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Archive 4

NOVEMBER 6, 2009 - TO FEEL LIKE A KID AGAIN

What three simple words conjure up imagery of childlike innocence and magic feelings of role-playing aspiration? That's easy. "Trick or Treat!" Ah, those magic words...are they still echoing in your mind? I hope so.

In childhood we learned how make-believe and fantasy role-playing could enrich our lives largely thru Halloween. And it even tasted good!

My brothers and I used pillow cases on our way to collect our just rewards of laughter and sugar based thrills. Some naughty kids switched costumes and hit the same houses again for extra candy. But we never tried it, we couldn't risk Santa punishing us come Christmas time. He's always watching, you know.

We had a neighborhood costume contest each year. All the kids marched down the block in hopes of winning even more candy and bragging rights that lasted much longer than the Snickers and Baby Ruth bars.

I'm the youngest of four boys, and one year my oldest brother took first place in the contest with his homemade robot get-up. It was made from cardboard boxes, wire, switches, a battery, and light bulbs he flashed as fast as he could.

That was the only time I remember being allowed to tag along with him for Halloween. I still remember all four of us proudly marched in that Halloween parade to the rhythm of songs children sing in their hearts when happy and free from cares...ignorance is bliss.

But today's world doesn't seem so care free, and is much crueler than when we waited for the next Halloween adventure. We learned that life doesn't care about your dreams. We learned life doesn't care about your plans. And worst of all, we learned life isn't fair.

It seems just too far away sometimes... but really it's all a state-of-mind. In a world where the only constant is change, I can still experience that same joy and once again hear those same songs in the hearts of the kids on the sidewalks every October 31st.

So if some dreary day before next October you feel down knowing that society and life don't care, just remember that the special day will come again. You'll role-play and fantasize without shame and relive childlike innocence. Or dress up like a tramp and get away with it, maybe even be commended and rewarded!

Whatever your little heart desires is ok! And you won't need ruby red slippers or to click your heels together three times. All you need is to keep in your heart and soul the spirit of those three magic, timeless words: "Trick or Treat!"

And you'll feel like a kid again.

OCTOBER 8, 2010 1 PM FRIDAY - WORD ON THE STREETS

We heard from our trusted field correspondent Lance recently, and this guy is a bona fide aficionado! His message: "The Crypt is very similar to last years but it is soooooo good.  The first 10 minutes are the highest quality haunt you can find as it is the newer section added last year, very good props, detail, and actors. Only $10 on Sunday night, you can't beat it for that price.  wanted to mention i drove past st.lucifers/ 13ft under.... and it was totally packed, going there soon."

Thanks Lance! We went to THE CRYPT in BURTON first in 2007 and again in 2009, and YES they delivered the goods both times! (see Reviews)

OCTOBER 7, 2010 8 PM - NEW SCHOOL, OLD SCHOOL

Tomorrow we're hitting a new haunt and a transplanted Old School haunt. GRUESOME ENCOUNTERS is the first haunt ever to appear in ORTONVILLE, so that puts it on the priority "MUST CHECK OUT" list! And since we'll be in Oakland County, we'll get our fix of Old School Haunting at the freshly transplanted EXTREME SCREAM in WATERFORD. And YES, this is the same haunt that was on Telegraph in Taylor...the one you heard the stories about. NONE of them are true to our knowledge.

OCTOBER 7, 2010 1 PM - ALL THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT

I just love getting the newspaper delivered to my front door in the morning. They used to bring it every day, and one of my first jobs was a newspaper route. I used my trusty Schwinn, but now my "newsboy" is a middle aged woman with a rundown sedan. The only constant is change...

Sure, the internet brings news faster nowadays, whether it's actually news or not. But give me some dirty fingers from newsprint anyday over navigating a splashy website that beckons you to "click-here" for the latest and greatest.

So today's DETROIT FREE PRESS delivery was a special treat - right on the left corner of the front page is the notice "YOUR GUIDE TO HAUNTED HOUSES in PLAY." Cool! It gets better...in addition to the haunt listings; they have excellent mini reviews of THE FEAR FACTORY, EREBUS, NIGHT TERRORS, DEADLY INTENTIONS, DETROIT URBAN LEGENDS, BARN OF BLOOD, and 666 HAUNTED HOUSE.

It still gets better...on the last page there's a "FIVE QUESTIONS" interview with the dude in charge at DEADLY INTENTIONS. His picture is awesome, with a bizarre juxtaposition between his Sharp Dressed Man business suit and his freaked out face with piercing eyes.

Despite his ghoulish appearance, Howard Erlich delivers a fascinating and insightful look inside the often imitated, much ballyhooed Haunted Attraction Industry. He says the first haunt to infect him was "a charity haunt in Madison Heights." Hmmm, sounds like the legendary¬ MUTILATION MANSION we talked about recently. GREAT STUFF! Get your copy today at a real newsstand, and get your fingers a good kind of dirty!

OCTOBER 7, 2010 1 AM - Now posted: THE REALM OF DARKNESS preliminary review. (See "Reviews 2010")

OCTOBER 6, 2010 1 AM - We had an invitation we'd love to accept from the WICKED RANCH in ROTHBURY, MICHIGAN. Yee-haa! www.WickedRanch.com 

OCTOBER 5, 2010 - Just added: TWO AWESOME LOOKING OHIO HAUNTS IN SPRINGFIELD. Hey, aren't The Simpsons from Springfield? Anyway, we've got two haunts from the same outfit! Anybody that is operating two haunts has got to be doing something right! Check these out: www.horroracres.com and www.thelegendsofhorror.com

OCTOBER 4, 2010 - DEADLY INTENTIONS review now posted! Coming soon - THE REALM OF DARKNESS review.

OCTOBER 3, 2010 8 PM - ERWIN'S ORCHARDS will be featured on Channel 2 Fox News in Detroit tomorrow morning between 9 AM and 10 AM. Way to go ERWIN'S...the world is watching you!

OCTOBER 2, 2010 4:30 PM - We just decided to take tonight off. Ironically, we had intended to hit the FUNERAL HOME in INKSTER but due to a death in the family are going to a real funeral home tomorrow. Our apologies also to PAPP PARK in TAYLOR and MASSACRE MANOR in WYANDOTTE for missing their shows tonight. Family always comes first, thanks for understanding.

OCTOBER 2, 2010 3:30 PM - DOWNRIVER ALERT!

PAPP PARK in TAYLOR is open tonight, see "not in FF/HG."

OCTOBER 2, 2010 3 PM - SPOOKS RUN HAUNTED HOUSE OUT OF TOWN /

MONSTERS ON A MISSION CRANK IT UP TO ELEVEN

Imagine for a moment that you run a popular Mega Haunt, and freaked-out things you didn't plan or can explain start happening to the crew. Then imagine how you'd feel when independent researchers came in and confirmed that indeed real spooks have turned the tables on you. (For more see THE REALM OF DARKNESS review for 2010 coming soon)

The always WILD & CRAZY DEADLY INTENTIONS has a new way of challenging the dudes out there who think they can impress the girls with their braveness. It's highly effective too. It's like the broad side of a barn...you can't miss! (Review coming soon)

OCTOBER 3, 2010 1 AM - WHEN TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION

We're having a great weekend so far, and still one more night to go! It was wild and fascinating Saturday night, as we toured DEADLY INTENTIONS in WARREN and THE REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC at their new location. There's an amazing, true story involved...stay tuned for some juicy details coming soon!

How weird...I've got the TV on WADL Channel 38 right now for Chappelle's Show, and they just played an ad for the Realm! (cue Twilight Zone music)

OCTOBER 2, 2010 2 PM - REMEMBER YOUR ROOTS / CHINESE SMART GUY SAY "THE JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME STARTS WITH A SINGLE STEP"

Who out there in hauntland remembers MUTILATION MANSION in MADISON HEIGHTS? How about the PLYMOUTH or WYANDOTTE JAYCEES? Chances are, if you're a die-hard haunter you've been to Jaycee or volunteer-group haunts. Or maybe even like me, the very first haunted house that infected you with the bug was put on by the Jaycees.

My dad took me to a Jaycees haunt behind the Dearborn Civic Center as an impressionable kid. It was just a couple of trailers thrown together with a handful of actors. But you know what? They put on the performance-of-a-lifetime, and I've never been the same since!

Bigger doesn't necessarily mean better.

Fast forward...it's 2010 now and there's Mega Haunts in almost every county of Michigan. But there's some "Small But Mighty" haunts out there too, and take a wild guess who's behind some of the best? Yup, the Jaycees...still on the job after all these years giving until it hurts!

Last year we gushed about the WESTLAND JAYCEES, and rightfully so. They don't have lots of money for exquisite props or the latest-and-greatest electronic wizardry. But that's ok; they do just fine "flying by the seat of their pants." They're living proof that sometimes less is more.

Or how about the FUNERAL HOME in INKSTER? You just never know...how about the fact that the dude that eventually created the "Guinness Book World's Largest Walk Through Haunt" started with a trailer haunt?

Or who remembers a group of portable classroom buildings thrown together in Warren that evolved into a Mega Haunt resembling a giant museum?

Yes, the FUNERAL HOME in INKSTER is tiny by modern haunt standards. But the journey of a lifetime starts with a single step. You've got to start somewhere, and where you're at right now is a good place to start!

OCTOBER 2, 2010 1 AM - 25 YEARS OF MAKEUP MAGIC / FARMERS GO WILD AND BLOW 'YER MIND!

We had a great Friday night, and so did all the happy haunters we saw and talked to! If someone is leaving as we're arriving we try to ask what they thought of their experience...helps us keep a pulse on what's happening with the fans. ALL of them we talked to were stoked!

And we figured out one of the inside tricks ERWIN'S uses to entice haunters so they're unable to resist temptation. All will be revealed in their review, coming soon! But don't tell anybody, ok? This needs to stay secret!

But we'll let one cat out of the bag about ERWIN'S right now - the Master Makeup Artist here has 25 years of hard core makeup skills, shining brightly to permeate your soul! And she looks just like a real person, but appearances can be deceiving...

The barn is finally open again at SLAUGHTERHOUSE! They were unfairly hindered last year from delivering the goods they're known for far and wide. Hey, the barn has always been safe, made to last from hand hewn beams like you'll never see at any lumber supply. Way stronger too...they don't make 'em like they used to! (Review coming very soon)

OCTOBER 1, 2010 6 PM - OPENING WILD WEEKEND IN DETROIT, THE WORLD CAPITAL OF HAUNTED HOUSES!

I can just feel it now...it's gonna be KILLER tonight! We're going with 2 pretty much sure thing great haunts tonight...just can't resist that special urge to see something great right away! And if we have time, we'll also check out THE BONEYARD in STOCKBRIDGE which we've never seen before.

We'll get SLAUGHTERED AT SLAUGHTERHOUSE in FOWLERVILLE, and drink Apple Cider Supreme before we venture into the BARN OF HORRORS & TERRIFYING CORN MAZE at ERWIN'S ORCHARDS in SOUTH LYON.

ERWIN'S BLEW US AWAY IN 2009, their first year back after a five year hiatus. So now we've got this image in our mind of a Cracker Jack team of mad scientists and monkeys working at midnight in secret rooms, having five whole years to tweak their special blend of moon madness...so glad to have this old friend back!

Just remembered something that was way cool...many years ago my partner and I finished our haunt season at ERWIN'S. Almost. We took a big chance that involved a lot more driving thru a torrential downpour, hoping beyond hope to make it to the GREAT FENTON BEAN COMPANY before they closed.

Our friends looked at us, and didn't even have to say "What, are you nuts?!"

Persistence is a virtue and we ended up being the next to the last customers, and it was awesome! I think that was their last year too. Good to the last drop...of a cadaver right in front of you...ah, memories...

OCTOBER 1, 2010 4 PM - CRUSIN' FOR BURGERS...WHOOPS, MAKE THAT CRUSIN' FOR CIDER IN MY CHEVY!

The new TV ad for Chevy Detroit Dealers shows people crusin' around town, going to all the coolest places and stylin' big time. It looks really sharp, but what really caught our attention was when they showed ERWIN'S ORCHARDS in SOUTH LYON as one of the hip destinations to take your Chevy!

ERWIN'S Big Return to the haunt scene was last year after a 5 year hiatus. That made it a priority on our list, and they did not disappoint us. At first we were going to skip their Spooky Barn kiddies haunt for time's sake, but the operator insisted we check it out. SO GLAD SHE DID!

The Spooky Barn kiddies haunt at ERWIN'S was fabulous! In fact, the local school systems were so blown away by it that15,000 schoolchildren¬ went thru it last year. No actors, but lots of dazzling yet tasteful one-of-a-kind animatronics with the most vibrant colors you'll ever see at a haunt, hands down!

If you have kids, you can't miss with ERWIN'S. IMPORTANT NOTE: The Spooky Barn is NOT open during evenings this season, but lots of daytime tours are planned.

SEPTEMBER 29, 2010 - "What's Next" just updated!

SEPTEMBER 28, 2010 - THE HAUNT WE'RE GLAD IS CLOSED THIS YEAR

That sounds mean! But I think you'll agree with us in a moment.

Last year we had someone from Wayne County ask where to take a family with young kids for haunting. We recommended HAUNTED HILL ACRES in SUMPTER TWP. and they loved it! Unfortunately we didn't make it there ourselves in 2009, and we will not be going in 2010.

But that's ok, in fact it's way cool because they have a movie being shot on site there this year! "Nightmare on Haunted Hill" will bring a whole new audience to HAUNTED HILL ACRES...sounds like a sure winner!

And don't despair; they'll be baaaack in 2011! Some favorite memories of HAUNTED HILL ACRES include the first magic show we saw in the converted garage, the most convincing staged fight ever during a hayride, and awesome vintage analog electronic equipment with LOTS of dials and flashing lights!

SEPTEMBER 27, 2010 10 PM - Just added to USA Midwest: HAUNTED HIGH in OCONOMOWOC, WISCONSIN. It's only their 2nd year, but it looks like a monster! Just click here - www.hauntedhigh.info Thanks to informant VP in Madison for this one.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2010 11 AM - WILD WEEKEND / HOW DO YOU TOP THAT?!

We had an awesome opening weekend, culminating in ADRIAN last night with THE HAUNTING. We had some traffic difficulties too unfortunately last night that prevented us from making it to THE SCREAM MACHINE. Orange barrels and closed highway entrance ramps did us in, and even Mandy (our GPS girl) couldn't save us from those! Sigh...

THE HAUNTING has changed gears yet again, with a whole new approach that's devastatingly effective. More than once, you'll be scratching your head and wondering "How can that be?" But a master magician never reveals his secrets, so the mystery remains... (See Reviews 2010)

SEPTEMBER 26, 2010 2 PM - First partial reviews for 2010 now posted.

Our only regret from last night is that we couldn't make it to BLAKE'S in ARMADA too. We had such a blast at both haunts last night, and talked to so many people...both crew and haunters...that we just didn't have enough time. But BLAKE'S is on our "must see" list this year, and if it's anything like previous years it needs to be on your  "must see" list too!

SEPTEMBER 26, 2010 1 AM - LENOX TOWNSHIP ROCKS!

When we grew up in the Detroit area, we had no idea where Lenox Twp. was. "Isn't that somewhere in Sticksville where they have dirt roads?"

We know better now. It's just a hop, skip, and jump down smooth sailing I94 freeway...getting there is a breeze. This has become an annual "must see" destination, and once you try it you'll be hooked too!

There are 2 sets of giant searchlights to lure you from miles away, and they both lead to haunted bliss. What an awesome way to kick off the Haunt Season 2010! (Reviews coming very soon)

SEPTEMBER 25, 2010 6 PM - SPECIAL TRICKS UP MY SLEEVE, IF YOU PLEASE...

We're off and running to the east side tonight where we've seen some amazing tricks and outrageous large scale stunts many times! It all awaits the adventurous haunters out there at HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR & SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK both in LENOX TWP. (see reviews 2009)

If at all possible, we'll also hit BLAKES in ARMADA, also a first class operation with a new feature we can't wait to see called SPOOKYLAND. If you've never been to Blake's, you owe it to yourself to see and taste some delicious food and experiences here!

SEPTEMBER 25, 2010 1 AM - More great haunts not listed in the Haunt Guide or Fear Finder just added. Go to "not in FF/HG".

SEPTEMBER 24, 2010 - BIG THRILLS, LITTLE BILL

There's some opening weekend specials worth checking out, your chance to maximize your haunting dollar:

HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR in LENOX TWP. A single word can describe this place - WOW!!! (For even more words check Reviews for 2007, 2008, and 2009) This weekend it's $6 OFF with the Fear Finder coupon.

THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN is a first class Mega Haunt you'd expect to pay a pretty penny for. But this weekend only, you'll have an experience you'll remember long after the Halloween candy is gone for only $6.

THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR is also an awesome Mega Haunt that will satisfy your darkest urges and dazzle your eyes simultaneously. This weekend only $10.

NOVEMBER 19, 2010 11 PM - CHRISTMAS FAMILY FUN WITH A TWIST

GHOSTLY MANOR in SANDUSKY, OHIO is featuring some cool sounding Christmas entertainment this year. From their promo:

NEW for the 2010 Holiday Season, Ghostly Manor has added a Christmas Wonderland 3D Family Walk-Thru!

Families are invited to take a trip to the North Pole and visit Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and their holiday helpers from the comfort of our cozy indoor family entertainment complex.

We are also debuting the "Snow Ride," a brand new movie for the XD 4D Motion Theater with awesome thrills and chills for all of our visitors over 40" tall. (Think it sounds like fun? It is! Check out the video link for a snow and ice-filled sample.)

Of course, it wouldn't be Christmas without our light show! Our Fourth Annual Christmas Light Show will be shining bright for all of our friends every half hour from 6:00pm until midnight from November 26 to January 1, 2011. The light show is FREE for all. (Remember how awesome last year's show was?)

Make Ghostly Manor a part of your family's holiday tradition with family-friendly entertainment, amusements, and lots of good cheer!

NOVEMBER 18, 2010 3 PM - FIREWORKS AT 6 PM TONIGHT!

I just talked to the Wayne County Parks Office, and they said show time for the fireworks tonight is between 6:00 and 6:30 PM.

The webmaster is gone today, but hopefully tomorrow we'll have the email back. We're using a different computer now, and must install each item separately after extracting from a horribly messed up hard drive!

NOVEMBER 18, 2010 1 AM - We haven't got the email for the hotline working yet. Hopefully later today we'll have it back, thanks for your patience during this difficult time for us!

NOVEMBER 17, 2010 11 AM - HELP MR. WIZARD! / FIREWORKS TOMORROW NIGHT IN WESTLAND

FINALLY! We're back on the air after a worst case scenario computer crash that left us on the outside looking in. Incredibly frustrating to say the least...but now moving on...reviews will be posted and alphabetized by cities a.s.a.p.!

The WAYNE COUNTY LIGHT FEST kicks off tomorrow at 6 PM with a ceremony that climaxes with a PROFESSIONAL FIREWORKS SHOW! In the past 2 years after the fireworks they let everybody in FREE. Enter off off Merriman onto Hines Drive in Westland.

Last year at the start they had an awesome giant tunnel of LED lights with various chasing patterns. I couldn't help but think back at the cool black holes we saw this season...

The HUMDINGER ULTRA DAZZLE ULTIMATE BLACK HOLE was at TERRORTOWN in TOLEDO, OHIO area. They had SIX of them placed end-to-end for a total of 120 feet of spinning madness! And the way the paint fluoresces is unique and gives an eerie color unlike the original color of the paint! A WHOLE NEW BLACK HOLE EXPERIENCE.

Lots more coming soon...time to test the upload...crossing my fingers!

NOVEMBER 8, 2010 2 PM - ONE LAST HURRAH FOR THE SEASON

We're going haunting this coming Saturday, November 13th! And everybody is invited too, just show up around 8 PM at SINISTER GLOW HAUNTED HOUSE AND MINIATURE GOLF in SHELBY TWP. at 48886 Van Dyke, southeast corner of Van Dyke and 22 Mile Road.

Actors from THREE different haunts will appear,¬ and disappear!¬ And there's special discount pricing too. $8 for the haunt only, or make an evening of it for only $12 and also play the miniature golf¬ and¬ chow down on pizza! Sounds like a deal, and a good choice for the¬ PERFECT CHEAP DATE THAT THRILLS!

The haunt has been co-designed by a top talent in the field, and the glow-in-the-dark mini golf is bedecked in its Halloween Best including a 13 foot mural. This haunt is not a fly-by-night try for fast bucks, you can expect 6,000 square feet of world class haunting!

NOVEMBER 7, 2010 9:35 PM - The "AMERICAN DAD" plot tonight revolves around trying to make the scariest haunted house. It's hysterical!

NOVEMBER 7, 2010 9:30 PM - GOOD TIMES, BAD TIMES

Every year we have some fabulous success stories. Every year we have some horrible disappointments. We love seeing cool new haunts. We hate traffic jams and missing haunts. I'm going to make a list in a bit...

NOVEMBER 7, 2010 9 PM - HALLOWEEN EPISODE OF "FAMILY GUY" PLAYING NOW ON FOX TV - What a wild show! The talking dog is outrageous, and the teenage girl's Halloween costume is a "slutty cat". Ohhh boy....

Later we'll watch the new SIMPSON'S TREEHOUSE OF TERROR special that we taped earlier. The old Super Beta Hi-Fi deck still works great!

They just said "AMERICAN DAD" is a new Halloween episode after "FAMILY GUY." I think these shows were pre-empted by the baseball world series last week.

NOVEMBER 6, 2010 12:30 AM - THE MAN BEHIND THE PNEUMATIC POWER SYSTEM

I was going to call this THE MAN BEHIND THE MASK, but I changed it. Pneumatic power systems are very important to haunts. So the people that operate and maintain these systems are of prime importance to any haunt.

INSTANT PARTIES ARE THE BEST

Some of the best parties I ever went to were ones I found out about the same day of the party. And that's exactly what happened on Friday. It started innocently enough, with an email asking when the full review would appear for the HAUNTED HALLOWS in WESTLAND.

The writer explains they're having a worker's appreciation dinner that night, and it would be nice to be able to read the haunt's Zioptis review to everybody.

Next thing I know, they're inviting us to join them for dinner and to read the completed review to the crowd.  Unfortunately, my partner was working overtime at the pharmacy. Fortunately, I brought another awesome gregarious Zioptis creature with me.

She became the littlest actors' friend. She became the bartender. She became ship's counselor. She devoured spicy Italian sausage and cheesecake. She was in seventh heaven.

And so was everybody at this celebration of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Haunt Excellence! In a packed VFW hall in Westland, I got to meet Mike Meyers, the Tree Creature and yes, the PNEUMATIC POWER SYSTEM dude.

The vibe was incredible. Everybody there had given their all to make this Giant Haunt Machine work. Everybody there wanted to be there. Everybody there made us feel like family. The food and music were great too!

When they played "Monster Mash" by Bobby Boris Pickett, all the kids instinctively started dancing...they were so cute! And to think they weren't even born when that timeless song hit the scene...cool.

Our favorite little dancer was missing her two front teeth, and had a darling T-shirt that said "I (heart sign for "love") Vampires." Turns out she was one of the Powerhouse Impact Actors we encountered in the last room of the haunt.

My companion was quick to chat with her, asking all the perfect leading questions for such a sweet little girl. I just sat back, basking in the positive energy flowing between them. Girl-talk can take many interesting forms!

A MILLION THANKS TO THE COOL PEOPLE WITH HAUNTED HALLOWS!

NOVEMBER 5, 2010 12:30 PM - Coming later today: Full review of HAUNTED HALLOWS in WESTLAND.

NOVEMBER 4, 2010 2 AM - I HEARD ABOUT THIS ONE HAUNTED HOUSE WHERE...

Unspeakable things happen. It costs $100 to get in. You get $10 back for every room you make it thru. Three people went insane. Nobody has made it past the third room!  It's put on by a frat house that got banned and kicked out of State.

Have you ever heard stories like this? This year we heard more variations on the basic theme, 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 does not exist! Physically, that is. But in peoples' minds...ah, that's a whole other animal. There, it mutates itself and supposedly slays even the most rugged He-Man haunt fan that eats pit bulls for breakfast.

People eagerly strain to hear these stories usually told waiting in haunt lines, or at the hot-dog stand afterwards.

FESSING UP - GOOD FOR THE SOUL & MAKES GOOD READING

Straight from the horse's mouth, we have a confession to make: We've been known on occasion to pour gas on this fire, spreading amazing falsehoods that make for great storytelling! That's different than outright lying, right?

How's this for "storytellers' embellishment": 

The elusive haunt from Hell is put on by renegade Medical Students who got kicked out of U of M 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 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 won'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 25 feet square, and has 500 live rats. You have no shoes or socks, so they go to town on your feet and ankles. They still can't risk getting sued of course, so all the rats have been de-teethed so you won't actually get bit, just gummed!

By the time the story gets to this point, people want to know where this disgusting display is. But by then we've conveniently disappeared ourselves,¬ having done our "good deed for the day." They only get one per day, so we make sure it's a doozie!

It's become a proud tradition; this haunted house urban legend that continues to evolve with your kind help and our devious tactics. Shame on you! We're off the hook, only doing our job.

NOVEMBER 3, 2010 12 MIDNIGHT - Now posted for 2010: THE EXTREME SCREAM in WATERFORD TWP.

NOVEMBER 2, 2010 2:38 AM - (cue music)¬ DOO DOO DOO DOO, DOO DOO DOO DOO...

Right now I'm watching The Twilight Zone on WADL-TV, and it's the "Kick the Can" episode. The lead character is an old man that actually becomes a kid again, because he's willing to risk being silly while being judged by small minded people. Reminds me a little of the story I posted on Halloween.

Oh yeah...WADL-TV is where we saw some cool ads for the REALM OF DARKNESS, whose name kept popping up when we asked people what haunts they liked this season. One group of girls on a hayride was saying they got spooked out with strange feelings they couldn't quite identify while at the REALM.

This immediately alarmed me (I tried not to let them know) because this same kind of strange stuff happened at the previous location of the REALM. As you probably know, independent researchers came up with some wild findings. There are lots of genuine antiques among the props as I recall. Hmmm...what's actually going on here?

And there's even more, according to a certain email we received...but we're not saying anything more until we clear it with the operator!!! Not kidding. Ok, sometimes we go pretty heavy into the "tongue-in-cheek" thing or hyperboles, but this is¬ not¬ one of those times.

THE DAY AFTER HALLOWEEN 2010 I THINK - HELP MR. WIZARD / TELL ME IT'S NOT OVER

Whoa. Where am I? What time is it?

We got stuck in some kind of weird time machine last night - it was like H.G. Wells on steroids or something! We'll try to analyze this and report soon...

"Tell me it's not over!" Ok, IT'S NOT OVER. The haunt season I mean. Within the next 3 weeks, we'll be going to at least one more professional haunt in southeast Michigan! Just had a thought...anybody else out there like to go? Maybe we could work it out with the owner...shoot us an email if you're interested and we'll see what happens.

NOVEMBER 1, 2010 2 AM - URBAN LEGENDS 101.1 / EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE HAUNTED HOUSE THAT DOESN'T EXIST (coming Thursday, November 4th)

We had a FANTASTIC HALLOWEEN! We saw two black hole (vortex) innovations that are dynamite, and one special actor that's invisible!

Special thanks to the very kind staff at EREBUS - even if you're the biggest and baddest, you should still be kind! And we made a last minute decision to hit ARMADA and check out HAUNTED HOLLOWS, which is now in only their third year. To say they surprised us is putting it mildly, you'll see in the review coming soon.

Of course, we couldn't resist stopping by at BLAKE'S too since we were in ARMADA. Things were winding down at BLAKE'S and we missed the new show, but we still got our annual fix of the best nutty caramel apples in the world!

And try dipping the donuts in their apple butter - it's a taste sensation. Lucky thing for me we made it to BLAKE'S. If we missed out on those ultra apples, I would never hear the end of it!

We're always trying to check out new haunts, and we found a doozie in ROCHESTER HILLS with DEMENTIA AT HAMPTON. You'll be hearing more about this hot new item!

OCTOBER 31, 2010 2 AM - HAPPY HALLOWEEN! / GRAND RAPIDS, WHAT A GAS!

Get the Snickers bars ready! Trick-or-Treaters will be out in full force tonight, are you ready?

GRAND RAPIDS ROCKS BIG TIME! Details coming soon, but first here's an encore presentation of a short story I wrote last year after seeing the kids in my neighborhood decked out in their Halloween Best! Ah, memories...

TO FEEL LIKE A KID AGAIN

What three simple words conjure up imagery of childlike innocence and magic feelings of role-playing aspiration? That's easy. "Trick or Treat!" Ah, those magic words...do they still echo in your mind? I hope so.

In childhood we learned how make-believe and fantasy role-playing could enrich our lives largely thru Halloween. And it even tasted good!

My brothers and I used pillow cases on our way to collect our just rewards of laughter and sugar based thrills. Some naughty kids switched costumes and hit the same houses again for extra candy. But we never tried it, we couldn't risk Santa punishing us come Christmas time. He's always watching, you know.

We had a neighborhood costume contest each year. All the kids marched down the block in hopes of winning even more candy and bragging rights that lasted much longer than the Snickers and Baby Ruth bars.

I'm the youngest of four boys, and one year my oldest brother took first place in the contest with his homemade robot get-up. It was made from cardboard boxes, wire, switches, a battery, and light bulbs he flashed as fast as he could.

That was the only time I remember being allowed to tag along with him for Halloween. In fact, all four of us proudly marched in that Halloween parade as if to the rhythm of songs children sing in their hearts when happy and free from cares. Ignorance is bliss.

But today's world doesn't seem so care free, and is much crueler than when we waited for the next Halloween adventure. We learned that life doesn't care about your plans. We learned life doesn't care about your dreams. And worst of all, we learned life isn't fair. The only promise of childhood is that it will end.

It just seems too far away sometimes... but really it's all a state-of-mind. In a world where the only constant is change, I can still experience that same joy and once again hear those same songs in the hearts of the kids on the sidewalks every October 31st.

So if some dreary day before next October you feel down knowing that society and life don't care, just remember that special day will come again. You'll role-play and fantasize without shame and relive childlike innocence. Or dress up like a tramp and get away with it, maybe even be commended and rewarded!

Whatever your little heart desires is ok! And you won't need ruby red slippers or to click your heels together three times. All you need is to keep in your heart and soul the spirit of those three magic, timeless words: "Trick or Treat!"

AND YOU'LL FEEL LIKE A KID AGAIN.

 

 

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