JANUARY, 2009 - HAPPY NEW YEAR! The countdown to haunting has begun...
During Christmas time we saw some impressive residential automated light shows, most created using the LIGHT-O-RAMA system. The best one we saw was on Robert Drive in LIVONIA. But what REALLY caught our eye was the fact that the people who have an automated display on Hazelhurst Street in FERNDALE are ALSO members of the Motor City Haunt Club! Unfortunately we never made it there, but in checking their website we found they also have an awesome "yard haunt" that is surely the pride of their neighborhood. WAY TO GO!
We're doing some serious "soul searching" in relation to the numerical ratings. More soon...
NOVEMBER 18, 2008 - Now posted: preliminary review for HAUNTED HALLOWS in WESTLAND. This has become one of our MUST SEE haunts with awesome ambience and creativity!
NOVEMBER 11, 2008 - HAPPY ELEVEN ELEVEN FROM ZIOPTIS!
And we'd like to thank DEADLY INTENTIONS and HOUSE OF FEAR for their kind hospitality. We went to both on the last Saturday of the 2008 haunt season. They both were excellent! Unfortunately every year someone HAS to be last visited. But that in no way means we think any less of them!¬
And we'd like to apologize to SCARY SCOTT for not making it to his haunt. He did call us back but we had just finished for the night and he was on his way to¬ EXIT 13. (a GREAT haunt!) We first hung out with SS in Dundee last summer and he's got some great ideas!
NOVEMBER 6, 2008 - We ended with a bang with a 2nd visit to EREBUS last Sunday - it was so incredible we HAD to go twice!
We had a great talk with THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS¬ recently. Their new theme for 2008 was an abandoned carnival, check their website for highlights www.the-haunt.com
And we also talked recently with someone else in the industry that said Cedar Point's haunt was dramatically better this year. He said in former years it was like 4 low quality haunts thrown together. But in 2008 they had an amazing turn about with much improved displays and OVER 200 ACTORS!
NOVEMBER 2, 2008 8:30 PM - The Simpson's 19th Halloween special that just ended got us in the mood for one last minute haunt trip! We're on our way to HAUNTED PONTIAC to hit EREBUS again, tune in for lots more soon...
NOVEMBER 2, 2008 4 PM - We're recovering from an annual tradition of ours - having a margarita party after going to the last haunt of the year!
But EREBUS and THE SCREAM MACHINE are both open tonight - if you haven't been to them yet get there tonight or forever hold your peace! EREBUS BLEW US AWAY ON HALLOWEEN. It is NOT the EREBUS you may remember from previous years! It was WAY SCARIER AND INTENSE than ever! And THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR is truly one of MICHIGAN'S PREMIER MEGA HAUNTS! GO TO BOTH IF YOU CAN! (more coming soon)
NOVEMBER 1, 2008 2 PM - We'll end with a bang tonight with DEADLY INTENTIONS in WARREN and HOUSE OF FEAR in HAZEL PARK which are very close to each other. If you haven't been to these, we highly recommend you go tonight! 2007 reviews of both these haunts are temporarily posted at the top of the 2008 ratings for your convenience.
NOVEMBER 1, 2008 12 NOON - We got WOWED 3 times last night! Two we expected (EREBUS & REALM), the other was a surprise (HOME OF THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN). HOHH is a very strong first time effort, an excellent forest walk with unique creative twists. Tonight is your last chance to see this worthy new haunt, we're really glad we did!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM YOUR PALS AT ZIOPTIS!
OCTOBER 31, 2008 2 PM - TURN YOUR COMPUTER OFF AND TURN YOUR TV ON! The Travel Channel has shows about haunted attractions until 5 pm. And at 6 pm it's "Halloween's Most Extreme."
OCTOBER 31, 2008 9:30 AM - GHOSTLY MANOR in OHIO was awesome last night, we're SO glad we went! And we bought gas for only $2.04 a gallon, what a nice surprise. And we had another surprise waiting for us right in our own neighborhood; when we got back we spotted an awesome yard haunt and stopped to talk to the dude.
We gave him a Zioptis card, and he said "Oh, I know you...I worked at (names several local haunts)..." Small world! We asked if he'd been to Pontiac and he said he's been to THE REALM OF DARKNESS but not EREBUS yet. He said the new setup at REALM was cool. We can't wait to see it, and the new EREBUS show tonight. We ended up in HAUNTED PONTIAC last Halloween too, a GREAT place to celebrate the big day!
OCTOBER 30, 2008 4 PM - Full review of KRAZY HILDA'S is now posted.
After much deliberation, we've decided our last long distance journey for the year will be to GHOSTLY MANOR in SANDUSKY, OHIO tonight. We also wanted to get to THE HAUNT in WALKER (GRAND RAPIDS area), but we saw them the last few years and we haven't been to GM since 2005. But we did talk to a big time haunt operator who went to THE HAUNT a few days ago and he said it was awesome. And we REALLY wish we could've gone to GRIMFELL ASYLUM in TRAVERSE CITY which we keep hearing great things about!
On Halloween tomorrow, we'll go to HOME OF THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN, EREBUS and THE REALM OF DARKNESS. There's a mass wedding at 8:30 pm at EREBUS, we'll make sure to get there by then. We can't wait to see how the brides and grooms are dressed, this should be really wild! If you haven't been to EREBUS yet, shame on you! You must redeem yourself and get to this premiere haunted event!
OCTOBER 30, 2008 2 PM - Mini reviews from last night now posted.
OCTOBER 30, 2008 1:30 PM - NEWS FLASH! 89X Radio will be at THE EXTREME SCREAM in TAYLOR tonight from 8-10 pm. There'll be lots of free giveaways, it should be cool!
OCTOBER 30, 2008 1 PM - We had a great time last night at KRAZY HILDA'S, THE SCREAM MACHINE and THE EXTREME SCREAM. All of them put on excellent shows with all kinds of interesting quirks and twists that showcase the superior creativity exhibited by haunt operators in the HAUNTED HOUSE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD!!!
Lots more coming very soon...
OCTOBER 29, 2008 8 PM - Tonight we're off to KRAZY HILDA'S DWELLING OF DOOM, THE SCREAM MACHINE and THE EXTREME SCREAM. We talked to a big time haunt operator who went to both THE SCREAM MACHINE and THE EXTREME SCREAM recently. He said they were both excellent, one old school, the other anything BUT old school!
OCTOBER 29, 2008 2 PM - NEWS FLASH! SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP. IS OPEN! They had difficulties and we didn't know they had overcome them to open this year. We loved their show last year! Our schedule for the last few days of the season is tight, but maybe we can squeeze them in somehow. There's so much great haunting to be had on the eastside, if you're a westsider do yourself a favor and check it out!
OCTOBER 29, 2008 1 PM - Someone who should know just told us the best haunt in WISCONSIN is MORGAN MANOR in WAUKESHA. (just added to "USA Midwest") It looks awesome - click on www.nightmares4u.com
OCTOBER 29, 2008 11 AM - Here's a comment that came in on the audio version from Mike: "...my family and I went to Grimfell Asylum (in Traverse City)...oh my God, I've never been so scared in all my life! And I do NOT get scared at haunted houses. These guys managed to nail me over and over and over. They have an end scare that I've never ever seen before. It was so awesome!"
We've received several kind invitations from this haunt to visit, and we would LOVE to. But Traverse City¬ is about 4 1/2 hours from Detroit. They ARE open November 2nd, maybe we can work it out to go. Their most recent e-mail says: "...We're very excited that our haunt is doing so well this year...I don't think we have had a single bad response, all the comments have been awesome and our new scare this year has floored at least 95% of the groups!!! We've already had over 250 people leave before making it through which may not sound like much compared to haunts that put 30,000 people through but for our haunt that usually draws around 3000 it's a nice number. This is a great volunteer effort and a portion of the proceeds benefit the Traverse City Munson Breast Health Center."
It sounds like we need to go and check this out, and it's only $7!
OCTOBER 29, 2008 10 AM - A glitch prevented yesterday's postings from being uploaded, they're now posted. (more coming soon)
OCTOBER 28, 2008 1 PM - We're heading into the home stretch, but there's still lots of great haunting left! (see "What's Next")
OCTOBER 28, 2008 11 AM - Just added: FRIGHTLAND in MIDDLETOWN, DELAWARE www.frightland.com SPOOKYWOODS in HIGH POINT, NORTH CAROLINA www.spookywoods.com and FRIGHTWORLD in AMHERST, NEW YORK www.hauntedbuffalo.com (all in USA Eastern) Also just added: TERROR ON THE FOX in GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN www.terroronthefox.com (USA Midwest) and WITCHES OF NEW SALEM in DORR, MICHIGAN (Other Mich)
OCTOBER 27, 2008 9:30 PM - We're trying to work it out so we can get to GHOSTLY MANOR THRILL CENTER in SANDUSKY, OHIO and THE HAUNT in WALKER near GRAND RAPIDS this week. THE HAUNT was awesome last year, but we haven't been to GHOSTLY MANOR since 2005 when they floored us and won 2 awards! (Most Action Per Room & Best New Find)
DARKSYDE ACRES in JONESVILLE is a fairy tale about to come true! All the right ingredients are there - creativity, gusto, all the right equipment, and LOTS of space to grow. Just how much space are we talkin'? How about 38 plus acres for starters with HUNDREDS more adjacent on standby. They plan 14 attractions to eventually become one of the biggest Halloween events in the country! Based on what we saw and thru talking extensively with the operator, we are convinced they will do it!
They weren't even going to open this year, but the operator of HOMER MILL HH urged them relentlessly to pull the show together and open in 2008. As groups arrived they were asked how they found out about DARKSYDE. ALL of them said "the guy at HOMER MILL told us we should come here." That was music to our ears! About 50,000 people go to HOMER MILL each year, that is SO COOL they're telling people to check out their new competitor.
But when you think about it, they're really NOT competitors. I'm reminded of when I was a kid and a new hamburger joint opened almost next door to our favorite slider source. I told my Dad they were dumb to try and compete with the proven winner. He smiled and said they'd end up bringing more total business of that kind to the area. And sure enough, soon both restaurants were packed constantly! And so it is with the haunt industry too, especially when 2 haunts are close to each other like HOMER MILL and DARKSYDE.
Cross promotions are effective in many different markets, but especially in the haunt industry we've found. We feel certain there's a big opportunity knocking for the right haunts to grow the industry like never before in the coming years! Another example that comes to mind is THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN and GHOSTLY MANOR in SANDUSKY, OHIO who've promoted each other to great advantage. ZIOPTIS extends kudos to all these haunts.
OCTOBER 27, 2008 9 PM - Hope you saw the show, if not it'll be on once more at midnight. (more coming very soon)
OCTOBER 27, 2008 8 PM - TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER AND TURN ON YOUR TV TO THE HISTORY CHANNEL RIGHT NOW! It's "MODERN MARVELS - HALLOWEEN TECH." IT LOOKS GREAT!
OCTOBER 27, 2008 7:30 PM - What a joy it was to get back from a great haunting trip last night, turning on the TV and seeing new shows on THE TRAVEL CHANNEL about haunted attractions. The one that REALLY caught our eye is "AMERICA HAUNTS."
In the past we've been disappointed that these haunt shows didn't include Michigan. So it only makes sense that when the producers came to THEIR senses to include Michigan that they would select the biggest shining star we have in Michigan. That, of course is the amazing EREBUS!
The segment featuring EREBUS starts with Larry Kirchner, editor of HauntWorld Magazine saying "there's more haunted houses in the Detroit / Pontiac area than ANYWHERE in America. But one haunted house that stands out above all the rest is EREBUS!" Then EREBUS leader E.T. explains the wild concept that EREBUS is actually a strange time machine disguised as a haunted house.
Also he explains how they became the GUINESS BOOK WORLD'S BIGGEST WALK THROUGH HAUNTED HOUSE, taking the honor away from Japan! Footage of totally stoked haunt fans shows why this haunt always packs 'em in. At the end of the program while the credits are rolling, E.T. gets the last word whimsically stating: "You know what I do for a living? I scare people, and it makes me giggle! Now how many people can giggle at their jobs? Not too many." WAY TO GO E.T., you're the perfect spokesman for the HAUNTED HOUSE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD! We only have one problem with the EREBUS segment - at the beginning Larry mispronounces the name of this haunt. He says "AH-REE-BUS" instead of "AIR-A-BUS." Shame on you Larry, but everything else you said was cool so I guess we'll let you slide THIS time!
More coming soon about DARKSYDE ACRES.
OCTOBER 27, 2008 12 NOON - WOW! SO much to write about today!¬ EREBUS was featured on NATION WIDE TV last night and our visit to DARKSYDE ACRES was excellent! Oh, and somebody said they thought SCARY SCOTT from LIVONIA was mentioned in The Detroit News recently. We'll call him later, and we still need to get over to see what he's got. (Lots more details coming soon - also "What's Next" has just been updated)
Ratings are pending for EXIT 13 and ST. LUCIFER'S HAUNTED ASYLUM. They're BOTH way cool haunts, we're trying to go to both again! Whenever we do that, we always use the highest rating of the 2 visits if there's a difference. GENESEE COUNTY has at least 8 haunts making it difficult to catch them all. But that's a very nice problem to have if you ask us!
OCTOBER 26, 2008 4:30 PM - After much soul searching we've abandoned our plans to hit the eastside tonight and go to DARKSYDE ACRES in JONESVILLE instead.
Much as we love CASTLE OF THE DEAD, DEADLY INTENTIONS and FEAR FACTORY, we've seen them before and we feel it's imperative we check out DARKSYDE because they have plans to become one of the "biggest Halloween events in the country!" And it sounds like they can pull this off; see more info in the 2nd half of the entry from OCTOBER 9, 2008 12:15 AM.
OCTOBER 26, 2008 12 NOON - Recently added:¬ THE HAUNTED MANSION¬ in¬ WISCONSIN DELLS, WISCONSIN¬ (USA Midwest),¬ SHADOW ASYLUM¬ in¬ TERRE HAUTE, INDIANA¬ and 7 FLOORS OF HELL in¬ MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, OHIO.¬ THE HAUNTED MANSION¬ has been running for OVER 40 YEARS and 7 FLOORS OF HELL looks like a MONSTER AND A HALF!¬ www.7floorsofhell.com¬ ¬ ¬ www.shadowasylum.net
OCTOBER 26, 2008 10:30 AM - We had a great time last night at HOUSE OF HORRORS in DAVISBURG and HAUNTED FOUNTAINS and TERROR IN TOWNSEND FOREST both in CLARKSTON. (mini reviews now posted)
OCTOBER 25, 2008 1:30 PM - Even our GPS couldn't save us from an accident caused traffic jam on I-75 last night and we ran so late we missed CHAINSAW CREEK and THE SCREAM MACHINE and THE EXTREME SCREAM. Unfortunately, we probably won't be able to re-schedule CHAINSAW CREEK¬ But they've always put on great shows in the past! We'll hit TAYLOR during next week, and also GRAND RAPIDS area (WALKER) for THE HAUNT.
Tonight is looking like OAKLAND COUNTY. HAUNTED FOUNTAINS in CLARKSTON looks like a lot of fun, and it's really close to TERROR IN TOWNSEND FOREST and not too far from HOME OF THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN in WHITE LAKE. We'll go to HOUSE OF HORRORS in DAVISBURG first. And we're anxious to see the new goodies at THE REALM OF DARKNESS and EREBUS. The weather is very iffy tonight; hopefully it won't ruin things for the forest walks!
OCTOBER 25, 2008 2 AM - WOW! TERRORTOWN has a WHOLE NEW CONCEPT in lighting that gives a whole new dimension to the haunting experience. We're not going to say what it is, at least not until after the haunt season. We don't want to spoil a completely unexpected surprise that awaits you here. And that's just the START of what we experienced here - partial review now posted.
OCTOBER 24, 2008 6 PM - Tonight we're off to CHAINSAW CREEK and TERRORTOWN in OHIO and THE SCREAM MACHINE and THE EXTREME SCREAM both in TAYLOR.
Yesterday we had a relaxing day at LAKE ERIE METRO PARK, and noticed once again they have a haunted hayride - tonight and tomorrow only. We've wanted to check it out in previous years but never made it. So we're sending the newest member of our team to go tonight, weather permitting!
OCTOBER 21, 2008 10 PM - We saw an article in the Detroit Free Press about the mass wedding Halloween night at the WORLD'S BIGGEST WALK THROUGH HAUNTED HOUSE - EREBUS in PONTIAC. There's a way cool ad in the FEAR FINDER for this on page 29. What a great concept - Wolfmac Mac from TV 20's "NIGHTMARE SINEMA" is an ordained minister who will LEGALLY MARRY as many adventurous couples that are willing to be part of haunted house history! YOU could be one of them, contact the Wolfman at¬ email@example.com
OCTOBER 21, 2008 11:30 AM - We just heard from TERRORTOWN in MAUMEE, OHIO (close to Toledo) and they say they "have some great new stuff." Based on past experience here that statement makes this an absolute MUST SEE! OHIO has some astonishing haunts, TERRORTOWN and GHOSTLY MANOR are 2 of our favorites. But we also highly recommend CHAINSAW CREEK, HAUNTED HYDRO and THE NIGHTMARE WITHIN.
OCTOBER 20, 2008 8 PM - Here's a new listing in CANADA thanks to our pal Joseph T in WINDSOR, ONTARIO. It's HOUSE OF FRIGHT AND HAUNTED GRAVEYARD in AMHERSTBURG (right next to Windsor) http://www.houseoffright.ca/ This is our first e-mail from CANADA, and it's from someone who truly has haunting in his blood because HALLOWEEN IS HIS BIRTHDAY!
If you remember, we had someone from Detroit last year who also has his birthday on the Big Day. How cool to hear from our Maple Leaf friends just north of the world's longest friendly border! Every year he and his family cross the border "to experience some incredible haunts in Michigan." He had a very special surprise haunting experience planned for his sister; we are honored to have assisted him in his worthy effort. Let us know how that went buddy, thanks for writing!
OCTOBER 20, 2008 1 PM - We ended up taking last night off - my partner had to work yesterday and was tired and frazzled at the end of a long day. But that's ok - THE EXTREME SCREAM reopens Wednesday and THE SCREAM MACHINE is open 7 DAYS A WEEK!
OCTOBER 19, 2008 2 PM - Mini reviews just posted for BLAKE'S, HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR, HAUNTED HILL ACRES, HOMER MILL and REALM OF HAUNTED MINDS.
OCTOBER 19, 2008 12:30 PM - We'll being staying closer to home tonight visiting THE SCREAM MACHINE and THE EXTREME SCREAM, both in TAYLOR. We haven't heard back from PAPP PARK to confirm yet. If we have time, we'll also try to get to TEMPLIN'S NIGHT TERROR, WYANDOTTE JAYCEES.
THE SCREAM MACHINE is another one of Michigan's best mega haunts that we've admired thru the years as they've developed and refined their creation.
THE EXTREME SCREAM wasn't open in 2007 but is back with a vengeance this year. They've always had a very dark approach and fabulous sound both in content and quality.
NEWS FLASH! A local haunt operator just told us about a haunt not in the FEAR FINDER or HAUNT GUIDE. It's located IN A FUNERAL PARLOR on the west side of Inkster Road about 1/4 mile south of Michigan Avenue. It's a first time effort; we'll make a special effort to get there tonight!
OCTOBER 19, 2008 1:30 AM - THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN turns up the volume to ELEVEN with their new show "THE DARKNESS." It's MUCH SCARIER than before, and there's lots of new amazing goodies and one particularly mind bending entrance that will leave you scratching your head! 5 STARS ALL THE WAY!!! (Review coming soon)
OCTOBER 18, 2008 3:30 PM - Happy Sweetest Day, and the first ratings are now posted, reviews coming early next week.
OCTOBER 18, 2008 2:30 PM - Tonight we're off to one of Michigan's premier mega haunts THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN. www.myhaunting.com They've always blown us away with their unique blend of magic, mystery and mayhem! Some of our favorite shows from past years were Vampire City (2001), Freaks (2003) and Attack Of The Zombies (2005). We can't wait to see what they've got up their sleeves this time!
Here's a cool sign of the times - I just got back from a quick trip to Walgreens drug store and guess what I saw on the dashboard of the SUV right next to my spot? Yup, the trustee FEAR FINDER! That put a smile on my face just like seeing all the happy haunters sharing stories around the fire last night at HAUNTED HALLOWS in WESTLAND.
There's a clarification we need to make about 2 haunts in 2008 - we were confused for awhile about this ourselves! In ARMADA there's a haunt called HAUNTED HOLLOWS and in WESTLAND there's a haunt called HAUNTED HALLOWS. At first, we glanced thru all the listings in the FF and thought - hey, that's cool they have 2 locations this year! WRONG. These are 2 different haunts NOT affiliated. Look closely, the names are ONE LETTER different from each other (A & O)! We tried to go to the one in ARMADA but it was too late after BLAKE'S and FARM OF TERROR.
OCTOBER 18, 2008 10:45 AM - We received an invitation yesterday to visit FEAR FARM & CORN FUN MAZE in CASCO, now correctly listed in "Other MICH" (thanx Sue!). www.cornfun.com We haven't been there yet, but it sounds really cool - they've got a 38 acre farm with 2 mazes on 13 acres, a 3-D Haunt, Haunted Forest Walk, a petting zoo and more. Farms provide an awesome natural ambience setting for haunts, something there's no shortage of in Michigan!
Let's see...CASCO isn't too far from CAPAC, home of a haunt with off the charts ambience - SALEM'S HAUNTED BARN & HORSE DRIVEN HAYRIDES. You could probably go to both easily in an evening!
OCTOBER 18, 2008 12:30 AM - HAUNTED HALLOWS in WESTLAND put on an excellent show and has expanded since last year when they also impressed us! Unfortunately, we didn't make it to the WINERY & DEADLY INTENTIONS. We got a late start and my partner has to get up at 8am Saturday morning, we'll try to re-schedule. Tomorrow is looking like our annual pilgrimage to ADRIAN for THE HAUNTING, one of Michigan's best mega haunts.
We're disappointed PIGMAN'S LAIR isn't open this year, as we would've included them in our plans for the trip Saturday night. We really liked PL last year; they had some wildly creative stuff starting with fake news releases about crazy local happenings on the walls where we waited. And CREEPY CLYDE was performing his whacked out songs there too to add to the weird ambience.
And speaking of CREEPY CLYDE, we were listening back to Zioptis Dial-a-Trip populace responses a few days ago and we hear him leaving a message. This year he's performing at DEADLY INTENTIONS in WARREN, which we missed last night.¬ They're known for high intensity in-your-face action and gross-out stuff not for the squeamish!
CREEPY CLYDE can also be seen on "Wolfman Mac's Nightmare SiNeMa," Saturday early morning 1am-2:30am on Detroit's TV 20 (call letters WMYD). We saw the MOTOR CITY HAUNT CLUB mentioned on the show too, very cool!
OCTOBER 17, 2008 - Tonight we'll visit THE HAUNTED WINERY in FARMINGTON, DEADLY INTENTIONS in WARREN and HAUNTED HALLOWS in WESTLAND. ALL of them have put on excellent shows in past years!
OCTOBER 14, 2008 - Once again we've received an invitation we'd LOVE to accept from SHAWHAVEN HAUNTED FARM in¬ MASON, MICHIGAN. www.shawhavenfarm.com They contacted us last year, but we couldn't make it. And to be honest I really didn't even know exactly where on the mitten MASON is! But that can no longer be an excuse for us not finding new haunts in outlying areas because TOMTOM will bravely lead the way for us from now on!
We've been holding off as long as possible to find a great deal on a GPS unit - how about this? The TOMTOM model XL1 originally was priced over $400, but is now in closeout for $148 at many places. It's got the 4.2 inch screen, 3D (or 2D) displays, thousands of phone numbers of places along your way, it'll notify you when you get near to all kinds of different things with selectable chimes if you want, but BEST OF ALL it TALKS to us telling us EXACTLY how to get to the next haunt! We just have to be careful to select the right language; directions in Polish, German, Chinese, Spanish, French, Russian, etc. won't help us at all. But it's amusing anyway to switch to a strange foreign tongue when we know for SURE how to get to some distant haunt!
The distant haunt that first comes to mind would have to be THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN, MICHIGAN. We totally blew it and got lost one year and arrived too late to see the show. We made another special trip back just to see what they had, and we were NOT disappointed!
This haunt is run by a master magician and we've seen GREAT things happen at haunts where magicians are involved (think SLAUGHTERHOUSE in FOWLERVILLE too). ADRIAN is about 1 1/2 hours from DETROIT and has ALWAYS been worth the drive!
You'll see a top notch haunt, but LOTS more too including a FANTASTIC magic show. We can't wait to see what they have in 2008 and this is their 14th year, so they must be doing something right! (see reviews in "OTHER Mich") www.myhaunting.com
OCTOBER 13, 2008 9 PM - I've been informed that I've been negligent in reporting my partner's olfactory organ obsession with the exceptionally yummy treats at REALM OF HAUNTED MINDS ticket building in front. She absolutely insists they have THE BEST freshly baked custom designed, hand decorated frosted cookies that she's ever had! In fact, she buys some for gifts every year but can NOT resist gobbling them down before the end of the night. Yup, they sure WOULD make good gifts, but not after the fate that always awaits them instead.
Saturday night we also drove past THE REALM OF DARKNESS, actually it was Sunday morning at 1:30 AM and the place was still jammed pack with happy haunters and a giant line! We heard EREBUS was going crazy too, but we didn't have time to go thru either one. But we will, BOTH of these haunts are awesome in totally different ways! If you've never experienced the amazing HAUNTED PONTIAC get 'yer butt out there and have the time of your haunted life!
OCTOBER 12, 2008 10 PM - We got an e-mail last Thursday from HOUSE OF FEAR in HAZEL PARK. This year's dates are Oct, 24-25, 30-31 and Nov. 1, still only $5! That's only 5 days, do yourself and your pocketbook a favor and see this awesome haunt. Last year they won "BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK" and "BEST SOUND" awards.
The first time we went to this haunt we were afraid it would be lame so we didn't tell them who we were, but after exiting we had to spill the beans and tell them they had a GREAT haunt! We're VERY confident you will agree that regardless of the price, this is a top notch effort.
More questions are coming in about DEMONIC DEMONS in DETROIT which we VISITED recently but did NOT actually go thru this time. I only went thru ONCE in 1999, alone because my companion could NOT make it past the first grueling obstacle! (See "not in FF/HG" or "Wayne Cty cities A-S") But the owner assured me their dark tunnels are intact for you to CRAWL thru if you're brave enough to try this!
OCTOBER 12, 2008 12 NOON - WOW! BLAKE'S AND HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR were both OFF THE CHARTS LAST NIGHT! There were THOUSANDS of happy haunters, IT WAS TOTALLY A BLAST!!! I tell ya, it's going to be difficult to find the correct words to do these haunts justice, but we're going to try...reviews coming soon.
Our apologies to SLAUGHTERED AT SUNDOWN and THE HAUNTED HOLLOWS (ARMADA, not WESTLAND), hopefully we can re-schedule.
OCTOBER 11, 2008 1:30 PM - We had a great time last night at HAUNTED HILL ACRES, REALM OF THE HAUNTED MINDS & SPOOKTACULAR! ALL of them delivered the goods in curiously different ways, delicious details coming soon.
But we are compelled to mention one of them now - at REALM OF THE HAUNTED MINDS there's a certain actor more than half way thru you WON'T be able to forget! She stole my soul and spit it out it seemed, so strangely seductive to the tenth degree.
Just updated - "What's Next"
OCTOBER 9, 2008 8:30 PM - Hey girls, do you have a boyfriend that claims NO haunted house can truly rattle him? If ya wanna make him prove it, we know JUST the place to take him!
Yup, that's right - DEMONIC DEMONS in¬ DETROIT¬ IS OPEN THIS YEAR! We just made a trip to Wyoming and also Livernois to check the status of DD and THE HAUNTED THEATRE HOUSE.
Sadly, the building that housed the THEATRE is now painted white. Last time we checked it still had the haunted designs and name, so we were hopeful it would return. They delivered some incredible, NEVER WILL FORGET experiences in 2001 and 2002.
A COMPLETELY different type of experience awaits you if you're adventurous enough to try DEMONIC DEMONS! THIS HAUNT CAN NOT BE GIVEN A STAR RATING - THE TERROR IS NOT IMAGINARY - WE ARE NOT KIDDING (see "Wayne County Cities A-S" or "not in FF/HG")
OCTOBER 9, 2008 12:15 AM - The new show in¬ TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN¬ this year is GRIMFELL ASYLUM from EVERNIGHT ENTERTAINMENT.¬ www.evernight.com¬ ¬ ¬ Here's one we hope to get to... let's see, how far is it from¬ Grand Rapids¬ to¬ Traverse City?¬ Here's excerpts from an e-mail on October 7, 2008 from them: "...had an awesome opening weekend with lots of people telling us we are one of the scariest haunts they've been to...we don't claim to be the scariest or best but we put on a good show and people love it.
This year we added a vortex and a scare that as far as we can tell has not been seen anywhere else and if it has then we haven't heard about it or seen it...it's been flooring groups all night long..." Wow, it sounds like they've had their mad scientists toiling on this for awhile - our curiosity may force us to go there!
Here's a highly interesting e-mail that came in Oct. 6th from BODY BAGGING ENTERTAINMENT - love those wild names! They supply effects for movies as well as the haunt industry, and it sounds like this could be a behemoth in the making. The attraction name is DARKSYDE ACRES in
JONESVILLE¬ southwest of¬ Jackson¬ in¬ Hillsdale County, check this out from their e-mail: "...we are building what will one day become one of the largest Halloween events in the country...we have 14 buildings with 38+ acres of property with another few hundred adjoining acres on standby...within the next 5 years we plan on having at least 14 attractions...started out with one haunt this year pulling it literally out of my butt last minute but so far the reviews have been GREAT!..."¬ ¬ www.bodybagging.com¬ (now listed in "Other MICH")
OCTOBER 8, 2008 - The weather forecast for the weekend is WARM AND DRY! You know what THAT means - IT'S HAYRIDE TIME! After that horribly wet October a couple years ago, we've been nervous about making it to our favorite outdoor haunts and decided to always do them ASAP in the season, weather permitting of course.
Friday it's¬ Wayne County¬ with HAUNTED HILL ACRES, SPOOKTACULAR and REALM OF HAUNTED MINDS. HHH & REALM are old favorites by now, but SPOOKTACULAR is a STRONG NEW ENTRY only 4 years old. They put on an excellent show in 2007, the Wayne County Fairgrounds are perfect for it! (see 2007 ratings)
Saturday it's off to the east side for BLAKE'S SPOOKY NIGHT TIME HAUNTED HAYRIDES & 4 LEVEL BARN in¬ ARMADA, THE HAUNTED HALLOWS also in¬ ARMADA¬ www.haunted-hallows.com¬ (1st time in Armada, not¬ Westland), and HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR in¬ LENOX TWP. which was featured in the Detroit Free Press recently. (see Oct. 2nd entry) If you're a westsider who's never been to this area, you owe it to yourself to check out BLAKE'S and FARM OF TERROR, they WILL NOT disappoint you! And the fresh cider is yummy beyond description, or try dipping those awesome donuts in apple butter. Or maybe both!
OCTOBER 7, 2008 - Just added to "USA Eastern" - VALLEY OF FEAR in¬ TREVOSE, PA¬ www.valleyoffear.com¬ and THE HAUNTING AT THE WALDORF HOTEL in¬ PALMERTON, PA¬ (2008 is their 4th year)¬ www.dynamitewoodworking.com/waldorf.htmCheck 'em out if you're brave, and if you're not what are you doing on a haunt site?!
OCTOBER 6, 2008 - Just added to "not in FF/HG" - DARK TERRORS HAUNTED HOUSE WALK in¬ DRYDEN¬ on¬ Rochester Road. GET IN THE CAR! This looks like it's a volunteer effort, and we've seen some great all volunteer haunts thru the years. Two recent shining examples from 2007 would be HAUNTED HALLOWS in¬ WESTLAND¬ and HOUSE OF FEAR in¬ HAZEL PARK. Both haunts had awesome shows for very low prices! HOUSE OF FEAR won our "BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK" award in 2007, and was in a 3 way tie for "BEST SOUND" award.
OCTOBER 5, 2008 Sunday night - Well, we aimed for¬ Wayne County¬ last night but ended up In¬ Genesee County¬ instead! We went to (in order attended) ST. LUCIFER'S, THE DEADLAND and EXIT 13. ALL of them had great shows! (reviews coming ASAP) For the show they put on, it's hard to believe DEADLAND is only in their 2nd year! We made a point of going last year and we knew we had to come back in 2008. We ALWAYS try to go to all new haunts if at all possible, what a joy to uncover new gems!
Another haunt we went to for the first time last year was also on our hopeful list last night, but we couldn't make it to NIGHT STALKERS in¬ MILLINGTON, which blew us away in 2007!
Also, we had called THE CRYPT at CHEMCO but couldn't squeeze them in either. Fortunately, our pal LANCE did make it to THE CRYPT last night and he says "...it was even better than last year. Lots of very detailed Crypt themed props and several new areas in the haunt. This is one of my favorites."¬
He also said he went to SPOOKY TRAILS HAYRIDE which is on a 130 acre farm on Baldwin Road in¬ Gaines Township¬ (also in¬ Genesee County). He said "It was a lot of fun. Very long hayride with several scenes and actors including a few cool tunnels, 40 minutes long and it's only $7 with a coupon from Speedway and 2 non perishable food items, well worth the money. Oh, and they also have a cool pumpkin shooting cannon that you get to shoot 1 time included in admission price."¬ www.spookytrails.com/page1.html¬ OH BOY, A PUMPKIN SHOOTER! Forget those lame potato guns, get with the program and send some serious projectiles flying. You'll feel better, we promise.
The¬ FLINT¬ area has so many haunts you really need at least 2 nights to get to them all. That's a very nice problem to have! For sheer quantity of haunts per square mile, the¬ FLINT¬ area blows away all others to our knowledge. We once submitted an entry to the GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS for¬ TAYLOR, MICHIGAN¬ having the most haunts in one city. They rejected us, saying they had no category for that. Maybe we'll have to re-examine the situation for¬ FLINT¬ and try again.
Of course, the GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS¬ DOES¬ have a category for the "WORLD'S LARGEST WALK THROUGH HAUNT." As you probably know, that honor belongs to the amazing EREBUS in¬ PONTIAC¬ which blew us away right at the end of the season last year! We've witnessed the evolution of this behemoth thru the years and it's been a fascinating journey.
OCTOBER 2, 2008 - KUDOS to the DETROIT FREE PRESS for today's awesome cover article about the Detroit haunt scene that appeared with their "PLAY" section which is the weekend planner that comes with the FREEP every Thursday. Most weeks several items appear on the cover (music, movies & restaurants) but this one is exclusively spooky and features a crazed skeleton and has three small pictures of characters from 3 top haunts. There's EREBUS and THE REALM OF DARKNESS (no surprise), and we were very pleased to see HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR made the cover too. They BLEW US AWAY in 2007 - 5 STARS! (see 2007 ratings) Last year's "PLAY" had only 2 pages devoted to haunting but this year's issue runs on pages 4-8, with pages 5 & 6 largely devoted to telling the horrible, true story of what happened to REALM. The 3 major new additions at REALM for 2008 are a giant ghost ship, a mirror maze and a wolf den. And they're working on getting special permits to stage an "all-out gun battle for people's souls!" Sounds wild, we hope they can convince the authorities to go for it.
NEWS FLASH! We're extremely pleased to announce that WE WERE WRONG when we prematurely reported earlier that the beleaguered FRASER TEEN SPIRITS wouldn't be on the scene this year. Their spirits just can't be kept down, and they've found a way to land on their feet after major problems! Thru a series of serendipities, their top notch actors will be appearing at not just one, but TWO haunts this year! For right now, we're only mentioning one of them - THE THIRTEENTH HOUR at Gratiot & 23 Mile in¬ CHESTERFIELD TWP. in the strip mall with PREMIER LANES.
And how about this for a clever side promotion - each haunt ticket also entitles you to bowl free there! Last year was 13TH HOUR'S first and we tried to check them out, but it never worked out so we'll make a special effort to get there this season - especially now that we know the FRASER TEEN SPIRITS will be performing. They were at MOTOR CITY MASSACRE last year and put on a great show! We can't tell you which other haunt they're getting involved with yet, but suffice it to say that this is BIG...REALLY BIG! And it couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of youngsters, stay tuned...
OCTOBER 1, 2008 - WHOOPEE! OCTOBER IS FINALLY HERE! All the haunts are gearing up for some wild and amazing stuff that'll WOW 'em again we're sure. WE CAN'T WAIT!
Thanks to Jared for letting us know the SILO X in¬ Missouri¬ is probably NOT the same one that appeared in¬ Rochester Hills, Michigan¬ in past years. We had found a separate phone listing for SILO X in¬ Fenton, Missouri¬ with no address that we got no answer on so that confused things.¬ Fenton¬ probably borders¬ St. Louis¬ we're thinking. And, as it turns out there's even ANOTHER SILO X haunt that operated in¬ ATLANTA, GEORGIA!¬ The actual name of the haunt that has SILO X in¬ Missouri¬ is CREEPY WORLD and their WAY COOL WEBSITE is¬ www.scarefest.com¬ (link also appears with 9/28 entry)
We were just thinking...if we jump in the magic bus and hit cruise control it wouldn't take terribly long to get there! It looks AWESOME on the website, so it must be even better in person! I think we need an excuse to test out our new GPS unit; it would've saved our butt last year several times unfortunately.
We had a heck of a time finding SALEM'S HAUNTED BARN & HORSE DRAWN HAYRIDES in¬ CAPAC¬ last year but it was worth the effort. There are no street lights anywhere for miles; the ambience of the whole area is off the charts!! (Won "BEST NATURALLY OCCURING AMBIENCE" award in 2007)
From what we've heard a trip to¬ St. Louis¬ should also include THE BEAST which some have described as the best in America! Their website is¬ www.kcbeast.com¬ Try it, you'll like it!
Or how about this elaborate website out of¬ CANADA¬ where we've just started listing haunts in ‚Ä“ try¬ www.haunt.canadaswonderland.com¬ Reminds us of CEDAR POINT, which we've heard is good. If you go to Cedar Point, do yourself a favor and also go to GHOSTLY MANOR - a truly world class effort you will rave about! This haunt won our "MOST ACTION PER ROOM" and "BEST NEW FIND" awards in 2005. Check 'em out at¬ www.ghostlymanor.com¬ to get a taste of the action!
SEPTEMBER 30, 2008 - Just added for the first time:¬ CANADA¬ listings!¬ MICHIGAN¬ is positively the HAUNTED HOUSE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD but it's cool to see our northern neighbors infected with the haunt bug too!
SEPTEMBER 28, 2008 - Just added: 2 new listings BOTH in BRANSON, MISSOURI! There's BRANSON HAUNTED HOUSE and BRANSON HAUNTED ADVENTURE which has a cool website - try it now¬ www.hauntedbranson.com
Also relating to Missouri, we've had questions as to whatever happened to the SILO X haunt that was in Michigan years ago. We tracked them down in SAINT LOUIS and had them listed for several years under "USA Midwest." Or just click now on¬ www.scarefest.com
SEPTEMBER 26, 2008 8 PM - We're bummed out to hear the FRASER TEEN SPIRITS had difficulties and won't be on the scene this season. We've followed this dynamic youth group thru the years and look forward to their return. They wowed us last year at MOTOR CITY MASSACRE right at the end of the season!
We've had questions if DEMONIC DEMONS and THE HAUNTED THEATRE (both in¬ DETROIT) are open this year. They both had incredible haunts in past years - we'll check and report status for 2008 soon.
SEPTEMBER 26, 2008 12:30 AM - We just heard from SCARY SCOTT who has a garage haunt in¬ LIVONIA¬ we're hoping to check out soon. We've seen some impressive yard haunts in the past, and are anxious to see what SS can dish out! We're reminded of THE DUNCAN STREET HORROR in TAYLOR that we loved in 2002. (See "Wayne Cty" cities T-Z)
It was an elaborate display with walk thru "structures" that showed excellent creativity. It's totally possible to put on a great low budget haunt. We remember one seminar we went to at HAUNTCON in¬ DEARBORN¬ that demonstrated an excellent scare whose main prop was a simple paper bag! Sometimes less is more.
SEPTEMBER 22, 2008 - We had a great time at THE TERRORFIED FOREST in¬ PINCKNEY¬ last Saturday night!¬ The forest walk is a 1/2 mile adventure thru the forest you had nightmares about after seeing "The Wizard of Oz" as a kid!¬ Lots has changed here but the most awesome Black Hole arrangement around is intact. They've got 2 separate holes, the last one is actually 2 Black Holes positioned end-to-end rotating in opposite directions!¬
If you go you can make an excellent evening of it by observing one of our annual traditions - stopping in at the ZUKEY LAKE TAVERN in¬ LAKELAND¬ for some super amazing pizza which makes for deluxe haunting sustenance! Check out their reviews in "Other MICH." And in 2006 they won our UNSUNG HERO AWARD, check under "Awards."
SEPTEMBER 14, 2008 - Coming soon: the inside scoop on what's been happening at THE REALM OF DARKNESS. There's been much speculation as to if they'd be back after a massive flood all but swept the whole building out to sea last winter! They're back with a new show and it should be totally amazing, stay tuned...
Also coming soon:¬ new nationwide listings and for the first time CANADIAN HAUNT LISTINGS!
SEPTEMBER 9, 2008 - Just added: Here's a haunt with the best price of all - FREE! It's 2 days only, Oct. 30 & 31 in
ANN ARBOR¬ at BRANDYWINE CEMETERY. This looks like an excellent effort with original sculptures made locally. Check out their cool website - click here¬ www.brandywinecemetery.com
SEPTEMBER 8, 2008 - NEWS FLASH! Exciting changes at SALEM'S HAUNTED BARN AND HAYRIDE in¬ CAPAC¬ this year include FRIGHT UNIVERSITY, a special training program for scarers, teaching the art and science of fear. Also, they've added 2000 more square feet of new attractions and have 3 new characters. This haunt won BEST AMBIENCE (naturally occurring) in the hayride category in 2007.
The origins of this haunt go back to 1997, and remind us A LOT of the history of the fantastically successful SLAUGHTERHOUSE in¬ FOWLERVILLE¬ which also started as a family setting out to entertain¬ local youngsters and eventually went public. Ok, so this isn't exactly the biggest or flashiest haunt out there. But, small can be mighty as we've seen many times and this is one to watch, or better yet go to. The hayride is HORSE DRIVEN, and at times the silence was deafening, something we've never experienced before on a hayride!
More details coming soon about this strong, young haunt or click on¬ www.thehauntedbarn.us¬ right now!
SEPTEMBER 7, 2008 - We started the season really early with a BANG & A HALF HAUNT - HOMER MILL IN¬ HOMER!¬ We first visited this haunt last year, 2008 is their 3rd year. We knew then we were gonna want to hang out in the bar after the haunt, and we were right. This old mill has a creepy cool feeling, we love that natural ambience.
It's worth the drive from anywhere! This is a very entertaining bar and excellent restaurant, and what a way to start our haunting season! We advise you to GO, and go early, as this haunt packs 'em in - you'll see why! FULL REVIEW COMING SOON
Last year we started with a bang at THE HAUNTING in¬ ADRIAN, which we also have always felt is also worth the drive from anywhere. (5 STARS MANY YEARS RUNNING!)
SEPTEMBER 6, 2008 - We're going to our first haunt tonight! We've been invited to opening weekend at HOMER MILL HAUNTED HOUSE in¬ HOMER, MICHIGAN¬ September 5 & 6. They also have SIERRA SHAME playing in the bar, a band described as "new age country" but who also play remarkable covers of Journey songs. This haunt really impressed in 2007, and we're anxious to see the new show. See their review in the 2007 Ratings section or check 'em out right now -www.thehomermill.com
Speaking of new shows, THE REALM OF DARKNESS in¬ PONTIAC¬ has re-invented itself yet again after the building was decimated last winter! Inside scoop coming soon...stay tuned.
NEWS FLASH!!! THE EXTREME SCREAM trailer has been spotted in¬ TAYLOR¬ on Telegraph near Ecorse Road! We missed them horribly last year and can't wait to see what they do in 2008! Check out their reviews in the archives.
We're upset to hear that PIGMAN'S LAIR won't be open in 2008 - it was a truly unique haunt with some strange quirkiness supplied in part by local weirdo CREEPY CLYDE who now appears on TV Channel 20 in a late night spooky show Saturday. Every year brings new disappointments as well as great new haunts to enjoy - we can't wait!
Someone asked what haunt last season was the absolute creepiest that REALLY invoked¬ strong feelings of apprehension and eminent doom. The first one that came to mind was THE HOMER MILL HAUNTED HOUSE in¬ HOMER. This haunt blew us away with amazing production values and a genuinely creepy giant OLD building whose ominous presence will grab you several blocks away! The ONLY thing that prevented us from awarding it the full 5 stars was the pacing, which was quite rushed. Of course, we DO understand it's difficult to handle mass quantities of patrons, and they surely did the best they could given the circumstances.
Remember, if ANYTHING isn't perfect during our visit at a haunt we can't give it 5 stars. We truly wished we could've given it 5 stars, but to be fair and accurate we couldn't.¬ But we guarantee you will LOVE this haunt if you go, and there's a cool looking bar we wished we could've hung out at too.
A close second for a truly creepy haunt had to be NIGHT STALKERS in¬ MILLINGTON. We'll be going again for sure, IT WAS GREAT!
Recently, someone asked us if we let haunts know we're coming or if we go thru incognito. We almost always call haunts in advance to make sure all major props and actors will be ready. Sometimes we'll stumble across a haunt we didn't know about and we'll go spur of the moment, but that's rare.
And once a haunt called us back and asked us to wait because an overzealous fan had ruined a delicate major part and it couldn't be replaced in time for our planned visit. It wouldn't have been fair to rate them on a hindered show, so we honored their request.
ORIGINAL OPENING PAGE STATEMENT FROM 2001:
WELCOME TO THE ZIOPTIS FOUNDATION HAUNTED HOUSE HOTLINE, your insider fast track to the hottest haunted attractions in Michigan and the whole nation! We are INDEPENDENT and NON-PROFIT. The HAUNTED HOUSE HOTLINE is an offshoot of the Zioptis Foundation Dial-a-Trip which was unleashed in 1986 and continues to provide state-of-the-art telephonic zaniness at no charge 24/7 at
Leave a message at the end - if it's cool enough it may be incorporated into a future episode! And if you're really lucky, you may get to talk directly to DALE BOMBAST, THE WORLDS BIGGEST TALK SHOW HOST - HE IS 75 FEET TALL!
We have been attending haunted houses for more than 30 years and have come to recognize a quality effort versus amateurs trying to make a quick buck. About 15 years ago, we began running announcements at the end of ZIOPTIS DIAL-A-TRIP episodes during October telling callers where to find the best haunted houses. Eventually, so many requests for detailed information were received that we started a separate phone service in 1999. Dubbed the "HAUNTED HOUSE HOTLINE," it is still available 24/7 at
(313) 438-3531.¬ It is listed with Directory Assistance in EVERY directory with 313, 248, 734, 810, 586 and 947 area codes in Michigan.¬ Because it is virtually the ONLY listing containing the word "haunted," people asking for "haunted...anything" are offered this # by the Information Operators!
With the debut of our website in 2001, the HAUNTED HOUSE HOTLINE has evolved into what it needed to become all along!¬ Our accuracy is second to none.¬ You will NEVER find that an area code has been changed to who knows what, or that a facility we list isn't there at all or has changed locations!¬ WE PRIDE OURSELVES IN HAVING THE MOST ACCURATE HAUNTED WEBSITE ANYWHERE ‚Ä“ EACH AND EVERY LISTING HAS BEEN PERSONALLY CHECKED OUT!
If you don't already have one, we suggest you get a FEAR FINDER HALLOWEEN EVENTS NEWSPAPER available at Taco Bell, Meijer, Kmart and bookstores. There's ONLY 500,000 of these bad boys printed each year, you should be able to find one near you! Dates and times of operation vary widely and are detailed in it. Also, many houses have discount coupons appearing with their ads.
*MICHIGAN HAUNTS NOT IN THE FEAR FINDER / HAUNT GUIDE¬ - just click on "NOT IN FF/HG"