I just got back from a little jaunt down Mexico way. How was it? Well, it was great for all of the usual stuff: family, beach, food, drinks, and so forth. In addition to great, it was also spooktacular, due to a little place called Spooky Town.
Whenever we're in Mexico, we always hit this one certain spot of beach about 30 km south of Playa del Carmen. It's nearly deserted except for this one particular beach club, where the drinks are potent and the little Mayan dudes are friendly. However, if you go on a walkabout around the beach club, like I did, you'll eventually see that this particular stretch of awesomeness wasn't always so barren.
Maybe half a mile up the beach from the club, there's an enormous resort. From a distance, it looks great, like you could walk right up and get a room and a Mai Tai. It has probably 500 rooms, conference rooms, lots of bars, and this amazing system of pools. There's only one issue: it's both completely deserted and bashed to crap by hurricanes. It is... SPOOKY TOWN!
Back about 10 years, Spooky Town was a high end hotel on the beach. (I imagine in this era it was not primarily known as Spooky Town, as it would hard to sell that to non-psychotic vacation-goers.) Shortly thereafter, the place went bankrupt, the owners ditched it, and a few hurricanes hit. On top of all of that, a bunch of mermaids/mermen broke in and wrecked the joint, leaving clam shells and sailor bones scattered all over the place.
We did a little walking tour of Spooky Town, and I've never seen a better place to film a low-budget horror movie. All of the infrastructure for the hotel is there, but everything is dark and the whole placed is covered with mosquitos and giant snakes. Do you remember that scene in the Life Aquatic where they have to go rescue the money stooge from the pirates? It was exactly like that hotel, minus Bill Murray and plus a little Mayan dude with a machete. The machete man claims to be security, but we all know what he really is: the ghost who haunts the place, whilst chopping off tourists' heads and feeding them to the giant, undead manta rays that he controls psychically.
Spooky Town may make a great psychological test. Describe Spooky Town to someone and see what they think. The correct answer is, "That's awesome, but I don't want to move in." Other acceptable answers are "I'm scared, hold me," and "I'm intrigued, but I fear malaria." Excessive excitement probably only means one thing: the person is interested in the intersection of machetes and noggins. My cousin brought his girlfriend along with the trip, and she, more than anyone, got into the Spooky Town experience, even charging around the joint in her bare feet by herself. I can only think she has a little bit of Mayan axe murderer in her.