BLAKE'S HAUNTED BIG APPLE
71485 North Avenue, Armada, MI 48005
(586) 784-9710 or www.hauntedblakes.com
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2019 - BIGGER, BADDER...ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY APPLE
This is among the biggest facilities you’ll find in the Michigan haunt scene!
Yes, it’s an apple orchard primarily with an amazing food store to boot...
But it’s also a 4 part haunt that’s been packing in the crowds for many moons.
Be sure to bring your camera, as there’s fabulous photo opps to pose with giant props of various kinds.
Their trademark hayride is hands down the most popular of all the attractions here for good reason.
The wagon has seating on both sides facing out, with footrests for comfort. (Tip: to see some high intensity gags near the end best, sit on the left side of the cart as viewing from the rear.)
Half way through the hayride the cart stops briefly, and friendly witches storm the cart with cider and donuts for everyone. YUM! This clever ploy practically forces you to buy more to take home and to friends.
We didn’t have time for the HAUNTED BARN this visit, but has impressed us in past years.
The amenities here are several cuts above most haunts, including a dedicated bathroom building with clean stalls the gals especially will appreciate!
The main building also contains their amazing food store, including of course fresh cider and even fresher donuts to die for. Try dipping them in a jar of APPLE BUTTER. WOWSER.
SLAUGHTERED AT SUNDOWN
71800 Romeo Plank Road, Armada
(586) 752-7669 or www.slaughteredatsundown.net
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2019 - LONGTIME HAUNT CONTINUES PROUD HERITAGE
5781 West Grand River, Fowlerville, MI 48836
(517) 223-9140 or www.slaughterhouseadventure.com
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2019 - COMEDY & MAGIC BLEND TO CREATE FABULOUS HAUNT
This haunt never fails to amaze us!
There’s a hayride, a haunted “maze,” and their magical walk through haunted barn.
The illusions are professional quality, and the story lines are highly entertaining.
The origins of this haunt was a neighborhood Halloween party that was so well done people clamored for them to go public.
This haunt makes their own equipment for some gags, so they’ve got stuff you’ll never see at other haunts. One of our favorites involves a special chair that dispenses harsh punishment to, for example, a very naughty Santa Claus who’s drunk on the job. A TRULY FAB GAG!
The hayride changes every year with a new theme, but GIANT PROPANE BLASTS are a staple that never fails to WOW THE CROWDS.
GRAND RAPIDS (area)
1256 28th Street SW, Wyoming, MI 49509
(855) 428-6864 or www.the-haunt.com
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2019 - ROCKET SHIP PRECISION BLASTS OFF IN MEGA HAUNT
This is the haunt that other haunts have been telling us we MUST SEE since last season, when new management came on board.
It rained horribly the night we went. But even a torrential downpour couldn’t keep us away, or over a thousand other anxious haunters.
They have covered waiting, but only for 500. Masses stood outdoors as it rained cats and dogs for hours!
Indoors this is a small city of sorts, with streets and signs for the crew. The level of sophistication is mind boggling! Special thanks to DS for the behind-the-scenes look at the operation after we went through the haunt.
The decor at THE HAUNT is second to none, as well as attention to detail. It’s pointless to attempt describing it all, but we’ll mention just one favorite: It’s a fully functional miniature MERRY GO ROUND that’s an artistic masterpiece!
THE HAUNT doesn’t need us to build their crowds. Even a violent rain storm couldn’t keep away the masses, who got soaked before reaching the covered waiting with benches to sit on.
GROSSE POINTE FARMS
HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS
19520 Mack Avenue, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236
(313) 407-7979 or www.HauntedGarageProductions.org
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2019 - FAMILY FRIENDLY HAUNT WITH AMAZING DIVERSITY
This haunt has quickly become a MUST SEE haunt for us, after our first time here last year.
There’s so much to see and experience, your head will spin!
Mostly outdoors but with various structures and buildings too.
They run the gamut from aliens in outer space to ghastly earthly creatures of every size and shape you can imagine...and many more you can’t!
Animatronics rule here, but there’s lots of live actors too to round things out.
One thing drove us crazy here...every so often the alluring aroma of fresh donuts being made wafted through the air. They make you wait until the very end to get them, and the delayed gratification makes them all the more amazing a reward to leave you satisfied with a happy tummy as well as a KILLER HAUNT EXPERIENCE!
13245 Dixie Highway, Holly Michigan 48442
(248) 894-6558 or www.RottenManor.com
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2019 - PREMIERE DETROIT MEGA HAUNT RAISES THE BAR BIG TIME
We barely recognized ROTTEN MANOR since our last visit in 2017!
So much has been added to what was already a bona fide Mega Haunt, it’s mind boggling.
This is a double attraction haunt with the indoors walk through ROTTEN MANOR which we did first, then the ROTTEN ASYLUM / FOREST.
Actors can make or break ANY haunt, regardless of how many amazing props and special effects they have...
Right from the get-go, the actors were absolutely fabulous!
The MANOR ticket taker Patricia Jake (common name Joe Leonard) has silly tricks up her sleeve, and the first room greeter is remarkable. He delivers a strange rhyming story as premise for the haunt. He is SO good he could be a SAG/AFTRA VO dude! haha
An amazing array of rooms and wacky passageways await, including some amazing metallic “tunnels” you won’t believe! No other haunt has this to our knowledge.
Decor runs the gamut from ultra modern to exquisite antique, with old school thrown in like with zig-zag blackout tight passageways and rooms you can’t find your way out of.
Several themes emerge, with sound / music to accentuate them. We really liked a piano piece that builds in intensity, and later a throbbing heartbeat when you can’t find your way out.
Primo sound effects / music perfectly accentuate the scenes with complete isolation between each room.
Some of our favorites were the SWAMI GIRL, the HOWDY DOODY ROOM, and the WICKED SCHOOLTEACHER whose forehead has fallen victim to ruthless students.
This haunt also features a SUPER SQUISHY ROOM the likes of which we’ve never seen! A room is full of giant foam rubber cubes, making for some really tricky footing, and then the next room is jam packed with inflatable body balls! (Note: there is a bypass for this physically demanding section which we did not take.)
After the MANOR we did the ASYLUM / FOREST.
It’s basically a forest walk, but various structures await too.
GERMAN FAIRY TALE COMES ALIVE IN FOREST!
The Brothers Grimm would be proud.
The ROTTEN ASYLUM / FOREST has a new GINGERBREAD HOUSE that is to die for...literally, if the wackos inside it have their way.
We felt like HANSEL & GRETEL, walking up the pathway of giant lollipops leading to the GINGERBREAD HOUSE. Inside is a special meat smoker the occupants are eager to fire up, just for you! Will they turn you into TURKEY JERKY or PRIME FILET? You don’t get to choose, your fate lies in the hands of the deranged weirdoes here.
One of several new features this year is the EXTREME 3D VORTEX, which takes the classic Black Hole effect to a new dimension with an optical illusion we’ve never seen before with this gag.
The EXTREME 3D VORTEX is a stand-alone structure with a super modern design. Rock music sets the mood, but the visuals steal the show
Even the amenities have been revamped, as with the gourmet food truck offering tasty Latin Street Food with plenty of healthy choices. One of our faves was the side dish of smoked squash & corn. Yum!
We predict that ROTTEN MANOR could easily become the new PREMIER DETROIT MEGA HAUNT. If you haven’t been here, you’re missing out!
HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME
3880 Inkster Road, Inkster, MI 48141
(734) 922-5542 or www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001614513583
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2019 - OLD SCHOOL HAUNT IS BIG ON BASICS
1318 Wildwood Avenue, Jackson, MI 49202
(517) 936-5834 or www.jxunderworld.com
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2019 - MAJOR MEGAHAUNT HITS A DECADE OF SERVICE
This is a massive building and just the sight of this, especially the first time, can be overwhelming / intimating.
A series of outdoor speakers and strobes that sync to the spooky sounds sets the mood the moment you arrive...
Once you get inside, the artwork is the first thing you’ll be impressed with on your way upstairs to the entrance. A Freddie Krueger poster is followed by a hallway with GIANT CLOWN MURALS to die for!
Then there’s a cool custom made photo op after the stairs on your way to the entrance. Be sure to bring a camera or phone with a camera!
This is a 2 part haunt - the main walk through and a 3D journey. The 3D part is newest, created by the owner / operator’s son. It is fabulous!
2019 is their 10th year, and we haven’t missed even one year!
This was the first haunt we went to this season, but we’re hoping for a return visit. They have some major new gags this year, but unfortunately they were not yet in place for our visit.
HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR
28405 26 Mile Road, Lenox Township, MI
(586) 203-7222 or www.HauntedFarmOfTerror.com
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2019 - PREMIERE FARM HAUNT UPS ITS’ GAME INSIDE AND OUT
This haunt has been a long time favorite of ours, featuring a DYNAMITE walk through haunt and AN AMAZING HAYRIDE you’ll never forget! A pair of wacky hosts narrate the story line and cue the music / sound effects with military precision. At times it resembles a dance party!
One-of-a-kind GIANT METAL MONSTERS encountered in the hayride were custom made by the haunt from old farm equipment and such. One of them gives an incredible surprise from above, with a giant insect the likes of which you’ve never seen before!
Another high point in the hayride features an insect invasion from outer space, or so it seems. FABULOUS!
The walk through haunt features an impressive actor from beyond named RICKY. He pops out of nowhere, and spins a crazy story on-the-fly using your own quirks to bewilder and befuddle you.
THE ROADKILL CAFE features some of the best haunted attraction food at a reasonable price. Fresh daily cider and donuts are a must when you go to an outdoor haunt!
There’s even a DRIVE IN MOVIE THEATER of sorts, with spooky movies playing and comfy seating.
A major new addition is being planned, and we’ve thrown some ideas into the pot too. We can’t wait to see what happens at this long time fave haunt!
SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK
61288 Gratiot at 28 Mile Road, Lenox Township, MI
(586) 749-6666 or www.ScarefestScreamPark.com
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2019 - COME SPEND THE NIGHT, IF YOU DARE
This haunt offers something nobody else does in Michigan to our knowledge.
It’s a HAUNTED CAMP OUT, and takes place in September before the main haunt season starts.
You bring your own tent, and literally camp out in the woods overnight! All the attractions are in full swing too for the camp out.
During the haunt season, it feels like the carnival came to town here...but it’s a SPOOKY CARNIVAL!
It’s a MULTI-ATTRACTION HAUNT, with different levels of scare clearly marked at each of them.
The hayride is suitable for all ages, and features comfortable carts specially designed. The host tells a crazy story, accompanied by spooky music and sound effects though an onboard PA SYSTEM.
There’s so much more it’s almost pointless to describe it all...
There’s even a night club of sorts, complete with a beer tent!
One new feature this year is a 4D VIRTUAL REALITY ride that we had a blast with! 4D? It starts with 3D VIRTUAL REALITY GOGGLES, then adds motion to the mix with a special chair you’re fastened into. BIG FUN.
Lenox Township may be a tiny place geographically, but SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK is AN INDUSTRY GIANT for good reason!
4760 Churchill Road, Leslie, MI 49251
(517) 878-3030 or www.AwakenHaunt.com
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2019 - EXPANSION KICKS IT BIG TIME!
This is a young indoor/outdoors haunt that expanded dramatically, with a flavor all their own that’s been keeping the crowds flocking to it!
Retro blends with new to mix it up here. Early on it’s incandescent light bulbs flickering and an old style telephone that actually rings and lights up. But our guide says not to pick it up as it’s probably just a bill collecter!
Also features an effective Hellevator sequence and we really liked the old appliances, some with a mind of their own!
3D glasses are passed out for an impressive display reminiscent of the legendary Stu Smith that covers the floor too for added motion effect.
The 3D glasses stay on until after a counterclockwise spinning BLACK HOLE, but the wacky music / sound effects continue to bombard you along with the dazzle of occasional strobe lights. Sensory stimulation is big here, and that includes your sense of smell too!
For the next part of your journey, the outdoors section of the haunt has been expanded to great effect. There’s an excellent soundtrack, including a strange whisper-like voice taunting on-the-fly with a strange droning music background.
Excellent monster interaction / surprises, and we really liked the outdoors MASSIVE LIQUID SKY displays. In case you don’t know, LIQUID SKY is the industry term for the effect created when lasers (usually green) are shot through fog to create a stunning 3D effect.
This haunt suffered a major setback only a week before opening, when a full blown tornado ripped through destroying untold hours of work. But with dogged determination, they toiled day and night to re-create the show.
KUDOS TO AWAKEN - NOT ASLEEP ON THE JOB!
AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HAUNTED HOUSE
31401 John R, Madison Heights, MI 48071
(734) 718-0088 or www.AzraHaunt.com
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2019 - BIGGER, BADDER, BETTER!
This ambitious young haunt has upped their game significantly this season.
The FIRE BREATHING DRAGON is still out front to alert passerby’s this is a spooky place.
When you reach the queue line, you’ll find it’s been “converted” into a dance club called CLUB AZRA. A rooftop has been added in case it rains, and outdoor heaters keep it warm and cozy. The resident DJ spins the tunes with primo pro sound and lighting equipment and IT’S PARTY TIME!
Once inside you’ll find two entirely new areas, and their FABULOUS CLOWN ROOM has doubled in size for double the fun and silly shenanigans. Fluorescent black light paint and UV lights make the COLORS BURST. It’s like the circus went crazy!
The sound is top notch inside the haunt as well. An ominous pitch-bended voice warns that you enter at your own risk, and the crisp snap of sparking cattle prods drives home the point.
Excellent surprises, wild vocalizations, and we really liked the highly disorienting mirrored room sequence.
Later, a sensory mixup has you in total darkness while strange aromas bombard your nose and we really liked the polka dot room with the black lights flashing like strobe lights.
Another strong point of AZRA is the highly effective use of an unusual fabric you’ll see here. At first it looks to be part of the wall, but then it SPRINGS TO LIFE as it erupts from the wall with a ghoulish creature trying to break through. The detailing is amazing... it’s like a creature from another dimension is trying to make its’ way to this dimension. FREAKY STUFF!
The future looks bright for this dynamic, young haunt!
SHAWHAVEN HAUNTED FARM
1826 Rolfe Road, Mason, MI 48854
(517) 676-1649 or www.ShawhavenHauntedFarm.com
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2019 - DOWN ON THE FARM IT’S PARTY TIME!
Farm haunts have a built-in advantage, with off-the-hook natural ambiance.
This multi-attraction haunt starts there, then adds their own quirks and thrills to come up with A BIG WINNER!
The main building has concessions, clean bathrooms the gals will love, and some amazing miniature spooky items in a glass case that are to die for!
Other things in the main building might only be familiar to the parents. There’s a section of a car like the one featured long ago in a video by Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul. YUP, it’s a PINK CADILLAC! And there’s a strange telephone that does NOT have Bluetooth or texting. It’s called a TELEPHONE BOOTH, and once upon a time there were millions of these contraptions in cities around the world.
Not one to rest on past laurels, SHAWHAVEN HAUNTED FARM has lots of new goodies this year. The walk through haunt has added a whole new level with a basement. Also, GORE GALORE MONSTERS have joined the party, and they are FABULOUS!
SAMARA’S RETIREMENT HOME FOR THE DEAD is the walk through haunt, but don’t let the name fool you.
The resident dead creatures have come out of retirement just for you!
Excellent interaction, sound and lighting throughout.
One unique feature in the RETIREMENT HOME is a MIND BLOWING RED HALLWAY you won’t be able to miss!
Their WAGONS OF FEAR hayride was added a few years ago, and continues to evolve with new gags, monsters and such. One of our favorites is something that should not be able to exist in a farmer’s field: WATER SKIING! How do they do this stuff? It must be science!
The hayride also features lots of excellent close-up scares and interaction from the monsters, who pop out of nowhere magically appearing everywhere.
4 ESCAPE ROOMS & A CORN MAZE help round things out at SHAWHAVEN HAUNTED FARM.
There’s also a food stand outside so nobody goes hungry, and a DJ booth cranks the tunes making it PARTY TIME! And pizza giveaways for Escape Room Winners from FATBOY’S PIZZA make for happy tummy’s.
This is a family farm, turned into a HAUNTED OASIS.
We especially like when a haunt has a clever story line, and theirs is a doozie! THE LEGEND OF SHAWHAVEN FARM is told in poetry on their website.
Off season, the fun continues in April on weekends with their LAMB FESTIVAL. There’s face painting, balloon art, and you can hold a baby lamb in a photo op guaranteed to draw lots of “likes” and AWWWS! from your Facebook friends.
6069 North Saginaw, Mount Morris, MI 48458
(810) 858-9768 or www.Exit13HauntedHouse.com
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2019 - REACH OUT & TOUCH SOMEONE
No, not the phone company. It’s EXIT 13, where they literally will REACH OUT & TOUCH YOU! Completely opposite of other haunts, this one CRANKS THE TACTILE TERROR FACTOR TO ELEVEN.
There’s no apologies. There’s no wimpy watered down PC garbage.
What you DO get is the IN YOUR FACE EXPERIENCE that’s behind the WILD SUCCESS this haunt has earned.
2 BLACK HOLES help the sensory blast early on, and you’ll make lots of new SPECIAL FRIENDS the likes of which you DON’T want to take home to mom.
Excellent monster interaction including clever snarky story lines, good sound with an ominous soundtrack, and we really liked the little girl singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”
Also features lots of hands-on involvement / decision making, and we really liked the bald girl in the doll room. DELIGHTFULLY WACKY BORDERING ON INSANITY!
There’s so much more, but we’ll only hint at one more highlight. It takes a really loud TRIED AND TRUE SURE WINNER HAUNT GAG, then cranks it to eleven! WOWSER.
In short, as you travel the highway of life GET OFF ON EXIT 13 TO GET OFF ON EXIT 13!