Raycliff Manor An Elegant Haunt

  • October 9, 2011 2:41 pm
Raycliff Manor

Raycliff Manor still possesses a presence, even in full sunlight

Raycliff Manor front door

The entrance to Raycliff Manor is overgrown with ivy

Raycliff Sign

Raycliff Manor is an attraction with bite

Raycliff Manor

4706 Gateway Drive, Joplin MO


The rustling of overgrown weeds and ivy were the only sounds I could hear when I approached Raycliff Manor. This was in the middle of the day, with no other souls around. I wanted to see the haunted house attraction without the crowds and ghouls who would come alive at 7 p.m on the grounds of this Joplin area haunt.

I felt drawn to the gothic building, and I had heard that while it promotes its share of typical spook house staples, (an evil clown, a chainsaw wielding psycho) visitors would also interact with Victorian-inspired actors who would invite you into their parlor of terror.

Gothic elegance mixed with horror was the vibe I felt while waiting in line with other guests on Oct. 8.  A grave but cordial butler invited us in, and while waiting, we were treated to a group of lenticular portraits of victims whose fears were trapped by Dr. Raycliff himself.

A Victorian lady describes some of her family members until you are whisked away into the mansion’s many rooms filled with new disturbances. I don’t want to ruin the surprises around each corner, so I’ll just mention a couple of my favorite areas.

The kitchen/dining rooms were disgusting and realistic. Gobs of brown goo seemed to drip off countertops and dishes stacked in filthy water, while a stream of “blood” ran from the faucet. A morbid buffet was served, along with a severed head on a silver platter. Another favorite room was Dr. Raycliff’s library, which was outfitted with musty tomes and a frightful character.

The actors will not touch you, but they are excellent at coming just close enough to invade your personal space. I even felt the hot breath from one gust into my face as he popped out from an unseen opening in the wall!

This October evening seemed to offer perfect conditions for exploring. The moon was shining down on visitors lined up to enter the mansion and Carriage House. Some traditional songs played during the waits like Thriller and Monster Mash, as well as some songs from Midnight Syndicate, a purveyor of Halloween and horror music. I did hear some people complain about pop music being played in with these songs, which seemed to diminish the haunting effect.

I prefer the manor over the carriage house, but it’s worth seeing if it’s your first visit. A real spider outlined in light from a red bulb dangled from the eves of the carriage house beams, which created a gruesome effect.

Once inside the carriage house, Professor Walter Widget shows you a machine that measures fear and is meant to extract some of your own. Rooms are like a black maze, so guests are given a glow stick as their one defense.

Raycliff Manor has a solid storyline going. It will be interesting to see how new tales unfold in years to come.


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4 Comments on Raycliff Manor An Elegant Haunt

  1. Baron VonDexter - October 10, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Just A THANK YOU for the great feed back about Raycliff Manor

  2. Kelly Allen - October 10, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Thanks so much for coming out and visiting us. We appreciate your positive feedback and we’re glad you had a great time!

  3. Bobby Smith - October 10, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    found an older write up on the Castle of Muskogee (thank you for the glowing praise) and was wondering if you have been back since? Things have changed some and we are very proud of them! Hope to see you again and soon!! Thank you!!

  4. admin - October 10, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    No, I haven’t been back, but I enjoyed the castle and all of the surrounding attractions. I look forward to visiting again.

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