with a dull thud. Archie looked up, and I caught a glimpse of Angela behind us. She was holding a shovel, and swung it ruthlessly at Archie’s head. It bounced off his shoulder and he grunted in pain. I didn’t have much time to react, but by God I made the most of it! I grabbed him by the wrist, and jerked his arm towards me, then I sank my teeth into the skin. His grip on the knife loosened, and I tore it out of his hands. Archie kicked out blindly at Angela when she tried to hit him with the shovel again. He uselessly slapped at me to try and keep me away from him, but I had the knife now, and I put it in his throat. It was very personal. Archie twitched, eyes looking up at me in surprise, but as the blood trickled out of his throat, his body went limp. I was panting heavily, and looked over at Angela. The worker she’d hit lay on the ground, unconscious or dead. I didn’t care which. “Are you alright?” She asked, and I absentmindedly nodded, before backing away from Archie’s body. “I just killed this guy…” “Yeah. I guess you did…” Angela replied, “Take the knife, we need to go and…” She swallowed, “We might need it.” I didn’t want to touch that knife. I didn’t even want to look at Archie. I wanted to scream and cry and lose my shit, but I did what she said. It came out easier than I expected. Angela started down the hall again, and I followed, still a little shell shocked from committing a murder! “After I split off from you, I found what I’m pretty sure was Isaacs office.” Angela said, “Here, we needed these.” I saw her reaching into her pocket for my car keys and wallet. “Our phones were missing. Probably broken.” “Shit… We can’t call for help then?” “Which is why we need to focus on getting the hell out of here.” Angela replied, We moved silently. For the time being, there was no sign of any other employees, but we didn’t want to risk it. We both knew there was more than Archie and his associate lurking around. In a few moments, we’d made it back to the lower level of the mixer room. “I think the door to the main factory is down that way.” Angela said, “We just need to find it, and-” A gunshot cut her off. She ducked, and looked around for the source. I saw it before she did, and pulled her towards one of the vats. We ducked beneath it to avoid another shot. “Found you!” Brad cried, “Ah shit… I guess you picked up Greg too, huh?” He held the gun professionally as he crept towards the vat we cowered behind. “Well, I’ve got enough ammo to do you both. I hope you know it’s nothing personal! But it’s honestly just me or you, and even with the… well, unusual recipe, this is still a big client! Do you have any idea what this is gonna do for DMT? Isaac gets me, man!” He was drawing nearer, but even when he had us cornered, Brad was still an idiot. The second he got close to our hiding spot, I was ready. He came into view slowly, and I lunged at him when he did, catching him off guard. The knife went into his shoulder, and I caught the gun across my face. Angela was on him next, tearing at the knife and trying to rip it out of him. Brad struggled against her, and frantically brought the butt of his gun down on her head, over and over again. He shoved Angela off of him, and she hit the ground holding the handle of the knife. The blade poked out of Brads shoulder.He grinned through gritted teeth as we took aim at her, but he wasn’t watching me. I was on my feet again and I grabbed his arm, forcing it upwards. He fired off a stray bullet, but it went harmlessly into the ceiling. Brad may have had a gun, but I was bigger than him. Angela recovered and went with the age old trick of going straight for the groin. I went for the stomach. Brads grip on his gun loosened. I watched as Angela tried to rip it from his hand. But Brad saw that coming. With a jerk of his arm, he sent the gun flying across the factory floor. I didn’t see where it landed. His elbow caught me in the face, and I barely had time to see him drive his fist into Angela’s jaw. He grabbed her by the throat, and got ready to punch again. I grabbed him from behind and tried to drag him off of her. Brad flailed helplessly, and I almost got him there, before his head slammed into my face. The first time just stunned me. The third time, I had to let go. Brad glared hatefully at us once he was free. “I shouldn’t be surprised you two are the ones I have to deal with right now. You’ve always been a poison to MY company, Angela. Since I hired you you’ve been trying to cripple MY success!” His eyes shifted to me. “And you? You’re just dead weight! I am DONE with you people! I am DONE with your disrespect!” He probably had more to say, but Angela didn’t give him the chance. She’d noticed something that Brad hadn’t. He was standing right in front of a vat. As he opened his mouth to speak again, she lunged for him, pushing him back towards it. I caught on quickly and went to help her. Between the two of us, we were able to press him right up against the vat. Angela and I traded a brief look, before I ducked down, grabbing Brad by the legs. She pushed him by the shoulders. Brad struggled, but he went into that vat of blood and wine. The mixers arm was coming around again. I know Brad saw it in the moment before it struck him over the head. I don’t know if it killed him, but the force of it pulled him into the vat entirely. Given how little of a struggle there was, I’d have guessed it just knocked him unconscious. The arm dragged him around the vat slowly, his head submerged in that disgusting mixture of blood and wine he’d been willing to murder us over. We didn’t stick around to see if he was ever going to wake up, and as far as I’m concerned, he drowned in that vat. I wish I'd said 'Cheers'. The next room was more familiar territory. This was part of what Isaac had shown us, and we sprinted for the door, and through the empty vineyard. It was starting to get dark. Halfway through it, I let myself look back. I could see people coming out of that long barn, and I didn’t wait for them to start running after me.The gazebo was up ahead, along with my car and Brad’s ugly orange coupe. I didn’t waste any time getting inside my car, and as soon as Angela and I had our doors closed, we were speeding off down our driveway, as fast as we could go. We drove until the next town over, and made it to the police station looking like hell. I’m pretty sure my statement came out as a rambling incoherent mess, but I didn’t care. I told them just about everything… except the part where I murdered Archie and helped drown Brad. If the Police believed my statement… I never found out. I heard talk of an investigation, but from what I understood, they found nothing. Not even Brad’s ugly orange coupe. DMT dissolved quickly without him. He and Jake were just considered to have disappeared. Brads so called ‘fans’ barely seemed to notice his absence.Our story never got out. I still talk with Angela on occasion, but we don’t talk about Niagara. The unspoken agreement is that we did what we had to do, to survive. We both know that, and we don’t need to remember. I almost wish we could talk about it though… I wish I could talk to her about the nightmares I’ve had of drowning in a vat of freezing cold wine. I wish I could talk to her about the anxiety I have whenever I’m alone. I wish I could tell her that I received a bottle of ice wine from Greystones Winery in the mail the other day. Because I don’t know who else to tell. I wish I knew if Isaac is congratulating me on my escape, mocking me for my inability to stop him… or warning me...
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