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Archive 9

SEPTEMBER 21, 2013 SATURDAY 5 PM - FOREST FEVER / YOU MUST HEED THE CALL!

OH BOY! We can't wait, we're hitting TWO FORESTS TONIGHT...TERRORFIED FOREST in PINCKNEY and the BONEYARD in STOCKBRIDGE. www.theboneyard-fx.com

We just LOVE the ambience and feel of ACTUALLY BEING OUTSIDE for a haunted experience! There are natural sounds to help the monsters sneak around, and of course the vegetation helps a lot. They can cut and customize the shrubbery and such to where you'd never even know they messed with it.

The possibilities in a forest are limited only by the imagination, and of course the ability to pull it off.

Last year at TERRORFIED we only had time for the walk thru Mansion, but this forest HAS ALWAYS DELIVERED in the past. www.terrorfied.com

SEPTEMBER 21, 2013 SATURDAY 2 PM - BONEYARD OPENS TONIGHT!

Here's one that may have slipped under the radar if you're a Detroit-area haunter, but has been worth the trip every time we've gone. It's the BONEYARD in STOCKBRIDGE. www.scarenow.com

It's a double-attraction haunt with a killer walk thru building, and a haunted forest that totally rocks!

It's in a farmland area, so the ambience is FABULOUS.

SEPTEMBER 20, 2013 FRIDAY 3 PM - THE GREAT DEBATE CONTINUES / A NICE PROBLEM TO HAVE!

With tonight's opening of the REALM OF DARKNESS also comes the recurring question we get every year without fail: "Which haunt do you like better, EREBUS or REALM OF DARKNESS?"

They're both mega haunts, and they're both in Pontiac. Hey, Pontiac is LUCKY to have TWO mega haunts!

But really, they are SO much different from each other that it's really unfair to even TRY to compare them.

To be clear, we have nothing negative to say about either haunt.

It's just that we haven't been to EREBUS for awhile, and that's OUR fault. For the record, we've had great experiences at BOTH EREBUS and REALM!

Unfortunately, we didn't make it to EREBUS last year...but we did give REALM some awards, and it turns out we weren't the only ones...click here: www.HauntedEnthusiasts.com/#!_realm-of-darkness-main

Note: Above link won't go thru directly to Realm review, go to page 7 of "REVIEWS" on website.

SEPTEMBER 16, 2013 MONDAY 11 PM - THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES!

It feels SOOO GOOD to get back to haunting!

Flint is always a two-night affair anyways, so we started there this year.

We drove past THE CRYPT on our way to ST. LUCIFER'S, but it wasn't open yet. However, they did have it all gussied up and brightly lit...VERY inviting...we WILL be going back to FLINT for THE CRYPT!

THE CRYPT had a major expansion, and has improved their show as well. It's one of the few haunts that is actually PLUGGED by a neighboring haunt COMPETITOR.

That's how we first found out about THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS.

Many years ago, we were visiting a Detroit-area Mega Haunt and the owner of that haunt told us flat out THE HAUNT IS THE BEST HAUNT IN MICHIGAN!

Never mind which haunt operator told us that...but I WILL say that we wish that ALL haunts were as quick to GIVE BIG CREDIT & PRAISE where it's legitimately due!

Actually...here's one I WILL mention...the time that¬ Stuart MacDonald from THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN told us about GHOSTLY MANOR in SANDUSKY, OHIO.

THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN is still on hiatus, and we have one more casualty to report and it involves the Flint haunt scene.

The cool walk thru forest at LOCH LOMAND IS CLOSED.

How sad, but I'll never forget the FABULOUS TREE CARVING they had during the year that also featured Beavis and Butthead silliness. A strange looking old man's face was embedded into the tree, and we've never seen anything like it before or since.

LOCH LOMAND is right across the street from ST. LUCIFER'S, yet I remember one time when LOCH LOMAND had last-minute problems...and then ST. LUCIFER'S CAME TO THE RESCUE solving the issue at hand!

WOW.

Almost brings a tear to my eye...can you say "Golden Rule"? I like the way you say that...

SEPTEMBER 14, 2013 SATURDAY 2 PM - THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT!

Like a magnet, once again we were drawn to ST. LUCIFER'S HAUNTED ASYLUM in FLINT which has an almost completely new cast of crazies, one of which will drop your jaw and make you do a double or triple take when she does her thing!

Never mind where they got this wild bunch, all you need to know is you should go and experience this for yourself. www.MichiganHauntedHouse.com

After our highly addictive annual dose-of-the-devil, we had to look no further than spitting distance to find our next haunt! RIGHT NEXT to ST. LUCIFER'S is another cool haunt, 13 FEET UNDER.

13 FEET UNDER is not just an add-on haunt from Playland, the location of both haunts. It's a different owner, a completely different style of haunt, and also features a HUMAN POGO STICK with serious gender identity problems!

(Full reviews coming soon)

SEPTEMBER 14, 2013 SATURDAY 2 AM - JUST GOT LUCKY / OFF AND RUNNING STRONG!

Hope YOU got lucky too on Friday The 13th!

We sure did, kicking off the season with TWO PRIMO HAUNTS that are only a few hundred feet apart from each other!

Huh? Isn't that like having a Wendy's right next to a Burger King?

It sure is, but it works like gangbusters for these smart guys. We'll give you THE INSIDE SCOOP on the whole sha-bang...but it's too late now so stay tuned!

FRIDAY THE 13th, SEPTEMBER 2013 7 AM - Can you believe I'm already up?

To further complicate matters, yet ANOTHER part of us is now saying "Hit SCAREFEST right away...THEY HAD A FANTASTIC SHOW LAST YEAR and the WEATHER IS PERFECT TONIGHT FOR A HAYRIDE & OUTDOOR HAUNTS.

Anybody got a coin with THREE sides on it?

Hmmm...at SCAREFEST they have those yummy mixed drinks and ice cold suds too...and there's JUST SO MUCH TO DO there. And they actually opened LAST WEEKEND, so their opening-night rush to get ready has already passed.

We always want to see the BEST show any haunt is capable of performing! And that's why we always try to call haunts first, to make sure the main actors/gags and such are in place for our visit.

If YOU go to SCAREFEST tonight (or any night for that matter) TRY, TRY, TRY like crazy to get there BEFORE the first hayride. Never mind why...just do it!

At SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK, the way the place is set up you'd think you're arriving at the county fair or something! The atmosphere alone totally rocks, and for you Big City Kids it's easy to find even though it's in the sticks. Just follow the giant quad chasing search lights!

Back to bed...recharge the dylithium crystals...must be at maximum energy level for HAUNTING TONIGHT!!!

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013 THURSDAY 8 PM - PENSIVE OPTIMISM

We're REALLY EXCITED to start haunting tomorrow night, BUT...and this is a REALLY big BUT...

OK, this is the EARLIEST we've ever seen haunts open for the year, and we understand the "Friday The 13th" Jason thing and all as an excuse/reason to do this.

Cool. We're honestly GLAD they're doing this!

But at the same time we know the complex logistics involved in putting on a high quality haunted attraction, and most haunts end up being lucky to open on time IN OCTOBER.

And we just had reports that some haunts are still advertising to get actors, so that begs the big question:

Just HOW READY could ANY haunt be by tomorrow night?

There's equipment issues...how about the time we saw a BRAND NEW air compressor fail, and at a mega haunt no less. The actors' schedules are often a problem...sound & lights have to be tweaked for perfection...city inspector issues...grounds and crowd planning...it goes on and on...

And then there's the dreaded MURPHY'S LAW too, that seems to always kick in at the worst possible time. Let's see...oh yeah...the time a lead performer got food poisoning at a fancy restaurant comes to mind...any of this stuff sound familiar to you haunt OPERATORS out there reading this?

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013 THURSDAY 2 PM - DECISIONS, DECISIONS...

What a deal. But it's a nice problem to have!

So we're trying to decide which haunts to go to tomorrow, and part of us is saying "Hit EREBUS and SINISTER right away...SINISTER BLEW US AWAY LAST YEAR and shame on a thousand lashes with a wet noodle, we didn't even make it to EREBUS last year. "

The other part of us is saying "Hit EXIT 13 and ST. LUCIFER'S right away...ST. LUCIFER'S BLEW US AWAY LAST YEAR and shame on us again, we didn't even make it to EXIT 13 last year."

Like I said, DECISIONS, DECISIONS...

SEPTEMBER 11, 2013 WEDNESDAY - GET READY, GET SET...

And¬ GO...THIS FRIDAY THE 13th?!

Some haunts have announced they will be open starting THIS Friday - list appears temporarily in "What's Next."

The logistics in opening this far ahead of the season are enormous for sure. From that standpoint alone, it would seem the smallest of the haunts opening this Friday would have an advantage going in.

Who would that be?

That haunt is SINISTER in UTICA, which floored us last year...the actors were off-the-hook fabulous!

And THAT is more important than any other one factor in terms of giving haunters the WOW! EXPERIENCE we crave and will go to almost any length to get!

Flint? No problem. Grand Rapids? A TOTAL GAS! Ohio? Just set the GPS!

HUSH MONEY ALERT!

Oh wait, it's not hush MONEY...it's the new HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND! www.facebook.com/hushdetroit

Or how about this new find in Owosso from the Steam Railroading Institute? It's the NIGHTMARE EXPRESS and it's only open TWO DAYS, but it could be spectacular! www.MichiganSteamTrain.com

SEPTEMBER 4, 2013 WEDNESDAY 4 PM - IT'S A FAMILY AFFAIR

No, not the Sly & the Family Stone song or the cheesy ancient sitcom.

We're talking about a premiere monster haunt in Ohio that quickly became one of our favorite "MUST SEE HAUNTS" every year.

OHIO?

If you've been to TERRORTOWN near TOLEDO, you KNOW what we're talking about. But this posting has nothing to do with the actual haunt, rather the poignant circumstances surrounding it.

Browsing their website just now, I spotted this:

Dedicated to the Memory of H WM Pryor (Homer)

Terrortown is dedicated to the memory of my uncle, H Wm Pryor ( Homer ). He got me started in haunts when I was 10 years old. For many years he was responsible for building the Jaycees haunted house.

When he was ready to retire he turned it over to me. When I opened my own haunt, The Nightmare Within, he was there ready to do a scene from "The Exorcist" which he did for 8 years.

We will miss you Homer but your memory will be with us always.

Whoa...a totally different spin on what we usually experience in regard to this haunt.

Haunts come and haunts go, but one thing I know for sure is this: Remembrance of passed loved ones, and giving credit where credit is due NEVER goes out of style.

TERRORTOWN IS ONE CLASS ACT. www.terrortown.net 

SEPTEMBER 4, 2013 WEDNESDAY 1 PM - HAUNTED GARAGE SALE THIS SATURDAY!

Oh boy, it's the 8th annual Motor City Haunt Clubs Haunted Garage Sale, Saturday Sept. 7th from 9AM-2PM at Halloween Bazaar and Motor City Fireworks 50 N. Groesbeck in Mount Clemens.

If you're a vendor and haven't got on board yet, click here now! www.motorcityhauntclub.com

AUGUST 25, 2013 SUNDAY EVENING - Just watching The Simpson's right now...saw an ad for a new Fox show coming in September called SLEEPY HOLLOW.

Cool! A new spooky show from Hollywood, but better yet it's clear evidence that HAUNTING IS IN THE AIR & ON THE AIRWAVES.

LET THE MADNESS BEGIN!

Rats...still gotta wait a bit more... but can't wait to see what the MAD SCIENTISTS OF THE HAUNT INDUSTRY will unleash on the unsuspecting public this year!

AUGUST 16, 2013 FRIDAY - ZOMBIE WOW-WOW!

Or as Frank Zappa said, ZOMBIE WOOF!

This weekend, forget all the burning rubber and fuzzy dice.

WOULDN'T YOU RATHER BE A ZOMBIE in a LIVE-ACTION ROLE-PLAYING GAME?

The public just CAN'T GET ENOUGH ZOMBIES it seems, especially right here in¬ THE HAUNTED HOUSE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD, DETROIT!

So we are now proud to officially announce THE INAUGURAL DETROIT ZOMBIE CON this weekend!!

You're ENCOURAGED to come in dressed as your favorite on-screen zombie and ACT OUT YOUR FANTASY with a LIVE-ACTION ROLE-PLAYING GAME.

There's also the MISS ZOMBIE CON BEAUTY PAGENT, GALLERY OF THE DEAD vendor area, and FRESH FLESH FEST which features a new documentary "Birth of the Living Dead" about the classic 1968 schlocker "Night of the Living Dead."

Sound like fun? Then get 'yer butt over to the MOTION PICTURE INSTITUTE at 2040 Crooks Road in Troy, Michigan this Saturday & Sunday! Advance tickets are $10 or $15 at the door. It should be a blast! www.MPIfilm.com

AUGUST 15, 2013 THURSDAY - LET YOUR FINGERS DO THE WALKING

Haunts are starting to check in - just heard today from the FUNERAL HOME in INKSTER. Our email contact address is: zioptis@yahoo.com

AUGUST 14, 2013 WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON - A THOUSAND LASHES WITH A WET NOODLE

WE'VE BEEN NEGLIGENT. WE DESERVE TO BE TORTURED. Give us the wet noodle please...it doesn't hurt...but it's awfully annoying!

WHATEVER COULD WE HAVE DONE?

Well, I was checking through the "Other MICH" listings, and I noticed one that's not too far that WE'VE NEVER BEEN TO - and THAT makes it a PRIORITY How did this get under-the-radar hiding right in front of our noses? SHAME ON US!

SO WHAT IS THIS MYSTERY HAUNT?

It's the VILLAGE OF THE LIVING DEAD in ST. CHARLES, MICHIGAN; I just called them and they sound cool! www.stchauntedhouse.com

AUGUST 14, 2013 WEDNESDAY MORNING - HUMP DAY HERO

Who decided that¬ Wednesday is "Hump Day"? I thought it was Prince Spaghetti day.

No matter.

Here's a freebie worth checking out - we went last year and plan to go again tonight. It's a free concert tonight 7-9pm with flute player ALEXANDER ZONJIC at Dearborn City Hall Park in Dearborn at Michigan Avenue and Schaefer.

It's the last concert for this year in the JAZZ ON THE AVE series. Bring lawn chairs or blankets and stake out a good spot for great music in the park. Nearby restaurants will be selling food too - last year the subs from Alcamo's were awesome.

From their website: "AUGUST 14: Alexander Zonjic's All-Star Jam with very special guests including, all the way from Vancouver, Canadian contemporary jazz star, trumpeter Gabriel Mark Hasselbach as well as James Lloyd from the great group, Pieces of a Dream and the Motor City Horns performing an exciting grand finale to a summer of jazz. You never know who will show up to keep the party going all night." www.eastdowntowndearborn.com

AUGUST 11, 2013 SUNDAY - WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR

Get ready for a BARRAGE OF SHOOTING STARS in the next few days! It's the annual Perseid Meteor Shower with its STUNNING CELESTIAL LIGHT SHOW, and the peak viewing this year will be Monday August 12th.

This is the coolest meteor shower all-in-all, because of its predictability and high rate of activity. NASA is predicting about 60 meteors per hour this year.

Though astronomers expect the shower to peak in North America during daylight hours Monday, stargazers should be able to see the display on Sunday night and early Monday morning. The shooting stars will also be visible overnight Monday through Tuesday morning.

But the main thing is to GET AWAY from the big city lights, and be prepared to go LATE and stay awhile to soak the awesomeness in! We won't say exactly where we go, but there are only dirt roads there and no street lights for MILES!

Your best chance seeing the Perseid meteor shower is during nighttime hours, from Aug. 11 through Aug. 13, without the glare of the moon. For the absolute maximum effect, see the show when the moon sets shortly before dawn and get ready for some DELUXE EYE CANDY STRAIGHT FROM MOTHER NATURE TO YOU!

AUGUST 9, 2013 FRIDAY -  KID ROCKIN' THE CONCERT INDUSTRY!

Concert ticket prices have gotten out of hand, with acts like Jay Z and Justin Bieber commanding up to $200 for ONE ticket.

FORGET THAT. How about $200 for TEN tickets instead? That's what Kid Rock said to himself recently, and the result is an unprecedented EIGHT NIGHT STAND AT DTE ENERGY MUSIC THEATER! (formerly PINE KNOB MUSIC THEATER) All tickets are $20 maximum, and he even rewound the beer price too, now $4 instead of the normal $8 DTE price!

This Great Moment in Rock History starts tonight, with opening act ZZ Top to kick off the fun. So it's ZZ TOP & KID ROCK FOR ONLY TWENTY BUCKS! www.palacenet.com/venues-events/dte-energy-music-theater

Hey, just meet us there...we'll be the ones RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of 16,000 SCREAMING FANS!

AUGUST 8, 2013 THURSDAY - MOTOR CITY HAUNT CLUB GARAGE SALE!

If you're a haunt operator in Michigan, Ohio, or Indiana you'll want to check this out. It's a GIANT HAUNTED HOUSE GARAGE SALE coming soon on Saturday September 7, 2013 9am-2pm. Location is: HALLOWEEN BAZAAR, 50 North Groesbeck Hwy, Mount Clemens, MI 48043 CLICK HERE: www.MotorCityHauntClub.com

JULY 31, 2013 WEDNESDAY - ZIOPTIS WEEKEND FREE FUN PICKS

OH BOY! It's the LAST REALLY BIG FIREWORKS SHOWS FOR THE SUMMER this coming weekend at the Dearborn Homecoming Festival. There's fireworks on Saturday AND Sunday nights - August 3 & 4. And BLUES TRAVELER (with original front man John Popper) is the music headliner on Saturday. www.cityofdearborn.org/homecoming

BURNING RUBBER IN ALL FOUR GEARS!

Or if you're on the eastside, the BIG GRATIOT CRUISE ROARS THRU CLINTON TOWNSHIP this coming Sunday, August 4th. VROOOOM! www.ctgratiotcruise.com

JULY 29, 2013 MONDAY - Now added to the Zioptis photostream: Pictures from the TELEGRAPH CRUISE and HENRY FORD 150th BIRTHDAY DAY PARTY last weekend. Can you imagine driving to your friend's house in one of THESE CARS?! www.flickriver.com/photos/45316911%40N03

JULY 28, 2013 SUNDAY - DRENCHED IN HISTORY / RECKLESS TEENAGERS IN HOT RODS ON FIRE!

Wow, we had a DOUBLE DOSE of spectacular automotive splendor yesterday!

And it all started in the morning with, of all things, a furry animal waving to me from a business on Telegraph Road in Dearborn.

It was a girl in one of those cute fuzzy full body animal suits, and I didn't think too much of it until I saw another animal suit get-up...and then empty chairs and canopies set up.

Oh yeah...the ANNUAL TELEGRAPH CRUISE! Being the ORIGINAL, REAL-DEAL MOTOR CITY it's only natural we have several classic car cruise events every summer. There's the Downriver Cruise on Fort Street, Eastside Cruisin' on Gratiot, and of course the Grand Daddy of them all, the WOODWARD DREAM CRUISE which is coming soon. www.WoodwardDreamCruise.com

Did you know that WOODWARD WAS THE VERY FIRST PAVED ROAD IN THE UNITED STATES?

(More soon, still being written)

JULY 25, 2013 THURSDAY - FIVE DOLLARS A DAY?! or THE HISTORY OF YOUR BACKYARD GRILL

Once upon a time, a man named Henry Ford changed the world when he promised to pay workers an unheard of FIVE DOLLARS A DAY so they could afford to buy the cars they just made.

You probably already knew that.

But did you know he also started the American love affair with outdoor barbeque grilling?

No way! YES WAY.

Ever heard of KINGSFORD brand charcoal? It was introduced in the 1920's. There's probably a bag in your garage right now.

Henry Ford was thrifty to a fault, and it bugged him that he had literally TONS of factory waste wood scrap, mostly from shipping pallets.

So he figured out that he could incinerate it all, and compress it down into briquettes to use for outdoor cooking on his "camping trips" that eventually became one of the very first media circuses.

Clorox Bleach company now owns the Kingsford brand, but the eccentric auto inventor was the one who thought of it. And everything begins as a thought, right?

But why are we telling you all this now? The MAN WHO PUT THE MOTOR CITY IN MOTION was born 150 years ago this month, and there's a GIANT BIRTHDAY PARTY THIS SATURDAY! 10am-4pm www.henryfordestate.org

You know we also feature off-season cool events, and this looks like a doozie! There's local food taste treats, a pop-up beer garden, live music and more. Also, the promo says you can tour the Henry Ford Mansion and grounds, which are both STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL!

Their website says that "The Henry Ford Estate is now CLOSED to the public" so this may be a rare opportunity to step into a posh part of auto history unlike any other! I have personally been on this tour and it is FASCINATING.¬  When is the last time you saw a BOWLING ALLEY in a residence?!

Henry Ford was a most unusual person that changed the world, yet felt a desperate need to escape the very world he had just created. And that is why he created GREENFIELD VILLAGE, where History Lives to this very day.

People come from all over the world to see GREENFIELD VILLAGE and the amazing museum there too, now collectively known as THE HENRY FORD. If you're from the Detroit area and have NOT been there, slap yourself silly and click here NOW! www.thehenryford.org

JULY 24, 2013 WEDNESDAY - CALIFORNIA DREAMING, ON SUCH A¬ SUMMER'S DAY or WE BAD, WE NATIONWIDE!

Did you hear the big news? The FIRST HAUNT CONVENTION IN LOS ANGELES is coming right up August 10 & 11, 2013! www.ScareLA.com

We've seen haunt conventions in Texas before, but now THE CHAIN IS COMPLETE COAST-TO-COAST WITH HAUNT FEVER!

From their website: ScareLA premieres on August 10 & 11, 2013 as the first Los Angeles convention dedicated to celebrating Halloween. Situated in the entertainment capital of the world it will combine the city's top talent and unique cultural setting with a twist!

Drawing fans and haunt entertainment professionals, the event will feature top attraction designers and operators, manufacturers, artists, filmmakers and more. The weekend-long Halloween season teaser will celebrate California's hottest scary faire with attraction unveils, workshops and classes, top industry panels, haunt tours, screenings and activities. Share, inspire, play ‚Ä“ ScareLA.

JULY 23, 2013 TUESDAY - APPLE PIE, MOTHERHOOD, AND HALLOWEEN IN JULY

Now there's an American Trio we can get behind this July! The first two need no explanation...but¬ HALLOWEEN IN JULY?

Relax...you did not miss a major upcoming haunt event...we'll keep you posted on that.

It's actually a TV promotion. The TV channel "MOVIES" will show nothing but scary movies this coming Thursday in a special they're calling, cleverly enough, "HALLOWEEN IN JULY!"

In the Detroit area, it's over-the-air channel 2.2 which is the secondary channel from FOX 2 TV.

Hmmm...once again, people just CAN'T WAIT FOR THE HALLOWEEN SEASON TO GET HERE SOON ENOUGH!

JULY 13, 2013 SATURDAY - UNCLE SAM TIPS HIS HAT

The Uncle Jam Sam was a blast last night! The fireworks were excellent, and we even got some cool light painting pictures using the fireworks, the Ferris wheel, and lots of colored filters and glow sticks. They will appear here soon: www.flickriver.com/photos/45316911%40N03¬ 

Right now the first images on that photostream are from Wayne County Mud Day which was last Tuesday at Hines Park. We used a tripod for all pictures and since there was LOTS of mud, many shots were taken in good 'ole BLACK & WHITE. It was a total BLAST!

If you're not familiar with this silly event imagine this: Have you ever been so frustrated you'd like to throw something, make a big mess and not clean up? THIS is the event that makes it OK. The firemen spray water for 2 hours, as kids of all ages absorb the fun in Mudpie Paradise!

We checked and found that¬ SEBASTIAN BACH is NOT in the current SKID ROW lineup, but I guess we shouldn't be surprised. He's probably in a home somewhere, wondering why he filled his body with crazy tattoos...

Anyways, tonight's band schedule for Uncle Sam Jam in Woodhaven is: CANDLEBOX from 8:45-9:45PM and SKID ROW from 10:30-11:45PM. ROCK ON!

JULY 12, 2013 FRIDAY - ATTENTION DOWNRIVER FIREWORKS FANS:

The Uncle Sam Jam continues with a BANG tonight! For you classic rock fans, Mark Farner (formerly of GRAND FUNK RAILROAD) will Kick Out The Jams! And there's FIREWORKS too, but only tonight! www.unclesamjamfest.com

Tomorrow it's SKID ROW and CANDLEBOX, and STARSHIP on Sunday. Not sure if lead singer SEBASTIAN BACH will be with SKID ROW, but if so it's a MUST SEE FOR SERIOUS ROCK FANS.

If you've never seen SEBASTIAN BACH picture this: he's extremely tall, very good looking, and has an AMAZING BAD BOY SWAGGER you won't see from any current rock band I can think of. On top of all that, his vocal range and accuracy is astonishing too! www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymkTzOzqyNQ 

Most of the current hard rock bands I've heard are too girlie-man for me, lacking the true gutsy spirit that drove other 80's bands like CINDERELLA and DOKKEN to fill arenas everywhere they went.

NOT saying there's no good current bands...some current faves are PORCUPINE TREE, MASTODON, SLIPKNOT, PRONG, and TOOLwww.porcupinetree.com

JULY 4, 2013 THURSDAY - GOD BLESS AMERICA AND LITTLE ZOMBIES

Happy 4th of July!

Hope you're on an extended holiday weekend and that you'll enjoy a classic backyard grill and some great fireworks to top it all off. For the best info on fireworks both now AND "off-season" (for fireworks) click here: www.michiganfireworks.com  KA-BOOM!!!

JUNE 20, 2013 THURSDAY - SUNSHINE ZOMBIES & SNICKER'S DREAMS

And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street. Wait a second; make that Dartmouth Street in Dearborn Heights.

So I was driving to a friend's house last Tuesday, and the weather was the kind that makes kids run barefoot through thick, green grass and forget about TV and video games.

Four kids were playing on a corner lot, like thousands of others that day. But what caught my attention was the little girl strategically placed on the corner closest to the street.

She was wearing a mask known as "The Scream" with its super-elongated jaw dropping down, and moving in slow-motion like a zombie. She looked about 7 or 8, it was SO cute!

And then I'm thinking: here it's SUMMER, and kids are already fantasizing about Halloween! Cool.

Too bad they weren't selling lemonade too; I would have been the best customer they ever had! But that's OK, they put a great big smile on my face and in my heart and no amount of money can get you that.

I slowed down and gave them a big thumbs up, and wished I had some Snickers bars or at least some Kandy Korns to toss to them, and then I could've said "Trick or Treat¬ already???  (pause) Good for you!"

But we only buy Snickers bars once a year in October, oh wellski...kid was probably allergic to peanuts anyway...now I feel better...

MAY 14, 2013 TUESDAY - DON'T FLIP THAT COIN

Hooray! The 13th Annual Great Lakes FrightFest will be May 31, June 1 & 2, 2013 which is the weekend before the Midwest Haunters Convention. You may recall previously when a scheduling snafu had both events on the same weekend, forcing many to flip a coin to decide which to attend.

More about MHC soon, but for now here's the link for theFrightFest: www.greatlakesfrightfest.com

If you haven't been to this before, you really should go. Tons of haunters meet at a campground in Petersburg, Michigan and have a blast! Oh year...there's a HAUNTED HOUSE to go thru too!

APRIL 26, 2013 FRIDAY - WILD WEEKEND ROUNDUP

If you can't make it to HAuNTcon, here's another way cool event this weekend April 26-28, featured on the front cover yesterday in The Detroit Free Press' PLAY section: MOTOR CITY NIGHTMARES at the Sheraton Detroit-Novi Hotel, 21111 Haggerty in Novi. www.motorcitynightmares.com

5,000 people showed up at this event last year, and this year is looking even better. Over 40 horror films from all over the world will be shown, and tons of special events will delight fans like a chance for Q & A with 4 actors from the new Rob Zombie movie. That event will be April 27th, Saturday at 1:30 PM.

Rob Zombie music has long been a staple of haunted attractions, and certainly more than a few of you have heard the lilting strains of "Dragula" in October when doing what we love doing so much!

ROCK IT, SHOCK IT

Bring your dancing shoes because live music will fill the air too, from bands with such great names as THE CASKET BASTARDS and THE GUTTER GHOULS. Gotta love it!

If you remember Sir Graves Ghastly or The Ghoul (Ron Sweed), this event is right up your alley. HAVE A BLAST! www.motorcitynightmares.com

APRIL 25, 2013 THURSDAY - ZOMBIE INVASION IN LOCAL COLLEGE TOWN

Watching the Channel 20 TV News last night...just about to flip channels...then they ran a teaser showing ZOMBIES STALKING STUDENTS at U of M in Ann Arbor!

Don't touch that dial!

It was a story about a recent health department campaign in Ann Arbor about emergency preparedness. They explained that this whimsical demonstration shows the importance of being prepared for actual emergencies when they occur.

Hmmm...seems like quite a stretch to me actually. But I think it's significant that once again, we have a publicized off-season event that borrows themes from haunted houses. The makeup and mannerisms of the zombies was excellent!

APRIL 21, 2013 SUNDAY - KITCHEN SINK INCLUDED

Wow! Check out all the cool seminars coming up next weekend at HAuNTcon:

Hands-on Workshops (Materials Fee Required for Workshops)

Casting 101: Rigid Expanding Foam by Chris & Jeff Davis, Davis Graveyard
-Realistic Tombstone Workshop Part 1 & 2 by Chris & Jeff Davis, Davis Graveyard
-Making a Custom Latex Mask Part 1: Creature Sculpting by Allen Hopps, Stilt Beast Studios
-Making a Custom Latex Mask Part 2: Molding and Pouring by Allen Hopps, Stilt Beast Studios
-Making a Custom Latex Mask Part 3: Finishing and Painting by Allen Hopps, Stilt Beast Studios
-Bloody Leather Apron Workshop by Joe Titus, Zombie Manor
-Building a Flicker Circuit Workshop by Rolland Pickens & James Freeman, Pickens Purgatory
-Rusted ‚Ä“ How to Produce a Rusted Finish on Everyday Objects by Shayne Torrans, Haunt Force
-Build a Flying Crank Skeleton Workshop by Chris & Jeff Davis, Davis Graveyard
-Make Up to Die For Workshop by Bobbie Weiner, Bloody Mary Make-up
-Texas Clothing Massacre Workshop by Karen Murphy, Haunted Keepsakes
-Human Pelt Workshop: Suitable for Hanging in your Haunted Home! by Ettie Thompson, The Maze of Terror
-Create A Bust Statue Workshop by Chris & Jeff Davis, Davis Graveyard

Demo/Tech Seminars
-Ready-to-Use Waterbased Scenic Coatings for Professional Results
-Branding With Banding
-The Art of Foam Carving
-Candid Camera: Using Security & Surveillance Systems in Your Attraction
-Monster Making 101: Horror Face Painting
-"It's Alive!" Making Your Creatures/Creations Move
-You Just Got Servo'd!
-Using Fog And Special Effects To Safely Effect Your Bottom Line
-Making a Custom Latex Mask Part 2: Molding and Pouring
-Zombie Makeup Demo: Blending in with the DEAD…
-Animatronics for Beginners
-Grim Grinning Ghosts: Projecting Life Onto Inanimate Objects

Creative Seminars
-Haunt Costuming - The Devil's In The Details
-Halloween Nation: Behind the Scenes of America's Fright Night
-"Remember Me" - Creating Characters That Leave a Lasting Impression
-Designing an Actor-Friendly Haunt
-Full Contact Haunted Attractions: The Good, the Bad and the Profitable!
-Monsters in Motion: Augmenting Actors To Move In Non-Human Ways
-Hell-ements: A New Kind of Fright Attraction
-Go Back - How to Build a Back Story for Your Attraction
-Halloween Business Events: The Social Side of Scaring
-The Reality of the Paranormal

Business Seminars
-Developing a Dynamic Volunteer Team for Your Haunt
-Promoting Your Haunt With Social Media
-Scaring Up More Customers: Making Your Website More Effective
-Reaching the Haunted Attraction Demo with Advertising
-Haunt Advertising - The Terrifying Truth
-Hanging by a Rope-Haunts on a shoestring
-State of Emergency - How To Be Prepared For Worse Case Scenarios
-Building Your Haunt Army
-Beyond the Basics - Search Engine Marketing for Haunts¬  201
-Getting Started in the Haunted Attraction Industry - Pt 1
-Getting Started in the Haunted Attraction Industry - Pt 2
-Sponsors:¬  Where, Why & How You Get 'Em!

Monday's All-day Pro Seminars
Horror Face Painting: Makeup for Haunted Attractions by Nick Wolfe, Evil Twin FX
Building Elaborate Graveyard Monuments by Jeff and Chris Davis, Davis Graveyard
Haunted House Design: From the Inside Out by Leonard Pickel, Hauntrepreneurs

APRIL 10, 2013 WEDNESDAY - TEN GALLON HATS AND ZOMBIES TO BOOT

There's still time to register for HAuNTcon. It's coming right up April 25-28, 2013 in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas where they wear those crazy giant hats! www.hauntcon.com

APRIL 1, 2013 - PRANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!

Today is the big day for fooling people, just because you can! We would never do anything mischievous like that of course. Right. April Fool's!

A good prank hurts nobody, and often a sensory energy blast is produced. Hmmm...sounds a lot like the haunted attraction experience. Are haunt operators the bread and butter of the dribble glass industry? Are they the most highly skilled in the mischievous use of food dyes?

Most pranks are quick and to the point, but one prank we loved took over a year to pull off. It was in the "True Facts" section of the now defunct magazine National Lampoon, where the public sent in unusual newspaper clippings.

The story starts with the theft of a one-of-a-kind decorative lawn ornament, a not-so-lucky Irish leprechaun in a posh neighborhood.

The leprechaun is presumed to be lost forever, but then after a full year later, a large package is delivered to the site of the crime.

It's the leprechaun, carefully packed and completely undamaged. The plot thickens when a large envelope is discovered at the bottom of the box. There's no letter, but a stack of 8x10 color glossy photographs reveals an amazing journey the leprechaun has just returned from.

A series of pictures features the statuette at famous landmarks such as the Sphinx, Mount Rushmore, and Stonehenge. The icing on the cake is the final mystery picture showing the leprechaun meeting the mayor of Baltimore!

We can't help but wonder what amazing and/or confusing pranks are in the works for the coming haunt season?

Also, we can't help but reminisce about some of the most outrageous, elaborate, mind-blowing pranks that were pulled off by a certain haunt that was unexpectedly shuttered last season: THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN. Stay tuned for some wild stories about them you can wow your friends with soon...

SEPTEMBER 19, 2015 SATURDAY 8 AM - NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON'T / PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE!

Many have noticed that BURTON HAUNTED FOREST is not open this year

 

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