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
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