JANUARY 29, 2023 SUNDAY 2 PM - ATLAS SHRUGGED - PART 3
Imagine this: You’re on a jet flying to DETROIT METRO AIRPORT, and you see the most amazing thing below
THE BIGGEST BADDEST HAUNT IN THE WORLD
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS0sV7kj-8E&t=72s 2012 RGB DEMO
JANUARY 22, 2023 SUNDAY 1 PM - AND THE COW JUMPED OVER THE MOON
HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR! Oh boy, break out the champagne & mid-grade urinal cakes...it’s time to celebrate.
The dancing & prancing will go all night, or until the cows come home and/or the street lights come on
HEY DIDDLE DIDDLE THE CAT IN THE FIDDLE
CAT SCRATCH FEVER / COSMIC BLOWOUT
Just one requirement, ‘ya gotta be cool with cats.
JANUARY 21, 2023 SATURDAY 4 PM - ATLAS SHRUGGED
OCTOBER 30, 2022 SUNDAY 9 AM - DATA DUMP - WHERE DO ALL THE STORIES GO?
I just ran out of space again on this, the lengthy MAIN PAGE of our trusty little OLD SCHOOL WEBSITE. FYI, when that happens I transfer a chunk of articles from the bottom of the page into the latest of the “Archives” on the top of the page. So the bottom goes to the top, got it?! Also, a line of asterisks appears between each new group of transferred articles.
Right now it’s up to 39 Archives, and thank goodness I learned how to add more before our beloved WEBMASTER BILLY G died a horrible Covid death. R.I.P. dear friend & keyboard wizard/ bandmate.
OCTOBER 30, 2022 SUNDAY 8 AM - CALL OF THE WILD
I FEEL THE NEED...to be where a PIG FARM was!
Not kidding, DARKSYDE ACRES in JONESVILLE used to be a pig farm. All the buildings are still in place. Except the pigs are gone, and a myriad of monsters and a masterpiece of a queue line will entertain you while you wait to enter this FABULOUS MULTI-ATTRACTION HAUNT.
RATS! DARKSYDE ACRES is now closed for the season. Time for PLAN B.
OCTOBER 30, 2022 SUNDAY 7 AM - SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER
WOW...LOCHAVEN HAUNTED HOUSE in WATERFORD is AMAZING! And YES, it is at a residence so be prepared to parallel park as there is no parking lot.
This is a yard haunt that does NOT look like a yard haunt!
They’ve been doing this for over 20 years, why did it take us so long to find this gem?
2 standout faves are a clever large SKELETON CLOCK and a GIGANTIC “FIRE BREATHING” DRAGON. This is TOP LEVEL PROPS folks, the kind you’d expect to see at like TRANSCON or SCARE FACTORY and such. But lot’s of what we saw looked like custom made props too, just didn’t get to ask them.
LOCHAVEN is basically two parts, a presentation then a self-guided tour. First is the queue line to enter the “haunted house” which has great sound/music, dark passageways and such. Donations are gladly accepted, and we were glad to do so!
***SIDEBAR*** The only other time we’ve seen such an elaborate pathway at a yard haunt was at DUNCAN STREET TERROR in TAYLOR many moons ago.
The self-guided tour has multiple PRIMO PHOTO OPPS to pose in. The amazing level of spooky artistry is a JOY TO BEHOLD!
OCTOBER 30, 2022 SUNDAY 12 MIDNIGHT - IT’S DEVIL’S NIGHT IN DETROIT!
OCTOBER 29, 2022 SATURDAY 5 PM - GOOD WEATHER
The weather looks great for great forest haunts like TERRORFIED FOREST in PINCKNEY who won a ZIOPTIS AWARD last year! https://www.terrorfiedforest.com/
This place is amazing! Say hi to RED REX there, but don’t give her a chance to confirm unproved claims that she is a BLOOD DRINKER! Her makeup will BLOW YOU AWAY!
OCTOBER 29, 2022 SATURDAY 4 PM - AND THE HITS JUST KEEP COMING
Holy moly! I seldom pay attention to it, but I just checked the hit list with our web host and was pleasantly surprised to see just under 54,000 hits for the last period. Various hit lists can be found under Archives 33: http://www.zioptis.com/html/archive_33.shtml
OCTOBER 29, 2022 SATURDAY 3 PM - THE ORIGINAL HEAVY METAL HORROR SHOW
HEAVY METAL ROCK MUSIC AND HAUNTING go together like cheese & crackers.
And some people say that DETROIT IS THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL CAPITAL OF THE WORLD, and point to songs like “Detroit, Rock City” by KISS as evidence.
Also, some people say that ROCK IN THE 80s was the hardest driving music ever pointing to bands like BADLANDS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7U124rg_L-M&t=456s
So when you put it all together, it’s no surprise that DETROIT spawned an excellent rock band called...drum roll...HALLOWEEN!
This band played at THE RITZ in ROSEVILLE which I’m sure some of you know nothing about, and were featured on the radio station WLLZ - DETROIT’S WHEELS which you same people won’t know about.
But many others of you do remember this era. See if you remember this hot tune from HALLOWEEN - THE BAND FROM DETROIT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDMu1Wiq8_k&list=OLAK5uy_kayGd1qZzVMgP_dA6EOYJVD6U6-MChX44&index=7
A close friend of ours JT, who has been on many haunt journeys with us, has a WILD TRUE STORY about the band HALLOWEEN FROM DETROIT.
She happened to have moved to a house very close to where the band lived. One day, the garage was open and she was alarmed to see lots of coffins!
Being an inquisitive youngster, she
demanded answers politely asked what the H E DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS is going on? She was relieved to find that these were just STAGE PROPS for the band. Whew! Here’s one more lilting tune from Halloween the band from Detroit aptly named “TRICK OR TREAT” AND GOTTA LOVE THE DOUBLE BASS DRUM PARTS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xul-7FsFOQk
OCTOBER 29, 2022 SATURDAY 2:30 PM - GOOD NEIGHBORS
Good haunters make good neighbors for the most part.
So what if you had a neighbor who was SO INTO HALLOWEEN that they came up with this? https://www.facebook.com/LochavenHauntedHalloweenHouse/
This appears to be a haunt in a residential area. But there’s no phone # listed so we can’t call them as we usually do before visiting a haunt.
This has been on our WISH LIST which is found on the What’s next tab: http://www.zioptis.com/html/what_s_next.shtml
OCTOBER 29, 2022 SATURDAY 2 PM - LUCK OF THE IRISH
Halloween has become largely an AMERICAN PHENOMENON, but where did it start?
What if I told you it was IRELAND?
Would you say that’s just FAKE NEWS? Let’s ask FOX NEWS! haha
OCTOBER 29, 2022 SATURDAY 6 AM - DOUBLE DOSE OF HAUNTED EXCELLENCE
What a FABULOUS FRIDAY NIGHT we had!
First up was an ENCORE VISIT to what many are saying is the HOTTEST HAUNT IN DETROIT, HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION. Thousands upon thousands have been flocking to HUSH, and for good reason.
Right from the get-go, we saw new things like a FABULOUS DANCING DEVIL GIRL at the first bar. Her red vixen outfit was exquisite, yet not lewd.
YES this place is wild and spooky, but in a VERY HIGH CLASS WAY. It’s a “best of both worlds” scenario, and a refreshing breath of fresh air.
Our “newbie” friend was stunned, having never experienced anything like the MYSTICAL MASTERPIECE that is HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION!
Next up was NIGHT TERROR AT WIARD’S in YPSILANTI, which was also totally jammin’... figuratively AND literally. As soon as we parked, we heard an incredibly talented female singer blasting on the KARAOKE PA. Can’t remember the song now, but it sounded like the original!
I’M BAD, I’M NATIONWIDE
No, not the ZZ TOP song...but it’s a cool song so here it is anyway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfI72LdtKJc
It’s NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S, who was visited yesterday by ESPN to make a short video featuring WIARD’S to be shown during the upcoming football game between the UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN & MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY.
This is probably the most highly hyped sporting event this weekend, with viewership likely in the millions. Gametime TONIGHT is 7:30 PM, no word as to when the WIARD’S short will play.
Regardless of being on NATIONAL TV, NIGHT TERRORS already seems to have NATIONWIDE FAME. In the parking lot of Wiards, we saw a car from TEXAS. And when we left, a light blue Chevy pickup truck from CALIFORNIA was in front of us.
People are literally coming from all over the USA to experience the WORLD CLASS HAUNT that NIGHT TERRORS is!
In this way, WIARD’S can be compared to other local treasures such as THE HENRY FORD aka GREENFIELD VILLAGE & HENRY FORD MUSEUM in DEARBORN.
NIGHT TERRORS also blew us away with a highly dynamic actor near the entrance, a strolling SKY HIGH ACTOR BEDAZZLED IN LED LIGHTS. This highly unusual performer actually assisted the crowd in a way we’ve never seen before. BRILLIANT!
The only disappointment of the evening was an hour delay in getting started. I 96 East was stop-and-go and then totally CLOSED as all were forced to exit on Spencer Road in Brighton.
Our apologies to ELOISE ASYLUM and THE SCREAM MACHINE for missing them!
OCTOBER 28, 2022 FRIDAY 5:45 PM - VIRAL PUMPKIN CARVING HACK: DOES IT WORK?
That’s the question just asked by WDIV-TV CHANNEL 4 in DETROIT on local news. They also showed the AMAZING TRIPLE YARD HAUNT in DEARBORN at GRINDLEY PARK (which they mispronounced) & PENN.
I couldn’t find a link to this, but they’ll probably repeat it later.
OCTOBER 28, 2022 FRIDAY 5 PM - MOTHER NATURE SAYS
The weather tonight is perfect for hayrides!
BLAKE’S in ARMADA has always been WORLD CLASS and is known for a great hayride and lots more. Sadly, we missed them last year.
SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP. has always had a FABULOUS HAYRIDE and so much more your head will spin!
NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S in YPSILANTI features the legendary HAYRIDE OF THE LOST as well as many other attractions & tasty cider, donuts and such in the store. Try dipping a donut in APPLE BUTTER, YUM!
SLAUGHTERHOUSE in FOWLERVILLE has a great hayride too, which sadly wasn’t yet open when we visited them earlier this season.
ROTTEN HAYRIDE at ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY is a FABULOUS 2nd year HAYRIDE, with 14 new scenes since last year. We’ve already been here this season, and enthusiastically suggest you do too. They have an other worldly LASER SKY SHOW IN TALL TREES that will knock your socks off! And of course, ROTTEN MANOR & ROTTEN FOREST are awesome too. ROTTEN MANOR is getting tons of WORD ON THE STREET CRED. KUDOS to Walli & crew!!!
OCTOBER 28, 2022 FRIDAY 4 PM - RAH RAH SIS BOOM BAH!
As you may know, there’s a big football game tomorrow with MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY taking on the UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN. The hype about this has been OFF THE HOOK!
Honestly, we’re much more into tennis when it comes to sporting events. But this time we’re interested in the football game.
But it’s only because ESPN will be featuring a short piece about the legendary NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S during the football game, to be filmed only a few hours from now.
As we just said, AMERICA IS CRAZY FOR HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS and this should be a fabulous showcase for one of Michigan’s Legendary Haunts! https://www.hauntedhousemichigan.com/
OCTOBER 28, 2022 FRIDAY 3 PM - A DOSE OF SUNSHINE
From sea to shining sea, AMERICA IS CRAZY FOR HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS!
Here’s another VIDEO BLOGGER with a cool Youtube TV Channel, this time from FLORIDA: https://www.youtube.com/c/TampaJay
OCTOBER 28, 2022 FRIDAY 1 PM - SHHHH, DON’T TELL ANYONE!
Earlier, we spoke of weary travelers on quests for HAUNTED EXCELLENCE.
My partner lives a good distance away from Detroit, and sometimes she feels tired on the trip back from haunting.
But after our amazing night at HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND, she said her car seemed to be floating and what’s more she described it as...
Her pulse pounding and head spinning in a EUPHORIC RUSH, as if a spell had been cast upon her by THE BEAST KNOWN AS “HUSH”!
Each season a certain haunt seems to beckon us to return, pulling us back like a magnet. Although the season isn’t over yet, so far it looks like HUSH is that haunt! (Okay, you caught us...part of the craving is to quench our thirst again with the MAGIC POTIONS we know lie behind the walls of the 3 SECRET BARS!)
And HOORAY our “newbie” pal will be with us tonight. There’s no way we could finish the season without showing him what we experienced at HUSH. Try as we might, it was impossible to take it all in! Many things we had never seen before.
Everything about HUSH screams HIGH CLASS HAUNTING. Even the thick plastic color-printed badges & lanyards are the best we’ve ever seen.
OCTOBER 28, 2022 FRIDAY 12:30 AM - HOLY TOLEDO!
For many moons we were MAGNETICALLY DRAWN to TERRORTOWN in TOLEDO, OHIO. (Okay, it was actually Maumee bordering Toledo) This place was Grandfathered in as a “FUN HOUSE” so they could basically do anything they wanted. They took great advantage of this, getting away with stuff other haunt operators could only dream of! (see various old reviews)
TERRORTOWN made their own GIANT ANIMATRONIC MONSTERS, and pioneered a haunt prop exchange with other haunts in other states including New York.
TERRORTOWN operator MR eventually left, to work with ROB ZOMBIE creating haunts for him.
So we were on the prowl for another TOLEDO HAUNT, and last year we FOUND A DANDY of an excellent haunt very close to TOLEDO. It’s DISTRACTED HAUNTED HOUSE in BOWLING GREEN, OHIO. https://feardistracted.com/
But now we want another haunt near Toledo...let’s ask MR. GOOGLE...here we go it’s FIELD OF FEAR in MONCLOVA, OHIO. Looks cool! Where’s the GPS unit? http://fieldoffear.com/
OCTOBER 28, 2022 FRIDAY 12 MIDNIGHT - MEET ME IN ST. LOUIE, LOUIE, MEET ME AT THE FAIR
No, not the old song.
It’s CREEPYWORLD HAUNTED HOUSE in ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, and here’s a fun video with their new show by the fine folks at THE GRIMM LIFE COLLECTIVE. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUDIeZ1TS7k
GRIMM LIFE is a video blog Youtube TV channel with lots of excellent videos from haunts including THE DENT SCHOOLHOUSE in CINCINNATI, OHIO and FACTORY OF TERROR in CANTON, OHIO. https://www.youtube.com/grimmlifecollective
OCTOBER 27, 2022 THURSDAY 10 PM - WHEN ETHICS TRUMP FAST & EASY CASH / HOW NOT TO CREATE A DISASTROUS FLASH-IN-THE-PAN HAUNT
Whoopsie, just the title says enough...we’re gonna leave this hot potato alone. Never mind! Pay no attention to the man behind the keyboard. Thank you! (;
OCTOBER 27, 2022 THURSDAY 9 PM - MORE GRINDLEY PARK MEDIA COVERAGE
We just found another more recent news item about the STACHURSKI FAMILY YARD HAUNT: https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/support-shelter-animals-when-you-check-out-this-spooky-dearborn-halloween-display
And how awesome, they’re animal lovers like us!
OCTOBER 27, 2022 THURSDAY 7 PM - THE MISSING PIECE
Every year, we can’t help but think we’re missing something really important that we could’ve checked out.
CALL OF THE BUCKEYE
It’s thinking like that which last year sent us to GHOSTLY MANOR in SANDUSKY, OHIO and to DISTRACTED HAUNTED HOUSE in BOWLING GREEN, OHIO.
It was a great trip, and we’d do it again in a second. And if you’ve never been to HAUNTED HYDRO in FREMONT, OHIO CRAZY BOB awaits! https://thehauntedhydro.com/
We’ve always tried to take at least one long road trip per season, like to THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS or NILES SCREAM PARK in NILES.
But the one that’s bugging us right now...it’s a young new haunt we’re anxious to see called HINTERLAND in ASHLEY, MICHIGAN. Even better, TERROR ON 27 is also in ASHLEY and they have always delivered the goods!
And then there’s LOCHAVEN HAUNTED HOUSE in WATERFORD which we’ve never been to. Also, LOCHAVEN is close to FULL MOON MANOR AT BONADEO FARMS in HIGHLAND TWP. which we have been to but are anxious to see again.
OCTOBER 27, 2022 THURSDAY 3 AM - FOX NEWS JUMPS ON BOARD CRAZY TRAIN
We got a report that the MASSIVE YARD HAUNT on GRINDLEY PARK was featured on FOX TV NEWS DETROIT: https://www.fox2detroit.com/video/861251
This article is actually from 2020 and only features 1 of the 3 houses involved in this for 2022.
It also says over 1,000 kids went in 2019. Let’s hear it for getting infected with the SPOOKY SPIRIT!
This warms our heart, and is reminiscent of when we also had a massive yard haunt many moons ago.
OCTOBER 26, 2022 WEDNESDAY 9 PM - YARD HAUNTS A GO-GO
Sure enough, GRINDLEY PARK & PENN in DEARBORN\ is a TRIPLE TERROR with 3 houses decorated in fabulous fashion! Thank you for the info, DL in DEARBORN.
Strolling curiosity seekers were in abundance, and YES we got some cool pictures. We’ll probably start a new album for YARD HAUNTS separate from the existing album for HAUNTED ATTRACTION STUFF: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/albums/72157650409830035
OCTOBER 26, 2022 WEDNESDAY 6 PM - TINKER BELLA TO THE RESCUE
What in the world is this about? Inquiring minds want to know! (;
OCTOBER 26, 2022 WEDNESDAY 2 PM - THE HOME STRETCH
We’re headed for the finish line, but there’s still lots of great haunting to do!
People are wildly enthusiastic, and as a result many AMAZING YARD HAUNTS are popping up like never before.
It’s a friendly competition, and the GRAND DADDY OF ALL YARD HAUNTS has got to be the legendary TILLSON STREET in ROMEO.
That said, DETROIT holds its’ own in the YARD HAUNT SCENE.
Speaking of which, we just got a message from DL from Dearborn. She says: “...on Grindley Park (Street in Dearborn Heights) there’s one way cool block where they went krazy with flipped out spooky stuff...one house looks like it’s on fire!”
Oh really? Hmmm, verrry interesting... (;
OCTOBER 25, 2022 TUESDAY 10 PM - LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE HOME TEAM!
THE TODAY SHOW on NBC-TV is running a contest for the SPOOKIEST HOUSE IN AMERICA, which we recently covered. Nominations are still being accepted: https://www.today.com/home/show-us-halloween-decorated-houses-featured-today-rcna53040
TILLSON STREET seems like a shoe-in, let’s get busy & click on the above link!
OCTOBER 25, 2022 TUESDAY 9 PM - LEMMINGS TO THE SEA, LEMMINGS TO THE SEA, MARCHING IN ROWS OF THREE BY THREE
(Voice Over with Don LaFontaine voice, R.I.P. SAG/AFTRA Brother):
“IN A WORLD full of SCIENCE FICTION MUMBO JUMBO and SO MANY CANDY CHOICES your head will spin, you can count on the TRUSTY ZIOPTIS FOUNDATION to guide you to CONFECTIONARY EXCELLENCE. DON’T BE A ZERO, BE A HERO!”
While the masses line up like lemmings to make ill-advised inferior candy choices, you can emerge victorious by following our EXPERT RECOMMENDATIONS.
According to RetailMeNot, the top Halloween candy choices are: 1) REESE’S PEANUT BUTTER CUPS, 2) KIT-KAT, 3) SNICKER’S, 4) HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE, 5) M & M’s, 6) CANDY CORN, 7) SKITTLES, 8) STARBURST, 9) TWIZZLERS
This is a critically important decision, so let’s consider alternative opinions from another top expert in the field. DISCLAIMER: These are not “Alternative Facts” which in itself is an oxymoron!
Here’s what our friends at CANDYSTORE.COM say are the TOP 3 choices: 1) REESE’S PEANUT BUTTER CUPS, 2) M & M’s, 3) SNICKER’S
CANDYSTORE also rates the worst choices: 1) CIRCUS PEANUTS, 2) CANDY CORN, 3) PEANUT BUTTER KISSES, 4) NECCO WAFERS, 5) WAX COLA BOTTLES, 6) SMARTIES, 7) MARY JANES, 8) TOOTSIE ROLLS, 9) LICORICE, 10) GOOD & PLENTY
Hmmm, the fact that CANDY CORN made both a “BEST” AND “WORST” rating shows these lists are subjective and we have an Alternative
There’s another primo product by Reese’s not listed, the fabulous NUTRAGEOUS bar. It’s sort of a blend of PEANUT BUTTER CUPS & SNICKER’S BARS. We’ve had great success with these in past years when we put on MASSIVE YARD HAUNTS. (To read more about that, go to “News” and scroll down to SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 MONDAY 6 PM - NOTHING BUT THE FACTS, MA’AM)
Unfortunately, NUTRAGEOUS bars have been hard to find but you can look here to find this highly under appreciated masterpiece of confectionary excellence: https://www.hersheyland.com/home/where-to-buy.html?ps-sku=00034000000050
And if you’re not familiar with the GOOEY GOONESS that is NUTRAGEOUS bars, lookie here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtJCChdJ2WE&t=1s
OCTOBER 25, 2022 TUESDAY 8 PM - MORE MEDIA BLITZ
Local Detroit TV is GAGA over Halloween! https://www.clickondetroit.com/topic/Halloween/?utm_content=29480532&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campai gn=Endplay&utm_term=wdiv_morningreport
OCTOBER 25, 2022 TUESDAY 7 PM - THE BEST HAMBURGER IN THE WORLD
Excellent haunting can be even more enjoyable with excellent cuisine.
A few standout memories include THE PUMPKIN FACTORY in BELLEVILLE and THE BONEYARD in STOCKBRIDGE, both of whom are sadly gone. (THE PUMPKIN FACTORY is still in business, but not for haunting.)
THE PUMPKIN FACTORY made their own restaurant quality POLISH FOOD, and THE BONEYARD hired a local BBQ catering company.
And one year we whimsically ran a hotdog contest in which my partner was seeking the ULTIMATE WEINER... (;
But this year my older brother John told me, just today, about something we neglected to tell you about AZRA:
There’s a PURPLE FOOD TRUCK at AZRA that John made a special trip to just to get one of their PROPRIETARY RECIPE BURGERS. Basically, they have made-to-order burgers stuffed with cheese and other goodies.
We had already eaten when we went to AZRA, so we didn’t actually try it. But my brother John said, and this is an exact quote: “It’s the BEST BURGER IN THE WORLD!” https://www.yelp.com/biz/iroc-it-all-southfield
OCTOBER 25, 2022 TUESDAY 5 PM - IN SEARCH OF THE GREAT PUMPKIN
We’ve seen some truly amazing things this season! For that, we are thankful.
Last weekend was incredible, and we’ve already done some well deserved gushing...but now we need to do some more!
PRIMO HAUNTS GAGS can range from subtle to jaw dropping, and we love them both. One awesome subtle gag we’ll never forget was at GHOSTLY MANOR in SANDUSKY, OHIO.
They called it the “WHISPER ROOM,” and it was a MASTERPIECE OF CONFUSION!
WHEN LESS IS MORE
In a dim and very quiet room, you can’t seem to find your way through. Finally, an anxious whispering voice says “This way, hurry!” as a light identifies the location of the sound.
But then the light goes out, and on the opposite side of the room another light come on with a new voice beckoning you to follow over here or “YOU’LL BE SORRRY!”
This cat-and-mouse back & forth repeats with ever building intense taunting from 8 distinctly different locations! You can’t tell where to go, even as you’re increasingly being rushed to do so.
Behind the scenes is an 8 channel tape recorder (like the TASCAM DA38 we use ourselves in a home studio). All 8 outputs are connected to separate CROWN power amplifiers and JBL speakers that are placed throughout the room mostly in the ceiling.
A custom recording plays over-and-over as each new group enters the room.
Okay, now lets flip the coin and talk about the MOST JAW DROPPING PRIMO GAG we’ve seen so far this season.
Hands down, it was at AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HAUNTED HOUSE in MADISON HEIGHTS. AZRA is an award winning haunt well known for being WILD & CRAZY! They have a SMALL ARMY OF ACTORS, which alone is a HERCULEAN FEAT this season.
***SIDEBAR***Many haunts have suffered reduced staffing levels this season, with widespread after effects from Covid and other exasperating circumstances beyond their control. For example, PHRYTE VILLAGE in LAKE ORION was not able to open this year due to lack of actors. BOO HOO!
Back to the JAW DROPPING GAG at AZRA...
We’re not about the SPILL THE BEANS and tell what it is, or even which room contains this GUARANTEED WOW.
But we will give you 2 hints: 1) There’s a clue somewhere in this article. 2) We’ve only seen this gag once before, in a collective 60+ years of haunting experience! It was at THE REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC, when they were at a former Farmer Jack Super Store location.
OCTOBER 24, 2022 MONDAY 4 PM - THE SEVEN DAY ITCH
It’s exactly one week away to the big day, HALLOWEEN!
So many preparations to make and decisions to make about candy, costumes and such.
There are literally thousands...wait a sec I’m a MATH DUMMY it could be MILLIONS of possible permutations.
But the kids don’t care about permutations or math theory. What they DO care about is THE CANDY!
But what’s THE BEST CANDY? And conversely, what’s THE WORST CANDY?
Stand by my little monkeys, we’ll soon reveal the answers so you don’t accidentally COMMIT CANDY HARI-KARI!
OCTOBER 24, 2022 MONDAY 3 PM - NEW MASK TECH
Here’s a cool looking LED HALLOWEEN MASK: https://www.auldea.com/products/led-mask?st=&utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=referral&tblci=GiAQQujeLF5AGMwIwqV 8paz-K6hGYOlsRvSKQ7XbnT8INSCU_Vko9oCT257cm90N#tblciGiAQQujeLF5AGMwIwq V8paz-K6hGYOlsRvSKQ7XbnT8INSCU_Vko9oCT257cm90N
And here’s a selection of EPIC FAMILY COSTUMES from THE TODAY SHOW on NBC-TV: https://www.today.com/parents/cute/today-fans-share-photos-halloween-family-costumes-rcna50743
OCTOBER 24, 2022 MONDAY 2 PM - GOING ALL OUT
People are obsessed with Halloween, millions of them! But we’d say that’s a good thing. Every time we see corn stalks and spooky stuff galore at a house in the hood, it brings that warm fuzzy feeling.
GOING FOR THE ONE
No, not the song by YES...but it’s a cool tune so here it is anyway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-DEnI6RLwM (R.I.P. drummer brother ALAN WHITE)
We’re talking about the quest to make the ULTIMATE YARD HAUNT.
THE TODAY SHOW on NBC-TV is running to contest to find THE SPOOKIEST HOUSE IN THE USA.
The first house featured this morning was a PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN theme, and it looks amazing. https://www.today.com/video/new-york-man-builds-pirate-ship-in-front-yard-for-halloween-151347269972
But we were thinking one of the displays from TILLSON STREET in ROMEO could be featured in this contest too. We finally checked this out last year after hearing so much about it, and YES it’s awesome! http://www.terrorontillson.com/ https://www.michigan.org/article/trip-idea/inside-look-terror-tillson-pure-michigan-halloween-experience
OCTOBER 24, 2022 MONDAY 12 MIDNIGHT - THAT OLE’ VOODOO THAT YOU DO SO WELL
He locked eyes with us. We were transfixed.
The creator of HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION was standing right in front of us explaining the impossible and how he made it happen anyway ...this guy is some kind of MADMAN GENIUS to put all this together!
Everything our INSIDE INFORMANT told us checked out in spades.
He told his tale. We said ‘YA GOTTA BE CRAZY!!!, but he just snickered and said “That’s exactly why I do it.” And do it he does, check it out:
STRAIGHT FROM VEGAS & DOWN THE HATCH
The new drinks at the 3 SECRET BARS are exquisitely delicious, developed by Trained Professional’s. Don’t try this at home, kids! haha Just kidding, here’s the real deal: HUSH operator CB was in LAS VEGAS where he discovered some amazing ultra tasty drinks, and got the recipes of these SURE WINNERS. We tried them all, and highly suggest you do too!
One of them actually CHANGES FLAVORS! You take a sip, then lick a special preparation on the rim of the glass and sip again. PRESTO CHANGO! We had no idea a MAGICALLY CHANGING BEVERAGE existed... and how comfy the bar has padded chairs, love seats and such too.
A CHANGE OF VENUE WITHOUT THE CHANGE OF VENUE
This is brilliant. Wait a second...make that THIS IS GENIUS.
Mixing up a haunt with various style pubs breaks up the journey in such a MAGICAL & DELICIOUS way!
Monster interaction and scares are spot on throughout.
The shared experience of sipping & sharing amazing beverages is so pleasant on comfy couches and chairs, then you’re off to conquer the next part of the journey...how fabulous!
We’ve never seen a haunt go so far to accommodate haunters.
Haunters have spent good money, been on their feet for awhile...I mean LIKE THREE THOUSAND people went through last night alone! The place is totally jammin’ but totally chill too with ultra tasty beverages while you relax in the lounge before GETTING CRAZY AGAIN.
One lounge had a primo full size CONGA DRUM, just begging me to play some PARADIDDLE DITTIES. I was glad to oblige, what fun! My partner recorded it.
So after you’re rested up, you continue the adventure. This is an AMAZING WONDERLAND that left us with an elated feeling. The ATTENTION TO DETAIL is off the hook!
My partner said she hasn’t felt this way after leaving a haunt since we went to the REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC or HAUNTED PRISON EXPERIENCE at MANSFIELD REFORMATORY in OHIO when HAUNTED X did the show years ago. (SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION movie was filmed there) http://www.zioptis.com/html/2015_b.shtml
HOLLYWOOD SLICK, DETROIT RAW
As always, the HUSH makeup and costumes were HOLLYWOOD GRADE and we got lots of fabulous pics to be released later. However, you can see previous pics now of HUSH and others here on this ZIOPTIS PHOTOSTREAM album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/albums/72157650409830035
So if you’re a weary traveler on a quest to partake in the TASTIEST DRINKS EVER at a WORLD CLASS HAUNT, set thy GPS UNIT to 37550 CHERRY HILL in WESTLAND.
Or if you’re a weary traveler on a quest to experience a WORLD CLASS HAUNT and you’re under 21 or don’t drink, still set thy GPS UNIT to 37550 CHERRY HILL in WESTLAND.
Our apologies to THE SCREAM MACHINE and ELOISE ASYLUM for missing them last night.
We had such a blast at HUSH that we just had to go back in after going through to talk more with CB and thank him for his kind hospitality, and congratulate him on due diligence in starting small and eventually creating SUCH A MASTERPIECE that is HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION! www.hushdetroit.com
JANUARY 14, 2023 SATURDAY 3 PM - AND THE WORLD KEEPS TURNING
We made it through FRIDAY THE 13th with no bad luck
JANUARY 14, 2023 SATURDAY 3 PM - LIQUID HAPPINESS
YUM! Sipping on some pumpkin spice coffee with cream & a splash of cinnamon. *
PUMPKIN SPICE MEMORIES
There’s a SPEEDWAY gas station off of the PINCKNEY D-19 exit from I-96 that has the best pumpkin spice coffee. It’s practically spitting distance from a PARK ‘N’ RIDE where we often meet during haunt season.
Haunting requires proper sustenance such as Rueben Sandwiches, apples and of course caffeine-based beverages
JANUARY 13, 2023 FRIDAY 5 PM - NOW PLAYING ON COMET TV, Channel 50.2 in Detroit
FRIDAY THE 13th THE SERIES: “HELLOWE’EN: Uncle Lewis’ corpse crashes the Halloween party for a second chance in life.”
Sounds like fun! It’s a marathon of FRIDAY THE 13th THE SERIES in honor of today’s date.
JANUARY 13, 2023 FRIDAY 2 PM - SPECIAL COUNSEL APPOINTED IN ZIOPTIS MATTER
CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS that pre-date the ZIOPTIS HAUNTED HOUSE HOTLINE have just been found in an unauthorized fish processing facility.
These previously unreleased original manuscripts have nothing to do with haunted attractions per se, and are exceptionally silly according to a source who would speak only under condition of anonymity.
Coming soon pending review by legal staff.
Okay, the lawyers said not to do this. But we’re going to anyway.
A ZIOPTIS WAY-BACK MACHINE WORLD PREMIERE EVENT!
Just ran across an old ZIOPTIS DIAL-A-TRIP EPISODE SCRIPT, dated 3/3/96. The phone service was in full swing, and the offshoot HAUNTED HOUSE HOTLINE was a couple years away.
As usual, the episode is wacky and plays heavily on the recurring needless fish references that eventually led to the creation of CANDY FISHALOT. *
This episode was never recorded, so even if you used to call (313) 274-1111 you never heard this CRAZY CONVOLUTED RIDICULOUSNESS:
INKA-DINKA DOO 3/3/96
4 PART HARMONY JINGLE - Inka dinko doo, I’m coming after you. Inka dinka FISH on the barbecue
so we’re going to ignore them and go out on a limb here
* = Amazing artist BRIAN BROSNAHAN is the creator of iconic Zioptis characters CANDY FISHALOT, FIN-TIN THE DIRT FACED CLOWN & DALE BOMBAST. Dale is the world’s largest talk show host at 45 feet tall.
JANUARY 9, 2023 MONDAY 5 PM - WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOR
Earlier, we raised the question of total haunts ever in Michigan versus Ohio. We also hinted there could be devious witches lurking about, harboring secret agendas whilst hiding in plain sight in respectable establishments such as fish stores or restaurants
We will follow the facts, wherever they may lead and regardless of how inconvenient they may be.
being written maybe, NUT SACK SPLATTER BLAST / BAMBI’S REVENGE NOW FINISHED
DECEMBER 31, 2022 SATURDAY 7 PM - FULL DISCLOSURE
This installment of ZIOPTIS is brought to you by UNCLE HANK’S NIPPLE WAX, patent pending. For shear delight in mounting your milking apparatus be sure to buy a bucket of Uncle Hank’s Brand Nipple Wax, finest in the land.
Don’t be fooled by inferior cheap imitations. If it doesn’t say “Uncle Hank’s” on the label, flush it! Permanent psychological damage may result, and we are not responsible.
JANUARY 5, 2023 THURSDAY 2 AM - BLASTING CAP SOUP
TOE JAM HO-HO’S & THE TWINKIES THAT ENVY THEM
The jerk is left scratching his head as BILLY G HIGH-FIVES the club owner, strolling out the door with a smirk on his face.
This proves an ANCIENT CHINESE SECRET/AXIOM many of you have already heard. Some battles can only be won by refusing to fight / engage in
JANUARY 6, 2023 FRIDAY 3 PM - WIND MAY BLOW, RAIN MAY FALL, ICE & SNOW MAY COVER ALL
As you read this California is flooding horribly, turning land into rivers with little or no warning.
BEST HOT DOG - BONADEO FARMS / MOONLIGHT MANOR, HIGHLAND TWP.
BEST HOT DOG runner up / honorable mention - HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME, INKSTER
Fortunately, facial recognition software has been installed at the “haunted attraction” and Putin is flagged for detention as CANDY FISHALOT PUSHES THE RED BUTTON. The plucky waif shrieks with joy and she begins taunting the hapless sad Putin...
Putin is led to the brig, where he is subjected to an endless loop recording of the BABY SHARK VIDEO. As keepers of the faith, this is a fate we wouldn’t wish upon our worst enemy.
OCTOBER 23, 2022 SUNDAY 4 PM - MOTHER NATURE SMILING
The weather is perfect tonight for hayrides!
Which means it’s time to hit Wiard’s for NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S in YPSILANTI. Their HAYRIDE OF THE LOST is legendary, and sadly we missed them last year. Not only that, but our “newbie” * this year has never been to Wiard’s and is very anxious to experience it!
* = A “NEWBIE” is someone who comes with us occasionally who has NOT been to whichever haunt we’re visiting. This helps us get accurate first-time reactions, whereas we’ve been to almost every haunt multiple times.
THE MONKEY WRENCH GROWS AN ARM
Oh no! Just when we thought plans would finally work out, our “newby” has a family emergency with his mom. Family comes first, before entertaining ourselves.
However, said “newbie” HAS been to HUSH before...and we’re practically FOAMING AT THE MOUTH to experience the new HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND which makes them our TOP CHOICE for tonight!
And ELOISE ASYLUM also is WESTLAND is open tonight...
Actually, so is THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR and DERANGED HAUNT in ROMULUS. These haunts are all only minutes apart from each other, making Western Wayne County a VIRTUAL HOTBED OF HAUNTING!
Decisions, decisions...so many haunts, only so much time...
OCTOBER 23, 2022 SUNDAY 3 PM - Coming soon! Full review of ROTTEN HAYRIDE at ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY.
ROTTEN HAYRIDE has been expanded with 14 new scenes, and features AMAZING TREE LASER DISPLAYS that will DAZZLE YOU!
OCTOBER 23, 2022 SUNDAY 2 PM - DIFFERENT STROKES
One of the things we love about haunts is how different they can be from each other, while still delivering the goods.
For example, last night we started at HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS in GROSSE POINTE FARMS then hit AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS in MADISON HEIGHTS.
HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS is a family friendly fantasy land that will transport you to so many dimensions your HEAD WILL SPIN! If there was such an award, we’d say that HAUNTED GARAGE IS KING OF THE HILL in terms of shear variety and quality of AMAZING PROPS.
****SIDEBAR***WAIT A SECOND, HOLD EVERYTHING! We sadly have NOT been able to make it to THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS this season so we can’t say how many props they have, but knowing DS it’s stellar...I don’t care what other haunts you’ve been to in Michigan, if you haven’t EXPERIENCED THE HAUNT that is called THE HAUNT you should join the many others that have including OTHER HAUNTED ATTRACTION WORKERS in a fabulous exchange program that we highly admire. When you go to almost any DETROIT HAUNT, there’s a good chance someone with the haunt will have been to THE HAUNT. Got it?!
And when we went to the HAUNTED GARAGE SALE a couple years ago, the operator of HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS was the first person we met! They had the VERY FIRST exhibit spot at the FORD PERFORMING ARTS CENTER where the event is held. GW is a most pleasant guy in real life, and that’s not just us saying that...
HOP SKIP & A JUMP
It’s LESS THAN 15 MINUTES travel time from HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS to AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS in MADISON HEIGHTS How’s THAT for the ultimate in convenience with a FABULOUS DUO OF HAUNTING?
AZRA is a GIANT DANCE PARTY to begin with, and then an ULTRA HIGH ENERGY & INTENSITY HAUNT that will knock your socks off! A LIVE DJ with PRO AUDIO & LIGHTING makes the wait in the heated queue line big fun.
AZRA will send you on A WILD & CRAZY JOURNEY TO NEVER-NEVER LAND! This haunt grew out a wildly successful ESCAPE ROOM business which is still operating.
OCTOBER 20, 2022 THURSDAY 9 PM - BIRDS OF A FEATHER
We find it interesting that a recent TV news article from WDIV CHANNEL 4 about the DETROIT HAUNT SCENE first mentions HUSH and then AZRA.
We’ve been gushing about HUSH and ROTTEN MANOR recently, and rightfully so.
But AZRA is also a highly dynamic HAUNT ON THE MOVE that has never failed to BLOW US AWAY! They have a unique 3D DISPLAY that’s way cool. https://azrahaunt.com/
Even better, AZRA is about only 15 minutes away from HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS in GROSSE POINTE FARMS. HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS will transport you to so many different dimensions your head will spin! We’ve never seen a more comprehensive collection of fabulous props. And my partner is already salivating over their fresh made donuts and tasty MICHIGAN CIDER...yum! https://www.hauntedgarageproductions.org/
OCTOBER 20, 2022 THURSDAY 4 PM - INSIDE SCOOP, DON’T TELL ANYBODY!
haha Just kidding!
It’s no secret that it takes money to start a haunt good enough to have people want to come again. You can’t just throw up a bunch of plastic sheets to make some empty “rooms,” fill the place with screaming kids and lots of fog and strobes and think you’ve got a viable haunt.
A haunt needs dynamics. Strobes and fog are indeed cool in a haunt, but not all the time. Or on a hayride, chain saw attacks are cool but not if overdone.
It’s a combination of visuals, sound, lighting, props, actors, makeup & costumes, etc. that go into making the gags at a WORLD CLASS HAUNT.
The most successful haunts have imposed on themselves HIGH PRODUCTION VALUES, like for example at THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS.
But this article isn’t about them. It’s about what many are now calling a PREMIERE DETROIT HAUNT, HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND.
We don’t usually discuss money / financial concerns here, but it’s part of an evolving story behind this haunt which we’ve been following since day one.
We also don’t criticize haunts for not changing things up. Not all haunts have the luxury of reinvesting into their haunts. Or perhaps they use profits to treat themselves to HAWAIIAN VACATIONS and such, that’s cool and we have no problems with that.
That said, we totally admire when haunts can and DO make MAJOR REINVESTMENTS.
According to a TOP HAUNT INSIDER familiar with the situation, HUSH has outdone itself and UPPED THEIR GAME BIG TIME since last year with fabulous new props and visuals. Mind you, this is from someone involved at another top haunt. We’re not going to name names, but many of you know who we’re talking about!
OCTOBER 19, 2022 WEDNESDAY 11 PM - MAKE THE SCENE JELLY BEAN
Just looking through some pictures we took at ROTTEN MANOR last Saturday which was Sweetest Day...WOW, the makeup is HOLLYWOOD GRADE!
The attention to detail throughout the entire complex makes ROTTEN MANOR a haunted house that is also MYSTICAL MASTERPIECE.
The shear imagination it took to put all this together, along with conquering a mountain of logistics...the amazing tunnels, striking visuals, authentic antiques, elegant decor...this is HIGH CLASS HAUNTING!
But ROTTEN MANOR is not alone when it comes to high intensity haunting that is also highly artistic, which reminds me we still haven’t yet SPILLED THE BEANS we dangled in front of you with this entry: OCTOBER 16, 2022 SUNDAY 10 PM - KING OF THE HILL
INSIDE SCOOP COMING!
OCTOBER 19, 2022 WEDNESDAY 5 AM - FREE BEER
Okay, there’s actually no beer...but like the band that decided to call themselves that, it got your attention, right? haha
It’s really a FREE ONE DAY HAUNT in DEARBORN at FORD FIELD on Oct. 22, 2022 6:30 - 8:30 PM https://www.facebook.com/events/1278454379647930/?ref=newsfeed
This reminds us of when BROWNSTOWN TWP. FIREFIGHTERS also had a free haunt that ran for one or two days at LAKE ERIE METROPARK.
FORD FIELD was stomping grounds for us many moons ago, and it seems like an excellent site to do this.
We saw this on the electronic sign at the HAUNTED GARAGE SALE recently. Pictures from that to be released later.
OCTOBER 17, 2022 MONDAY 10 PM - IT’S THE GREAT GOUDA, CHARLIE BROWN!
Who remembers HOUSE OF FEAR in HAZEL PARK?
It was a primo volunteer haunt, let’s jump into the wayback machine with a few highlights.
A hallway with flickering incandescent light bulbs led to a room authentically decorated with 1940’s furniture and an impressive very large wooden radio. This was the kind the family would gather round to hear shows like “The Shadow Knows.”
The attention to detail was impeccable with genuine antiques and elegant decor.
They spent a lot of time to make a room as beautiful as this. But the kicker was the radio, which played famous songs from the 40’s...BACKWARDS!
One year they had help from America’s Dairyland when the WISCONSIN JAYCEE’S loaned them an amazing custom made costume & the actor who invented it. Here’s the effect: At the end of a hallway on a throne sits a crazy creature. He suddenly takes notice of you, and rises from sitting. But as he rises, he suddenly becomes a menacing giant whose head almost hits the ceiling! A clever telescoping mechanism was the guts of this CRAZY CONTRAPTION.
The pre-show waiting area at HOUSE OF FEAR had a wacky couch. One of the spots to sit activated a GIANT FAN. It was like a hurricane...I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down!
Outside the building they had a whimsical graveyard and lots of speakers blasting spooky stuff.
It was sad to lose them, but all haunts someday sing their FINAL SWAN SONG like another volunteer haunt we adored. HAUNTED HALLOWS in WESTLAND was right behind the VFW Post on Hix with the woods behind them - gave an Up North Feeling only seconds away from the CONCRETE JUNGLE of FORD ROAD.
OCTOBER 16, 2022 SUNDAY 10 PM - KING OF THE HILL
We’ve just received a treasure trove of HIGHLY CLASSIFIED INFORMATION concerning a POPULAR LOCAL HAUNT and their Master Plan to DOMINATE THE MICHIGAN HAUNT MARKET!
However, as you can imagine these documents are TOP SECRET and any version of them we become authorized to release will likely be heavily redacted.
That said, stand by for a MAJOR INSIDER SCOOP you won’t see anywhere else!
OCTOBER 16, 2022 SUNDAY 9 PM - IT’S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL
Great haunting requires great sustenance, so we started our haunt journey Saturday night at the RIVER ROCK BAR & GRILL right down the block from ROTTEN MANOR. The pecan encrusted whitefish is to die for.
Our friendly waitress heard us talking about haunting, and wouldn’t you know it she’s a haunt fan too!
She said lots of the happy diners at RIVER ROCK have been RAVING ABOUT ROTTEN MANOR and saying it’s the BEST HAUNTED HOUSE EVER! Their words, not ours.
WOW! How’s that for word on the streets? WORD-OF-MOUTH is the most powerful advertising, that money can NOT buy. ***SIDEBAR*** That’s largely why SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP. has stopped advertising.
Anyway, to finish the story about the waitress...
She said that she can’t wait to take her kids to ROTTEN MANOR, and we asked what other haunts she had gone to.
She said her FAVORITE HAUNT EVER sadly closed long ago, THE REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC. Her words, not ours.
My partner and I laughed, and explained to her that the lady who created REALM all those years ago has now created ROTTEN HAYRIDE at ROTTEN MANOR!
This all goes to show that you just never know who you’ll meet that you have so much in common with. Please tip your waitress!
OCTOBER 16, 2022 SUNDAY 10 AM - DRESSED TO THE NINES
Some of you are putting on your Sunday Best right now, getting ready to go to
church COMIC CON! https://motorcitycomiccon.com/
Today is the last day, so if you were haunting Friday & Saturday as we were you can still get a BIG DOSE OF COSPLAY FUN!
We heard that ALICE COOPER was there Friday & Saturday, how cool! And as you may know, ALICE COOPER is from DETROIT. He’s been involved with several Michigan haunts including HOMER MILL in HOMER (burned down long ago), JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON, and ELOISE ASYLUM in WESTLAND.
OCTOBER 16, 2022 SUNDAY 9 AM - AIN’T TECHNOLOGY GRAND
WOW! ROTTEN HAYRIDE at ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY has a MIND BLOWING LIGHTING EFFECT, using the latest & greatest LASER TECHNOLOGY. You can’t miss it, as you pass below giant trees awash in tiny green sparkling reflected laser dots.
We’ve seen other attempts at lighting trees with green lasers, mostly made with consumer units designed for home Christmas displays.
BLOWING YOUR BUDGET AT TRANSCON & COMING UP ROSES
But this new technology is a quantum leap ahead of those, and represents the commitment to excellence that has always been a trademark of THE SCREAM QUEEN who created this masterpiece of a hayride.
Lots more to tell you later, but for now just 3 words says it all: ROTTEN MANOR ROCKS!
OCTOBER 15, 2022 SATURDAY 4 PM - JUST REWARDS
As an old joke goes, if someone says in jest “I’m losing my mind” the smarty-pants response is “If you do, I’ll help you look for it!”
Or someone might say, “I lost my head” after losing their temper.
But if you go to SLAUGHTERHOUSE this phrase takes on a much darker meaning, yet still had us laughing our butts off!
BTW, “I Lost My Head” is also the title of a great song by one of the most under appreciated bands of all time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlB_XoJd1bg&list=RDAlB_XoJd1bg&start_radio=1&rv=AlB_XoJd1bg&t=12 Don’t let the beginning of the song fool you, this seriously rocks!
Or what if there’s someone you’re trying to avoid and afraid of, yet you find it impossible to evade them?
If you go to SLAY NIGHTS, a very famous and very bad man will hunt you down like a dog in his blood thirty quest for revenge. Not just once though. Persistence is a virtue, and you won’t believe how determined this deranged character is!
Every haunt has specialties and nuances all their own, and to that we say “Vive Le Difference!” BRING IT ON, MONSTERS!
OCTOBER 15, 2022 SATURDAY 4 AM - TERRIFIC TWO-FER
Holy GPS Batman! We missed the exit for SLAY NIGHTS in HOWELL. Hmmm...the next exit is FOWLERVILLE...may as well hit SLAUGHTERHOUSE first.
So we got lost, sorta...we used to get lost at least once every season before GPS was invented!
But flip-flopping your plans is no big deal when haunts are this close to each other.
Lots has changed at SLAUGHTERHOUSE since our last visit in 2019, yet their core values are intact and the entire cast & crew were TOTALLY ON POINT.
SLAY NIGHTS in HOWELL is a BLAST OF NEW BLOOD on the haunt scene, and is the brainchild of MR. GIGGLES. (see OCT. 7, 2022 6 PM article for more about MR. GIGGLES)
SLAY NIGHTS has so much going for them, it’s hard to imagine anything other than a FABULOUS FUTURE for this dynamic 2nd year haunt.
COMRADES OR COMPETITORS?
Haunts this close to each other are competitors by definition, but that’s not how they see it. We told a staff member at SLAUGHTERHOUSE we were going to SLAY NIGHTS next, and he was quick to praise them as primo new members of the HAUNT FAMILY.
He said when people ask which haunt is better, he only will say he keeps hearing good things about SLAY NIGHTS and they should go there too.
CROSS PROMOTION of haunts is a win-win. Let’s hear it for The Golden Rule!
Reviews for SLAUGHTERHOUSE and SLAY NIGHTS coming soon.
OCTOBER 14, 2022 FRIDAY 5 PM - OVER UNDER SIDEWAYS DOWN
We just heard back from THE SCREAM QUEEN, creator of ROTTEN HAYRIDE at ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY. She said there are 14 new things with the hayride this year!
This is the same lady that created the legendary REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC many moons ago, and HOUSE OF NIGHTMARES in WARREN before that. She also has contributed much to many other haunts including NILES SCREAM PARK in NILES and THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS. These are some of the biggest names in the business!
OCTOBER 14, 2022 FRIDAY 3 PM - FREAKY FRIDAY
Oh no! I can’t believe it...actually I can...my partner has once again been called in on emergency to work until closing at the pharmacy on an already scheduled vacation day.
But if she’s up for it, we’re still going haunting tonight. I know I’m up for it! I just tried on a pair of jeans I wore last year and they’re too big, so I now have a smaller size and as with GOLDILOCKS they’re jusssst right.
The plan is to hit SLAY NIGHTS in HOWELL and SLAUGHTERHOUSE in FOWLERVILLE.
SLAY NIGHTS was new last year, but we didn’t make it so it’s even more of a priority this year. We also missed SLAUGHTERHOUSE last year which has been a big fave of ours for many moons.
OCTOBER 13, 2022 THURSDAY 7 AM - EAT DRINK & BE MERRY
Imagine you’ve just finished a high intensity night of haunting, and you’re on the way back traveling on a country road. Oh yeah, and you’re really hungry.
Being as late as it is, you only expect to find fast food open. Wait a second, on the other side of the road...it looks like a regular restaurant...the lights are on. SCREECH! You make a u-turn and go back and sure enough they’re open and lots of happy diners are there with awesome looking food on their plates.
And so it was for us a few years ago, after having gone through ROTTEN MANOR that we stumbled upon THE ROYAL DINER in CLARKSTON also on DIXIE. Highly recommended! https://www.theroyaldiner.com/
And there’s another FABULOUS RESTAURANT also on DIXIE right in HOLLY that we’ve been to several times, RIVER ROCK BAR & GRILL. https://www.riverrockbarandgrill.net/ Also highly recommended!
OCTOBER 13, 2022 THURSDAY 2:30 AM - DINNER AND A SHOW
If you’re a guy chasing a girl, it’s an old cliché to take your date to dinner and a show.
But the “show” doesn’t have to be a movie.
It could be a THEATRICAL HAUNT as we recently talked about.
And here’s yet another one which we’re anxious to check out, MICHIGAN’S HAUNTED MUSICAL in FLUSHING. https://www.hauntedmusical.com/ They have an awesome 14 foot tall DISTORTIONS UNLIMITED animatronic creature!.
OCTOBER 13, 2022 THURSDAY 2 AM - YOU TUBE GORY GOODNESS
Gotta love YOU TUBE! I just found this gem, from our first haunt of the year THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MkPYPGwXBY&t=30s
OCTOBER 12, 2022 WEDNESDAY 6 AM - ONCE UPON A TIME
Here’s yet another “THEATRE HAUNT” from many moons ago. Who remembers HAUNTED THEATRE HOUSE on LIVERNOIS in DETROIT?
This place was wild! It ran for only 2 years, in 2001 and 2002.
They had a small makeshift “theater” where they presented live shows featuring dancers in fluorescent skeleton costumes. The music was original, instrumental electronic music which is often said to have originated in Detroit.
The dance routine was performed in TOTAL DARKNESS, using several SHORT WAVELENGTH commercial theatrical blacklights. These emit NO VISIBLE LIGHT, so the costumes seem to jump out of total darkness. Most people have only seen LONG WAVE black lights, which produce a highly visible distinct PURPLE glow.
There’s a very good reason that only long wave black lights are sold on the consumer market and used in haunted attractions.
It’s completely safe to look at them, but SHORT wavelength black lights can cause BLINDNESS if stared into for too long, in a similar way that staring at a solar eclipse can cause permanent eye damage.
They had the special black lights pointed away from the audience, so there was no danger to the public.
Essentially, the dancing skeletons themselves provided the only visible light to great effect.
The haunt itself was exceptional in many aspects, and even had mice and dog actors. One prop was impossible to forget. On a small velvet covered table was a highly realistic severed human hand. With no visible mechanism, it started to crawl towards you. ULTRA CREEPY!
The final “room” had the haunt’s BIGGEST THRILL. They constructed a giant LAZY SUSAN type of spinning platform with railings like in a HELLEVATOR. A stripped down converted golf cart was set on its side to power this crazy contraption.
In total darkness, they led you into this “secret room” and insisted you hold on to the railings. The room slowly starts to spin and gradually speeds up as monsters suddenly appear in the center of the platform.
LESS IS MORE
The FRIGHT LIGHT was many years away from being invented by JB from THE HAUNT, so they used small flashlights to illuminate themselves with waving repetitive patterns. Later they told us they ran various lighting tests using strobes, GOBO projectors and such.
But the biggest impact came with the simplest, low tech approach with small flashlights providing the only light in the room.
OCTOBER 11, 2022 TUESDAY 4 PM - TO YOUR HEALTH
Tomorrow morning on the news from WDIV TV - NBC CHANNEL 4 DETROIT there will an article about how it can be healthy TO GET SCARED!
Dr. Frank McGeorge will verify what we already knew in “HEALTHY SCARES.” Here’s a link: https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/2022/10/12/halloween-thrills-and-chills-why-people-love-the-fear/
OCTOBER 10, 2022 MONDAY 4 PM - OFF TO THE THEATRE
We’ve seen theatrical haunts before, at the STATE WAYNE THEATER and in a mall in LIVONIA.
And so we’re pleased to see this: https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/immersive-haunted-attraction-opening-at-rumored-haunted-theatre-in-metro-detroit
OCTOBER 10, 2022 MONDAY 3 PM - MORE MEDIA BLITZ
Since they opened with a bang in 2015, we’ve been gushing about ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY. Many would say this is the NEW PREMIERE MEGA HAUNT.
So it’s no surprise to see this on the website for WXYZ-TV DETROIT: https://www.wxyz.com/about-us/as-seen-on/rotten-manor-is-one-of-southeast-michigans-best-and-most-talked-about-haunted-attractions
OCTOBER 9, 2022 SUNDAY 2 PM - LEST WE FORGET / ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES
We just remembered 2 MORE TRAILER HAUNTS, ranging from perhaps the smallest to the GRAND DADDY OF THEM ALL!
The small one was at PAPP PARK in TAYLOR, as a secondary attraction to their excellent hayride. Sadly, PAPP PARK has been closed for years now.
The GRAND DADDY OF THEM ALL to our knowledge has got to be THE HAUNTED GALLERY which ran in PONTIAC. Later, the HAUNTED GALLERY owner opened EREBUS in a massive 4 story warehouse also in PONTIAC.
THE HAUNTED GALLERY was constructed from lots of tractor trailers. But if you didn’t see them, you would not have known you were walking through a long series of trailers.
The heyday of trailer haunts is gone now, however THE HAUNTED GALLERY lives on. It’s been renamed CASTLE OF THE DEAD and is currently operating as part of the big fun at SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP.
KUDOS to SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK for keeping this worthy effort alive! It’s still cool by any measure; we especially like the “decapitation” scene.
OCTOBER 9, 2022 SUNDAY 1 PM - MEDIA COVERAGE
Kudos to WDIV TV - NBC CHANNEL 4 DETROIT for their special report about HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS showing in various newscasts.
It starts at HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND and continues to AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS in MADISON HEIGHTS, GLENLORE TRAILS HAUNTED FOREST in COMMERCE TWP., and finally HALLOWGLOW NIGHTS AT TREERUNNER ADVENTURE PARK in WEST BLOOMFIELD.
I couldn’t find a link to the article, but it’s very well done and YES they do mention the THREE SECRET BARS in HUSH.
We understand there may be some concern over the addition of alcohol to haunted attractions which already can be wild & crazy places.
To anyone worried this could be trouble, consider this is NOT the first haunted attraction to add alcoholic drinks to their offerings.
Take for example SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP. They got a liquor license years ago, to go with their “BEER TENT” where bands played simulating a night club. It has NOT been a problem, or they wouldn’t still be doing this.
The process for obtaining a liquor license is an arduous task, and the authorities keep close track of things.
Haunters may be WILDLY ENTHUSIASTIC but by and large they’re also responsible citizens who use the DESIGNATED DRIVER approach to safely enjoy adult beverages while GETTING THEIR HAUNT ON!
OCTOBER 9, 2022 SUNDAY 3 AM - BONUS DAY
Select haunts are open tonight!
They include ABANDONED ACRES FARM HAUNTED ATTRACTION in SPARTA, AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS in MADISON HEIGHTS, BLAKE’S BIG APPLE HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS in ARMADA, DERANGED in ROMULUS (SPECIAL EVENT), ELOISE ASYLUM in WESTLAND, EREBUS in PONTIAC, EXIT 13 in MT. MORRIS, HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND, GLENLORE TRAILS in COMMERCE TWP., JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON, NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S in YPSILANTI, NILES SCREAM PARK in NILES ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY, SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP, SLAY NIGHTS in HOWELL, TERRORFIED FOREST in PINCKNEY, VILLAGE OF THE LIVING DEAD in ST. CHARLES (BLACKOUT) and ZOERMAN’S ZOMBIES in JACKSON.
If you’re a haunt performer or owner of a haunt closed tonight, here’s your chance to see what else is out there. Have fun!
OCTOBER 8, 2022 SATURDAY 7 PM - EARLY RELICS
There were other early TRAILER HAUNTS. Who remembers REAPER’S DUNGEON in LIVONIA, LEO’S HOUSE OF HORRORS in RIVERVIEW, or ALLEN PARK JAYCEE’S on ALLEN ROAD?
Wait a second...I think there’s at least one remaining TRAILER HAUNT with TUNNEL OF TERROR in ROCHESTER...uh oh! Closed for Covid safety, we understand: https://rajc.org/tunnelofterror/
Also we’d be remiss if we didn’t lament the loss of the KENTWOOD JAYCEE’S FOREST near GRAND RAPIDS, which of course is the location of THE HAUNT. www.the-haunt.com
OCTOBER 8, 2022 SATURDAY 3 PM - BOO HOO!
Oh no! I can’t believe it...
Nothing man-made lasts forever, but it’s especially sad when AN ICONIC HAUNT sings their FINAL SWAN SONG.
And so it is that we’re sad to report the “PERMANENT CLOSING” of WYANDOTTE JAYCEE’S HAUNTED HOUSE, according to the red flagged message on a GOOGLE SEARCH: https://www.google.com/search?q=wyandotte+jaycees&rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS768US768&oq=&aqs=chrome.0.69i59i450l8.498223j0j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
CUE THE TWILIGHT ZONE MUSIC
How weird, we were just talking about the JAYCEE’S and how they essentially INVENTED HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS AS A FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT with MUTILATION MANSION and ANXIETY ALLEY.
If anyone can provide evidence of any other public haunt earlier than MUTILATION MANSION in 1966, we’d love to hear from you! Email us at ZioptisFoundation@gmail.com and feel free to send messages and or questions there too.
SAY IT AIN’T SO, JOE
So that’s it? The WYANDOTTE JAYCEE’S ARE GONE? Let’s do some digging...
What does it say on their FACEBOOK PAGE? On September 25, 2022 they posted this: “3131 Biddle (old city hall) was sold last spring by the City of Wyandotte. We will not be running the haunted house this year. We are very thankful to all of those who visited us in 2021.”
Hmmm...it doesn’t specifically say they won’t be back. Let’s look at comments: “Does this mean The haunted house tradition is over for good or just this year till you guys find a new building? Answer: “...as of right now we have no plans on opening with a new location.”
Again, hmmm...one of the unusual strengths of this haunt was to find new buildings every year no problem. The City of Wyandotte worked with them and were very helpful, recognizing the massive amount of good this longtime effort produced.
Did something change at CITY HALL? We’ll leave that one alone, but if anyone has dirt to dish feel free to email us at the above address. haha (;
OCTOBER 8, 2022 SATURDAY 2 PM - PEOPLE WILL TALK
We always like to talk to whoever we encounter at haunts, asking which other haunts if any they’ve been to and what they thought.
And so it was last night at HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME in INKSTER. One group told me they’d gone to THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR.
APPEARANCES CAN BE DECEIVING
They said when they arrived they were skeptical, as THE SCREAM MACHINE is located in a strip mall. But their doubts vanished the moment they stepped inside, as they were instantly transported to SPOOKLAND where they had the TIME OF THEIR LIFE!
Every haunt has a different setup, but the physical layout is secondary to providing a TOP NOTCH HAUNT EXPERIENCE.
Let’s not forget that the entire HAUNTED ATTRACTION GENRE was started by SOME KIDS WITH A COUPLE OF TRAILERS in the 1960s. To our knowledge, MUTILATION MANSION in MADISON HEIGHTS was the first ever public entertainment based “HAUNTED HOUSE” and it wasn’t even a house.
Shortly after that, ANXIETY ALLEY in LINCOLN PARK hit the scene. It too was a haunt created from a few tractor trailers thrown together. Like MUTILATION MANSION it was also created by the JAYCEE’S, a community organization for young people under the age of 35.
I can still remember the chatter at school in October:
“Did you hear what happened over the weekend? Billy asked Susie to go to MUTILATION MANSION. They both peed their pants, but still ended up making out in the parking lot!”
Both MUTILATION MANSION and ANXIETY ALLEY are gone now, but the sequence of motions they set in place with their dynamic impact created THE STUFF LEGENDS ARE MADE OF.
DECEMBER 17, 2022 SATURDAY 6 AM - HAUNTING TONIGHT!
There are two haunts open tonight, ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY and FACTORY OF THE DEAD in SAGINAW.
We’ve been to both in the past, and are confident in recommending either one for a TOP NOTCH HAUNT EXPERIENCE! https://rottenmanor.com/
If you’re going to FACTORY OF THE DEAD and would like to help support us you can click here for tix: https://app.hauntpay.com/events/factory-of-the-dead-new?referral=zioptis
Any funds generated will go towards running Zioptis, which costs a little over $100 per month to run.
OCTOBER 8, 2022 SATURDAY 12 MIDNIGHT - HUSH HUSH SWEET CHARLOTTE
My partner dozed off again, FRAZZLED & FREAKED OUT after a long hard day on the front lines of public health dispensing medicine, vaccinations and such.
I can’t wake her, as she’s working late again tomorrow and has to get up early on Sunday...
CALL OF THE WILD
But I simply could not resist the urge, so off to the HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME in INKSTER I went for a PRIMO FIX OF OLD SCHOOL.
As before, the wild looks on people’s faces says it all as they’re chased out the exit by a chain saw wielding madman! https://www.facebook.com/The-Haunted-Funeral-Home-368707953461056/
OCTOBER 7, 2022 FRIDAY 6 PM - THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT / REVISITED
Who remembers ST. LUCIFER’S HAUNTED ASYLUM in FLINT? Often we found ourselves starting the season at this primo haunt.
It ran for many years, then the owner KW told us they were planning to move. But the next year they failed to appear and we were BAFFLED & BUMMED.
Even worse, we also lost THE CRYPT in FLINT, CLIO MANOR HAUNTED HOUSE in CLIO, 13 FEET UNDER in FLINT, DREADLANDS in DAVISON, BURTON HAUNTED FOREST in BURTON and earlier the LOCH LOMAND TRAIL PROJECT in FLINT.
THE EVER CHANGING FUTURE
We were tempted to call KW with ST. LUCIFER’S to find out what happened, but held off lest we bum him out too.
Well, we just had a great talk with the owner of SLAY NIGHTS in HOWELL and were able to fill in some of the blanks about ST. LUCIFER’S and it’s all good!
10,000 SQUARE FEET OF REDEMPTION
Once upon a time, an enthusiastic haunt performer who went by the name of TWITCH made a name for himself at...drum roll...ST. LUCIFER’S HAUNTED ASYLUM.
TWITCH’S KID BROTHER became so enthralled that he came up with his own haunt character, MR. GIGGLES. Soon enough MR. GIGGLES joined the crew at ST. LUCIFER’S and the die was set.
FREE & CLEAR
After the closing of ST. LUCIFER’S, TWITCH & MR. GIGGLES were on the lookout for a new opportunity. Persistence is a virtue, and eventually a LASER TAG ARENA went out of business in HOWELL.
They took action and this building is now the site of SLAY NIGHTS. With 10,000 square feet there’s ample room for lots of GORY GOODNESS. Even better, the building has been paid for in full which means there’s no rent or landlords to potentially hinder operations going forward.
We missed this last year, but that’s okay because they assured us they’ve UPPED THEIR GAME since their debut last year. This could very well end up being a MAJOR NEW HAUNT!
OCTOBER 7, 2022 FRIDAY 4 PM - NEW BLOOD
Here’s another haunt we need to check out, LOCHHAVEN HAUNTED HOUSE in WATERFORD. We haven’t talked to them yet, but it looks like they started as a popular YARD HAUNT ON STEROIDS. Their Facebook postings started in 2012, and many photos follow their journey: https://www.facebook.com/LochavenHauntedHalloweenHouse/
It’s obvious they really have the HAUNT SPIRIT in their blood
OCTOBER 6, 2022 THURSDAY 9 PM - THE NEXT BEST THING TO BEING THERE
We reached out by telephone to various haunts today, including SLAUGHTER HOUSE in FOWLERVILLE which sadly we missed last year.
SLAUGHTER HOUSE is a farm haunt that started as a neighborhood Halloween Party that became such a giant success the decision was made to go public.
It’s an indoor / outdoors multi-attraction haunt. The indoor walk thru is highly creative and features magic show-like illusions and clever story lines. The outdoor trail features a PHYSICAL THRILL unlike any other we’ve seen. After being directed to enter a certain “room,” it takes off...literally. This high-flying romp into the thrill zone will knock your socks off! www.slaughterhouseadventure.com
OCTOBER 4, 2022 TUESDAY 3 PM - THE ‘OLE LIQUID GOURD GOODNESS
Yum...sipping on the first PUMPKIN SPICE COFFEE of the year, with a touch of cream no sugar pleeze.
And window shopping thru THE HAUNT GUIDE. Hmmm...here’s a MAJOR NEW ADDITION to a MAJOR MEGA HAUNT that also had A MAJOR NEW ADDITION last year. It’s ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY with their new ROTTEN THEATER. From their website:
“New for the 2022 season, ROTTEN MANOR haunted attraction will be opening an old timey vintage style Theatre. There will be a variety of immersive horror themed performances including a deep dive into who Mr. & Mrs. Rotten are and how they came to reside at what is known as Rotten Manor.”
This adds yet a new dimension to ROTTEN MANOR and sounds like A BIG WINNER to us. We’re anxious to check this out! Last year they impressed us with the debut of ROTTEN HAYRIDE, even though it was created on a fast-track schedule.
We’re probably PREACHING TO THE CHOIR here, but if you haven’t yet experienced ROTTEN MANOR you’re missing out on what many are saying is the PREMIERE DETROIT MEGA HAUNT! www.RottenManor.com
OCTOBER 1, 2022 SATURDAY 6 PM - BIRDS OF A FEATHER
The HAUNTED GARAGE SALE was a big success, and many were decked out in their HALLOWEEN BEST costumes.
Many unique one-of-a-kind spooky artistic creations were on display and for sale. We’ll be posting pictures later.
SEPTEMBER 30, 2022 FRIDAY 10:30 PM - EVERYTHING INCLUDING THE KITCHEN SINK
From our friends at MOTOR CITY HAUNT CLUB, it’s the 17th ANNUAL HAUNTED GARAGE SALE in DEARBORN on SATURDAY OCTOBER 1, 2022. https://motorcityhauntclub.com/annual-haunted-garage-sale/
We went to this a few years ago, and it was way cool! The first person we saw there was GLENN WILLIAMS from HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS in GROSSE POINTE WOODS. We have lots of pictures from the event, yet to be released.
SEPTEMBER 30, 2022 FRIDAY 10 PM - IN THE ARMS OF MORPHEUS
My partner is asleep right now...best to let her be. But I am SOOO tempted to jump in the car and cruise down CHERRY HILL. It’s opening night at HUSH, and at THE HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME too. Decisions, decisions...
SEPTEMBER 30, 2022 FRIDAY 9 PM - BIGGER BADDER BETTER
Haunts are always trying to UP THE GAME and outdo each other in a friendly competition, with the public being the ultimate winner.
Some haunts come flying out of the gate, like when THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS had over 35,000 patrons in their first year.
Other haunts don’t have the luxury of starting as a MAJOR MEGA HAUNT, yet still achieve that status through dedication, imagination, and hard work. HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND is a prime example of this scenario, and this year marks their TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY. www.hushdetroit.com
This year also brings another new feature at HUSH that we’ve alluded to before, and also takes them a step closer to more off-season activity.
They’ve obtained a liquor license, and part of the NEW BIG FUN AT HUSH is finding 3 “SECRET” BARS.
Regretfully, previous plans at HUSH for a MURDER MYSTERY DINNER THEATER were thwarted by the Covid pandemic.
So who knows what the off-season future holds at HUSH? Whatever it is, we have full confidence that CB and crew will certainly BLOW US AWAY!
SEPTEMBER 30, 2022 FRIDAY 8 PM - LET YOUR FINGERS DO THE WALKING
The NEW FEAR FINDER is looking sweet: https://www.fearfinder.com/
Also, you can pick up a copy of THE HAUNT GUIDE at various haunts and PAPA ROMANO’S PIZZA who is again the sponsor. THE HAUNT GUIDE is printed in color on premium glossy stock, so there’s no ink stains on your fingers. You may get some stains from the delicious pizza, but not THE HAUNT GUIDE!
SEPTEMBER 30, 2022 FRIDAY 4 PM - OPENING NIGHT JITTERS
Lots more haunts open tonight and the weather is looking fine with no rain or hurricanes in our forecast, thank goodness. Our thought and prayers go out to those affected by Hurricane Ian.
Unfortunately, my partner has to work late tonight and is working again tomorrow. But I might still sneak off to a few haunts impromptu...
I can’t wait to see the new setup and show at HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND, and I’m curious about the ROTTEN THEATER at ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY.
TIME FLIES WHEN YOU’RE HAVING A GOOD TIME
SEPTEMBER 27, 2022 TUESDAY 6 PM - THERE GOES MY HERO
No, not the FOO FIGHTERS song...but it is a cool one so here it is anyway...over 61 million views... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqWRaAF6_WY
Last June we gushed about PAUL & ROY BLAKE coming to the rescue taking over at ERWIN’S ORCHARDS, and now we have another NEW HERO OF THE HAUNT WORLD! It’s Monroe native NATE THOMPSON who is opening MICHIGAN’S FIRST YEAR-ROUND HORROR MUSEUM. The plan is to be open for this haunt season. https://www.mlive.com/life/2022/09/local-filmmaker-to-open-michigans-first-year-round-horror-museum.html
There’s more! Nate is later planning to open a YEAR ROUND TOWN OF HORRORS using the IRISH HILLS OLD WEST STAGECOACH STOP. https://www.mlive.com/life/2022/06/year-round-horror-town-being-built-at-michigans-old-west-stagecoach-stop.html
As we’ve said before of the haunt industry, the only constant is change!
SEPTEMBER 26, 2022 MONDAY 6 PM - THE BEST HAUNTED ATTRACTION IN THE WORLD
Imagine a TV AD:
VOICE OVER / Don Lafontaine voice (R.I.P. SAG brother) - IN A WORLD full of science fiction mumbo jumbo and haunted attractions ballyhooed by bazillions, comes a BOLD NEW LEADER TO KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF!
So what exactly is the best haunted house/attraction in the world?
That’s a no-brainer!
“It’s THE DENT SCHOOL HOUSE!” is what you might say if you lived in CINCINNATI. Indeed, we’ve heard many great things about this TRULY LEGENDARY HAUNT! Here’s a random video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Utwyj3fb8EI
But what if you’re in Michigan? What is the BEST HAUNT IN MICHIGAN???
OK, Detroit or Up North? “Up North.” OK, mainland or U. P.?
Sheesh, whatever the answer, it’s a subjective call so...
We would say that THE BEST HAUNT IN THE WORLD is the one you’re having a great time at right then, wherever the location.
Every haunt has unique, special things only they bring to the table. Saying one is better than others is pointless. And that’s why we abandoned the ill-fated STAR RATINGS method in 2009.
Yes, haunts are technically in competition with each other. But it’s still all a large artificially extended family.
And when problems arise, family supports each other. That’s why, for example, premiere haunt designer/consultant DS “THE SCREAM QUEEN” has been known to go out of her way to help even competing haunts resolve whatever problems may be hindering them. How’s that for team spirit?
SEPTEMBER 26, 2022 MONDAY 4 PM - IS THIS THE STRANGEST HAUNTED ATTRACTION IN THE WORLD?
When it comes to haunted attractions, you’ll find some pretty weird things like nowhere else on earth.
Things don’t always make sense, as your new reality is molded by the imagination of a mad genius.
THE HAUNTED HOUSE THAT ISN’T A HAUNTED HOUSE
Take for example MEOW WOLF in SANTE FE, NEW MEXICO which is open year round.
They don’t call themselves a “haunted attraction,” but it definitely has many of the same traits.
This is but one of 4 locations of MEOW WOLF, and RATS they were in ANN ARBOR back in 2019 and we had no idea: https://www.clickondetroit.com/all-about-ann-arbor/2019/03/27/meow-wolf-art-collective-coming-to-ann-arbor-thursday/ https://meowwolf.com/
SEPTEMBER 25, 2022 SUNDAY 6 PM - PARTY BUS TO THRILLVILLE
The new HAUNT GUIDE for 2022 is looking great! As before, the sponsor is PAPA ROMANO’S who have some sweet coupons for discount pizza.
But what really caught our eye is the back cover, where the ULTIMATE HAUNT TOUR is being announced. It’s a whirlwind tour of TWELVE primo Michigan haunts: AWAKEN, AZRA, ELOISE ASYLUM, EREBUS, EXIT 13, FACTORY OF THE DEAD, HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION, JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD, NIGHTMARE REALM, PHRYTE VILLAGE, ROTTEN MANOR, and THE HAUNT.
WOW! What a great lineup, more details here: www.UltimateHauntTour.com
SEPTEMBER 25, 2022 SUNDAY 4 PM - THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT
It wasn’t my fault...I never intended to start the haunt season without my trusty partner who got called in to work. In fact, she’s working even now as I type this.
So last night I decided to just do a drive-by at THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR, just to see how it’s going.
ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER
As you can probably guess, the lure of eminent THRILLS & CHILLS was just too much and next thing you know I’m inside and about to experience the first haunt of the year.
THE SCREAM MACHINE did not disappoint! The new setup is primo, and the show is a power-packed dynamo. The actors vocalizations and makeup are fabulous!
My partner was all like “WAH! I WANNA GO TO THE SCREAM MACHINE!” I consoled her by telling her since there have been many other years we went to THE SCREAM MACHINE twice, we can do it again this year!
SEPTEMBER 24, 2022 SATURDAY 3 PM - CALL OF DUTY
We had a “FREAKING FABULOUS FRIDAY NIGHT HAUNTING!” is what I wish I could tell you about last night...
THE GLORIOUS TRIFECTA OF TERROR
The plan was to OFFICIALLY START THE SEASON WITH A BANG at THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR, and then hit DERANGED HAUNT in ROMULUS and cap off an already incredible evening at NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S in YPSILANTI.
But my partner got called in on emergency to work Friday & Saturday until closing, on already scheduled vacation days.
She’s a highly dedicated FRONTLINE WORKER at a well-known pharmacy, working overtime to protect the general public from COVID with mass vaccinations and Paxlovid.
I am SOOO tempted tonight to at least go to THE SCREAM MACHINE!!! They have always delivered the goods, and have won MULTIPLE ZIOPTIS AWARDS. www.thescreammachine.net
THE SCREAM MACHINE has a unique intrinsic ability to reinvent itself every year, due to a favorable arrangement with the property owners who apparently have a soft spot for haunted attraction owners. Not only that, the Ecorse Road location is almost directly off I-94 freeway for easy access from METRO DETROIT AND OHIO.
SEPTEMBER 23, 2022 FRIDAY 6 PM - FUN & GAMES WITH YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD EMBALMER
We’ve seen many buildings/properties repurposed to create haunted attractions. Like for example when a former FARMER JACK SUPERSTORE became THE REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC. Or when the site of the former SKATELAND WEST in WESTLAND became the new location of HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION.
But what if a building available to become a haunt was already spooked out for real?
SMALL BUT MIGHTY
Well, that’s exactly what happened at HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME in INKSTER when an actual functioning funeral home went out of business under suspicious circumstances and became a haunted attraction in 2008.
They came out of the gates fast and furious, and continue to CRANK THE OLD-SCHOOL TO ELEVEN! And starting this year they’ll also satisfy your hungry tummy, serving HOT FOOD, SNACKS & DRINKS.
HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME is about as RAW & BASIC as they come, and we’re long-time fans! https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Haunted-House/The-Haunted-Funeral-Home-368707953461056/
SEPTEMBER 23, 2022 FRIDAY 4 PM - OFF TO THE RACES
Tonight is opening night for two major haunts that have always delivered the goods - THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR and AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS in MADISON HEIGHTS. www.TheScreamMachine.net www.AzraHaunt.com
We’ve been to both of these many times, and feel confident that either of these HAUNTS WILL KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF!
It’s not opening night, but ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY is also open tonight. If you haven’t yet experienced this PREMIERE MICHIGAN MEGA HAUNT, you’re missing out big time. www.rottenmanor.com And you can see pictures we took at ROTTEN MANOR (and other haunts) here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/albums/72157650409830035
DECEMBER 16, 2022 THURSDAY 3 PM - NO LOSERS
There will be only one ZIOPTIS AWARD this year.
being written now!
BRIBING FOREIGN OFFICIALS
DASTARDLY NOTIONS & THE MEN WHO FACILITATE THEM
HISTORICAL CONUNDRUMS OF THE HAUNTING
HIGHWAY STAR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoJKw33PbW0
SEPTEMBER 23, 2022 FRIDAY 3 PM - GENTLEMEN, START YOUR ENGINES
HOORAY! It’s official, FALL IS HERE. Time for fresh MICHIGAN APPLE CIDER and cinnamon donuts from BLAKE’S, WIARD’S, APPLE CHARLIE’S, PARMENTERS, SPICER’S, FRANKLIN, HY’S, or any other you can find. They’re all excellent!
But watch out for deer on the roads. There were over 52,000 deer/car collisions in Michigan last year, and that’s only the reported ones. The actual number is far higher, and we have personally had multiple collisions with deer.
SEPTEMBER 17, 2022 SATURDAY 2 AM - AND YOU CAN GO TO H - E DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS
No, not the ALICE COOPER song.
It’s yet another haunt only in their 2nd year whose debut we missed last year. It’s NIGHTMARES FROM HELL in IMLAY CITY which looks to be a STRONG NEW ENTRY into the Michigan haunt market. https://nightmaresfromhell.com/ https://www.facebook.com/people/Nightmares-from-Hell-haunted-attraction/100063918764485/
We hope to check this out soon!
SEPTEMBER 16, 2022 FRIDAY 2 PM - ABSOLUTELY KILLER!
Who could we be talking about? The season hasn’t even started yet!
The haunt we’re referencing is a relative newcomer, with 2022 being only their second year. We made contact with them last year, but sadly we never made it to see them.
So we can’t know for sure that it’s “ABSOLUTELY KILLER!” as we teased with the above headline. But the mere fact that they’re back for YEAR 2 strongly suggests they’re doing something right. And if they make it to YEAR 3 they should be on track for long-term success, according to the “3 YEAR RULE” of CRAZY BOB TURNER from HAUNTED HYDRO in FREMONT, OHIO.
Cut to the chase already, WHO IS IT?
It’s SLAY NIGHTS in HOWELL. Lawn signs have been popping up all over the Howell area, and their website and Facebook pages are looking good. https://www.slaynights.com/ https://www.facebook.com/people/Slay-Nights/100076443360146/
Every new haunt is cause for celebration! But to actually succeed in such a highly competitive market, you’ve got to DELIVER THE GOODS. So hats off to SLAY NIGHTS, and welcome to the club!
SEPTEMBER 15, 2022 THURSDAY 10 PM - ONE FOR THE MONEY, TWO FOR THE SHOW
Select haunts will be open this coming weekend!
NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S in YPSILANTI has their Opening Night on Saturday. https://www.hauntedhousemichigan.com/
SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP. will be open Friday & Saturday. www.scarefestscreampark.com
DARKSYDE ACRES in JONESVILLE & TERRORFIED FOREST in PINCKNEY will be open Saturday only. www.darksydeacres.com https://www.terrorfiedforest.com/
DERANGED HAUNT in ROMULUS will be open Friday & Saturday for their PREVIEW NIGHT SPECIAL following the PARADE OF LIGHTS in ROMULUS. https://derangedhauntedattraction.com/
JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON will also be open both Friday & Saturday. And shame on us, they actually opened last weekend and we failed to report it. A thousand lashes with a wet noodle! It doesn’t hurt, but it’s awfully annoying. https://jxunderworld.com/
THREE TO GET READY NOW GO GO GO!
At most haunts you’re assured that the monsters will not intentionally touch you. But some contact is to be expected due to spacing issues and such.
ALL HANDS ON DECK
But what if the MONSTERS RUN AMOK, ignoring conventional boring Standard Official Size & Weight Rules & Regulations and literally take customers into their own hands? That’s exactly what is planned at TERRORFIED FOREST for their Special Event on Saturday Sept. 17, 2022. From their website:
BLOOD BASH EVENT AT TERRORFIED FOREST
A BRAND NEW EVENT CREATED FOR THE BRAVE ONES.
NORMALLY OUR CREATURES CAN'T TOUCH YOU, BUT FOR THIS ONE NIGHT
THE RULES HAVE CHANGED!
THAT TOUCH ON YOUR SHOULDER, THE FEELING YOU JUST GOT ON YOUR ANKLE...THAT WASN'T YOUR IMAGINATION. IT'S A NORMAL HAUNTED NIGHT THROUGH THE WOODS...BUT WITH A TWIST.
THE CREATURES WILL TOUCH...BUT NOT ONLY THAT, MANY ARE EXCITED TO
SHARE THEIR BLOOD WITH YOU.
Share their blood? How exactly does that work? It is messy? Will it come out in the wash? Will it leave permanent psychological stains that won’t go away?
So it could be a BLOOD BATH this Saturday at TERRORFIED FOREST. We think you should risk it! And regardless of how much blood you shed (or drink) here, you can marvel at the INCREDIBLE MAKEUP that won this haunt the ZIOPTIS AWARD IN 2021 for BEST MAKEUP / COSTUMES in a two-way tie with HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND. www.hushdetroit.com
SEPTEMBER 13, 2022 TUESDAY 5 PM - THE END OF AN ERA?
Bittersweet. That’s how we feel after seeing the following announcement on the website of BESTMAZE in WILLIAMSTON:
HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT: This will be the final year for Mid Michigan’s favorite corn maze after 22 years of operation. We will open this year Friday night Sept. 16th and run until Oct. 30, 2022.
Sadly, their fabulous TRAIL OF TERROR will not be operating for the 2022 season. However, they also mention that the TRAIL OF TERROR could be back in 2024. www.bestmaze.com
This is yet another example of circumstances beyond control causing difficulties at a haunt. It seems a new pipeline infrastructure project is in the works that will include digging up the existing parking lot at BESTMAZE.
If you haven’t yet experienced BESTMAZE, we strongly suggest you go this season. Even better, BESTMAZE will be distributing special vouchers for special treatment and FREE UPGRADE TO SPEEDPASS ENTRY at SLAUGHTERHOUSE nearby in FOWLERVILLE and THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS.
BESTMAZE also endorses AWAKEN in LESLIE and TERRORFIED FOREST in PINCKNEY. MARK B. who runs BESTMAZE is a class act!
SEPTEMBER 13, 2022 TUESDAY 4 PM - A NEW DIMENSION
There’s something new this year at HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND that just made the local DETROIT TV NEWS.
We’re so glad to see this, as earlier efforts by HUSH going in this direction were thwarted by circumstances beyond their control like a WORLDWIDE PANDEMIC. We predict this will be WILDLY SUCCESFUL!
SEPTEMBER 8, 2022 THURSDAY 4 PM - BEATING YOUR HEAD AGAINST THE WALL
What makes a haunt popular and successful?
The answer is a combination of many factors, but even the most diligent efforts sometime fall short.
Take for example KRAZY HILDA’S, who moved several times before landing at PANAMA FARMS in YPSILANTI. It looked for all the world like they were about to hit the big time.
They had totally unique one-of-a-kind family made props, and a fabulous presentation that WOWED everyone who attended. We personally talked to many patrons that were blown away.
They should’ve been wildly successful, but fate was not on their side and they had no choice but to call it quits. It was a travesty by all accounts in our opinion.
Sadly, this story is not unique. Also consider what happened with SINISTER which operated in PONTIAC and UTICA.
Like KRAZY HILDA’S, SINISTER was a top notch haunt on top of their game. Conceptually and performance wise, they were fabulous and received critical acclaim from multiple haunt rating / review services.
SINISTER had a final room that was to die for! It was a zebra striped strobe light room featuring an ACROBATIC MADMAN also adorned with zebra stripes. He appeared to FLY ACROSS THE ROOM, while verbally hurling impromptu zaniness.
SINISTER also featured a wacky chicken man, who worked the crowd and queue line to great effect. He had a crazy story that explained his extreme identity issues and cannibal tendencies. He carried with him a freshly cooked rotisserie chicken like they sell at KROGER GROCERY STORES, offering free samples to all. It was super wacky but also very delicious!
So why wasn’t SINISTER a major hit? They checked all of the boxes, dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s. These were seasoned professionals with proven track records of producing KILLER HAUNTS.
The haunt market is a fickle thing, and there are no guarantees even if you do everything right.
SEPTEMBER 6, 2022 TUESDAY 10 PM - HARE TODAY, GOON TOMORROW
Every year, haunts come and haunts go. It’s just the nature of the beast.
I know we’ve bemoaned this before, but sometimes even a fabulous haunt fails and closes despite seeming to do everything right.
Take for example THE BONEYARD in STOCKBRIDGE. It was a topnotch farm haunt, run with great gusto and passion. We had a game we played there we called “SPOT RANDY.” Randy was the owner/operator but also was a lead performer in the haunt.
Every year, he had a totally different character. One time he played an adult who never grew up, with serious MOMMY ISSUES. He fiddles with a knife he used to carve the word “MOM” on his forehead! Another time he played The Devil who ends up literally burning the image of the cross into your mind with a giant propane blast in the dark!
Everything was on track for this haunt. But then shortsighted neighbors complained about noise levels, eventually forcing them to close.
Was it loud and raucous? Absolutely! But to us, complaining about that is like complaining that it’s dark at night. As we’ve said, “It’s just the nature of the beast.”
Other TOP NOTCH HAUNTS were forced out of business by lackluster ticket sales, and we’ll talk more about that later.
SEPTEMBER 5, 2022 MONDAY 9 PM - HAPPY LABOR DAY
We hope you had a wonderful Labor Day, while not laboring...except for whatever effort it takes to fire up the grill for some juicy rib eye steaks for example. Make ours medium rare if you please! (;
On the other hand, maybe laboring was exactly what you did if you’re a haunt operator. The seasonal nature of the business has many haunts operating on unusual schedules, doing whatever it takes to be ready for Opening Night.
We can’t help but wonder what’s happening at some other haunts we miss besides those listed below like FACTORY OF THE DEAD in SAGINAW, DARKSYDE ACRES in JONESVILLE, SCREAM PARK in NILES, and TERROR ON 27 in ASHLEY.
ASHLEY now has 2 haunts with the more recent addition of HINTERLAND which we’re anxious to check out.
So we have TWO CITIES WITH TWO HAUNTS EACH in Michigan! There’s ASHLEY with TERROR ON 27 and HINTERLAND, and WESTLAND with HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION and ELOISE ASYLUM.
SEPTEMBER 2, 2022 FRIDAY 6 PM - A LABOR OF LOVE
Happy Labor Day Weekend! This marks the unofficial end of summer which also means the HAUNT SEASON IS QUICKLY APPROACHING. We can’t wait!
What new and amazing spooky goodness will blow our minds? There’s no choice but to wait until Opening Night to find out. The anticipation and delayed gratification amplify the impact and are part of the haunter’s experience.
Sigh...we haven’t been to THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS for too long, and we also sorely miss SLAUGHTERHOUSE in FOWLERVILLE, ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY, EREBUS in PONTIAC, BESTMAZE & TRAIL OF TERRORS in WILLIAMSTON, SHAWHAVEN FARMS in MASON, BLAKE’S in ARMADA, WIARD’S NIGHT TERRORS in YPSILANTI, SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP., WICKED WOODS OF TERROR in CARO, THE EDSON INCIDENT in BAY CITY and so many more...
AUGUST 29, 2022 MONDAY 4 PM - ENOUGH ALREADY!
As if one horrible pandemic wasn’t enough, we now have TWO of them with the new-kid-on-the-virus-block MONKEYPOX. So what impact if any will this have on the haunt market?
Many people are now behaving as if the pandemic was over, and to be honest that includes us to some degree...
But the cold hard facts are that thousands of Michiganders continue to become SICK WITH COVID. And Michiganders are STILL DYING from COVID, 37,909 so far as of August 23, 2022 according to: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/stats
Many of you have had your life upended by Covid in many ways including the death of loved ones...our death count is at 5 so far including our beloved WEBMASTER BILL GODWIN, R.I.P. BUDDY...
Why do some people shrug off COVID like a common cold while others die?
Why do some people get infected despite wearing masks while others don’t?
We forgot to put on masks last year for our final haunt of the season at a super crowded haunt. There were many who looked too young to be vaccinated. But we are and it’s possible that’s what saved us...we’ll never know for sure but at least we did not get COVID!
So with TWO PANDEMICS this year, will there be health mandates imposed on indoor events and/or large gatherings?
What will our doctors recommend? Who always follows what their doctors recommend anyway? We got away with it last year, why should this year be any different?
EDITOR’S NOTE: taking computer in for routine maintenance soon. This is an unusual computer, split into two systems running at different bit rates (I think) of 32 and 64. Our web program NET OBJECTS FUSION wouldn’t work on 64 bit. If this computer dies it could take a long time to restore control of this website, as our web master died of Covid. ):
AUGUST 29, 2022 MONDAY 2 PM - BOBBING FOR APPLES & COMING UP ALL ROSES
HOORAY! We saw a news report about the 2022 MICHIGAN APPLE HARVEST, almost DOUBLE of what it was last year.
The timing couldn’t be better for PAUL & ROY BLAKE, who’ve taken the reins at the former ERWIN’S ORCHARDS in SOUTH LYON. Check this out: https://www.wxyz.com/about-us/as-seen-on/blakes-south-lyon-grand-opening-celebration-underway
Hats off to BLAKE’S for saving ERWIN’S from suffering a fate like what happened many moons ago with JOHNNY APPLESEED’S in WASHINGTON TWP. when a strip mall bulldozed over mountains of memories. JOHNNY APPLESEED’S opened in the early 1980s, photo here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/larrythebiker/3943364714
BTW, the dude that ran the haunt at JOHNNY APPLESEED’S now runs SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP. https://scarefestscreampark.com/
SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK has become a MAJOR PLAYER, AND THEY OPEN ON FRIDAY, SEPT. 16, 2022. To our knowledge, this is the first haunt open this year!
Even better, SCAREFEST offers an EXCELLENT BANG-FOR-THE BUCK: https://scarefestscreampark.com/why-scarefest
AUGUST 25, 2022 THURSDAY 3 PM - BACK IN THE SADDLE
The COVID PANDEMIC has put a major damper on going to public indoor events. Oh, how we’ve missed going to concerts and such!
But you can’t live your entire life in a bubble, and in July we finally took a chance and went to see CIRQUE ITALIA at Fairlane Town Center in Dearborn. It was positively fabulous! Pics here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/
After the show, one of their lead performers (who plays a flying mermaid) came and introduced herself to me. Having been a road show performer myself many moons ago, we had a great conversation and a few days later she invited us to attend their last Michigan show at Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor.
FROM ITALY WITH LOVE & GUTS
The Briarwood show was totally sold out and featured a new stage that piqued our interest big time. It has lots of SPOOKY THEMES, but no reference to them was given and the show was the same as we saw at Fairlane.
This begs the question: will a new CIRQUE ITALIA show feature a haunted house theme?
We can’t say right now. But we’ll be in touch soon with our FAVORITE MERMAID, so stay tuned for exclusive info right here at the trusty ZIOPTIS HAUNTED HOUSE HOTLINE!
AUGUST 11, 2022 THURSDAY 10 PM - TWO FOR ONE
We found out what happened with the STEVE AUGERI CONCERT, but too late for us to go or post the info either.
They did reschedule STEVE AUGERI for 6:30 PM on Sunday before the country concert at 8:30 PM.
So if you went, you saw both the original Saturday AND Sunday headliners in one night.
We went for the fireworks only on Sunday, having already checked out the rest of the festival Saturday. I also got some striking LIGHT PAINTING pictures of the Ferris Wheel and of course the fireworks on both nights. A new 18mm - 105mm zoom lens was the cherry on top, and my trusty NIKON DSLR has never been happier! Pics coming later, stand by my little monkeys!
AUGUST 7, 2022 SUNDAY 2 PM - SORRY ABOUT THAT!
Rats! Last night’s DEARBORN HOMECOMING HEADLINER STEVE AUGERI ( from JOURNEY) unexpectedly canceled yesterday. A staff member told us the band “was stuck in Washington.”
Will they play tonight? We don’t know, but this reminds us of another time they had to cancel fireworks due to rain. They rescheduled the fireworks about a month later, and a grand time was had by all.
We wouldn’t be surprised if a similar thing happens with the CANCELED STEVE AUGERI CONCERT. We’ll let you know when we find out.
However, RANDY HOUSER is still scheduled for tonight with fireworks following the show at 10 PM. The fireworks last night were excellent!
AUGUST 5, 2022 FRIDAY 2 AM - KABOOM!
There are two nights of FIREWORKS this weekend as part of the DEARBORN HOMECOMING FESTIVAL, which is back after a 2 year hiatus: https://www.dearbornhomecoming.com/
The festival has moved from Ford Field to the FORD COMMUNITY & PERFORMING ARTS CENTER at 15801 MICHIGAN AVE. which is at the corner of MICHIGAN AVE. & GREENFIELD.
The Saturday night concert headliner is STEVE AUGERI who was the lead singer for JOURNEY 1998 - 2006. The Sunday headliner features country music crooner RANDY HOUSER. Also of note on Friday at 6:30 PM is some old friends of ours SUNGLASSES AFTER DARK.
***EDITOR’S NOTE: This event somehow escaped our usually reliable friends at www.michiganfireworks.com ***
JULY 11, 2022 MONDAY 5 PM - BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
At this very moment many haunt operators are making decisions about their show for next season.
There are endless choices to make: what kind of sounds / music to use, story lines, actors, costumes / makeup, feasibility / logistics, concessions / merchandising, advertising / media, social media...wait a sec am I missing something?
What was it at BESTMAZE TRAIL OF TERRORS that TOTALLY WOWED US? What was it at THE REALM OF DARKNESS that took our breath away, many moons ago? What was it at TERRORTOWN that was the ENVY OF THE HAUNT INDUSTRY? What was it at EREBUS that totally freaked us out?
In every case above, it’s the “P” WORD.
So what exactly is the “P” WORD? No political sidestepping allowed here, the “P” WORD is PROPS.
A prop can be as simple as a paper bag and a flashlight, like I saw at my first haunted house (JAYCEE’S I think) in Dearborn many moons ago. Or it can be an artistic complex electronic masterpiece, like we saw last season with DEMON FURY at HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS in GROSSE POINTE FARMS.
DEMON FURY was originally slated to be the center piece darling for DISTORTIONS at the 2020 TRANSWORLD SHOW, but it was canceled due to the worldwide Covid pandemic.
IF IT AIN’T BROKE DON’T FIX IT DUMMY
Every haunt would love to be able to completely re-invent itself every year with awesome props like DEMON FURY, but we know that’s not always possible. We never criticize haunts for not changing things up.
That said, we highly admire haunts that invest proceeds back into the haunt.
For those of you not familiar with DISTORTIONS, they’re a premiere source of highly distinctive haunt props. https://distortionsunlimited.com/
And JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON features some way cool DISTORTIONS characters that you can see in our FLICKR photostream: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/albums/72157650409830035
ORIGINAL MAIN PAGE STATEMENT - CAPITAL OF THE WORLD
HAUNTED HOUSE HOTLINE
A free public service from the
ZIOPTIS FOUNDATION in Detroit, The Haunted House Capital of the World.
WELCOME TO THE ZIOPTIS FOUNDATION HAUNTED HOUSE HOTLINE, your insider fast track to the HOTTEST HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS in Michigan and the whole nation! We attend as many haunts as possible each year, and post reviews that are archived for future reference.
Our mission is to give you an authentic feel of what each haunt is like, but without giving away too much. It's a challenge we're up to, because we don't want to spoil the experience for you!
Don't think of us as judges, but as storytellers. Every haunt has a story, and we'll bring it to life right here. It's almost like going to a haunted house without going to a haunted house!
You'll also find info on off-season haunt events as well as alternative entertainment, so stay tuned. Stuff like fireworks displays in the winter, free concerts, and where to see amazing automated Christmas light displays.
WE ARE INDEPENDENT AND NON-PROFIT. The website has large type and is dial-up friendly for maximum accessibility to all. Localities appear in red for easy identification. And the original, one and only Free ZIOPTIS DIAL-A-TRIP that started the ball rolling in 1986 is still available 24/7 at (313) 274-1111.
History - in the mid-90's, we started adding stories at the end of the Dial-A-Trip episodes in October about the coolest haunted houses we went to. So much interest was generated that in 1999 the decision was made to start a separate service, and the HAUNTED HOUSE HOTLINE was born!
NO ADVERTISING! NO COOKIES! JUST THE GOODS._____________________________________________________________________
JULY 8, 2022 FRIDAY 4 PM - KA-BOOM!
Oh boy, there’s FIREWORKS TONIGHT! This time it’s with the long-running UNCLE SAM JAM in WOODHAVEN. Tonight’s headliner is GRAND FUNK RAILROAD. We looked at the band picture, and it looks like none of the original members are still with them: https://www.unclesamjamfest.com/
You’d probably still enjoy the show - many bands from long ago have gone this route.
UPDATE: Founding member of Grand Funk Railroad, Don Brewer, has tested positive for COVID-19 and the band will be postponing dates on their Some Kind Of Wonderful 2022 Tour. For updates go to www.grandfunkrailroad.com
NEW MUSIC SCHEDULE FOR FRIDAY:
6:45pm - 7:30pm Van Go Go
8:00pm - 8:45pm Wisteria
9:15pm - 10:00pm Levi R. Moore
10:30pm- 11:30pm Dave Hamilton Band
However, we do have a word of caution and it’s also why we decided to skip this event. The parking is in a large grass field, and we nearly got stuck in it one year that it also rained on event day. And they charged $5 for parking then, unknown about this year.
Here’s a LIGHT PAINTING PICTURE we took 10 years ago at the UNCLE SAM JAM: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/8352072641/in/album-72157632451342762/
JULY 2, 2022 SATURDAY 12:15 AM - KA-BOOM!
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND! May your backyard cookout be juicy and delicious, and your fireworks massive and bombastic.
As always, for the latest and greatest fireworks listings check with our friends at www.MichiganFireworks.com
JULY 2, 2022 SATURDAY 12 MIDNIGHT - THE JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME
It’s been said that “The journey of a lifetime starts with a single step” and it’s hard to argue with that.
Recently we were driving on FORD ROAD in WESTLAND and saw SPARKS AUTO which was the original location of HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION. The haunt was an “add on” to their automotive business, with a RAD VINTAGE FORD MOTOR MODEL T in absolutely cherry condition in the front window.
Being an addition, HUSH only had so much room to work with. But they had ambitious creative plans, and made a KILLER HAUNT with what little they had to work with.
They kept their eyes open for opportunities to expand, and ended up acquiring a much larger space at the site of the former SKATELAND WEST also in WESTLAND.
Fast forward to today, and HUSH has become a PREMIERE MEGA HAUNT that continues to evolve.
But this isn’t the only haunt with such a fabulous success story.
Take for example EREBUS, which started as a trailer haunt called HAUNTED GALLERY. They eventually moved into a MASSIVE 4 STORY WAREHOUSE and even were crowned THE WORLD’S LARGEST INDOOR HAUNT by GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS!
THE MAKING OF THE NEXT PREMIERE MEGA HAUNT?
So last season we were anxious to check out a new haunt in BIRCH RUN called HYSTERIA HAUNT.
Sure enough, crowds had gathered and they put on an excellent show.
Later,we called them and talked further about things like where they’re at and where they envisioned going. It takes a lot of gumption and drive to actually put on a quality haunt, and we had some constructive criticism to offer.
We can’t wait to see what happens next season with HYSTERIA HAUNT!
Could this be the beginning of something that eventually becomes a behemoth that everybody is talking about?
We’ve seen that exact scenario develop time and again. So who knows? The day may come when HYSTERIA HAUNT has the biggest and brightest search light beckoning haunters from far and wide!
Anything is possible. And when it comes to haunted attractions, that is an absolutely fabulous thing!
JULY 1, 2022 FRIDAY 10 PM - UP IN FLAMES
OH NO! EL TOPO RESTAURANT in FENTON has been extensively damaged in a massive fire that burned 4 businesses in downtown Fenton a few days ago: https://www.wnem.com/2022/06/28/four-buildings-damaged-fenton-fire/
We went to this little gem several times ourselves during haunt season, and it was fabulous!
And at the rear of the restaurant was a “secret” hidden entrance to an old-fashioned SPEAKEASY. One resident in the above TV NEWS REPORT mentions it, and also the recent loss of the HISTORIC HOLLY HOTEL.
JUNE 22, 2022 WEDNESDAY 6 AM - UP IN FLAMES
OH NO! The HISTORIC HOLLY HOTEL has been extensively damaged in a massive fire, with firefighters battling through the night.
This reminds us of something they told us long ago at the HAUNTED OPERA HALL in HOWELL. They said one of the spookiest things about the place was the fact that it hadn’t burned down yet!
Other buildings were totally destroyed in this fire, and we are so sorry to hear this bad news.
JUNE 12, 2022 SUNDAY 7 AM - KA-BOOM!
Oh boy, it’s FIREWORKS IN MELVINDALE tonight as the MELVINDALE DAYS FESTIVAL wraps up Sunday night.
We usually park at the POST OFFICE on ALLEN ROAD and just watch the fireworks from there. It’s super close to the launch point, so the impact is excellent and a quick getaway is assured afterwards.
As usual, thanks to our friends at www.michiganfireworks.com for keeping us informed about all things pyrotechnic in Michigan!
JUNE 9, 2022 THURSDAY 4 PM - MAJOR BREAKING NEWS ALERT
BLAKE’S IS BUYING ERWINS!
HOORAY, we’ve been so concerned with what was going to happen with Erwin’s since they left the haunt market.
We previously had seen ERWIN’S in the local TV news, with talk of a possible new commercial development that drew ire from locals. Thank goodness that never happened! The new plan is in start contrast to former “horrible plans” (according to Trustee Sean O'Neil).
FOR HE’S A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW / WHICH NOBODY CAN DENY
Hats off to PAUL & PETER BLAKE for making this major much-needed move happen!
We totally understand why ERWIN’S retired, and can’t fault them in any way for calling it quits.
So what will Blake’s do? For starters, the orchard will be expanded by 12,500 square feet! The article does not mention haunted attraction aspects, but there could always be behind-the-scenes planning going on. We might have to wait until the HAUNT GUIDE & FEAR FINDER are released to find out!
Regardless of whether or not a haunt is in the future again at the site, we are SO HAPPY to hear this big news.
MAY 18, 2022 WEDNESDAY 5:30 PM - DO YOU BELIEVE IN PARANORMAL EVENTS?
Here’s an adventurous Michigan couple with an interesting Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/hauntedMichiganexperiences/?ref=page_internal
MAY 18, 2022 WEDNESDAY 5 PM - UNDER THE RADAR
Our apologies to FACTORY OF THE DEAD in SAGINAW for missing them on the announcement of haunts that were open on Friday The 13th last week.
They’re well known for hosting off-season events. We checked their website, but didn’t see anything so we e-mailed them and didn’t see the response until it was too late. Sorry about that! FACTORY OF THE DEAD is a killer haunt, with an incredible building to boot. https://factoryofthedead.com/
MAY 13, 2022 FRIDAY 5 PM - DRINK UP & GET DOWN!
If you go to any ONE OF THREE COOL HAUNTS OPEN TONIGHT*, be sure to stay hydrated. We suggest you refrain from indulging any OVERPOWERING URGE TO DRINK BLOOD and stick with water or Mango Avocado Smoothies.
* = See HAUNTS OPEN LIST here: http://www.zioptis.com/html/what_s_next.shtml
TO YOUR HEALTH - A TOAST OF TERROR
MAY 13, 2022 FRIDAY 4 PM - OF PLASMA AND PLEASURE
Plasma is the liquid portion of blood, according to Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_plasma
That means plasma is the part you can drink...but aren’t there laws about that?
Regardless, the issue of PLASMA BEING YOUR BEVERAGE OF CHOICE carries with it potential social stigma issues that also may cause permanent psychological stains that won’t go away.
That said, we now have additional exclusive evidence of SUSPICIOUS ARTIFICIAL WOLF REMAINS being found at an unspecified local haunted forest. Could it be this incident is only a SPECTACULARLY STAGED HAUNTED ATTRACTION GAG? Inquiring minds want to know...
These questions, and many more, will NOT be answered at this time for purposes of misdirection. For now we can only tell you there is strong suspicion that LOCAL HAUNT ICON RED REX is at the center of this CONFUSING CONTROVERSY. Shocking details to be disclosed later pending prudent legal advice likely to be ignored.
Also...stay tuned for a ZIOPTIS EXCLUSIVE INSIDER REPORT concerning A MAJOR AREA HAUNT - IT’S COLOSSAL!
MAY 13, 2022 FRIDAY 2 PM - AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT & FUTURE REGRET
HAPPY FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH, IT’S YOUR LUCKY DAY!
Take a look at this TIKTOK video: https://www.tiktok.com/@m_rex_b/video/7096678121050475819?is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1
If above link doesn’t work try this: https://www.tiktok.com/@m_rex_b
HOLY MOLY! That’s some wild makeup, pro level for sure but it’s not from HOLLYWOOD. It’s from our friends at TERRORFIED FOREST in PINCKNEY, which is open tonight along with DERANGED in ROMULUS and PHRYTE VILLAGE in LAKE ORION.
NEWS FLASH - SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT!
“IT’S FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH & YOUR LUCK JUST RAN OUT” is what LOCAL HAUNT ICON RED REX allegedly shouted early this afternoon at a VISCOUS WOLF in an unspecified forest, according to an eyewitness who would speak only upon condition of remaining anonymous.
A brief confrontation escalated into a BLOODY BATTLE, with the shocking incident ending at an as-yet unspecified east side junkyard.
“It was brutal, it was bloody...she dismembered this unfortunate beast then licked her lips like it was VINTAGE DON PERIGNON,” said the shocked bystander.
This may speak to persistent rumors that RED REX IS A BLOOD DRINKER. Former rumors concerning RED REX HAVING A PET BAT were confirmed by independent sources familiar with the situation.
More gory details coming up! https://www.terrorfiedforest.com/
There are THREE HAUNTS OPEN TONIGHT, get out there or suffer DISAPPOINTMENT & FUTURE REGRET of missing out on a good time! (see list below)
MAY 12, 2022 THURSDAY 12 NOON - TRUE INSPIRATION THAT ROCKS
You’ve probably heard the phrase “DETROIT ROCK CITY” which seems to have been started by the band KISS.
There’s even a fun coming-of-age movie called DETROIT ROCK CITY, about some kids trying to get tickets to a sold-out KISS SHOW AT COBO HALL in DETROIT. (It was made in Canada.)
So DETROIT & ROCK ‘N’ ROLL go together like peanut butter and jelly.
And it was a DETROIT ROCK ‘N’ ROLL song that reportedly inspired legendary band SLAYER. Which song would that be? You’ve certainly heard of the artist, but still you might not recognize the EXACT SONG THAT INSPIRED SLAYER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcuE5a9l5Yc
Jam on, my little monkeys!
BTW, this song was not played on CKLW or WKNR yet was a staple on WABX, WWWW and WRIF. (The video accompaniment is “HELL'S BELLS, a Walt Disney Silly Symphony from 1929.)
MAY 11, 2022 WEDNESDAY 5 PM - FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH WITH THE WIZARD OF OZ
“Back in the day,” THE WIZARD OF OZ was shown on TV only once per year. It was a big deal and millions gathered around small glowing boxes, reciting favorite lines and shrieking at flying monkeys and such...
Also “back in the day,” certain haunts were epic standouts that were MUST SEE HAUNTS to us.
Randomly, here are a few: ERWIN’S ORCHARDS in SOUTH LYON, BLAKE’S in ARMADA, KRAZY HILDA’S in YPSILANTI, NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S in YPSILANTI, THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR, TERRORFIED FOREST in PINCKNEY, SLAUGHTERHOUSE in FOWLERVILLE, THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN, REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC, THE BONE YARD in STOCKBRIDGE, DEADLY INTENTIONS in WARREN, SINISTER in UTICA & TERRORTOWN in TOLEDO, OHIO.
Okay, so that’s 13 haunts we mentioned.
But ONLY ONE of them will be open this coming FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH which is TERRORFIED FOREST in PINCKNEY. This is a legendary haunt for many reasons. They recently had to actually turn down a request to be featured on the NATION WIDE TV show THE WORLD’S GREATEST on BLOOMBERG ION NETWORK TV due to logistics. This might still happen later!
One key factor at any haunt is costumes / makeup. It could be just some grease paint smeared on, or an elaborate involved procedure to rival the best HOLLYWOOD can dish out. Take a look at this COSPLAY pic from a member of the TERRORFIED FOREST team:
TERRORFIED FOREST boasts an amazing 98% RETURN RATE of actors, which also translates to a very high RETURN RATE of patrons.
The back story here is fabulous and can be found in Archive 38, under OCTOBER 3, 2020 SATURDAY 3 PM - HOW SOUTH CAROLINA SAVED HAUNTING in MICHIGAN, SORTA
MAY 11, 2022 WEDNESDAY 3 PM - SAND THROUGH THE HOURGLASS
FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH and HALFWAY TO HALLOWEEN? It sounds like cause to celebrate to us, and certainly to some haunt operators eager to dish out the madness!
We’ve got DERANGED HAUNT in ROMULUS, PHRYTE VILLAGE in LAKE ORION & TERRORFIED FOREST in PINCKNEY open FRIDAY MAY 13, 2022 and DERANGED also open on Saturday May 14th.
We predict all three of these haunts will deliver the goods!
Every haunt has its’ own nuances and artistic styling. Take for example this random photo we found on the Facebook page of TERRORFIED FOREST:
MAY 9, 2022 MONDAY 4 PM - A BIZARRE BAZAAR TO SHAKE THINGS UP
Here’s an item of interest, from our friends at the totally amazing ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY. It’s their FIRST ANNUAL BIZARRE BAZAAR, and it looks like big fun and big opportunity! https://facebook.com/events/s/rotten-manors-1st-annual-bizza/302319411979328/
ROTTEN MANOR has quickly become what many consider to be the PREMIERE DETROIT MEGA HAUNT, certainly no small feat considering that DETROIT IS THE WORLD CAPITAL OF HAUNTED HOUSES!
ROTTEN MANOR had another highly successful season in 2021, highlighted by the addition of their wild & highly artistic ROTTEN HAYRIDE. There seems to be NO LIMIT as to what this haunt is capable of doing!
MAY 9, 2022 MONDAY 3 PM - OH LUCKY DAY!
FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH will be a LUCKY DAY, as select haunts will be open including TERRORFIED FOREST in PINCKNEY. Stand by...
MAY 3, 2022 TUESDAY 2 PM - LET YOUR FINGERS DO THE WALKING
No, not the Yellow Pages. It’s the new video that dropped last month from THE DARKNESS in ST. LOUIS, MO. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FACO_06Kdtc
We’ve heard lots of crazy things about this haunt!
APRIL 25, 2022 MONDAY 2 PM - MAD SCIENTISTS AFTER MIDNIGHT
As you’re reading this, haunt operators are toiling in their secret workshops to create the next BIG WOWS that will thrill and delight the masses next haunt season.
It’s no easy task, but it’s a labor of love they’re driven to...thank goodness! Somehow they always find a way to up the ante and surprise us yet again, year after year.
And even some amateur yard haunts are busy planning for next season. For them “TRICK OR TREAT” might mean the kids get a trick as well as a treat. Here’s some fun suggestions from magician Rich Ferguson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JZCAaO_QK
FEBRUARY 4, 2022 FRIDAY 11:11 AM - ENTERTAINING OR GROTESQUE - THE FINE LINE BETWEEN ART & INSANITY
When it comes to haunted attractions, everybody wants to know what the next BIG WOW will be...
The public has an insatiable appetite for thrills that dazzle and amaze, and we’ve seen this spill over to YARD HAUNTS too...speaking of which...
We finally made it to TILLSON STREET in ROMEO last season to see firsthand this LOCAL LEGEND that keeps evolving to new heights. Each and every house on both sides of the block is an adventure into another spooky scenario. The one exception was an undecorated house that had a sign saying they have the WORLD’S LARGEST INVISIBLE MONSTER!
The displays varied as much as day & night, but all pretty much conform to community standards. There’s an unspoken agreement it seems about production values and such. Thousand of families from other cities visit every year, so public relations is a consideration...porta-johns in place and such...
That being said, inevitably some will PUSH THE ENVELOPE* a little too far with their YARD HAUNTS like in this article that KS from DEARBORN sent to us...special thanks to her! https://www.boredpanda.com/extreme-realistic-halloween-decorations-police/?utm_source=com.google.android&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=organic
* = Who remembers FOUR BEARS WATER PARK in UTICA with their ill-advised STRIPPER CAGE ROOMS?
FEBRUARY 3, 2022 THURSDAY 11:11 PM - DON’T BE LEFT OUT / SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
If you have a haunt (not listed below) that’ll be open for Valentine’s Day, email us right away at zioptisfoundation@gmail so we can add you to the list.
We always seek to have complete and accurate info, and speaking of which:
Special thanks to our buddy Joel at www.horrorlust.com for letting us know of a correction concerning the final fate of the legendary G.I.Y.R.A. HAUNT in GROSSE ILE.
After its’ controversial run as THE CHOP SHOP in 2005, the site hosted THE LAB from 2006-2009 and that was the last time a haunt appeared there. It now serves as storage for athletic equipment, which reminds us of PAPP PARK HAUNT in TAYLOR which was run by the local LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL.
PAPP PARK had a trailer walk thru haunt and an excellent hayride. One time we had a neophyte with us on the hayride, and she was horrified to see one scene featuring a newlywed couple decked out in (donated) formal wear having a horrible argument.
The husband won’t let her get a word in edgewise, and is borderline physically abusive. “How can they allow that?” our friend protested but we said to relax, there could be more to the story.
Sure enough, later the scene is revisited with the bride getting big revenge. She reveals an ax she’s been hiding, takes aim and swiftly decapitates her disrespectful sorry excuse for a husband! He falls down, and blood spurts out of his neck after his head falls on the ground. The scene was clearly carefully rehearsed, and performed with dead-on precision.
Now our friend was cheering with great enthusiasm. The intense juxtaposition image of the beautiful bride wearing a real top-notch wedding gown wielding an ax was absolutely fabulous! And it made an instant BIG HAUNT FAN of our skeptical friend.
NOVEMBER 20, 2022 SUNDAY 6 PM - COUNTDOWN TO BLACK FRIDAY
The sales blitz is upon us, beckoning bargain hunters to flood the gates and storm into the stores en masse next Friday and some even right on Thanksgiving.
You can save 15%, maybe even more and it will only require that you first set your alarm clock for 4 AM on Black Friday.
Then rush to the mall as fast as possible, running all stop lights to beat out would-be bargain stealers hell-bent on ruining your glorious retail purchase experience. Affix a battering ram to the front of your car to deter rude motorists looking to steal your private parking spot.
But how badly do you really need a three dollar toaster?
We have a different strategy, and you’ll save a WHOPPING 100%!
It’s so simple. Set your alarm for 4 AM. Get up and hide your car keys. Go back to bed and meet us in slumber land.
You just saved 100%! You’re welcome.
COMPUTER CRASH NOV. 18, 2022 - RECOVERED FROM WEBSITE ONLINE, FORMATTING LOST:
FEBRUARY 2, 2022 WEDNESDAY 10 PM -Â A VALENTINEâ€S DATE FROM BEYOND
VALENTINEâ€S DAYÂ is fast approaching, so itâ€s time to make special plans for that special someone in your life.
Dinner and a movie is okay, but why notÂ CRANK IT TO ELEVENÂ with an unforgettable experience?
HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTIONÂ inÂ WESTLAND,Â PHRYTE VILLAGEÂ inÂ ORION TOWNSHIPÂ andÂ FACTORY OF THE DEADÂ inÂ SAGINAWÂ have specialÂ VALENTINEâ€S DAY SHOWSÂ that promise big thrills.Â www.valentinehauntdetroit.comÂ Â Â www.factoryofthedead.comÂ Â Â www.phrytevillage.com
These are all PRIMO HAUNTS that we feel confident in recommending!Â
JANUARY 26, 2022 WEDNESDAY 1 PM -Â THE TRIUMPHANT RETURN, JUST BARELY
HAPPY NEW YEAR!Â Finally back in town after a longer than anticipated holiday season with my girlfriend. She came down with the dreadedÂ COVID-19 VIRUS, but oddly I did not which had me playing nurse to a real life nurse!
DECEMBER 24, 2021 FRIDAY 2 PM -Â HO HO HO!
MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR in advance. We wish you the best!
We’ll be out of town for awhile, but be sure to tune in after the New Year for a SPECIAL REPORT you won’t want to miss!
DECEMBER 11, 2021 SATURDAY 11 AM - WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!
As promised, here’s the TOTALLY BONKERS GAG we mentioned earlier.
First, we’ll describe the gag then give the reveal:
Imagine you arrive at a haunt, and there’s a long line and people are running and screaming out the exit...
Finally, it’s your turn and you enter with no idea what’s ahead. There’s lots of black passageways mixed up with blinding displays and occasional MEGA STROBE blasts. The sound system is pro audio, CROWN power amps with Altec Lansing A-7 Voice Of The Theater speakers and EAW subwoofers. The bass shakes your tummy, just as it should. The sound system is ridiculous overkill for the size of the building.
SHAKEN AND STIRRED
No, it’s not a confused James Bond.
Eventually, you come to what looks like a small tunnel to crawl through. Itâ€s roomy and designed for comfort with padded floor and carpeting. It should be a piece of cake, and the exit isnâ€t far ahead.
But after you enter the exit and entrance slam shut, and youâ€re trapped. Suddenly, the â€śtunnelâ€ť starts moving forward faster and faster. Finally, it slows down and stops and you expect the exit to open.
However the â€śtunnelâ€ť starts moving again, backwards! It gets better...
Now the entire â€śtunnelâ€ť starts spinning round and round clockwise whilst continuing itsâ€ path across a large room that you never see.
Finally, the â€śtunnelâ€ť stops and youâ€re back where you started but the entrance and exit remain closed.
A very rapid forward motion resumes and then the â€śtunnelâ€ť starts spinning round and round but counterclockwise this time.
After thisÂ TRIFECTA OF MOTION MADNESSÂ the exit finally opens and your journey continues.Â HOW THE HECK DID THEY DO THAT?
ThisÂ PRIMO GAGÂ was a custom creation ofÂ THE EXTREME SCREAMÂ which was a long running haunt inÂ TAYLOR, before they moved toÂ WATERFORDÂ and then disappeared.
The setup was custom made, featuring a straight metal track across a big room. The propulsion was manpower, with a dedicated crew that pushed and then spun this clever contraption! The â€śtunnelâ€ť could be pushed in a straight line, and also spun around while traveling as it was attached to a massive industrial pivoting mechanism.
Weâ€ve seen custom contraptions at other haunts too, such as theÂ DISAPPEARING EASY CHAIRÂ gag atÂ SLAUGHTERHOUSEÂ inÂ FOWLERVILLEÂ and a spinning â€śroomâ€ť at the long defunctÂ HAUNTED THEATRE HOUSEÂ inÂ DETROIT.
One other spinning â€śroomâ€ť was at aÂ FLASH IN THE PAN HAUNTÂ inÂ MELVINDALEÂ that resembled a merry-go-round.
We even saw a miniatureÂ ROLLER COASTERÂ at the long defunctÂ HERSHEY HAUNTED HOUSEÂ inÂ DEARBORN.
Who will be the next haunt to brainstorm and build an originalÂ WACKY PHYSICAL THRILL GAG?
Only time will tell. Haunt operators are at this very moment imagining newÂ THRILLS & CHILLS, as well asÂ FANTASTIC FANTASIES.
The incredibleÂ GINGERBREAD HOUSEÂ atÂ ROTTEN MANORÂ and their newÂ ROTTEN HAYRIDEÂ come to mind. Following theÂ NURSERY RHYME THEMEÂ of theÂ GINGERBREAD HOUSE,Â we saw a whimsical tribute to theÂ 3 LITTLE PIGSÂ in theÂ ROTTEN HAYRIDE.
DECEMBER 7, 2021 TUESDAY 4 PM - WE’RE BAAACK!
Hope you all had a greatÂ ThanksgivingÂ as we did.
Later weâ€ll tell you about aÂ TOTALLY BONKERS GAGÂ from a local haunt that shakes you up, spins you around (literally), and then spits you out wondering what the heck just happened!
Even if you went to every haunt inÂ MichiganÂ this last season, itâ€s guaranteed you didnâ€t see this.
Huh? Stay tuned, my little monkeys...
NOVEMBER 24, 2021 WEDNESDAY 3 PM -Â GOBBLE GOBBLE!
HAPPY THANKSGIVINGÂ in advance to everybody!
May your turkey be moist and your loved ones near.
Over the river and through the woods, to grandmotherâ€s house we go...
Okay, itâ€s not grandmotherâ€s house weâ€re going to. But weâ€ll be gone for about a week.
Lots more great stuff to tell you about when we get back!
And donâ€t forget thatÂ Christmas In IdaÂ is coming soon, with a free country concert, fireworks, and a massive parade featuringÂ HOLIDAY HOUNDS ON PARADE.Â Itâ€s a hoot!Â http://www.christmasinida.com/
NOVEMBER 18, 2021 THURSDAY 5 PM -Â ONCE IN A LIFETIME / A CAUTIONARY TALE part 2
When we left our story, all was finally well with the new haunt that overcame every imaginable obstacle.
TheÂ FREE PIZZA GIVEAWAYÂ at the exit was the icing on the cake, and the operation is the closest thing to aÂ MONEY MAKING MACHINEÂ short of printing it yourself.
The crew & actors are already excited about next year, and you start plans for the following season.
It should be a piece of cake, right? Youâ€ve dotted all the Iâ€s and crossed all the Tâ€s.Â Youâ€ve made contingency plans for every one of the things that went wrong, and even for others that went right.
The haunt season ends, andÂ ZIOPTISÂ and others give you much deserved excellent reviews.
FINALLY, youâ€re part of the elite group ofÂ DETROIT MEGA HAUNTÂ operators. The thrill of victory!Â Thanksgiving and ChristmasÂ take on a new level of meaning, as you give thanks for the many blessings that came only after working your butt off.
Winter gives way to spring & summer...the new show is coming together nicely...
Life is good. What could possibly go wrong?
RING! RING!Â Itâ€s the property manager calling with bad news. Although you have a multi-year lease for the haunt, an â€śescape clauseâ€ť in the contract is being invoked. It essentially says that you can stay indefinitely,Â as long as we still own the place.
Unfortunately, a big time developer has just bought the entire complex and has different plans for the property.
A FLASH IN THE PAN
Unbelievable! Just like that, all that blood, sweat, and tears...POOF!
A new location canâ€t be found. Without their new haunt to perform at, the actors have no choice but to find other haunts to work at.
Past this, we donâ€t know exactly what happened...and weâ€re almost afraid to find out...
Nothing man-made lasts forever, but itâ€s sad to see something like this happen to such a passionate haunt operator.
This reminds us of what happened withÂ JOHNNY APPLESEEDSÂ inÂ MACOMB COUNTY.Â It was a rustic cider mill that had a haunt, until a developer bulldozed it down to make a strip mall.Â AARGH!
As horrible as these stories are, we have to remember what that smart guyÂ Napoleon Hill said in â€śThink and Grow Rich.â€ťÂ Itâ€s something like this:Â Every problem/setback in life also carries with it the seed of an equal or greater success.
Well, guess what? The guy who had the haunt atÂ JOHNNY APPLESEEDSÂ eventually came backÂ BIGGER & BETTERÂ when he launched the wildly successfulÂ SCAREFEST SCREAM PARKÂ inÂ LENOX TWP.
**SIDEBAR**Â SCAREFESTÂ continues to perform aÂ SIGNATURE STUNTÂ they started atÂ JOHNNY APPLESEEDSÂ calledÂ â€śTHE CHARGE!â€ťÂ Itâ€s a once-per-night-only gag staged at opening time.
The entire cast lies in hiding behind a movie screen at the queue line area. A short movie plays, then the cast literally breaks through the screen to attack the crowd.Â A GIANT WINNER!
So you never know what can happen. Will theÂ FLASH IN THE PANÂ haunt operator pop up with a deviously fabulous new master plan?
We canâ€t say, but this much we can promise: If he ever does another haunt, weâ€ll be among the first in line!
NOVEMBER 18, 2021 THURSDAY 2 PM -Â FIREWORKS TONIGHT
TheÂ WAYNE COUNTY LIGHTFESTÂ kicks off tonight..Â Itâ€s a magical four-mile stretch ofÂ Hines Park, displaying nearly 50 animated themed displays and more than 100,000 lights.
The Opening Ceremony is from 6:00 - 6:30 PM, when a fireworks display will light up the sky at the entrance off ofÂ MERRIMAN ROAD in WESTLAND.
Admission is free tonight, after that itâ€s $5.Â https://www.waynecounty.com/departments/publicservices/parks/wayne-county-lightfest.aspx
NOVEMBER 15, 2021 MONDAY 11 PM -Â Â ONCE IN A LIFETIME / A CAUTIONARY TALE
Imagine for a moment that youâ€ve decided to create your ownÂ HAUNTED ATTRACTION, and that price is no object.
The hankering to make your own haunt has become an obsession, and you wonâ€t stop until you make it happen.
Congratulations! Youâ€re part of a very select group of people with a unique passion forÂ WOWING THE MASSES.
Youâ€ve already seen all the haunts inÂ Michigan, so you go on a whirlwind tour visiting HUNDREDS of haunts acrossÂ North America.
You go toÂ HAUNTCONÂ andÂ TRANSWORLD,Â and visitÂ SCARE FACTORY inÂ OHIO.
A NICE PROBLEM TO HAVE
Pieces of a big puzzle begin putting themselves together in your brain.
You fill a warehouse with ghoulish goodies, and develop a story line that brings the whole kit-and-kaboodle together. You have enough cool stuff to change the show every year.
Searching far and wide, finally the perfect location is found. This is meant to be a long-term project, so you secure the property for several years.
The feasibility studies show the potential to be aÂ NEW PRIMO DETROIT MEGA HAUNT.
It sound likes everything should be peachy, right?
What could possibly go wrong?
TRUE STORY - ONLY THE NAMES HAVE BEEN OMITTED
Lots of media coverage and advertising ensues, and the market is abuzz with great anticipation.
Opening NightÂ is approaching. The finishing touches are made, and all the actors have been hired and coached where needed. Dress rehearsals confirm that the show is ready to hit the big time inÂ DETROIT, THE HAUNTED HOUSE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD.
But then unanticipated problems delay things forÂ Opening Night,Â and a frantic effort ensues until everything is back on track.
Finally, the newÂ Opening NightÂ date is announced and anxious haunters line up. At long last the doors open and theÂ FANS EAT IT UPÂ and come running & screaming out the exit...what a relief!
From here on it should be smooth sailing. Itâ€s a well-oiled machine, cranking out happy patrons just as you planned. The worst must be behind you now, right?
NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH
WORD ON THE STREETSÂ about your haunt ends up bringing more customers than the advertising! Whew, right?
You notice a pizza joint within a stones throw of the haunt, and strike up a deal with them. You startÂ GIVING AWAY PIZZAÂ at the exit.Â FREE PIZZAÂ is the next best thing toÂ FREE BEER,Â right? This is some powerful publicity, and word spreads quickly.
Life is good. All that time & effort finally paid off. Everything that couldâ€ve gone wrong already did. The equipment & props are working perfectly, and the actors have fine-tuned their performances. No worries, right?
EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONALS ONLY - DONâ€T TRY THIS AT HOME KIDS!
(Conclusion coming soon!)
NOVEMBER 12, 2021 FRIDAY 12:30 PM -Â THE LAST HURRAH
According to their website,Â FACTORY OF THE DEADÂ inÂ SAGINAWÂ is open tonight and tomorrow nights Nov. 12 & 13.Â www.factoryofthedead.com
We left voice mail for them, but have not heard back for confirmation. But this haunt has been reliable in the past, and has championed off-season events too so they should be good to go.
The giant building they have is amazing!
IfÂ SAGINAWÂ is too far, donâ€t despair.Â ROTTEN MANORÂ inÂ HOLLYÂ will be returning soon withÂ A BLOODY CHRISTMAS.Â Weâ€ve been to this in past years, and it was fabulous!Â www.rottenmanor.comÂ Â
NOVEMBER 11, 2021 THURSDAY 12 NOON -Â CRAZY COSTUMES
Oh you silly internet! Always more fun to find, like here:Â https://www.domesticatedcompanion.com/60-of-the-most-creative-halloween-costume-ideas/
NOVEMBER 11, 2021 THURSDAY 11:11 AM -Â ONLY TWICE PER YEAR
HAPPY ELEVEN ELEVEN ELEVEN ELEVEN!
NOVEMBER 11, 2021 THURSDAY 6 AM -Â FLY THE FRIENDLY SKIES OF GROSSE ILE
BANG BANG BANG!Â MR. ROOFÂ is putting a new roof on the house today, so itâ€ll be a good time for me to run an errand atÂ GROSEE ILE AIRPORTÂ taking pics of an airplane we need to sell.
Ah memories ofÂ GROSSE ILE...anyone else remember theÂ G.I.Y.R.A. HAUNTÂ in an unused aviation building?
The final gag was a doozie! They showed a scary movie excerpt, and told you to hold on to a secure railing. Anyone ignoring this advice quickly changed their mind and complied when monsters popped out from the movie screen and the entire room started moving!
The â€śfloorâ€ť was attached to a powerful hydraulic lift, programmed in a wild herky jerky sequence. This same concept is used atÂ SLAUGHTERHOUSEÂ with a â€śroomâ€ť attached to aÂ SKY TRACKER, an industrial machine designed to construct apartment buildings and such.
TheÂ G.I.R.Y.A. HAUNTÂ also had up & down ramps to navigate, similar to the ones atÂ ABANDONDEDÂ and later atÂ AZRA.
Later, the building was the site ofÂ JOHN BURTONâ€S CHOP SHOP.Â They pushed the envelope...some said way too far...and they closed up shop after only one year.
THE ALPHA & THE OMEGA
And that was the last time the building was used as a haunt to our knowledge, another example that NOTHING man-made lasts forever!
Rest In Peace, Adam T. Ladd
June 19, 1974 - May 30, 2014
DECEMBER 22, 2022 WEDNESDAY 7 PM - WHEN LIFE FLIPS ON A DIME
“The Holidays” are traditionally supposed to be the HAPPIEST TIME OF THE YEAR. That’s wonderful, and we wish this for all of you.
But for many people, “The Holidays” are anything but happy and amount to bombastic reminders of loved ones who won’t be there.
BOYS IN THE BAND
As some of you know, one of my biggest passions is playing drums. I’ve been in so many bands I can’t even remember how many...
But some band members you never forget, even when they move to Florida as Mike Murphy (guitar) did. This guy could play like Hendrix & John McLaughlin!
VERMONT CALLING WITH BAD NEWS
THEY KILLED A TREE OF 97 YEARS & SMOTHERED IT WITH LIGHTS & SILVER TEARS