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._____________________________________________________________________
JANUARY 9, 2020 THURSDAY 11 PM - DECISIONS, DECISIONS...
We’re still deliberating the Awards, thank you for your patience!
DECEMBER 31, 2019 TUESDAY 11 AM - NEW THIS YEAR
A new AWARD CATEGORY is being added: BEST JAW DROPPING GAG -
Who will it be for? It’s a no-brainer to us, stand by...
DECEMBER 30, 2019 MONDAY 2 PM - NO RUSH TO JUDGEMENT
In past years, we’ve announced the ZIOPTIS HAUNT AWARDS on the last day of the year which is tomorrow.
However, we’re running late this time and may have to delay until the New Year comes.
There’s just so many factors to consider, and we take seriously who gets what awards.
Stand by my little monkeys...
DECEMBER 30, 2019 MONDAY 1 PM - NEW PHOTOS JUST RELEASED
Now posted: pictures from HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND - www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/
DECEMBER 25, 2019 WEDNESDAY 1 PM - MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
Here’s hoping that SANTA CLODS still fits down your chimney, and that he doesn’t burn his buns in your fireplace!
And please remember to leave lots of tasty treats for him to enjoy. We suggest smoked salmon, chocolate chop cookies, and vanilla flavored almond milk.
DECEMBER 18, 2019 WEDNESDAY 4 PM - THE BIG TWO OH!
How long would you say a haunt has to be around until it’s considered to be an industry leader?
AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS in MADISON HEIGHTS is only in it’s 2nd year, but is making a very big splash! They’re young and highly motivated...many industry leaders are like that.
Or what about...
HUSH HAUNT in WESTLAND who stormed onto the scene in 2013, and took a giant step forward in 2019 to MEGA HAUNT status with their move from Ford Road to Cherry Hill in Westland...so that’s 7 years and running...
What about if a haunt makes it to TWENTY YEARS?
Well, next year that’s exactly what they’ll be celebrating at BESTMAZE in MASON! Hmmm...they must be doing something right...we went in 2019 and loved it! It’s a dual attraction haunt, with industry leading self-draining trails in the maze and their TRAIL OF TERRORS.
DECEMBER 16, 2019 MONDAY 2 PM - TIMELESS FUN
Last weekend was a GIANT SUCCESS, as AWAKEN, EXIT 13, FACTORY OF THE DEAD, and ROTTEN MANOR opened their doors to celebrate FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH as only world class haunted attractions can!
We don’t have the exact figures, but are confident attendance was in the thousands.
And it’s not over yet, as FACTORY OF THE DEAD in SAGINAW will be open next weekend too - Friday & Saturday Dec. 20 & 21. www.factoryofthedead.com
DECEMBER 14, 2019 SATURDAY 9 AM - THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHILD
We went to ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY last night and it was packed to the gills! That alone was awesome eye candy for us but it gets better...
We lucked out, and the couple next to us in line had never been to any haunt before! They’re locals, living about 2 minutes away who wanted to see what all the hoopla is about.
So we went through with them, and got to see first hand what happens when neophytes experience a WORLD CLASS HAUNT like ROTTEN MANOR. It was fabulous!
As usual, the entire show was spot on but with lots of CHRISTMAS THEME characters and story lines added. Kudos to WF and crew!
We got some excellent pictures with a DSLR too, stand by...
DECEMBER 13, 2019 FRIDAY 2 PM - HOLIDAY NIGHTMARE COMES TO LIFE
A BLOODY CHRISTMAS at ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY has attracted TV COVERAGE: www.nbc25news.com/news/local/a-bloody-christmas-is-a-holiday-nightmare-come-to-life
DECEMBER 12, 2019 THURSDAY 2 PM - KRAMPUS GOES KRAZY!
We just talked to the operator of ROTTEN MANOR, and we can’t wait to go to A BLOODY CHRISTMAS!
Lots of big fun with special goodies you didn’t see during the haunt season will be in action. Last weekend was a big success for them, with many attending for the first time.
A giant heated tent will keep the queue line warm, and more than one SANTA will make appearances. Everyone knows that SANTA CLAUS has helpers, but the likes of these helpers will NOT be found at your local mall!
Heaters are in place inside the MANOR so there’s no excuse not to go on account of the weather, which is actually looking better than today anyway.
In addition to THE MANOR, the midway will also be operating. One of our favorites there is the EXTREME 3D VORTEX, which takes the classic BlackHole effect to a new dimension with an optical illusion we’ve never seen before with this gag. www.rottenmanor.com
DECEMBER 12, 2019 THURSDAY 3 AM - CAMP CRYSTAL LAKE ACCEPTING NEW CAMPERS THIS WEEKEND
Tomorrow is FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH, and JASON IS BACK!
FOUR AWESOME HAUNTS will be open for FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH weekend.
AWAKEN in LESLIE presents the cleverly named Jingle HELLS - YULE DIE! www.awakenhaunt.com
And ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY will again open the doors to their own special breed of HAUNTED MADNESS & MAYHEM in A BLOODY CHRISTMAS. They promise to show “what happens when you end up on SANTA’S NAUGHTY LIST!” www.rottenmanor.com
EXIT 13 in MOUNT MORRIS is known for being a highly physical haunt, and here’s your chance to experience it without waiting until next October! www.facebook.com/pg/Exit13HauntedHouse/events/
Finally, FACTORY OF THE DEAD in SAGINAW will be open with their EVIL CHRISTMAS. From their website: “This chilling event brings to life the story of a Christmas demon, known as Krampus, that helps Santa deal with anyone that is naughty. Visitors who loved getting spooked during Halloween can get scared all over again for this holiday season. The new attraction will also swap out Santa for photos with Krampus.” www.factoryofthedead.com
The weather is looking good too, as the forecast is significantly warmer Friday & Saturday with a high of about 43.
More pics of ROTTEN MANOR and also of HUSH coming...
DECEMBER 5, 2019 THURSDAY 3 PM - IT’S HALLOWEEN AGAIN!
Well, sort of...because ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY is open with A BLOODY CHRISTMAS this weekend! It runs December 6 & 7 and also next weekend December 13 & 14. www.rottenmanor.com
Don’t let the cold weather keep you away, as they have a heated waiting area.
Also this coming weekend is the 37th Annual CHRISTMAS IN IDA, a massive 3 DAY OUTDOORS FESTIVAL that’s the biggest event of the year there. www.christmasinida.com
There’s 2 free country music concerts on Saturday starting at 4 PM, fireworks at 6:30 PM and then an amazing parade that runs about 2 hours.
HOLIDAY HOUNDS ON PARADE is part of the parade silliness, with CANINES DECKED OUT IN HOLIDAY GARB by their shameless owners!
There’s more doggie fun on Friday too, with the POOCHES IN LIGHTS PARADE at 6:30 PM.
Also, on Saturday you can take a HELICOPTER RIDE or CARRIAGE RIDE.
There’s plenty of food trucks, but you can also get great chow on the cheap in the library building just to the right of the concert area.
NOVEMBER 30, 2019 SATURDAY 2 PM - GROWING UP IN A HURRY
Imagine for a moment that you have some friends with a child who is 4 foot tall.
A year goes by until you see them again, and now the child is 24 feet tall!
Well, that’s sort of what happened to HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION for the 2019 season.
And they’re still not done, with an incredible 40,000 square feet to work with. We can’t wait to see what they do, and for their MARDI GRAS STYLE PARTY coming up as they turn the interior of their brand new building into BOURBON STREET.
Coming soon: info on AN EVIL CHRISTMAS you won’t want to miss and much more!
NOVEMBER 28, 2019 THURSDAY 11:11 AM - HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!
TOM TURKEY SEZ: “Pardon me! Be thankful, and enjoy a delicious fish dinner today. Thank you. Very Much.”
NOVEMBER 24, 2019 SUNDAY 8:30 PM - Now posted! More pics of the amazing ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY - www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/
NOVEMBER 24, 2019 SUNDAY 8 PM - ”THANKSGIVING OF HORROR”
THE SIMPSONS episode playing right now on FOX TV has halloween and sci-fi twists . IT’S ULTRA WACKY!
NOVEMBER 17, 2019 SUNDAY 10 PM - AND IT ALL STARTED IN WESTLAND
No, not HUSH.
We’re talking about a ranch style house in Westland from long ago, a replica of which now stands in downtown Detroit.
PALM SPRINGS COMES TO DETROIT IN MIXED MEDIA MASHUP DELUXE
It’s a trip through a psychedelic carnival of the mind called ROBOLIGHTS, and they just moved from PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA to DETROIT for 2019! www.desertsun.com/story/news/2019/03/08/robolights-2019-will-be-held-in-detroit-not-palm-springs/3107700002/
And here’s an article from the FREEP: www.freep.com/story/entertainment/arts/2019/10/25/detroit-robolights-mocad-lights-kenny-irwin-jr/4082738002/
This sounds way cool! We’re going soon...
NOVEMBER 15, 2019 FRIDAY 10 PM - THE 2019 HAUNT OF THE YEAR
If you had to pick just one haunt to be HAUNT OF THE YEAR, which would it be?
“That’s a no-brainer” many would say, “it’s the one where Little Johnny pooped his pants” or “Suzy Q peed on the clown” or “Freddie fainted when the tree came to life and attacked,” etc.
Is it even possible to say Haunt A is better than Haunt B?
These questions, and many more are swirling in our brains!
Be sure to check back at the end of the year...
Coming next: It’s PART HAUNTED HOUSE / PART CHRISTMAS DISPLAY and it’s right in Detroit!
NOVEMBER 15, 2019 FRIDAY 6 PM - TRICK OR TREAT TONIGHT IN FENTON
Whoopee, it’s Halloween again!
Well, not exactly...but that’s what it looks like in Fenton right now.
My partner just called telling me there’s lots of women wandering the streets of DOWNTOWN FENTON right now, all carrying blue bags that say STATE BANK on them.
They’re all collecting goodies, and wine too from various businesses.
She had stopped at EL TOPO (where we ate earlier on a haunt night) and women with the blue bags were enjoying margaritas there.
But the biggest surprise came next, as familiar voices yelled at my partner from the street. It was her stepsister and niece, inviting her to join them for wine to which she replied “Thanks anyway, I just had tequila!”
The festivities continue until 9 PM. Details: www.facebook.com/events/fenton-michigan-ladies-night-out/553146172101347/
NOVEMBER 14, 2019 THURSDAY 5 PM - RANDOM MOMENTS OF GREATNESS
We saw so many amazing things in the 2019 HAUNT SEASON our heads are still spinning!
A few highlights, in no particular order:
At SLAUGHTERHOUSE in FOWLERVILLE - a nightmarish encounter with the AMAZON LADY “ALEXA” who reacts in real time to each group. FABULOUS!
At THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS - the miniature merry-go-round room with crazy out of their mind circus characters. SUPREME WACKINESS!
At AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HH in MADISON HEIGHTS - the GIANT EYEBALL ROOM near the end with colorful crazy clowns freaking out.
At HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND - the BIG MANSION FEEL, the exceedingly prim and proper HOTEL CONCIERGE, the incredible GIANT BUCKING HORSE on your left, and the HIDEOUS SILVER GIANT on your right.
NOVEMBER 11, 2019 MONDAY 11:11 AM - LEST WE FORGET
Happy ELEVEN-ELEVEN ELEVEN-ELEVEN!
IN HONOR AND MEMORY OF FALLEN HEROES
And of course we recognize VETERANS DAY and REMEMBRANCE DAY for the Canadians out there...you hosers! haha
We’d like to remind you that freedom isn’t free! You’ve got to pay a price, you’ve got to sacrifice, for your liberty.
NOVEMBER 7, 2019 THURSDAY 4 PM - DO IT TO ME ONE MORE TIME
FACTORY OF THE DEAD in SAGINAW is open this weekend, Friday & Saturday Nov. 8 & 9! www.factoryofthedead.com
It’s billed as a BLACKOUT EVENT, but not totally as glow sticks are given and limited lighting will be on for safety’s sake. The actors and sound will all be in place!
General admission at the door is $16, or free if you’re a haunt operator and 1/2 off ($8) if you’re a haunt worker.
If you’re a haunt operator or haunt worker, you must pre-register by calling CHRIS ASAP at (616) 666-1190.
FACTORY OF THE DEAD will have various off-season events too, along with other haunts which we’ll list as the time grows near so stay tuned...
NOVEMBER 7, 2019 THURSDAY 6 AM - DEAD MAN’S PARTY
Every year as FAT TUESDAY approaches, many people attend one of the BIGGEST PARTIES OF THE YEAR...
It’s a GIANT CELEBRATION you may know by another name, MARDI GRAS which takes place in NEW ORLEANS.
Problem is, NEW ORLEANS is quite a distance from THE MITTEN and it’s prone to flooding and hurricanes...what to do?
HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION will be THROWING A BOURBON STREET PARTY right at Cherry Hill & Newburgh in Westland!
We don’t know exactly what they’ll do, but if we know HUSH it’s gonna have a SUPER SPOOKY EDGE!
There’s incredible amounts of good vibes associated with this location, as it’s the site of the former SKATELAND WEST where so many people had so much fun for many years.
Not only that, but the original decrepit building has been replaced with a brand new structure so there’s no infrastructure problems.
The new building is massive, and they own it giving them the flexibility to do almost anything.
Date & details yet to be announced, stay tuned...
NOVEMBER 4, 2019 MONDAY 3 PM - WHY WE CHOOSE TO GET SCARED
This question is at the very root of haunted attractions, and sociologist MARGEE KERR has lots of the answers.
She recently appeared on TV in CANADA on CBC-TV’s THE NATURE OF THINGS: www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/features/the-science-of-the-scare-designing-the-perfect-haunted-house
MARGEE KERR also appeared on NBC-TV NEWS in the USA: www.youtube.com/watch?v=91bJ1UnzH7E or www.nbcnews.com/now/video/the-science-behind-being-scared-72546885905
Stand by for more later with big news about HUSH in WESTLAND.
NOVEMBER 3, 2019 SUNDAY 3 PM - CALIFORNIA DREAMING
We just saw something on CBS NEWS that looks way cool, and has interactive elements reminiscent of the haunted attraction experience to boot. www.cbsnews.com/news/enter-the-immersive-world-of-sante-fe-art-collective-meow-wolf/ and www.meowwolf
NOVEMBER 3, 2019 SUNDAY 2 PM - EAT THE CAKE
We finished off our season last night with a BANG with a group that’s been haunting for 43 YEARS!
PURGATORY by the WYANDOTTE JAYCEES delivered the goods from start to end, with no weak spots whatsoever.
Unique interaction is their hallmark, starting in the queue line with a request for you to confess your sins.
Having a specific story line makes for a more interesting haunt experience, and each actor has a quirky idiosyncrasy they’re proud to display. After all, when you’re insane it’s the rest of the world that’s mad!
Review coming later, but here’s some highlights:
Just before entering you receive conflicting advice: one actor says when offered the choice, DON’T EAT THE CAKE and another says to EAT THE CAKE!
Of course we played into the gag and did eat the cake, and it was delicious!
This haunt is as old as the hills, yet is up to date with modern lighting techniques starting with a double-sided GREEN LIQUID SKY ROOM that nailed it. And we loved their BLACKLIGHT ROOM with colorful poles and such.
High flying acrobatics keep the action coming from every possible location, and a good amount of disorientation and dark passageways round out the experience.
Our apologies to DARKSYDE ACRES, EREBUS, GHOSTLY MANOR, HAUNTED HYDRO, HAUNTING IN IRISH HILLS, and TERROR ON 27 for missing them this season.
NOVEMBER 2, 2019 SATURDAY 6 PM - THE LAST HURRAH
Haunts open on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019:
AWAKEN - LESLIE
AZRA - MADISON HEIGHTS
BATE’S HAUNTED SAWMILL - MILLINGTON
BESTMAZE CORN MAZE & TRAIL OF TERRORS, WILLIAMSTON
CORN MAZE ADVENTURE PARK & PUMPKIN PATCH - CASCO TWP. www.cornfun.com
DARKSYDE ACRES - JONESVILLE
DERANGED - ROMULUS (RAW 18+ PART 2)
EDSON INCIDENT - BAY CITY
EREBUS - PONTIAC
EXIT 13 - MT. MORRIS
FACTORY OF THE DEAD - SAGINAW (ALSO OPEN with BLACKOUT on Nov. 8 & 9, 2019)
THE HAUNT - GRAND RAPIDS (BLACKOUT)
HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME - INKSTER
HAUNTED HYDRO - FREMONT, OHIO
HUSH HAUNT - WESTLAND (GLOW STICK FRIGHT NIGHT)
JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD - JACKSON
MORROW ROAD HAUNTED TRAIL - ST. CLAIR TWP.
NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S - YPSILANTI
NILES SCREAM PARK - NILES (BLACKOUT)
PURGATORY BY WYANDOTTE JAYCEES - WYANDOTTE
ROTTEN MANOR, HOLLY
THE SCREAM MACHINE - TAYLOR
SHAWHAVEN HAUNTED FARM - MASON
TERROR ON 27 - ASHLEY
THE VILLAGE OF THE LIVING DEAD - ST. CHARLES
WICKED WOODS OF TERROR - CARO
NOVEMBER 2, 2019 SATURDAY 4 PM - ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES PART 2
Earlier we discussed how haunted houses came to be, and that THE JAYCEES were largely responsible.
Well, THE WYANDOTTE JAYCEES are still at it!
From their Facebook page: "Hell is empty and all the devils are here." - William Shakespeare
Descend into the depths as the Gates of Purgatory are open for wretched souls......willing or unwilling.
For 43 years, the Wyandotte Jaycees have hosted a haunted attraction. Expanding 6000 square feet, Purgatory is entirely indoors and offers free parking. Fall further and further from grace as you explore 13 horrifying chambers of the Devil's deepest depravity and punishments. What unspeakable evils do you have staining your soul? The wickedness that you dare not speak aloud or even think upon? Can you face your demons AND his? Enter Purgatory....and see if the Devil lets you back out.
The Gates of Purgatory will be open every Friday & Saturday evening from 7pm to midnight and Sunday evenings from 7pm to 10pm, starting September 27th through November 2nd.
A SIMPLE “YES OR NO” QUESTION
Politicians are famous for evading these questions, but here’s one we’re sure you can answer easily: can you name ANY other haunt that’s been around for FORTY THREE YEARS??? www.facebook.com/events/796272760770823/
Hmmm, they must be doing something right and they’re open tonight! Decisions, decisions...
NOVEMBER 2, 2019 SATURDAY 3 PM - STEP INTO MY TIME MACHINE
Flexibility is a virtue, as well as persistence.
And as we mentioned earlier this season, gravity is proof that the earth sucks. That’s why your plans don’t always work out, like last night.
The original plan was to hit TERROR ON 27 in ASHLEY, or HAUNTING IN IRISH HILLS and DARKSYDE ACRES. No go.
So where’d you go, Zioptis?
We stepped into the HAUNTED TIME MACHINE...
Oh cool... you mean EREBUS the time machine disguised as a haunted house, right?
Actually, no...although EREBUS is on the wish list. We ended up going to a primo OLD SCHOOL HAUNT that has never let us down...the HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME in INKSTER.
NOTHIN’ FANCY, STRICTLY FAMILY
HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME is big on basics while being perhaps physically the smallest haunt we went to this year. It’s jam packed with OLD SCHOOL GOODNESS, with great surprises / interaction.
NOVEMBER 1, 2019 FRIDAY 6 PM - ALWAYS SOMETHING...
Rats! Those darn logistics problems, getting in the way of our haunt plans again.
Time to work on PLAN B...
NOVEMBER 1, 2019 FRIDAY 8 AM - AND THE UNLIKELY CANDIDATE IS...(drum roll)
It’s the final stretch, and plenty of BIG CITY HAUNTS to choose from. (see list of haunts open in “What’s next.”
But check out the population of where we’re considering going to tonight: As of the census of 2010, there were 563 people, 195 households, and 133 families residing in the village.
In years past, we’d changed our BIG CITY HALLOWEEN PLANS to head to the tiny city of WEBBERVILLE for the now defunct NIGHTMARE ON ELM.
So what city, wait make that VILLAGE, with a population of well under a thousand could be worth going to for great haunting?
The answer is ASHLEY, MICHIGAN, home of TERROR ON 27. www.terroron27.com
ASHLEY? Never heard of it, where is it?
Hold out your hand, and point right to the MIDDLE OF THE MITTEN. There you go, that’s where you’ll find the centrally located ASHLEY...and perhaps us too tonight!
NOVEMBER 1, 2019 FRIDAY 2 AM - HALLOWEEN MAGIC!
After much deliberation, we decided to celebrate Halloween at HUSH...after passing out candy to local Trick-or-treaters of course.
The rain was incessant and the wind was howling like a thousand wolf men, but the Trick-or-treaters still came. The lure of fantasy, fun and candy outweighed minor distractions like gale force winds.
With the last stragglers gone, it was time to decide where to go...
HUSH is one of three obvious standout LEADERS OF THE PACK of the 2019 MICHIGAN HAUNT SCENE, and we already went to another one of them twice...GRAND RAPIDS is too far for tonight...
So HUSH it was, our second visit there this season and the perfect way to FINISH WITH A BANG on Halloween night! We noticed things we missed during our first visit, like a miniature LIQUID SKY BOX the likes of which we’ve never seen before.
We got some cool pictures too, and we’ll be posting them later on our Flickr photostream. Stay tuned...
OCTOBER 31, 2019 THURSDAY 5 PM - The start of a NEW HALLOWEEN STORY came to me recently, but it’s long from finished.
So in the meantime, here’s a repeat from 2013:
NOVEMBER 2, 2013 SATURDAY 2 PM - PULL UP A CHAIR...
“PIGTAILS & PUMPKINS Ä- BLESSED BY A GOURD” by Zioptis
Inspired by Crazy Bob (Haunted Hydro in Fremont, Ohio) & adapted from a story by Bennet Cerf in “Chicken Soup For The Soul”
Melissa counted out the last pennies of her fare, on a small bus in rural Wisconsin in 1967.
She was 14, and it was the day after Halloween. The kids in front of the bus were still celebrating, bragging about how much candy their pillow cases held and such.
Near the back of the bus was mean Mr. Turner.
Nobody knew much about him, except that he used to give each Trick-or-Treater a small packet of candy on Halloween.
That stopped a few years ago, but a bright Jack-o-Lantern still appeared on his front porch every Halloween.
He sat on the bus with no expression on his face, and in his feeble hands was said Jack-o-Lantern.
The crudely carved crooked teeth in the pumpkin resembled his own, and his clothes were ragged with the shirt buttoned wrong.
Strangely, Melissa walked right past her friends, and sat down across from mean Mr. Turner who continued to look forward with an empty stare.
Then suddenly he spun the pumpkin to face her, with its' silly face as he yelled "BOO!" and went back to his empty stare.
Melissa shrieked just as she had the weekend before at the local Jaycee's Haunted House, but then grinned a grin like the Great Pumpkin Himself.
At the next stop, the not-so-mean-after all Mr. Turner got up to leave.
But he hesitated for a moment, and then thrust the jolly Jack-o-Lantern into the girl's hands. He said, "The pumpkin made you smile, I think my wife would like you to have it. I'll tell her I gave it to you."
The old man hobbled out of the bus...and just before he disappeared from sight, Melissa saw him walk through the gates into a small cemetery.
OCTOBER 31, 2019 THURSDAY 3 PM - HALLOWEEN HAVOC TONIGHT
DERANGED in ROMULUS is closing out the season with special events tonight and November 1 & 2. www.DerangedHaunt.com
Tonight is HALLOWEEN HAVOC, then on Nov. 1 it’s RAW 18+ PART 1 and Nov. 2 it’s RAW 18+ PART 2.
Hmmm...RAW EIGHTEEN PLUS?
We’re not sure exactly what they mean by that, but we have a good idea...
Anybody remember the long-gone FOUR BEARS WATER PARK HAUNT in UTICA and what happened?
Never mind that, we trust that DERANGED has more sense than they did. Then again, haunt operators can be a little weird sometimes... ;-)
OCTOBER 31, 2019 THURSDAY 2 PM - Y’ALL COME BACK, HEAR?
Be sure to check back at the end of the year for A SPECIAL ANNOUNCMENT!
We’ll be reviewing our notes and recordings, and then...TA-DAH!
Also, stay tuned for off season events like HAUNTED CHRISTMAS EVENTS, FRIDAY THE 13th HAUNTED EVENTS, A WINTER OUTDOORS COUNTRY CONCERT with FIREWORKS and more!
OCTOBER 31, 2019 THURSDAY 1:30 PM - DON’T LET ME DOWN
No, not the Beatles song.
Today is Halloween...hooray!
Also today is some really lousy weather forecast for Trick-or-Treating tonight. BOO HOO!
But that won’t stop the kids from venturing off with their costumes, clutching pillow cases and such to fill with treats.
Provided that people are still ready to supply those treats.
THE REASON FOR THE SEASON
We urge you to GIVE LOTS OF CANDY to the Trick-or-Treators tonight, and help keep alive the wonderful mystique that’s at the very core of haunting!
Yes, we’re going haunting tonight as we always do on the big day. But not until the last SNICKERS BAR has been given to the last straggler in a HALLOWEEN COSTUME that comes to our door.
Just as at Christmas time many people say “Jesus is the reason for the season,” we say KIDS, CANDY & FUN are the reason for the season at Halloween! Please don’t let them down.
OCTOBER 31, 2019 THURSDAY 1 PM - HOCUS POCUS
Today is Halloween...hooray!
But did you know that today is also NATIONAL MAGIC DAY? www.nationaldaycalendar.com/national-magic-day-october-31/
And did you know that we have the WORLD’S LARGEST MAGIC COMPANY right here in Michigan? It’s ABBOTT’S MAGIC COMPANY in COLON, MICHIGAN. My brothers and I used to drool over their amazing catalog, and they have an annual magic get-together that’s legendary! www.abbottmagic.com
OCTOBER 31, 2019 THURSDAY 7:30 AM - BLINDED BY SCIENCE
Coming up on NBC’S THE TODAY SHOW: “Halloween on the plaza; a look is taken at the science behind fright and why people like to be scared.”
So there’s science behind all this? Who would’ve known... ;-)
OCTOBER 31, 2019 THURSDAY 2 AM - THE GREAT PUMPKIN ARRIVES
We had a great DEVIL’S NIGHT with lots of other happy haunters, at FACTORY OF THE DEAD in SAGINAW and EXIT 13 in MT. MORRIS.
REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE
No, not the phone company ad.
It was the monsters and clowns at EXIT 13, the HANDS ON HAUNT where they touch you, grab you, and...well, you’ll see what else! We’re not about to give it all away...
FACTORY OF THE DEAD is by the crew that formerly did GOREGROUNDS, and the new building they have has lots of room for expansion. They had a rushed setup schedule, but you’d never know it. The show was excellent, from sets and sound/lights to actors that were all spot on with their cues.
One more cool thing about FACTORY OF THE DEAD: they will be open November 8 & 9, 2019 with BLACKOUT NIGHTS. (sound & actors will be in place) They’re inviting all other haunts to visit gratis!
OCTOBER 30, 2019 WEDNESDAY 5 PM - DEVIL’S NIGHT FUN!
We’re off to FACTORY OF THE DEAD in SAGINAW and EXIT 13 in MT. MORRIS (near FLINT) tonight.
FACTORY OF THE DEAD is now run by CH who did GOREGROUNDS previously, and we can’t wait to see what’s up! The building they’re in on LAPEER AVE. is massive, and was formerly NIGHTCRAWLERS. www.factoryofthedead.com
EXIT 13 is the haunt that gives you a unique choice of whether or not TO BE TOUCHED BY THE MONSTERS! We said YES when we went last year...in fact we loved it so much we went twice in 2018! www.exit13hauntedhouse.com
OCTOBER 30, 2019 WEDNESDAY 3 AM - ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES
Everything starts as a thought.
But who had the first thought to put together what would become THE VERY FIRST HAUNTED HOUSE EVER?
We asked MR. GOOGLE and found this: “The first verifiable Jaycees haunted attraction as recognized by the Jaycees national office was The WSAI Haunted House in Cincinnati, Ohio operated by the Sycamore-Deer Park Jaycees in 1970. In 1974, The Haunted Schoolhouse, located in Akron, Ohio, opened to the public and is still in operation to this day.”
Wait a second...
MUTILATION MANSION in MADISON HEIGHTS ran from 1966 to 2006. It too was started by THE JAYCEES, and who remembers ANXIETY ALLEY in LINCOLN PARK...also JAYCEES late 60’s I think...they even have a memorial FACEBOOK PAGE: www.facebook.com/AnxietyAlley/
Okay, all of this supports the notion that HAUNTED HOUSES STARTED NOT IN OHIO BUT IN MADISON HEIGHTS, MICHIGAN!
Wait a second...
MR. GOOGLE also says to check Wikipedia and another story emerges that’s hard to dispute: “Halloween-themed haunted houses in America seemed to begin emerging during the Great Depression, about the same time as trick-or-treat. But the haunted house as an American cultural icon can be traced to a single event. The Haunted Mansion opened in Disneyland August 9, 1969. The attraction became a near-instant success. A single-day record of 82,516 guests was established soon after it opened. In 1973, Knott's Berry Farm began hosting its own Halloween night attraction, Knott's Scary Farm, which soon became the gold standard of Halloween events. Evangelical Christians became early adopters of alternative Halloween attractions. Jerry Falwell and Liberty University introduced one of the first "hell houses" in 1972.
Two sides to every story...at least.
(Editor’s note: while checking the links in the Wikipedia article above we clicked on “trick-or-treat” and they show a cute picture of a child in a skeleton costume from REDFORD MICHIGAN in 1979!)
OCTOBER 30, 2019 WEDNESDAY 2 AM - THE DEVIL’S DUE
Here we are already at DEVIL’S NIGHT...so many haunts we want to hit...and we must be crazy, some haunts we went to twice...and might even do it again with HUSH HAUNT...have you seen it this year?
If not, you’ll freak!
HUSH moved in 2019, expanding by a factor of 6 to become the newest DETROIT MIGHTY MEGA HAUNT. www.HushDetroit.com
The attention to detail, both in sets and characters/costumes, is staggering. Hollywood grade production values tie up the whole thing into a MASTERPIECE OF MAYHEM!
Hollywood...hmmm, that reminds me of something with THE ELLEN SHOW...
My partner is a fan of THE ELLEN SHOW, and they had a Halloween episode including a visit to the UNIVERSAL STUDIOS haunted attraction. (HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS?)
We watched it, and the haunt was okay...but we think THE ELLEN SHOW should come to DETROIT and see HUSH instead! Just sayin’...
OCTOBER 29, 2019 TUESDAY 8 PM - GOOD TO THE LAST DROP
Just released: the complete list / dates of remaining haunts open in “What’s next”
OCTOBER 29, 2019 TUESDAY 4 PM - THE HOME STRETCH
We’re working on the list of haunts open on Devil’s Night, Halloween, and Nov. 1 & 2...
And open tonight...here’s the MIGHTY MEGA HAUNT from MR. HAUNTED HOUSE himself...EREBUS! www.hauntedpontiac.com
Also open tonight is another MIGHTY MEGA HAUNT that’s been creating quite a buzz on the streets this year...it’s HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND. www.hushdetroit.com
HUSH blew us away earlier this season!
Also open tonight is another MIGHTY MEGA HAUNT, JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD IN JACKSON. This was the first haunt we visited this year which marks their 10th Anniversary. If you haven’t seen this you’ll flip! Their amazing massive building creates its’ own spooky environment, setting the stage for two strong indoor attractions. www.jxunderworld.com
Also open tonight is the amazing AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HH in MADISON HEIGHTS. It’s only their 2nd year, and they’ve expanded inside and out to great effect. The queue line is not only heated and covered now, but it’s also been converted into a DANCE CLUB with special lighting and great sound! www.AzraHaunt.com
Also open tonight is the new DECADES OF THE DEAD in YALE. www.facebook.com/decadesofthedead119
OCTOBER 29, 2019 TUESDAY 2 AM - URBAN LEGEND NOT FAKE NEWS?
Every year we hear variations of a story about a disgusting haunted house that costs $100 to get in. Supposedly you get $10 back for each room you make it through, each room worse and worse...
But nobody can tell you where it is, because it doesn’t exist.
Or does it?
This time we kept hearing TENNESSEE as the location for the BIG MONEY BACK HAUNT. Some said it was to raise money for dogs...
So we asked MR. GOOGLE and what do you know? Click here and see for yourself: www.travelpulse.com/news/entertainment/win-20000-if-you-make-it-through-this-haunted-house-that-nobody-has-ever-finished
OCTOBER 28, 2019 MONDAY 4 PM - Just updated: What’s next
Some haunts are done for the year, but later we’ll be releasing the list of haunts still open! Stay tuned...
OCTOBER 28, 2019 MONDAY 3 PM - STILL IN HIGH GEAR
We had a great Sunday night haunting, first with a new haunt then at what has become a big favorite of ours...
First was THE HAUNTED FOREST in ROCHESTER and then ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY.
THE HAUNTED FOREST has a really sweet twist! Everyone is given a paper bag to collect candy in, but first you’ll need to “earn” it. A series of creative challenges leads to the candy rewards.
ROTTEN MANOR was again spot on throughout the MANOR and FOREST! We got some fabulous photos too, including still shots and LIGHT PAINTING PICS of the fire juggling performers and the 3D VORTEX.
We’ll be releasing them on our Flickr photostream later. In the meantime, we already have 3 pics from ROTTEN MANOR in 2017 posted: www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/
OCTOBER 27, 2019 SUNDAY 6 PM - ONCE IS NOT ENOUGH
Some haunts are so cool that you wanna go twice if at all possible.
And if some or all of it is outdoors you want good weather, like tonight which is a 180 from last night with warmer temps and no rain...
That means it’s ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY again tonight! We already went earlier this season, but their new FABULOUS GINGERBREAD HOUSE is beckoning...
Also in Oakland County is THE HAUNTED FOREST in ROCHESTER which we’ve never seen yet, and what fun it’s at a ZIPLINE PARK!
OCTOBER 27, 2019 SUNDAY 4:30 PM - HEAD FOR THE HILLS
We’re in the final stretch of haunting...BOO HOO!
Before you know it, DEVIL’S NIGHT & HALLOWEEN will be here...where’s a killer place to celebrate?
EREBUS is beckoning...but somehow we often find ourselves on Halloween at smaller haunts like NIGHTMARE ON ELM in WEBBERVILLE that sadly is gone now.
Last year we finished at MEGA HAUNT DARKSYDE ACRES in JONESVILLE and they delivered the goods big time...
Hmmm...just noticed that HAUNTING IN THE HILLS in IRISH HILLS is open on DEVIL’S NIGHT and HALLOWEEN!
We hit HAUNTING IN THE HILLS for the first time in 2017 which was their 3rd year open. The place is awesome, and like stepping into a TIME MACHINE FROM THE PAST with an authentic train car and much more. www.facebook.com/traincarofterror/
OCTOBER 27, 2019 SUNDAY 4 PM - DIE HARD FANS FLOOD THE HAUNT
Hey Zioptis, how’d it go in Grand Rapids at THE HAUNT last night?
It rained horribly for hours, a torrential downpour...
That must’ve put a damper on things.
Not at all...over a thousand people stood in the pouring rain for hours!
We had a behind the scenes look at the operation in THE HAUNT, and the detail and precision of the setup is mind boggling!
The inner pathways create a grid much like a city street map, helping about 110 actors quick access to makeup rooms and such...
The end result is a sophisticated interconnected network that makes for smooth operation, starting with a series of GREEN LIGHTS above entrances that signal the next group to enter.
Pacing is key at haunts so everyone gets the gag. But at the same time, you want to move the queue line overflow as fast as possible to get them into the comfortable waiting area for 500 people. There’s even benches to sit on too, something we’ve never seen at any haunt before.
Amenities at any large facility can make or break the experience, and THE HAUNT NAILS IT!
Review coming later...
OCTOBER 26, 2019 SATURDAY 3 PM - OH BOY!
There’s still lots of great haunting to do, and tonight should be a monster! www.the-haunt.com
OCTOBER 26, 2019 SATURDAY 4 AM - FREAKY FRIDAY!
We hit three awesome haunts Friday night, all fairly close to Lansing.
First was BESTMAZE in WILLIAMSTON, then SHAWHAVEN HAUNTED FARM in MASON, and finally AWAKEN in LESLIE.
This year the maze at BESTMAZE seen from aerial view is SMOKY BEAR who turns 75 in 2019.
We didn’t do the maze but we hit their flipped out TRAIL OF TERRORS, a top notch forest haunt teeming with CREATURES FROM BEYOND!
SHAWHAVEN was PARTY CENTRAL FRIDAY NIGHT, with a LIVE DJ crankin’ the jams...prizes including pizza giveaways from FATBOY’S PIZZA if you conquer any of the 3 ESCAPE ROOMS they have... and there’s the primo hayrides...roaming mischievous actors in full costume, a massive walk thru haunt called SAMARA’S RETIREMENT HOME and lots more.
One room we loved in SAMARA’S features a DAZZLING RED TUNNEL, you can’t miss it!
We haven’t been to BESTMAZE or SHAWHAVEN for several years, and it felt so good to go back.
Main mission accomplished.
Wait a second, how far is LESLIE from MASON?
Only about 10 minutes away...
Time to FINISH THE NIGHT WITH AWAKEN!
AWAKEN...that’s the name of this young haunt in LESLIE...we saw their 2nd year last season and they blew us away...wonder what they’re up to now... set the GPS to take us there...
WOW! This haunt has expanded big time since last season with both indoor and outdoors sections to great effect...one of our faves is an AMAZING MULTI-ROOM LIQUID SKY DISPLAY to die for...you can SEE the air currents at the edge of the GREEN LASER BEAMS this effect uses like never before!
So we pulled off a THREE BANGER after all...thanks to Jill...
But now get ready, get set, and GO GO GO TO GRAND RAPIDS we will, to finally check out what many haunt operators have told us we HAVE to see...THE HAUNT!
OCTOBER 25, 2019 FRIDAY 2 PM - THE WORLD IS YOUR HOMETOWN
Wow! We invited you all to send us an email, and one arrived all the way from Australia! Keep ‘em coming...
OCTOBER 24, 2019 THURSDAY 3 PM - TELL US YOUR STORIES
Every happy haunter has a different story...a unique viewpoint...
And we’d like to hear YOUR HAUNT STORY now!
What was the most amazing thing you saw? What surprised you the most?
Whatever it was, send us an email at: email@example.com
OCTOBER 24, 2019 THURSDAY 2 PM - COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN!
The big day is only one week away, and we’re scrambling to pack as much haunting as possible into the home stretch.
We heard this year is the SWAN SONG for CRAZY BOB at the HAUNTED HYDRO in FREMONT, OHIO...and it’s been too long since we hit GHOSTLY MANOR in SANDUSKY, OHIO...
It’s also been too long since we hit BESTMAZE in WILLIAMSTON and SHAWHAVEN FARM in MASON...
AWAKEN in LESLIE, TERROR ON 27 in ASHLEY, and WICKED WOODS OF TERROR in CARO are also on our wish list for this season...
And THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS is a priority as we missed their new beginning last year...
HUSH HAUNT in WESTLAND had an amazing growth spurt, transforming itself from neighborhood local haunt last year to a MAJOR DETROIT MEGA HAUNT in 2019. They impressed us so much we’re hoping for a second visit...
ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY also impressed us so much we’re hoping for a second visit...
Also on the MEGA HAUNT scene, it’s been too long since we hit the mighty EREBUS in PONTIAC...
And then AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HH in MADISON HEIGHTS isn’t too far from PONTIAC, and they upped their game so much this season that we’d love to hit them again...and HAUNTED GARAGE in GROSSE POINTE FARMS isn’t far from MADISON HEIGHTS and they have so much it’s hard to take it all in during a single visit...
OCTOBER 23, 2019 WEDNESDAY 4 PM - SAY WHAT?!
How many rooms would you say a haunt needs to reach MEGA HAUNT status? 50? 60?
Well, we just talked to the new owner of THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS and this year they have 152 ROOMS! www.the-haunt.com
OCTOBER 22, 2019 TUESDAY 11 PM - Just updated: the CLOSED section where we list haunts gone but not forgotten. The count is up to 94 haunts now!
OCTOBER 22, 2019 TUESDAY 10 PM - Now posted: full review of ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY. See Reviews 2019_A.
OCTOBER 22, 2019 TUESDAY 12 NOON - SPOOKS A PLENTY
Here’s some local haunted events of interest:
The City of Southfield presents their first-ever GHOST WALK tonight at 6 PM and 7:30 PM. www.wxyz.com/news/city-of-southfield-getting-spooky-with-first-ever-ghost-walk-tonight
Also, the Ford Piquette Plant brings back its’ GHOSTS OF PIQUETTE TOURS on Oct. 27 & 28. www.wxyz.com/news/detroit-s-ford-piquette-plant-brings-back-ghosts-of-piquette-tours
OCTOBER 21, 2019 MONDAY 3 PM - IS IT COINCIDENCE OR MEMOREX?
Do you believe in coincidences? Or is what happens to us just destiny?
Either way, the coincidences keep piling up for us this season...
BORN AND RAISED IN SOUTH DETROIT
Who uses that phrase? Nobody around here, in everyday conversation anyway.
And yet we heard it again for the second time last night this season, and both times it was at a PRIMO APPLE ORCHARD MEGA HAUNT!
NIGHT TERRORS at WIARD’S in YPSILANTI and BLAKE’S HAUNTED BIG APPLE in ARMADA both have karaoke...
Last night we hit NIGHT TERRORS, and sure enough on the karaoke stage somebody chose the song “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey which contains the lyric “Born and raised in south Detroit.”
Just like at BLAKE’S, when the SOUTH DETROIT LYRIC came the crowd joined in with great enthusiasm and gusto!
IS JOURNEY THE NEW ROB ZOMBIE?
Earlier this season we hit BLAKE’S and heard the same song, and yet not even once have we heard the sweet lilting strains of “Dragula.” A sign of the times, or just coincidence?
OCTOBER 21, 2019 MONDAY 2 PM - “OFF NIGHT” IS ANYTHING BUT AT WIARD’S
Most haunts are not open on Sunday, so it’s an off night.
And even if they are open Sunday it’s usually considered an “off night,” meaning things will be scaled-down from Friday and Saturday.
Not so at NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S!
We went last night and it was jammin’ big time. What a great way to spend a lazy Sunday day evening!
Our only regret was we didn’t get to see the ALIEN CAGED CLOWNS part of the haunt as we arrived too late and it was closing. But we did everything else, and it was all totally spot on! KUDOS TO WIARD’S.
OCTOBER 20, 2019 SUNDAY 6 PM - HAYRIDE PERFECT WEATHER!
Hooray! Good weather tonight so we’re hitting a fave hayride and haunt of ours, NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S in YPSILANTI. They’re open 7:30 - 10:00 PM tonight. www.HauntedHouseMichigan.com
WIARD’S won a whopping FIVE ZIOPTIS AWARDS in 2019!
Last year WIARD’S had 2 amazing LED COSTUME ACTORS roaming the grounds. There was JUSTINE THE FAIRY PRINCESS and a KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR...we hope they’re there tonight!
OCTOBER 20, 2019 SUNDAY 4 PM - NEW KID ON THE BLOCK PACKS A WALLOP
We had a great Saturday night at GHOSTLY GROVE in PINCKNEY and SLAUGHTERHOUSE in FOWLERVILLE. Our apologies to TERRORFIED FOREST for missing them.
GHOSTLY GROVE is a super spooky forest walk haunt in their first year. It’s very dark at times, yet you always know right where you’re going thanks to small lights on the ground. Excellent monster surprises / interaction, and we really liked their LIQUID SKY SWAMP ROOM that has several twists we didn’t expect.
SLAUGHTERHOUSE has a new hayride as well as the walk through haunt, but the comedy and magic aspects remain as a major strength of this haunt. We didn’t have time for the haunted corn maze.
Both GHOSTLY GROVE and SLAUGHTERHOUSE are family farm haunts, and it turns out they’re good friends as well!
OCTOBER 20, 2019 SUNDAY 1 PM - SUNDAY FUN DAY!
The weather tonight will be perfect for outdoor adventures, and there’s plenty of great haunts open tonight: BLAKE’S HAUNTED BIG APPLE in ARMADA, DECADES OF THE DEAD in YALE, EREBUS in PONTIAC, EXIT 13 in MT. MORRIS, FACTORY OF THE DEAD in SAGINAW, THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS, HUSH HAUNT in WESTLAND, JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON, NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S in YPSILANTI, PURGATORY in WYANDOTTE, ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY, SCREAM PARK in NILES and TERRORFIED FOREST in PINCKNEY.
OCTOBER 19, 2019 SATURDAY 4 PM - CARPE DIEM BABY!
Just saw the extended forecast for next week, and they’re calling for rain next Friday.
If true, it could mess things up for outdoor haunts then so we urge you to visit your local neighborhood outdoor haunt tonight!
Here’s a hayride that’s at the OLDEST FARM IN MICHIGAN! PHANTOM FOREST HAYRIDE in GROSSE ILE has been a frequent destination of ours, having a special old time flavor all its’ own...plus, just driving to GROSSE ILE is a trip with a great view of the river! Take the FREE BRIDGE. www.westcroftgardens.com
OCTOBER 19, 2019 SATURDAY 2 PM - CLICK YOUR HEELS TOGETHER THREE TIMES AND REPEAT AFTER ME
“You can’t go home again.”
You’ve probably heard this old adage, but last night we proved it’s only FAKE NEWS.
We DID go home again, and all it took was a short trip to the small but mighty LENOX TWP. where both the HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR and SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK are located.
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME...
No, not Dorothy calling out to Aunty Em...it was us last night!
Both HAUNTED FARM and SCAREFEST have upped their game since our last visit to them in 2016.
Rainy days and the allure of new haunts caused us to miss them in 2017 & 2018.
PERFECT FULL DISCLOSURE / ABSOLUTELY NO QUID PRO QUO
Here are some haunts that kept us away from LENOX TWP. in 2017 and 2018: GOREGROUNDS in BRIDGEPORT, HAUNTING IN THE HILLS, IRISH HILLS, AWAKEN in LESLIE, AZRA in MADISON HEIGHTS, WICKED WOODS OF TERROR in CARO, EDSON INCIDENT in BAY CITY, DERANGED in ROMULUS, WILD WOODS OF TERROR in KOCHVILLE TWP. and NIGHTSTALKERS in SAGINAW.
Shame on them! A thousand lashes with a wet noodle. Thank you.
OCTOBER 18, 2019 FRIDAY 2 PM - NO RAIN ON THE PARADE
Hooray! The weather should be fine tonight for outdoor haunts, so we’re off to the great wilderness to get our haunt on...
OCTOBER 18, 2019 FRIDAY 3 AM - DOUBLE DOUBLE TROUBLE TROUBLE
There’s another city beckoning us that also has two fabulous haunts -- that would be the small but mighty LENOX TWP. with HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR and SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK. They both have primo hayrides and walk through haunts and lots more!
OCTOBER 18, 2019 FRIDAY 2 AM - KICK OUT THE JELLY, NELLY
Wait...make that KICK OUT THE JAMS!
Gotta have the right tunes for the journey to hauntworld...and every time we DRIVE TO HELL we play the song “BEFORE SHE DOES” by ERIC CHURCH where he says “I BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS COMING BACK BEFORE SHE DOES”...what a great line and a hilarious catchy country rock song. Listen for a grin - www.youtube.com/watch?v=muNyGqIFsG0
OCTOBER 18, 2019 FRIDAY 1 AM - HIGHWAY TO HELL DOUBLE BANGER!
This weekend we’re driving to Hell...and beyond!
Okay, it’s actually PINCKNEY right next to Hell, Michigan and even better there’s 2 HAUNTS IN PINCKNEY!
Brand new this year is GHOSTLY GROVE, a haunted forest walk through a real farm. It’s not in the haunt rags, but we talked to them earlier and their credentials are substantial. Could be a BREAKOUT NEW HAUNT IN THE DETROIT MARKET. www.ghostlygrove.com
TERRORFIED FOREST also in PINCKNEY is under new ownership this year after Mike & Jen finished up a SLAM DUNK FABULOUS HAUNT RUN there. KUDOS TO THEM! This haunt has changed hands several times but always held a special place in our heart...it was the first FOREST MEGA HAUNT that blew us away many many moons ago...the troll under the bridge...multiple black holes...
And then not too far from PINCKNEY it’s SLAUGHTERHOUSE in FOWLERVILLE which we missed last year...they got totally rained out for NINE DAYS OUT OF TWELVE on their 2018 schedule! Bummer, but this weekend is looking good so it’s CARPE DIEM BABY!
OCTOBER 15, 2019 TUESDAY 11:11 PM - A DILLY OF A PICKLE (CONTINUED)
Many harvest moons ago my partner was given a very special gift by a close friend.
It was a “good luck” dill pickle made of glass.
She handed it to her and said, “Here’s a good luck dill to hang on your rear view mirror in your hunt for dills!” ;)
(An old German tradition at Christmas is to hide a pickle in the Christmas tree, then the first to find it has good luck and gets an extra present.)
The dill traveled with her for many a moon over thousands of miles in countless journeys, searching far and wide for the Ultimate Dill. ;-)
The decorative purposes only dill pickle remained steadfast through thick and thin, braving many ridiculous encounters with clueless guys...
And then finally, just recently something spooky and strange occurred.
While cleaning out her old car preparing to trade it in on a new one, the trusty dill was packed into a large paper sack and left out on the lawn next to the driveway.
But then, after triumphantly returning back home with the BRAND NEW SHINY FORD EDGE she made a gruesome discovery.
THE DEVASTATING DEMISE OF THE DANGLING DILL
Somehow, the LUCKY DILL had fallen out of the sack and found its’ way onto the driveway directly below one of the massive Michelin tires on the FORD EDGE.
With the formerly trusty dill now crushed and shattered into hundreds of tiny glass shards, she said to herself “Oh no! This is bad luck.”
But we went haunting, and everything was fine.
A PICKLE OF A MESS
And then, the very next day after getting the BRAND NEW MAGIC BUS...
Just leaving Colasanti’s Market in Milford with food for dad, driving DOWNTOWN no less in the middle of the day on a very busy road... low and behold THREE DEER suddenly bolted into the road...whose car do you think they ran in front of...BANG!
She felt the impact, and watched in horror as the deer went flying.
What a deal, less than a hundred miles on the car and already nailed a deer. Rats!
OCTOBER 14, 2019 MONDAY 3 AM - OUT OF MY MIND ON MONDAY MOANIN’
Are you superstitious?
If not, the true story of what just happened to us may change your mind. It’s a real DILLY OF A PICKLE!
Do you believe in unexplainable coincidences, or is what happens to us just destiny?
First, the back story that ties this all together...coming next!
OCTOBER 13, 2019 SUNDAY 10 PM - ANY WAY YOU WANT IT
We saw two completely different haunts Saturday night, but we loved them both.
First we hit the wild and crazy AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HAUNTED HOUSE in MADISON HEIGHTS which has expanded inside and out since their debut last year.
Outside, they essentially converted the waiting area into a DANCE PARTY CLUB complete with a DJ, club lighting, and a PARTYMASTER DUDE that reminded us of REDFOO. They even played the song “Party Rock,” which REDFOO did with his band LMFAO.
It gets better. The entire area is now covered and heated, and the sound system is PRO AUDIO with massive subwoofers for body thumping bass.
Inside, the haunt has expanded by about 1/3 from last year with 2 new areas and special emphasis on the CLOWN ROOM upstairs which has doubled in size.
Then we hit the magical wonderland that is HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS in GROSSE POINTE FARMS. They’ve expanded too, and take you to so many different places -- even other planets -- that your head will spin! The actors are supplemented by a dizzying array of animatronics the likes of which we’ve never seen at a single haunt before.
One feature at HAUNTED GARAGE that drove my partner wild had nothing to do with the impressive scenes. It was the aroma of FRESH DONUTS being made. The combo of a donut and cider is irresistible!
Our apologies to THE HAUNTED FOREST in ROCHESTER for missing them. It’s located at a zip line adventure park, which reminds us of a haunt we went to in FRANKENMUTH a few years ago also at a zip line park.
OCTOBER 13, 2019 SUNDAY 7 PM - WILD AND CRAZY / FANTASY WONDERLAND
Our WISCONSIN GUEST has gone now, off to a big IT CONFERENCE in CHICAGO that starts tomorrow.
Sadly, he wasn’t able to join us for haunting last night...
But we had a blast, visiting two TOP NOTCH HAUNTS as different as night and day, AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HAUNTED HOUSE in MADISON HEIGHTS and HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS in GROSSE POINTE FARMS.
OCTOBER 13, 2019 SUNDAY 6:30 PM - SUNDAY FUN DAY!
There’s plenty of great haunts open tonight: BLAKE’S HAUNTED BIG APPLE in ARMADA, DECADES OF THE DEAD in YALE, EREBUS in PONTIAC, EXIT 13 in MT. MORRIS, FACTORY OF THE DEAD in SAGINAW, THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS, HUSH HAUNT in WESTLAND, JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON, NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S in YPSILANTI, PURGATORY in WYANDOTTE, ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY, SCREAM PARK in NILES and TERRORFIED FOREST in PINCKNEY.
OCTOBER 13, 2019 SUNDAY 6 PM - A PICKLE OF A MESS
OMG! You won’t believe what just happened, right while talking to my partner by phone.
And it all goes back to a jar of pickles I bought last week at Kroger, and a new car good luck charm my partner’s friend gave her long go.
Stand by my little monkeys...
OCTOBER 12, 2019 SATURDAY 4 PM - DAIRY LAND DAYDREAMING
Visiting with our WISCONSIN GUEST right now, watching some LaserFace...
Wisconsin does have many wild haunts...but we know that DETROIT TOTALLY ROCKS THE HAUNT SCENE and we’re gonna have a great time tonight!
We’re hitting two haunts that WON ZIOPTIS AWARDS last year, AZRA in MADISON HEIGHTS and HAUNTED GARAGE in GROSSE POINTE WOODS.
And we hope to also check out the new HAUNTED FOREST in ROCHESTER if time allows...
Laser lighting has become part of many haunts, and we sure do LOVE a good LIQUID SKY room!
In case you don’t know, the LIQUID SKY effect is created with fog and a laser projector facing towards you from the opposite end of a room. The beams turn 3D in midair.
The beams can dance around, or stay in a fixed oval pattern. When an oval pattern is used, it created a tunnel effect. You can clearly see the edges of the laser in the fog, and if you drag your fingers through at the edge you can actually see the air currents being produced!
Even better is when a fan is placed behind the laser to suck air towards it, creating a spinning tunnel that seems to draw you in. THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN was the first to feature this effect to our knowledge many moons ago using a fixed beam oval green laser. It was a jaw dropper - people had never seen this before!
Lasers have come a long way since then, check THIS out from LaserFace: www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtXx3Oubmy
Rats, that link isn’t working but it still takes you to YouTube. Copy the following and paste into the search bar: Laserface by Gareth Emery / Seattle WaMu 2019 (Full Set LIVE) and prepare to be amazed!
OCTOBER 12, 2019 SATURDAY 3:30 AM - Finally! A new tab has been added for 2019 Reviews.
Please note: after clicking on Reviews you’ll need to select from the list of years on the left of the page.
And sorry for the hard to read print in the tabs with similar colors; hope to get it changed soon and to get our GREAT PUMPKIN back too!
Also, What’s Next just updated.
OCTOBER 12, 2019 SATURDAY 3 AM - BRAND NEW SHINY
We took the night off Friday after various delays, one of which was totally worth it.
It was at the car dealer of all places, and HOORAY we now have a brand new ride for our haunt journeys!
A FORD EDGE will take over the MAGIC BUS status that previously went to our TOWN & COUNTRY VAN.
The van died a horrible death. It was ugly. It was a mass of twisted hideousness. And now it lies in the graveyard for motorized monstrosities, all alone with nobody to talk to.
BTW, you may have heard that FORD is also an acronym. Just in case you didn’t know, F.O.R.D. stands for “First On Race Day.”
OCTOBER 11, 2019 FRIDAY 3 PM - MOTHER NATURE’S MONKEY WRENCH
DOUBLE RATS! All week we’ve been anxious for Friday night to hit more of our favorite outdoor haunts.
HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR and SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK was the plan, but the weather forecast for tonight in LENOX TWP. is rain at a whopping 90%. They might be open “Rain or Shine”...we’re not sure...okay, what’s PLAN B?
And then there’s our WISCONSIN GUEST...will he arrive soon enough to go?
Last time we had an out of town guest it was someone from New York, and we took him to HUSH HAUNT in WESTLAND and KRAZY HILDA’S in YPSILANTI...
Boo hoo! KRAZY HILDA’S is not open this year. One thing we totally loved about KRAZY HILDA’S was the ambiance and feel of ACTUALLY BEING OUTSIDE for a haunted experience.
The possibilities in a forest are limited only by the imagination, and of course the ability to pull it off. KRAZY HILDA’S PA was killer, and their one-of-a-kind ghoul dollies are family heirlooms. They made full use of the forest’s advantages with giant scale gags/doors and strategically placed monster hiding spots. We miss them so, PLEASE COME BACK NICOLE!
HUSH HAUNT is indoors, and so is THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR so rain can’t interfere with the show.
This would be our 2nd visit to HUSH, and our third to THE SCREAM MACHINE!
HUSH is worth going to twice, as the attention to detail and just the shear amount of stuff going on now brings them to BONA FIDE MEGA HAUNT status. It’s hard to absorb that much in a single visit, which reminds me...
I don’t care how big and bad you are, every haunt has its’ strengths and also weaknesses.
Last year, the major weakness that HUSH suffered was a short show length. The Ford Road location building was tiny compared to what they have now *, and still they won THREE ZIOPTIS AWARDS IN 2018!
* = The new HUSH facility is 40,000 square feet!
OCTOBER 11, 2019 FRIDAY 4:30 AM - BUCKEYE SIGN OFF
We heard that THE HAUNTED HYDRO in FREMONT, OHIO is in their last year. Boo hoo!
CRAZY BOB is the genius behind this amazing haunt, made from an out of commission hydro electric plant. www.thehauntedhydro.com
Part carnival, part fantasy story land, this haunt is always a total blast! We really love the bigger than life books here, and the monolithic towers have been known to erupt with giant fire blasts.
And not much further away is the amazing GHOSTLY MANOR in SANDUSKY, OHIO. www.ghostlymanor.com
This haunt was recommended to us from the operator of the now defunct THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN, and it instantly became an Ohio favorite of ours along with the also now defunct TERRORTOWN in TOLEDO.
Owner/operator MR of TERRORTOWN took his staff by surprise years ago...
After opening night, he called a special staff meeting where he announced they would have to finish the season without him because...
The next day, he flew to Los Angeles to work with ROB ZOMBIE on his haunted house!
TERRORTOWN is gone, but their website isn’t. www.terrortown.net
OCTOBER 11, 2019 FRIDAY 3:30 AM - RANDOM ASSOCIATIONS
So I was at the local grocery store last night, getting guacamole and such. Avocados are really good for you...
I asked my cashier if she goes to haunted houses...she lit up and said she went to AZRA last year and was blown away!
AZRA won THREE ZIOPTIS AWARDS last year, as well as an honorable mention. We can’t wait to see them this season after such an amazing start last year.
Another cashier chimed in, saying she went to WIARD’S last year and had a great time.
NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S won a whopping FIVE ZIOPTIS AWARDS last year!
OCTOBER 10, 2019 THURSDAY 4:30 AM - MEMORIES, DREAMS, REFLECTIONS
Occasionally, we have out of town guests visiting during October. Whenever possible, they join us on a haunt journey.
Last time is was someone from NEW YORK, and this time it’s going to be somebody from MADISON, WISCONSIN.
Wisconsin reminds me of the defunct HOUSE OF FEAR that was in HAZEL PARK.
HOUSE OF FEAR was a fabulous all volunteer haunt who once had a guest actor that was with the WISCONSIN JAYCEES.
Pause...it was THE JAYCEES who first started the HAUNTED HOUSE CRAZE to begin with...
The guest actor performed the final gag, and it was awesome:
He had a custom-made costume that expanded upwards when he stood up after starting in a chair, magically growing into a super tall monster!
And another gag they had was one we can’t forget:
A room was decorated as if in the 1940’s, with incandescent lighting and a wooden AM radio that was playing period music backwards!
In the waiting area of HOUSE OF FEAR they had a special couch. When you sat down, a giant wind machine was activated.
Other great volunteer haunts we miss include BURTON HAUNTED FOREST in BURTON, HAUNTED HOLLOWS in WESTLAND, and McCURDY’S REVENGE in CORUNNA.
OCTOBER 6, 2019 SUNDAY 6 PM - SUNDAY FUN DAY!
There’s plenty of great haunts open tonight: BLAKE’S HAUNTED BIG APPLE in ARMADA, DECADES OF THE DEAD in YALE, EREBUS in PONTIAC, EXIT 13 in MT. MORRIS, FACTORY OF THE DEAD in SAGINAW, THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS, HUSH HAUNT in WESTLAND, JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON, NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S in YPSILANTI, PURGATORY in WYANDOTTE, ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY, SCREAM PARK in NILES and TERRORFIED FOREST in PINCKNEY.
OCTOBER 6, 2019 SUNDAY 3 PM - IT’S ALIVE!
And kicking too...THE DETROIT HAUNT SCENE IS KILLING IT BIG TIME, if what we saw last night is any indication.
Although it’s early in the season, the lines of happy haunters were long and strong at HUSH HAUNT in WESTLAND and THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR.
We hit DERANGED in ROMULUS right at opening, so the line was just starting to grow. We predict a successful run for them!
OCTOBER 6, 2019 SUNDAY 3 AM - DETROIT STRONG, WORLD CLASS
We hit 3 of the 9 Detroit area haunts Saturday night.* To our knowledge, 9 is the most haunts in any county/municipality on the planet which goes to show that indeed DETROIT IS THE WORLD CAPITAL OF HAUNTED HOUSES!
(Detroit is in Wayne County, so any haunts in Wayne County can be considered DETROIT AREA.)
First stop was at DERANGED HAUNT in ROMULUS. It’s only their 2nd year, and they’ve already expanded and improved the show. And we heard the MOST AMAZING WHOOSHING SOUND we’ve ever heard at any haunt here...a few times actually.
WHOA NELLIE, what kind of monstrous sound system do they have?
IT’S NOT JBL OR KLIPSCH. IT’S REAL.
The haunt is in a bona fide forest, but it’s also in ROMULUS where WAYNE COUNTY AIRPORT is. These are REAL JET PLANES doing a fly-by of sorts, and the result is breathtaking!
Even better, there was little wind and the resulting cloud of fog rising added a spooky ambiance that can not be achieved at an indoor haunt.
Not too shabby for just the first stop in a DETROIT TRIFECTA OF TERROR!
Next up was HUSH HAUNT in WESTLAND.
WOWSER, BIG TIME.
This place is incredible! It’s like a mansion...wait a second, it is a mansion...for real.
Those walls...they’re not props made for set...they’re real.
The exquisite stained glass...is real.
The antique furniture...is real. It looks and feels old, because it is old. There’s many amazing stories all connected to these items...for real.
The Cliff Notes version of what happened since last year with HUSH goes something like this:
Owner operator CB somehow found estate sales at some amazing genuine mansions, and bought everything lock stock and barrel.
Then he reassembled the mansions, and a lot more inside the new building they constructed at the new property.
Of course such a monumental task could not be accomplished without assistance, so he reached out to the SCREAM QUEEN who many consider to be the premiere haunt consultant/designer in the industry.
To give perspective, SCREAM QUEEN has also played key roles in the creation of other WORLD CLASS HAUNTS such as THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS, ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY, SCREAM PARK in NILES and many more.
Our last haunt for Saturday was THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR.
“Wait a second Zioptis...didn’t you already go there?”
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT / GOOD THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES
“Why did you go back?”
Thing is, we fell in love. We had to go back.
In a genius casting move, THE SCREAM MACHINE features an unforgettable pint-sized actor that has been WOWING the crowds big time. This visually striking image is so strangely compelling...you have no choice but to submit! The only way you could have prevented it is if you had not seen it. ;)
All gushing aside, of course it takes more than one stellar performer to carry a haunt. The SCREAM MACHINE actors were spot on throughout, with excellent delivery and interaction.
When we got there we watched with glee as happy haunters were being jettisoned out of the MIGHTY SCREAM MACHINE.
We did ask a few what they thought at the exit, but really just their faces said it all in an instant.
That certain exhilaration... the sheer excitement... THAT’S HAUNTING MOTOR CITY MADNESS STYLE!
* The 9 haunts in Wayne County are:
1. DERANGED, ROMULUS 2. HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME, INKSTER 3. HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS, GROSSE POINTE WOODS 4. HUSH HAUNT, WESTLAND 5. PHANTOM FOREST HAYRIDE, GROSSE ILE 6. PUMPKIN FACTORY, BELLEVILLE (western edge of Wayne County) 7. PURGATORY, WYANDOTTE 8. THE SCREAM MACHINE, TAYLOR 9. WOODS OF DARKNESS in SOUTH ROCKWOOD
OCTOBER 5, 2019 SATURDAY 3:30 PM - OVERCHOICE HITS DETROIT HAUNT SCENE
A book from 1970 called FUTURE SHOCK by Alvin Toffler predicted the predicament we find ourselves in right now.
Toffler warned of someday having so many choices about things available that just making that choice could be bewildering.
And so it is today.
Here it is...SATURDAY NIGHT and the weather is perfect...where do we go?
SHAWHAVEN FARMS in MASON and BESTMAZE in WILLIAMSTON?
SLAUGHTERHOUSE in FOWLERVILLE and the brand new GHOSTLY GROVE in PINCKNEY literally right next door to Hell?
HUSH HAUNT in WESTLAND and DERANGED in ROMULUS?
We already went to THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR, but if we get started early enough we could hit them again...
HUSH has expanded by a factor of 6, with their brand new location at the site of the former SKATELAND WEST on CHERRY HILL.
DERANGED is in the 2nd year, and won a ZIOPTIS AWARD to boot...
Oh yeah, last year HUSH WON 3 ZIOPTIS AWARDS!
Decisions, decisions...what a nice problem to have...
OCTOBER 5, 2019 SATURDAY 1 PM - AMAZING ARMADA
As small towns go, Armada is a giant in the haunt world!
They have TWO excellent haunts, and we’re reminded of when for example, a Burger King moves in next door to a Wendy’s...
Theoretically they’re competitors, but they end up being allies because they bring more total business of that kind to the area.
We started our Friday night in Armada getting slaughtered at sundown at SLAUGHTERED AT SUNDOWN, as we saw firsthand why this haunt has been so successful for so many years.
Then we went to one of the two BLAKE’S in Armada.
Besides BLAKE’S HAUNTED BIG APPLE on North Avenue, Blake’s also has another giant facility with a fabulous restaurant on Armada Center Road, BLAKE’S ORCHARD.
Finally, we made our way to BLAKE’S HAUNTED BIG APPLE which was totally off-the-hook!
They have a walk through HAUNTED BARN, their famous HAYRIDE, 2 mazes, cool photo ops, an incredible store, karaoke, and lots more.
The karaoke boasts high quality sound & lights...
One song we heard was “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, and the entire audience joined in with great enthusiasm when the lyrics got to the line “Born and raised in SOUTH DETROIT!”
Amenities are second to none at BLAKE’S HAUNTED BIG APPLE, with a small army of employees roaming the grounds and a stand alone bathroom building the gals are sure to appreciate!
The hayride at BLAKE’S was totally different from our last visit, except for the halfway stop where the friendly witches serve everyone cider & donuts to die for. Yum!
Our only regret Friday night was that we didn’t get a chance to sneak in a 3rd haunt by driving only 10 miles from Armada to Lenox Twp...
Just like Armada, Lenox Twp. ALSO has 2 fabulous haunts!
HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR and SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK are BOTH in Lenox Twp. Even better, they both have killer hayrides as well as walk through haunts. Decisions, decisions...
OCTOBER 4, 2019 FRIDAY 12 NOON - FAREWELL DEAR FRIENDS
Every year, haunts come and go. It’s just the nature of the beast.
This time, it’s KRAZY HILDA’S in YPSILANTI and REALM OF HAUNTED MINDS in ROMULUS that are missing in action.
KRAZY HILDA’S website still says they’re not operating in 2018 and they’ll be back in 2019, but there’s no ad in the haunt rags and their phone # is out of service.
REALM OF HAUNTED MINDS is a different story. The HURON TURKEY FARM where it’s located answered their phone promptly, and said the haunt is gone but that it may be converted into a fun house starting next year.
HURON TURKEY FARM remains open for business, and is going strong as a prime family friendly destination.
Their front building still has tasty treats and is decked out even more than before.
OCTOBER 2, 2019 WEDNESDAY 6 PM - FALL IS HERE, LET THE HAYRIDES BEGIN!
The weather is looking great for this weekend, and that means HAYRIDES!
We have SO many fabulous hayrides in Michigan.
Just a few faves: SLAUGHTERHOUSE in FOWLERVILLE was created by magicians and comedians, HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR in LENOX TWP. has one-of-a-kind giant monsters to freak you out, BLAKE’S BIG APPLE in ARMADA has grandiose gags that will knock your socks off, SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP. has an amazing story teller and a swamp that swallows you up...WIARD’S NIGHT TERRORS in YPSILANTI designs their own amazing props/gags...and the list goes on and on...
SEPTEMBER 29, 2019 SUNDAY 2 PM - GERMAN FAIRY TALE COMES ALIVE IN FOREST!
The Brothers Grimm would be proud.
ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY has a new GINGERBREAD HOUSE that is to die for...literally, if the wackos inside it have their way.
It’s part of the new forest experience this year at ROTTEN MANOR, complete with a pathway of giant lollipops and a special meat smoker the occupants are eager to fire up...just for you!
We barely recognized ROTTEN MANOR since our last visit in 2017!
So much has been added to what was already a bona fide Mega Haunt, it’s mind boggling.
Full review coming, but here’s just a few highlights of ROTTEN MANOR for 2019:
First of all, it’s the actors.
Actors can make or break ANY haunt, regardless of how many amazing props and special effects they have...
Right from the get-go, they were absolutely fabulous!
The ticket taker Patricia Jake (common name Joe Leonard) has silly tricks up her sleeve, and the first room greeter is remarkable. He delivers a strange rhyming story as premise for the haunt. He is SO good he could be a SAG/AFTRA VO dude! haha
Another new feature this year is the EXTREME 3D VORTEX, which takes the classic BlackHole effect to a new dimension with an optical illusion we’ve never seen before with this gag.
Even the amenities have been revamped, as with the gourmet food truck offering tasty Latin Street Food with plenty of healthy choices. One of our faves was the side dish of smoked squash & corn. Yum!
Our apologies to BONADEO FARMS for missing them last night. We were at ROTTEN MANOR for about 4 hours, and still didn’t get to do everything!
SEPTEMBER 28, 2019 SATURDAY 4 PM - MASSES DESCEND INTO MADNESS
We just got back from the HAUNTED GARAGE SALE, sponsored by the Motor City Haunt Club and it was a giant success!
We immediately saw someone we know, GW from HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS in GROSSE POINTE FARMS. And the wristbands have their name on them, which we didn’t notice until after leaving...
There was an amazing variety of haunt related things for sale, including lots of original artwork. One of our favorites was the DISTURBED DOLLZ collection from an artist named Cheryl.
We took lots of pictures with a NIKON DSLR, and will be posting them soon on our Flickr photostream.
Now time for a short rest before heading out for a wild Saturday night, with BONADEO FARMS and ROTTEN MANOR. We can’t wait!
SEPTEMBER 28, 2019 SATURDAY 7 AM - “...HERE I COME TO SAVE THE DAY!” ( NO, NOT MIGHTY MOUSE)
When your plans don’t work out, you need a “PLAN B.”
But if even that doesn’t work out, it’s fabulous if there’s something else you can always fall back on that never lets you down. And so it was last night.
We hit HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME in INKSTER, and got a primo dose of Old School that turned out to be just what the doctor ordered!
The “What’s next” section is a wish list of sorts actually...
At the bottom of the current list is the haunt we’re actually most anxious to see ASAP this season.
WHO’S ON FIRST
“I don’t wanna click there...WHICH HAUNT, WHICH HAUNT?”
“No, WHICH haunt?”
“The one where you get your money back if you make it all the way through?”
No, that one is fake news. THE HAUNT.
“The one with the Guinness World Record?”
No, THE HAUNT.
“Oh! The one put on by the Frat House that got kicked out of U of M Med School?”
No, that one is fake news too...the real one is THE HAUNT.
“But WHERE is it?”
Now we’re getting somewhere. It’s in Grand Rapids.
“But isn’t DETROIT THE HAUNTED HOUSE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD?”
Yes, absolutely. But the world is shrinking every day, and gravity is proof that it sucks too. That’s why your plans don’t always work out.
THE BIG STORY WE WERE FORCED TO DISREGARD
It actually started a couple years ago, after JB finished an amazing run at THE HAUNT...yup that’s the full name of the place...in GRAND RAPIDS.
This was a haunt that had 35,000 people go through in their first year!
But nothing lasts forever, and the lease finally ran out at the Waldorf building. We were there for JB’S Swan Song, and it was bittersweet...
JB, who was always totally cool and forthcoming, didn’t say what was to become of his incredible creation he was clever enough to call just “THE HAUNT” and we didn’t ask.
The silence was deafening. What would happen?
TA DAH! DS took over at a new location and everybody, including other haunt operators, told us it takes things to a whole new level when it comes to haunted attractions! JB’S LEGACY LIVES ON.
We couldn’t make it to THE HAUNT last year which was the first time at the new location, so we’re determined to get there this season.
Thinking back...it was actually THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR that was the first one to tell us we had to see THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS...
COMING AROUND FULL CIRCLE
And then this season...
Before leaving THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR recently, we mentioned to the operator that we were going to ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY.
With a big smile, she said it’s a favorite haunt of hers! How could she know that?
They have a system where I think it’s 11 haunts get to visit each other, and that’s how she was able to go to ROTTEN MANOR.
Signing off for now...see you at the HAUNTED GARAGE SALE later today!
SEPTEMBER 27, 2019 FRIDAY 4:30 PM - A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS
We sadly missed ROTTEN MANOR last year, but in 2017 we went and took a few pictures after going through the haunt.
Those pictures are now posted on our Flickr photostream: www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/
Also, other haunted attraction pictures can be found by clicking on “Albums” and then on “Haunted Attraction Stuff.”
SEPTEMBER 27, 2019 FRIDAY 2 PM - RAINING ON OUR PARADE, ALREADY
Rats! Rain is forecast with 80% probability tonight for the White lake area where BONADEO FARMS is, and half of it is outdoors.
Also half outdoors is ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY, also in Oakland County...
Last year, rain thwarted our plans to hit HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR and SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK both in LENOX TWP...
Tonight is opening night at the new location of HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND. But this is really important, and we always try NOT to go on opening night for key haunts...
Not only is HUSH at a new, much larger location this year but THE SCREAM QUEEN* herself is on board there this year...
In past years in this situation we’d just go to the FLINT AREA. But alas, CLIO MANOR HAUNTED HOUSE, ST. LUCIFER’S and THE CRYPT are not open this year. EXIT 13 is open this year, and they blew us away last year...
AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HH in MADISON HEIGHTS is indoors and open tonight, but the plan is to hit HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS in GROSSE POINTE WOODS which is mostly outdoors on the same night as AZRA...
* = For those not familiar with the Detroit haunt hierarchy, there’s two major players. MR. HAUNTED HOUSE started THE FEAR FINDER and THE SCREAM QUEEN helped start THE HAUNT GUIDE along with KW and serves as consultant for many haunts.
SEPTEMBER 27, 2019 FRIDAY 4:30 AM - ‘O PUMPKIN ON HIGH!
Talking with my partner earlier...we both feel the call of the SKY HIGH PUMPKIN at SHAWHAVEN HAUNTED FARM in MASON.
They have a pumpkin WAY UP HIGH mounted on a super tall pole...IT’S WAY COOL JUNIOR! www.shawhavenhauntedfarm.com
We also lamented it’s been too long since we hit TERROR ON 27 in ASHLEY. www.terroron27.com
TERROR ON 27 doesn’t open until October 4th this year, so there’s plenty of time to plan a journey. They have a killer sound system that hits you the moment you arrive...quad attraction haunt...the food was awesome....gotta get back there hopefully this season!
They always blew us away with original story lines and unusual approachs...one time they put a spin on interaction with a challenge between you and just one monster that essentially you end up playing hide-and-seek with...never seen this before...
Another fave from TERROR ON 27 was the ultra dainty manicure with a really BAD ASS MOTORCYCLE DUDE...fabulous!
Or how about this wild premise from a part of the now defunct TERRORTOWN in TOLEDO, OHIO at Lucas County Fairgrounds (we always got lost trying to find the elusive Key Street...GPS didn’t exist yet).
One member of your group is selected to carry a special electric lantern. It supplies the ONLY light during the journey. There’s no strobes, blacklights, lasers...NOTHING.
You must trust your lantern to help find your way through a very dark pathway. But then it flickers and then dies out...then it strobes...goes out again, comes back on...
Turns out the lantern is REMOTE CONTROLLED BY THE MONSTERS. They see you coming, wearing night vision equipment...and toy with you mercilessly!
SEPTEMBER 27, 2019 FRIDAY 3 AM - CALLING ALL HAUNTS! (AND YARD HAUNT ENTHUSIASTS)
THE HAUNTED GARAGE SALE, sponsored by the MOTOR CITY HAUNT CLUB is coming up on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 9AM - 3PM in DEARBORN at the FORD COMMUNITY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER. www.motorcityhauntclub.com
Here’s your chance to grab a great deal on quality haunt gear, without paying SCARE FACTORY prices! It’s only $4 to get in for adults and free for kids under 14.
Perhaps you’re a haunt looking for a new gag or a yard haunt fanatic looking to WOW the neighborhood.
Or even just a haunt fan, like most of you reading this right now. Here’s your chance to hobnob with haunt royalty! ;) And yes, we’ll be there too. Hey, why not meet us there? We’ll be the ones right in the middle of hundreds of wild and crazy haunters!
(According to their Facebook page, there’s 760 people going, and 4.7K are interested.)
SEPTEMBER 26, 2019 THURSDAY 4 AM - NEW BLOOD
Here’s a new outdoors haunt, GHOSTLY GROVE in PINCKNEY. www.ghostlygrove.com
This haunt is on the site of the SCHELL FAMILY FARM, and they’ve hired professional set designers for this first time effort. We welcome them to the vibrant Michigan Haunt Community!
Pinckney is right next to Hell, what better place for a brand spanking new haunt?! ;)
SEPTEMBER 25, 2019 WEDNESDAY 11 PM - NO BEANS SPILLED BEFORE THEIR TIME
Flipping through the FEAR FINDER and THE HAUNT GUIDE...both are looking cool...and now we can mention something we’ve been anxious to talk about.
Often, we’re privy to what haunts are planning for the following season. Haunt operators know they can bounce ideas off us without it getting out ahead of time...
Well, here’s the BIG NEWS FOR 2019 we’ve been anxious to announce (and you may already know if you looked at THE HAUNT GUIDE):
HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION has expanded, in fact it’s SIX TIMES BIGGER than before! They’re still in Westland, but moved from Ford Road to Cherry Hill at the site of the former SKATELAND.
They did an amazing job with a much smaller space, so we can’t wait to see what they’re up to now where they can stretch their chops out big time!
SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 SUNDAY 10 AM - There’s some glitches that need to be fixed after switching to a newer version of our website program.
The text on the left in the tabs is hard to see, and in Reviews the blue tabs appearing on the right aren’t working. Until they’re fixed, please select from the tabs on the left on the Reviews page.
Also, the pumpkin graphic on the main page is missing.
We’ll be seeing the webmaster soon...
SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 SUNDAY 7 AM - THE MADNESS BEGINS!
Like anxious kids on Christmas Eve, we’re always trying to get to haunts as soon as possible in the season...
For years we went to ST. LUCIFER’S HAUNTED ASYLUM for our first haunt of the year...and who remembers the HAUNTED TRAIL PROJECT that used to be across the street?
Sadly, we won’t be going to ST. LUCIFER’S this year because it’s again closed for the season. But we might see them again, as we heard a new location was in the works...
So where to go instead?
Someplace we’ve been to a lot...it’s gotta be killer...time for a road trip to Jackson for JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD! “High Ho Hi Ho, to Jackson We Must Go...” (sung poorly)
We’ve been to JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD for TEN YEARS IN A ROW NOW, they must be doing something right!
It’s not too far from Detroit...the natural amazing ambiance of the place with the massive 150,000 square feet building just makes you FEEL LIKE HALLOWEEN...right now!
Then on Saturday night, we couldn’t wait to experience ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY which many now regard as DETROIT’S NEW PREMIERE MEGAHAUNT.
But wouldn’t you know it...RATS! Turns out I-75 is closed between 696 and Square Lake until Monday morning...and that’s how Mandy* says we need to go...
PLAN B TO THE RESCUE
Where else can we go?
Someplace we’ve been to a lot...it’s gotta be killer...time for a road trip to TAYLOR for THE SCREAM MACHINE!
NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF FORCED REINVENTION
After the season is over, they have to move everything out of the building.
So THE SCREAM MACHINE is literally disassembled every year, even as they remain at their ECORSE ROAD location which is only seconds off of TELEGRAPH ROAD (the Main Drag of the area).
What better way to reinvent yourself?
And so it is, and THE SCREAM MACHINE is again way different from last year!
Even better, the HANDS DOWN BEST GAG this year is totally new and will positively KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF!
We’re not about to say exactly what it is, but you will know it when you see it.
We will tell you this much: A PINT SIZED ACTOR IS GONNA BLOW YOUR MIND!
That’s not just us saying that either...a group of 5 girls ahead of us were SO FREAKED OUT they would NOT continue...they latched onto us and we eventually went past them...
Wow, what a GREAT SATURDAY NIGHT we had...THANK YOU SCREAM MACHINE!
* = “Mandy” is the girl inside our GPS unit, she speaks so beautifully saying things like “Turn right, and take the motorway.”
SEPTEMBER 20, 2019 FRIDAY 1 PM - IF IT AIN’T BROKEN...
There’s been a push by the Halloween & Costume Association on www.change.org to change the date that Halloween is celebrated from October 31st to the last Saturday of the month.
Say what?! Why would they do that?
The main reason is that supposedly it would be safer for the kids during Trick-or-Treating.
Also, it would be better for the bars.
As to the safety of the kids, we say NO it would not be safer...in fact it could end up being less safe.
Saturday night is NOT a school night, which means they’d probably be out later than on the 31st which most often is on a school night. This year the 31st will be Thursday, for example.
As to what’s best for the bars, we say WHO CARES? Halloween is more for kids than them! Either way, the bars will find a way to have a Halloween theme party.
We just checked their website, and how about that there’s also now petitions to KEEP the date of October 31st! www.change.org/search?q=halloween Don’t mess with tradition!
SEPTEMBER 20, 2019 FRIDAY 11 AM - GENTLEMEN, START YOUR ENGINES!
We’re off and running, starting off another fabulous haunt season this weekend at two of MICHIGAN’S PREMIER MEGA HAUNTS: JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON and ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY.
We sadly missed ROTTEN MANOR last year, so that’s a priority. This is the haunt that many regard as the NEW PREMIER MEGA HAUNT for the Detroit market!
SEPTEMBER 13, 2019 FRIDAY 9 PM - HOLLYWOOD COMES TO HOLLY, SORTA
ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY is open tonight! www.RottenManor.com
Even if you went last year, you’ll want to go again in 2019 because about half of the now defunct BRANDYWYNE CEMETERY is now part of the show at ROTTEN MANOR!
Wow, how did they swing that?
Never mind that...but here’s another insider tidbit for you: The other half of BRANDYWYNE went to HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS in GROSSE POINTE WOODS.
BRANDYWYNE CEMETERY was created by a former DISNEY ARTIST, and is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece!
SEPTEMBER 13, 2019 FRIDAY 8 PM - DOUBLING DOWN
No, not The Donald. It’s the moon & the date.
Huh? Read on...
Happy Friday The 13th!
And HAPPY FULL MOON FRIDAY too.
Tonight is a full moon, but it’s also the MICROMOON.
What the heck is that?
Basically, it shrinks. Okay, it just looks that way because it’s even more way out than usual!
These guys can explain it better: www.livescience.com/friday-the-13th-micromoon.html
JULY 13, 2019 SATURDAY 12 NOON - HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME
GODSMACK returns to where they shot their “Awake” video this weekend, the OHIO STATE REFORMATORY in MANSFIELD!
It’s all part of the INKCARCERATION FESTIVAL along with SHINEDOWN and many other awesome rock bands.
THE BLOOD PRISON HAUNTED HOUSE will be open too! Details: www.cleveland.com/entertainment/2019/01/inkcarceration-announces-2019-lineup-shinedown-godsmack-more.html
Closer to home, today is the WAYNE COUNTY PARKS FAMILY FUNFEST at Nankin Mills Park off Hines Drive in Westland with live music, rides, etc. Details: www.nankinmills.org
MARCH 17, 2019 SUNDAY 12:15 AM - HAPPY ST. PATTY’S DAY!
JANUARY 5, 2019 SATURDAY 3 PM - WE SALUTE YOU!
We’d like to congratulate all haunt operators, whether or not an award was received.
All of you were up to the challenge of providing that unique form of entertainment that kids of all ages have come to love, HAUNTING!
Your creativity and imagination never cease to amaze us, and you enrich our lives with wacky craziness that takes us to another world...
One that is always lurking in the recesses of our minds, waiting, waiting...until next Fall when the monsters jump into action again!
DECEMBER 31, 2018 MONDAY 6 AM - AWARDS NOW POSTED
Click on Awards to the left. Also now posted in News: THE ZIOPTIS 2018 STATE OF THE INDUSTRY ADDRESS
DECEMBER 30, 2018 SUNDAY 3 PM - THE BIG PICTURE
In addition to the awards, we will also be posting:
THE ZIOPTIS 2018 STATE OF THE INDUSTRY ADDRESS
DECEMBER 30, 2018 SUNDAY 5 AM - ALL WILL BE REVEALED...
The categories are now listed for the ZIOPTIS HAUNT AWARDS 2018, and tomorrow the winners will be announced! (Click on Awards.)
DECEMBER 29, 2018 SATURDAY 7 PM - A WORD ABOUT THE UPCOMING AWARDS
We debated long and hard about whether we should give awards this year, after having missed some major haunts that probably would’ve won some of them.
Because of this, there will NOT be an overall best haunt of the year award!
Instead, the awards will highlight specific noteworthy achievements and are not meant to compare haunts.
(We did away with our original 5 STAR RATING scale in 2009, which became counterproductive to our purpose of promoting the entire haunt scene.)
DECEMBER 13, 2018 THURSDAY 2 PM - MAKING A LIST & CHECKING IT TWICE
We’re in the process of deciding on awards for 2018 that will be announced at the end of the year.
Besides reviewing the recordings and notes, we’ll be calling select haunts to check on various things...names of certain characters, gags and such...
So if you’re a haunt operator and get a phone call from us, it’s a good thing!
DECEMBER 2, 2018 SUNDAY 2:30 PM - Just added: a NON REVIEW of ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY. Huh? See Reviews 2018_A.
Sorry, the right side tabs are still not enabled for Reviews...please click on the left section to find various years.
DECEMBER 1, 2018 SATURDAY 1 PM - RAINING ON OUR PARADE
Today is the CHRISTMAS IN IDA FESTIVAL which we’ve mentioned in past years. www.ChristmasInIda.com
It’s a lot of fun, and a chance to go to an event the likes of which is usually available only during summer.
There’s a FREE COUNTRY CONCERT followed by fireworks and a massive parade. This year the concert is by Michigan native JOSH GRACIN, who got his start on AMERICAN IDOL.
Unfortunately, the weather is not cooperating this year and rain is in the forecast...
But the show will go on. I talked to festival director Dale Zorn, who said nothing short of a tornado would make them cancel!
We decided to skip it this year, but still encourage you to go if you don’t mind carrying an umbrella.
One of the silly highlights is HOLIDAY HOUNDS ON PARADE, featuring dogs dressed in holiday garb...GREAT STUFF!
This is the biggest event of the year for this small town, with over 50,000 people attending!
Be sure to tune in again at the end of the year for the 2018 ZIOPTIS HAUNT AWARDS.
NOVEMBER 22, 2018 THURSDAY 11 AM - HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
May your turkey be moist and your surroundings warm and cozy.
NOVEMBER 6, 2018 TUESDAY 7 AM - ANOTHER REASON TO VOTE TODAY
Here’s a MAJOR FREEBIE for voters today as HENRY FORD MUSEUM in DEARBORN offers free admission when you show your “I Voted” sticker. Tickets are $23 normally. www.thehenryford.org/current-events/calendar/rockwell-roosevelt-the-four-freedoms
This place is world famous for good reason!
HENRY FORD MUSEUM is a part of what they call THE HENRY FORD for some reason... which also encompasses GREENFIELD VILLAGE, an authentic little town like you wouldn’t believe!
Confused? Just go, and prepare to be WOWED...BIG TIME.
NOVEMBER 5, 2018 MONDAY 3 AM - THE CAN REMAINS UNTIPPED
There’s a crazy album cover you may have seen by THE WHO that’s reminding me of EXIT 13 in FLINT right now...
A GIANT CAN OF BEANS has been spilled...into a bathtub containing their flamboyant singer Roger Daltry of all things...ah, those comic Brits...lookie here: www.rollingstone.com/music-news/b-o-baked-beans-buns-and-the-who-188382/
Anyways...so we were talking to the operator of EXIT 13 about future plans after a great trip thru the haunt...it went something like this:
“Yup, it should be ready for next season.”
“Hey, that’s fabulous! Can we tell the public?”
“Not yet, please...but we’re really excited about it!”
NOT LIKE ROGER
We NEVER SPILL THE BEANS, but this much we can tell you. It’s BIG...REALLY BIG...and it will literally add a whole new dimension to EXIT 13!
We can’t wait! EXIT 13 BLEW US AWAY this season with their highly physical hands-on approach, and we KNOW they’re gonna do this right. They have a proven track record, and the know-how to do what they’re planning!
NOVEMBER 4, 2018 SUNDAY 3 AM - TAKE A WALK ON THE DARKSYDE
What a great ending to the season, at DARKSYDE ACRES in JONESVILLE last night with a massive crowd of happy haunters.
The setup is brilliant. Just one queue line leads to all 5 attractions that occupy over 70,000 square feet, with a path running 1 1/2 mile!
The food was outrageously good too, thanks to onsite catering from HILLBILLY BONE BBQ...YUM!
Full review coming, and stay tuned for some big news later today...
NOVEMBER 3, 2018 SATURDAY 3 PM - ALL DRESSED UP WITH A FEW THOUSAND FRIENDS
Hot on the heels of Halloween is another chance to put on an outrageous costume and not be out of place.
A SALUTE TO SAILOR MOON
It’s YOUMACON 2018, and it’s happening Nov. 1 - 4 in Detroit at the COBO CENTER. www.youmacon.com
From their website: “Youmacon is a popular culture event similar to most Comic Cons, however instead of focusing on comic books, Youmacon is a celebration of Japanese popular culture and its influence on our own culture over the past few decades. Common themes throughout the event are Anime (Japanese animation), Video Games, Japanese style artwork and comics, and the rising internet culture influenced by all of the above.
Youmacon brings a unique all-ages mix of interactive events, celebrity guest panels, and live musical performances to Downtown Detroit. One of its most popular events, Live Action Mario Party, emulates the video game experience often filling the room to fire code capacity. Players participate in gameshow-like mini-games to help their teams advance and win.
Wearing costumes, or Cosplay as it’s known at conventions, is very popular with attendees of Youmacon. It is not uncommon to walk into a pair of Italian plumbers in overalls on the escalator, only to meet someone dressed as Edward Elric or Master Chief from Halo minutes later.”
NOVEMBER 3, 2018 SATURDAY 2 PM - NEVER WOULD WE EVER
About the upcoming 2018 ZIOPTIS AWARDS:
After several years of not having awards, we’ve decided it’s time to have them again after seeing so many amazing things this season.
However, there will NOT be an overall “BEST HAUNT OF THE YEAR AWARD.”
“HUH? WHY NOT, ZIOPTIS?”
This has been a really strange season for us, with many unexpected problems that prevented us from visiting many key haunts...any of which could potentially have earned the “BEST HAUNT OF THE YEAR AWARD.”
To give that award would be unfair to haunts we missed such as: BESTMAZE, BLAKE’S, BONADEO FARMS, THE CRYPT, EREBUS, GORE GROUNDS, THE HAUNT, HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR, HAUNTING IN IRISH HILLS, NIGHTSTALKERS, NILES SCREAM PARK, THE PUMPKIN FACTORY, ROTTEN MANOR, SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK, SHAWHAVEN FARMS, SLAUGHTER HOUSE, SLAUGHTERED AT SUNDOWN, and TERROR ON 27.
The awards will celebrate the individual achievements of haunts we visited.
Our purpose is to the promote the entire haunt scene, not pit one house against another or compare them!
As in past years, the awards will be given at the end of the year.
Also as in past years, we’ll alert you to OFF SEASON HAUNT EVENTS so stay tuned!
NOVEMBER 2, 2018 FRIDAY 3 AM - THE LAST GASP!
This is it.
Your last chance to go haunting this season...BOO HOO! ):
CALL NOW! / AVOID FUTURE REGRET & SHAME!
Besides the “BLACKOUT” events, the haunts in FULL SWING this weekend are:
AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HAUNTED HOUSE, MADISON HEIGHTS - A dynamic first year haunt with quirky edges and HIGH INTENSITY THRILLS AND CHILLS!
DARKSYDE ACRES, JONESVILLE - A first class farm haunt that’s set a goal of becoming the WORLD’S LARGEST HAUNTED ATTRACTION!
EREBUS, PONTIAC - The PREMIERE MEGA HAUNT in the Detroit Haunt Market by MR. HAUNTED HOUSE, who started with a trailer haunt called HAUNTED GALLERY. An AMERICAN SUCCESS STORY like no other!
HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION, WESTLAND - An up and coming STAR OF THE DETROIT HAUNT MARKET that reinvents itself constantly, ever evolving its creativity and fan base as a result.
THE SCREAM MACHINE, TAYLOR - Downriver’s LONGEST RUNNING HAUNT for good reason, totally revamped again for 2018 with classic horror scenes to die for!
So which of these should you hit?
ALL OF THEM, if you can! We’ve had awesome experiences at every one of them, and plan to do so again THIS WEEKEND if humanly possible...
Hey, come join us...we’ll be the ones right in the middle of thousands of screaming haunt fans! (;
NOVEMBER 1, 2018 THURSDAY 2 PM - THE COWS COME HOME & THE FAT LADY SINGS
This is the LAST HURRAH! Here’s the list of haunts open this weekend, Friday & Saturday November 2 & 3:
AZRA, DARKSYDE ACRES, EREBUS, GORE GROUNDS*, THE HAUNT*, HUSH, NILES SCREAM PARK*, and THE SCREAM MACHINE
* = Please note - GORE GROUNDS, THE HAUNT, and NILES SCREAM PARK will have BLACKOUT NIGHTS, not the regular show. Usually, this means the lighting fixtures and sound equipment have been removed but the props are still in place. Groups are given GLOW STICKS with which they make their way through.
GORE GROUNDS will also have BLACKOUT NIGHTS on Nov. 9 & 10.
Also, HAUNTING IN IRISH HILLS will be open on November 3rd only.
NOVEMBER 1, 2018 THURSDAY 2 AM - SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION
We went out in a BLAZE OF GLORY on Halloween night!
With excellent choices of ROTTEN MANOR, EREBUS, DARKSYDE ACRES, and THE HAUNT which did we choose?
None of them!
Not that we didn’t want to, mind you...but things can change in a flash.
And we’ve actually done this before, switching our BIG CITY HALLOWEEN PLANS to go where nobody would expect us to.
For several years, it was A NIGHTMARE ON ELM ROAD (gone now) in tiny WEBBERVILLE.
We just couldn’t make it to Oakland County or even farther this Halloween...logistics and such.
Where to go? It’s gotta be killer! Our “newbie” is coming this time...PAUSE:
Each year we select a “newbie” to come with us to haunts. This is someone who has little or no experience with haunting.
This year’s “newbie” was anxious to go on A KILLER HAYRIDE!
Early season wet weather hindered plans to take the “newbie” to LENOX TWP. for HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR and SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK, and to ARMADA for BLAKE’S and SLAUGHTERED AT SUNDOWN.
So off to NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S in YPSILANTI we went...and it was a total blast! MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
This was our 2nd time here this season! (The “newbie” couldn’t come the first time.)
We hope you as much fun as we did on Halloween and during the 2018 haunt season...which, by the way...is still not over!
Some haunts will be open this coming Friday & Saturday November 2 & 3 - a list will be posted later today.
OCTOBER 31, 2018 WEDNESDAY 3:45 PM - DECISIONS, DECISIONS...
Time is running short, and we still haven’t been to some major haunts that we wanted to...
ROTTEN MANOR blew us away every year since they opened in 2015 to become the NEWEST MEGA HAUNT IN THE DETROIT MARKET!
EREBUS is legendary for good reason, but it’s been awhile since we made the pilgrimage there...and MR. HAUNTED HOUSE is a long-time pal of ours...
It’s also been awhile since we made it to DARKSYDE ACRES, whose goal is to become THE WORLD’S LARGEST HAUNTED ATTRACTION. It’s ridiculously giant; they could conceivably do it. After all, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve!”
THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS has a new owner, and was strongly recommended to us by another haunt operator!
OCTOBER 31, 2018 WEDNESDAY 3 PM - THE ELLEN SHOW HALLOWEEN EPISODE is on WDIV-TV Channel 4 in Detroit right now, and then again at 4 PM on WTVG-TV Channel 13 in Toledo, Ohio.
OCTOBER 31, 2018 WEDNESDAY 2 PM - GOOD TO THE LAST DROP
No, not MAXWELL HOUSE although we do have a pot of coffee brewing right now.
It’s the last final stretch of the haunt season! Some are even open this coming weekend Nov. 2 & 3 that we’ll list later, but for now here’s the HAUNTS OPEN HALLOWEEN NIGHT 2018:
AZRA, THE CRYPT, DARKSYDE ACRES, DERANGED, EREBUS, EXIT 13, GORE GROUNDS, THE HAUNT, THE HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME, HUSH, JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD, NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S, NILES SCREAM PARK, ROTTEN MANOR, THE SCREAM MACHINE, and TERRORFIED FOREST & MANOR
OCTOBER 31, 2018 WEDNESDAY 10 AM - DETROIT TRAIN DEPOT GETS HALLOWEEN MAKEOVER!
You’ve probably heard that FORD MOTOR COMPANY of DEARBORN bought the old train depot building with amazing renovation plans.
They had public tours to let people see the “before” and they were so popular they added extra days...
Well, tonight they’re throwing a MASSIVE HALLOWEEN PARTY there including a light show and trick or treating so:
They’re essentially turning this former blight into an INCREDIBLY GIANT HAUNTED HOUSE IN DETROIT!
Check it out: www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/ford/2018/10/30/michigan-central-station-comes-alive-halloween/1823879002/
OCTOBER 31, 2018 WEDNESDAY 9 AM - THE TODAY SHOW HALLOWEEN EDITION on NBC-TV is in its final hour right now, featuring the staff all dressed as famous people from the 80’s and lots of clever Halloween anecdotes.
OCTOBER 31, 2018 WEDNESDAY 8:30 AM - GIVING CREDIT WHERE IT’S DUE
ZIOPTIS HAUNT AWARDS WILL BE PRESENTED AT THE END OF THE YEAR!
And stay tuned, as there’s much more still to come. The haunt season is not over!
Later today we’ll publish a list of haunts still open, including this coming weekend.
OCTOBER 31, 2018 WEDNESDAY 8:15 AM - DEVIL’S NIGHT IN THE D
We hit 2 INCREDIBLE DETROIT MARKET HAUNTS last night: AWAKEN in LESLIE and JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON.
EYE POPPING SPOOKY GOODNESS / ALL IN THE FAMILY
Both haunts feature excellent 3D art sections - AWAKEN has displays by legendary 3D artist STU SMITH, and JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD has displays by the owner’s son!
There’s lots more too at both haunts, and even better they’re only minutes apart from each other which made for an ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS DEVIL’S NIGHT!
OCTOBER 31, 2018 WEDNESDAY 8 AM - HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
A Halloween story written after visiting HAUNTED HYDRO in OHIO now appears at the top of the page in “News.”
OCTOBER 30 2018 TUESDAY 12 NOON - What better way to spend DEVIL’S NIGHT than at a haunted house?
Here’s the haunts open tonight: AWAKEN, AZRA, THE CRYPT, DERANGED, EREBUS, EXIT 13, GORE GROUNDS, THE HAUNT, HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR, THE HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME, HUSH, JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD, PHANTOM FOREST HAYRIDE, ROTTEN MANOR, THE SCREAM MACHINE, and TERRORFIED FOREST & MANOR
OCTOBER 30, 2018 TUESDAY 2:30 AM - $100 TO GET IN, BUT YOUR MONEY BACK IF YOU MAKE IT ALL THE WAY THROUGH!
Have you ever heard something like this about a mystery haunt?
It’s total baloney, and here’s a popular prior posting that may ring a bell:
OCTOBER 27, 2015 TUESDAY 1 AM - DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS ONE HAUNTED HOUSE WHERE_____________________________? (fill in the blank)
Ever play the "Telephone Game," where a circle of people whispers a "secret" to each other one at a time until it goes all the way around?
The first person writes the "secret" down, and compares it to what the final person says. It's NEVER the same, and the results can be hilarious.
Now, imagine a "Telephone Game" where the "secret" is about an outrageous haunted house where all sorts of disgusting stuff is going on.
So every year there's FAKE HAUNT STORIES that are stretched to new dimensions of absurdity with every re-telling.
Multiply this concept by several thousand or so, and you've got this ever evolving story about an illusive HAUNT FROM BEYOND THAT DOESN'T EVEN EXIST, yet lives a life that cannot die!
The details vary widely, but there's always one thing in common with all of these amazing stories - nobody can ever tell you exactly where the haunt is. Why?
It's simple. It's only an urban legend.
But in peoples' minds...ah, that's a whole different animal.
There, it mutates itself and slays even the most rugged He-Man that eats pit bulls for breakfast.
As far as we know, the first version of this story goes something like this:
"There's a haunt that costs $100 to get in, but there's 10 rooms and you get back $10 for every room you make it thru.
But unspeakable things happen there, and three people already went insane.
In fact, NOBODY has made it past the third room! It's put on by a frat house in Ann Arbor that got banned and kicked out of U of M.
The crazy haunt from hell includes renegade Medical Students who got booted from U of M MED SCHOOL for stealing body parts from cadavers!
They performed hideous experiments, and decided to see what they could get away with before being shut down by the Police.
The first room is filled with 6 inches of water, and you must remove your shoes and socks. (They do promise to return them later when you exit.)There are hundreds of snakes slithering around your feet and in between your toes, but all non-poisonous so they can't get sued.
The second room is totally pitch black. As you make your way to a hallway end, you feel gooey slimy stuff on the wall. It's human remains, mixed in with turkey guts to completely fill the wall.
You get blood all over your clothes. It smells like death, and everybody gags and throws up.
The third room is only 25 feet square, but has 500 live rats. You still have no shoes or socks, so they go to town on your feet and ankles.
But to avoid lawsuits all the rats have been de-teethed so you don't actually get bit, just gummed." (end of FICTIONAL story - do NOT repeat this to anyone!)
OCTOBER 30, 2018 TUESDAY 2 AM - THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT
No, not eating the kids Halloween candy. We already did that.
It was our second visit to THE HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME in INKSTER last night...can’t get enough of that old school!
Their mild mannered funeral home director is dressed impeccably in a custom-tailored suit. His gentle, kind words of reassurance prove quickly to lack any credibility as all hell breaks loose in a flash. GREAT STUFF!
OCTOBER 29, 2018, MONDAY 2 PM - A MONDAY NIGHT LIKE NO OTHER
“I don’t like Monday’s... TELL ME WHY... I don’t like Monday’s” goes the song by what’s-his-name...
And I get that.
Many people dread Monday’s because it means the end of the fun they just had at weekend events, parties and such...
But what if you could bring that same fun back on Monday Night???
THE NO-BRAINER FROM BEYOND
Now you can! For you, dear Zioptis reader, it’s not over because here’s the list of HAUNTS OPEN TONIGHT.
MONDAY NIGHT MONSTERS AWAIT at: AWAKEN, AZRA, THE CRYPT, DERANGED, EREBUS, EXIT 13, HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR, HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME, JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD, PHANTOM FOREST HAYRIDE, and ROTTEN MANOR!
OCTOBER 29, 2018 MONDAY 1 PM - Now being written: review for HAUNTED WOODS OF TERROR in CARO. See Reviews 2018_A.
Note - when you first select Reviews you’ll see BLUE TABS on the right of the page. These have not been enabled yet, after our much beleaguered website recovery process. However, you can access all reviews by clicking on THE LEFT SIDE of the page.
OCTOBER 29, 2018 MONDAY 12 NOON - LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
Boo hoo! The haunting season is drawing to a close soon, but the memories of many wild shared experiences will remain long after the last SNICKERS BAR has made its way into the sewage system!
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP
However, some haunts aren’t done yet and we’ll compile a list of them soon.
Last year we had a major disappointment that we were determined not to repeat, when we lost some primo pics of HUSH to a memory card failure.
So last night we immediately copied all the pics we got onto the computer, and we already posted a few on the HUSH FACEBOOK PAGE.
The new show at HUSH is excellent, and lived up to what everyone was telling us about this highly dynamic young haunt. Their passion for the haunt genre is exceeded perhaps only by the massive crowds that descend like locusts here!
The setup is brilliant, with spectacular visuals outside as well as in. There’s multiple perches on top of the building from which monsters entertain the queue line, and throw haunted goodies down to them.
We got excellent high resolution pics of this, but ditched the camera before touring the haunt so as not to detract from the experience.
We love haunting! And you do too, or you wouldn’t be reading this now. Stay tuned, lots more still to come...
OCTOBER 29, 2018 MONDAY 11 AM - OUT OF MY MIND ON MONDAY MOANIN’
What a long, strange trip it’s been...and that was just last night!
HUSH was such a blast, and we talked to so many people...staff and happy haunters...that we never made it to AWAKEN. Our apologies to them.
Lots more to tell you, but first up is a date with the coffee machine. My partner bought some TRADER JOE’S PUMPKIN SPICE COFFEE that’s super delicious...back in a few...
OCTOBER 28, 2018 SUNDAY 6 PM - OH WHERE, OH WHERE HAS MY LITTLE DOG GONE?
Just lamenting some of our favorite haunts that are now lost, or trying to find their way back...so many, but first on the list has to be THE REALM OF DARKNESS and THE HAUNTING.
THE BONE YARD is sorely missed too, as well as SINISTER, ERWIN’S BARN OF HORRORS and TERRORTOWN in TOLEDO.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM ROAD had become our unofficial HALLOWEEN PARTY NIGHT destination, and we always had a blast at McCURDY’S REVENGE and HAUNTED HALLOWS in WESTLAND as well as HAUNTED HOLLOWS in ARMADA.
Not quite as bad but still a bummer is the hiatus of 3 fabulous haunts: CLIO MANOR HAUNTED HOUSE in FLINT, KRAZY HILDA’S in YPSILANTI and ST. LUCIFER’S HAUNTED ASYLUM in GRAND BLANC. We hope to see them all back next year!
WITH HIS EARS CUT SHORT & HIS TAIL CUT LONG, OH WHERE, OH WHERE CAN HE BE?
There’s lots more (see “Closed”) but one last haunt to mention now that will always hold a very special place in our heart: DEADLY INTENTIONS in WARREN was over-the-top ultra wacky, with an army of unique recurring characters like Morbid Melvin who wore a beanie-copter hat.
DEADLY INTENTIONS embodied the true spirit of haunting. The creator HOWARD ERLICH went to MUTILATION MANSION as a kid, and became a haunt actor immediately after the first time he went through!
Howard went on to provide A QUARTER CENTURY OF HAUNTING EXCELLENCE, and was once awarded HAUNT OF THE YEAR by THE GORE GUIDE which was created by our old friend and comrade in arms JOHN POE.
OCTOBER 28, 2018 SUNDAY 4 PM - A TALL HAZELNUT WITH CREAM
A jolt of java never hurts in preparation for an EPIC NIGHT OF HAUNTING!
There’s LOTS of Detroit Market Haunts still open tonight including:
AWAKEN, AZRA, BESTMAZE, BLAKE’S, BONADEO FARMS, THE CRYPT, DERANGED, THE EDSON INCIDENT, EREBUS, EXIT 13, GORE GROUNDS, HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME, THE HAUNT, HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR, HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS, HUSH, JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD, NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S, NILES SCREAM PARK, ROTTEN MANOR, SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK, THE SCREAM MACHINE, SLAUGHTERED AT SUNDOWN, SLAUGHTERHOUSE, TERROR ON 27, and TERRORFIED FOREST & MANOR
ALVIN TOFLER WAS RIGHT, YOU KNOW
Wow, that’s quite a selection...and it reminds me of something I read long ago in a book called FUTURE SHOCK.
This Alvin dude is basically predicting the future, and one thing he says will make things difficult is “OVERCHOICE.”
Go to the drug store in ANY CITY, USA and you’ll see it running rampant. There’s like 20 varieties of whatever you’re looking for!
But this being DETROIT, THE WORLD CAPITAL OF HAUNTED HOUSES, we have our own SPECIAL OVERCHOICE situation right now.
A NICE PROBLEM TO HAVE
Above, we’ve listed TWENTY SIX HAUNTS OPEN TONIGHT!
On top of all that, to help close out the 2018 season with a bang:
DARKSYDE ACRES is closed tonight but open NOV. 2 & 3
EREBUS is open every day until & including Halloween and NOV. 2 & 3
THE HAUNT is also open OCT. 30 & 31
HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR is also open OCT. 29 & 30
HUSH is also open OCT. 30 & 31 and NOV. 2 & 3
OCTOBER 28, 2018 SUNDAY 4 AM - THE IRRESISTIBLE SAD PUPPY DOG
Last night’s plans to hit HUSH were put on hold yet again by of all things a whimpering pooch...sorta.
My partner couldn’t make it out last night, so I forged ahead without her.
First stop was a 2nd visit to DERANGED in ROMULUS, and it was much improved since our 1st visit there on opening night...HOORAY! A steady stream of happy haunters came despite the wet weather.
Then off to HUSH, who we already tried twice to attend.
RING! RING! My cell went off...my anxious partner was calling:
“Yeah, I’m at HUSH right now...it’s totally bonkers!”
“Really? What’s it like there?”
“There’s hundreds of people waiting in line, and I asked several ecstatic groups that were leaving what they thought...thumbs up across the board. The radio station is here broadcasting live...nobody cares about the rain...it’s off the hook crazy...”
“WAH! (whimpering) You’re going to HUSH without me???” (more whimpering)
“Look, it’s bad enough we can’t go to TERRORTOWN anymore...WAH! (still more whimpering) Let me check...they’re open Sunday night...I wanna come too...”
“Sheesh! You gals only have one thing on your mind...get your mind out of the gutter already! Hey, I’m more than just a sausage with 2 legs attached...I’m a sensitive guy with feelings...I pick flowers...”
“Shut up, Dill! (one of her nicknames for me) Let’s go to HUSH first thing tomorrow night...maybe we can still hit AWAKEN after that. We can get on the freeway real easy...” (end of call)
My fate was sealed. After all, who can resist throwing a bone to a whimpering puppy dog? (;
OCTOBER 27, 2018 SATURDAY 4 PM - STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH
We love talking to haunt operators, especially after they’ve just WOWED US!
Usually we have to make it short and sweet, in order to make it to the next haunt on time.
However, if it’s the last haunt for the night we can kick back and relax.
And so it was last night at EXIT 13...
The operators were quick to ask us if we’d been to ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY and HUSH in WESTLAND, which we have not.
ROTTEN MANOR stormed into the Detroit haunt market in 2015, and could easily someday become the PREMIER MEGA HAUNT IN THE DETROIT HAUNT MARKET.
They also told us HUSH has upped its game dramatically, and totally reinvented itself for 2018.
Previous WESTLAND plans including HUSH and the new PANIC were thwarted twice, and a blown furnace ruined earlier plans to hit ROTTEN MANOR.
We’ve been following both of these closely since they started, and can’t wait to see what wild and crazy stuff they’re up to!
OCTOBER 27, 2018 SATURDAY 3 PM - BREAKING THE SILENCE, AT LONG LAST!
Thanks for believing in us, even during our extended forced absence during the transition from our old XP computer that died to a new one...
Just checked the website hit list and was surprised to see lots of you were still logging on, even before we regained uploading capability.
Too long for here on the main page - the current hit list has been copied and pasted into “Archives 33.”
OCTOBER 27, 2018 SATURDAY 2 PM - REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE...
No, not like the Telephone Company would have you do...
It was EXIT 13 in MOUNT MORRIS (near Flint) last night, the final haunt of 3 we hit last night...
At most haunts, the beginning statement before entering goes something like: “The monsters will not touch you, please do not touch them.”
But EXIT 13 is the HANDS ON HAUNT that DOES touch you...wait, make that GRAB YOU as they shake your soul and rattle your guts!
(However this is optional. If you’re a scardy cat you can wear glow ware that alerts the actors not to touch you.)
DEEP IN THE FOREST, ALONE WITH YOUR FEARS...AND TONS OF MONSTERS
Our first stop last night was WICKED WOODS OF TERROR in CARO, and they got us in every possible way from every possible place! We saw firsthand why another haunt operator said we had to check this out...
After that, we went to the EDSON INCIDENT in BAY CITY...WOWSER! It’s like...the naturally existing ambiance is off-the-charts to begin with...so it’s easy to CRANK IT TO ELEVEN and they did, BIG TIME!
OCTOBER 26, 2018 FRIDAY 1 PM - AHOY THERE MATEY!
We just talked to the operator of THE EDSON INCIDENT in BAY CITY (also on tonight’s schedule) and there’s lots of changes for 2018 that are keeping the crowds big and the scares intense!
They blew us away when we saw them for the first time last year - see Reviews 2017_A.
OCTOBER 26, 2018 FRIDAY 12 NOON - THE HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION
Let’s say you’re having a delicious dinner at JOHNSON’S STEAK HOUSE. Everything is great, so you compliment the chef.
But before you leave, the chef says, “Thanks a lot! But the next time you eat out, you really should go to GARY’S GIZZARDS.”
Well, that’s what happened to us recently.
But it wasn’t a restaurant. We just made up those names.
It was a super successful haunt, and they told us we really should go to WICKED WOODS OF TERROR in CARO.
Hmmm...we’ve had recommendations like this before that we wisely followed and were never disappointed.
THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN (gone now) told us to go to GHOSTLY MANOR in SANDUSKY, OHIO and THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR told us to go to THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS.
Wet weather hindered our previous efforts to hit WICKED WOODS OF TERROR, but tonight wild horses couldn’t keep us away! This haunt is the centerfold darling of THE HAUNT GUIDE for 2018...they must be doing something right! (;
OCTOBER 25, 2018 THURSDAY 11 PM - NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T
One of the earliest remaining ORIGINAL HAUNTED HOUSES is now just a pile of garbage.
Every year we made a pilgrimage to this haunt, on Dix at the Lincoln Park Community Center...
And this is a haunt that predates even THE HAUNTED GALLERY (which eventually became EREBUS) and HOUSE OF NIGHTMARES (which eventually became REALM OF DARKNESS).
We’re talking about ANXIETY ALLEY, and it was just a few trailers thrown together by THE JAYCEE’S.
WHEN LESS IS MORE
It was as stripped down basic old school as you can imagine. One example: an actor hiding in the dark holding a paper bag and a flashlight lights himself up and pops the bag while yelling “BOO!”
Nothin’ fancy, but it introduced several generations of kids to the THRILL OF HAUNTING.
Early haunts like this, and MUTILATION MANSION* in MADISON HEIGHTS are largely responsible for the very existence of the haunted attraction genre!
When we couldn’t find ANXIETY ALLEY, we did some checking and found that the severely worn out trailers were finally disposed of.
* = See more about MUTILATION MANSION in the post below: “OCTOBER 21, 2018 SUNDAY 9 PM - FOX FINALLY GETS IT RIGHT, SORTA”
OCTOBER 25, 2018 THURSDAY 4 PM - WRECKING BALL MEETS ICONIC HAUNT
We didn’t see this one coming, but NO haunt lasts forever... ):
(Stay tuned, coming later this evening!)
OCTOBER 25, 2018 THURSDAY 3:30 PM - DECISIONS, DECISIONS...
There’s still SO many haunts we’d love to hit, but time is running short...
Usually by now we’ve hit at least 20 haunts, but this season has been hindered by unforeseen difficulties including a furnace that died and a family member in the hospital...
And last year we missed BLAKE’S, HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR and SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK...have great stories from all of these...
And DARKSYDE ACRES seems to be beckoning...and we heard THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS (now actually in nearby Wyoming) is KILLER!
JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD is a behemoth that we love so much we went for 8 years straight...
Also, we heard that AWAKEN in LESLIE has upped its game big time since last year...and that’s less than 10 miles from SHAWHAVEN FARM in MASON where we always had a blast! (see various reviews)
We were super bummed last week, when we planned our rescheduled visit to PANIC in WESTLAND...only to find short-sighted city officials blew it and ordered them closed mid-season.
MAJOR DUH...for the city officials.
Do not the same city officials know of the other haunted attraction HUSH which also is in Westland?
If these same city officials were scheduling permits for, say a Christmas event, would they come to them a couple weeks before December 25th and say, “Okay, show’s over! Pack it up and leave NOW.”
OCTOBER 24, 2018 WEDNESDAY 10 PM - BACK IN ACTION, FINALLY! BUT...
The BLUE LINKS on the right in Reviews haven’t been enabled yet. In the meantime, you can click on the LEFT of the page to find various years - oldest on top so 2018 appears at the bottom of the list...another unfortunate oddity but oh wellski...
Sorry for the inconvenience, also we need to change the colors on the left tabs so they’re easy to read...and the retro main page image will be back!
So much more to say...but frazzled from hours on the phone with the website host and such...persistence is a virtue and we were bound and determined to get the program working on the new computer!!!
OCTOBER 24, 2018 WEDNESDAY 9 PM - HOORAY, WE’RE BAAACK!
FINALLY, after much difficulty, we can add new content to the site. It’s been supremely frustrating, after the original computer used for this site since 1999 died. (gory details in “News”)
A million thanks to Webmaster Billy G for helping us through a most difficult transition!
There’s some oddities now like periods, commas and such that appear by themselves at the beginning of a line, and the margins need adjusting.
But at least we’re once again LIVE FROM THE DEAD ZONE OF HAUNTING!
OCTOBER 21, 2018 SUNDAY 9 PM - FOX FINALLY GETS IT RIGHT, SORTA
Fox TV animated Halloween shows from THE SIMPSON’S and BOB’S BURGERS just aired, and something really caught our ears in BOB’S BURGERS right before we were about to shut it off.
The dialogue mentions going to a scary place called MUTILATION MANSION.
Wait a second, how did they come up with that name? Is one the writers from Michigan?
MUTILATION MANSION was to our knowledge the VERY FIRST HAUNTED HOUSE / ATTRACTION which ran from 1966 - 2006 in MADISON HEIGHTS, MICHIGAN.
It was just a few tractor trailers thrown together by THE JAYCEE’S, but it changed the face of Halloween forever creating a new dimension of fun & excitement the likes of which they never imagined!
Back to the TV show...later, with great anticipation they go to said MUTILATION MANSION. Some of them chicken out, but the others go in and live to brag about it after surviving various haunt scares depicted. They didn’t use the exact words “haunted house” but the intent is clear.
COMING FULL CIRCLE
Hmmm...MADISON HEIGHTS is where it all started...
And NOW... again we have a haunted house in MADISON HEIGHTS, AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HAUNTED HOUSE and it’s way killer with a special thrill right at the end!
Life is good.
OCTOBER 21, 2018 SUNDAY 2 PM - DOUBLE WOWSER IN THE BIG “D”
Saturday night was fabulous!
2 haunts we’ve never seen before both blew us away with spirit and creativity - HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS in GROSSE POINTE FARMS and AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HAUNTED HOUSE in MADISON HEIGHTS. They were both totally off the hook!
People from vastly different backgrounds made these haunts.
One is a retired school teacher, the other a pair of young entrepreneurs...
THE FURTHER WE REACH OUT THE CLOSER WE BECOME
But they share that common vision & passion for craziness that brings us all together even as we expand outwards from Detroit, the most competitive haunt market in the world!
OCTOBER 20, 2018 SATURDAY 4 PM - NEW KID IN TOWN
Tonight we’re off to AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HAUNTED HOUSE in MADISON HEIGHTS and HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS in GROSSE POINTE FARMS.
AZRA is brand new this year, making it a priority and HAUNTED GARAGE is in their 11th year but we’ve never been there yet. Shame on us, a thousand lashes with a wet noodle...it doesn’t hurt but it’s awfully annoying!
OCTOBER 20, 2018 SATURDAY 2 PM - FISTS IN THE AIR / FAIRIES IN THE SKY
A ROCK CONCERT BROKE OUT Friday night at NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S in YPSILANTI!
From a side angle, that’s exactly what it looked it...music blasting, people rushing the stage shaking their fists in the air keeping beat...
But “the band” was actually the next KARAOKE SINGER and this guy tore it up big time - somebody get that kid on THE VOICE!
HOW’S THE WEATHER UP THERE?
There’s a couple of characters roaming the grounds of WIARD’S that will knock your socks off!
You can’t miss them...they’re both EIGHT FEET TALL!
There’s a FAIRY PRINCESS and a KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR that both have custom LED costumes to die for.
It was all so cool...RATS! We never made it to THE PUMPKIN FACTORY in BELLEVILLE - our apologies to them.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2018 MONDAY 2 PM - WHERE THE ONLY CONSTANT IS CHANGE
Every year there’s changes in the haunt industry. It’s just the nature of the beast...where do we even start?
Let’s begin with the big one - THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS has changed hands and has a new location. We knew the lease was up last year for the Waldorf building where they operated - they had a 15 year lease.
We went to THE HAUNT last year to see their SWAN SONG, and it was fabulous~! Got lots of great pics too with a Sony RX-100, yet to be released on our Flickr account. *
Other changes: KRAZY HILDA’S, ST. LUCIFER’S and CLIO MANOR HH are on hiatus this year. We look forward to seeing them again in the future!
DEADLANDS HAUNTED HOUSE in WARREN is gone and will be missed, a sad reminder that nothing man-made lasts forever...
* = Here’s the link to our photo stream albums - look for “Haunted Attraction Stuff” - www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/albums
Rats, can’t get the link to work so try this - go to www.flickriver.com and find the search bar on top, select “users” and enter the name sonicmadness (one word) then click on sonicmadness, then click on “albums.”
SEPTEMBER 22, 2018 SATURDAY 11 PM - TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
Tonight we hit the TERRORFIED FOREST & MANOR in PINCKNEY, which has evolved yet again after changing hands a few years ago. It’s still killer!
SEPTEMBER 21, 2018 FRIDAY 11 PM - OFF AND RUNNING!
YAY! Many haunts opened tonight, and we hit THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR which we barely recognized!
They still have the HELLEVATOR and BLACK HOLE and a bit from before but basically, they told us it’s 90% new this year!
It’s still on ECORSE ROAD just off TELEGRAPH.
NOVEMBER 18, 2017 SATURDAY 1 AM - GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
Just updated: "Closed" where we list haunts that now R.I.P.!
The total now is 66...sigh...the list grows every year but that's okay because nothing lasts forever and there's also new haunts every year!
NOVEMBER 12, 2017 SUNDAY 11 PM - NOTHIN' BUT THE FACTS, MA'AM..
So much to tell you about the haunts we visited this year! Usually we post reviews as we go along, but sadly that wasn't an option this year.
To start with, here's a list of the haunts we visited in 2017:
1. CLIO MANOR HAUNTED HOUSE, FLINT
2. ST. LUCIFER'S, FLINT
3. 13 FEET UNDER, FLINT
4. HAUNTING IN THE HILLS, IRISH HILLS
5. JACKSON'S UNDERWORLD, JACKSON
6. ROTTEN MANOR, HOLLY
7. TERRORFIED FOREST & MANOR, PINCKNEY
8. SLAUGHTERHOUSE, FOWLERVILLE
9. HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION, WESTLAND
10. HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME, INKSTER
11. WYANDOTTE JAYCEE'S KINDRED, WYANDOTTE
12. NIGHTSTALKERS, SAGINAW
13. GOREGROUNDS / HAUNTED ELEMENTARY, BRIDGEPORT
14. WILD WOODS OF TERROR, KOCHVILLE TWP.
15. PHANTOM FOREST HAYRIDE, GROSSE ILE
16. THE SCREAM MACHINE, TAYLOR
17. HOUSE OF DAMNATION, MAUMEE, OHIO
18. HAUNTED PLANET EXPERIENCE ASYLUM OF HORRORS, MAUMEE, OHIO
19. KRAZY HILDA'S, YPSILANTI
20. NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD'S, YPSILANTI
21. THE HAUNT, GRAND RAPIDS
22. THE EDSON INCIDENT, BAY CITY
23. REALM OF HAUNTED MINDS, ROMULUS
NOVEMBER 5, 2017 SUNDAY 2 AM - ATOMIC BOOM FINALE!
We had an incredible last night of haunting at EDSON INCIDENT in BAY CITY. This haunt is on a military vessel that's 418 feet long! More later...
NOVEMBER 4, 2017 SATURDAY 2 PM - THE FAT LADY SINGS
Tonight is your very last chance to go haunting this season!
But let's rewind now to the start of the season when we were forced off-the-air...happened to see an item on FOX TV 2 NEWS IN DETROIT about the triumphant return of STUART MacDONALD to ADRIAN for a 2 day stint with his new magic show!
WOW! We wanted badly to go to his show...we miss this guy so much, and what he brought to the haunt scene...but those pesky logistics got in the way...
Back to the TV article, it gets better...he did a mind-blowing trick, then came the announcement that STU would be on PENN & TELLER'S FOOL US TV SHOW in a few weeks.
We haven't seen the episode yet, but the operator of HAUNTED PLANET EXPERIENCE did and was as happy as a pig in...uh, slop...to tell us that STUART MacDONALD DID INDEED FOOL PENN & TELLER on NATIONWIDE TV!
We always thought this guy was not too shabby...so Stuart, if you're out there...way to go, dude...and I don't care WHAT your relatives say about you, you're OKAY in our book. Just don't get a big head on us now because of all this bigtime hoopla and such! ;) haha
In case all this is Greek to you, in a nutshell STUART MacDONALD is a famed magician who created the now defunct THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN. (see "Closed" for more)
EAST COAST TV took Stuart away from us when THE HAUNTING suddenly shuttered without notice years ago, in a dramatic way befitting a master trickster.
NOVEMBER 3, 2017 FRIDAY 6 AM - HAPPY FRIDAY!
I can't believe it...the haunting is not over yet! We can't wait to check out the EDSON INCIDENT in BAY CITY aboard an old Vietnam era battle ship! NAUTICAL NIGHTMARE on the BOB-LO BOAT is long gone, but this looks like a BIG WINNER too...check this out: www.edsonincident.com
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP!
And there's other haunts open too this weekend; see the list in "What's Next."
Don't forget to tune back at the end of the year for a special report.
Plus, we'll be SPILLING THE BEANS about JACKSON'S UNDERWORLD before then. Trust us, this is going to be really big and super spectacular!
OCTOBER 31, 2017 TUESDAY 11 PM - WHEN THE PARTY'S OVER, TURN OUT THE LIGHTS
Wow, 230 pieces of candy went in a flash...and the wind died down so I brought out a fog machine after all...all the kids were super cute as usual...and THEN...this is so cool...
One of our trick or treaters had a costume that ESPECIALLY caught our eyes...check this out...her shirt and her jacket both said EREBUS!
pause...Hmmm...check this statement from the earlier 6 PM posting:
"In a way, I'm glad...not for the twisted foot of course...but to see the smiling faces on Superman and Superwoman and whoever else shows up..."
Anyway, back to the story...what a cool sight! I told her "Oh My God! I wanted SO bad to go to EREBUS tonight but my plans fell through." Then she says she worked there before...and it went somewhere like this...
"So I was supposed to go to EREBUS tonight, right? Okay, but I didn't make it and now I've got an EREBUS ACTOR RIGHT HERE instead? What are the chances of that! haha "You runnin' some PSYCHIC MUMBO JUMBO on me or somethin'?" haha (-: "What kind of monster did you play?" and so on...
It was a completely different Halloween than we envisioned...but looking back I wouldn't have it any other way! Sometimes when things go wrong, something else goes right instead... Not very often, but we'll take it!
OCTOBER 31, 2017 TUESDAY 6 PM - WHAT A DEAL...
I can't believe it! The Great Pumpkin is not smiling on us this Halloween..
So after a wild night in Grand Rapids last night, we were all set to finish off tonight at THE HAUNTED WINERY in FARMINGTON and EREBUS in PONTIAC.
My partner and I are in the best physical condition we've been in for years...she works out 3-4 days a week and I work out 6-7 days a week...we plowed through I don't even know how many haunts this year...thru forests and all kinds of tricky passages with moving floors and such...
Never did we have a single problem...UNTIL...this morning my partner woke up with her right leg asleep...nature calling...OH NO! She stumbled and landed with toes curled under on front...OUCH! Possibly a broken toe.
She's out of commission, so we're handing out candy tonight to the local youngsters. We set up an impromptu light show with black lights, strobes, and colored lights...too windy for fog machines though...but we'll be crankin' the TOD DOCKSTADER on the sound system to set the mood. More about TOD DOCKSTADER later...
In a way, I'm glad...not for the twisted foot of course...but to see the smiling faces on Superman and Superwoman and whoever else shows up.
So HAPPY HALLOWEEN to you and yours, and tune in soon for a full list of all the haunts we visited this year along with mini-reviews until we can re-do the website on a newer version (which will be no easy task...we already tried once).
OCTOBER 31, 2017 TUESDAY 2 PM - TELL ME A STORY, DADDY!
Back in 2013 when we went to THE HAUNTED HYDRO in FREMONT, OHIO, Crazy Bob inspired me to finish a Halloween theme story that had been on my mind...
It's now posted in the "News" section.
OCTOBER 30, 2017 MONDAY 3 PM - SAILING THE HIGH SEAS OF MADNESS
Who remembers the NAUTICAL NIGHTMARE? It was a haunt aboard an old BOB-LO BOAT, and it was primo!
Well, here's another haunt aboard a really large Vietnam era ship in BAY CITY. It's the EDSON INCIDENT, and they are open next weekend! (but not tonight)
We're going for sure, and you'll probably want to as well when you lookie here: www.edsonincident.com
OCTOBER 30, 2017 MONDAY 2:30 PM - DEVIL'S NIGHT DELIGHTS
We're headed into the home stretch, but there's lots of primo haunting available!
Tonight we're off to GRAND RAPIDS to THE HAUNT. Shame on us for missing them the last couple years...a thousand lashes with a wet noodle! (It doesn't hurt, but it's awfully annoying.)
OCTOBER 30, 2017 MONDAY 5 AM - INDUSTRY TITANS ON THE MOVE
Big news this year with THE REALM OF DARKNESS and THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS...
REALM moved to Mississippi after it changed hands, and the lease is up at THE HAUNT'S Waldorf Street location so it's their last year there.
What will happen with THE HAUNT? Will they return somewhere else?
We can't say right now, but in the meantime it's a priority to visit THE HAUNT this season! www.the-haunt.com
If you've never experienced THE HAUNT, the clock is ticking. This is a haunt that was first recommended to us by the owner of THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR! How's THAT for an endorsement?!
OCTOBER 29, 2017 SUNDAY 10 PM - CAN YOU KEEP A GIANT TRADE SECRET?
Actually, it doesn't matter...because we're not going to tell you exactly what it is...yet...but here's a hint, and it's about JACKSON'S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON. www.jxcunderworld.com
There's something MAJOR in the works right now inside their ridiculously giant four story building...but we never reveal things ahead of the operator's schedule so we can only say this for now:
When we spill the beans...and not that far from now...you're going to want to go to JACKSON'S UNDERWORLD before next haunt season... AND YOU WILL BE AMAZED! (and thankful to Zioptis of course) haha
OCTOBER 29, 2017 SUNDAY 9:30 PM - WILD WEEKEND BLITZ!
There's been just SO MUCH we've wanted to tell you, but couldn't due to an old XP system computer that died after 16 years...new computer not compatible...it's been a real life nightmare trying to get back ON THE AIR...but persistance is a virtue and we made it!
Sadly, we can't add new review tabs for this year yet...working on a temp fix...but a million thanks to our webmaster's g-friend for loaning us her XP COMPUTER that we need to run this program.
WE'RE JUST SO GLAD TO FINALLY BE BACK! So...onward, HAUNTED SOLDIERS...time to report, SIR! YES SIR!
Friday, we hit OHIO to check out the new show from HAUNTED PLANET EXPERIENCE which moved from TOLEDO to MAUMEE (nearby) and somehow has become an ASYLUM... and it's CRAZY INSANE!
It gets better, there's ANOTHER NEW KID IN TOWN...also only a few years old...also in MAUMEE, it's HOUSE OF DAMNATION. They have a special crew of creatures that pulls off some of the biggest and baddest crowd pleasing stunts we've ever seen, and their LIQUID SKY is to die for!
Sincere apologies for missing GHOSTLY MANOR in SANDUSKY, OHIO. This is a haunt that another haunt owner urged us to check out years ago!!! Enough said.
Then, on Saturday we hit THE PUMPKIN FACTORY in BELLEVILLE, KRAZY HILDA'S in YPSILANTI and WIARD'S NIGHT TERRORS in YPSILANTI. All three were packed with happy haunters, totally stoked on that certain crazy energy that only haunted houses can deliver!
We hit¬ WIARD'S last on Saturday night, and WHAT A BLAST! Then chattin' up the crowd a bit...time to cruise...now it's 1 AM...so we're cruisin' back down FORD ROAD into CANTON and then into WESTLAND...and...OH! what a sight...
HOW FABULOUS! There's still several hundred people waiting excitedly to experience the NEW SHOW AT HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION!!!
OH NO! I don't have my camera...and even worse...
On the night of our official visit to HUSH (we've been known to go twice), before going thru the haunt we got some KILLER PHOTOS with a high resolution DSLR of the energy at the haunt. YAY! Can't wait to post them on the HUSH Facebook page later...but NO!!!
Sadly, the memory card failed when trying to load the pics into our new computer...adding yet another DIGITAL FAILURE to this year's efforts to help promote the haunt scene. But we're going to take the card to Westborn Camera in Dearborn and pray they can retrieve the images. Sigh...once again...HELP MR. WIZARD!!!
Lots more to tell you soon...stand by my little monkeys...
OCTOBER 29, 2017 SUNDAY 6:30 PM - TEST PUBLISH
We've had severe computer problems preventing us from uploading this season. Please stand by...
OCTOBER 29, 2016 SATURDAY 4 PM - AND TO THINK THAT I SAW IT AT KROGER LAST NIGHT
Okay, it was actually two nights ago... 11:30 PM and time for an EMERGENCY TURKEY HILL RUN TO KROGER before they close at midnight...some employees were already ALL DECKED OUT in their HALLOWEEN BEST COSTUMES.
Of course I had to tease them like bratty younger siblings... so as items are being scanned... "Wow, jumping the gun a bit for Halloween are we? What kind of candy are you giving out?" haha giggle giggle "OH NO! I NEED A NUTRAGEOUS RIGHT NOW." (I start fake sobbing and she responds with an obvious lack of sympathy)
"Nope, you're out of luck on that one." "Sigh...you mean to tell me...so you're this big time cashier here...hundreds of thousands of dollars running through your greedy little mitts...but how much of that do I get?" "NOTHING!" "Why can't I get my cut? My fair share should be at least a couple G's don't you think?" haha giggle giggle
"HAPPY HALLOWEEN YOU SILLY GIRL, carry on and don't forget to support your local, neighborhood haunted house or The Great Pumpkin himself will hunt you down like a dog and remove your limbs." "REALLY? The Great Pumpkin?" "I have connections...I shouldn't tell you this but I'm with the ZIOPTIS HAUNTED HOUSE HOTLINE." (handed her a Zioptis HHH card)
OCTOBER 29, 2016 SATURDAY 4 AM - TALES FROM THE DARKSYDE
WOW! We barely recognized DARKSYDE ACRES since we last saw it in 2012, and it's all good...we loved the snarky, creative actors...and their makeup and costumes are all top flight!
BIGGER, BADDER, BETTER!
JACKSON'S UNDERWORLD has a new 3D full length attraction, painted by the owner's son! A clown theme provides the backdrop for some really wild and REALLY LARGE artwork that FLIES off the wall and floats in the air. It's an eerie feeling that's bursting with bright, happy flourescent colors glowing brightly under scores of blacklights...
OCTOBER 28, 2016 FRIDAY 4 PM - A HORSE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR
We just had an excellent long talk with the show manager at WIARD'S ORCHARDS NIGHT TERRORS in YPSILANTI and you won't believe what they just did!
First of all real quick...we truly admire how many haunts are able to reinvent themselves year after year and that's great... but check this out...the WIARD'S HAYRIDE has just been revamped midseason! There's new makeup/characters, new scenes, new lines, and new audio soundtracks. So essentially...even if you saw it before, you ain't seen nothin' yet! www.HauntedHouseMichigan.com
CARPE DIEM, BABY!
After getting feedback from people as they're leaving the hayride WIARD'Sstarted brainstorming how to CRANK THE CRAZINESS TO ELEVEN... everything starts as an idea after all... oh and check this out one of the main new scenes this year in the hayride was thought of just a couple days before opening day of the season... it was nip and tuck but was finally ready five minutes before show time! For you haunt operators out there...does any of this sound familiar? Haha
OCTOBER 27, 2016 THURSDAY 3 PM - Just looking at the website for DARKSYDE ACRES, and their blog is hilarious! Humor goes great with haunting, check this out - www.darksydeacres.com/blog
OCTOBER 17, 2016 MONDAY 1 AM - THINKING OUTSIDE THE BIG BOX
Okay... we've been gushing over some of the big guns in the industry and rightfully so. These are some amazing productions, and it's some superhuman stuff to pull this off. We've seen Sky Trackers, cranes, and all sorts of amazing machinery used in haunts.
But the big gun haunts are only part of the picture, so now it's time to gush about two haunts that very likely did not have thousands upon thousands of visitors last Saturday night.
You might say these are more like your mom and pop haunted houses, yet they can be counted on to deliver the goods. Even better, they're both in Western Wayne County and make an awesome two-fer haunt journey.
We're talking about REALM OF HAUNTED MINDS in ROMULUS and NIGHTMARE ON HARRIS STREET at THE PUMPKIN FACTORY in BELLEVILLE.
REALM OF HAUNTED MINDS has an amazing miniature city on the grounds, and can be the source of many adventures all on its own. There's a ghost ship that can be boarded, as well as a train and much more.
And the haunt? IT'S KILLER...EVERYTIME. Not only that, but FRANKENSTEIN HIMSELF has taken up residence here. What better endorsement could you possibly hope for? (see various archived reviews)
The ticket booth building at REALM OF HAUNTED MINDS is a show in itself, and also sports some amazingly tasty vittles that you won't be able to stop eating once you start! Here's their info - 18910 Merriman Road, Romulus, MI 48174 phone # (734) 753-9187
NIGHTMARE ON HARRIS STREET is celebrating 40 YEARS IN BUSINESS!!! Hmmm...they must be doing something right. ;)
The main feature at NIGHTMARE is a hayride with lots of original artwork and some really cool twists. As you make your way onto the grounds, you get an inkling of what you're in for, because the resident witch lives in a small house there. Step right up and look closely inside if you dare, but please be advised she is authorized to maim and kill stalkers and Peeping Tom's.
Oh yeah... THE PUMPKINS! There's hundreds if not thousands of them!
And their main building has a really cool store as well as world class food served up at a great price. Hey, vigorous haunting requires proper sustenance! One awesome entry we never would have expected was stuffed cabbage soup to rival that of any Polish restaurant!
But back to the pumpkins. This is a pumpkin farm after all...you can find the one that's just right for you and your jack-o'-lantern plans. And their pumpkin pie is to die for fabulous and brought them nationwide recognition in a major magazine article about Michigan!
There's no fancy website or social media accounts, but who needs spinning graphics when you're already going strong at 40 years running?! Here's their info - NIGHTMARE ON HARRIS STREET, 48651 Harris, Belleville, MI 48111 phone # (734) 461-1835
OCTOBER 16, 2016 SUNDAY 3 PM - THE MASTERS TOUCH
OMG! I just looked at the photo gallery on the website of THE REALM OF DARKNESS...WOW... the colors... the designs... the astonishing makeup...the widely varying emotions invoked... the theatrical quality sets...the ridiculously insane attention to detail. You see new things every time you go through! Lookie here - http://therealmofdarkness.com/gallery/
If you've never been to a top-level professional haunt of this caliber, you owe it to yourself to get your butt over to THE REALM OF DARKNESS. You might even win a thousand bucks (or $500 for 2nd prize) if you go on Devil's Night...and this is for real...NOT an Urban Legend thing! www.TheRealmOfDarkness.com
In case you didn't hear, in the biggest haunt news of the season, the announcement has been made that THE REALM OF DARKNESS is moving to Mississippi (possibly as soon as next year but for sure by 2018)!
So time is of the essence, if you want to see this masterful creation from not only one of the most creative, but nicest people in the business! Denise has even helped competitors slay their own dragons of all shapes, sorts, and sizes through the years in an impressive display of THE GOLDEN RULE at work!
And it was Denise that told us we simply HAD to check out SCREAM PARK in NILES which we finally did. We actually received a kind invitation from SCREAM PARK for a return visit recently...decisions, decisions...RATS! We missed THE HAUNT last year...we need to get back to DARKSYDE ACRES too...then there's the NEW MEGAHAUNT in TOLDEO called HAUNTED PLANET EXPERIENCE from the creator of the now defunct HAUNTED PRISON EXPERIENCE in MANSFIELD, OHIO.
Whoops...gotta run to CARDIO DRUMMING...stay tuned my little monkeys!
OCTOBER 16, 2016 SUNDAY 5 AM - CITIES AFLAME IN ROCK AND ROLL / FREAK OUT IN A MOONAGE DAYDREAM, OH YEAH...
Okay, it was actually LENOX TOWNSHIP last night, as both HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR and SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK had the largest crowds we've ever seen at either haunt! Fortunately, both of them are set up to handle thousands upon thousands of happy haunters and things were running smoothly all around.
The moon was shining brightly, and at times unusual cloud formations passed through it to produce stunning visuals no man could ever create! Hmmm...could you call that GOD'S LIQUID SKY? haha ;)
HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR had a radio remote broadcast going from Channel 955 WYCD and SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK featured a live rock band that really kicked out the jams, with fabulous sound quality to boot.
At HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR, we saw the coolest cat ever! Look for him on the left at the entrance to the Road Kill Cafe SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK has a one-of-a-kind spinning artwork piece that combines fire and geometry in a most unique way. You won't be able to miss it!
Our only regret from the night was there's just so much to do at both haunts that we simply didn't have time to do everything. But we made sure to do the hayrides and walk-through haunts at both places, and they delivered the goods in spades.
Hey, they pretty much have to because this is the most competitive market on the planet seeing as DETROIT IS THE WORLD CAPITAL OF HAUNTED HOUSES!
OCTOBER 15, 2016 SATURDAY 7 PM - HAPPY SWEETEST DAY!
Why not give your sweetie a big thrill, and go to your local neighborhood haunted house tonight?
The weather is unseasonably warm, so the outdoor haunts will be prime tonight! You could even wear shorts, and of course it's also the perfect excuse for the girls to wear their most skimpy haunt garb. We personally authorize this type of behavior, subject of course to local jurisdiction which we would never suggest you ignore.
OCTOBER 15, 2016 SATURDAY 5 PM - HEROES AND ICONS
OMG! You will NOT believe who we ran into last night at SLAUGHTER HOUSE in FOWLERVILLE...
We have no idea how they pulled this one off! Check out who the special guests are this year at SLAUGHTER HOUSE no less than Hillary Rodham Clinton and Donald Trump themselves!
THE GLOVES COME OFF
You think you saw some fireworks between the presidential candidates during the debates? That's peanuts as The Donald would say, and he proves it big time when he makes his special appearance exclusively at SLAUGHTER HOUSE in thieir new show THE PURGE - ELECTION YEAR. You better get your butt over there, real quick before The Donald digs his own grave and jumps in it face first. www.slaughterhouseadventure.com
OCTOBER 15, 2016 SATURDAY 4:45 PM - POISON DARTS & DOWN-A-CLOWN
No, it's not The Donald's latest rantings about foreigners or Democrats.
It's two of the new carnival games at THEATRE BIZARRE this year, which for the first time takes place over two weekends this year.
HALF A TON OF CANDY CORN FROM THE ROCKY PEANUT COMPANY!
This thing is off the hook insane crazy! Last night was opening night and it was totally sold out, but you still have one more chance next week. It takes place at Masonic Temple in Detroit at a building that's a whopping 250,000 ft. And there are 1,037 rooms, many of which have not even been explored yet!
This event spans eight floors and is built to accommodate 4500 guests!¬ 750 staff members make it all work like clockwork for this 16 year event, which got its start first at the Michigan State Fairgrounds as a risque one night only carnivalesque party for friends and family around Halloween.
The guy who put it together was famous for saying "No one was going to tell us no!" But sure enough, the city DID tell them "NO!" in 2010, and that's when they moved Theatre Bizarre to Masonic Temple. www.theatrebizarre.com
This year's theme is HAIL ZOMBO, and take a wild guess what Zombo¬ is? YUP he's a clown and in fact, the chief mascot of Theatre Bizarre. One of the key installations this year is a giant shrine to Zombo including a 213-figure motion controlled diorama that took them three years to make.
There was an excellent front-page article yesterday in the Detroit Free Press about Theatre Bizarre, and it takes you behind the scenes for an inside glimpse of this wildness - http://www.freep.com/story/entertainment/2016/10/13/theatre-bizarre-2016-detroi t-masonic-temple/92017008/
One really cool thing that sets this apart is that it's a costume mandatory masquerade, and as such is the largest of its kind in the world!
So there's another awesome world record for Detroit!
OCTOBER 14, 2016 FRIDAY 1 PM - We're getting excited for a WILD WEEKEND! Many amazing adventures await those who burn with passion for that crazy unique thrill that ONLY comes from haunting in DETROIT - THE WORLD CAPITAL OF HAUNTED HOUSES!
OCTOBER 14, 2016 FRIDAY 3 AM - WORD ON THE STREETS 2016 / EPISODE #1 (conclusion)
First to recap: So I'm waiting in line at a CVS DRUG STORE in DEARBORN a couple days ago, and the girl just ahead of me was wearing a T-shirt from HALLOWEEKENDS AT CEDAR POINT in SANDUSKY, OHIO.
I asked her if she had gone to the haunts at CEDAR POINT. She said it was like five years ago, and heard that it had gotten a lot better since then. That's been our understanding too, and honestly we do want to try the haunt at Cedar Point someday.
Only problem is that every time we get to Sandusky, we can't resist going to GHOSTLY MANOR instead which has always blown us away! (see various archived reviews)
Then I invited her to talk about haunts in Michigan. She had not yet gone haunting this season, but last year she tried two and especially loved one of them.
"Cool! Which haunt was it?"
Whoops, she couldn't remember the name, there's just so many of them. No problem...with minimal prompting and hearing that it was "out past Ann Arbor," we quickly determined that she had been to DARKSYDE ACRES in JONESVILLE.
We missed them last year, but always had a blast in previous seasons.
They have one really unique building they use to fabulous advantage. It's a really long rectangular building, with a super long continuous hallway that goes right down the center of the building.
You can see all the way through the building from beginning to end. But what you can't see is all the crazy things lurking in the rooms to the left and right of this super long hallway.
And we've seen DARKSYDE ACRES bumper stickers around town too. It must be an omen or sign that we need to get our butts out there again ASAP. Leave the lights OFF for us, RJ!
OCTOBER 13, 2016 THURSDAY 11 PM - MEMORIES, DREAMS & REFLECTIONS
The impact of ERWIN'S HAUNT CLOSING is still settling in, and brings to mind some of our earliest memories of haunting in Michigan.
It was "rites of passage" kind of thing that you just had to go to ERWIN'S and take in the whole experience with your friends. It was a bit of a drive from Detroit, which made it even more of an adventure. Pa-diddle!
I can still picture it right now, in my mind's eye... the bonfire is blazing... people cracking up telling the stories of what they liked best... sipping on some hot spiced cider... ohhhh the aroma from the little stick of cinnamon... and of course the hot fresh donuts... and will somebody get me a HONEY CRISP, already?
I am so JONESIN' for a HONEY CRISP RIGHT NOW...but it's gotta be really cold...let's pop some in the cooler filled with ice...got the apple splitter handy...hey is Kroger still open? Gotta go, but lots more cool stuff you won't hear anywhere else to tell you soon...
OCTOBER 13, 2016 THURSDAY 10 PM - THE END OF AN ERA PART 2
Every year haunts come, and every year haunts go. After all, nothing man-made lasts forever. This time it's ERWIN'S ORCHARDS HAUNTED BARN & CORN MAZE in SOUTH LYON¬ closing after 38 years of business, and we're crushed to see them go.
But we understand.
However, the orchard is still active and we plan to stop in if we can and get some cider and those wonderful fresh donuts. ERWIN'S has a really unique multi-grain donut that's out of this world! Get a jar of apple butter too, and try dipping the donuts in it. YUM!
OCTOBER 13, 2016 THURSDAY 4 PM - WORD ON THE STREETS 2016 / EPISODE #1
So I'm waiting in line at a CVS DRUG STORE in DEARBORN a couple days ago, and the girl just ahead of me was wearing a T-shirt from a very famous haunt in OHIO.
Those of you that have met us know we can be rather talkative. So of course I opened my big mouth, and next thing you know...whoops gotta run to CARDIO DRUMMING...be back later with the ending of this very cool story...and this is FIRST HAND from "the man on the street," or in this case woman...
OCTOBER 13, 2016 THURSDAY 3 PM - C'MON, JUST ONE MORE HAUNT / THE SONIC BOOM ENDING
With the clock ticking down last Saturday night, and our special guest from New York about to become a pumpkin at midnight we had a decision to make. Can we make it to one more haunt?
We're anxious for this guy to go back to New York and tell everybody how amazing the haunts are in Michigan. The last stop of the night would have to be something special, as we already saw two great haunts - HUSH and KRAZY HILDA'S...
NOTHIN' FANCY, STRICTLY FAMILY
The choice was easy, and we made our way to the HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME in INKSTER.
SMALL BUT MIGHTY / OLD SCHOOL NEVER GETS OLD
Is it big? No. Is it fancy? No. Is it killer? Well, we already went there once this year, and we went again, so there's your answer! www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001614513583
OCTOBER 12, 2016 WEDNESDAY 11 PM - AND TO THINK THAT I SAW IT ON MULBERRY STREET
Actually it was Ford Road at KRAZY HILDA'S parking lot. We were just arriving as two young couples were making the way back to their car. One of these couples was especially freaked out, but it had nothing to do with the obligatory chainsaw attack. The atmosphere was actually quite peaceful right there, and no monsters were present.
I asked the guy what happened and he said, "I almost had three heart attacks in there... they knew all my fears!"
Okay, we've seen plenty of people freaked out coming out of haunted houses through the years, but this was quite different. Most of those reactions we observed were immediately after people exited the haunt, often in hot pursuit by chainsaw wielding weirdos.
But this was several minutes after leaving the haunt. You have to walk back up a small hill to the parking lot, so there's plenty of time to cool down. But that's not what happened at all, and it was eye candy deluxe for us. Congratulations to KRAZY HILDA'S for nailing it big time!
OCTOBER 11, 2016 TUESDAY 11 PM - THE END OF AN ERA
We promised big news, and without further ado, here it is: THE REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC is closing up shop in Michigan and moving to Mississippi!
The exact timing hasn't been finalized yet, but it could be moving as soon as next year. If that's the case, this season is your very last chance to see this legendary amazing haunt in Michigan.
THE REALM OF DARKNESS has been critically acclaimed by multiple haunt review and rating services like HorrorLust and of course ZIOPTIS! And last year, THE REALM OF DARKNESS won top honors in the ZIOPTIS AWARDS section scoring SUPERNATURAL CERTIFIED SCARIEST HAUNT OF THE YEAR AWARD! www.TheRealmOfDarkness.com
No doubt THE REALM OF DARKNESS will take Mississippi by storm! But we really shouldn't be surprised about this big move, because big people do big things... and this is massive.
So THE REALM OF DARKNESS will begin a new life, and thrill legions of new haunters down south. The haunt industry is a strange animal where the only constant is change, but that's cool because it makes it always exciting and always interesting!
OCTOBER 9, 2016 SUNDAY 3 AM - TAKE ME DOWN TO PARADISE CITY
It was love at first sight.
Last night at HUSH, our special guest from New York was instantly smitten with a most unusual actress the likes of which we've never seen at any haunt anywhere.
STRANGE BUT WONDERFUL
Her name is MERIT, and she is fabulously exotic! And when I mentioned to her that I wished our lovable waif friend CANDY FISHALOT could be here to see this, she reacted as if she personally knew her!
KINDRED SPIRITS / WHAT'S IN YOUR LEFT REAR POCKET?
So I gave a test and mentioned to MERIT about how CANDY likes to carry a dead fish in her left pocket at all times. We won't go into exactly how she proved herself, but suffice it to say that MERIT passed our test with flying colors!
C'mon Zioptis...how did she do it...how did she do it?
Never mind that part... we'll let your imagination fill in the blanks. Nah...better yet, just get your butt down to HUSH and see what's happening with the new show. It's killer!
JUST ONE MORE THING
No, it's not Columbo. No stinky cigars allowed.
It was me last night, trying to convince our friend from New York to take the time to go to one more haunt. It went something like this:
"Actually, I'm on a tight schedule...I need to get back to New York. And besides, it's a documentary about Cardio Drumming... NOT haunted houses!"
"But there's another way cool haunt like 10 minutes down the block on Ford Road here. We have the best haunted houses in Michigan, in fact DETROIT IS THE HAUNTED HOUSE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD! Let me show you a little more of what's happening here..."
"Really, how could it compare to what we just experienced here at HUSH?"
"It's not like that...sure the haunts are competing with each other, but they're not comparing themselves to each other. They're different as night and day, but each of them does something incredible in their own way. This next one is actually a haunted forest called KRAZY HILDA'S."
"A haunted house in a forest? How can they do that?"
So off to KRAZY HILDA'S we went.
Little did we know the awesome surprise that would hit us the moment we arrived at HILDA'S. IT WAS FABULOUS!
TO BE CONTINUED...
OCTOBER 8, 2016 SATURDAY 4 PM - BIG APPLE DREAMING
We have a special guest from New York joining us tonight on our journey, but we'll only have time to go to one haunt.
So if you have an out-of-town guest and can only take them to one haunt, where do you go? That's a no-brainer. Just now when my partner and I asked ourselves that question, we agreed it would have to be THE REALM OF DARKNESS.
Rats! Unfortunately, due to travel and logistics considerations, we're not going to be able to hit the REALM and must stay closer to home tonight.
So where will we go? It's gotta be killer, that's for sure. Oh, I know! Stay tuned, my little monkeys...
OCTOBER 7, 2016 FRIDAY 3:30 PM - DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE HAUNT WHERE...
...it costs $100 to get in, but you get $10 back for each room you make it through?
It sounds incredible, but there's one small problem. It's not real... this is an urban legend going way back that changes a little bit every year but always returns like zombies in pursuit of your soul.
Now what if I told you I knew of a haunted house where you could walk in, and perhaps walk out later with $1000 if you could prove yourself worthy? Or if you came as second banana in their contest walk out with $500?
It gets better folks, because this one is real! Check it out, it's THE REALM OF DARKNESS DEVILS NIGHT CHALLENGE.
This is going to be totally off the hook outrageously insane, and soon we'll be telling you about some big-time inside dope about REALM! Don't believe anything stupid you may have heard. We've got the inside story and we'll give it to you straight. www.TheRealmOfDarkness.com
OCTOBER 2, 2016 SUNDAY 3 AM - HOLY DIVER
No... not the Ronnie James Dio song, it was us last night at ROTTEN MANOR. We couldn't wait for church on Sunday, so we prayed with the nuns there last night.
Huh? Prayed that we make it out of this crazy place alive!
ROTTEN MANOR is one strange place. It appears to be run by nuns, because three of them are in charge of the ticket booth. But these are not your dad's nuns. They may look all prim and proper, but they're crankin' the TOOL on the PA! What would Mother Mary say? haha
There's been some big changes at Rotten Manor since last year, and we're predicting a very big future for this amazing haunt! (Review coming soon.)
Our apologies to THE REALM OF DARKNESS for missing them last night. But it's pretty cool to know there's people inside there right now having an amazing experience!
OCTOBER 1, 2016 SATURDAY 5 PM - THE GROWING ANTICIPATION
Last night we saw an angel at ABANDON HAUNTED HOUSE in MELVINDALE, and we got swept into a fit of musical madness at the HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME in INKSTER with an actress from beyond! You can't miss her - she's wearing a sparkling silver gown like a world renowned musician getting ready to play a recital at CARNEGIE HALL in NEW YORK CITY. Great stuff!
So what adventures await us tonight? We have no idea what they might be, but we can't wait to find out and report them back to you in our usual splashy style.
There's no telling what magic dials and secret buttons the haunt owners have been manipulating over since last season ended! We can't wait to see what insane creations and silly circumstances have been custom engineered to be presented in DETROIT - THE HAUNTED HOUSE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD!
SEPTEMBER 30, 2016 FRIDAY 7 PM - BLACK MOON RISING TONIGHT! / DANCING UNDER THE MOONLIT SKY
Check this out: here's a REALLY BIG NOTHING you can experience yourself tonight. I'm talking the Black Moon baby, and after tonight you won't get another chance to check this out for years.
It's a rare occasion when the second new moon in a month results in the dark side of the Moon being shown to us. That means you can have your very own BLACK MOON PARTY TONIGHT!
Get together with your friends and don't look at it, because there's nothing to see. It's a shared experience like no other!
Hey, wanna buy some tickets to the submarine races? I'll even give them to you half price. See? I'm a pal after all...
Check out the inside real dope here, but don't tell ANYBODY: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/30/black-moon-set-to-rise-tonight-in-rare-lunar-event---but-what-is/
FEBRUARY 1, 2016 MONDAY 11 PM - Just spotted this wild creative artwork, some of which would be right at home in a haunt! Check it out - short collection at www.bloodyloud.com/surreal-pop-art-todd-schorr/ or the full collection at www.ToddSchorr.com
NOVEMBER 14, 2015 SATURDAY 10 PM - CUTTING TO THE CHASE
You may have heard us mention before that THE REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC is actually haunted.
Rightfully, anyone should be wary of such claims unless you can personally see documented proof.
Now what if an actual big time church pastor were to tell his entire congregation about UNEXPLAINABLE SUPERNATURAL WEIRDNESS AT THE REALM OF DARKNESS AND SHOW THE VIDEO PROOF???
We'll post the full back story later and IT'S A DOOZIE but for now just check out the video on the following link called "Angels and Demons" from 11/7/15. Don't skip far ahead, as the really good part starts at about 2 minutes and 30 seconds
NOVEMBER 8, 2015 SUNDAY 10 PM - YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP - PART 2 OF A 3 PART TRUE STORY
This is an amazing 3 part story, and we already told you part 1...but without some key details on purpose...and we'll get to those in a bit...
But first here's part 1 again: OCTOBER 27, 2015 TUESDAY 3 PM - Can't say where...but we're involved in a video shoot tonight at a big time haunt in connection with a major organization.
And then OCTOBER 28, 2015 WEDNESDAY 2 AM - The video shoot went well, and final footage will be taken today...this is going to be seen by many thousands!
Now here's part 2, and I want you to experience this just as thousands already have. So imagine this for a moment - first we rewind to last Saturday night which was Halloween or the following Sunday morning...
You're going to a church service of all things, where they have a killer band and services on Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Sometimes the pastor's message is on giant video screens, and when service starts you see the video called The Battle of Unbelief from Oct. 31, 2015 which also appears at this website: www.metrocitychurch.tv/media.php?pageID=134
OCTOBER 31, 2014 FRIDAY 2:30 PM - LET THE SNOW HOWL
Did you ever plan to do something fun with your friends...and then some sort of EXTREME CIRCUMSTANCE HITS...but you go anyway and have the time of your life?
Down the road, those are the stories remembered the most and talked about as well.
It's just human nature...the prim-and-proper everything was perfect just as planned events never get re-told and embellished later on.
HOOTIN' AND HOWLIN' IN THE BLUSTERY SNOW - THE GLASS IS WAY MORE THAN HALF FULL
The weather for Halloween in Michigan and Ohio is horrible, with rain today and snow and howling winds later right during trick-or-treat time.
That's a good thing.
At its' very core, Trick-or-Treating is far more about shared experiences than the sugar-fueled frenzy which fades quickly.
The shared experience of going out on Halloween despite the lousy weather will last far longer than the secret stash of Snickers bars...and then someday...it's like "Oh yeah? That's nothing...one time we actually went TRICK OR TREATING IN THE SNOW...there was gale force winds...nobody else went and we filled three pillow cases...except Freddie...he filled SIX pillow cases...they had to pump his stomach later..."
Thank you, Mother Nature.
Rest In Peace, Adam T. Ladd
June 19, 1974 - May 30, 2014