MARCH 31, 2013 SUNDAY 1 AM - HAPPY EASTER! - THE BUNNY HOP BLUES
We're having technical problems on the Zioptis Dial-a-Trip phone line right now. Bummer, there's several special Easter episodes to play...but one seems to come out on top most years. It's the populace episode using the "Bunny Hop" by Ray Anthony. Star tuned...
MARCH 15, 2013 FRIDAY - MOVIN' ON AGAIN...
We just heard from Deadly, er...make that DeadLANDS! 8 Mile & Dequindre will still be on our annual list of cool haunt locations to visit, just as it has been for eons. Ah, memories... www.facebook.com/Deadlandhauntedhouse
MARCH 14, 2013 THURSDAY - ZOMBIES AND DRAGONS AND SNAKES, OH MY!
Have you seen "Oz - The Great and Powerful," the new Hollywood release made right here in Pontiac, Michigan? It's way cool...just like two fabulous mega haunts we're thinking of also in Pontiac!
Good chance they, and many of you, were at the Transworld show last weekend. But if not, hot on their heels it's HAuNTcon 2013 in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas April 25th - 28th.
And if you absolutely cannot wait until next season to get your haunt on, there's a special Pre-show haunt tour that will cover 16 haunts from April 24th - 26th. www.hauntcon.com
MARCH 11, 2013 MONDAY - QUIRKY VISIONS - FIERCE FANTASIES
The Transworld Halloween and Attractions Show was a smashing success last weekend! www.haashow.com
Here's what Ghost Ride Productions said: "The TransWorld Halloween & Attractions Show is our gold standard for exhibiting at any Haunt or Halloween show; no matter when or where. The attendees that arrive year after year to this show do so with the sole intention of buying. That is their primary purpose for attending. No other show catering (to) the Haunt market can legitimately say that except TWE!" - Michael J. Chaille, President, Ghost Ride Productions, INC.
MARCH 6, 2013 WEDNESDAY 11 AM - FLYING PIGS ON THE LOOSE - ADVERTISING YOU CAN'T BUY...GOING BIG OR NOT AT ALL
Recently, a friend called me all excited and saying: "Wow, PINK FLOYD is on TV right now! I didn't know they were still around...is there a new album?"
I told her I was already watching the show (on PBS) and said: "This is WAY COOL...it looks like Pink Floyd, it sounds like Pink Floyd...but it's NOT Pink Floyd...it's BRIT FLOYD, the latest Pink Floyd tribute band."
They're coming to town this Saturday, March 9th 2013 at the Music Hall in Detroit and we'll be there. We realize many of you are too young to know this band, but your parents may snicker and smile if you ask them about Pink Floyd. They did things BIG or not at all.
Ok, what's that got to do with haunting?
Nothing exactly, but we're reminded of a stunt that Pink Floyd used to stoke the crowds at their concerts. They had a giant helium inflated pink pig that floated several hundred feet in the air, as if a beacon to something strange and wonderful.
One day at a concert in England the pig got loose from its support wires and went on its merry way, floating off into the wild blue yonder. It finally landed in a confused farmer's field, and the publicity that resulted was the kind you can't buy but is priceless.
We just got to wondering...we've seen high-flying antics at haunts before...mostly in hayrides using tall trees...hmmm...why not take it a step farther...oh man, this is GREAT...how about we construct a giant high-wire between two major competing haunts?
I can just see it now...zombies and pirate ships flying the high seas thru the sky with follow-spots lighting the madness all the way!
Haha, just kidding of course...BUT...all seriousness aside...how about some GIANT FLOATING ZOMBIES equipped with megaphones spouting Tod Dockstader inspired weirdness? A dragon perhaps? The sky is literally the limit.
So in a world where we send drones in droves and pigs can fly, surely zombies can float!
Who will be the first to do something grandiose and bizarre like this? GHOSTLY MANOR? DARKSYDE? Or maybe even THE FUNERAL HOME??? You just never know in this industry what haunt operators have up their sleeves, and we can't wait until next fall when we GET OUR HAUNT ON BIG TIME!
MARCH 2, 2013 SATURDAY 5 PM - CORUNNA CALLING (and NOT the beer)
My partner and I wreak of what the French call the "stinking rose." We just went for some delicious Middle Eastern cuisine at Malek Al Kabob in Taylor, and the garlic paste is fabulous!
Anyway, we got to talking about haunts we didn't make it to in 2012 that we absolutely MUST get to in 2013. The first two that came to mind were McCURDY'S REVENGE in CORUNNA and EREBUS in PONTIAC.
Most of you have probably already experienced EREBUS, but McCURDY'S REVENGE is sort of "under the radar" of the Detroit area. But just as THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN was worth the drive from Detroit, so is McCURDY'S REVENGE worth the journey. (See reviews in years prior to 2012)
FEBRUARY 26, 2013 TUESDAY 4 AM - TONIGHT SHOW HAUNTED HOUSE PLUG
Watching Jay Leno last night, I saw a guest who mentioned a new haunted house they opened in Las Vegas that is open year round! He claimed it's the scariest one ever, but of course he would say that.
That's ok. You and I know where the true essence of haunting came from, many moons ago right here in Southeast Michigan when the Jaycees helped launch a WHOLE NEW GENRE OF BIG FUN!!
FEBRUARY 25, 2013 MONDAY 4 PM - Awards details now posted!
FEBRUARY 9, 2013 SATURDAY 6:40 PM - WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS - MORE VAMPIRES, IF YOU PLEASE
I can't believe it!
So I'm watching the NBC National News right now, and an ad for TD Ameritrade just played and has a part that says: "...150 years. That would be great IF BOB WAS A VAMPIRE..." and it shows him quickly morphing into a haunted house grade vampire!
Wow, TV just can't get enough of spooked-out stuff...excellent.
FEBRUARY 9, 2013 SATURDAY 6 PM - DOIN' THE BATTLE CREEK VAMPIRE BOP
Hmmm...just saw a TV ad for Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Fruit Bars.
Usually that would rate right up there with discarding pocket lint on the boredom scale, but this time I was actually quite intrigued. Huh?
The characters in the ad are a FAMILY OF VAMPIRES, and the set looks like it's straight out of a haunted house.
Wait a second, here we are in the DEAD OF WINTER...there's MOUNTAINS OF SNOW all over...and here's an ad I would NOT expect to see until October. But obviously, the ad executives at Kellogg's think there's still enough appeal-factor even right now to pay for this ad's heavy rotation!
So that's planting the haunting seed in people's minds off-season I'm thinking. Just how many people saw that ad, and then thought back to last October and recounted some crazy haunt experience to their friends we'll never know.
But one thing I DO know for sure is that part of the lure of haunting is that it's an "ONLY ONCE-A-YEAR" experience that is SO FUN and SO UNIQUE especially to Southeast Michigan. And that's one of the main reasons we're the HAUNTED HOUSE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD!!!
FEBRUARY 7, 2013 THURSDAY - CALLING ALL HAUNT OPERATORS
Ohhhhh boy! TransWorld's Halloween & Attractions show is right around the corner, March 7-10, 2013 at America's Center in St. Louis, MO and is shaping up to be the best ever.
From their website: "For the last 17 years, TransWorld's annual Halloween & Attractions Show featuring the Haunt Show, Holiday and Special Occasion Merchandise has been a "must attend" event in the Halloween & Haunt industries. This year is no exception!
During these four days in March, the Halloween and Haunt industry will gather to network, get new ideas and approaches, purchase products, compare horror stories and have a great time!
How can you miss this event? www.haashow.com
JANUARY 2013 - HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Push the button...push the button...AWARDS NOW POSTED!
Congratulations to the winners, and a very big heart-felt THANK YOU to ALL the haunts who we've worked with thru thick and thin!
DECEMBER 31, 2012 MONDAY 1 AM - TURN ON THE BUBBLE MACHINE
Champagne wishes and caviar dreams to you! It won't be long...
DECEMBER 25, 2012 TUESDAY - I'M A BELIEVER
Merry Christmas everyone! May sugar plums dance in your dreams, and turkey flow thru your veins at the family flop.
Christmas seems largely geared towards kids, and that's great. But too many kids are in a big hurry to skip ahead right to adulthood it seems, and I feel sorry for them.
They're looking for reasons not to believe in Christmas magic and Santa Claus.
Conversely, my three older brothers and I were always looking for reasons to believe.
But as we reached the age of reasoning, logic interfered with the magic. We knew about gravity, and that things heavier than helium do not fly.
Dad still had us covered. He said to us, "Boys....Santa Claus is not...really using flying reindeer to deliver all those presents. He has a fleet of Mack trucks and pickups that all his helpers use."
We could still believe. We wanted to. We did.
But soon enough...too soon I would say...even that seemed logically impossible.
Not wanting to lose the magic, I went to my next older brother and said I think I know the real deal...but could we still believe for just one more year? He enthusiastically said YES!
A part of me still believes...or at least wants to.
Maybe that's why I'm such a sucker for haunted houses to this day...and what a great day it is!
May Santa Clods bring you your heart's desire...but please remember to douse the blaze in your fireplace so he won't burn his buns on his way to deliver your own special Christmas Magic!
Happy birthday Jesus...may God bless us today and everyday!
DECEMBER 12, 2012 WEDNESDAY - HAPPY TWELVE TWELVE TWELVE!
DECEMBER 8, 2012 SATURDAY 1 PM - FIELD OF FIREWORKS - GET 'YER BLAST ON TONIGHT!
Fireworks in December?
"If you launch them, they will come!"
The "Holiday Nights" shows continue tonight at Greenfield Village in Dearborn with a fireworks ending, and the remaining dates are December 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, and 27.
DECEMBER 7, 2012 FRIDAY 4 PM - KA-BOOM KA-BOOM, YA DAH-DAH-DAH-DAH...
Fireworks again tonight at Greenfield Village! Once again, the "Holiday Nights" show is sold out. But you can easily enjoy the grand finale fireworks in spectacular fashion:
Just drive in the main entrance off of Oakwood Boulevard, continue just past 1/2 mile and park in the last possible area on the right. This puts you about 150 yards from the fireworks launch point, and you'll hear the Christmas music clearly too!
The show is scheduled to end at 10 PM; approximate fireworks launch time is 9:40 PM.
DECEMBER 1, 2012 SATURDAY 2 PM - FREE FUN AS SKY EXPLODES WITH COLOR TONIGHT!
Fireworks in December?!
Yup... starting tonight in fact, as part of the annual "Holiday Nights" show at Greenfield Village in Dearborn. The show itself is already sold out, but no matter.
NOVEMBER 28, 2012 WEDNESDAY 4 AM - OF PORK AND PASSION
I ate French toast and bacon for breakfast a few days ago.
Now here it is at 4 AM and I just woke up...no breakfast in bed or burning pig flesh to permeate the air...but with a vision that's forever embedded into my mind's eye of a mad scientist scenario that we absolutely loved from a few years ago.
It was at PIGMAN'S LAIR in CHELSEA, and they had something totally unique about their Mad Scientist Room that's the stuff haunt-dreams are made of...at least for me just now!
It was TOO COOL, pull up a chair...it's story time kids...
NOVEMBER 27, 2012 TUESDAY 1 AM - OPTIMISTIC VOGUE
2012 reviews being finalized; stay tuned for the exciting results!
In the meantime, let me guide some of you down memory lane.
Can't remember the year...it's somewhere in "Archives"...but once-upon-a-time in the Downriver area there was an off-the-hook yard haunt in TAYLOR called DUNCAN STREET HORROR that we ended up at after getting our haunt fix-on at THE SCREAM MACHINE, which to this day carries on as Downriver's only bona fide MEGA HAUNT.
Anyway, it was basically a big neighborhood block party with free admission to a top-notch mini haunt put on by local maniacs with a penchant for creating joy riots that lasted for hours on end...ah memories...it was a blast...
But then so was last year when we cancelled our plans right on Halloween no less...unfortunately missing¬ EREBUS¬ yet again...ouch, shame on us!...we¬ will¬ get there next year or I'll be a monkeys uncle!
At the last minute, we decided to take a chance on a young haunt we never visited before and we had A NIGHTMARE ON ELM ROAD in WEBBERVILLE of all places. (I still don't really know where it's at thanks to Tom-Tom GPS girl "Mandy!")
It was super cool...and then we ended up at a neighborhood haunted block party reminiscent of Duncan Street...same basic concept and LOTS of cool shared experiences!
But back to EREBUS.
We're WAAAY overdue for that special cleansing of the soul that only comes from being buried alive!
And a nice swamp walk always hits the spot too, if you know what I mean...
NOVEMBER 12, 2012 MONDAY MOANIN' - FIREWORKS IN NOVEMBER!
Oh boy, it's fireworks in Westland on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012!
Join us, and many others, for a sneak preview of the Wayne County Lightfest this Thursday, Nov. 15th.
Festivities start at 6 PM with music, refreshments, and a FIREWORKS DISPLAY!
Enter Hines off of Merriman in Westland.
NOVEMBER 11, 2012 - HAPPY ELEVEN ELEVEN FROM ZIOPTIS!
Oh boy, it's party time!
The big day is here - Eleven Eleven, that most auspicious of occasions recognized by¬ Ziopticians¬ worldwide for over the last one thousand years!
Also, "What's Next" just updated.
NOVEMBER 8, 2012 THURSDAY 10 PM - INCREDIBLE SITUATIONS - IN MEMORY OF A HUMBLE INDUSTRY GIANT
I'm about to make some of you kick yourselves, hoping you don't get hurt too badly!
You've probably heard THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN shocked the haunt world by announcing they would not be open in 2012. If you never made it there, prepare to be real sorry about that!
Here's just one highlight thru many years of service:
The "YOU CAN'T GET THERE FROM HERE" gag - This was an ingenious concept, flawlessly executed for devastating confusion. The basic idea is that after seeing a bunch of different rooms, you make your way to a small square room with four doorways, each with a different color swatch on top of it.
The door keeper clearly shows a bowl full of 4 different colored stones corresponding to colors on top of the doorways, and you are directed to pull a stone out at random. That determines which colored exit you go out. No big deal.
After many more gags, you find yourself in the exact same 4 door room with the same door keeper dude. He says you must have gotten turned around...you'll have to try again. Once again, you select a random stone and exit thru its corresponding doorway. Slight concern.
After continuing further thru lots of crazy gags, guess what? Yup, you end up once again in the same exact 4 door room with the same dude again! He scolds you for not bringing your GPS...what's wrong with you anyway? Have you NO sense of direction at all?
Once again, you choose your own path with the random stone selection, and the cycle repeats itself NO MATTER WHAT path you choose. It's the SAME ROOM...the SAME GUY...WHY CAN'T WE FIND OUR WAY OUT OF THIS MADHOUSE??
Now it is a big deal...you certainly can't spend the whole night in this loony bin...but you just cannot find your way out!
This was something really special. They scrambled your brain and made you question reality, and that is a very tall order for any haunt regardless of class, creed, or color!
Stay tuned for more ruminations about THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN...gone for now but not forgotten!
NOVEMBER 7, 2012 WEDNESDAY 9 PM - HAUNTED HALLOWS in WESTLAND review now complete. This is a lucky haunt, with big woods behind their building!
NOVEMBER 6, 2012 TUESDAY 1 AM - ELECTION CENTRAL - RESOURCEFUL DREAMS
No hanging chads here, just the real deal.
It's the ZIOPTIS ANNUAL HAUNT AWARDS, coming to a computer near you in December!
NOVEMBER 4, 2012 SUNDAY 1 AM - FROTHING VISIONS - PSYCHO BELIEFS
Our apologies to McCURDY'S REVENGE in CORUNNA and EREBUS in PONTIAC for missing them this season. Both haunts have impressed us in the past! We can only imagine all the cool experiences people had there this year, and what wild new stuff they'll come up with next time out.
We find it interesting that for the first time, in this year's Fear Finder, the haunts were all listed alphabetically instead of by counties. Whatever the motivation, it seems to bring cohesiveness to the Michigan haunt scene...and we sure like the sound of that!
Just updated: "What's Next"
NOVEMBER 3, 2012 SATURDAY 2 PM - TALK A WALK ON THE DARKSYDE
We had a great time last night, finally making it to DARKSYDE ACRES in JONESVILLE. DARKSYDE reminds us of why Michigan is the HAUNTED HOUSE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD: This kind of setting is absolutely perfect to set a fabulous mood for haunting right from the get-go.
It's dark and spooky to begin with, and in the hands of skilled masters like at DARKSYDE the results are devastating!
And DARKSYDE ACRES has one last hurrah TONIGHT! It's a special 18-and-over-only show with provocative edginess reserved for this one-night-only occasion! www.darksydeacres.com
NOVEMBER 1, 2012 THURSDAY 1 PM - FANTASTIC VISIONS - STUPENDOUS ODDITIES
We've seen and done so many amazing things this haunt season, and there's still some great goodies left to savor...good to the last drop!
And stay tuned after the haunt season for lots of interesting info and outlooks on all sorts of great stuff, lots of it free!
NOVEMBER 1, 2012 THURSDAY 1 AM - BRILLIANT EXPECTATIONS - MAXIMUM PARTY!
After what we saw and experienced last Halloween at NIGHTMARE ON ELM ROAD in WEBBERVILLE, we had a good idea what to expect this time out.
We were wrong.
It was even better... (details soon in their review)
OCTOBER 31, 2012 HALLOWEEN 5 PM - MISSING VISIONS - PERSISTANCE IS A VIRTUE
We must be crazy. And we still don't really know where Webberville is! We just listen to what Mandy says, the voice on our GPS.
But we're going there tonight, to NIGHTMARE ON ELM ROAD, after 2 previous attempts earlier this season. And funny thing...last year we also went there right on Halloween night!
Then we'll venture off to the TERRORFIED FOREST & MANOR in PINCKNEY. We've had LOTS of super positive comments about TERRORFIED once again this season, and they have never let us down!
OCTOBER 31, 2012 HALLOWEEN 1 PM - FEEL LIKE A KID AGAIN
What three simple words conjure up imagery of childlike innocence and magic feelings of role-playing aspiration? That's easy. "Trick or Treat!" Ah, those magic words...are they still echoing in your mind? I hope so.
In childhood we learned how make-believe and fantasy role-playing could enrich our lives largely thru Halloween. And it even tasted good!
My brothers and I used pillow cases on our way to collect our just rewards of laughter and sugar based thrills. Naughty kids would switch costumes and hit the same houses again for extra candy. But we never tried it, we couldn't risk Santa punishing us come Christmas time. He's always watching, you know.
We had a neighborhood costume contest each year. All the kids marched down the block in hopes of winning even more candy and bragging rights that lasted much longer than the Snickers and Baby Ruth bars.
I'm the youngest of four boys, and one year my oldest brother took first place in the contest with his homemade robot get-up. It was super low-tech, made from cardboard boxes, wire, switches, a battery, and light bulbs he flashed as fast as he could!
That was the only time I remember being allowed to tag along with him for Halloween. I can still remember all four of us proudly marching in that Halloween parade, happy and free from cares. Ignorance is bliss.
But today's world doesn't seem so care free, and is much crueler than when we waited for our next Halloween adventure. We learned that life doesn't care about your dreams. We learned life doesn't care about your plans. And worst of all, we learned life isn't fair.
It seems just too far away sometimes... but really it's all a state-of-mind. In a world where the only constant is change, I can still experience that same joy and once again hear those same songs in the hearts of the kids on the sidewalks every October 31st.
So if on some dreary days before next October you feel down, knowing that society and life don't care, just remember that the special day will come again. You'll role-play and fantasize without shame, and relive childlike innocence. Or dress up like a tramp and get away with it, maybe even be commended and rewarded!
Whatever your little heart desires is ok! And you won't need ruby red slippers or to click your heels together three times. All you need is to keep in your heart and soul the spirit of those three magic, timeless words: "Trick or Treat!"
And feel like a kid again.
OCTOBER 31, 2012 HALLOWEEN 4 AM - BURNING INTENTIONS - SLICK PLANS
Wait 'till you hear what's in the works for next year at JACKSON'S UNDERWORLD! (in their review, coming soon)
So on Devil's Night there we were at JACKSON'S UNDERGROUND, being swept out the bowels of the basement of the building having just completed our mission to see a great haunt...
Then here comes this strange looking tour bus that says"Midnight Madness" on it. And it's emitting a strange blue glow, so we just had to investigate! We asked them if they're on a haunted house tour? Turns out there were 19 of them, on an annual haunt trip from RUM RUNNERS BAR in LANSING.
Tell 'ya what...if going to that bar is anything like hanging out with them for a bit in the parking lot of a haunted house, then RUM RUNNERS IS A WAY-COOL PARTY ZONE! www.rumrunners.com/lansing
OCTOBER 31, 2012 WEDNESDAY 12 MIDNIGHT - HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM ZIOPTIS - MAY YOUR TRICKS BE FEW AND YOUR TREATS BE MANY!
We just got back from an amazing visit to JACKSON'S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON, but unfortunately were too late to make it to DARKSYDE ACRES in JONESVILLE as well.
But that's ok. DARKSYDE is not done for the year, and we're bound and determined to make it there. We're Jonesing for Jonesville...that special hankering just won't go away until we get to DARKSYDE ACRES!
OCTOBER 30, 2012 TUESDAY 4 PM - It's the home stretch, but there's still lots of great haunting to do! So happy Devil's Night everyone, and if you're thinking of playing pranks tonight...go ahead!
Yes, we will personally authorize the silliness. But of course, as usual, we are still not responsible so use your head. Unless it gets removed by a guillotine, that is.
OCTOBER 30, 2012 TUESDAY 7 AM - ATTENTION JUGGALOS!
If you have tickets for the ICP (Insane Clown Posse) show Oct. 31, 2012 at the Royal Oak Music Theater, please be advised the show has been moved to The Fillmore in Detroit (formerly the State Theater).
SHAKIN' AT SHAKEN NOT STIRRED
Is Royal Oak really afraid of a little Faygo?
Ok...between Violent J and the front row fans it could be more than just a little.
ZIOPTIS ICP BACKSTAGE GROUPIE FLASH!
Here's an idea that just might get you backstage at the gig...or kicked out! Either way, we are not responsible so here it is: Get tons of 2 liter Faygo pop as usual, but get DIET not regular.
Then buy several packages of Mentos brand mints, and insert 2 of them in the top of the pop bottle. You will instantly have a rocket ship of foamy Faygo shooting about 20 feet in the air, putting the thumb-shakers in the crowd to shame. *
See? Zioptis is educational too!
* = For entertainment purposes only. Do not perform described stunt. Zioptis does not endorse the wasting of fine beverages, including Faygo Red Pop, Rock & Rye, and Creme Soda.
OCTOBER 30, 2012 TUESDAY 2 AM - Now posted: NIGHTMARE SANCTUM from WYANDOTTE JAYCEES. Also, THE BONEYARD in STOCKBRIDGE review has been expanded and new bullet statements added to REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC and DIMENSIONS OF DARKNESS in MAUMEE, OHIO.
OCTOBER 29, 2012 MONDAY 3 PM - Spotted at DEADLY INTENTIONS last night: People wearing MUTILATION MANSION garb! We're not quite sure...somebody do a Google...but we think that MUTILATION MANSION was the LONGEST RUNNING HAUNT IN HISTORY!
It was just a few trailers...and a LOT of passion from the MADISON HEIGHTS JAYCEE'S! The haunt enjoyed great publicity, virtually all by word-of-mouth.
It seems like just yesterday..."Hey, did you hear about Jimmy & Susie? They went to MEWWWW-TA-LAY-SION MANNN-SHUN and never made it out...but they were caught makin' out by the monsters..."
Just the name of the place was super wicked. We've heard lots of catchy names for haunts, but that's got to be one of the best ever if not the best ever!
Haunt trivia fact: The operator of DEADLY INTENTIONS was in the MADISON HEIGHTS JAYCEE'S for 10 years. He became a performer at the legendary MUTILATION MANSION as a youngster after his very first visit!
OCTOBER 28, 2012 SUNDAY 4 PM - WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS
Unfortunately, THE HAUNTING isn't the only haunt we're saying goodbye to this year. This is the last year for DEADLY INTENTIONS in WARREN, which has been an institution of the haunt scene for ages!
DO IT TO ME ONE MORE TIME
As we make our way to their ticket booth tonight for the last time, it will be with a powerful mix of emotions. SADNESS...we will honestly miss this haunt, and the gentle giant affectionately named SLOBBER (!!) that ran this place so well for all these years...and EXCITEMENT 'cuz we're about to take a WALK ON THE WILD SIDE AT DEADLY INTENTIONS - THE FINAL CHAPTER!!!
NO GOLD WATCH FOR RETIREMENT - BADGE OF HONOR & RESPECT
I don't have a gold watch to give you for your retirement, Howard. (Slobber's real name)
But I don't think you'll mind. After all, a watch is just a thing.
People are more important than things, and time is the only thing we all have a finite supply of that runs out.
Hey Howard, the time we spent with you was always fun and friendly...tell me it's not over...pinch me...maybe it's just a dream...
OCTOBER 28, 2012 SUNDAY 1 PM - MEMORIES, DREAMS, REFLECTIONS
While driving back from Grand Rapids last night we were gushing about all the great stuff we had just seen, still giddy with excitement like teenage girls within 10 feet of Justin Bieber.
Then a bittersweet realization kicked in, and also the sad reality that nothing man-made lasts forever. This is the same way we used to feel, and used to gush about another haunt. It had such a similar name and similar stellar quality as THE HAUNT that they often were mistaken for each other!
By now you've surely realized I'm talking about THE HAUNTINGin ADRIAN, which shocked the haunt community by announcing they're closed for 2012.
The scope of influence from this industry giant and leader is hard to gauge, but one thing I know for sure: Long after people have forgotten the specifics of your business, people that were involved with you will remember one thing that is very important.
It's so simple, and yet is becoming as rare as incandescent light bulbs and 8 track stereo tape recorders. The one thing people will remember for sure is how you treated them and made them feel.
Check this out: Recently I was talking to a medical office worker about haunted houses, and she wanted to know what haunts would really blow her mind. I said, "Ah...sheesh...therewas this one haunt that never failed to baffle and bedazzle us to the max...THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN."
A look of bewilderment suddenly overcame her, and she blurted out: "NO WAY! I used to live in Adrian...they're gone??? That was the coolest place ever...and I actually KNOW Stuart Macdonald...he is the NICEST GUY!"
So here I am in Wayne County...a random encounter...and suddenly here's this cool girl gushing about HOW NICE the guy running THE HAUNTING is! Later as we reminisced together, she recalled some of the major gags and magic show highlights.
But the MAIN THING she instantly remembered was WHAT A CLASS ACT STUART MaCDONALD IS.
All that glitz and gore...mind-bending illusions...awesome actors...but the thing she really took away from THE HAUNTING was good 'ole Human Kindness.
How do you want to be remembered? Will you end well?
Long after the last Snickers bar has found its way into the septic tank, and Noxzema has removed the scars and gashes, people will always remember that all-too-old fashioned Human Kindness...and that NEVER goes out of style.
OCTOBER 28, 2012 SUNDAY 3 AM - DEMOCRACY IN ACTION - GIVE A MONSTER A BREAK, WILL 'YA BUDDY?
At¬ NIGHTS OF FEAR in GRAND RAPIDS, something interesting is going on you don't see at most haunts.
They're having an election.
Not the boring kind, like where they try to convince you to put them up in The White House for four years.
This one is fun! We had no idea...
So we were finishing up at THE HAUNT, also in GRAND RAPIDS... and the operator says some of his actors went thru NIGHTS OF FEAR and liked the new stuff they have and that we should go there too.
NIGHTS OF FEAR is a 3 section haunt, and there's a competition between all 3 sections to gather the most votes from the public that attends the haunt! The winner is crowned with craziness, but more importantly gets to return the next year for a Grand Finale before it's retired for good.
Now that's democracy in action, wouldn't you say?
THE HAUNT is another story-and-a-half for later...we're still reeling...it's all a blur...help Mr. Wizard...Jayne, get me off this crazy thing...JAYYYYYNE!!!!
OCTOBER 27, 2012 SATURDAY 2 PM - GOING HOME AGAIN - JUST SOME KIDS AND A FEW TRAILERS
Do you remember the very first haunt you ever went to? I sure do. My dad took me to the Dearborn Recreation Center, where the Jaycee's had set up a few trailers.
Nothing fancy. But I was hooked.
They say you can't go home again...but they're wrong. We went there last night, after an impromptu stop at Zukin's Rib Shack in Lincoln Park upon getting back last night.
ANXIETY ALLEY in LINCOLN PARK may just be that first haunt for lots of you, and guess what? They're still open! It's right there on Dix at the Lincoln Park Community Center, so we stopped in after Zukin's.
Unfortunately, the last of the monsters were just driving out as we were driving in. So we left a few Zioptis cards for them to find, and hopefully they're reading this right now!
If you're in the Downriver area, we really hope you'll support the smaller haunts that were in fact the original basis for the haunt genre to begin with!
PAPP PARK in TAYLOR and ANXIETY ALLEY in LINCOLN PARK¬ are waiting impatiently for you...to go home again after all.
FRENZY HAUNTED HOUSE
115 Mill District Road, Allegan, MI 49010
ZIOPTIS SEZ 2009 - ADDAMS FAMILY HOME ON STEROIDS AND A HALF
This is one of those places that just looks spooked out to begin with, all by itself. It resembles a giant house as you arrive, across a bridge you walk over from the parking area. But it was a saw mill, and there's some spooked out stuff about this place in real life!
Imagine for a moment you're a haunt operator checking out your new building for the first time...you open a door and walk into a room that's got hundreds of school desks, all mangled up and strewn about...enough to make even Alice Cooper proud! ("School's Out Forever")
Another room has thousands of bags piled up every which way. Some weird stuff happened for these rooms to be so discombobulated, and some of the rooms could've be left exactly "as is" for a haunt!
NOT OPEN IN 2010...BUMMER! We were looking forward to going.