OCTOBER 30, 2016 SUNDAY 6 AM - WILD TIMES AND STRANGE STORIES EMERGE FROM RURAL DETROIT FOREST
We had a fabulous Saturday night at WOODS OF DARKNESS in SOUTH ROCKWOOD and NIGHT TERRORS at WIARD'S in YPSILANTI!
Our apologies to REALM OF HAUNTED MINDS and NIGHTMARE ON HARRIS STREET at THE PUMPKIN FACTORY for missing them...RATS!
The WOODS OF DARKNESS weaves their own magical blend of stuff that makes you go WOW ... this could be one of Detroit's best kept secrets... until now that is... silly us for taking so long to make it to this haunt...they've been at it for 10 years now and going strong with a big-time community presence and top notch show.
Sigh... still we can't help but wonder if the BURTON HAUNTED FOREST will re-emerge ... but that's okay because now we found a NEW OUTDOOR FOREST FIX! Every fall, it's natural to crave that special mix of being outside in the crisp cool air with your friends and some┬ CRAZY GOBLINS ON A MISSION OF MADNESS!
THE WONDERFUL WIZARDS OF WIARD'S
NIGHT TERRORS at WIARD'S has taken the art of the LIQUID SKY DISPLAY to a new level in THE MINDSHAFT final room. It's positively stunning! Green lasers project to form a flat surface, but it's not a flat beam. Instead, it's 16 individual beams fanning out to form a really bad boy spectacular lighting display!
Even better, a WONDERFULLY WACKY CREATURE has made this room his own private playground... and YUP... YOU are his plaything ... GOTCHA! A GIANT WINNER.
Isolation from room to room was excellent, so you didn't see this amazing presentation until the last second... hey it's standard procedure at haunts to save your big guns for last... that's always been a winning formula and smart haunt operators know it. You always get your BIGGEST WOW at the end... it's the best way to "leave 'em wanting more!"
WIARD'S IS OPEN TODAY & HALLOWEEN!
OCTOBER 29, 2016 SATURDAY 4 PM - AND TO THINK THAT I SAW IT AT KROGER LAST NIGHT
Okay, it was actually two nights ago... 11:30 PM and time for an EMERGENCY TURKEY HILL RUN TO KROGER before they close at midnight...some employees were already ALL DECKED OUT in their HALLOWEEN BEST COSTUMES.
Of course I had to tease them like bratty younger siblings... so as items are being scanned... "Wow, jumping the gun a bit for Halloween are we? What kind of candy are you giving out?" haha giggle giggle "OH NO! I NEED A NUTRAGEOUS RIGHT NOW." (I start fake sobbing and she responds with an obvious lack of sympathy)
"Nope, you're out of luck on that one." "Sigh...you mean to tell me...so you're this big time cashier here...hundreds of thousands of dollars running through your greedy little mitts...but how much of that do I get?" "NOTHING!" "Why can't I get my cut? My fair share should be at least a couple G's don't you think?" haha giggle giggle
"HAPPY HALLOWEEN YOU SILLY GIRL, carry on and don't forget to support your local, neighborhood haunted house or The Great Pumpkin himself will hunt you down like a dog and remove your limbs." "REALLY? The Great Pumpkin?" "I have connections...I shouldn't tell you this but I'm with the ZIOPTIS HAUNTED HOUSE HOTLINE." (handed her a Zioptis HHH card)
OCTOBER 29, 2016 SATURDAY 4 AM - TALES FROM THE DARKSYDE
WOW! We barely recognized DARKSYDE ACRES since we last saw it in 2012, and it's all good...we loved the snarky, creative actors...and their makeup and costumes are all top flight!
BIGGER, BADDER, BETTER!
JACKSON'S UNDERWORLD has a new 3D full length attraction, painted by the owner's son! A clown theme provides the backdrop for some really wild and REALLY LARGE artwork that FLIES off the wall and floats in the air. It's an eerie feeling that's bursting with bright, happy flourescent colors glowing brightly under scores of blacklights...
OCTOBER 28, 2016 FRIDAY 4 PM - A HORSE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR
We just had an excellent long talk with the show manager at WIARD'S ORCHARDS NIGHT TERRORS in YPSILANTI and you won't believe what they just did!
First of all real quick...we truly admire how many haunts are able to reinvent themselves year after year and that's great... but check this out...the WIARD'S HAYRIDE has just been revamped midseason!There's new makeup/characters, new scenes, new lines, and new audio soundtracks. So essentially...even if you saw it before, you ain't seen nothin' yet! www.HauntedHouseMichigan.com
CARPE DIEM, BABY!
After getting feedback from people as they're leaving the hayride WIARD'S started brainstorming how to CRANK THE CRAZINESS TO ELEVEN... everything starts as an idea after all... oh and check this out one of the main new scenes this year in the hayride was thought of just a couple days before opening day of the season... it was nip and tuck but was finally ready five minutes before show time! For you haunt operators out there...does any of this sound familiar? Haha
OCTOBER 27, 2016 THURSDAY 3 PM - Just looking at the website for DARKSYDE ACRES, and their blog is hilarious! Humor goes great with haunting, check this out - www.darksydeacres.com/blog
OCTOBER 26, 2016 WEDNESDAY 5 AM - IT MUST BE A SIGN
It's happening again.
We keep hearing about a certain haunt we haven't been to and it's making us think there's got to be a very good reason why.
Last year it was the HAUNTED PRISON EXPERIENCE in OHIO...after hearing about it from haunters all over we went...and lucky us it was their last year...
This time it's DARKSYDE ACRES in JONESVILLE...the girl at the CVS Drug Store...people at various haunts...a guy who wrote to us that moved to Michigan from Pennsylvania said he was going there...had also already been to ROTTEN MANOR and loved it BTW...
There's only one more weekend...rats we didn't make it to THE HAUNT yet...oh no TERROR ON 27 and SHAWHAVEN are beckoning too...JACKSON'S UNDERWORLD is totally insane and reminds us of the old HUDSON'S DEPT. STORE in DETROIT...SCREAM PARK in NILES is 44 acres packed with primo stuff...REALM OF HAUNTED MINDS at the TURKEY FARM in ROMULUS is a trip and a half...NIGHTMARE ON HARRIS STREET at THE PUMPKIN FACTORYis down the block in BELLEVILLE...and then of course WIARD'S in YPSILANTI...and OH NO it's the last year for BRANDYWINE CEMETARY also in YPSI...that's gonna be off-the-hook...decisions, decisions...hey Stewie invent me a TIME MACHINE to make some MORE HAUNTING DAYS PLEASE...we're still stoked for the adventure with great GUSTO & PASSION!
OCTOBER 24, 2016 MONDAY 4 AM - KILLER KLOWNS SLIM, SHORTY AND FATSO SPOTTED AT BURGER KING IN GRAND RAPIDS!
Oh wait, never mind... that was Elvis...let's make that SPOTTED IN BIG SPLASH AT LOCAL TOLEDO MEGA HAUNT DEBUT!
Okay, here's the deal...our film friend from New York was in town over the weekend, and we had really hoped to take him to WIARD'S on Sunday as the weather was unseasonably warm.
Alas there was other business to attend to, and that didn't work out. But he also asked about haunts we had seen since his last visit here that he might like, and right away I thought to show him the pictures I took on my point-and-shoot at HAUNTED PLANET EXPERIENCE┬ in Toledo last Friday night.
They have an amazing mini museum of movie madness memorabilia at this haunt! There's original movie theater posters, as well as masks and models created with the original motion picture moldsfrom such classic movies as KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE and CRITTERS.
I handed him the camera to flip through the shots...HE STARTS FLIPPING OUT...said it reminded him of PLANET HOLLYWOOD in FLORIDA where he saw original movie set pieces from GREMLINSand the original face from THE FLY movie in the 1950's.
So here's the "NEW KID IN TOWN," HAUNTED PLANET EXPERIENCE, with a brand new Mega Haunt in Toledo...and the guy from New York once again is talking about how there's nothing like this there...or Cardio Drumming either! Hmmm...
OCTOBER 23, 2016 SUNDAY 9 PM - THE MUD-FILLED STROKE OF GENIUS
As most of you know, we LOVE talking about our favorite things at various haunts to whoever is there. So it follows we also love ASKING whoever is there what their favorite things were at haunts they've been to.
So we're talking haunts to this girl in line with us at BONADEO FARMS Saturday night, and she says they went to EREBUS in PONTIAC. So of course we asked what her favorite parts were there...she gets all excited and said something like "...we had to walk down into this pit...it looks like water that's alive with all this green, yucky stuff but you don't actually get wet. It was really weird... I've never seen anything like it before!"
I winked at my partner. Ah yes... another hapless victim falls prey to THE SWAMP, a brilliant EREBUS ENGINEERED LIGHTING EFFECTthat is the first of its kind at any haunt to our knowledge.
It's actually a variation of the classic liquid sky lighting effect, using flat green laser beams strategically placed throughout the area with just the right amount of fog. As you plow through these inflated bag type things on either side of you, it simulates the sensation as if you're walking through a swamp. Brilliant!
Playing along as usual, I said something like... "So here EREBUS forced you to walk into a swamp full of HOT FUNGUS or COLD ALGAE or who knows what...but still you plowed your way through and survived to tell the tale? Wow, quite the trooper you are!" Remembering the big fun she obviously had at EREBUS, she starting giggling and getting silly...and after all...we're all just about to enter FULL MOON MANOR at BONADEO and check out yet another excellent haunt.
Great fun, bantering with all you happy haunters out there! haha ;)
OCTOBER 23, 2016 SUNDAY 7 PM - REELING FROM THE REALM
Okay ...we've seen some amazing things this year, and had our minds twisted every which way you can imagine...
But for sheer variety and quality of sets, depth of experience, and amazing artwork that just blows your mind... for us last night at the REALM was definitely the one that takes the cake.
One of the few things we recognized from last year was the Mad Hatter, and he was even more silly and madder than before!
It's rare for us to go to the same haunt twice in one year, and we've already done it once this season... but there is just so much awesome new stuff at REALM this year that were going again for sure.
Wild horses couldn't keep us away, but the only thing that surprised us was why wasn't there a giant line at this place last night? Without exception, we saw all highly positive reactions from people exiting.
It's like people that live in Dearborn that have never been to Greenfield Village or Henry Ford Museum...sometimes people tend to take for granted amazing things in their own backyard... and this amazing thing in our own backyard is about to jump ship to Mississippi.
The acting is superb. The sets are second to none. There's a cool story. It's a highly crafted emotional roller coaster. And REALM is the only place in Michigan where you can see the new Stu Smith 3-D artwork.
That this place is struggling is a travesty... they pay all their actors promptly even when they have to dig deep into their own pockets...they actually help their competitors whenever possible... name me one other business where they do that...just sayin'... www.TheRealmOfDarkness.com
OCTOBER 23, 2016 SUNDAY 4 AM - THAT VOODOO THAT YOU DO SO WELL
For a moment, imagine that you run a local mega haunt that's been around for say like 40 years or so.
Every year, people are expecting new stuff and new ideas, directions, and plots twists from you. How do you re-invent yourself year after year after year?
EVERYTHING INCLUDING THE KITCHEN SINK
We still have no idea how they do it, but that's exactly what THE REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC has once again accomplished! And the new show starts before you even enter the building, as you stroll through a village from the old west.
Now imagine being thrust into a 3 dimensional futuristic world of evil creatures and hideous clowns. Oh yeah...there's all kinds of stuff FLOATING IN THE AIR AND POPPING OFF THE FLOOR too. BOOM, you just experienced the latest 3D art from industry leader STU SMITH and only REALM has it. And that's just for starters before you even get in the main haunt! www.TheRealmOfDarkness.com
OCTOBER 22, 2016 SATURDAY 4:30 PM - THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA / THE CYCLE CONTINUES
Every year we gain haunts, and lose some others. It's the natural order, and even when it hurts, in the end it's all for the best.
For example, we lost TERRORTOWN to Rob Zombie of all people, but it worked out for the best anyways because Toledo just scored a fabulous new mega-haunt with HAUNTED PLANET EXPERIENCE.
But now the ending we never wanted to see is a done deal, with THE REALM OF DARKNESS closing up shop in Detroit and moving to Mississippi of all places. The only uncertainty is the timing of the departure.
THIS COULD BE THEIR LAST YEAR IN DETROIT, but we're sure hoping for a slow transition...and if that happens NEXT year will be their last.
We just don't know yet...and honestly we're afraid to even ask...we just always thought that as long as there's such a thing as a haunted house in Detroit (which should be forever!) that we'd be able to go and visit our longest-time friend in the industry Denise.
She was the first operator we can remember that championed the cause of giving back to charity through her haunt originally at THE HOUSE OF NIGHTMARES which took place in the parking lot of a church in Warren, right across the street from a public high school with a football field.
But that's another story, perhaps best laid to rest forever...but then again it made front page news in the local press so that may be impossible...
Let's just say that this haunt showed unbelievable resilience in the face of adversity after adversity. But ultimately, it's how you respond to those adversities that defines you as a person.
And in the end analysis, DENISE IS A SHINING STAR of a human being who exemplifies THE GOLDEN RULE in every dealing with even her staunchest competitors. www.TheRealmOfDarkness.com
OCTOBER 22, 2016 SATURDAY 2 PM - SAY IT AIN'T SO, JOE...SAY IT AIN'T SO!
Got the pumpkin spice coffee goin'...and lots of incredible memories from Ohio last night to create awesome stories for their reviews...but there's an important phone call we have to make...
OCTOBER 22, 2016 SATURDAY 3 AM - BUCKEYE BLASTOFF!
There's finally a new reason to go to TOLEDO, and you're gonna love it~!
It's the brand spanking new HAUNTED PLANET EXPERIENCE, and it couldn't be any easier to find. Right off I-75 South, as soon as you hit Toledo, take the Alexis exit and BOOM a few miles down and there you are. www.hauntedx.com
Sheesh...we used to get lost like EVERY TIME (before GPS of course) trying to find that illusive KEY STREET at Lucas Cty. Fairgrounds for TERRORTOWN back in the day...it was SO embarrassing! (But Mark was always such a pal, explaining over our flip phones where we went wrong and how to get there.)
NO MORE...we could find our way to HAUNTED PLANET EXPERIENCE walking backwards blindfolded now...it's so easy and totally engrained into our brain cells now...wait a second, I think they may have infected us in their BIO LAB X...aren't they supposed to take some kind of precautions?
What if people go insane there? For all we know, there could be permanent psychological damage after only one exposure to this┬ TOTALLY OFF-THE-HOOK TRIPLE THEMED HAUNT!
This is their first year, which is hard to fathom...the attention to detail, the incredible sound throughout...and WOW these actors are agile both physically and mentally to mess with you big time!
Hmmm...they're WAY more experienced than first year performers...HEY WAIT! There's some strangely familiar characters here...WHOA NELLIE... these are some of the BEST CAST MEMBERSfrom the crew that used to WOW US at TERRORTOWN!!!HOORAY!!!
So here we are in Toledo...my partner has her TERRORTOWN jacket in tow for the Ohio trip...kinda weird...they say you CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN...but in a sense we just did and it was fabulous!
Even better, once you're in Toledo it's not far to another great haunt that's so successful it's still going strong after 27 years! That would be THE HAUNTED HYDRO in FREMONT, OHIO. We had not been there since 2013, so we finally redeemed ourselves and went to EXPERIENCE CRAZY BOB IN PERSON AGAIN.
He is delightfully wacky, and spins all kinds of hilarious tall tales on the spot. CRAZY BOB has a way of finding something unique about anyone, and using that knowledge to build a short story that often ends with the "victim" laughing at themself.
THE AUTHENTIC REAL DEAL
Getting people to laugh at themselves on-the-fly despite something silly or stupid about themself is actually one of the highest forms of true humor. So when you think about it, CRAZY BOB is indeed performing at a WORLD CLASS level. In less than a minute, he can invoke more genuine belly laughs than an entire evening of network sitcoms pumped full of canned laughter.
THANK YOU, BOB! And yes...although we can't help but gush about Bob...the haunts and Escape Rooms at the HYDRO are excellent!www.TheHauntedHydro.com
OCTOBER 21, 2016 FRIDAY 3:30 PM - GET OUT THE VOTE!
No, not for those silly politicians.
Get your butt in gear for some FABULOUS HAUNTING TONIGHT, and make your choices known!
Almost all haunts are open tonight, and there's just so many choices. Decisions, decisions...but it's a VERY NICE PROBLEM TO HAVE.
OCTOBER 21, 2016 FRIDAY 1 AM - JUST BEFORE THE GLOVES CAME OFF
Shortly before the POLITICAL COMBAT last night, we had a great talk with the creator of OHIO'S NEWEST MEGA HAUNT. HAUNTED PLANET EXPERIENCE in TOLEDO which opened this year. We can't wait to check it out! www.hauntedx.com
This is the same crew that just finished a 15 year run at the HAUNTED PRISON in Mansfield, Ohio.
And lucky us; we went during their final year in 2015 at the prison and saw an amazing show from a well oiled machine. Their operator won multitudes of awards, many of them for the best soundtrack. Sound and lighting can make or break a haunt!
Now that TERRORTOWN is gone Toledo really needed a new mega haunt and this is it!
FYI, the haunt in Mansfield is open this year under a different name of PARANORMAL PENITENTIARY, but it's a brand-new crew and this is their first year. They had no choice but to open right away to maintain the grandfathered fun house status of this property.
We do hope to visit the prison again someday, after they've settled in and had a chance to fine-tune things.
In the meantime, we're totally stoked about HAUNTED PLANET EXPERIENCE and also we're way overdue to see a LONG TIME OHIO FAVORITE of ours in FREMONT, OHIO where CRAZY BOB runs the HAUNTED HYDRO. Our last visit there was KILLER! www.TheHauntedHydro.com (see Reviews 2013_A)
OCTOBER 17, 2016 MONDAY 3:30 PM - JACK & HIS MAGIC SEED OF SUCCESS
Sometime ago, we reported the demise of THE BONEYARD in STOCKBRIDGE with great regret. The thing that upset us the most was their closing had nothing to do with the performance of the haunt itself. They were on top of their game, and amazingly transformed themselves year after year with fabulous results.
They employed lots of local kids and provided untold amazement and entertainment to throngs of happy haunters for many years. So what went wrong?
It was a handful of determined local complainers that sealed the fate of THE BONEYARD. But as we've often noted, every setback in life also carries with it the seed of an equal or greater success.
Well, check this out...so I'm paging through THE HAUNT GUIDE...cool, here's a new haunt called AWAKEN HAUNTED ATTRACTION in LESLIE not too far from Lansing. Let's check the website... hey these guys have a sense of humor, and it looks like they really know their craft. They're excellent writers too - check out the descriptions in this section: www.awakenhaunt.com/13-creepiest-photos-ever-taken/
But it gets better... so I'm scrolling through all their blog entries and was delighted to see this "...We horror hounds, here at The Bone Yard and Scare Park have assembled a list of Top 10 Bands That Dress Like Monsters just for you. (Yes, this is what we do in our spare time.)
WOW, they just mentioned THE BONE YARD...is this haunt masterminded by the weirdo's we came to admire so much in Stockbridge for all those years?
Hmmm... what a deal... so Stockbridge just lost out big time...this was definitely the coolest thing in town and the largest community event every year... lots of kids had jobs there...tons of families were entertained in a special way that you can only do at an outdoor haunt.
Oh wellski, nothing lasts forever... but on the other hand every ending is just a beginning and we can't wait to check out for ourselves the start of what could be something really big in a city we've never been to before. Fire up the GPS, dear! www.awakenhaunt.com
OCTOBER 17, 2016 MONDAY 3 PM - AWAKENING THE DEAD / THE SECRET SNICKER THAT SATISFIES LIKE NEVER BEFORE
Okay, it's actually more like just dormant...
OCTOBER 17, 2016 MONDAY 1 AM - THINKING OUTSIDE THE BIG BOX
Okay... we've been gushing over some of the big guns in the industry and rightfully so. These are some amazing productions, and it's some superhuman stuff to pull this off. We've seen Sky Trackers, cranes, and all sorts of amazing machinery used in haunts.
But the big gun haunts are only part of the picture, so now it's time to gush about two haunts that very likely did not have thousands upon thousands of visitors last Saturday night.
You might say these are more like your mom and pop haunted houses, yet they can be counted on to deliver the goods. Even better, they're both in Western Wayne County and make an awesome two-fer haunt journey.
We're talking about REALM OF HAUNTED MINDS in ROMULUS and NIGHTMARE ON HARRIS STREET at THE PUMPKIN FACTORY in BELLEVILLE.
REALM OF HAUNTED MINDS has an amazing miniature city on the grounds, and can be the source of many adventures all on its own. There's a ghost ship that can be boarded, as well as a train and much more.
And the haunt? IT'S KILLER...EVERYTIME. Not only that, but FRANKENSTEIN HIMSELF has taken up residence here. What better endorsement could you possibly hope for? (see various archived reviews)
The ticket booth building at REALM OF HAUNTED MINDS is a show in itself, and also sports some amazingly tasty vittles that you won't be able to stop eating once you start! Here's their info - 18910 Merriman Road, Romulus, MI 48174 phone # (734) 753-9187
NIGHTMARE ON HARRIS STREET is celebrating 40 YEARS IN BUSINESS!!! Hmmm...they must be doing something right. ;)
The main feature at NIGHTMARE is a hayride with lots of original artwork and some really cool twists. As you make your way onto the grounds, you get an inkling of what you're in for, because the resident witch lives in a small house there. Step right up and look closely inside if you dare, but please be advised she is authorized to maim and kill stalkers and Peeping Tom's.
Oh yeah... THE PUMPKINS! There's hundreds if not thousands of them!
And their main building has a really cool store as well as world class food served up at a great price. Hey, vigorous haunting requires proper sustenance! One awesome entry we never would have expected was stuffed cabbage soup to rival that of any Polish restaurant!
But back to the pumpkins. This is a pumpkin farm after all...you can find the one that's just right for you and your jack-o'-lantern plans.┬ And their pumpkin pie is to die for fabulous and brought them nationwide recognition in a major magazine article about Michigan!
There's no fancy website or social media accounts, but who needs spinning graphics when you're already going strong at 40 years running?! Here's their info - NIGHTMARE ON HARRIS STREET, 48651 Harris, Belleville, MI 48111 phone # (734) 461-1835
OCTOBER 16, 2016 SUNDAY 3 PM - THE MASTERS TOUCH
OMG! I just looked at the photo gallery on the website of THE REALM OF DARKNESS...WOW... the colors... the designs... the astonishing makeup...the widely varying emotions invoked... the theatrical quality sets...the ridiculously insane attention to detail. You see new things every time you go through! Lookie here - http://therealmofdarkness.com/gallery/
If you've never been to a top-level professional haunt of this caliber, you owe it to yourself to get your butt over to THE REALM OF DARKNESS. You might even win a thousand bucks (or $500 for 2nd prize) if you go on Devil's Night...and this is for real...NOT an Urban Legend thing! www.TheRealmOfDarkness.com
In case you didn't hear, in the biggest haunt news of the season, the announcement has been made that THE REALM OF DARKNESS is moving to Mississippi (possibly as soon as next year but for sure by 2018)!
So time is of the essence, if you want to see this masterful creation from not only one of the most creative, but nicest people in the business! Denise has even helped competitors slay their own dragons of all shapes, sorts, and sizes through the years in an impressive display of THE GOLDEN RULE at work!
And it was Denise that told us we simply HAD to check out SCREAM PARK in NILES which we finally did. We actually received a kind invitation from SCREAM PARK for a return visit recently...decisions, decisions...RATS! We missed THE HAUNT last year...we need to get back to DARKSYDE ACRES too...then there's the NEW MEGAHAUNT in TOLDEO called HAUNTED PLANET EXPERIENCE from the creator of the now defunct HAUNTED PRISON EXPERIENCE in MANSFIELD, OHIO.
Whoops...gotta run to CARDIO DRUMMING...stay tuned my little monkeys...
OCTOBER 16, 2016 SUNDAY 5 AM - CITIES AFLAME IN ROCK AND ROLL / FREAK OUT IN A MOONAGE DAYDREAM, OH YEAH...
Okay, it was actually LENOX TOWNSHIP last night, as both HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR and SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK had the largest crowds we've ever seen at either haunt! Fortunately, both of them are set up to handle thousands upon thousands of happy haunters and things were running smoothly all around.
The moon was shining brightly, and at times unusual cloud formations passed through it to produce stunning visuals no man could ever create! Hmmm...could you call that GOD'S LIQUID SKY? haha ;)
HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR had a radio remote broadcast going from Channel 955 WYCD and SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK featured a live rock band that really kicked out the jams, with fabulous sound quality to boot.
At HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR, we saw the coolest cat ever! Look for him on the left at the entrance to the Road Kill Cafe. SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK has a one-of-a-kind spinning artwork piece that combines fire and geometry in a most unique way. You won't be able to miss it!
Our only regret from the night was there's just so much to do at both haunts that we simply didn't have time to do everything. But we made sure to do the hayrides and walk-through haunts at both places, and they delivered the goods in spades.
Hey, they pretty much have to because this is the most competitive market on the planet seeing as DETROIT IS THE WORLD CAPITAL OF HAUNTED HOUSES!
OCTOBER 15, 2016 SATURDAY 7 PM - HAPPY SWEETEST DAY!
Why not give your sweetie a big thrill, and go to your local neighborhood haunted house tonight?
The weather is unseasonably warm, so the outdoor haunts will be prime tonight! You could even wear shorts, and of course it's also the perfect excuse for the girls to wear their most skimpy haunt garb. We personally authorize this type of behavior, subject of course to local jurisdiction which we would never suggest you ignore.
OCTOBER 15, 2016 SATURDAY 5 PM - HEROES AND ICONS
OMG! You will NOT believe who we ran into last night at SLAUGHTER HOUSE in FOWLERVILLE...
We have no idea how they pulled this one off! Check out who the special guests are this year at SLAUGHTER HOUSE - no less than Hillary Rodham Clinton and Donald Trump themselves!
THE GLOVES COME OFF
You think you saw some fireworks between the presidential candidates during the debates? That's peanuts as The Donald would say, and he proves it big time when he makes his special appearance exclusively at SLAUGHTER HOUSE in thieir new show THE PURGE - ELECTION YEAR. You better get your butt over there, real quick before The Donald digs his own grave and jumps in it face first. www.slaughterhouseadventure.com
OCTOBER 15, 2016 SATURDAY 4:45 PM - POISON DARTS & DOWN-A-CLOWN
No, it's not The Donald's latest rantings about foreigners or Democrats.
It's two of the new carnival games at THEATRE BIZARRE this year, which for the first time takes place over two weekends this year.
HALF A TON OF CANDY CORN FROM THE ROCKY PEANUT COMPANY!
This thing is off the hook insane crazy! Last night was opening night and it was totally sold out, but you still have one more chance next week. It takes place at Masonic Temple in Detroit at a building that's a whopping 250,000 ft. And there are 1,037 rooms, many of which have not even been explored yet!
This event spans eight floors and is built to accommodate 4500 guests! 750 staff members make it all work like clockwork for this 16 year event, which got its start first at the Michigan State Fairgrounds as a risque one night only carnivalesque party for friends and family around Halloween.
The guy who put it together was famous for saying "No one was going to tell us no!" But sure enough, the city DID tell them "NO!" in 2010, and that's when they moved Theatre Bizarre to Masonic Temple. www.theatrebizarre.com
This year's theme is HAIL ZOMBO, and take a wild guess what Zombo is? YUP he's a clown and in fact, the chief mascot of Theatre Bizarre. One of the key installations this year is a giant shrine to Zombo including a 213-figure motion controlled diorama that took them three years to make.
There was an excellent front-page article yesterday in the Detroit Free Press about Theatre Bizarre, and it takes you behind the scenes for an inside glimpse of this wildness - http://www.freep.com/story/entertainment/2016/10/13/theatre-bizarre -2016-detroit-masonic-temple/92017008/
One really cool thing that sets this apart is that it's a costume mandatory masquerade, and as such is the largest of its kind in the world!
So there's another awesome world record for Detroit!
OCTOBER 14, 2016 FRIDAY 1 PM - We're getting excited for a WILD WEEKEND! Many amazing adventures await those who burn with passion for that crazy unique thrill that ONLY comes from haunting in┬ DETROIT - THE WORLD CAPITAL OF HAUNTED HOUSES!
OCTOBER 14, 2016 FRIDAY 3 AM - WORD ON THE STREETS 2016 / EPISODE #1 (conclusion)
First to recap: So I'm waiting in line at a CVS DRUG STORE in DEARBORN a couple days ago, and the girl just ahead of me was wearing a T-shirt from HALLOWEEKENDS AT CEDAR POINT in SANDUSKY, OHIO.
I asked her if she had gone to the haunts at CEDAR POINT. She said it was like five years ago, and heard that it had gotten a lot better since then. That's been our understanding too, and honestly we do want to try the haunt at Cedar Point someday.
Only problem is that every time we get to Sandusky, we can't resist going to GHOSTLY MANOR instead which has always blown us away! (see various archived reviews)
Then I invited her to talk about haunts in Michigan. She had not yet gone haunting this season, but last year she tried two and especially loved one of them.
"Cool! Which haunt was it?"
Whoops, she couldn't remember the name, there's just so many of them. No problem...with minimal prompting and hearing that it was "out past Ann Arbor," we quickly determined that she had been to DARKSYDE ACRES in JONESVILLE.
We missed them last year, but always had a blast in previous seasons.
They have one really unique building they use to fabulous advantage. It's a really long rectangular building, with a super long continuous hallway that goes right down the center of the building.
You can see all the way through the building from beginning to end. But what you can't see is all the crazy things lurking in the rooms to the left and right of this super long hallway.
And we've seen DARKSYDE ACRES bumper stickers around town too. It must be an omen or sign that we need to get our butts out there again ASAP. Leave the lights OFF for us, RJ!
OCTOBER 13, 2016 THURSDAY 11 PM - MEMORIES, DREAMS & REFLECTIONS
The impact of ERWIN'S HAUNT CLOSING is still settling in, and brings to mind some of our earliest memories of haunting in Michigan.
It was "rites of passage" kind of thing that you just had to go to ERWIN'S and take in the whole experience with your friends. It was a bit of a drive from Detroit, which made it even more of an adventure. Pa-diddle!
I can still picture it right now, in my mind's eye... the bonfire is blazing... people cracking up telling the stories of what they liked best... sipping on some hot spiced cider... ohhhh the aroma from the little stick of cinnamon... and of course the hot fresh donuts... and will somebody get me a HONEY CRISP, already?
I am so JONESIN' for a HONEY CRISP RIGHT NOW...but it's gotta be really cold...let's pop some in the cooler filled with ice...got the apple splitter handy...hey is Kroger still open? Gotta go, but lots more cool stuff you won't hear anywhere else to tell you soon...
OCTOBER 13, 2016 THURSDAY 10 PM - THE END OF AN ERA PART 2
Every year haunts come, and every year haunts go. After all, nothing man-made lasts forever. This time it's ERWIN'S ORCHARDS HAUNTED BARN & CORN MAZE in SOUTH LYON closing after 38 years of business, and we're crushed to see them go.
But we understand.
However, the orchard is still active and we plan to stop in if we can and get some cider and those wonderful fresh donuts. ERWIN'S has a really unique multi-grain donut that's out of this world! Get a jar of apple butter too, and try dipping the donuts in it. YUM!
OCTOBER 13, 2016 THURSDAY 4 PM - WORD ON THE STREETS 2016 / EPISODE #1
So I'm waiting in line at a CVS DRUG STORE in DEARBORN a couple days ago, and the girl just ahead of me was wearing a T-shirt from a very famous haunt in OHIO.
Those of you that have met us know we can be rather talkative. So of course I opened my big mouth, and next thing you know...whoops gotta run to CARDIO DRUMMING...be back later with the ending of this very cool story...and this is FIRST HAND from "the man on the street," or in this case woman...
OCTOBER 13, 2016 THURSDAY 3 PM - C'MON, JUST ONE MORE HAUNT / THE SONIC BOOM ENDING
With the clock ticking down last Saturday night, and our special guest from New York about to become a pumpkin at midnight we had a decision to make. Can we make it to one more haunt?
We're anxious for this guy to go back to New York and tell everybody how amazing the haunts are in Michigan. The last stop of the night would have to be something special, as we already saw two great haunts - HUSH and KRAZY HILDA'S...
NOTHIN' FANCY, STRICTLY FAMILY
The choice was easy, and we made our way to the HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME in INKSTER.
SMALL BUT MIGHTY / OLD SCHOOL NEVER GETS OLD
Is it big? No. Is it fancy? No. Is it killer? Well, we already went there once this year, and we went again, so there's your answer! www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001614513583
OCTOBER 12, 2016 WEDNESDAY 11 PM - AND TO THINK THAT I SAW IT ON MULBERRY STREET
Actually it was Ford Road at KRAZY HILDA'S parking lot. We were just arriving as two young couples were making the way back to their car. One of these couples was especially freaked out, but it had nothing to do with the obligatory chainsaw attack. The atmosphere was actually quite peaceful right there, and no monsters were present.
I asked the guy what happened and he said, "I almost had three heart attacks in there... they knew all my fears!"
Okay, we've seen plenty of people freaked out coming out of haunted houses through the years, but this was quite different. Most of those reactions we observed were immediately after people exited the haunt, often in hot pursuit by chainsaw wielding weirdos.
But this was several minutes after leaving the haunt. You have to walk back up a small hill to the parking lot, so there's plenty of time to cool down. But that's not what happened at all, and it was eye candy deluxe for us. Congratulations to KRAZY HILDA'S for nailing it big time!
OCTOBER 11, 2016 TUESDAY 11 PM - THE END OF AN ERA
We promised big news, and without further ado, here it is: THE REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC is closing up shop in Michiganand moving to Mississippi!
The exact timing hasn't been finalized yet, but it could be moving as soon as next year. If that's the case, this season is your very last chance to see this legendary amazing haunt in Michigan.
THE REALM OF DARKNESS has been critically acclaimed by multiple haunt review and rating services like HorrorLust and of course ZIOPTIS! And last year, THE REALM OF DARKNESS won top honors in the ZIOPTIS AWARDS section scoring SUPERNATURAL CERTIFIED┬ SCARIEST HAUNT OF THE YEAR AWARD!┬ www.TheRealmOfDarkness.com
No doubt THE REALM OF DARKNESS will take Mississippi by storm! But we really shouldn't be surprised about this big move, because big people do big things... and this is massive.
So THE REALM OF DARKNESS will begin a new life, and thrill legions of new haunters down south. The haunt industry is a strange animal where the only constant is change, but that's cool because it makes it always exciting and always interesting!
OCTOBER 9, 2016 SUNDAY 3 AM - TAKE ME DOWN TO PARADISE CITY
It was love at first sight.
Last night at HUSH, our special guest from New York was instantly smitten with a most unusual actress the likes of which we've never seen at any haunt anywhere.
STRANGE BUT WONDERFUL
Her name is MERIT, and she is fabulously exotic! And when I mentioned to her that I wished our lovable waif friend CANDY FISHALOT could be here to see this, she reacted as if she personally knew her!
KINDRED SPIRITS / WHAT'S IN YOUR┬ LEFT REAR POCKET?
So I gave a test and mentioned to MERIT about how CANDY likes to carry a dead fish in her left pocket at all times. We won't go into exactly how she proved herself, but suffice it to say that MERITpassed our test with flying colors!
C'mon Zioptis...how did she do it...how did she do it?
Never mind that part... we'll let your imagination fill in the blanks. Nah...better yet, just get your butt down to HUSH and see what's happening with the new show. It's killer!
JUST ONE MORE THING
No, it's not Columbo. No stinky cigars allowed.
It was me last night, trying to convince our friend from New York to take the time to go to one more haunt. It went something like this:
"Actually, I'm on a tight schedule...I need to get back to New York. And besides, it's a documentary about Cardio Drumming... NOT haunted houses!"
"But there's another way cool haunt like 10 minutes down the block on Ford Road here. We have the best haunted houses in Michigan, in fact DETROIT IS THE HAUNTED HOUSE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD! Let me show you a little more of what's happening here..."
"Really, how could it compare to what we just experienced here at HUSH?"
"It's not like that...sure the haunts are competing with each other, but they're not comparing themselves to each other. They're different as night and day, but each of them does something incredible in their own way. This next one is actually a haunted forest called KRAZY HILDA'S."
"A haunted house in a forest? How can they do that?"
So off to KRAZY HILDA'S we went.
Little did we know the awesome surprise that would hit us the moment we arrived at HILDA'S. IT WAS FABULOUS!
TO BE CONTINUED...
OCTOBER 8, 2016 SATURDAY 4 PM - BIG APPLE DREAMING
We have a special guest from New York joining us tonight on our journey, but we'll only have time to go to one haunt.
So if you have an out-of-town guest and can only take them to one haunt, where do you go? That's a no-brainer. Just now when my partner and I asked ourselves that question, we agreed it would have to be THE REALM OF DARKNESS.
Rats! Unfortunately, due to travel and logistics considerations, we're not going to be able to hit the REALM and must stay closer to home tonight.
So where will we go? It's gotta be killer, that's for sure. Oh, I know! Stay tuned, my little monkeys...
OCTOBER 8, 2016 SATURDAY 3 AM - MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
Hooray! We made it to all four Flint area target haunts on Friday night. THE CRYPT flat out blew us away, and hands down had the best and most GOTCHA! moments of the night. Their actors were all spot-on on and ultra-creative, and the sound (starting right in the parking lot) and lighting are fabulous.
My partner made a crafy and calculating choice from her extensive haunt wardrobe for our Flint journey. She wisely wore her T-shirt from THE CRYPT, proudly filling it robustly and vivaciously! This drew shrieks of delight from various ghouls and monsters, much as we expected. :P
CLIO MANOR HAUNTED HOUSE has expanded to great effect, but we almost wish we had waited until tomorrow to see this haunt. They have an amazing addition they're adding to the haunt tomorrow, and it goes right on top of the building.
SPACE AGE C'MON, WHY DON'T YOU FLEX YOUR MAGIC MUSCLE?
It's a new searchlight, but not just any searchlight. The candle power rating on this bad boy is 1.7 BILLION! Thanks to game-changing NASA technology, it runs on an ordinary 120 volt circuit using only 9 amps.
Ground mounted searchlights need to use a 45░ angle, but on the roof you can set it much wider to vastly extend the range. This sizzling beacon will be visible for many miles...kinda like another amazing searchlight in Pontiac you may have seen! ;)
ST. LUCIFER'S and 13 FEET BELOW both have cool new shows. And whats more, they have some amazing actors you'll see even before you get in the haunts. We especially liked the lady who seems to have a fruit salad for her hair, and the tat man with the chains.
Is this the kind of "BAD BOY" the girls know they shouldn't fall for but can't resist? "Bad boys" know that attraction is not a choice that women consciously make, and how to trigger it in spades. Guys, don't let your girlfriends anywhere near this guy! haha WILD STUFF!
OCTOBER 7, 2016 FRIDAY 4 PM - BUCKEYE CONNECTION DELUXE
ST. LUCIFER'S SCREAMPARK in GRAND BLANC (near Flint) has a special actor that's appearing for the first time tonight. This actor is coming in from Ohio, and we can't wait to see what this is all about!www.fearfest.net
OCTOBER 7, 2016 FRIDAY 3:30 PM - DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE HAUNT WHERE...
...it costs $100 to get in, but you get $10 back for each room you make it through?
It sounds incredible, but there's one small problem. It's not real... this is an urban legend going way back that changes a little bit every year but always returns like zombies in pursuit of your soul.
Now what if I told you I knew of a haunted house where you could walk in, and perhaps walk out later with $1000 if you could prove yourself worthy? Or if you came as second banana in their contest walk out with $500?
It gets better folks, because this one is real! Check it out, it's THE REALM OF DARKNESS DEVILS NIGHT CHALLENGE.
This is going to be totally off the hook outrageously insane, and soon we'll be telling you about some big-time inside dope about REALM! Don't believe anything stupid you may have heard. We've got the inside story and we'll give it to you straight. www.TheRealmOfDarkness.com
OCTOBER 2, 2016 SUNDAY 3 AM - HOLY DIVER
No... not the Ronnie James Dio song, it was us last night at ROTTEN MANOR. We couldn't wait for church on Sunday, so we prayed with the nuns there last night.
Huh? Prayed that we make it out of this crazy place alive!
ROTTEN MANOR is one strange place. It appears to be run by nuns, because three of them are in charge of the ticket booth. But these are not your dad's nuns. They may look all prim and proper, but they're crankin' the TOOL on the PA! What would Mother Mary say? haha
There's been some big changes at Rotten Manor since last year, and we're predicting a very big future for this amazing haunt! (Review coming soon.)
Our apologies to THE REALM OF DARKNESS for missing them last night. But it's pretty cool to know there's people inside there right now having an amazing experience!
OCTOBER 1, 2016 SATURDAY 5 PM - THE GROWING ANTICIPATION
Last night we saw an angel at ABANDON HAUNTED HOUSE in MELVINDALE, and we got swept into a fit of musical madness at the HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME in INKSTER with an actress from beyond! You can't miss her - she's wearing a sparkling silver gown like a world renowned musician getting ready to play a recital at CARNEGIE HALL in NEW YORK CITY. Great stuff!
So what adventures await us tonight? We have no idea what they might be, but we can't wait to find out and report them back to you in our usual splashy style.
There's no telling what magic dials and secret buttons the haunt owners have been manipulating over since last season ended! We can't wait to see what insane creations and silly circumstances have been customed engineered to be presented in DETROIT - THE HAUNTED HOUSE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD!
SEPTEMBER 30, 2016 FRIDAY 7 PM - BLACK MOON RISING TONIGHT! / DANCING UNDER THE MOONLIT SKY
Check this out: here's a REALLY BIG NOTHING you can experience yourself tonight. I'm talking the Black Moon baby, and after tonight you won't get another chance to check this out for years.
It's a rare occasion when the second new moon in a month results in the dark side of the Moon being shown to us. That means you can have your very own BLACK MOON PARTY TONIGHT!
Get together with your friends and don't look at it, because there's nothing to see. It's a shared experience like no other!
Hey, wanna buy some tickets to the submarine races? I'll even give them to you half price. See? I'm a pal after all...
Check out the inside real dope here, but don't tell ANYBODY: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/30/black-moon-set-to-rise-t onight-in-rare-lunar-event---but-what-is/
FEBRUARY 1, 2016 MONDAY 11 PM - Just spotted this wild creative artwork, some of which would be right at home in a haunt! Check it out - short collection at www.bloodyloud.com/surreal-pop-art-todd-schorr/ or the full collection at www.ToddSchorr.com
NOVEMBER 14, 2015 SATURDAY 10 PM - CUTTING TO THE CHASE
You may have heard us mention before that THE REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC is actually haunted.
Rightfully, anyone should be wary of such claims unless you can personally see documented proof.
Now what if an actual big time church pastor were to tell his entire congregation about UNEXPLAINABLE SUPERNATURAL WEIRDNESS AT THE REALM OF DARKNESS AND SHOW THE VIDEO PROOF???
We'll post the full back story later and IT'S A DOOZIE but for now just check out the video on the following link called "Angels and Demons" from 11/7/15. Don't skip far ahead, as the really good part starts at about 2 minutes and 30 seconds
NOVEMBER 8, 2015 SUNDAY 10 PM - YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP - PART 2 OF A 3 PART TRUE STORY
This is an amazing 3 part story, and we already told you part 1...but without some key details on purpose...and we'll get to those in a bit...
But first here's part 1 again: OCTOBER 27, 2015 TUESDAY 3 PM - Can't say where...but we're involved in a video shoot tonight at a big time haunt in connection with a major organization.
And then OCTOBER 28, 2015 WEDNESDAY 2 AM - The video shoot went well, and final footage will be taken today...this is going to be seen by many thousands!
Now here's part 2, and I want you to experience this just as thousands already have. So imagine this for a moment - first we rewind to last Saturday night which was Halloween or the following Sunday morning...
You're going to a church service of all things, where they have a killer band and services on Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Sometimes the pastor's message is on giant video screens, and when service starts you see the video called The Battle of Unbelief from Oct. 31, 2015 which also appears at this website: www.metrocitychurch.tv/media.php?pageID=134
OCTOBER 27, 2015 TUESDAY 1 AM - DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS ONE HAUNTED HOUSE WHERE_____________________________? (fill in the blank)
Ever play the "Telephone Game," where a circle of people whispers a "secret" to each other one at a time until it goes all the way around?
The first person writes the "secret" down, and compares it to what the final person says. It's NEVER the same, and the results can be hilarious.
Now, imagine a "Telephone Game" where the "secret" is about an outrageous haunted house where all sorts of disgusting stuff is going on.
So every year there's FAKE HAUNT STORIES that are stretched to new dimensions of absurdity with every re-telling.
Multiply this concept by several thousand or so, and you've got this ever evolving story about an elusive HAUNT FROM BEYOND THAT DOESN'T EVEN EXIST, yet lives a life that cannot die!
The details vary widely, but there's always one thing in common with all of these amazing stories - nobody can ever tell you exactly where the haunt is. Why?
It's simple. It's only an urban legend.
But in peoples' minds...ah, that's a whole different animal.
There, it mutates itself and slays even the most rugged He-Man that eats pit bulls for breakfast.
As far as we know, the first version of this story goes something like this:
"There's a haunt that costs $100 to get in, but there's 10 rooms and you get back $10 for every room you make it thru.
But unspeakable things happen there, and three people already went insane.
In fact, NOBODY has made it past the third room! It's put on by a frat house in Ann Arbor that got banned and kicked out of U of M.
The crazy haunt from hell includes renegade Medical Students who got booted from U of M MED SCHOOL for stealing body parts from cadavers!
They performed hideous experiments, and decided to see what they could get away with before being shut down by the Police.
The first room is filled with 6 inches of water, and you must remove your shoes and socks. (They do promise to return them later when you exit.)There are hundreds of snakes slithering around your feet and in between your toes, but all non-poisonous so they can't get sued.
The second room is totally pitch black. As you make your way to a hallway end, you feel gooey slimy stuff on the wall. It's human remains, mixed in with turkey guts to completely fill the wall.
You get blood all over your clothes. It smells like death, and everybody gags and throws up.
The third room is only 25 feet square, but has 500 live rats. You still have no shoes or socks, so they go to town on your feet and ankles.
But to avoid lawsuits all the rats have been de-teethed so you don't actually get bit, just gummed." (end of FICTIONAL story - do NOT repeat this to anyone!)
AUGUST 26, 2015 WEDNESDAY 1 AM - THE NEW DIMENSION IN HAUNT LIGHTING JUST WAITING TO BE TAPPED
As you may know, we're always very curious about how special lighting helps the haunt experience.
One of the most dramatic pro lighting effects ever (in any venue) is the so-called LIQUID SKY, where a laser shines through fog (or haze from a hazer) and creates a distinct 3-D image in mid air. The first time you see this, it's a GIANT WOW MOMENT!
Often a fan is used to draw air towards the laser, producing a spinning tunnel that looks like a COSMIC PORTAL DIRECTLY TO THE FOURTH DIMENSION!
For ages, RED LASERS were the only affordable choice for most venues.
But eventually, green lasers became affordable as with the American DJ MicroGalaxian which also has a red laser and can produce an impressive multi-colored liquid sky for only $99.
Then, it was the BLUE LASER that became cost prohibitive.
But we knew that couldn't last - in fact about a year ago we ran an article about a blue laser projector for home use we saw on an infomercial.
That was a consumer level product, but we imagined it still being able to produce an impressive BLUE LASER LIQUID SKY DISPLAY if the room size and ambient lighting was right.
That was then. This is now:
We just spotted a really cool looking red and green laser projector that also features a BLUE LED BACKWASH effect that's priced to move! www.lighting-geek.com/laser-lights/3d-laser/laser-star-projector
So who will be the FIRST ONE ON THE BLOCK with a haunt that will TOTALLY BLOW OUR MINDS with the FIRST BLUE LASER LIQUID SKY?