THE EDSON INCIDENT
1680 Martin Street, Bay City, MI 48706
(989) 402-5071 or www.EdsonIncident.com
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2018 - ALL HANDS ON DECK
History meets horror on this authentic Vietnam-era battleship, with lots of it left just as it was many moons ago.
SAILING THE SEAS OF MADNESS
The natural ambiance is off-the-hook, with lots more spooky extras added to great effect.
One of our favorites was a liquid sky display that’s visible from several rooms and angles. FABULOUS!
The sound adds a lot here, with much of it like you’d hear aboard a working vessel heading into battle.
This is a highly physical haunt. Lots of steep staircases and some tight passageways give you the feeling of being a crew member!
Proceeds help sustain this vessel, and we predict a SHIP SHAPE FUTURE for this amazing haunt!
WICKED WOODS OF TERROR
2912 Ross Road, Caro, MI 48723
(989) 252-3398 or www.WickedWoodsofTerror.net
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2018 - FREAKY FOREST DELIVERS THE GOODS
This is a young haunt, yet has all the markings of seasoned pros with a slick, seamless presentation from start to finish.
Colorful lighting and hard rock music accent the queue line area, and fog rolling over the top of the structure immediately sets a spooky mood.
The sound is loud and clear, with powerful tightly defined bass. We didn’t see the speakers, but we felt them!
Pro audio for sure. Any haunt that knows what they’re doing does NOT skimp when it comes to sound.
Nowadays, people are used to hearing world class sound at all venues large and small. Whether it’s DTE ENERGY MUSIC THEATER (PINE KNOB) or a haunt makes no difference...people want great sound.
Given what’s available with even discount brands like BEHRINGER, there’s no excuse not to have a killer sound system!
Like the name implies, this is a forest haunt but there’s lots of mini structures too.
A wide variety of scenes and primo GOTCHA MOMENTS await...
NOT ALL WHO WANDER ARE LOST
The path is NOT brightly lit with tons of rope lights! Instead, you are gently guided by suspended ropes on both sides. It’s more like you’re “roaming” around, vulnerable to creatures of the dark that could be hiding almost anywhere!
And hide they do, to great GOTCHA MOMENTS throughout!
PINT SIZED JUXTAPOSITION ROYALTY
One scene especially blew us away! A giant GLORY HOLE suddenly appears, complete with a hanging chicken...but then a pair of performers steal the show with a fabulous carnival based routine.
QUEEN OF THE SCENE, STANDING PROUD AT UNDER 5 FEET
There’s a young female clown wielding a giant mallet nearly as big as she is, and she knows how to use it!
Excellent sound accents various scenes appropriately, and we totally loved the PIG HEADED MONSTER with some twisted concepts he throws down. GREAT STUFF.
This was recommended to us by another haunt operator, and we can see why. So now, we too at Zioptis also recommend you hit the WICKED WOODS OF TERROR!
23984 Gibralter Road, Flat Rock, MI 48134
(734) 782-0563 or www.facebook.com/The-Psycho-Path-424251947622278/
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2018 - GIVE THE PEOPLE LIGHT & THEY WILL FIND THEIR OWN WAY
This is a haunt with a mission...for YOU to accomplish!
After being warned of infected weirdo’s, you’re off...
It’s up to you to deal with the town residents, many of whom are aggressive and sick.
The only tools you use are a small flashlight they give you and your wits.
The flashlight has a pink filter, and doubles as notification of your location for monsters to find you when you least expect it!
The citizens here are in a bad way, starting with one using crutches and many others in the throes of desperation and angst...
We loved the humorous headstones in the cemetery, but the mission takes on a new urgency later when air raid sirens go off.
“GOOD THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES”
Excellent surprises abound from countless hiding spots, and we really liked the boxes with hands popping out and an awesome pint sized actor that packs a wallop!
PHANTOM FOREST HAYRIDES
21803 West River Road, Grosse Ile, MI 48138
(734) 676-2444 or www.WestcroftGardens.com
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2018 - TRADITION MEETS TERROR HEAD ON
This haunt is on the oldest farm in Michigan, a family favorite that’s also available for group outings.
Rope lights and a haunted barn lead the way to the ticket building to set the mood.
The hayride is pulled by a tractor, and features real hay bales.
A pumpkin theme starts the journey, with many appearing on top of scarecrows custom made for this haunt.
The woods provide countless hiding places, used to great advantage as monsters surprise and board the cart.
A wide variety of scenes play out, including a strobe-lit tunnel, a horrible car accident, and a lighthouse that may or may not be abandoned.
Also, we really liked the eyeball-head creature, “Madame Zola,” a giant smiling cat, and a strange mixed-up werewolf with red eyes and what appears to be a llama body!
Great interaction is key to a great haunt experience, and they’ve got you covered big time. The volume of screaming haunters often exceeded that of the actors!
After the hayride, be sure to stroll down to the bonfire area where cider and donuts await to complete the package. YUM!
GROSSE POINTE FARMS
HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS
19520 Mack Avenue, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236
(313) 407-7979 or www.HauntedGarageProductions.org
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2018 - OUTER SPACE MEETS HOLLYWOOD IN DETROIT HAUNT
Get ready for a VISUAL FEAST like no other here!
The first stop is some really close encounters with an amazing array of ALIENS FRESH FROM AREA 51 the likes of which we’ve never seen before.
IS THIS DETROIT OR DISNEY?
Some of the impressive props here came from the cemetery scene from the now defunct legendary BRANDYWINE CEMETERY in YPSILANTI which closed a few years ago. BRANDYWINE was a yard haunt on steroids put together by a former DISNEY ARTIST and it shows big time!
Other defunct haunts props can also be found here, but that only scratches the surface. Offerings from THE SCARE FACTORY, TRANS CON, and DISTORTIONS permeate the haunt to great effect as well...
Still, there’s lots more that wasn’t part of the show for 2018.
The amazing array of props may be this haunts forte, but is on point with all the basics too like misdirection / surprises, interaction as well as sound and lighting.
HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS is a volunteer haunt, with proceeds benefitting 25 charities!
This gem has been “hiding” in our own backyard for 11 years now...shame on us for taking so long to check it out!
13245 Dixie Highway, Holly Michigan 48442
(248) 894-6558 or www.RottenManor.com
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2018 - WHAT’S THAT BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENIN’
This is NOT a review. Unfortunately, we missed this haunt in 2018 after having been there every year since it started in 2015.
But we feel it deserves commentary, due to everything we’ve heard in talking with scores of haunters across the state. We often ask what haunts they’ve been to, and what it was like...holding the recorder up to them like a microphone so they know it’s being recorded...
The haunt mentioned the most was ROTTEN MANOR, hands down!
One especially avid haunter said he liked that it looks giant upon arrival, and that the length of time it takes to go all the way through is giant too.
We don’t know the exact length of the 2018 show, but for comparison we can state that in 2017 the only haunt it took us longer to go through than ROTTEN MANOR was JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD.
The facade at ROTTEN MANOR is a masterpiece, and a sight to behold. They spent a small fortune on it, and it sets an atmosphere that simply can not be achieved by a haunt at, say, a strip mall.
And they negotiated a deal in the sale of the property to great advantage, resulting in their FAMOUS TUNNELS guaranteed to blow your mind!
We predict a continued big success at ROTTEN MANOR, and we can’t wait to see it next year.
HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME
3880 Inkster Road, Inkster, MI 48141
(734) 833-7880 or www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001614513583
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2018 - THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD
Small but mighty is this haunt!
I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN
When it comes to putting on a great haunt, no matter what your circumstances, one thing is for sure. You can NOT do it, unless you believe that you can.
“HERE I COME TO SAVE THE DAY!”
No, not MIGHTY MOUSE...it’s the HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME, proudly pumping out the OLD SCHOOL haunt values that will never go out of style.
1318 Wildwood Avenue, Jackson, MI 49202
(517) 936-5834 or www.jxunderworld.com
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2018 - ALICE COOPER WAS RIGHT, YOU KNOW!
We’ve been to this haunt for 9 years straight!
Describing it all seems pointless, except for one especially hair raising feature. It’s a high flying outdoors bridge you must make your way across. If you’re afraid of heights, this will positively freak you out!
Alice Cooper was reported to have said this was his favorite haunted house ever!
And a mini museum awaits here too, with such gems as DISTORTIONS figurines and several awesome photo opportunities.
The sound here is fabulous! Outside, multiple speakers cover the grounds with spooky sounds accented by flashing lights. Inside, audio isolation between scenes is exceptional and can go from a whisper to rock concert volume in a flash.
A secondary attraction has been added, PSYCHO VISION 3D and is chock full of EYE CANDY THAT POPS. It was created by the owners son, and will knock your socks off!
This building is ridiculously giant, at about 150,000 square feet! There’s no telling what the future may hold here.
Also, a Christmas theme attraction is located here called THE TOWN OF CHRISTMAS. www.thetownofchristmas.com
11735 Rowe Road, Jonesville, MI
(517) 549-5100 or www.darksydeacres.com
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2018 - MEGA HAUNT DELIVERS THE GOODS
This is a multi-attraction haunt, with indoors and outdoors sections.
Your haunt experience starts indoors with the ticket taker EATING YOUR TICKETS, and that’s a very good sign!
Another good sign is when there’s lots to entertain you in the queue line, and DARKSYDE ACRES comes through there too.
Fair warning is given at the start that you’ll be served up as BBQ by the onsite HILLBILLY’S BBQ catering service...so tasty!
Rock music greets you, as you make your way down a long hallway with doors on both sides...
The music fades, and you enter NEVER NEVER LAND starting with an excellent LIQUID SKY ROOM with a bridge.
Spooky music adds to the atmosphere in a realistic cave sequence, with excellent interaction / surprises that are the hallmark of any quality haunt.
A wacky door leads to a birthing chamber, then a highly effective POLKA DOT ROOM.
We really liked the monster girl whose directions can’t be trusted. After all, they never promised to tell the truth. GREAT STUFF!
Don’t trust the clowns either, especially if they wield silly squeaky toys.
Excellent vocals and short story lines at every scene! We really liked the girl holding a head who says she’s going to take your spleen. But I told her, “I don’t know where my spleen is, so I must not have one!”
The HARD HAT AREA is full of ominous industrial sounds and monsters in hiding, and we really liked the genuine XENON STROBES.
Next you find yourself in an outdoors maze, but don’t trust the monsters directions or the chain saw wielding crazies!
There’s another building to walk through with lots more, including a fabulous scene with a girl and a couch that will knock your socks off!
This haunt is on the site of a former pig farm, with lots of room to grow. If you haven’t been here yet, you’re missing out. And if you have been here, you’ll want to come again and again as we have!
AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HAUNTED HOUSE
31401 John R, Madison Heights, MI 48071
(734) 718-0088 or www.AzraHaunt.com
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2018 - NEW KID IN TOWN SLAM DUNKS IT!
This is only their first year, but it’s clear they were more than ready to HIT THE DETROIT HAUNT SCENE IN A BIG WAY.
Massive crowds and FOX 2 TV coverage are some of the happy results...
Upon entering the haunt, we met a fast talking guy who’s a little too friendly...wait, make that MUCH too friendly with something he definitely should not be. HILARIOUS!
This sets a recurring theme that reaches a frenetic peak later, in a disorienting romp through a fun house like mirror maze. GREAT STUFF!
Costumes and makeup are top notch; we saw only a few masks.
Monster interaction and delivery were excellent too. All the fabulous props and settings in the world don’t ensure a good show, and AZRA knows it.
Excellent sound and lighting show they’ve done their homework there too. We especially liked the UV blacklight strobe lighting with polka dots painted with fluorescent paint.
It creates a motion effect that wasn’t possible with earlier generations of black lights using 4 foot long fluorescent tubes. SMART!
LEAVE ‘EM WANTING MORE
It’s quite a journey through this haunt, but not so long as to be tedious... it took us about 20 minutes.
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP
In the best HOLLYWOOD TRADITION, they save the biggest guns for last with a thrill packed exit that sustains the exhilaration and cranks the shared experience factor.
SOME WISE GUY ONCE SAID:
“People often forget what people said down the road, but they always remember how you made them feel.”
So now let’s turn on the FUTURAMA MACHINE...years from now it’s October and some old friends are reconnecting on the phone: “...HEY! Remember that CRAZY AZRA HAUNT with the wild ass ending? Tony’s girlfriend actually...”
Ah, future memories...made from the present...
But that’s then and this is now... so give yourself a present right now and GO EXPERIENCE what from all indications looks like the MAJOR NEW BREAKOUT HAUNT OF 2018 - AZRA!!!
6069 North Saginaw, Mount Morris, MI 48458
(810) 858-9768 or www.Exit13HauntedHouse.com
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2018 - ALL HANDS ON DECK!
This is the HANDS ON HAUNT, and we mean that literally!
The actors WILL TOUCH YOU...A LOT...WAIT! Isn’t that the one thing that’s NOT supposed to happen at a haunted attraction?
Well...yes, but no too...huh?
TACTILE TERROR A GO-GO
The standard disclaimer you hear entering haunts is “The monsters won’t touch you...”
But disclaimers can say anything...
So at EXIT 13, the disclaimer statement clearly specifies “The monsters WILL touch you...” (you can opt out if you’re chicken)
Fair warning? You might not think so when you get to the surgical room, with its over the top antics that will leave much evidence for all to see when you EXIT 13!