OCTOBER 31, 2014 FRIDAY 5 AM - GOING BACK HOME AGAIN
You've probably heard the saying "You can't go home again."
Nonsense...WE DID IT LAST NIGHT AT ERWIN'S ORCHARDS, which started their haunt 35 years ago!
It's totally different now of course, and has changed even a lot just since last year.
But just like back then, we felt the calling to make our annual pilgrimage to ERWIN'S, returning to our roots again.
And it feels...and tastes...so good!
NECTAR & MANNA OF THE GODS AND GHOULS
The cider and donuts were exactly as we remembered them! BLISS.
The haunt was not at all like we remembered though, and the haunted maze has doubled in size since last year. BLISS.
Even if you've never been to ERWIN'S, there's still time as they're OPEN THRU NOVEMBER 1st this year. www.ErwinOrchards.com
You'll feel right away that you just belong there...and then someday you too CAN GO HOME AGAIN...to ERWIN'S ORCHARDS in SOUTH LYON.
OCTOBER 31, 2014 FRIDAY 12 MIDNITE - HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
So this pumpkin goes into a bar, and says What's a gourd gotta do to get some service...oh, you already heard that one? Never mind then...
May your pumpkins get smashed, and your candy consumed by Zombies!
Just save a NUTRAGEOUS and a SNICKERS for me, OK?
OCTOBER 30, 2014 THURSDAY 4 AM - REDEMPTION AT HAND FOR THE DOGGEDLY FAITHFUL
HAPPY DEVIL'S NIGHT!
And persistence is a virtue, right?
THIRD TIME'S A CHARM / A GRAND SLAM HOME RUN ON STRIKE THREE
If you're truly passionate about something, nothing can stop you...not even Father Time...
JUST THE SAME AS IT USED TO BE
Before the ZIOPTIS HAUNTED HOUSE HOTLINE even existed, my partner and I would go to ERWIN'S ORCHARDS every year for a primo dose of haunting.
Like Hudson's, it was one of those things you just always thought would be there.
But then it was gone, and with it went a special part of our annual fall experience.
Nothing man-made lasts forever after all, but sometimes things arise from the ashes too. And that's what happened when ERWIN'S BARN OF HORRORS EXPLODED BACK ONTO THE SCENE a few years ago!
EXPERIENCE THE FIRST PRIORITY
Proper haunting sustenance always includes cider and donuts, but that's only secondary to having a KILLER HAUNT THAT DELIVERS THE GOODS.
Without that, a cider mill is just another label on a bottle in a humdrum store somewhere.
ERWIN'S OR BUST
Tonight will mark our THIRD attempt at visiting ERWIN'S...and from word-on-the-streets it's looking like it'll be a GRAND SLAM HOMERUN on our final swing tonight! www.ErwinOrchards.com
OCTOBER 30, 2014 THURSDAY 3 AM - THE DARING YOUNG MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE
JACKSON'S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON has a new HIGH-FLYING FEATURE that is NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH! Help, Mr. Wizard... (Review coming ASAP)
OCTOBER 29, 2014 WEDENSDAY 6 PM -¬ LAUGH ALONG WITH ME NOW!
Oh yeah...THE SIMPSONS HALLOWEEN TRILOGY OF TERROR is on Channel 50 right now!
OCTOBER 29, 2014 WEDNEDSAY 5 PM - The new story is coming into focus...kids who loved Halloween...the very first haunted house...no idea the scope of what they had just created...telephone game...
OCTOBER 29, 2014 WEDNESDAY 3 PM - WHAT HAPPENED...WHERE AM I?
Still reeling from a VERY WILD SHOW at THE REALM OF DARKNESS last night!
Yes, it's very surreal and often you'll feel like you're in a museum...but first and foremost it's A HAUNTED HOUSE.
It's so ELABORATELY PLANNED OUT...nothing has been left to chance...it's a well oiled, finely tuned machine running at top efficiency.
If you haven't seen this haunt, you're missing out...and if you went last year you will barely recognize it...and THAT is a GIANT WOWSER for THE REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC! www.TheRealmOfDarkness.com
OCTOBER 28, 2014 TUESDAY 11 PM - AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
WHOA...just got back from THE REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC and saw a TOTALLY DIFFERENT SHOW than last year. There's some insanely wild acting, and attention to detail is off the charts!
TALES FROM A TEN GALLON HAT
Review coming soon, but in the meantime take a look at what another haunt review service FROM TEXAS says about THE REALM OF DARKNESS. You'll need to scroll down the page to find it: www.TheHauntedReview.com/page/2/
OCTOBER 28, 2014 TUESDAY 7 PM - A new story is coming soon...
OCTOBER 28, 2014 TUESDAY 3 PM - LAST CALL FOR FALL HAUNTING
We're heading into the home stretch, but there's still lots of great haunting to do yet! A list of haunts OPEN TONIGHT appears in "Newest."
OCTOBER 27, 2014 MONDAY 5 AM -¬ BACK IN A MOMENT, BUT FIRST...
Any new haunt is a priority for us to visit, and we just went to BONADEO FARM in HIGHLAND last night. Lots of cool stuff to tell you about them, and they're open every night this week...but first let's finish that story from below:
...called me right then and there from his flip-phone and asked me WHERE THE HECK IS STOCKBRIDGE, MICHIGAN? I had no idea, but he goes on to say the MAIN GUY FROM THE BONEYARD HAUNTED HOUSE JUST GAVE HIM A BUSINESS CARD AND HE SOUNDED REALLY COOL...so right away I'm asking IS THERE A PHONE NUMBER?
Of course there is, so off and running I went...to try to MEET this eager haunt owner who's got the gumption to go out in person and suggest to people in DETROIT that they drive out of the Tri County Area to see a haunt!
RING! RING! "BONEYARD, MAY I HELP YOU?"
Hey, it's Zioptis...we want to come visit your haunt and meet you! Cool.
We talked...and we talked...and we talked...
And we went...and we went...and we went...but never did actually meet the main dude...and we had talked so many times...we ALWAYS talk directly to the main dude...or dudette of course as the case may be at any haunt.
Why couldn't we meet him FACE TO FACE...and tell him how cool his haunt is?
It's so simple, but it's FABULOUS.
Every time we arrived, he was ACTING IN THE HAUNT ITSELF...in full costume and exquisite makeup of course...so several times we saw him clearly but had no idea it was him!
SPOT THE OWNER
We started a game...let's see if we can pick out which weirdo in the haunt is the main dude at BONEYARD...
A SURE WINNER
A really good boy loves his mommy.
And some boys love their mommies so much they end up INFLICTING BODY MARKINGS ON THEMSELVES CONTAINING THE WORD "MOM."
So right now you're probably thinking...oh yeah like the sailor man who pulls up his T-shirt to reveal a big tattoo on his chest...or maybe a big tat on a bicep...
We got him for sure this year!
And this is priceless...WE FINALLY WON THE GAME, finding the main dude...and he's sporting a "MOM" body marking on his forehead...but it's NOT a tattoo...in fact it's all horribly bloody and infected...he's used like a rusty knife to carve the word MOM into his forehead!
And his character clearly has no idea how creepy that is, because he still has that infectious smile that caught my buddy's attention that one fine summer day at the DREAM CRUISE...what a perfect moment!
AIN'T NO BONES ABOUT IT
If you went to the BONEYARD last year too as we did, GO BACK NOW and YOU WILL NOT RECOGNIZE THE PLACE...AT ALL.
And THAT is a TRIPLE WOWSER...FOR THE BONEYARD. (Review coming ASAP)
OCTOBER 26, 2014 SUNDAY 5 AM - HOW THE WOODWARD DREAM CRUISE GAVE US OUR FAVORITE HAUNTED GAME TO PLAY
Anybody out there have like a BOSS 302 MUSTANG that burns rubber in all four gears? (like my oldest brother)
Then you've probably been to the WOODWARD DREAM CRUISE.
We've never gone to this gasoline and rubber fueled frenzy, and yet because of it we got to play our favorite haunted game last night.
Years ago, my buddy (and our bass player) called me from the DREAM CRUISE and said a guy was walking around with a wild look in his eyes, but in a good way with a big smile too.
He was passing out business cards for his new haunted house that he promised would be a lot of fun...a little off the beaten path of Detroit haunts perhaps...but his enthusiasm was so infectious that my buddy called me right then and there from his flip-phone and (still being written while I sleep)
OCTOBER 26, 2014 SUNDAY 4 AM - IT'S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN!
Many haunts in¬ Michigan are in farmland areas, and driving thru areas with no street lights for many miles is the norm. It's very dark, until...
UP IN THE SKY, LOOK! It's a bird...It's a plane...faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound...
PIE-IN-THE-SKY PUMPKIN BLAZING!
We saw it with our own eyes, a giant pumpkin hoisted sky-high shining bright like a beacon to follow to a unique slice of Michigan Haunted Heaven at SHAWHAVEN FARM in MASON.
SUPER SATURDAY THRILLVILLE!
Both SHAWHAVEN FARM in MASON and THE BONEYARD in STOCKBRIDGE were PACKED TO CAPACITY last night, with traffic control dudes doing their best to keep up with the masses of happy haunters.
BOTH HAUNTS HAVE NEW SHOWS THAT ARE WAAAY COOL, JUNIOR! (Reviews coming ASAP)
OCTOBER 25, 2014 SATURDAY 3 AM - BLISS AND THE BLUES - OUR OHIO ODYSSEY
Our Buckeye Brothers In Arms delivered the goods Friday night, BIG TIME!
HAPPY, HAPPY, JOY, JOY!
TERRORTOWN and GHOSTLY MANOR zapped us to Haunted Heaven in a flash, after some Pumpkin Latte and COLD Honey Crisp apples...yum!
BOO HOO, WE MISSED YOU
We are so bummed not to get our fix of CRAZY BOB at HAUNTED HYDRO with his amazing, on-the-spot silly storytelling that inspired us so much last year!
Our sincere apologies for missing them this trip. THIS IS THE HAUNTED HYDRO'S 25th ANNIVERSARY, and the new shows unleashed for this MAJOR MILESTONE look outrageously cool! We were SO anxious to join the celebration with CRAZY BOB...sigh... www.TheHauntedHydro.com
OCTOBER 21, 2014 TUESDAY 10 PM - UNREASONABLE EXPECTATIONS?
Earlier, we gushed about some haunts that have virtually re-created themselves from the ground up this year like PSYCHO PATH, BESTMAZE, and BURTON HAUNTED FOREST.
For any haunt to accomplish this is amazing, so what about the others?
Are they slacking? Not really...
PRIVATE ARMIES ON A SOLITARY MISSION
The haunts changing totally every year are almost always VOLUNTEER HAUNTS. Often there are hundreds of people working virtually all year to make it happen, but it's completely unrealistic to expect this kind of manpower and total transformation from all haunts.
Most haunts have the same building every year, and props and special costumes are not cheap.
Each haunt has to find its' own identity, and satisfy the haunter's thirst for spooky stuff and unique experiences they can't find anywhere else.
RECYCLING YOUR GORY GEAR (for haunt operators)
One unique solution to the overused prop situation is in place already! The owner of TERRORTOWN in OHIO is the guy to talk to, as he's involved in a SUPER SWAP type of program to TRADE PROPS between haunts in different markets.
OCTOBER 21, 2014 TUESDAY 9 PM - YOU'RE GOING WHERE? / BUCKEYE BROTHERS IN ARMS
Gas just went below $3 a gallon, so now there's no excuse.
LET'S HIT THE ROAD...TO OHIO FOR SOME KILLER HAUNTS!
Problem is though, just like in Michigan, it's hard to choose due to OVERCHOICE which Alvin Tofler warned us about so long ago in his book "Future Shock."
Mentioning SANDUSKY, OHIO recently in a haunt line, some people talked about the famous world-record roller coaster place...and we do understand they've significantly upped their haunt game in recent years.
If you want to go haunting AND flying thru the air at 70 MPH or whatever it is on one of those newfangled coaster contraptions,¬you should go there.
But we like GHOSTLY MANOR, and that's where we're going when we get to¬ Sandusky, Ohio.
So you think you've seen THE MEGAHAUNT OF MEGAHAUNTS, here in Michigan or anywhere else?
Check this out - GHOSTLY MANOR was already a super successful Megahaunt...and THEN THEY ADDED 4 MORE HAUNTS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD...RIGHT THERE AT THE GROUNDS OF GHOSTLY MANOR!
We went to the opening year of this amazing collaboration in 2012, but missed them last year which makes it a priority for 2014! www.GhostlyManor.com
Also, the HAUNTED HYDRO in FREMONT has become AN OHIO FAVORITE of ours as well, and the haunt community owes a lot to the Hydro's legendary leader CRAZY BOB TURNER¬ for great stuff the public never even sees. www.TheHauntedHydro.com
And finally, my partner would have my head if we didn't make our ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE to TERRORTOWN in MAUMEE near TOLEDO, OHIO!
She has been known to be a walking advertisement for TERRORTOWN at numerous haunts, some of which have been quick to toss their shirts at her in a usually vain attempt at a "cover-up"! haha www.TerrorTown.net
OCTOBER 21, 2014 TUESDAY 3 PM - ANTICIPATION...
Only 10 more days until the Main Event!
Stay tuned...more reviews and insider hot stuff coming shortly...
OCTOBER 20, 2014 MONDAY 1 AM - MEMORIES, DREAMS & REFLECTIONS
Somehow we got to talking about HAUNTED HILL ACRES in BELLEVILLE earlier, and how much we miss them and their special touches all their own. They were a special destination we always looked forward to.
But they went missing just last year, after spending much time and effort on a feature length motion picture "A NIGHTMARE ON HAUNTED HILL." Here's a teaser for it on YouTube: www.youtube.com/embed/BbKJGatxBck
We also saw a promo screener for this movie, and it's highly entertaining with a great mix of scary and funny stuff. We thought it could easily hold its' own against any other film of this kind and would be A BIG BOX OFFICE HIT!
So what happened?
They put their heart, soul, and all their cash into a worthy project...that went bust it seems.
We need a Dan Gilbert or someone like him to SEE THIS OPPORTUNITY to help them to the Finish Line in getting this way cool movie to the Big Screen where it belongs! (See contact info in their review under 2012_A)
And then maybe we could have our beloved HAUNTED HILL ACRES on our "What's Next" list again too! Wishing upon a star......
OCTOBER 19, 2014 SUNDAY 6 PM - LAST CALL...OR NOT?
At the bar, when 2 AM rolls around they always give you a chance to get one last drink to prepare you for your journey home...or wherever.
Nothing lasts forever, and that includes the bar itself.
So someday, all bars have a last call of their own as they meet the wrecking ball because they're no good to anybody else for anything.
Except this time.
The old SHOTS UP BAR right on the main drag of Biddle in Wyandotte is the NEW LOCATION for this years JAYCEE'S HAUNT FO - BE - E !!
And guess what? They're OPEN TONIGHT! www.wyandottejaycees.org/hh
The CITY OF WYANDOTTE, in a FABULOUS SHOW OF SUPPORT FOR HAUNTING, allows the local Jaycee's to USE A BUILDING SLATED FOR DEMOLITION EVERY YEAR. How's THAT for cooperation, city inspectors out there? haha
OCTOBER 19, 2014 SUNDAY 4 AM - ONLY THE STORY BIRD STAYS
Wait...shouldn't that be story board?
Nope. That's story bird...as in the famous teller of fairy tales and nursery rhymes that enthralled generations of kids by MOTHER GOOSE.
You do know Mother Goose, right? OK.
So we just went to BURTON HAUNTED FOREST in BURTON and the only thing we recognized in the show from last year was the HILARIOUSLY OVERSIZED MOTHER GOOSE.
Oh wait...in all fairness, the beautiful beveled glass door was the same as last year too...but that's it!
HOW DO THEY DO THAT?!
Or how about this:
The people behind us and the people ahead of us in line were repeat customers from last year.
Now regardless of anything we or anybody else might say about this place, those two things alone are very strong indicators of A TOP FLIGHT HAUNTED ATTRACTION.
But really it's no surprise, because despite it being in a real forest, it's right in the thick of things as part of the FABULOUS FLINT HAUNTS!
Oh wait a second...it's actually in BURTON...but then CLIO MANOR HAUNTED HOUSE is really in FLINT...and ST. LUCIFER'S is in GRAND BLANC right down the block from THE CRYPT which is technically in BURTON...EXIT 13 shows an address of MOUNT MORRIS...
I'm lost. What does it all mean? My brain hurts...but worst of all:
WHAT CITY DO I PUT IN THE TOM-TOM?
There's a simple answer, and a not-so-simple answer (memo: give Pine Knob example)...but both of them have to wait because the Arms of Morpheus are about to sweep me away in the waveless waterbed.
OCTOBER 19, 2014 SUNDAY 2 AM - NEW SHOES & SHIRT TO FILL
No shoes, no shirt, no service, right?
Not this time.
The new shoes being filled are by the ARMY OF PINT SIZED GHOULS at McCURDY'S REVENGE in CORUNNA who are taking over at the new location!
And the new shirt to fill is from THE CRYPT in BURTON (Flint area) which GLOWS IN THE DARK, and the duties go to my highly capable partner who is definitively overqualified in this department!
Also, we just heard the T-SHIRTS ARE IN at DARK LEGACY in WIXOM which we need to go to again anyways. The place is so expansive, we really need to see it twice!
OCTOBER 18, 2014 SATURDAY 2:30 PM - GET LUCKY TONIGHT WITH THE RED HOT CHEAP DATE!
Money doesn't grow on trees...we get it.
But if you want to "get some" tonight for Sweetest Day, and your wallet only has a couple of Abes in it, we have the PERFECT SERVING SUGGESTION for a NIGHT FULL OF SCREAMS...the other kind...you do want those too we're assuming since you are looking at a website all about haunted houses, right?
Ta-dah! It's McCURDY'S REVENGE in CORUNNA, back in action after a brief hiatus.
In the classic "offer you can't refuse" fashion, McCURDY'S is having a WELCOME BACK BLOWOUT with ADMISSION OF ONLY FIVE BUCKS! Just print out the coupon for $2 off here: www.McCurdysRevenge.com
OCTOBER 18, 2014 SATURDAY 2 PM - THE SWEET SCREAMS OF SUCCESS
Happy Sweetest Day!
GENTLEMEN, START YOUR ENGINES!
And to the guys out there...'tis the season...perfect October day right in the prime of haunting...it's your solemn duty to MAKE YOUR SWEETIE SCREAM WITH DELIGHT!
You know how to do that, right?
And you could even take her to a haunted house later tonight too!¬ ;)
You're welcome, girls.
OCTOBER 18, 2014 SATURDAY 3 AM - EAST SIDE BIG GUNS COME OUT SHOOTING ON ALL SIX
MACOMB COUNTY ROCKS! There's so many great haunts, and Friday night we got a big double dose of outdoor outrageousness in LENOX TWP. at SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK and then ABOUT ONLY FOUR MINUTES OVER TO HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR! (Reviews coming ASAP)
Wait a second...how long?
Only FOUR MINUTES BETWEEN TWO MASSIVE KILLER HAUNTS?
Maybe not...ever see a Wendy's for example pop up next to a Burger King?
They end up bringing more total business of that kind to the area, and both thrive that much more.
So... yeah it's crazy...CRAZY EFFICIENT FOR EASILY PACKING IN AN AMAZING NIGHT OF HAUNTING! carpe diem baby
Apologies to BLAKE'S and SLAUGHTERED AT SUNDOWN in ARMADA for missing them; hopefully we can reschedule them!
OCTOBER 16, 2014 THURSDAY 10 PM - UNDER THE RADAR AGAIN - LISTEN UP, DOWNRIVER HAUNTERS!
Earlier we mentioned that KRAZY HILDA'S in YPSILANTI skipped advertising this year, began consultation work for other haunts, and stepped up their own game to boot. (Reviews 2014_B)
But now we've got another top-notch haunt that didn't advertise you may not have heard about in the Downriver area, which has always been a hotbed of haunted houses.
PAPP PARK in TAYLOR is a double feature haunt, with an excellent hayride and a walk thru trailer haunt that has GREAT HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE.
It's been around forever, and is the original building block from the beginning era of haunted houses...later to also become commonly called HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS.
There's NO SEARCH LIGHTS leading to PAPP PARK...no Elephant Ears¬ either...but no matter...THE HAYRIDE IS KILLER. (Reviews 2013_D)
OCTOBER 14, 2014 TUESDAY 4 PM - WHAT THE FOG? / I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW
Earlier, we were throwing around a lot of big talk about LASERS and LIQUID SKY EFFECTS without ever explaining exactly what a LIQUID SKY is.
DUH...you know what happens when you ASSUME something, right?
It makes an ASS out of U and ME! haha
The HIGHLY DRAMATIC LIQUID SKY effect is produced when a laser projection in a dark room is accompanied by FOG.
When a non-moving pattern like a circle, oval, or flat beam is used the edges of the laser beam become sharply defined as a luminous translucent surface, upon which air currents are suddenly clearly visible.
If you drag your fingers through the edge of the beam, you can clearly see the disturbance of air currents.
Sometimes, a fan is used in a position that will draw air TOWARDS the laser projector. This produces a distinct SPINNING TUNNEL effect, and the first time you see it is a GUARANTEED WOWSER MOMENT.
The first time we ever saw a highly effective GREEN LASER LIQUID SKY DISPLAY was at the now defunct haunt THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN, when most haunts had not even heard of GREEN LASERS.
The laser and fan were positioned high enough in a corner to engulf the entire room.
They had to SHOO people along as the room filled up because haunters were frozen in their tracks, completely awestruck with jaws dropped!
Nobody had ever seen such a dramatic lighting effect anywhere, as concert usage of this was years away.
Any color of laser beam produces the effect, but GREEN LASERS are commonly used because they're so much brighter than red.
BLUE LASERS have so far been prohibitively expensive to use, and are much darker in appearance so green has become the Industry Standard.
But that could change soon - see the article below from OCTOBER 13, 2014 MONDAY 5 PM - OUT OF THE BOX AGAIN.
OCTOBER 13, 2014 MONDAY 9 PM - THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT
Time is valuable, and many times we find ourselves in a big hurry.
But sometimes, just another moment or so is all we need...
Like last night, I had to stop for gas before the Flint trip and pulled into the local Mobil Station...Sunday night, the haunts close early...'git a-move-on...the clerk behind the bullet proof Plexiglas is bored stiff...I pull out my money and a cluster of Zioptis cards comes with it...
The¬ PUMPKIN SIDE of the card was up and it seemed to catch his eye...trying to compose a quick Cliff Notes 101 I blurted out: "Here's a little present for your Halloween fans...IT'S TOTALLY FREE...sorta like going to a haunted house, WITHOUT going to a haunted house!"
I slipped the small pile of Zioptis cards under the money slot with my gas cash, and FINALLY I caught him starting to smile...let's see what he's REALLY capable of...just as I opened the door to leave, pretending to have an afterthought I suddenly looked right back into his eyes and let out a hearty "SHOE - KRAHN"! (Arabic for "Thank You") and watched with glee as he¬ grinned the grin that would make the CHESHIRE CAT HIMSELF DISAPPEAR WITH HAPPINESS!
Total extra time expended: 2 seconds.
Estimated impact length: long enough for him to pass it on to at least one other person.
Like I said, time is valuable. Don't waste even 2 seconds.
OCTOBER 11, 2014 SATURDAY 2 AM - SHAKEN AND STIRRED
We got SHOOK UP BIG TIME Friday night at SLAUGHTERHOUSE in FOWLERVILLE...by a crazy machine we never saw with the power of an industrial crane and the agility of a lizards tongue! IT WAS AWESOME.
But it even gets better...
The new hayride show has a new gag that will BAFFLE YOU. But to them, it's just old hat because SLAUGHTERHOUSE has figured out the MIRACLE OF TELEPORTING! Look very carefully when you see the girl with the red hair...
We got swept away with the magic...did everything¬ including¬ the maze this time...but then...
BOO HOO...we only have time for one more haunt?
OCTOBER 10, 2014 FRIDAY 1 AM - IT'S MAGIC!
Anybody remember MAIL ORDER CATALOGS?
They sent you a pile of paper glued together that was supposed to have stuff in it that you wanted.
The Sears Roebuck catalog was thicker than the Yellow Pages, but how boring it was for adventurous youngsters...good, better, or BEST...good, better, or BEST...YAWWWN.
But when the mailman arrived with the almost-as-thick but TOTALLY AMAZING CATALOG FROM THE WORLD'S LARGEST MAGIC COMPANY, it was cause for much celebration and mystery as we explored the amazing offerings from ABBOTT'S MAGIC COMPANY in COLON, MICHIGAN!
The big, thick Abbott's catalog is a thing of the past...but the memories are still vivid...let's see what they're up to for Halloween...COOL, right now they have MORE HALLOWEEN BONUSES than ever before! CLICKY HERE: www.AbbottMagic.com
OCTOBER 4, 2014 SATURDAY 4 PM - ONE LONELY INDIAN
Kind of bittersweet...so we were talking to one of the cool workers last night at¬ HUSH...the guy with the beard...and he mentions that THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR has gone missing this year.
We just went to THE SCREAM MACHINE last season and saw a cool show.
THE JL HUDSONS SYNDROME
Anybody remember HUDSONS DEPT. STORES? They once had the WORLD'S LARGEST DEPARTMENT STORE in downtown Detroit.
It was just one of those things people thought would always be there.
But nothing man-made lasts forever, and time and circumstances have a way of changing everything.
Even the wrecking ball itself that took down Hudson's is probably history by now.
THE ONLY CONSTANT IS CHANGE
Once-upon-a-time in the early 2000's, TAYLOR had its' own HAUNTED WORLD RECORD according to our research with SIX HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS IN ONE CITY! They were: BULL RUN KARATE HAUNTED HOUSE, DUNCAN STREET HORROR, EXFEARIENCE, PAPP PARK, THE EXTREME SCREAM, and THE SCREAM MACHINE.
We personally SUBMITTED FORMS TO GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS to document this amazing feat, but were told they had no category for Haunted Attractions.
We all know what happened later with GUINNESS...
Indeed, nothing lasts forever...but for now at least the kids in Taylor still have PAPP PARK left...while others of us sigh and remember the TAYLOR GLORY DAYS and the near constant confusion that often sent happy haunters to both THE EXTREME SCREAM and THE SCREAM MACHINE! Ah, memories...
OCTOBER 2, 2014 THURSDAY 10 PM - THINGS THAT GO BUMP ALL NIGHT LONG!
Anybody remember NAUTICAL NIGHTMARE?
They took an old BOB-LO BOAT then turned it into a haunted attraction, and it was TOTALLY AMAZING.
Lots of this historic vessel was left intact, exactly as it was ages ago...essentially a floating MUSEUM OF ANTIQUES.
Sadly, the NAUTICAL NIGHTMARE is long gone. (See Closed # 4.)
But what if we told you there's another haunt that also is essentially a¬ MUSEUM OF ANTIQUES?
And what if we told you some of those very same antiques ended up being responsible for some REALLY WEIRD OCCURANCES THAT SIMPLY COULD NOT BE EXPLAINED BY LOGIC OR PHYSICS AS WE KNOW IT AT THAT HAUNT?
Independent Paranormal Researchers were actually brought in to properly document all this...plus I don't think it's even possible to fake goose bumps up and down both arms like people were getting...
You think you'd want to know about this haunt?
It gets better.
What if I told you that you could actually SPEND THE WHOLE NIGHT IN THIS HAUNT THIS COMING SATURDAY AND EXPLORE FOR YOURSELF???
It's the Annual MS Awareness Night at THE REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC, October 4, 2014. www.TheRealmOfDarkness.com or (248) 338-0400
WOWSER...A TOTALLY UNIQUE HAUNT EXPERIENCE OPPORTUNITY!!!
You may never have another chance for an experience of this magnitude, so CARPE DIEM BABY.
OCTOBER 1, 2013 WEDNESDAY 11 PM - PANAMA OR BUST
Thinking of that song by Van Halen called "PANAMA"...cool guitar solo by Alex...doesn't he jump off a cliff or like a stack of Marshalls? And we actually saw a VAN HALEN TRIBUTE BAND called PANAMA last summer at a local city festival / fireworks show...
But that's not why we're talkin' about PANAMA...and not the canal either...
Thing is, we just heard word from KRAZY HILDA'S about their new location for 2014 at PANAMA HILLS FARM in YPSILANTI, which opens up a whole bunch of new haunt trip possibilities! www.KrazyHildas.com
NIGHT TERRORS at WIARD'S ORCHARDS is also in YPSILANTI, and BRANDYWINE CEMETERY is nearby in ANN ARBOR.
BRANDYWINE CEMETERY is a 2 day only HIGHLY ORNATE DISPLAY made by a guy who moved to Michigan from California, where he WORKED FOR DISNEY ANIMATION. www.BrandywineCemetery.com
We've been wanting to check out BRANDYWINE for years...and NOW THAT KRAZY HILDA'S IS NEARBY...this could just be our big chance...and yours too...to get a DOUBLE HAUNT ON...can I say that?
SEPTEMBER 29, 2014 MONDAY 5 PM - MY LIFE AS A HUMBLE COMEDY LEGEND
No, not me...but I like the way it sounds.
It's MARTIN SHORT, who I just saw when I watched THE ELLEN SHOW for the first time...my partner has her DVR full of THE ELLEN SHOW, and has been bugging me to give it a try.
I must say it actually made me laugh...even while watching it alone (which is a BIG test of if it's really funny).
But what does COMEDY HAVE TO DO WITH HAUNTING?
What if I told you that last Saturday night we talked to a COMEDIAN WHO PERFORMED IN LAS VEGAS the night before?
No, we didn't go to MARK RIDLEY'S...we saw him at...get this...SLAUGHTERHOUSE in FOWLERVILLE.
SLAUGHTERHOUSE has become a haunt that is truly in a league of their own, combining state-of-the-art illusions with HILARIOUS STORY LINES that MIX UP YOUR EMOTIONS BIG TIME¬ as things go from funny to ghastly in a flash!
Back to SHORT: He was promoting his new book called "I MUST SAY - MY LIFE AS A HUMBLE COMEDY LEGEND," then launched into HILARIOUS STORIES, one after the other...sorta like SLAUGHTERHOUSE¬ actually....
Hmmm...I wonder if ELLEN DeGENERES likes haunted houses? ;)
SEPTEMBER 29, 2014 MONDAY 3 AM - OUT OF MY MIND ON MONDAY MOANIN'
Here we go again...no way...YES way...it's yet another WORLD'S LARGEST CLAIM BY A HAUNT.
But FINALLY, it's NOT what you'd think!
Just now checking the MISSOURI haunts for correctness...here we go...THE DARKNESS THEME PARK in ST. LOUIS changed to CREEPYWORLD...one of their 2 new things for 2014 is St. Lucifer's Hospital...AND they have the WORLD'S LARGEST.....get ready...drum roll...
PUMPKIN DISPLAY!¬ www.ScareFest.com
SEPTEMBER 28, 2014 SUNDAY 11 PM - BATTLE OF THE INCHES
I can't believe it...
So we're talking to some haunters last night in line at TERRORFIED FOREST, and a girl tells us about some KILLER HAUNTS IN OHIO she personally went to, one of which is IN A REAL CAVE!!!
Now we've seen REAL CAVES REPLICATED at a haunt before inside a man-made structure at THE REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC. They used high-tech wizardry to REPLICATE the exact variances throughout, and it's actually quite convincing.
But to create an ENTIRE HAUNT COMPLETELY INSIDE A REAL CAVE?
How far is it? Can we get there tonight?! haha...no really, where's the GPS?
Is there an amazing elevator ride down like we experienced long ago during one of the last tours from CRYSTAL SALT MINES?
But that's not actually why we're bringing up this haunt...back home later...knew we had this haunt listed...oh there is in LEWISBURG, OHIO...it's the LEWISBURG HAUNTED CAVE! www.HauntedCaveAtLewisburg.com
YAYYY INTERNET...I can see for miles...WOW WHAT'S THIS...there's that familiar GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS emblem...how many WORLD RECORDS do we really need...or even care about?
Personally, we're more curious to meet their award winning WATER MONSTERS for ourselves...but everyone gets their moment in the sun...even if they're hundreds of feet below¬ the earth most of us walk on!
Back to subject...turns out that LEWISBURG HAUNTED CAVE did indeed achieve their own GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS award on July 15, 2010 for LONGEST WALK THROUGH HORROR HOUSE measuring 3,564 feet.
I think you know the rest of the spiel by now.
Besides I gotta run...have a date with MR. MAPQUEST now...
SEPTEMBER 28, 2014 SUNDAY 1 AM - MAKING A LIST AND CHECKING IT TWICE / LET THE PARTY BEGIN!
We actually saw SANTA CLAUS on Saturday night!
Red suit, fluffy white beard, visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads...the real deal.
You DO believe in Santa Claus, right?
But something's wrong...SANTA CLAUS IS DRUNK...he's clutching a liquor bottle...stumbling around incoherent...
But GOOD for you, SLAUGHTERHOUSE!
The new show at SLAUGHTERHOUSE is PURE DYNAMITE, and their new BAD SANTA ROOM has an off-the-hook ending revealing Santa's true colors in a graphic display of CASUAL RUTHLESSNESS.
WHOEVER KNEW BEING SO BAD COULD BE SO GOOD? www.SlaughterhouseAdventure.com (full review coming soon)
SEPTEMBER 26, 2014 FRIDAY 2 AM - FLIPPING THE COIN OF FATE
Sometimes it a coin-toss as far as our haunt plans go...things can and do go wrong. (See article from 7 PM yesterday)
WE REALLY SHOULDN'T BE TELLING YOU THIS, BUT...
Like for tonight...and this is one of our Special Trade Secrets...shhhh...don't tell anybody...this stops right here with just you and me, OK?
So our original plan for Friday night was to HIT HELL first with KARNEVIL, zoom over to DARK LEGACY (opens NEXT THURSDAY) which is in Oakland County and then zip over to Pontiac (also in Oakland County) for a REALLLY BIG SHOW at the MegaHaunt!
Wait a second...there's TWO MegaHaunts BOTH IN PONTIAC...only time for ONE of them after the two others...how to decide which one to hit?
THE DEEP ANALYSIS MR. NYE-GUY WAY:
There's THE REALM OF DARKNESS, with its' dark, cerebral, interactive medieval fantasy journey approach in settings that often make you feel as if you're in a museum! And YES, there are many real antiques there...some of which have actually led to strange paranormal encounters...NOT KIDDING...with not only some seriously spooked haunters but with the ACTORS AS WELL! Details: www.TheRealmOfDarkness.com
And of course there's EREBUS, with its' high-intensity, slam-bang sensory assaults as you unwittingly become experiments in an insane TIME MACHINE EXPERIMENT GONE WRONG! www.HauntedPontiac.com
DECISIONS, DECISIONS, LOCATION, LOCATION...HELP MR. WIZARD!
Here's the big secret (shhhhh) of how we were going to scientifically choose the best MegaHaunt in Pontiac to go to, and you can do it too with just a little practice.
Reach into your pocket, pull out the biggest coin you have, screech like a banshee "HEADS IT'S REALM, TAILS IT'S EREBUS," then toss the coin in the air to land where it may.
Whoever knew life could be so simple?
SEPTEMBER 20, 2014 SATURDAY 2 AM - IT WAS A GRAVEYARD SMASH!
WOW, what a send-off we gave Adam T. Ladd!
LADD'S EVIL ACRES in HILLSDALE was packed to the gills Friday night, with hayrides leaving one after the other and tons of free food and drinks for everyone that was donated.
Yes, they had the token bonfire of course...but even better, they had FIRE DANCING too thanks to an outrageous guest actor from DARKSYDE ACRES!
The hayride was so much fun, we went several times!
On our last trip, the tractor driver shut off his lights and the STARS JUMPED OUT OF THE SKY, glistening like little sprites singing the praise of ADAM T. LADD...Rest in Peace, brother.
Then, after THE VERY LAST RIDE...kinda chokes you up to think they're closing up shop for good...ALL the actors from all four haunts gathered for a giant group picture...lookie here: www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/
Right after this picture was taken, an ALL OUT MONSTER MASH BROKE OUT!
How cool...four competing haunts...but not competing tonight, except to see who could WOW the crowds the best!
It was so fun, talking to as many characters as possible, and the family of course too..."hey, which haunt are you from?...how do you guys know each other?..."
So many stories in so little time...it was a totally unique vibe...and it sure feels good, after a major overhaul of our plans, to think that tonight in our own small way, UNITED TOGETHER we increased the sum total of human happiness and have NO REGRETS.
SEPTEMBER 19, 2014 FRIDAY 2 PM - NO REGRETS
I was lucky enough to be born into a family whose father ALWAYS observed the FAMILY FIRST notion.
At Zioptis, we truly consider the haunt community to be part of our artificially extended family, and we just now DROPPED EVERYTHING ELSE so we can join the ONE LAST RIDE IN LOVING MEMORY OF Adam Ladd Memorial Service tonight at LADD'S EVIL ACRES. www.LaddsEvilAcres.com
A CALL TO ARMS FOR THE ZIOPTIS POPULACE
If you're anything more than a casual haunt fan, and consider yourself to be a supporter of the haunt community we urge you to also DROP EVERYTHING ELSE and head out to LADD'S EVIL ACRES in HILLSDALE tonight from 9PM - 12 MIDNIGHT.
Yes, we were looking forward to starting with a BANG at ST. LUCIFER'S and EXIT 13 tonight who both won ZIOPTIS AWARDS last year...but they'll be open later too and this is ONE NIGHT ONLY.
To be perfectly honest, we never did actually meet Adam or even visit his haunt, although Rob from DARKSYDE ACRES had urged us to do so in the past!
Still, we consider the Ladd's to be part of our artificially extended family and it would be a TRAVESTY for us NOT to do whatever it takes to attend this poignant event which ALSO WILL BE A KILLER HAUNTED HOUSE!
If we didn't make this event, our conscious would never forgive us...and we'd have a very hard time enjoying the rest of the season.
Besides the LADD'S crew, CORPSE BARN, DARKSYDE ACRES, and THE BONEYARD will be on hand to SCARE 'YER PANTS OFF. We can NOT think of any better way to HONOR OUR FALLEN COMRADE ADAM LADD.
ONE LAST RIDE...ONE FINAL CHANCE...TO SEND OFF ADAM T. LADD WITH STYLE AND COMPASSION...SEE YOU THERE!
SEPTEMBER 18, 2014 THURSDAY 1 AM - ONE LAST RIDE FOR OUR FALLEN COMRAD ADAM LADD
There's TONS of haunts opening early for the season Friday Sept. 19th.
We've NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE, but we are STRONGLY URGING YOU NOT to go to them on Friday.
Instead, please join in for a bittersweet ONE TIME ONLY EVENT honoring the late & great ADAM LADD who sadly passed away May 30, 2014 while working to make his haunt in Hillsdale bigger and better.
ADAM GAVE HIS VERY LIFE.
Now we're asking you to give your Friday night to honor him at this Memorial Benefit, AND experience an amazing collaborative haunted event featuring personnel from LADD'S EVIL ACRES, THE BONEYARD, CORPSE BARN, and DARKSYDE ACRES!
FOUR HAUNT CREWS. ONE PURPOSE. BE THERE. www.LaddsEvilAcres.com
(We are truly saddened at the loss of Adam, and that unfortunately our schedule logistics make it impossible for us to attend this poignant event.)
Editors note: We felt this was so important we cancelled all other plans and went to this bittersweet event.
Rest In Peace, Adam T. Ladd
June 19, 1974 ‚Ä“ May 30, 2014