Web Design
2008

RATINGS DISCLAIMER:

The ratings are subjective and reflect our opinion of how well each haunt accomplished what they set out to do. They DO NOT compare haunts against each other. There's such a wide variety of haunts there's no way you can compare them to each other. Any rating of 3 stars or more means we suggest you go!

Also, performances can and DO vary from day to day and even from hour to hour. We call haunts in advance to make sure the show will be the best possible when we arrive. Many times we've delayed going at their request because of prop and / or actor difficulties. Remember that if you see a lame show at a haunt we gave a high rating to. The logistics of putting a great haunt together are overwhelming and not many are capable of pulling it off each time, every time!

But one thing is sure - they ALL are trying their absolute best to put on a show that will be remembered long after the Halloween candy is gone. ALL haunt operators feel as though they have a 5 STAR HAUNT, and that's as is should be. You CAN'T put on a great haunt without believing you can! So, PLEASE don't take these ratings so seriously, folks...they're not necessarily the gospel truth, just as close to it as is humanly possible!

A haunt operator once asked us what it takes to get a 5 STAR rating. That's a loaded question, but it's a valid concern so we'll try as best we can to explain the answer. The final rating is a result of tangible AND intangible factors. The tangible factors are listed below. But aside from that there's a special feeling of exhilaration, amazement or wonderment that must grab us before we give a 5 STAR rating. Our interpretation of that may differ from others, and that's why we state up front these ratings are our subjective opinions of the shows we see. But we've been to MANY shows and the Zioptis Populace has trusted us since the mid '90s to deliver fair and accurate info second to none. We feel that's why the website and phone service have FAR EXCEEDED our expectations!

Some of the factors we consider are:

* ORIGINALITY, CREATIVITY (usually the most important)

* QUALITY OF SETS and PROPS

* QUALITY OF ACTORS (includes mannerisms, enthusiasm,¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬  intelligibility or deliberate lack of)

* QUALITY OF SOUND & LIGHTING

* QUALITY OF COSTUMES, MAKEUP and MASKS

* BANG FOR THE BUCK

* ATTENTION TO DETAIL

* THE 5 S's - SCARE FACTOR, SPOOKINESS, SHOCK VALUE, SILLINESS and SAFETY

* LEVEL OF INTERACTION

* CONTINUITY, FLOW RATE

* OVERALL APPEARANCE / FEEL

ADRIAN, MICHIGAN

THE HAUNTING

Lenawee County Fairgrounds (517) 264-1941 www.myhaunting.com

ZIOPTIS 2008 rating 5 STARS

14 YEARS RUNNING AND NEVER STRONGER, THE HAUNTING DELIVERS THE GOODS AGAIN WITH AN INTENSE NEW SHOW "THE DARKNESS."

ARMADA, MICHIGAN

BLAKES NIGHTTIME SPOOKY HAYRIDES & 3 LEVEL HAUNTED BARN at Blake's Big Apple on North Avenue north of 33 Mile, just south of Armada info (586) 784-8670 groups (810) 560-2730 reservations (586) 784-9710 or www.hauntedblakes.com

ZIOPTIS 2008 rating 5 STARS

BLAKE'S RAISES THE BAR YET AGAIN!

FANTASTIC HAYRIDE & THE BARN HAS LOTS OF EXCELLENT NEW STRANGENESS!

BELLEVILLE

HAUNTED HILL ACRES

Abraham Farm, 23740 Carleton West Road

(734) 753-5523 or (734) 652-7601

ZIOPTIS 2008 rating 4 3/4 STARS

This is a great haunt for the entire family, but we saw lots of groups of teens on their own too. One group got into a crazy game with one of the wandering ghouls, we love it when the monster interaction isn't confined to the buildings!

This haunt boasts 2 walk thrus, a long hayride and lots more! The ticket building has been moved this year, be sure everyone goes inside it to see all kinds of fascinating spooky stuff. After you enter you'll see it straight ahead.

BELLEVILLE

SPOOKTACULAR HAUNTED HAYRIDES & CORN MAZE

Wayne County Fairgrounds, Quirk Road

(734) 697-7002

ZIOPTIS 2008 rating 4 1/2 STARS

ANOTHER COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS HAUNT DELIVERS THE GOODS!

CLARKSTON

HAUNTED FOUNTAINS

Fountains Golf Course, 6060 Maybee Road, Clarkston, MI

(248) 625-3731 or www.fountainsgolf.com

ZIOPTIS 2008 rating 4 1/4 STARS

FIRST TIME EFFORT WITH A NEW TWIST.

This is a ride haunt, but instead of hay wagons (sometimes comfortable, sometimes not) they use extendo golf carts to great advantage.

Clever story line and lots of good monster scares and misdirection.

CLARKSTON

TERROR IN TOWNSEND FOREST

Oakland County Sportsmen's Club, 4770 Waterford Road, Clarkston, MI

(248) 623-0444 or www.ocsc-mi.org

ZIOPTIS 2008 rating 4 1/4 STARS

1/4 MILE FOREST WALK NOW IN ITS' 3RD YEAR

DAVISBURG

HOUSE OF HORRORS

Oakland County Fairgrounds, 12451 Andersonville Road

(248) 634-0444 or www.davisburgrotary.org

ZIOPTIS 2008 rating 4 3/4 STARS

ANOTHER GREAT HAUNT AT A COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS.

DAVISON

THE DEADLAND HAUNTED HOUSE

723¬  South State Street in Davison Plaza on M-15 1/4 mile north of I-69

(810) 654-2481

ZIOPTIS 2008 rating 4 1/2 STARS

HARD TO BELIEVE IT'S ONLY THEIR 2ND YEAR!

FLINT, MICHIGAN

EXIT 13

On Saginaw just south of I-475 (take exit 13!) (810) 787-0976 or www.exitthirteen.net

RATING IS PENDING - POSSIBLE 2ND VISIT - THIS HAUNT HAS ALWAYS PUT ON TOP FLIGHT SHOWS!

GRAND BLANC

SAINT LUCIFER'S HAUNTED ASYLUM

At Playland, 1/2 mile north off exit 109 from I-75. (810) 695-8200

RATING IS PENDING - POSSIBLE 2ND VISIT - THIS HAS ALWAYS BEEN A TOP HAUNT IN GENESEE COUNTY!

HAZEL PARK

HOUSE OF FEAR

Hazel Park Community Center, 620 Woodward Heights

(9 1/2 Mile and I-75)¬  (248) 547-5535¬  ONLY $5, DOWN FROM $8 IN 2006!

ZIOPTIS 2007 rating 5 STARS

DON'T LET THE PRICE FOOL YOU, THIS IS A TOP NOTCH HAUNT WITH INCREDIBLE BANG-FOR-THE-BUCK!!!

The show starts outside the building as you walk around it on the path to the ticket booth. Spooky stuff is accompanied by a great soundtrack.

Inside an amazing barrage of fantastic rooms await, all with superior sound and lighting. One of our favorites is the old styled room with a wooden radio that played...well you'll just have to go and find out, we're not going to give it away but trust us - IT IS WAY COOL!

HOMER

HOMER MILL HAUNTED HOUSE

109 North Byron Street, Homer, MI 49245

(517) 568-7295 or www.thehomermill.com

ZIOPTIS 2008 rating 5 STARS

THE BUILDING ITSELF WILL WOW YOU WITH ITS' IMPOSING PRESENCE, BUT JUST WAIT UNTIL YOU ACTUALLY GO IN FOR THE REALLY BIG WOWS!

INKSTER

HAUNTED PARLOR

3880 Inkster Road at Andover south of Michigan Avenue

Sunday thru Thursday 7-10 pm¬ Friday & Saturday 7pm-12mid

$10, also food & beverages available

ZIOPTIS 2008 rating 3 1/2 STARS

This is a first time family effort. A little rough around the edges, but has some clever twists and we liked the black and white tiled room and the classic cars. Masked monsters and Halloween movie music throughout.

JONESVILLE

DARKSYDE ACRES

11375 Rowe Road, Jonesville, MI 49250

www.darksydeacres.com

ZIOPTIS 2008 rating 4 STARS

LENOX TOWNSHIP

HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR

28405 26 Mile Road, Lenox Township, MI

(586) 615-0475 or www.myspace.com/hfterror

ZIOPTIS 2008 rating 5 STARS

GREAT WALK THRU & SUPER HIGH INTENSITY HAYRIDE!

MAUMEE, OHIO (TOLEDO AREA)

TERRORTOWN

At Lucas County Fairgrounds, 1406 Key Street

(419) 897-7242 or www.terrortown.net

ZIOPTIS 2008 rating 5 STARS

DELIVERS THE GOODS BIG TIME! Has a WHOLE NEW concept in lighting that will enrich your haunting experience in a highly unique manner. We have NEVER seen this done at any haunt ever before. And that's just one part of this multi-faceted haunt!

Also, the FREAKATORIUM is back after being loaned to an east coast haunt last year. You will see real oddities of nature, one of our favorites is the "FISH BOY" at the end of the display. Once you've see it, it's too late - disturbing imagery has a way of persisting in your mind's eye, and TERRORTOWN takes seriously its' responsibility to provide the very finest in disturbing imagery.

In fact, they have developed it into a highly sophisticated art form you will not see at most haunts. But if permanent psychological damage is inflicted, they are not responsible. We see warning signs at many haunts that whatever may happen to you is the risk you must take for attending such a show. If you have scoffed at these disclaimers, we dare you to go to TERRORTOWN and absorb all the madness that they dish out daily!

PINCKNEY

THE TERRORFIED FOREST

7 miles south of I-96 exit 137, then 1/4 mile east. Or 11 miles west of US23, exit 54B, 3 miles north on D-19, then 1/4 mile east.

(734) 878-3737 or www.terrorfied.com for map and details

ZIOPTIS 2008 rating 4 3/4 STARS (very early season performance, we KNOW these guys can put on 5 STAR shows because we've personally seen it many times!)`

PONTIAC

EREBUS

18 South Perry corner of Water Street & South Perry

(248) 332-7884 or www.hauntedpontiac.com

2008 - This haunt continues to evolve, now at an alarming rate! IT WAS SO INCREDIBLE WE HAD TO GO TWICE!

PONTIAC

THE REALM OF DARKNESS

79 South Glenwood (248) 338-0029 or www.therealmofdarkness.com

ZIOPTIS 2008 rating 5 STARS

What an amazing story this is! In case you didn't know, this haunt had to resurrect itself after a giant flood almost washed the whole building out to sea last winter. The end result is a dramatically different feel that's been packing 'em in!

The new ghost ship is awesome with exceptional realism and detail! And we really liked the new mirror maze area with its' strange inhabitants, watch out for them because they are watching you! The wolf's den is new too with sharp teeth threatening to rip you apart.

The clever interactive theme of trying to reach to wizard has remained, with successful patrons getting DOUBLE THEIR MONEY BACK! They used to have problems with people offering the actors money to tell them which goblet would open the secret door to the wizard. So they implemented a system using a computer random generated signal so NOBODY knew which would open the door. On October 17th, 2008 the system actually admitted 7 OUT OF 8 GROUPS to the wizard. One of the groups was a speed pass group, so they got even more back!

Every year we hear stories about some crazy haunted house where you supposedly get $100 or more if you make it thru. Often the story is that some renegade frat house at a college has put together some disgusting displays designed to repulse anyone and nobody even makes it past the first room. Nobody can ever tell where exactly the haunt is though, because they heard it from someone else who heard it from someone else who heard it from someone else who... Another reason ALL those stories are fake is because haunted houses CAN NOT legally give random prizes. That falls under the jurisdiction of gambling laws. So what this haunt does is have a Canadian radio station (89X) give the prize money instead as a promotion of THEIRS. To validate the process each winner signs a certificate from 89X and has their picture taken, then a sampling of those pictures will appear on the haunts' website.

ROMULUS

REALM OF HAUNTED MINDS

Huron Turkey Farm, 18910 Merriman Road, Romulus, MI 48174 (corner of Sibley, entrance on Sibley)

(734) 753-9187 or www.myspace.com/huronturkeyfarm

ZIOPTIS 2008 rating 5 STARS

ANOTHER GREAT SHOW AT A GREAT PLACE!

EXCELLENT SOUND & LIGHTING THROUGHOUT.

This haunt reminds of the phrase "small but mighty!" It's not one of the biggest haunts around, but a really clever layout and fantastic interaction ensure you'll have a top quality haunt experience that will leave you satisfied!

Excellent interaction and misdirection too. There's a certain actor more than half way thru you WON'T be able to forget! She stole my soul and spit it out it seemed, so strangely seductive to the tenth degree.

Be sure everyone in your group goes inside the ticket building because the show starts there! You'll see what we mean when you get there, but be prepared to be tempted by some incredibly delicious fresh baked, custom decorated frosted cookies SECOND TO NONE! And of course there's super fresh cider and donuts too, but just TRY one cookie...WE DARE 'YA..YOU'LL BE ADDICTED IMMEDIATELY

During daytime many families visit here, IT'S A TURKEY FARM! And there are other animals too for the youngsters to interact with and lots of miniature buildings perfect for kids to play in.

A TOP QUALITY FAMILY EFFORT!

TAYLOR

THE SCREAM MACHINE

21205 Eureka Road in shopping plaza next to the Gibralter Trade Center, directly across from Hooters (734) 341-3379

2008 - This haunts' goal is simple: satisfy EVERY customer that pays their hard earned money on a ticket here. Accomplishing that goal is anything BUT simple and should be the aspiration of every haunt worthy of being in the business. Well, these guys NAIL IT every time! If you haven't been here, do yourself a favor and come see one of MICHIGAN'S PREMIER MEGA HAUNTS!

TAYLOR

THE EXTREME SCREAM

7868 Telegraph, 1/2 mile south of I-94

(734) 637-1871

VERY DARK, VERY SCARY! This is "old school" haunting to the max. A very high level of disorientation and confusion awaits you here!

89X Radio will be here October 30, 2008 8-10 pm. Lots of free giveaways!

WARREN

DEADLY INTENTIONS

20900 Dequindre, one block north of 8 mile in Warren

(248) 797-0676 or www.deadlyintentionshaunt.com

ZIOPTIS 2008 rating 5 STARS

FLAWLESS SHOW, CONTINUITY & ULTRA HIGH-ENERGY =

PERFECT INSANITY! This in-your-face haunt has some of the wildest "personalities" and gags you will see at any haunt. One of our favorite actors is the beanie-copter wearing "Morbid Melvin." You can't miss him with his distinctive headwear and ever-present rubber mallet. Oh, and he has a serious "thing" for the girls. Hmmm....could be interesting. He is a social misfit fit to be tied, but he's running loose instead here, unhindered by those annoying social customs and etiquette most of us live by. Melvin has his own special customs, and he has never heard the word "etiquette."

Miss Manners would be shocked. And then eaten for dinner; their butcher shop is fully equipped for all species of victims!

A fantastic blend of humor and high intensity spooked-out craziness is this haunt's forte. Not one to rest on its' laurels, Deadly Intentions has re-vamped and super charged its' show again. And 'ya just gotta love the Company name here - SLOBBER ENTERTAINMENT.

BRILLIANT INSANITY, NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH.

WESTLAND

HAUNTED HALLOWS

VFW Post at 6440 Hix Road between Ford & Warren

(734) 751-4312 or www.haunted-hallows.com

ZIOPTIS 2008 rating 4 3/4 STARS

GREAT VOLUNTEER HAUNT WITH FANTASTIC NATURAL AMBIENCE!

This has become one of our MUST SEE HAUNTS! The show starts the moment you arrive with all sorts of excellent spooky stuff in the ticket area. Then you take a short hayride to the forest walk thru. The forest has been expanded this year and has a wide variety of different scenes sure to please the discerning haunt fan. The forest walk ends with a short but sweet corn maze leading to the fire pit and concessions area.

We especially liked the fantastic mannerisms of an older dude near the end who is NOT dead after all and the "Pop Goes the Weasel" room.

So, if this haunt was bigger this year with excellent new scenes, why didn't it get 5 stars? The ONLY thing holding us back from the top rating was some lackluster energy from several monsters. We don't mean that they weren't loud enough or in your face enough. Monsters CAN be highly creepy at a low volume, depending on their acting skills.  And conversely, monsters can be loud and NOT effective. MANY monsters here did have good acting skills, and we realize it's difficult to have all great actors all the time. But we have every confidence you'll have an excellent haunt experience here and that they have delivered many 5 star performances. The show we saw was VERY close to 5 stars!

WHITE LAKE

HOME OF THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN

Pontiac Lake Riding Stables, 3480 Teggerdine Road, White Lake 48386

(248) 625-5431 or www.pontiaclakeridingstable.com

ZIOPTIS 2008 rating 4 1/2 STARS

A STRONG NEW ENTRY TO THE HAUNT SCENE!

Excellent forest walk with some unique twists.

We asked several groups that were leaving how they liked this haunt and ALL of them said it was cool!

WHITMORE LAKE

KRAZY HILDA'S at BARNSTORMERS

9411 East M-36

(734) 828-7444

SO GLAD TO SEE THIS EXCELLENT HAUNT BACK IN ACTION WHERE IT BELONGS! FEATURES CUSTOM MADE MONSTER DUMMIES DELUXE EVERYWHERE!

An old friend is back! We have fond memories of this haunt from previous years in Plymouth and Canton, and this year Barnstormers is their home.

This haunt has a totally unique flavor all its' own because the family matriarch is the creative wizard who designed and created ALL of the very creepy, hideous masks and monster dummies you'll face here! Her daughters are her assistants and are some of the nicest people in the haunt industry we've met. But that has nothing to do with why we recommend this haunt.

Excellent monster placement! They were so well hidden you had no idea where they might pop out of next. Also has great vocalizations throughout, but some of our favorites were the butcher scene and the witches cauldron room. Very effective strobe lighting and fog usage, not too much...just right!

Other favorite highlights include the werewolf bride creature, a corn field scene with a ghoul who believes 2 heads are better than one, and the crazy bride and groom.

This haunt didn't originally plan on opening this year. But a special effort made it possible so that the ailing matriarch of this family could enjoy the bountiful fruits of her labors. They are deeply grateful to have had this opportunity.

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