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HAUNTED HOUSE HOTLINE

A free public service from the

ZIOPTIS FOUNDATION in Detroit, The Haunted House Birthplace of the USA.

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._____________________________________________________________________ 

NOVEMBER 28, 2022 MONDAY 12 NOON - LIKE SO MUCH SPILLED MILK

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HOW DID IT HAPPEN?

COMING LATER!

NOVEMBER 28, 2022 MONDAY 11:11 AM - A NEW DAY, THE SAME MISSION

So that didn’t hurt too much we hope! Admitting you’re no longer #1 can be a tough pill to swallow but is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Telling the truth is what mature people do.

FAKE NEWS & ALTERNATIVE FACTS

Clinging to past glories that no longer apply while insisting they do is dishonest, regardless of how powerful the claimant is.

NOVEMBER 27, 2022 SUNDAY 11:11 PM - DOTTING THE I’S & CROSSING THE T’S

“Hey Zioptis, why not say we’re THE HAUNTED HOUSE BIRTHPLACE OF THE WORLD instead of just the USA?”

Good question! It’s just that pesky fact thing again...checking with Mr. Google we find these reports:

The origins of the haunted house date back to 19th-century London, when a series of illusions and attractions introduced the public to new forms of gruesome entertainment.

One of the first recorded purpose-built haunted attractions was the Orton and Spooner Ghost House, which opened in 1915 in Liphook, England. Closely resembling a carnival fun house, it was powered by steam.

https://castleofchaos.com/blog/the-history-of-haunted-attractions/

Okay, so it was ENGLAND actually. But what about the USA?

DISNEYLAND’S HAUNTED MANSION opened in 1969, and some credit them with being the first USA haunted attraction.

But MUTILATION MANSION in MADISON HEIGHTS started THREE YEARS before that in 1966.

Obviously, there was a world of difference between these but nonetheless they both were haunted attractions.

THE WORLD CAPITAL OF HAUNTS may come and go as markets fluctuate, but the origin of haunts is “set in stone” so to speak. Nobody can take away our rightful title of being the BIRTHPLACE OF HAUNTS in the USA!

NOVEMBER 27, 2022 SUNDAY 10 PM - ALL WILL BE REVEALED

We said a  big change was coming...we actually already made the change, did anybody notice?

The top statement has been changed from THE HAUNTED HOUSE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD to THE HAUNTED HOUSE BIRTHPLACE OF THE USA.

THE TRUTH MATTERS - BUCKEYE BAD BOYS

When we started the ZIOPTIS HAUNTED HOUSE HOTLINE in 1999, Michigan was indeed King of the Hill with the most haunts of any state.

THE MITTEN CONTINUED TO RULE FOR MANY MOONS...

But as we’ve said many times, in the haunt industry the only constant is change.

GO SOUTH YOUNG MAN

So where is the bona fide WORLD CAPITAL OF HAUNTED HOUSES?

It’s OHIO, hands down with 127 haunts while Michigan clocks in with 76 haunts.

JUST THE FACTS, MA’AM

At Zioptis, we will not claim to have a title the facts say we don’t deserve. We freely concede, and declare that as of 2022 OHIO IS THE HAUNTED HOUSE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD. After Ohio is California with 120 and Pennsylvania with 101.

Okay, now that we’ve settled that there’s another issue to set straight regarding the origins of the haunted attraction genre. COMING NEXT!

NOVEMBER 27, 2022 SUNDAY 9 PM - HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT

My dad invented a game that became a family holiday tradition for us called The Object Game.

First, the game master displays a tray containing about a dozen everyday objects like a pencil, thimble, etc. Then the players are briefly sequestered while the game master “hides” the objects. Each object is in plain sight, but camouflaged by clever placement.

The players return & set about trying to find all the “hidden” objects, reporting their progress along the way to the game master. When time expires, the winner is the one who found the most objects. The contest is rigged & prizes are jimmied so certain people will get a certain prize regardless of how they did...one time I came in 7th place but won a pair of VIP TIX to BRIT FLOYD.

It’s a lot of fun and we still play this game at family get togethers.

POWERS OF OBSERVATION

But what does this have to do with the Haunted House Hotline?

It’s something that is hiding in plain sight right now!

NOVEMBER 27, 2022 SUNDAY 8 PM - IN THE WINK OF AN EYE

POOF! And just like that, it’s PRESTO CHANGO. My, how time flies when you’re having fun...

NOVEMBER 27, 2022 SUNDAY 7 PM - REVENGE OF SUSIE CREAM CHEESE

Here’s yet another generational iffy...a highly eccentric & silly guitar virtuoso with song titles like ZOMBY WOOF, PYGMY TWYLYTE & UNCLE MEAT.

It’s the late, great FRANK ZAPPA who we realize some of you have never heard of.

But all music was once new. And if you’re just now discovering a gem from 30 years ago or more, it’s new to you. Take a listen to this gem with Zappa’s “Peaches En Regalia” from HOT RATS, released on Oct. 10, 1969: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGQxI0G6mKk  One listener of this says: “This song has like 8000 parts and they all fit together perfectly.”

FRANK ZAPPA - APOSTROPHE full album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oF9aJUePkNA

But what does FRANK ZAPPA have to do with haunted houses?

Nothing...or perhaps everything.

Zappa was a wacky creative genius. Hmmm...that sounds like a whole lot of people we know in the haunt industry.

We’ve seen musicians involved with haunted attractions before, like ALICE COOPER (HOMER MILL, JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD) & ROB ZOMBIE who recruited MR from TERRORTOWN for Zombie’s GREAT AMERICAN NIGHTMARE HH.

History doesn’t reveal its alternatives, but we can’t help but wonder: If Frank Zappa was alive today, which haunt would he potentially get involved with and what would that be like?

A personal friend of ours, the late & great ultra wacky artist MARK BEAM, had worked with Zappa. He created the MUD SHARK that was used on stage during concerts, and taught Zappa’s kids art.

Music and haunting go together like cheese & crackers! 

NOVEMBER 27, 2022 SUNDAY 6 PM - EVERY ENDING IS JUST A BEGINNING

My partner is here for a nice visit...what a whirlwind of haunts still as FRESH MEAT in our minds!

Another thing we’ve said before and will say again is this: In the haunt industry the only constant is change.

Huh?

Don’t some things stay the same, like iconic haunts that seem timeless?

Not necessarily, and so it is that we find ourselves in a spot that’s as inevitable as death & taxes as a major change is coming.

But right now it’s dinner time. Call me anything you want, but don’t call me late for dinner! (;

NOVEMBER 27, 2022 SUNDAY 2 PM - THE END OF AN ERA

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Nothing man-made lasts forever, except perhaps memories...

So many haunts...so many journeys...

We used to get lost at least once per season, sometimes even more than once in a night! GPS didn’t exist, and I have the world’s worst sense of direction. I can play triple paradiddles* backwards & forwards, and double paradiddles backwards & forwards between my bass drum and snare drum...but when it comes to north, south, east & west...I’m not so hot & my partner is almost as bad...

One time we were out in the boonies...dirt road...no street lights for miles...CASCO TWP. I think. We were SO lost, and in calling them the calls kept cutting out...cell phone service was in its early days.

We finally made it to the haunt, and they had a hayride powered by horses. With no engine noise, the snorting of the horses and the steam coming from them was half the show!

Or who remembers McCURDY’S REVENGE in CORUNNA? It was a volunteer haunt that had one of the most plausible fake stories ever, about previous patrons who were lost somewhere in the haunt.

* = A paradiddle is a drum rudiment, which is a drumming exercise.

NOVEMBER 27, 2022 SUNDAY 6 AM - NOT TO WORRY

We filled up the gas tank of the MAGIC BUS last night for only $2.77 a gallon at the CITGO on FORD ROAD in DEARBORN.

There’s no shortage of gas, only some temporary glitches in the supply chain.

Which means a road trip to HOLLY or SAGINAW to go haunting soon should be no problem!

NOVEMBER 27, 2022 SUNDAY 5 AM - THE ALPHA & THE OMEGA

According to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, the rate at which time passes depends on your frame of reference.

Time seems to follow a universal, tick tock rhythm. But in fact it doesn’t.

Huh? And what’s that got to do with haunted houses?

I have no idea. I’m a bona fide math dummy, and have a calculator sewn into my hip.

But DALE BOMBAST is forty-five feet of pure genius, and he’s bound to have the answer sooner or later.

NOVEMBER 26, 2022 SATURDAY 7 PM - THE PINK ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

If I tell you, “Whatever you do...do NOT think about “A PINK ELEPHANT” the first thing you think about is what? A pink elephant, of course.

The power of suggestion can be compelling, and has been known to influence people in devious clever ways.

***DISCLAIMER*** But rest assured dear Zioptis Populace, we would never use such tactics (more than twice) in any given sentence or catchy sounding phrase like MELTED BATHING CAP. Thank you.

NOVEMBER 26, 2022 SATURDAY 6 PM - FIN-TIN’S PRIVATE BASKET OF SHAME

Although we strive for accuracy in reporting, certain sensitive topics will remain off limits during this difficult time for our favorite DIRT-FACED CLOWN, FIN-TIN. For example: Ever since his recent ill-advised valiant stand against traffic safety, Fin-Tin’s only remaining friends are his SHINY YELLOW TRICYCLE & CANDY FISHALOT.

Please do not mock the pathetic clown. Thank you.

NOVEMBER 26, 2022 SATURDAY 5 PM - BIG WORD FROM THE BIG MAN

We just heard directly from DALE BOMBAST, who is in the process of composing EXCLUSIVE PUBLIC STATEMENTS to be released whenever we feel like it. *

* = Subject to change at the discretion of The Professional Bean Counters Association. **

** = You guys do know what satire & hyperbole are, right? Knowing DALE, this could get wild. Do not read. Permanent psychological damage may result, and we are not responsible. Thank you.

NOVEMBER 26, 2022 SATURDAY 12 NOON - THE BIG GAME!

All of our beer swilling buddies & their wives / girlfriends are here to watch TV, expecting big excitement on the big screen.

We have a mountain of chicken wings from BUFFALO WILD WINGS, ribs from ZUKIN’S RIB SHACK, and tacos from MANUEL’S TACO HUT. *

AN AMERICAN CLASSIC

What they don’t know is that before they came, we took a poll and the girls made a decision. Which means that in a few minutes, we’ll be showing “HEIDI” on DVD.

It’s a heart warming tale, and my personal favorite by the immortal SHIRLEY TEMPLE.

Gotta run, it’s show time! Come back later for more BIG FUN IN THE BIG CITY.

* = We have it on good authority that a GENUINE PIXIE SPREADING FAIRY DUST works at this establishment, allegedly going by the name TINKER BELLA... but that sounds like a stage name to us.  Disregard, and please tip your waitress.

NOVEMBER 26, 2022 SATURDAY 6 AM - FORTY-FIVE FEET OF DENIAL

Some of you are familiar with DAIL (rhymes with pail) BOMBAST, aka DALE BOMBAST who is the world’s biggest talk show host towering head & shoulders above the rest at forty-five feet tall.

DAIL has conducted countless interviews with unsuspecting members of the Zioptis Populace to the delight of the masses.

As a bona fide MEDIA STAR, there have been rumors that he craves so much attention he has decided to make the big leap to politics and WILL RUN FOR PRESIDENT IN 2024!!!

But these rumors have been verified to be FAKE NEWS. Pay no attention.

And please, no wagering.

NOVEMBER 26, 2022 SATURDAY 5 AM - NOPE

As you may recall, we’ve said that we have a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT COMING SOON.

To avoid frivolous speculation and needless worry, we’d like to assure the American Public that ZIOPTIS IS NOT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2024!!!

Furthermore, if nominated we will not run & if elected will not serve.

Also, please be advised that we have no plans to submit credentials to join the PROFESSIONAL BEAN COUNTERS COUNCIL, THE JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY or THE COMMUNIST PARTY. Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.  

NOVEMBER 25, 2022 FRIDAY 9 PM - ROOT, ROOT-ROOT FOR THE HOME TEAM, IF THEY DON’T LOSE IT’S A SHAME

Wait, isn’t it supposed to be “IF THEY DON’T WIN IT’S A SHAME”? Those are the correct words in “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.”

But this is the true story of how losing the game would mean WINNING A MILLION BUCKS! It was a game with The Detroit Lions, and the winner was a local sports fan...we’ll just call him John Doe. (JD actually doesn’t mind if the story spreads, because he’s the unlikely anonymous hero.)

This amazing account of a most unusual situation was told to me by my brother about a former client of his (JD), who found a way to translate a unique experience in Las Vegas into a major success here in Detroit.

***SIDEBAR*** This is also what CB from HUSH did, when he discovered some exquisitely delicious drink recipes in Vegas to feature back here in Detroit. HUSH already had the prized liquor license secured, with earlier efforts to utilize it thwarted by the worldwide Covid 19 pandemic. They needed a spectacular way to roll out the deluxe drinks, and the “THREE SECRET BARS” were born. 

Anyway, the story goes something like this:

The year was 2007, and another dismal season for The Detroit Lions had just finished. They were the laughing stock of the division.

JD and his pals said it’s time to get out of town & head to Vegas for some fun in the sun...

They made the rounds, but before they came back to Detroit JD said he had one more thing to do at the OTB place. OTB is short for Off Track Betting, and basically you can bet on any single sporting event as well as the entire season of any sporting event.

JD jokingly asked: “How much would it cost to make a bet that would pay a million dollars if The Detroit Lions lost every game of next season?”

I think it was about $1,500, and JD happily paid the bookie with a smirk and a wink.

Everyone thought this was a hoot, except for JD who felt with great passion the dismal & pathetic Detroit Lions could make good his crazy wager.

Sure enough, the following season saw The Detroit Lions doing everything they could to sabotage themselves.

One by one, the games lost count grew closer to the MILLION DOLLAR  PAYOFF. JD’s total belief that the Lions were total losers was proving to be prophetic.

Finally at 15 - 0, the possible big payday was just one more loss away. The OTB bookies called JD, and offered him $500,000 to walk away from the bet.

But that proved insufficient to deter JD’s SCHADENFREUDE FUELED FRENZY, as he snapped back “Negative function, my Lions are going all the way!”

A week later JD became a millionaire.

So what’s the moral of this wacky story, and what does it have to do with haunted houses? Beats me. Stay tuned for more fun stuff!

NOVEMBER 25, 2022 BLACK FRIDAY 4 AM - DON’T DO IT!

NO, NO! Go back to bed! Hide your car keys. The deals can/will wait & so should you.

Avoid the disappointment & regret that surely awaits.

BLACK FRIDAY IS A RUSSIAN HOAX - DON’T BE FOOLED

NOVEMBER 24, 2022 THURSDAY 10 PM - A THOUSAND LASHES WITH A WET NOODLE

I can’t believe it. After all the stink we made about not distributing FAKE NEWS, guess what we did?

It was an honest mistake however. So let’s set the record straight.

Earlier, we talked about turkey & tryptophan leading to ultra relaxation.

Then, as I was driving to my Thanksgiving Day destination I checked the  “traffic on the eights” report on WWJ RADIO 950 AM.

After the traffic report, they had a short piece about...sure enough, turkey & tryptophan and feeling sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner.

They acknowledged that tryptophan becomes the neurotransmitter serotonin, which indeed induces relaxation.

However, they said you’d need 20 servings of turkey to get enough tryptophan to induce sleepiness. They said that digesting a large meal takes lots of energy and that’s what causes drowsiness.

Also, tryptophan is not unique to turkey. Other foods like cheese & dairy contain this amino acid / protein building block.

ZIOPTIS STANDS TRAIL - REQUEST FOR SPECIAL MASTER IS DENIED

So for our FAKE NEWS INFRACTION we hereby impose upon ourselves the penalty of A THOUSAND LASHES WITH A WET NOODLE. It doesn’t hurt, but it’s awfully annoying. (;

NOVEMBER 24, 2022 THURSDAY 11 AM - HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Just watching the AMERICA’S THANKSGIVING PARADE from Detroit, which has 9 new floats this year.

Cool...here’s the BATTLE OF THE BANDS which brings back memories. But that’ll have to wait until later, as preparations for Turkey Day continue.

We’ll be back later, stay tuned and enjoy the beautiful day!

NOVEMBER 24, 2022 THURSDAY 2 AM - HOW THE ULTIMATE LOSER LIONS MADE A MILLION FOR LOCAL MAN - coming on Friday!

There’s a lot of media hype right now about The Detroit Lions, but we’ve got some info about them you won’t hear anywhere else!

This is a TRUE story about The Detroit Lions and...just some guy...we’ll call him John Doe for now. You’ve heard the phrase “Stranger than fiction”?

Well, this one is a doozie! Pretty sure we haven’t mentioned this before...it actually goes back to 2008...come back Friday when we’ll have more time to spill the beans.

NOVEMBER 24, 2022 THURSDAY 1 AM - DREAMING OF TRYPTOPHAN AGAIN 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING from your pals at Zioptis!

May your turkey be moist and your loved ones near.

Have you noticed how mellow & relaxed you feel after eating turkey? It’s not your imagination, it’s due to the amino acid tryptophan contained in turkey.

So put on your feed bag. Eat. Repeat as desired for yummy tummy.

NOVEMBER 23, 2022 WEDNESDAY 10 PM - GRATEFUL & GIVING THANKS

As we head into Thanksgiving Weekend a realization sets in that all-in-all, we’ve got a Wonderful Life right here in The Mitten!

We have awesome haunted attractions, tasterrific cider mills, fascinating museums, and so much more! https://www.michigan.org/

There’s a Thanksgiving Day Parade and football game in Detroit, with eyes of the nation on us.

I heard an interesting story from my brother about how The Detroit Lions snagged the exclusive annual football game on Thanksgiving. As I recall, it goes something like this:

Many moons ago before football was the giant industry it is now, the NFL was having difficulty in booking a Thanksgiving Day game.

Sports bars and giant flat screen TV’s were far in the future. Watching football on a tiny box with a black & white screen rated up there with sorting pocket lint.

A lack of interest, and the desire to be home with families by the teams trumped everything else.

DREAM BIG OR AND GO HOME

Then The Detroit Lions made an offer to host the would-be big Thanksgiving Day game, but with a condition. The stipulation was that for better or worse, The Detroit Lions would host this annual event from then on.

It proved to be a big gamble that paid off big time.

And this reminds us of the kind of spunk and determination it takes to start a haunted attraction in a highly competitive market like Michigan.

So let’s hear it for the chance takers & rule breakers!

Oh yeah, and Go Lions. Maybe you’ll even win this time.

THE GAUNTLET IS THROWN

Okay, enough with the football thing.

NOW, who will step up to the plate and book the first major Thanksgiving Day Tennis Match???

Tennis is the sport of a lifetime, and can be the most intense physical battle you’ll ever see! In contrast, with football there are two gangs beating up on each other.

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST

When somebody breaks a bone or can’t stand up anymore, they just send in another clown bloke to take his chances. How thrilling. And then there’s NASCAR, where you turn left.

NOVEMBER 23, 2022 WEDNESDAY 1 PM - A FLIP OF THE COIN

When a couple has an argument it’s often said there are 3 sides to the story: his side, her side & the truth. Certainly, one’s opinion is subjective yet likely to be truly believed to be correct by the owner of that opinion.

For example, the guy enthusiastically says “HAUNT A is better than HAUNT B & HAUNT C combined!”

Then the girl says “That’s ridiculous! HAUNT A is better than HAUNT B, HAUNT C, AND HAUNT D combined!”

We’ve found such statements to be absurd, from our point of view. But the people making these statements truly believe them to be facts, from their point of view.

So the objective truth can be elusive, right? What about the following statements:

IF THE GLOVE DOESN’T FIT, YOU MUST ACQUIT

THE TRUTH MATTERS   WHAT YOU REPEATEDLY HEAR MUST BE RIGHT

ALTERNATIVE FACTS   THE OBJECTIVE TRUTH

ACCURATE ACCOUNTS   FAKE NEWS

NEWFANGLED REALITY ON A STICK   CORRECT DATA

EXCITING STORIES   HUMDRUM ACCOUNTS 

NOVEMBER 23, 2022 WEDNESDAY 12:30 PM - SPHERE OF INFLUENCE

Here are 2 statements: 1) 2 + 2 = 4     2) 2 + 2 = 5

They can’t both be right, or can they?

(Don LaFontaine voice-over) “In a world full of science fiction mumbo jumbo and alternative facts rammed down your throat, how do you know what to believe?” 

NOVEMBER 23, 2022 WEDNESDAY 12 NOON - THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE

Remember, our MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT is coming sometime during THANKSGIVING WEEKEND!

NOVEMBER 22, 2022 TUESDAY 8 AM - GOBBLE UNTIL YOU WOBBLE

THANKSGIVING is only two days away, but it can take that long just to properly thaw a frozen turkey in the fridge.

Forget all those pesky details! Let someone else do the cooking: https://www.freep.com/story/entertainment/dining/2022/11/11/restaurants-open-on-thanksgiving-day-2022/69633037007/

This way, you can go to the BIG PARADE while somebody else prepares your meal. https://www.travel-mi.com/Detroit-Thanksgiving-Parade.html#gsc.tab=0

Time to go back to bed now...see you in slumber land!

NOVEMBER 21, 2022 MONDAY 10 PM - HOT TIMES, WINTER WEATHER

Ah yes, the winter weather of December...the perfect time for a FREE OUTDOOR CONCERT & PROFESSIONAL FIREWORKS, right?

Wait a sec...how about we throw in a bunch of food trucks, a FOURTH OF JULY SCALE PARADE with school marching bands, tons of lights, custom floats, Holiday Hounds on Parade and much more...

Sounds crazy, right?

Welcome to the sleepy little town of IDA, MICHIGAN where they celebrate CHRISTMAS IN IDA the first weekend of every December. This thing is massive, about 50,000 attend annually. https://christmasinida.com/

We’ve mentioned this event before, after my partner discovered this gem while looking for upcoming Country Music Concerts.

This year the headliner is DIAMOND RIO who I must admit I’m not familiar with. There are lots of other performances: https://christmasinida.com/entertainment-schedule/

The first year we went to this we stumbled upon what has got to be the perfect parking spot for this event. It’s the parking lot of the Mexican restaurant CARL’S HIDE-A-WAY at the end of the main drag. This makes the perfect spot to watch the parade after the concert & fireworks which are about 2 blocks from there.

The first time we went to this event we tried to leave before the 2 hour parade. But just as we got to our parking spot at CARL’S the parade began, with CARL’S being the start point of the parade. Afterward, we were glad we were forced to stay. Another year, CARL’S was the ending point of the parade. Either way, it’s the perfect spot to park!

And several years, right across the street from CARL’S we saw a large friendly looking dog in the upstairs window of a house looking on at the festivities. Speaking of dogs, the parade also features the Holiday Hounds On Parade where people have decked out their pets in wild & crazy holiday garb. BIG BOW WOW FUN!

NOVEMBER 20, 2022 SUNDAY 6 PM - COUNTDOWN TO BLACK FRIDAY

The sales blitz is upon us, beckoning bargain hunters to flood the gates and storm into the stores en masse next Friday and some even right on Thanksgiving.

You can save 15%, maybe even more and it will only require that you first set your alarm clock for 4 AM on Black Friday.

Then rush to the mall as fast as possible, running all stop lights to beat out would-be bargain stealers hell-bent on ruining your glorious retail purchase experience. Affix a battering ram to the front of your car to deter rude motorists looking to steal your private parking spot.

But how badly do you really need a three dollar toaster?

We have a different strategy, and you’ll save a WHOPPING 100%!

It’s so simple. Set your alarm for 4 AM. Get up and hide your car keys. Go back to bed and meet us in slumber land.

You just saved 100%! You’re welcome.

NOVEMBER 20, 2022 SUNDAY 5 PM - HIGH FLYING HIJINKS

Just remembering one of the THRILLING GAGS at JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON...and if you’re afraid of heights this will terrify you! Not sure if they still have this, but here’s a description of this wild creation:

It’s a custom-made “bridge” of sorts that takes you from one exterior part of the building to another, one person at a time. This is done at the highest possible elevation! It’s a narrow passageway with a metal mesh floor you can see through, supported by a large metal pole in the middle. A “cage” of sorts has been fashioned running the length of this insane creation to keep you from falling to certain disaster!

The colossal building at JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD used to be a manufacturing facility during wartime, and later a Department Store.

There are 2 other MEGA HAUNTS in ridiculously massive buildings that come to mind, EREBUS in PONTIAC and FACTORY OF THE DEAD in SAGINAW.

EREBUS is in a giant 4 story warehouse, and FACTORY OF THE DEAD is a 5 story behemoth. 

***SIDEBAR*** FACTORY OF THE DEAD will be open on Saturday, December 17, 2022 for A HOLIDAY HORROR STORY! https://factoryofthedead.com/

NOVEMBER 20, 2022 SUNDAY 2 PM - RABBIT IN THE HAT

We’ve been discussing MAGIC AT HAUNTS recently, but failed to mention an early haunt that helped pave the way. That would be HAUNTED HILL ACRES in BELLEVILLE, long gone but still fresh in our memories.

It was a multi-attraction farm haunt, with a hayride & walk thru haunts.

The hayride featured a realistic “fight” with a  disgruntled renegade farm employee who suddenly rides up on an ATV. It was so plausible we fell for it the first time we saw it!

They also produced a HOLLYWOOD GRADE HORROR MOVIE, based on actual legends involving Indian burial grounds on their property.

MERRY MYSTICAL MADNESS

But perhaps their biggest influence was from early magic shows, staged in a garage emptied out to create a makeshift theater and later outdoors on benches in front of a camp fire.

The magic shows filled the garage to capacity, and were slick presentations with the elegant Magician’s Assistant to seal the deal. People love to be fooled, seeing things that shouldn’t be possible happen!

In the last years of HAUNTED HILL ACRES, the magic shows disappeared as their focus turned to film making.

This haunt also repurposed buildings as we’ve recently discussed. Their main walk thru haunt was formerly a veterinarian facility, with the animal cages still intact. Some of the cages became “jail cells” holding some famous nefarious characters.

The final room was a MINI MUSEUM TO DIE FOR of vintage analog electronic equipment, with lots of magic dials, flashing lights and such. Pretty sure they had a JACOB’S LADDER too, with the distinctive electric spark that grows as it moves upward between two metal rods in a “V” shape.

But as we’ve noted before, even the coolest haunt someday sings their Final Swan Song. And so it is with HAUNTED HILL ACRES / Abraham Farms. Gone but not forgotten, all we can say now is THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!

NOVEMBER 20, 2022 SUNDAY 1 PM - PARTY LIKE IT’S THE FOURTH OF JULY

Huh? Details coming tomorrow...

NOVEMBER 19, 2022 SATURDAY 5 PM - BLOOD THIRSTY & NOT SORRY

HOLY HEMOGLOBIN, BATMAN!

FOREST OF FEAR - ONE SIP TO PARADISE

TYPE AB NEGATIVE IF YOU PLEASE

RED NOT DEAD

FIN-TIN’s PLASMA PARADISE

SANGUINE FLUID OBSESSIONS FROM BEYOND

CHALLENGE OF THE DAY: Who in the haunt community could we be talking about? There are 2 specific clues in the above captions.

If you think you know, zip an email to us at: ZioptisFoundation@gmail.com

If we get enough responses we may turn this into an impromptu contest with a BIG PRIZE!

NOVEMBER 19, 2022 SATURDAY 4 PM - KING OF THE ICONS

QUICK! What is the ONE MAGICAL MOVIE that the youngest & oldest among us has surely seen?

Does this ring a bell: OVER THE RAINBOW?

CREEPY IS AS CREEPY DOES

Every movie has its back story, and this one is a doozie!

EXPEDITION EXTINCT - ABANDONED & CREEPY THEME PARK

This movie used to play only once per year, when many people didn’t yet have a COLOR TV.

Have you guessed which movie yet? Here’s another clue: EVIL FLYING MONKEYS!

If you still don’t know which movie, or even if you do, click here for an interesting behind the scenes look:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc8qFp108os

NOVEMBER 19, 2022 SATURDAY 3 PM - Just had a computer crash...RATS! Please stand by...  the most recent dump from the bottom of the Main Page to Archives 40 was lost & had to be copied from the website online then transferred/pasted to Archive 40. All font settings and color changes are gone, and annoying capital A’s appear with a tilde. I shouldn’t complain...I once lost the ENTIRE website on a computer that died & had to start from scratch.  

HOLY MOLY over 63,000 hits last period:  http://www.zioptis.com/html/archive_33.shtml

NOVEMBER 18, 2022 FRIDAY 2 AM - HOT DOGS, HOT CHOCOLATE, HOT NIGHT

The WAYNE COUNTY LIGHT FEST Opening Night was a spectacular success!

My partner wasn’t available, so I went with TB aka CANDY FISHALOT who was thrilled to go.

After some boring announcements & being serenaded by a school choir, the fireworks flew high in doubles for most of the show. By doubles, I mean they sent 2 identical shells together to make the same display twice in the sky simultaneously.

After the fireworks (10 minutes) they flipped the switch and TAH DAH...LIGHT SHOW! Santa Claus came through with an early Christmas present of letting everyone in free.

One display in particular totally enchanted CANDY and made her SQUEAL WITH DELIGHT! It was a scene on the left featuring JOLLY OLD SAINT NICK himself. He’s doing the fisherman thing, and has a rod and reel. He casts off, then has big success catching a fish.

The excitement had Candy jumping out of her skin, and craving a fish dinner. Unfortunately, the food truck at the halfway pit stop of the show did not have fish dinners. But she forgot about the fish when she saw HOT DOGS on the menu. Candy loves hot dogs, and like my partner is on a sacred quest to find the ultimate wiener.

TUBE STEAKS A GO-GO

They had DEARBORN BRAND hot dogs which Candy smothered with mustard, onions & relish. They also had ketchup at the condiments table, but Candy correctly warned that “using ketchup on coney dogs in Detroit is considered sacrilegious among connoisseurs of tube steaks.”

Indeed, DOUSING A DOG with ketchup is justification for the cook to shoot you and is considered a breach of processed meat etiquette in The Kangaroo Court of Public Opinion.

JUST THE FACTS, MA’AM

DETROIT IS THE CONEY DOG CAPITAL OF THE WORLD, according to a show on THE FOOD NETWORK. So I think we can all agree that people in MOTOWN are among the most enthusiastic hot dog eaters on the planet, right? I mean, THE TRUTH MATTERS whether we’re talkin’ HOT DOGS or HOT ZITS CHOCOLATE

running out of space again - have to move stuff to Archives

and the hot chocolate was indeed hot & delicious.

HOT LIQUID HAPPINESS

https://forward.com/food/176755/top-dog-who-makes-the-best-kosher-hot-dog-in-amer/ 

NOVEMBER 17, 2022 THURSDAY 6:30 AM - NOW PLAYING:

BEST SPOOKY PRANKS on JUST FOR LAUGHS GAGS on WMYD-TV CHANNEL 20 in DETROIT. It’s a hoot!

NOVEMBER 17, 2022 THURSDAY 2 AM - ROOTS

No, not the TV SHOW. It’s the origins of the haunted attraction genre.

THE JAYCEE’S were the first people to operate haunted attractions in the USA, starting in 1966 with MUTILATION MANSION in MADISON HEIGHTS and I think WARREN too.

Also, ALLEN PARK JAYCEE’S, DEARBORN JAYCEE’S, and WESTLAND JAYCEE’S had trailer haunts in this era.

But HANDS DOWN, the most prolific of the JAYCEE’S was the WYANDOTTE JAYCEE’S who sadly have closed up shop...for now anyway. Their FACEBOOK PAGE says:  “3131 Biddle (old City Hall) was sold last spring by the City of Wyandotte...as of right now we have no plans on opening with a new location.”

Also on their FACEBOOK PAGE we find this:

Since 1976 the Wyandotte Jaycees has produced a haunted house each October. The name and theme of the attraction change every year, often the location does as well. Here's a list of our haunted houses from the past decade-plus.

2021 - Circus Sinister
2020 - Bloodlust (Valentine's Day)
2019 - Purgatory
2018 - Oblivion
2017 - Kindred
2016 - SIN
2015 - Delirium
2014 - Fō-bē-ə?
2013 - Bloodbath on Biddle
2012 - Nightmare Sanctum
2011 - Lockdown
2010 - Massacre Manor
2009 - Hellblock 13
2008 - Templin's Night Terror
2007 - Hell's Hospital

WOW, that’s quite a run! We can only hope that somehow the WYANDOTTE JAYCEE’S find a way to come back! They had a most unique relationship with the city government in Wyandotte, who found & offered buildings soon to be demolished that could be used for a haunt before the wrecking ball hit.

NOVEMBER 17, 2022 THURSDAY 1 AM - AND THE ROCKET’S RED GLARE

FIREWORKS TONIGHT! As part of Opening Night Festivities starting at 6 PM at the WAYNE COUNTY LIGHT FEST.

The entrance is at MERRIMAN HOLLOW PARK, 7651 North Merriman Road in Westland, which is between Ann Arbor Trail & Warren Avenue, 2 1/2 miles south of I-96.

Rumor has it that SANTA CLAUS will be there too, to “flip the switch” that turns on the light show. And because Santa is known for giving stuff away, everyone will then GET IN FREE to see the LIGHT FEST!

For more info you can call (734) 261-1990 or click here: https://www.waynecounty.com/articles/wayne-county-lightfest.aspx

NOVEMBER 16, 2022 WEDNESDAY 9 PM - ABRACADABRA

In talking about HAUNTS THAT USE MAGIC, we need to also mention SLAUGHTERHOUSE in FOWLERVILLE.

This is a haunt that grew out of a neighborhood Halloween party that took on a life of its own. It became so wildly popular that the transition to a commercial haunt was a no-brainer.

MAGIC & HUMOR are big at SLAUGHTERHOUSE! One of our faves is a large scale illusion with a prisoner about to be executed. The prisoner is a live human being. Then suddenly FLASH! and the prisoner MAGICALLY TRANSFORMS into a skeleton! This is a pro-level magic illusion.

A really good haunt mixes it up, scrambling your senses and emotions. SLAUGHTERHOUSE nails it, AND makes you laugh ‘yer butt off too. One of our fave sketches involves a nightmare encounter with SIRI, the automated female voice assistant.

NOVEMBER 16, 2022 WEDNESDAY 5 PM - FOREVER YOUNG

HOLY MOLY! It’s no secret that the worldwide Covid pandemic put a serious damper on vast sectors of the business world, including haunted attractions. Many of them totally closed down in 2020, with residual effects lingering...

And here’s yet another reason not to get infected with Covid even once, despite most cases being mild recently.

It may feel like just a cold, but a new medical report I just saw says there’s new evidence that a long-term side effect of Covid is speeding up your aging process.

And anything that ages you faster eventually hinders your ability to go to as many haunted houses as possible. That’s no good.

But wearing masks and gloves can be cumbersome whilst haunting, so what else can you do? As for me personally, I’m double vaccinated and triple boosted. The latest booster specifically targets the OMICRON variants that are running rampant. It’s possible this saved my butt! We went to some crowded haunts for sure...no telling who has what...why can’t it just be like it used to be? Sigh...

But it’s not hopeless. The messenger RNA approach allows scientists to fine tune vaccines for specific variants. It’s not rocket science, but science it is!

And NO, the vaccine does not change your DNA or implant a micro chip for BILL GATES to monitor you, no matter how many FAKE NEWS reports say these absurd things.

Over a million people in the USA have already died, and the count grows every day, GO AWAY YOU STUPID PANDEMIC! I’m breaking up with you. We are SO done with you...or we want to be anyway...why can’t you be done with us?! Sigh...it’s always sumpthin!

NOVEMBER 16, 2022 WEDNESDAY 5 AM - REDEMPTION FOR THE LOST & CONFUSED

Are you ashamed & regretful that you didn’t see as many haunts as you could’ve this last season?

Lament no more! ZIOPTIS has your back, and will reveal details on 2 HAUNTS open soon.

FACTORY OF THE DEAD in SAGINAW and ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY will have off-season events in December!

FACTORY OF THE DEAD will have their CHRISTMAS EVENT on Saturday, December 17, 2022. This is the same crew that ran the legendary BRIDGEPORT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL haunt. Now they have an AMAZING FIVE STORY BUILDING in SAGINAW, clearly putting them in the mega haunt category. We visited this haunt in 2019 http://www.zioptis.com/html/2019_b.shtml but missed them in 2020 due to the Covid Pandemic. The size of this place is gigantic, an imposing presence to say the least! Highly Recommended! https://factoryofthedead.com/

ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY will also be joining in the festivities with A ROTTEN CHRISTMAS NIGHTMARE on six nights! DECEMBER 2nd & 3rd, 9th & 10th, and 16th & 17th. Featured attractions will be THE MANOR & THE FOREST with doors opening at 7 PM. (248) 930-2835 or https://rottenmanor.com/ 

NOVEMBER 16, 2022 WEDNESDAY 3 AM - PRANKS A LOT ‘YA HOSER!

Who remembers CANDID CAMERA with ALAN FUNT? Hidden cameras captured people being themselves whilst falling victim to ruthless pranksters.

THE GREAT NORTH TRUE & FREE

Our maple leaf & syrup loving neighbors to the north in Canada grabbed the torch from CANDID CAMERA and came up with this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PS966yiGeA8

NOVEMBER 15, 2022 TUESDAY 1:30 PM - DATA DUMP DONE

I just ran out of space on the Main Page again! Articles from the bottom have been moved to the top of Archives 39. Back to the story below...

NOVEMBER 15, 2022 TUESDAY 1 PM - ON SECOND THOUGHT

When we last left off we were remembering the MOST MIND BENDING GAG we’ve ever seen at any haunt anywhere, THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN.

After much soul searching, we’ve decided not to reveal the method and only describe this brilliant gag.

PRESENTATION: Shortly after entering the haunt, your group meets a CARNIVAL BARKER type of character (we’ll call him FREDDIE) in a small room with four exits. Each exit has a large different colored circle above it.

FREDDIE displays a bowl containing lots of plastic balls, in the 4 colors seen on the exits and in equal amounts.

He explains that your chosen group leader will determine which exit you take by randomly choosing a ball. He holds the bowl above sight level, making this a GENUINE RANDOM CHOICE.

After the selection off you go through the exit you just chose. You continue your journey, but then you find yourself back with FREDDIE in the same room. “YOU AGAIN?” he scolds.

He again offers the bowl of plastic balls and implores you to “Make a better choice this time, will you? I’ve got better things to do than coddle lost & confused haunters like you!”

Your group leader again removes a colored ball, and you leave through the corresponding exit. But a few minutes later, you again find yourself back with FREDDIE in the same room! He turns up the rhetoric: “Are you guys lost or just rude? Did you finish school, or do you just have ZERO sense of direction? Sheesh, let’s try this once more and get it right this time will you already?”

He again offers the bowl of plastic balls, but despite the TRULY RANDOM CHOICE of exits the process repeats itself again and again. YOU CAN’T GET OUT OF THIS ONE ROOM! FREDDIE becomes highly agitated, now calling you by name as he’s seen you so many times already.

IT CAN’T BE, BUT IT IS!

This is a most confusing scenario, and much head scratching is done.

The method to accomplish this in a crowded haunt is pure genius, and the last thing we would ever have suspected. But to give away the secret would violate the Magician’s Code and disrespect Stuart, so we’ll leave it at that.

THE HAUNTING eventually caught the attention of an east coast Television organization who made them an offer they couldn’t resist. Stuart is now featured on TV regularly, and has also appeared on the syndicated PENN & TELLER FOOL US TV show where he DID fool them!

WE MISS YOU, Stuart MacDonald. Your influence on the MICHIGAN HAUNT SCENE continues to this day. You set the bar sky high, setting a standard no other haunt to our knowledge has ever reached...except maybe THE REALM OF DARKNESS.

Deep down, we knew it was just too good to last and we commend him on a highly successful career.

I guess there’s nothing left to say except THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES, STUART!    

NOVEMBER 14, 2022 MONDAY 10 PM - NECTAR OF THE GODS

Just sipping on some KROGER BRAND CIDER now...it’s good but not stellar like WIARD’S! Okay...BLAKE’S, PARMENTER’S & HY’S too...these are all stellar quality APPLE CIDER & more great examples of PURE MICHIGAN!

Michigan is such an amazing state...museums for example...did you know there’s an ICE MUSEUM in PORT HURON? https://www.facebook.com/knowltonmuseum/ How about a MAGIC MUSEUM in MARSHALL? https://americanmuseumofmagic.com/

And of course, Michigan is FAMOUS FOR AMAZING HAUNTS!

So we just mentioned MAGIC & HAUNTS, which reminds me of mainly of...can you guess...not all of you are old enough to know this...THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN. This haunt is gone now, but they live on as perhaps the MOST LEGENDARY ICONIC MICHIGAN HAUNT along with THE REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC.

THE HAUNTING was run by Master Magician Stuart MacDonald, and he seriously MESSED WITH YOUR MIND! He used his magic skills both in the haunt and during large scale outdoor magic shows. His wife was the requisite beautiful Magician’s Assistant, always getting sawed in half, vanishing, etc.

One time Stuart out did himself, creating the MOST MIND BENDING sequence we’ve ever seen at any haunt anywhere. It had you scratching your head, trying to figure how in the world what just happened happened! Can’t remember if we ever revealed this one, could be in the Archives...maybe we’ll just describe the effect for now. (see ON SECOND THOUGHT above)

NOVEMBER 14, 2022 MONDAY 1 PM - KA-BOOM!

Oh boy, it’s time for a PROFESSIONAL FIREWORKS SHOW!

It’s this coming Thursday, November 17, 2022 about 6 PM as part of Opening Night Festivities at the WAYNE COUNTY LIGHT FEST.

The entrance is at MERRIMAN HOLLOW PARK, 7651 North Merriman Road in Westland, which is between Ann Arbor Trail & Warren Avenue, 2 1/2 miles south of I-96.

Rumor has it that SANTA CLAUS will be there too, to “flip the switch” that turns on the light show. And because Santa is known for giving stuff away, everyone will then GET IN FREE to see the LIGHT FEST!

For more info you can call (734) 261-1990 or click here: https://www.waynecounty.com/articles/wayne-county-lightfest.aspx

NOVEMBER 13, 2022 SUNDAY 10 PM - CREEPY RELICS FROM BEYOND

What’s the creepiest thing you ever saw at a haunt? It’s supposed to be creepy, right?

Haunted Attractions are known for having wild & crazy gags, and that’s the point. People are looking for a thrill that’s safe FOR THEM.

But what happens when an ULTRA ZEALOUS haunt operator decides to stage a gag so outrageous it seems inevitable that an actor would get hurt?

***DISCLAIMER***This info for historical reference only. Any attempt to recreate this stunt would be ill-advised at best.

This was a long time ago...we went to a then new haunt called CROAKIE’S PARTY ISLE in MONROE. It was an outdoor haunt with lots of campground scenes and a strange hay roofed passageway for the entrance.

Haunts usually save their BIGGEST WOW for the end, and so it was here. A very special actor blew us away with a surprise reveal never since equaled.

PRESENTATION: This is a scene with a live human “prisoner” sitting on a table, about to face his punishment for heinous deeds by being “sawed in half.” His legs are hanging off the front of the table. A chain saw is fired up for the task, and with great fanfare the gleeful warden prepares to cut him off at the waist.

Amazingly, the saw actually clearly passes through his body whilst lots of blood sprays out of the freshly cut wound.

At first it seems the gag is over, with the excellent illusion of sawing through a body much as a professional magician would.

But then the victim’s torso falls off the table and starts running at you, without his legs which are still hanging off the table dripping with blood!

Since his legs have just been very clearly sawed off, he uses his arms to propel himself towards you while vocalizing in a strange guttural language all his own. The girls in our group positively freaked out at this scene!

METHOD REVEALED: The main secret ingredient here is the actor, a REAL LIFE AMPUTEE with no legs. He is dressed up with jeans and tennis shoes to look like a normal guy. The “table” is a custom-made platform of sorts draped with a table cloth to disguise this wickedly devious contraption. A hidden special horizontal slot has been cut to run the saw through, with stage blood packets loaded to complete the illusion. It was a massive guaranteed SLAM DUNK!

***SIDEBAR*** About a week after this, JT who was with us for this astonishing stunt was at Wyandotte Hospital. She was in the ER, and saw a forlorn looking patient waiting with NO LEGS. Was it the same dude? CREEPY IS AS CREEPY DOES!

This is the ONE GAG that none of us will ever forget! So what’s the CREEPIEST THING you ever saw at a haunt? Email us at ZioptisFoundation@gmail.com

NOVEMBER 13, 2022 SUNDAY 7 PM - SHAMELESS TEASER

Earlier we promised to reveal the most intense JAW-DROPPING GAG ever at a MICHIGAN HAUNT.

But before we do, a DISCLAIMER is in order:

We are NOT suggesting anyone should attempt this astonishing stunt under any circumstances whatsoever. We later discovered this INSANE GAG likely landed the lead performer in the hospital.

NOVEMBER 13, 2022 SUNDAY 2 PM - LEAVE IT TO BEAVER IN OUR BACKYARD

Some of you are probably too young to know about an old BLACK & WHITE TV SHOW called “Leave It To Beaver,” so first we need to give you a short lesson so you’ll understand.

Once upon a time, American life was simpler & much less violent.

The words “school” & “shooting” were never used in the same sentence. Neighborhood disputes rarely involved anything more serious than dogs barking too late at night. When problems came up, they were resolved with polite words. Staying in touch with family & friends was done in person, and at dinner time the whole family would gather and tell about their day. Baseball games were competitive, but the umpire’s calls never drove parents into an angry rage.

COLOR TV shows were rare, but nobody cared because most people only had BLACK & WHITE TV’s.

Against this backdrop came the TV show “Leave It To Beaver” which exemplified the idealized suburban American family of the mid-20th century. The show ran from 1957 to 1963, and was presented from a child’s point of view. Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver was the inquisitive & naive lead character, with stories following his adventures at home, school, and around his suburban neighborhood.

It’s easy to see how many could long for things to be more like they were in the heyday of BEAVER... 

TRUTH, JUSTICE & THE AMERICAN WAY

The last thing we expected this haunt season was to virtually step back in time to the mindset of “Leave It To Beaver.”

But that’s what happened when we went to LOCHAVEN HAUNTED HOUSE in WATERFORD TWP. A house has been turned into a MASSIVE & MYSTICAL YARD DISPLAY and walk thru haunt. (Pictures will be posted later.)

ANDY OF MAYBERRY MEETS SPOOKY TOWN USA

The vibe here was a NOSTALGIC NOD to the feeling you get when you see shows like LEAVE IT TO BEAVER & THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW. It’s a bunch of friendly neighbors celebrating their ARTISTIC FREEDOM to be super spooky in a most spectacular way. Everyone was smiling...it’s a unique hospitality...reminded us of the vibe last year at TILLSON STREET in ROMEO.

Imagine you had a neighbor who did this with their lawn: https://www.facebook.com/LochavenHauntedHalloweenHouse/ 

This has been running for over 20 years! KUDOS TO ALL INVOLVED FROM ZIOPTIS.

NOVEMBER 13, 2022 SUNDAY 11:11 AM - LUCKY 13

It’s your lucky day! Later today, we’ll be SPILLING THE BEANS and revealing from behind-the-scenes the most intense JAW-DROPPING GAG ever at a MICHIGAN HAUNT.

NOVEMBER 13, 2022 SUNDAY 6 AM - Now posted: full review of NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S in YPSILANTI. http://www.zioptis.com/html/2022.shtml

NOVEMBER 13, 2022 SUNDAY 4 AM - FRESH, DELICIOUS, PURE MICHIGAN!

Just sipping on some HONEYCRISP APPLE CIDER...sooo good!

Michigan is famous for exquisite apples and ICONIC HAUNTS spawned from orchards like BLAKE’S & WIARD’S.

We haven’t made it to BLAKE’S since 2019, but we did visit WIARD’S this year on the heels of an ESPN short about them that played during the recent big football game on TV between U OF M & MSU.

At the end of the hayride, WIARD’S gives everyone cider & donuts. This doubles as a reward for surviving the madness and a clever marketing tool. One sip of their incredible fresh cider and you’re hooked. Their ULTIMATE HAUNTED BARN exit leads you into their store, where it’s difficult to resist getting a gallon or 2 and some donuts to go. ***SERVING SUGGESTION*** One of our favorite combos is to also get a jar of APPLE BUTTER and dip the donuts in it. https://www.wiards.com/

Of course BLAKE’S also features an incredible store with ultra fresh cider & donuts, as well as APPLE BUTTER.

Also, BLAKE’S now produces their own HARD CIDER in various flavors and is available at many party/grocery stores. I’ve tried it and it’s delicious! https://www.blakeshardcider.com/

Of course there are other cider mills in Michigan. For example, recently at TRENTWOOD FARM MARKET in TRENTON I found HY’S BRAND CIDER from ROMEO and it too is fabulous. https://hyscidermill.com/ This is the brand HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR used to serve at their ROAD KILL CAFE, before they sadly closed.

HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR was in LENOX TWP. which is the same city where SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK is.

HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR made many of their own highly artistic props by repurposing farm tools & implements. The hayride was HIGH INTENSITY, with FRENETIC LIVE DJ's and incredible large scale gags. One of them was a gigantic metal spider that suddenly “attacks” from above. Another magical effect was the use of GREEN LASERS that produced thousands of tiny dots in the tall trees.

And one magical evening we saw a BREATHTAKING display at HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR that could only happen because there was NO WIND that night. No wind means the fog machines have no competition from Mother Nature. There were large powerful lights in the parking lot facing towards the woods. The trees naturally split the bright lights into thousands of distinct little beams cutting through the thick fog, producing a LIQUID SKY DISPLAY like no other. It was POSITIVELY GLORIOUS!

Thanks for the memories, Charlie! We will never forget your smiling face and your friendly German Shepherd bow wow. Oh yeah...and RICKY, one of the most whacked-out clever actors ever at a haunt!

RICKY had an uncanny ability to pop out and appear/scare you from all sorts of unlikely locations, above and below you. His demeanor ran the gamut from taunting monster to ladies man / pickup artist. My very well endowed partner is no stranger to guys hitting on her, and she’s heard virtually every CHEESY PICKUP LINE. But RICKY completely FLIPPED THE SCRIPT, accusing her of hitting on him with hilarious results.

For context, he would only do this to “victims” deemed appropriate that had already responded back in a playful and accepting manner.

It was long ago, and I don’t have the tapes handy but I can improvise the gist of what RICKY said to my partner: “HEY! Stop undressing me with your eyes, you naughty girl! I’m not that kind of guy...you’ve GOT to stop thinking of me strictly as a sausage with two legs attached for your sick & perverted personal pleasure. You have a boyfriend? Awesome! He can make us breakfast in the morning, but if the orange juice isn’t fresh I’M GONNA CLUB HIM!” Never before, or since then, have we had an actor make us laugh so hard. Now THAT’S entertainment, HAUNTED FARM OF TERROR style!

NOVEMBER 12, 2022 SATURDAY 10 PM - DELICIOUS DANGER DU JOUR

The allure of haunted attractions can seem a mysterious phenomenon, but there are established psychological principles at work.

Successful haunt operators knows this, and exactly how to best utilize them to WOW THE CROWDS and leave them wanting more. 

Why is it that people will spend millions to experience their worst nightmare?

THE DELIGHT OF THE FRIGHT

Thrill seekers may not realize it, but haunting goes to universal core instincts.

Whether it’s at a haunted attraction or a slasher movie, fear translates to big business and there are many ways to get a slice of the marketing pie. Every year it just gets bigger & bigger, as fascination with getting scared grows.

FAKE DANGER, REAL THRILLS

Despite the IN YOUR FACE presentation, there’s an inherent safety felt due to psychological distancing. Haunted attractions are designed with stringent public safety standards strictly enforced.

This underlying knowledge is key to the experience. The maniac wielding a chain saw won’t actually cut your arm off, leaving you free to enjoy the sensation of physiological stimulation / arousal.

The happy haunter is free to play with fear, knowing there’s no actual threat to their well-being. Add to that the adrenaline rush haunting is known for, and you have the formula for a successful haunted attraction.

TERROR AS A SHARED EXPERIENCE

For all these reasons, haunting is a group activity like no other and sometimes becomes ever-evolving URBAN LEGENDS. One especially wild URBAN LEGEND starts with someone excitedly asking if someone has heard about “This one haunted house in Ann Arbor where it costs $100 to get in, but you get $10 back for each room you make it through. It’s put on by a renegade frat house with medical school students who got expelled for stealing body parts to use in the sickest haunt ever...”

We’ve talked about this recurring URBAN LEGEND in more detail before, but you get the idea.

NOVEMBER 12, 2022 SATURDAY 9 PM - INVISIBLE REALITY

Earlier, we indulged in some silly talk about Eleven Eleven.

DO YOU BELIEVE IN ANGELS?

But there’s another side to every story. Some people even say that Eleven Eleven is a call for new & exciting things that will have a powerful influence over your life. Archangel Michael awaits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvtxOPubCvs

NOVEMBER 12, 2022 SATURDAY 5 PM - THE FASTEST MAN ON THE PLANET

So I was just talking to my haunt partner about the BIG FUN we had at NAUTICAL NIGHTMARE starting the moment we arrived.

They had a MADMAN running back & forth the length of the ship. Thanks to some clever spring-loaded leg extenders, he sprints at superhuman speed while spouting impromptu monster taunts. POW! A great start...

Inside the ship was an awesome scene that starts as you hear an orchestra playing ahead. The music is twisted and off-kilter. You then enter the dining room lit only with slow strobe lights. All the tables have meals ready to eat by the skeleton diners. Best of all, the orchestra is also made up of skeletons all holding full size real musical instruments.

But our fave gag at NAUTICAL NIGHTMARE was a strange juxtaposition, the likes of which we’ve never seen at any other haunt. First you get a really old feeling as you pass through crew quarters left exactly as they were many moons ago. Musty clothes are hanging...it looks old...it smells old...it feels old...it IS old.

Then a ballerina girl appears ahead down the hall. She has a friendly smile and a happy looking colorful outfit. But then she does a pirouette and morphs into a hideous creature. It looks totally real, but in fact is a high-tech moving hologram! 

NAUTICAL NIGHTMARE had successful runs in LORAIN, OHIO, TOLEDO, OHIO, and finally in RIVER ROUGE, MICHIGAN.

NOVEMBER 12, 2022 SATURDAY 4 PM - NOT BY THE HAIR OF MY CHINNY CHIN CHIN

It has come to our attention that there are some FORMATTING IRREGULARITIES within some articles appearing in Archives 39 and other pages: http://www.zioptis.com/html/archive_39.shtml

Please be advised that these IRREGULARITIES mostly involve TEXT COLOR and the needless appearance of capital “A” letters with a tilde, and in no way shape manner or form are proof of WIDESPREAD FRAUD regardless of ALTERNATIVE FACTS or FAKE NEWS that you may have read on TWITTER or FAKEBOOK!

These IRREGULARITIES are residual effects from a total computer failure years ago. We had no choice but to copy the entire website online from the internet, then transfer it piece-by-piece on to a new computer.

This process left thousands of IRREGULARITIES that can only be fixed manually, one by one. ***DISCLAIMER*** Rest assured this website is NOT ABOVE THE LAW and these issues will be addressed WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOR in a somewhat timely manner, whenever we get around to it. 

NOVEMBER 12, 2022 SATURDAY 3 PM - ANCHORS AWAY, MY FRIEND

Who remembers NAUTICAL NIGHTMARE? It was an old BOB-LO BOAT converted into a PRIMO HAUNTED ATTRACTION, and a trip down Memory Lane for many who rode roller coasters and such at BOB-LO AMUSEMENT PARK.

NAUTICAL NIGHTMARE vanished after an unfavorable DNR report that shut it down...something about toxic chemicals spewing from the vessel.

We thought that was the final nail in the coffin. But several months ago, we saw a LOCAL TV NEWS article about a BOB-LO BOAT being bought by a local family. They were passionate about restoring it...think it was the ST. CLAIRE.

There was no mention of what exactly they intended to do with it. Which means there’s a possibility that another haunted attraction will be made from a BOB-LO BOAT!

In the meantime, it’s only a short road trip to BAY CITY where the EDSON INCIDENT is. This is another giant vessel (can’t call it a “boat”) that has been repurposed into a PRIMO HAUNTED ATTRACTION that we visited in 2017: http://www.zioptis.com/html/2017_a.shtml

NOVEMBER 12, 2022 SATURDAY 2 PM - NOT WHAT YOU THINK

Nope, not even close.

NOVEMBER 12, 2022 SATURDAY 5 AM - HOLIDAY MEMORIES

It’s hard to believe it’s all over. The Visqueen has been rolled up, decorations have been put back in storage, and the children have special memories of countless celebrations at home, school and such.

The ELEVEN ELEVEN HOLIDAY SEASON was another for the record books, shattering previous jubilee stats.

Now that all the hubbub is over, folks are getting back to their humdrum routines.

But don’t despair, as soon we’ll be guiding you into FIREWORKS time with multiple PROFESSIONAL FIREWORKS DISPLAYS that will knock your socks off! Exact details coming soon, with the first PROFESSIONAL FIREWORKS DISPLAY on Thursday, November 17, 2022. 

NOVEMBER 11, 2022 FRIDAY 11:11 PM - THE BEST TIME OF THE DAY ON THE BEST DAY OF THE YEAR

OHHH BOY, HAPPY ELEVEN ELEVEN again! The Visqueen is holding up just fine, thank you.

Eleven eleven is a very versatile number. It’s the same upside down or right side up as well as forwards or backwards. No matter how mixed up you are, eleven eleven remains the undisputed and much ballyhooed Rock Of Gibraltar.

Some people think eleven eleven is a MAGICAL GATEWAY NUMBER to other realms! There has been talk of ANGEL NUMBERS, and suggestions that we should pay close attention when we see them in seemingly random occurrences.

But that sounds like just more CONSPIRACY THEORY NONSENSE to us.

Never mind. Pay no attention to the man behind the keyboard. Thank you.

NOVEMBER 11, 2022 FRIDAY 10 PM - PLAN B, AGAIN

Oh wellski. The BIG NEWS was going to be GLORIOUS!

It was planned as a SPECIAL ROLLOUT for the big day, Eleven Eleven and of course VETERANS DAY.

So the BIG NEWS will have to wait, but the MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT is still coming up during the upcoming THANKSGIVING WEEKEND.

It’s been a long time coming, but in the end TRUTH MATTERS and we will not be party to “alternative facts” or “fake news.”

If the truth diminishes glowing long-standing assumptions, so be it.

Editor’s note: I just ran out of space on the main page again. A block of articles from the bottom has been moved to the top of Archive 39: http://www.zioptis.com/html/archive_39.shtml  

NOVEMBER 11, 2022 FRIDAY 11:11 AM - THE BEST DATE EVER

HAPPY ELEVEN-ELEVEN ELEVEN-ELEVEN!

NOVEMBER 10, 2022 THURSDAY 6 AM - ROLL OUT THE VISQUEEN

That’s something BILLY G used to say whilst preparing for the END OF THE WORLD ELEVEN ELEVEN PARTY every year...never mind what it means...

We’re actually taking advantage of the unusually warm weather today to visit the grave of our beloved Webmaster BILLY G who died of Covid. We’ll tidy the place up...and be back later with some BIG NEWS!

NOVEMBER 10, 2022 THURSDAY 5 AM - BASIC PREMISES

Before we can have an intelligent discussion about ONLY ONE ZIOPTIS AWARD this year, we need to agree about opinions being subjective whereas objective issues are not open to debate.

For example, if I say: “This work of art by Van Gogh is both beautiful and disturbing. It’s a fine line between genius & insanity that leads such a man to cut off his own ear” it’s a subjective statement.

If I say: “This work of art by Van Gogh is in a frame that measures 24 x 36 inches and hangs 5 feet from the floor” it’s an objective statement.

So the objective statement is always true and not open to debate, right?

It should be.

But what if I have, for example, a building that’s 10,000 square feet in size....a haunted attraction, an apartment, whatever...

TRUE FICTION

Then I go to the bank for a loan and say I have a building for collateral that’s 30,000 square feet in size.

It’s no longer an objective statement. Now it’s an “alternative fact,” or in plain people-speak a false statement...A LIE. That’s a no-no because “Thou shall not bear false witness...”

MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR

Are we in agreement? We don’t want to ruffle any feathers. Thank you.

NOVEMBER 9, 2022 WEDNESDAY 8 PM - DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC?

Just asking...

NOVEMBER 9, 2022 WEDNESDAY 7 PM - DASTARDLY NOTIONS & THE MEN WHO FACILITATE THEM

NURSE GLADYS & HER MIGHTY TIT SPROCKET

(text coming if I figure out what all this is supposed to mean, special thanx to DAIL BOMBAST for the delightful confusion)

NOVEMBER 9, 2022 WEDNESDAY 6 PM - THE ONE & ONLY BESTEST EVER!

Earlier, we let on that we’re giving ONLY ONE ZIOPTIS AWARD this year.

But if you’ve been following faithfully (as you should) you already know what it is.

If not, stay tuned as soon enough ALL WILL BE REVEALED.

                       (shameless teaser ending)

NOVEMBER 9, 2022 WEDNESDAY 5 PM - FREE BEER PIZZA

Okay, there’s still no free beer...but the pizza part is true.

Just watching the local news on WDIV-TV 4 DETROIT, and they showed the massive lines yesterday in Ann Arbor we talked about earlier. This piece featured the FREE PIZZA & HOT CHOCOLATE being given out to hungry students, waiting to register to vote & then vote for the first time.

The steam was rising, with the gooey deliciousness of the mozzarella cheese dripping off the edges. Pizza is the TANGY TREAT THAT CAN’T BE BEAT and is seldom refused. Have some today for best mental hygiene.

TOARMINA’S PIZZA made 60 giant pizzas for this in record time, and there were other pizzerias on board with this mission too. Some political organization paid for it all.

KUDOS FROM ZIOPTIS TO ALL INVOLVED!

NOVEMBER 9, 2022 WEDNESDAY 4 PM - KISS ME YOU FOOL!

(coming maybe)

NOVEMBER 9, 2022 WEDNESDAY 2 PM - OUT OF CONTROL

Here’s yet another amazing yard haunt, this time in CALIFORNIA.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohbbW1Bm9v8

NOVEMBER 9, 2022 WEDNESDAY 12 NOON - A FOOL’S PARADISE

“Hey Zioptis, what was the BEST HAUNTED HOUSE in Michigan for 2022?”

Indoors or outdoors?

“Either way, but one you personally went to.”

We’re giving a Grand Total of ONLY ONE ZIOPTIS AWARD for 2022. Stand back and stand by.

NOVEMBER 9, 2022 WEDNESDAY 11:11 AM - PARADE OF PROCRASTINATORS

I had no idea. In Michigan, you can register to vote AND vote on election day.

The local news on Channel 4 WDIV DETROIT showed a ridiculously long line of youngsters in Ann Arbor waiting to register then vote yesterday. Most of them were U OF M students, and some of them waited as long as SIX HOURS!

They showed the very last guy in line, a guy named Eric whose last class of the day ended at 7:50 PM. They condensed his 6 hour journey into about a minute.

WHY DO IT NOW WHEN YOU CAN WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE OF THE LAST DAY?

In any sector of society, we find procrastinators. Sometimes we even find them to be people behind the keyboards of random unnamed haunted house websites.  (;

At any rate, voter turnout yesterday broke records. For better or worse, incumbent Governor Gretchen Whitmer was reelected by a wide margin.

We remember a prior promise of Whitmer was to “FIX THE DAMN ROADS!” (Her words, not ours... excuse her French please.)

During haunting, as well as the rest of the year, we’ve personally encountered countless ROAD CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS that show this arduous has indeed begun. Of course, such a HERCULEAN TASK doesn’t come easy and takes a long time.

PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE - THE ORANGE BARREL BLUES

When you’re trying to make it to the next haunt before they close, getting stuck in a construction caused traffic backup can be maddening & frustrating. And we’ve done over $1,000 of front end damage hitting a giant pothole too, so we get it.

But eventually the ORANGE BARRELS are removed, and in their place a CONCRETE MASTERPIECE is revealed to be enjoyed for many moons by happy travelers who will not be late getting to the next haunted house. YAY!

Let’s hear it for the good guys, and please remember to SLOW DOWN where workers are present.

NOVEMBER 8, 2022 TUESDAY 10 PM - DORA THE EXPLORER FOR SECRETARY OF SILLY WALKS

Please “write-in” candidate DORA THE EXPLORER who is endorsed by DAIL (rhymes with “pail”) BOMBAST. As you may know, DAIL BOMBAST aka DALE BOMBAST is the World’s Biggest Talk Show Host * who appears exclusively on ZIOPTIS DIAL-A-TRIP. * = DAIL is 45 feet tall.

NOVEMBER 8, 2022 TUESDAY 9 PM - BOZO THE CLOWN FOR PRESIDENT

Whoopsie, wrong election. Never mind.

NOVEMBER 8, 2022 TUESDAY 5 PM - IT’S ONLY HUMAN TO KEEP CONSUMIN’

Just looking through the pictures we took at HUSH & ROTTEN MANOR...WOW! They look fabulous...the facial expressions & pro-level makeup POP OFF THE SCREEN thanks to ULTRA HIGH RESOLUTION images from a 24 Megapixel NIKON DSLR.

COMPUTER GEEK STUFF FOLLOWS, DO NOT READ!

These need to be released ASAP...OH NO! The memory on the 64 bit side of my desktop with PHOTOSHOP is almost gone. I need to get more memory installed and also have accumulated dust vacuumed out as a safety precaution. A previous lesson from the COLLEGE OF HARD KNOCKS taught me this is a rude display of COMPUTER VENGEANCE. Not for the squeamish.

DIGITAL IDENTITY CRISIS

This is a highly unusual DELL computer. The website program wouldn’t work on its original 64 bit system, so we had a separate 32 bit system installed. There’s plenty of memory left on the 32 bit side to run the website program, thank goodness!

We’ve been running the SAME PROGRAM SINCE 1999. It’s specifically designed to be “DIAL-UP FRIENDLY” which we realize means nothing to some of you. Basically, it’s a TEXT ONLY driven system which requires very little memory.

Back in the day, not everybody could afford the more expensive HIGH SPEED INTERNET offered by profit-driven providers like AMERICA ONLINE. They distributed FREE CD’s that were redeemable for X-number of FREE MINUTES connected to the internet

So there are no fancy spinning graphics or impressive 4K videos on our little homemade website. Instead, only one small file of a HALLOWEEN IMAGE FROM THE 1930s appears as a background on the main page. Actually, it accidentally has been added to other pages and I have no idea how to remove it nor do I care at this point...wah! we soooo miss our BELOVED WEBMASTER BILLY G! 

NOVEMBER 8, 2022 TUESDAY 4 PM - FREE PARKING, $5

Some things in life aren’t always as they seem. For example...

(coming next if I figure out where this should go)

NOVEMBER 8, 2022 TUESDAY 2 PM - DAY OF THE EAGLE

No not the opening track of BRIDGE OF SIGHS by ROBIN TROWER, but it’s a classic so here it is anyway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kpdHWW9WD8

If you were an eagle you’d likely spend much of your time flying high, soaring to new heights while scoffing at lowly humans who need fancy contraptions to fly.

And you could quickly travel from haunted attraction to haunted attraction, without worrying about hitting deer on bothersome highways.

There’d be no need for pesky restaurant reservations either, with a steady diet of worms and small unsuspecting animals to feast upon.

Gorging on gourmet cuisine with no annoying Guest Check to pay is your birthright, and further evidence of your superiority to lowly Homo Sapiens.

Don’t be an inferior human! Make an appointment now with your local medical professional for a species-swapping operation.

If you get confused, this can become an annual event to allow you & your friends time to accept your socially awkward disorientation. If anyone objects, they can be canceled and relegated to the world of “Alternative Facts” that can not be confirmed and/or disproved.

If you take any of this seriously, we have some PRIME SWAMPLAND and front-row tickets to the SUBMARINE RACES for sale on a strict first-come first-served basis. Don’t be a loser, be a user! Batteries not included.

NOVEMBER 7, 2022 MONDAY 11:11 PM - BON APPETIT

We’ve talked about buildings / properties being repurposed into haunts, like when the site of the former SKATELAND WEST  became HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND or a laser tag arena became SLAY NIGHTS in HOWELL.

PROPER SUSTENANCE HO!

Here’s a doozie of a conversion that a coworker of my partner highly recommends. Essentially, this is a 300 year old barn that’s been deconstructed, rebuilt and refurbished into a one-of-a-kind restaurant that we can’t wait to try! https://www.sylvantable.com/

NOVEMBER 7, 2022 MONDAY 10 PM - FATE IN YOUR HANDS, AGAIN

You may have heard THERE’S AN ELECTION coming up tomorrow.

The future is in your hands, VOTE!

NOVEMBER 7, 2022 MONDAY 3 PM - FATE IN YOUR HANDS

You may have heard that the POWERBALL LOTTERY thing has reached a NEW RECORD with the top prize of $1.9 BILLION.

But you’ll have to come up with $2 to be able to win.

We decided to give it a try, getting $50 of easy picks. Which begs the question: When we win the $1.9 BILLION, what will we do with the money?

That’s easy. First, THE BONE YARD, KRAZY HILDA’S & SINISTER get blank checks. However much it takes to bring them back. All three of these haunts got the short end of the stick, somebody needs to make this right.

Next we’d make some RIDICULOUSLY ASTRONOMICAL OFFERS THAT CAN’T BE REFUSED to the former operators of THE HAUNTING and THE REALM OF DARKNESS to resurrect these ICONIC HAUNTS.

We’re just getting started...also we’d give a MILLION DOLLARS to EVERY HAUNT IN MICHIGAN.

So what would you do with almost 2 BILLION BUCKS?

It’ll cost you 2 BUCKS to buy the fantasy that could come true!

Yes, the odds are not good. On the other hand, somebody eventually is going to win...somebody that bought a ticket to ride and came up all roses.

NOVEMBER 7, 2022 MONDAY 6 AM - LUNAR LOOKOUT

Attention lovers of cosmic beauty!

A BEAVER BLOOD MOON is coming up tomorrow, with the next one not until March 14, 2025. https://www.space.com/blood-moon-lunar-eclipse-november-2022-what-time https://www.space.com/blood-moon-lunar-eclipse-november-2022-guide

Avoid disappointment and future regret! Make plans now for a MOON AGE DAY DREAM, and no not the classic song by DAVID BOWIE. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2ORPgP5_rI

WATCHER OF THE SKIES

No, not the classic song by GENESIS. But it’s a cool tune anyway, so here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mi3vD5ki1bE

Sky gazing is a great way to spend some time while waiting patiently for the next haunt season to start!

BLOODY MARY IN THE SKY

Prepare your favorite beverage and enjoy the show, courtesy of Mother Nature. CHEERS!

NOVEMBER 7, 2022 MONDAY 4 AM - HOW DRY I AM

There has been lots of chatter about the NEW & MUCH BALLYHOOED three bars this season at HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND, and we get it. It’s a really big deal, mainly because this is the first time they’ve been able to utilize their liquor license. *

But forget all that for a second.

Never mind the drinks, HUSH has been a FABULOUS HAUNT on its’ own since day one.

And consider this: Earlier, we transcribed verbatim a wildly enthusiastic text message from HUSH patrons who did NOT go to the bars during their experience there. They were TOTALLY BLOWN AWAY by just the haunt.

All this goes to show that indeed HUSH is first and foremost a HAUNTED ATTRACTION. Anything else added can be considered “icing on the cake,” and HOW SWEET IT IS!

* = Previous plans to use their liquor license during a MURDER MYSTERY DINNER THEATER were thwarted by the world wide Covid pandemic, which isn’t over and has already killed over a million Americans including 5 people we know.

NOVEMBER 7, 2022 MONDAY 1 AM - GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN - THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES, NICOLE!

Just expanded: the listing for KRAZY HILDA’S in the “Closed” section where we list haunts that have closed but whose influence remains. http://www.zioptis.com/html/closed.shtml

NOVEMBER 6, 2022 SUNDAY 11:11 PM - WHEREFORE ART THOU DRAGULA?

Continuing about ROB ZOMBIE’S GREAT AMERICAN NIGHTMARE HAUNTED HOUSE...it ended up being a short-lived existence despite the big names involved and a mountain of media blitzing.

So why did it disappear despite the big bravado? We can’t say exactly, but this much we can say for sure: Even the most diehard haunt fan has some kind of standards as to what’s acceptable and what CROSSES THE LINE into grotesque and vile.

The question suggests itself: Is this entertainment or not? And if not, why would you pay to see it?

If you make people feel uneasy enough, it crosses over from entertainment to revulsion. This may make headlines, but it’s not the formula for repeat business.

Back in 2014 & 2015 when all this was going on, we read various Facebook reviews about ROB ZOMBIE’S GREAT AMERICAN NIGHTMARE in VILLA PARK, ILLINOIS. Some of them were from angry neighbors, upset much as others were long ago with FOUR BEARS WATER PARK in UTICA which was shut down for violating community standards.

On the other hand, others gave GREAT AMERICAN NIGHTMARE HH a thumbs up like in this ROGUE’S HOLLOW TOP 10 MUST SEE HAUNTED HOUSES list from 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zPl-s018YU ***SIDEBAR***This list also contains TWO OHIO HAUNTS: WILMINGTON HOLLOW HAUNTED RIDE - WILMINGTON, OHIO rated #9 and THE DENT SCHOOLHOUSE - CINCINNATI, OHIO rated #1.

It’s all a matter of perspective. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This is but one of the many mysteries of life...  

NOVEMBER 6, 2022 SUNDAY 10 PM - GO WEST YOUNG MAN

HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS are big in North America throughout CANADA & USA.

Every haunt has its’ own schtick, with endless possibilities! It’s fun to explore haunts far away with just a CLICK of the mouse: https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/arts/best-haunted-houses-halloween-attractions-phoenix-2022-mesa-tempe-scottsdale-glendale-14618053

NOVEMBER 6, 2022 SUNDAY 5 PM - MORE HUMAN THAN HUMAN or WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO ROB ZOMBIE’S HAUNTED HOUSE?

Many of you remember hearing ROB ZOMBIE and/or WHITE ZOMBIE songs at haunted houses in years past. The mix & sound quality of these recordings is world class, and when pumped through PRO AUDIO gear it KICKS LIKE A MULE! And thanks to high quality budget equipment such as https://www.behringer.com/ any haunt can afford a KILLER PA.

***SIDEBAR***The MOST KILLER PA we ever heard at a haunt hands down was many moons ago at the now defunct THE EXTREME SCREAM in TAYLOR. They used 2 Altec Lansing A7 Voice Of The Theater speakers for the FOH (Front Of House) with subwoofers added and all powered with CROWN BRAND power amps. For context, a pair of A7’s was the industry standard for MOVIE THEATER SOUND SYSTEMS nationwide at the time. To put these in a smallish structure in a strip mall was ridiculous overkill! The resulting GUT THUMPING BASS was something most people only experience at major rock concerts. This haunt was also known for some questionable taste antics such as FREAK SHOW STUNTS outside the haunt involving extreme body piercing for starters. This haunt was often confused for the other haunt in Taylor also containing the word “SCREAM,” THE SCREAM MACHINE which is still operating. THE EXTREME SCREAM eventually made an ill-fated move to WATERFORD TWP. for what would be their FINAL SWAN SONG after only one season at the new location.

But getting back to ROB ZOMBIE...

Since ROB ZOMBIE & HAUNTED HOUSES went together like cheese and crackers, it was no surprise to hear that ROB ZOMBIE decided to make his own haunt. He recruited a top haunt expert, MR from TERRORTOWN in TOLEDO which later closed for good.

COMING SOON, THE EXCITING CONCLUSION!!!

NOVEMBER 5, 2022 SATURDAY 2 PM - FRAZZLED ON THE FRONT LINES

I should’ve known this would happen. “The best laid plans of mice and men” and such...

It was supposed to be GLORIOUS. It was gonna be KILLER! The plan tonight was:

First, off to ELOISE ASYLUM. The shear amount of money involved in this is insane...but hey it’s an asylum, right? The crazy juxtaposition of ancient analog electronic equipment with the latest and greatest ultra high tech lighting gear...the closest other thing we ever saw to this was at DARK LEGACY, an ill-fated flash-in-the-pan many moons ago.

Then, in what would’ve been a FIRST TIME EVER FOR US, an unprecedented THIRD VISIT TO HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION! As we earlier said about HUSH: Her pulse pounding and head spinning in a EUPHORIC RUSH, as if a spell had been cast upon her by THE BEAST KNOWN AS “HUSH”!

It was going to be a surprise. Rats!

My partner is a highly dedicated FRONT LINE HEALTH WORKER, and it’s a serious matter when the well-being of the public is involved. HPV can be fatal in children, and has already claimed the life of a child in Macomb County. There’s no vaccine available yet, and hospital ICU units are near capacity just like during the worst of the COVID pandemic.

THE GOLDEN RULE LIVES

So here I am and there she is, at work yet again when we’d rather be haunting.

I could go by myself. But it just wouldn’t be the same, and I have her feelings to consider. Like I said, RATS!  ): 

NOVEMBER 4, 2022 FRIDAY 2 PM - ONE NIGHT STAND

This seems a little weird. ELOISE ASYLUM in WESTLAND says it’s open tomorrow but not tonight. We’ll be calling them shortly to confirm this. Confirmed! https://eloiseasylum.com/

It also says it’s their HIGH INTENSITY night, meaning the monsters DO touch you (with an option NOT to be touched).

We went to ELOISE ASYLUM last year, and were amazed at the combination of way old things including tons of ancient analog electronic equipment mixed with the latest-and-greatest high tech goodies.

Now it says they’ve opened up a new wing of the hospital, and we’re anxious to see what’s happening!

WESTLAND now has TWO haunts, and there are also haunts in TAYLOR, INKSTER, and ROMULUS. That makes Wayne County a hotbed of haunted attractions!

NOVEMBER 4, 2022 FRIDAY 6 AM - NOW IT CAN BE REVEALED

We called in a favor and got the TOP SECRET DOCUMENT DECLASSIFICATION process expedited, cutting that ANNOYING RED TAPE exclusively for you!

We’re SPILLING THE BEANS and giving away for free these TOP SECRET HUSH DRINK RECIPES*, so don’t tell anybody and don’t try this at home kids. We suggest you leave it to the FRIENDLY PROFESSIONAL BARTENDERS at HUSH!

The following is presented for informational entertainment purposes only. Any reproduction or retransmission is arbitrary and beyond our control, meaning WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE. Do not read any farther.

Okay, it’s not really secret and not even a document per se. *

It’s a POSTER in the bar that I took a picture of. Zooming in we find details:

VAMPIRE BITE - VODKA, ELDERFLOWER LIQUOR, CHAMBORD FLOAT *

Hmmm...ELDERFLOWER? What in the world is that? And CHAMBORD FLOAT?

The VAMPIRE BITE was exquisitely delicious, unlike anything else we’ve ever tasted! We shared our drinks to DOUBLE THE TASTE EXPLOSION EXPERIENCE.

And here’s the one that MAGICALLY CHANGES FLAVORS:

CORPSE REVIVER - GIN, FRESH GINGER SYRUP, YUZU-CALAMANSI SOUR, ELECTRIC DUST RIM *

The proprietary ELECTRIC DUST RIM is the secret sauce here, which you lick between sips to get the sudden flavor changewww.hushdetroit.com

* = Please be advised these are not actual recipes, only an Ingredients List. Your results may vary from “Serving Suggestion.” Product is sold by weight, not volume. Some settling of contents may have occurred during shipping. Product may not appear to be full.

NOVEMBER 4, 2022 FRIDAY 5 AM - TOP SECRET DOCUMENTS

We’re waiting for proper declassification concerning the SECRET RECIPES for the AMAZING DRINKS AT HUSH.

COMPARTMENTALIZED INFO - RESTRICTED ACCESS

As you can imagine, this process can be a lengthy affair. Please stand by, my little monkeys.

NOVEMBER 4, 2022 FRIDAY 4 AM - MIXER OF THE ELIXIR

The DRINKS AT HUSH are SOOOO yummy. HOW DO THEY MAKE THEM?

My partner is reminding me that HUSH is open this weekend...

COMING SOON - HUSH MAGIC POTION SECRET RECIPES REVEALED!!

NOVEMBER 4, 2022 FRIDAY 3 AM - GREEN EGGS & HAM

is a silly book by DR. SUESS that has not been banned.

NOVEMBER 3, 2022 THURSDAY 8 PM - HAUNTS OPEN THIS WEEKEND, NOV. 4 & 5

AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HAUNTED HOUSE - MADISON HEIGHTS (Friday is “Lights Out”), ELOISE ASYLUM - WESTLAND (November 5 only) FACTORY OF THE DEAD - SAGINAW (Friday & Saturday BLACKOUT / NO LIGHTS), HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION - WESTLAND (Full Show both nights!), THE HAUNT - GRAND RAPIDS (Friday & Saturday LIGHTS OUT), THE SCREAM MACHINE - TAYLOR (Friday & Saturday BLACK OUT)

Not sure about this one - ZOERMANS ZOMBIES in JACKSON says they’re “Open September 30 thru November 6 Running Every Thursday thru Sunday” https://zombiewoodshaunt.com/

More YOUTUBE fun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuJ3n7-OkTk

NOVEMBER 2, 2022 WEDNESDAY 10 PM - CANDY PRANK SILLINESS

Affable late night comic JIMMY KIMMEL is at it again!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLaCUnp0G88

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exXcNrLfSMA

NOVEMBER 2, 2022 WEDNESDAY 9 PM - WHEN THE BOB ROCKED

We posted an article with this BOB SEGER song a few months ago, but it just now popped into my head again. WABX played this song, while other stations only played “RAMBLIN’ GAMBLING MAN.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcuE5a9l5Yc

NOVEMBER 2, 2022 WEDNESDAY 8 PM - GOOD TO THE LAST DROP

THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR is open next weekend Nov. 4 & 5 for 2 nights of “BLACK OUT.” This usually means the lighting fixtures have been removed, but the rest of the haunt is intact.

THE SCREAM MACHINE can easily pull this off, as they empty their building out each year after they’re done for the season.

I think there’s others also open next weekend, full report later.

NOVEMBER 1, 2022 TUESDAY 3 PM - WONDERFUL WIARD’S

I just called BW at WIARD’S to congratulate them on being featured on ESPN last Saturday during the big football game between U OF M and MSU.

Everyone in the haunt community, including their “competitors” has been ROOTING FOR WIARD’S! We look at it as if we’re all ONE BIG TEAM.

Full review of WIARD’S coming later, but for now we’ll mention one thing we really liked at THE MIND SHAFT that’s changed since our last visit. The final room is the LIQUID SKY ROOM, which previously used green lasers.

But now they’ve switched to BLUE LASERS for a more subtle but totally sublime result. It’s darker than green lasers, which has an added plus of making it easier for the monster to hide before “attacking.” This is the FIRST TIME we’ve ever seen BLUE LASERS used like this. PRIMO!

NOVEMBER 1, 2022 TUESDAY 2 PM - Working on reviews, stand by...

NOVEMBER 1, 2022 TUESDAY 9 AM - LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARD

We saw and did many amazing things this season!

(being written)

NOVEMBER 1, 2022 TUESDAY 8 AM - SAY IT AIN’T SO, JOE

So here we are, it’s the first day of November and Halloween is in the rear view mirror? Just like that it’s over?

Nope!

HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND is open next weekend!

There’s others too, so stay tuned!

And later we’ll tell you where to see FIREWORKS IN WINTER.

One of these events is a MASSIVE OUTDOORS CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL that draws 50,000 people, yet largely flies under the radar to those in the DETROIT AREA.

This unlikely festival has a COUNTRY MUSIC CONCERT, FIREWORKS, and even a GIANT CHRISTMAS PARADE with marching bands and the HILARIOUS “HOLIDAY HOUNDS ON PARADE.” This is where people deck out their dogs in HOLIDAY GARB, all trying to outdo each other.

We’ll also keep you abreast of OFF SEASON HAUNT EVENTS at major haunts such as ROTTEN MANOR, FACTORY OF THE DEAD, and HUSH.

And remember haunt operators, be sure to email us in advance of any special events and we’ll help get the word out. ZioptisFoundation@gmail.com 

OCTOBER 31, 2022 MONDAY 11:30 PM - TRIPLE KISS OF DEATH

We hit 3 haunts on Halloween, YAY!

Thank goodness the rain held off, so first we hit DERANGED HAUNTED ATTRACTION in ROMULUS and the place was packed with HAPPY HAUNTERS. There was virtually no wind, so the fog was fabulous! Despite the gloomy forecasts, it was absolutely perfect for outdoor haunting like at DERANGED.

Next we made an ENCORE VISIT to THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR and it too was OFF THE HOOK with the longest line we’ve ever seen there! IT WAS GLORIOUS.

The actors and surprises were all SPOT ON, with a special enthusiasm we could just feel. Because here it’s closing night...ON HALLOWEEN...and this is THE BIGGEST PARTY IN TAYLOR!

The exit reactions said it all - THE SCREAM MACHINE delivers the goods. FABULOUS HOLLYWOOD GRADE MAKEUP, primo monster interaction, and we really liked the medical staff with the insane doctor and his wicked nurse who is fabulous!

Last was an unlikely stop at a TRILOGY OF TERROR (our name for them) at GRINDLEY PARK & PENN in DEARBORN. There are 3 YARD HAUNTS including a corner lot. The city had the street closed to traffic, a good move for sure. There were lots of curious strollers, and one family in the show was passing out as many bags of BETTER MADE HOT BBQ CHIPS as you could hold!

So this too was a MASSIVE HALLOWEEN PARTY, with friends we never knew...but do now! We handed out Zioptis cards, of course.

OCTOBER 31, 2022 MONDAY 11:11 PM - HILARIOUS HALLOWEEN JIMMY KIMMEL - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y90on8IZvaM FAKE NEWS MUSK

OCTOBER 31, 2022 MONDAY 8 PM - THE LAST SNICKER’S BAR

We just handed out at least 500 FUN SIZE candy including REESE’S PEANUT BUTTER CUPS, M & M’s, and of course SNICKER’S.

I set up an improvised light show with just one CHAUVET DUO MOON  PROJECTOR which produces 2 SPINNING GOBO PATTERNS (AKA MOON FLOWERS) with a powerful strobe to boot. The patterns high in the trees were quite dramatic and the strobe made the STOP SIGN down the block flash!

And with TOD DOCKSTADER blasting, the mood was perfect.

Now we’re off for a LAST HURRAH!

OCTOBER 31, 2022 MONDAY 5:30 PM - FUTURISTIC SONIC VISIONS FROM THE PAST

When I was a kid, at Halloween my dad put giant speakers on the roof of our house blasting various “ELECTRONIC MUSIC” of the day from artists such as STEVE REICH, EDGAR VARESE & JOHN CAGE.

But the HAND’S DOWN WINNER of them all was our favorite TOD DOCKSTADER who was WAY AHEAD OF HIS TIME with what he called “ORGANIZED SOUND.” Imagine hearing this in 1966: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hydIpd0RLw4&list=RDhydIpd0RLw4&start_radio=1 

Or how about this Masterpiece, WATER MUSIC, PART 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zaSzHqVrLA

If you play this tonight for the Trick-Or-Treaters you should be the FIRST ON YOUR BLOCK!

More SONIC MASTERPIECES from TOD DOCKSTADER, Apocalypse Part 2 (1961): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfutkYDPkEI Traveling Music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSmhNs79j2M

OCTOBER 31, 2022 MONDAY 5 PM - HEAT IN THE STREETS

Every year we give our opinions of haunts as best we can, but we always try to get other haunters thoughts too...and here’s a DOOZIE of a real text about HUSH between my partner and some people at a store somewhere in Michigan that took her advice and went to HUSH.)

FAKE DANGER, REAL THRILLS

“Hey Krittor! Hush was literally insane! It was SOOOO GOOD, best one I’ve ever been to. I was SCREAMING & ON THE GROUND like half the time!!! We had to stop multiple times to catch our breath and recuperate!”

My partner replied back: “Did you go in the bars? If not you’re a loser!”

“No, the people I was with weren’t in the drinking mood cuz they got drunk yesterday. Where else should we go?”
My partner suggested ROTTEN MANOR, which they did not know about. So we may get comments about them too, stay tuned and feel free to send us email at ZioptisFoundation@gmail.com

THE SHARED EXPERIENCE DU JOUR

So here’s a group of stressed out coworkers who literally found comfort from getting startled in a dramatic way, but with the underlying knowledge that there is no actual danger.

Let this be a lesson,

still being written

OCTOBER 31, 2022 MONDAY 4:30 PM - STORY TIME

I wrote this in 2013 after an AMAZING HAUNT JOURNEY TO OHIO!

NOVEMBER 2, 2013 SATURDAY 2 PM - PULL UP A CHAIR...

PIGTAILS & PUMPKINS €- 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, 2022 MONDAY 4 PM - ATTENTION PLEASE!

We have some BIG NEWS & also a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT coming soon.

TRUTH & JUSTICE MATTER / ALTERNATIVE FACTS & FAKE NEWS NOT ALLOWED IF YOU PLEASE, THANK YOU

The BIG NEWS will be first shortly after Halloween, then at THANKSGIVING we’ll be making the MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT.

Also, the MAXWORLD segment below is now complete.

Coming next:  SHORT STORY THEN VERBATIM HUSH RESPONSES.

OCTOBER 31, 2022 MONDAY 7 AM - IN THE ARMS OF MORPHEUS

Getting ready to grab some more shuteye, but before I drift off and forget...I just remembered something TOTALLY WHACKED OUT that Billy G* came up with MANY MOONS AGO FOR HALLOWEEN that I’d like to share with you.

So we were brainstorming our upcoming HALLOWEEN YARD HAUNT (more about that in “News” tab) http://www.zioptis.com/html/news.shtml The subject of what to hand out to the kids came up...I think DR. PLASMODIUS  from MAXWORLD was there too and TQ...ok, so the kids are expecting candy but BILLY G SAID what other food item could we give that would really COMMAND BIG ATTENTION? Something still legal, but sure to ruffle some feathers...it’s so ridiculous I still can’t believe it after all these years...

Nah, I better not tell this insanely wacky idea, we don’t want to encourage any SILLY SHENANIGAN CHALLENGES or whatever TikTock. Not us. Nope. Sorry. Not!

JUMP INTO OUR WAYBACK MACHINE

If you don’t know about MAXWORLD, it was the quintessential most interactive haunted experience to that point back in the 80s. Here’s more about Maxworld, and the “renegade electrician with a taste for the bizarre” is BILLY G, * = our beloved WEBMASTER who died a horrible Covid death...tears...

These excerpts about MAXWORLD are from the “Closed” tab where over 100 haunts that are gone but not forgotten are listed:

94. MAXWORLD, DETROIT - (circa 1985) This was in a 2 level house on Warren Road, run by the late Pat McElroy who also was a DJ on now defunct classical radio station WQRS, before moving to the state of Washington where he continued in radio work until he passed.

MAXWORLD is the FIRST haunt we ever made an audio recording of!

The idea had never crossed our minds...until meeting the Bewildered Brethren who roamed the front yard of this house that became a multi-interactive experience like no other at the time, or ever since!

MAXWORLD had a second floor that was a whole other world! Part of it was the very first maze we saw that CHANGES WHILE YOU WERE TRYING TO GET THROUGH! Actors perched on top of the maze structure could change the path, somewhat like a railroad does when trains are re-directed as needed.

Later, MAXWORLD had the BADDEST-ASS JACOB'S LADDER we have EVER seen at any haunt! It was hand constructed, WAY AGAINST UL CODE, by a local renegade electrician with a taste for the bizarre.

The metal rods were exactly 4 FEET LONG, and the neon light ballast required to produce an electric arc that would easily travel that length weighed a ton!

The resulting electric arc would have been literally LETAL with even the briefest contact, so it was encased in the thickest Plexiglas we could find!

This thing took your breath away, and totally freaked out anybody who understood how dangerous this device was.

The city inspectors had no idea what was going on in this MADHOUSE BEYOND BELIEF!

NOBODY was ever hurt by this EXTREMELY FOOLISH DEVICE TO HAVE, THANK GOD. (and it has since been dismantled)

There’s lots more about MAXWORLD near the bottom of the “Closed” tab: http://www.zioptis.com/html/closed.shtml

OCTOBER 31, 2022 MONDAY 5 AM - ON WITH THE SHOW!

HAUNTS OPEN TONIGHT FOR HALLOWEEN: AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HAUNTED HOUSE - MADISON HEIGHTS, DERANGED HAUNT - ROMULUS, EREBUS - PONTIAC, FACTORY OF THE DEAD - SAGINAW, HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME - INKSTER, HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION - WESTLAND, HYSTERIA HAUNT - BIRCH RUN, JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD - JACKSON, NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S - YPSILANTI, ROTTEN MANOR - HOLLY, THE HAUNT - GRAND RAPIDS, THE SCREAM MACHINE - TAYLOR, VILLAGE OF THE LIVING DEAD - ST. CHARLES

There’s actually one more - ABANDONED ACRES FARM HAUNTED ATTRACTION in SPARTA but this is their “HALLOWEEN LIGHTS OUT!” thing. The above haunts are all FULL SHOW to our knowledge.

OCTOBER 31, 2022 MONDAY 4 AM - OUT OF MY MIND ON  MONDAY MOANIN’

I can’t believe it. The LAST NIGHT OF HAUNTING IS TONIGHT?

Actually, it’s not. HUSH is open NEXT WEEKEND too NOVEMBER 4 & 5!

There could be others, we’ll check it out and report later.

OCTOBER 31, 2022 MONDAY 12 MIDNIGHT - HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

WHOOPEE, the big day is here and we’re preparing to pass out LOTS OF CANDY to neighborhood TRICK-OR-TREATERS until they stop coming! They’re so cute, and are the REASON FOR THE SEASON to borrow a phrase from Christmas.

Following an annual tradition, we’ll dine on take out  GOURMET BBQ RIBS from ZUKIN’S RIB SHACK in LINCOLN PARK, then hit the road for MORE HAUNTING!

We’ll have a list later of haunts open tonight.

OCTOBER 30, 2022 SUNDAY 9:30 PM - DEVIL’S NIGHT IN DETROIT

DEVIL’S NIGHT is in full swing, but it ain’t what it used to be...thank God!

Once upon a time, Detroit was a hotbed of arson activity on Devil’s Night. Arson is not an amusing prank, it’s a serious crime with possible JAIL TIME IN JACKTOWN.

That said, here’s an amusing DEVIL’S NIGHT PRANK involving fire that some of you in the younger generation may not be familiar with.

***DISCLAIMER***This description is provided strictly on a historical informational basis, and is not intended to put naughty thoughts in impressionable young minds easily susceptible to suggestions from random haunted house websites.

This DEVIL’S NIGHT PRANK, which is not suggested by us, is so easy but oh so...STINKY and a HILARIOUS big mess! Just find some poop, the fresher the better. If you have a dog, you’re half way there. Put the poop in a small paper bag that you’ve drawn a large smiley face on. Select your victim. Go to their house at the front door. Put the bag down. Using a BIC BRAND LIGHTER, set the bag on fire and ring the doorbell. Run away, and hide behind the bushes for the BIG FUN. The victim will see the burning bag and stamp out the fire with their dominant foot. TAH DAH! Wait a sec...times have changed since window soaping and the BURNING DOG POOP GAG were all the rage. Nowadays, the “victim” probably has a RING BRAND DOORBELL CAM to make a video of you behaving as a juvenile delinquent. IGNORE THIS ENTIRE ARTICLE, IT NEVER EXISTED & IS ALTERNATIVE FACT-FILLED FAKE NEWS!

OCTOBER 30, 2022 SUNDAY 9 PM - VERBATIM HUSH COMMENTS FROM THE FRONTLINES

Some stressed coworkers of my partner went to HUSH upon recommendation

being transcribed...

FAKE DANGER, REAL THRILLS

THE SHARED EXPERIENCE DU JOUR

(to be moved to the top later when finished)

OCTOBER 30, 2022 SUNDAY 8:30 PM - WATER WONDERLAND WINNER

Just talking with my partner about the AWESOME ARTISTIC EXCELLENCE we’ve been seeing at haunts this year like HUSH, SLAUGHTERHOUSE, WIARD’S and such...oh and the giant cloth poster on the building at SLAY NIGHTS is a work of art...I don’t know how you’d get such a giant tapestry-type thing like this printed...this bad boy hangs vertically like 20 feet tall I’m thinking...but whoopsie I’m digressing again...

Art takes many forms, and last night we saw even more FASCINATING VARIATIONS at FULL MOON MANOR HAUNTED HOUSE in HIGHLAND TWP. The “maze” has several small buildings, including THE ABYSS AQUARIUM where the FLOATING JELLY FISH hypnotized us!

It’s always SUCH A THRILL to go back to a haunt we’ve missed for a few years, often finding that we hardly recognize the place!

AWAKEN in LESLIE was like that I remember...and now we hear it’s expanded again! AWAKEN had TV COVERAGE that also featured SLAUGHTERHOUSE in FOWLERVILLE link

OCTOBER 30, 2022 SUNDAY 8 PM - CARTOON CREEPINESS

Now playing on FOX TV - THE SIMPSON’S TREEHOUSE OF TERROR!

OCTOBER 30, 2022 SUNDAY 2 PM - FORTY WINKS / THE 2 PM TWO MINUTE WARNING

Just got up after some much needed shuteye...OH NOOOOO!

My partner is at work again at her 2nd job, ruining the possibilities of a road trip to JACKSON for JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD, LESLIE for AWAKEN, BIRCH RUN for HYSTERIA, much less GRAND RAPIDS for THE HAUNT, or ASHLEY for HINTERLAND and TERROR ON 27.

WAHHH! She is SO dedicated, to a fault some would say while others are prone to call off because their mother’s brother’s sister is having a BAD HAIR DAY or their PET TOMATO WORM “FRANK” is feeling blue.

Don’t they know the EXTREME EXHILARATION & SHEAR JOY getting scared out-of-your-pants gives so reliably? For shame!

Let’s bow our heads and pray: Dear Lord, May certain irresponsible and ridiculous co-workers be stricken for real with the imaginary illness they claim to have soon come to their senses and report to work as scheduled so we can go haunting tonight as is PROPER FOR DEVIL’S NIGHT? Amen. haha Just kidding God, resorting to negative praying can backfire, karma and such... Never mind!

OCTOBER 30, 2022 SUNDAY 10 AM - HOWLING AT THE MOON

Last night we finished an excellent evening at FULL MOON MANOR HAUNTED HOUSE at BONADEO FARMS in HIGHLAND TWP. and we barely recognized the place since our last visit!

A ride in a tractor pulled cart still transports you from the main building to the haunt. But a space ace tunnel has been added to the queue area, and the haunt interior has been greatly expanded to excellent result.

The walk thru haunt exit now leads directly to the maze, which also has lots of new goodies. One of our faves was THE ABYSS AQUARIUM, which reminds us of the amazing FREAKATORIUM which appeared at TERRORTOWN in TOLEDO and was also part of a haunt exchange program.

FULL MOON MANOR is now closed for the season, but they have already essentially won a ZIOPTIS AWARD! HUH?

Unless something highly unexpected happens tonight or tomorrow haunting, FULL MOON MANOR HAUNTED HOUSE will win the ULTIMATE WIENER AWARD FOR 2022!

We have a long-standing tradition that if a haunt offers hot dogs, we always try them. We had good hot dogs elsewhere this season, but we had GREAT hot dogs at FULL MOON MANOR last night. And at only $3, they’re a bargain for such DELICIOUS BIG & BEEFY HOT DOGS. Also they have their own cider & donuts, YUM!

OCTOBER 30, 2022 SUNDAY 9:30 AM - IF HUDSON’S DOWNTOWN MAGICALLY REAPPEARED & BECAME A HAUNT

Some of you are old enough to remember a DETROIT DEPARTMENT STORE downtown called Hudson’s. It was a gigantic building, and at Christmas the window displays turned it into a CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND.

Hudson’s is long gone, but we know of another massive building that used to be a department store that now is a haunt.

It’s JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON and they’re open tonight and tomorrow. https://jxunderworld.com/

This haunt changed hands a year or 2 ago, and we haven’t seen it since then. But we have every confidence Lance left his MASTERPIECE in good hands. ***SIDEBAR*** Lance is the guy who also made the legendary HOMER MILL before it went down in a BLAZE OF GLORY that some deemed a questionable cause fire.

If you haven’t been to this JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD, do yourself a big favor and go. ALICE COOPER was involved here, and an ALICE COOPER ANIMATRONIC remains to our knowledge as well as PRIMO DISTORTION’S UNLIMITED FIGURES that can be seen in our Photo Album of “Haunted Attraction Stuff”: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/albums/72157650409830035

OCTOBER 30, 2022 SUNDAY 9 AM - DATA DUMP - WHERE DO ALL THE STORIES GO?

I just ran out of space again on this, the lengthy MAIN PAGE of our trusty little OLD SCHOOL WEBSITE. FYI, when that happens I transfer a chunk of articles from the bottom of the page into the latest of the “Archives” on the top of the page. So the bottom goes to the top, got it?! Also, a line of asterisks appears between each new group of transferred articles.

Right now it’s up to 39 Archives, and thank goodness I learned how to add more before our beloved WEBMASTER BILLY G died a horrible Covid death. R.I.P. dear friend & keyboard wizard/ bandmate.

OCTOBER 30, 2022 SUNDAY 8 AM - CALL OF THE WILD

I FEEL THE NEED...to be where a PIG FARM was!

Not kidding, DARKSYDE ACRES in JONESVILLE used to be a pig farm. All the buildings are still in place. Except the pigs are gone, and a myriad of monsters and a masterpiece of a queue line will entertain you while you wait to enter this FABULOUS MULTI-ATTRACTION HAUNT.

RATS! DARKSYDE ACRES is now closed for the season. Time for PLAN B.
 

OCTOBER 30, 2022 SUNDAY 7 AM - SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER

WOW...LOCHAVEN HAUNTED HOUSE in WATERFORD is AMAZING! And YES, it is at a residence so be prepared to parallel park as there is no parking lot.

This is a yard haunt that does NOT look like a yard haunt!

They’ve been doing this for over 20 years, why did it take us so long to find this gem?

2 standout faves are a clever large SKELETON CLOCK and a GIGANTIC “FIRE BREATHING” DRAGON. This is TOP LEVEL PROPS folks, the kind you’d expect to see at like TRANSCON or SCARE FACTORY and such. But lot’s of what we saw looked like custom made props too, just didn’t get to ask them.

LOCHAVEN is basically two parts, a presentation then a self-guided tour. First is the queue line to enter the “haunted house” which has great sound/music, dark passageways and such. Donations are gladly accepted, and we were glad to do so!

***SIDEBAR*** The only other time we’ve seen such an elaborate pathway at a yard haunt was at DUNCAN STREET TERROR in TAYLOR many moons ago.

The self-guided tour has multiple PRIMO PHOTO OPPS to pose in. The amazing level of spooky artistry is a JOY TO BEHOLD!

OCTOBER 30, 2022 SUNDAY 12 MIDNIGHT - IT’S DEVIL’S NIGHT IN DETROIT!

OCTOBER 29, 2022 SATURDAY 5 PM - GOOD WEATHER

The weather looks great for great forest haunts like TERRORFIED FOREST in PINCKNEY who won a ZIOPTIS AWARD last year! https://www.terrorfiedforest.com/ 

This place is amazing! Say hi to RED REX there, but don’t give her a chance to confirm unproved claims that she is a BLOOD DRINKER! Her makeup will BLOW YOU AWAY!

OCTOBER 29, 2022 SATURDAY 4 PM - AND THE HITS JUST KEEP COMING

Holy moly! I seldom pay attention to it, but I just checked the hit list with our web host and was pleasantly surprised to see just under 54,000 hits for the last period. Various hit lists can be found under Archives 33: http://www.zioptis.com/html/archive_33.shtml

OCTOBER 29, 2022 SATURDAY 3 PM - THE ORIGINAL HEAVY METAL HORROR SHOW

HEAVY METAL ROCK MUSIC AND HAUNTING go together like cheese & crackers.

And some people say that DETROIT IS THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL CAPITAL OF THE WORLD, and point to songs like “Detroit, Rock City” by KISS as evidence.

Also, some people say that ROCK IN THE 80s was the hardest driving music ever pointing to bands like BADLANDS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7U124rg_L-M&t=456s

So when you put it all together, it’s no surprise that DETROIT spawned an excellent rock band called...drum roll...HALLOWEEN!

This band played at THE RITZ in ROSEVILLE which I’m sure some of you know nothing about, and were featured on the radio station WLLZ - DETROIT’S WHEELS which you same people won’t know about.

But many others of you do remember this era. See if you remember this hot tune from HALLOWEEN - THE BAND FROM DETROIT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDMu1Wiq8_k&list=OLAK5uy_kayGd1qZzVMgP_dA6EOYJVD6U6-MChX44&index=7

A close friend of ours JT, who has been on many haunt journeys with us, has a WILD TRUE STORY about the band HALLOWEEN FROM DETROIT.

She happened to have moved to a house very close to where the band lived. One day, the garage was open and she was alarmed to see lots of coffins!

Being an inquisitive youngster, she demanded answers politely asked what the H E DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS is going on? She was relieved to find that these were just STAGE PROPS for the band. Whew! Here’s one more lilting tune from Halloween the band from Detroit aptly named “TRICK OR TREAT” AND GOTTA LOVE THE DOUBLE BASS DRUM PARTS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xul-7FsFOQk

OCTOBER 29, 2022 SATURDAY 2:30 PM - GOOD NEIGHBORS

Good haunters make good neighbors for the most part.

So what if you had a neighbor who was SO INTO HALLOWEEN that they came up with this? https://www.facebook.com/LochavenHauntedHalloweenHouse/

This appears to be a haunt in a residential area. But there’s no phone # listed so we can’t call them as we usually do before visiting a haunt.

This has been on our WISH LIST which is found on the What’s next tab: http://www.zioptis.com/html/what_s_next.shtml 

OCTOBER 29, 2022 SATURDAY 2 PM - LUCK OF THE IRISH

Halloween has become largely an AMERICAN PHENOMENON, but where did it start?

What if I told you it was IRELAND?

Would you say that’s just FAKE NEWS? Let’s ask FOX NEWS! haha

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJZqmrpo3N4 

OCTOBER 29, 2022 SATURDAY 6 AM - DOUBLE DOSE OF HAUNTED EXCELLENCE

What a FABULOUS FRIDAY NIGHT we had!

First up was an ENCORE VISIT to what many are saying is the HOTTEST HAUNT IN DETROIT, HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION. Thousands upon thousands have been flocking to HUSH, and for good reason.

Right from the get-go, we saw new things like a FABULOUS DANCING DEVIL GIRL at the first bar. Her red vixen outfit was exquisite, yet not lewd.

YES this place is wild and spooky, but in a VERY HIGH CLASS WAY. It’s a “best of both worlds” scenario, and a refreshing breath of fresh air.

Our “newbie” friend was stunned, having never experienced anything like the MYSTICAL MASTERPIECE that is HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION!

Next up was NIGHT TERROR AT WIARD’S in YPSILANTI, which was also totally jammin’... figuratively AND literally. As soon as we parked, we heard an incredibly talented female singer blasting on the KARAOKE PA. Can’t remember the song now, but it sounded like the original!

I’M BAD, I’M NATIONWIDE

No, not the ZZ TOP song...but it’s a cool song so here it is anyway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfI72LdtKJc

It’s NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S, who was visited yesterday by ESPN to make a short video featuring WIARD’S to be shown during the upcoming football game between the UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN & MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY.

This is probably the most highly hyped sporting event this weekend, with viewership likely in the millions. Gametime TONIGHT is 7:30 PM, no word as to when the WIARD’S short will play.

Regardless of being on NATIONAL TV, NIGHT TERRORS already seems to have NATIONWIDE FAME. In the parking lot of Wiards, we saw a car from TEXAS. And when we left, a light blue Chevy pickup truck from CALIFORNIA was in front of us.

People are literally coming from all over the USA to experience the WORLD CLASS HAUNT that NIGHT TERRORS is!

In this way, WIARD’S can be compared to other local treasures such as THE HENRY FORD aka GREENFIELD VILLAGE & HENRY FORD MUSEUM in DEARBORN.

NIGHT TERRORS also blew us away with a highly dynamic actor near the entrance, a strolling SKY HIGH ACTOR BEDAZZLED IN LED LIGHTS. This highly unusual performer actually assisted the crowd in a way we’ve never seen before. BRILLIANT!

The only disappointment of the evening was an hour delay in getting started. I 96 East was stop-and-go and then totally CLOSED as all were forced to exit on Spencer Road in Brighton.

Our apologies to ELOISE ASYLUM and THE SCREAM MACHINE for missing them!

OCTOBER 28, 2022 FRIDAY 5:45 PM - VIRAL PUMPKIN CARVING HACK: DOES IT WORK?

That’s the question just asked by WDIV-TV CHANNEL 4 in DETROIT on local news. They also showed the AMAZING TRIPLE YARD HAUNT in DEARBORN at GRINDLEY PARK (which they mispronounced) & PENN.

I couldn’t find a link to this, but they’ll probably repeat it later.

OCTOBER 28, 2022 FRIDAY 5 PM - MOTHER NATURE SAYS

The weather tonight is perfect for hayrides!

BLAKE’S in ARMADA has always been WORLD CLASS and is known for a great hayride and lots more. Sadly, we missed them last year.

SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP. has always had a FABULOUS HAYRIDE and so much more your head will spin!

NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S in YPSILANTI features the legendary HAYRIDE OF THE LOST as well as many other attractions & tasty cider, donuts and such in the store. Try dipping a donut in APPLE BUTTER, YUM!

SLAUGHTERHOUSE in FOWLERVILLE has a great hayride too, which sadly wasn’t yet open when we visited them earlier this season.

ROTTEN HAYRIDE at ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY is a FABULOUS 2nd year HAYRIDE, with 14 new scenes since last year. We’ve already been here this season, and enthusiastically suggest you do too. They have an other worldly LASER SKY SHOW IN TALL TREES that will knock your socks off! And of course, ROTTEN MANOR & ROTTEN FOREST are awesome too. ROTTEN MANOR is getting tons of WORD ON THE STREET CRED. KUDOS to Walli & crew!!!

OCTOBER 28, 2022 FRIDAY 4 PM - RAH RAH SIS BOOM BAH!

As you may know, there’s a big football game tomorrow with MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY taking on the UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN. The hype about this has been OFF THE HOOK!

Honestly, we’re much more into tennis when it comes to sporting events. But this time we’re interested in the football game.

But it’s only because ESPN will be featuring a short piece about the legendary NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S during the football game, to be filmed only a few hours from now.

As we just said, AMERICA IS CRAZY FOR HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS and this should be a fabulous showcase for one of Michigan’s Legendary Haunts! https://www.hauntedhousemichigan.com/

OCTOBER 28, 2022 FRIDAY 3 PM - A DOSE OF SUNSHINE

From sea to shining sea, AMERICA IS CRAZY FOR HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS!

Here’s another VIDEO BLOGGER with a cool Youtube TV Channel, this time from FLORIDA: https://www.youtube.com/c/TampaJay

OCTOBER 28, 2022 FRIDAY 1 PM - SHHHH, DON’T TELL ANYONE!

Earlier, we spoke of weary travelers on quests for HAUNTED EXCELLENCE.

My partner lives a good distance away from Detroit, and sometimes she feels tired on the trip back from haunting.

But after our amazing night at HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND, she said her car seemed to be floating and what’s more she described it as...

Her pulse pounding and head spinning in a EUPHORIC RUSH, as if a spell had been cast upon her by THE BEAST KNOWN AS “HUSH”!

Each season a certain haunt seems to beckon us to return, pulling us back like a magnet. Although the season isn’t over yet, so far it looks like HUSH is that haunt! (Okay, you caught us...part of the craving is to quench our thirst again with the MAGIC POTIONS we know lie behind the walls of the 3 SECRET BARS!)

And HOORAY our “newbie” pal will be with us tonight. There’s no way we could finish the season without showing him what we experienced at HUSH. Try as we might, it was impossible to take it all in! Many things we had never seen before.

Everything about HUSH screams HIGH CLASS HAUNTING. Even the thick plastic color-printed badges & lanyards are the best we’ve ever seen. 

OCTOBER 28, 2022 FRIDAY 12:30 AM - HOLY TOLEDO!

For many moons we were MAGNETICALLY DRAWN to TERRORTOWN in TOLEDO, OHIO. (Okay, it was actually Maumee bordering Toledo) This place was Grandfathered in as a “FUN HOUSE” so they could basically do anything they wanted. They took great advantage of this, getting away with stuff other haunt operators could only dream of! (see various old reviews)

TERRORTOWN made their own GIANT ANIMATRONIC MONSTERS, and pioneered a haunt prop exchange with other haunts in other states including New York.

TERRORTOWN operator MR eventually left, to work with ROB ZOMBIE creating haunts for him.

So we were on the prowl for another TOLEDO HAUNT, and last year we FOUND A DANDY of an excellent haunt very close to TOLEDO. It’s DISTRACTED HAUNTED HOUSE in BOWLING GREEN, OHIO. https://feardistracted.com/

But now we want another haunt near Toledo...let’s ask MR. GOOGLE...here we go it’s FIELD OF FEAR in MONCLOVA, OHIO. Looks cool! Where’s the GPS unit? http://fieldoffear.com/ 

OCTOBER 28, 2022 FRIDAY 12 MIDNIGHT - MEET ME IN ST. LOUIE, LOUIE, MEET ME AT THE FAIR

No, not the old song.

It’s CREEPYWORLD HAUNTED HOUSE in ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, and here’s a fun video with their new show by the fine folks at THE GRIMM LIFE COLLECTIVE. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUDIeZ1TS7k

GRIMM LIFE is a video blog Youtube TV channel with lots of excellent videos from haunts including THE DENT SCHOOLHOUSE in CINCINNATI, OHIO and FACTORY OF TERROR in CANTON, OHIO. https://www.youtube.com/grimmlifecollective

OCTOBER 27, 2022 THURSDAY 10 PM - WHEN ETHICS TRUMP FAST & EASY CASH / HOW NOT TO CREATE A DISASTROUS FLASH-IN-THE-PAN HAUNT

Whoopsie, just the title says enough...we’re gonna leave this hot potato alone. Never mind! Pay no attention to the man behind the keyboard. Thank you! (;

OCTOBER 27, 2022 THURSDAY 9 PM - MORE GRINDLEY PARK MEDIA COVERAGE

We just found another more recent news item about the STACHURSKI FAMILY YARD HAUNT: https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/support-shelter-animals-when-you-check-out-this-spooky-dearborn-halloween-display

And how awesome, they’re animal lovers like us!

OCTOBER 27, 2022 THURSDAY 7 PM - THE MISSING PIECE

Every year, we can’t help but think we’re missing something really important that we could’ve checked out.

CALL OF THE BUCKEYE

It’s thinking like that which last year sent us to GHOSTLY MANOR in SANDUSKY, OHIO and to DISTRACTED HAUNTED HOUSE in BOWLING GREEN, OHIO.

It was a great trip, and we’d do it again in a second. And if you’ve never been to HAUNTED HYDRO in FREMONT, OHIO CRAZY BOB awaits! https://thehauntedhydro.com/

We’ve always tried to take at least one long road trip per season, like to THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS or NILES SCREAM PARK in NILES.

But the one that’s bugging us right now...it’s a young new haunt we’re anxious to see called HINTERLAND in ASHLEY, MICHIGAN. Even better, TERROR ON 27 is also in ASHLEY and they have always delivered the goods!

And then there’s LOCHAVEN HAUNTED HOUSE in WATERFORD which we’ve never been to. Also, LOCHAVEN is close to FULL MOON MANOR AT BONADEO FARMS in HIGHLAND TWP. which we have been to but are anxious to see again.

Decisions, decisions...(;

OCTOBER 27, 2022 THURSDAY 3 AM - FOX NEWS JUMPS ON BOARD CRAZY TRAIN

We got a report that the MASSIVE YARD HAUNT on GRINDLEY PARK was featured on FOX TV NEWS DETROIT: https://www.fox2detroit.com/video/861251

This article is actually from 2020 and only features 1 of the 3 houses involved in this for 2022.

It also says over 1,000 kids went in 2019. Let’s hear it for getting infected with the SPOOKY SPIRIT!

This warms our heart, and is reminiscent of when we also had a massive yard haunt many moons ago.

OCTOBER 26, 2022 WEDNESDAY 9 PM - YARD HAUNTS A GO-GO

Sure enough, GRINDLEY PARK & PENN in DEARBORN\ is a TRIPLE TERROR with 3 houses decorated in fabulous fashion! Thank you for the info, DL in DEARBORN.

Strolling curiosity seekers were in abundance, and YES we got some cool pictures. We’ll probably start a new album for YARD HAUNTS separate from the existing album for HAUNTED ATTRACTION STUFF: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/albums/72157650409830035

OCTOBER 26, 2022 WEDNESDAY 6 PM - TINKER BELLA TO THE RESCUE

What in the world is this about? Inquiring minds want to know! (;

OCTOBER 26, 2022 WEDNESDAY 2 PM - THE HOME STRETCH

We’re headed for the finish line, but there’s still lots of great haunting to do!

People are wildly enthusiastic, and as a result many AMAZING YARD HAUNTS are popping up like never before.

It’s a friendly competition, and the GRAND DADDY OF ALL YARD HAUNTS has got to be the legendary TILLSON STREET in ROMEO.

That said, DETROIT holds its’ own in the YARD HAUNT SCENE.

Speaking of which, we just got a message from DL from Dearborn. She says: “...on Grindley Park (Street in Dearborn Heights) there’s one way cool block where they went krazy with flipped out spooky stuff...one house looks like it’s on fire!”

Oh really? Hmmm, verrry interesting... (;

OCTOBER 25, 2022 TUESDAY 10 PM - LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE HOME TEAM!

THE TODAY SHOW on NBC-TV is running a contest for the SPOOKIEST HOUSE IN AMERICA, which we recently covered. Nominations are still being accepted: https://www.today.com/home/show-us-halloween-decorated-houses-featured-today-rcna53040

TILLSON STREET seems like a shoe-in, let’s get busy & click on the above link!

OCTOBER 25, 2022 TUESDAY 9 PM - LEMMINGS TO THE SEA, LEMMINGS TO THE SEA, MARCHING IN ROWS OF THREE BY THREE

(Voice Over with Don LaFontaine voice, R.I.P. SAG/AFTRA Brother):

IN A WORLD full of SCIENCE FICTION MUMBO JUMBO and SO MANY CANDY CHOICES your head will spin, you can count on the TRUSTY ZIOPTIS FOUNDATION to guide you to CONFECTIONARY EXCELLENCE. DON’T BE A ZERO, BE A HERO!”

While the masses line up like lemmings to make ill-advised inferior candy choices, you can emerge victorious by following our EXPERT RECOMMENDATIONS.

According to RetailMeNot, the top Halloween candy choices are: 1) REESE’S PEANUT BUTTER CUPS, 2) KIT-KAT, 3) SNICKER’S, 4) HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE, 5) M & M’s, 6) CANDY CORN, 7) SKITTLES, 8) STARBURST, 9) TWIZZLERS

This is a critically important decision, so let’s consider alternative opinions from another top expert in the field. DISCLAIMER: These are not “Alternative Facts” which in itself is an oxymoron!

Here’s what our friends at CANDYSTORE.COM say are the TOP 3 choices: 1) REESE’S PEANUT BUTTER CUPS, 2) M & M’s, 3) SNICKER’S

CANDYSTORE also rates the worst choices: 1) CIRCUS PEANUTS, 2) CANDY CORN, 3) PEANUT BUTTER KISSES, 4) NECCO WAFERS, 5) WAX COLA BOTTLES, 6) SMARTIES, 7) MARY JANES, 8) TOOTSIE ROLLS, 9) LICORICE, 10) GOOD & PLENTY

Hmmm, the fact that CANDY CORN made both a “BEST” AND “WORST” rating shows these lists are subjective and we have an Alternative Fact Suggestion:

There’s another primo product by Reese’s not listed, the fabulous NUTRAGEOUS bar. It’s sort of a blend of PEANUT BUTTER CUPS & SNICKER’S BARS. We’ve had great success with these in past years when we put on MASSIVE YARD HAUNTS. (To read more about that, go to “News” and scroll down to SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 MONDAY 6 PM - NOTHING BUT THE FACTS, MA’AM)

Unfortunately, NUTRAGEOUS bars have been hard to find but you can look here to find this highly under appreciated masterpiece of confectionary excellence: https://www.hersheyland.com/home/where-to-buy.html?ps-sku=00034000000050

And if you’re not familiar with the GOOEY GOONESS that is NUTRAGEOUS bars, lookie here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtJCChdJ2WE&t=1s

OCTOBER 25, 2022 TUESDAY 8 PM - MORE MEDIA BLITZ

Local Detroit TV is GAGA over Halloween! https://www.clickondetroit.com/topic/Halloween/?utm_content=29480532&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_ca mpaign=Endplay&utm_term=wdiv_morningreport

OCTOBER 25, 2022 TUESDAY 7 PM - THE BEST HAMBURGER IN THE WORLD

Excellent haunting can be even more enjoyable with excellent cuisine.

A few standout memories include THE PUMPKIN FACTORY in BELLEVILLE and THE BONEYARD in STOCKBRIDGE, both of whom are sadly gone. (THE PUMPKIN FACTORY is still in business, but not for haunting.)

THE PUMPKIN FACTORY made their own restaurant quality POLISH FOOD, and THE BONEYARD hired a local BBQ catering company.

And one year we whimsically ran a hotdog contest in which my partner was seeking the ULTIMATE WEINER... (;

But this year my older brother John told me, just today, about something we neglected to tell you about AZRA:

There’s a PURPLE FOOD TRUCK at AZRA that John made a special trip to just to get one of their PROPRIETARY RECIPE BURGERS. Basically, they have made-to-order burgers stuffed with cheese and other goodies.

We had already eaten when we went to AZRA, so we didn’t actually try it. But my brother John said, and this is an exact quote: “It’s the BEST BURGER IN THE WORLD!” https://www.yelp.com/biz/iroc-it-all-southfield

OCTOBER 25, 2022 TUESDAY 5 PM - IN SEARCH OF THE GREAT PUMPKIN

We’ve seen some truly amazing things this season! For that, we are thankful.

Last weekend was incredible, and we’ve already done some well deserved gushing...but now we need to do some more!

PRIMO HAUNTS GAGS can range from subtle to jaw dropping, and we love them both. One awesome subtle gag we’ll never forget was at GHOSTLY MANOR in SANDUSKY, OHIO.

They called it the “WHISPER ROOM,” and it was a MASTERPIECE OF CONFUSION!

WHEN LESS IS MORE

In a dim and very quiet room, you can’t seem to find your way through. Finally, an anxious whispering voice says “This way, hurry!” as a light identifies the location of the sound.

But then the light goes out, and on the opposite side of the room another light come on with a new voice beckoning you to follow over here or “YOU’LL BE SORRRY!”

This cat-and-mouse back & forth repeats with ever building intense taunting from 8 distinctly different locations! You can’t tell where to go, even as you’re increasingly being rushed to do so.

Behind the scenes is an 8 channel tape recorder (like the TASCAM DA38 we use ourselves in a home studio). All 8 outputs are connected to separate CROWN power amplifiers and JBL speakers that are placed throughout the room mostly in the ceiling.

A custom recording plays over-and-over as each new group enters the room.

Okay, now lets flip the coin and talk about the MOST JAW DROPPING PRIMO GAG we’ve seen so far this season.

Hands down, it was at AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HAUNTED HOUSE in MADISON HEIGHTS. AZRA is an award winning haunt well known for being WILD & CRAZY! They have a SMALL ARMY OF ACTORS, which alone is a HERCULEAN FEAT this season.

***SIDEBAR***Many haunts have suffered reduced staffing levels this season, with widespread after effects from Covid and other exasperating circumstances beyond their control. For example, PHRYTE VILLAGE in LAKE ORION was not able to open this year due to lack of actors. BOO HOO!

Back to the JAW DROPPING GAG at AZRA...

We’re not about the SPILL THE BEANS and tell what it is, or even which room contains this GUARANTEED WOW.

But we will give you 2 hints: 1) There’s a clue somewhere in this article. 2) We’ve only seen this gag once before, in a collective 60+ years of haunting experience! It was at THE REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC, when they were at a former Farmer Jack Super Store location.

OCTOBER 24, 2022 MONDAY 4 PM - THE SEVEN DAY ITCH

It’s exactly one week away to the big day, HALLOWEEN!

So many preparations to make and decisions to make about candy, costumes and such.

There are literally thousands...wait a sec I’m a MATH DUMMY it could be MILLIONS of possible permutations.

But the kids don’t care about permutations or math theory. What they DO care about is THE CANDY!

But what’s THE BEST CANDY? And conversely, what’s THE WORST CANDY?

Stand by my little monkeys, we’ll soon reveal the answers so you don’t accidentally COMMIT CANDY HARI-KARI!

OCTOBER 24, 2022 MONDAY 3 PM - NEW MASK TECH

Here’s a cool looking LED HALLOWEEN MASK: https://www.auldea.com/products/led-mask?st=&utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=referral&tblci=GiAQQujeLF5AGMwI wqV8paz-K6hGYOlsRvSKQ7XbnT8INSCU_Vko9oCT257cm90N#tblciGiAQQujeLF5AGMw IwqV8paz-K6hGYOlsRvSKQ7XbnT8INSCU_Vko9oCT257cm90N

And here’s a selection of EPIC FAMILY COSTUMES from THE TODAY SHOW on NBC-TVhttps://www.today.com/parents/cute/today-fans-share-photos-halloween-family-costumes-rcna50743

OCTOBER 24, 2022 MONDAY 2 PM - GOING ALL OUT

People are obsessed with Halloween, millions of them! But we’d say that’s a good thing. Every time we see corn stalks and spooky stuff galore at a house in the hood, it brings that warm fuzzy feeling.

GOING FOR THE ONE

No, not the song by YES...but it’s a cool tune so here it is anyway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-DEnI6RLwM (R.I.P. drummer brother ALAN WHITE)

We’re talking about the quest to make the ULTIMATE YARD HAUNT.

THE TODAY SHOW on NBC-TV is running to contest to find THE SPOOKIEST HOUSE IN THE USA.

The first house featured this morning was a PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN theme, and it looks amazing. https://www.today.com/video/new-york-man-builds-pirate-ship-in-front-yard-for-halloween-151347269972

But we were thinking one of the displays from TILLSON STREET in ROMEO could be featured in this contest too. We finally checked this out last year after hearing so much about it, and YES it’s awesome! http://www.terrorontillson.com/  https://www.michigan.org/article/trip-idea/inside-look-terror-tillson-pure-michigan-halloween-experience

OCTOBER 24, 2022 MONDAY 12 MIDNIGHT - THAT OLE’ VOODOO THAT YOU DO SO WELL

He locked eyes with us. We were transfixed.

The creator of HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION was standing right in front of us explaining the impossible and how he made it happen anyway ...this guy is some kind of MADMAN GENIUS to put all this together!

Everything our INSIDE INFORMANT told us checked out in spades.

He told his tale. We said ‘YA GOTTA BE CRAZY!!!, but he just snickered and said “That’s exactly why I do it.” And do it he does, check it out:

STRAIGHT FROM VEGAS & DOWN THE HATCH

The new drinks at the 3 SECRET BARS are exquisitely delicious, developed by Trained Professional’s. Don’t try this at home, kids! haha Just kidding, here’s the real deal: HUSH operator CB was in LAS VEGAS where he discovered some amazing ultra tasty drinks, and got the recipes of these SURE WINNERS. We tried them all, and highly suggest you do too!

One of them actually CHANGES FLAVORS! You take a sip, then lick a special preparation on the rim of the glass and sip again. PRESTO CHANGO! We had no idea a MAGICALLY CHANGING BEVERAGE existed... and how comfy the bar has padded chairs, love seats and such too.

A CHANGE OF VENUE WITHOUT THE CHANGE OF VENUE

This is brilliant. Wait a second...make that THIS IS GENIUS.

Mixing up a haunt with various style pubs breaks up the journey in such a MAGICAL & DELICIOUS way!

Monster interaction and scares are spot on throughout.

The shared experience of sipping & sharing amazing beverages is so pleasant on comfy couches and chairs, then you’re off to conquer the next part of the journey...how fabulous!

We’ve never seen a haunt go so far to accommodate haunters.

Haunters have spent good money, been on their feet for awhile...I mean LIKE THREE THOUSAND people went through last night alone! The place is totally jammin’ but totally chill too with ultra tasty beverages while you relax in the lounge before GETTING CRAZY AGAIN.

One lounge had a primo full size CONGA DRUM, just begging me to play some PARADIDDLE DITTIES. I was glad to oblige, what fun! My partner recorded it.

So after you’re rested up, you continue the adventure. This is an AMAZING WONDERLAND that left us with an elated feeling. The ATTENTION TO DETAIL is off the hook!

My partner said she hasn’t felt this way after leaving a haunt since we went to the REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC or HAUNTED PRISON EXPERIENCE at MANSFIELD REFORMATORY in OHIO when HAUNTED X did the show years ago. (SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION movie was filmed there) http://www.zioptis.com/html/2015_b.shtml

HOLLYWOOD SLICK, DETROIT RAW

As always, the HUSH makeup and costumes were HOLLYWOOD GRADE and we got lots of fabulous pics to be released later. However, you can see previous pics now of HUSH and others here on this ZIOPTIS PHOTOSTREAM album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/albums/72157650409830035 

So if you’re a weary traveler on a quest to partake in the TASTIEST DRINKS EVER at a WORLD CLASS HAUNT, set thy GPS UNIT to 37550 CHERRY HILL in WESTLAND.

Or if you’re a weary traveler on a quest to experience a WORLD CLASS HAUNT and you’re under 21 or don’t drink, still set thy GPS UNIT to 37550 CHERRY HILL in WESTLAND.

Our apologies to THE SCREAM MACHINE and ELOISE ASYLUM for missing them last night.

We had such a blast at HUSH that we just had to go back in after going through to talk more with CB and thank him for his kind hospitality, and congratulate him on due diligence in starting small and eventually creating SUCH A MASTERPIECE that is HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION! www.hushdetroit.com

OCTOBER 23, 2022 SUNDAY 4 PM - MOTHER NATURE SMILING

The weather is perfect tonight for hayrides!

Which means it’s time to hit Wiard’s for NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S in YPSILANTI. Their HAYRIDE OF THE LOST is legendary, and sadly we missed them last year. Not only that, but our “newbie” * this year has never been to Wiard’s and is very anxious to experience it!

* = A “NEWBIE” is someone who comes with us occasionally who has NOT been to whichever haunt we’re visiting. This helps us get accurate first-time reactions, whereas we’ve been to almost every haunt multiple times.

THE MONKEY WRENCH GROWS AN ARM

Oh no! Just when we thought plans would finally work out, our “newby” has a family emergency with his mom. Family comes first, before entertaining ourselves.

However, said “newbie” HAS been to HUSH before...and we’re practically FOAMING AT THE MOUTH to experience the new HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND which makes them our TOP CHOICE for tonight!

And ELOISE ASYLUM also is WESTLAND is open tonight...

Actually, so is THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR and DERANGED HAUNT in ROMULUS. These haunts are all only minutes apart from each other, making Western Wayne County a VIRTUAL HOTBED OF HAUNTING!

Decisions, decisions...so many haunts, only so much time...

OCTOBER 23, 2022 SUNDAY 3 PM - Coming soon! Full review of ROTTEN HAYRIDE at ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY.

ROTTEN HAYRIDE has been expanded with 14 new scenes, and features AMAZING TREE LASER DISPLAYS that will DAZZLE YOU!

OCTOBER 23, 2022 SUNDAY 2 PM - DIFFERENT STROKES

One of the things we love about haunts is how different they can be from each other, while still delivering the goods.

For example, last night we started at HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS in GROSSE POINTE FARMS then hit AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS in MADISON HEIGHTS.

HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS is a family friendly fantasy land that will transport you to so many dimensions your HEAD WILL SPIN! If there was such an award, we’d say that HAUNTED GARAGE IS KING OF THE HILL in terms of shear variety and quality of AMAZING PROPS.

****SIDEBAR***WAIT A SECOND, HOLD EVERYTHING! We sadly have NOT been able to make it to THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS this season so we can’t say how many props they have, but knowing DS it’s stellar...I don’t care what other haunts you’ve been to in Michigan, if you haven’t EXPERIENCED THE HAUNT that is called THE HAUNT you should join the many others that have including OTHER HAUNTED ATTRACTION WORKERS in a fabulous exchange program that we highly admire. When you go to almost any DETROIT HAUNT, there’s a good chance someone with the haunt will have been to THE HAUNT. Got it?!

And when we went to the HAUNTED GARAGE SALE a couple years ago, the operator of HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS was the first person we met! They had the VERY FIRST exhibit spot at the FORD PERFORMING ARTS CENTER where the event is held. GW is a most pleasant guy in real life, and that’s not just us saying that...

HOP SKIP & A JUMP

It’s LESS THAN 15 MINUTES travel time from HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS to AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS in MADISON HEIGHTS How’s THAT for the ultimate in convenience with a FABULOUS DUO OF HAUNTING?

AZRA is a GIANT DANCE PARTY to begin with, and then an ULTRA HIGH ENERGY & INTENSITY HAUNT that will knock your socks off! A LIVE DJ with PRO AUDIO & LIGHTING makes the wait in the heated queue line big fun.

AZRA will send you on A WILD & CRAZY JOURNEY TO NEVER-NEVER LAND! This haunt grew out a wildly successful ESCAPE ROOM business which is still operating. 

OCTOBER 20, 2022 THURSDAY 9 PM - BIRDS OF A FEATHER

We find it interesting that a recent TV news article from WDIV CHANNEL 4 about the DETROIT HAUNT SCENE first mentions HUSH and then AZRA.

We’ve been gushing about HUSH and ROTTEN MANOR recently, and rightfully so.

But AZRA is also a highly dynamic HAUNT ON THE MOVE that has never failed to BLOW US AWAY! They have a unique 3D DISPLAY that’s way cool. https://azrahaunt.com/

Even better, AZRA is about only 15 minutes away from HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS in GROSSE POINTE FARMS. HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS will transport you to so many different dimensions your head will spin! We’ve never seen a more comprehensive collection of fabulous props. And my partner is already salivating over their fresh made donuts and tasty MICHIGAN CIDER...yum! https://www.hauntedgarageproductions.org/

OCTOBER 20, 2022 THURSDAY 4 PM - INSIDE SCOOP, DON’T TELL ANYBODY!

haha Just kidding!

It’s no secret that it takes money to start a haunt good enough to have people want to come again. You can’t just throw up a bunch of plastic sheets to make some empty “rooms,” fill the place with screaming kids and lots of fog and strobes and think you’ve got a viable haunt.

A haunt needs dynamics. Strobes and fog are indeed cool in a haunt, but not all the time. Or on a hayride, chain saw attacks are cool but not if overdone.

It’s a combination of visuals, sound, lighting, props, actors, makeup & costumes, etc. that go into making the gags at a WORLD CLASS HAUNT.

The most successful haunts have imposed on themselves HIGH PRODUCTION VALUES, like for example at THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS.

But this article isn’t about them. It’s about what many are now calling a PREMIERE DETROIT HAUNT, HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND.

We don’t usually discuss money / financial concerns here, but it’s part of an evolving story behind this haunt which we’ve been following since day one.

We also don’t criticize haunts for not changing things up. Not all haunts have the luxury of reinvesting into their haunts. Or perhaps they use profits to treat themselves to HAWAIIAN VACATIONS and such, that’s cool and we have no problems with that.

That said, we totally admire when haunts can and DO make MAJOR REINVESTMENTS.

According to a TOP HAUNT INSIDER familiar with the situation, HUSH has outdone itself and UPPED THEIR GAME BIG TIME since last year with fabulous new props and visuals. Mind you, this is from someone involved at another top haunt. We’re not going to name names, but many of you know who we’re talking about!  

OCTOBER 19, 2022 WEDNESDAY 11 PM - MAKE THE SCENE JELLY BEAN

Just looking through some pictures we took at ROTTEN MANOR last Saturday which was Sweetest Day...WOW, the makeup is HOLLYWOOD GRADE!

The attention to detail throughout the entire complex makes ROTTEN MANOR a haunted house that is also MYSTICAL MASTERPIECE.

The shear imagination it took to put all this together, along with conquering a mountain of logistics...the amazing tunnels, striking visuals, authentic antiques, elegant decor...this is HIGH CLASS HAUNTING!

But ROTTEN MANOR is not alone when it comes to high intensity haunting that is also highly artistic, which reminds me we still haven’t yet SPILLED THE BEANS we dangled in front of you with this entry: OCTOBER 16, 2022 SUNDAY 10 PM - KING OF THE HILL

INSIDE SCOOP COMING!

OCTOBER 19, 2022 WEDNESDAY 5 AM - FREE BEER

Okay, there’s actually no beer...but like the band that decided to call themselves that, it got your attention, right? haha

It’s really a FREE ONE DAY HAUNT in DEARBORN at FORD FIELD on Oct. 22, 2022 6:30 - 8:30 PM https://www.facebook.com/events/1278454379647930/?ref=newsfeed

https://dearbornfordcenter.com/classes-and-sports/halloween

This reminds us of when BROWNSTOWN TWP. FIREFIGHTERS also had a free haunt that ran for one or two days at LAKE ERIE METROPARK.

FORD FIELD was stomping grounds for us many moons ago, and it seems like an excellent site to do this.

We saw this on the electronic sign at the HAUNTED GARAGE SALE recently. Pictures from that to be released later. 

OCTOBER 17, 2022 MONDAY 10 PM - IT’S THE GREAT GOUDA, CHARLIE BROWN!

Who remembers HOUSE OF FEAR in HAZEL PARK?

It was a primo volunteer haunt, let’s jump into the wayback machine with a few highlights.

A hallway with flickering incandescent light bulbs led to a room authentically decorated with 1940’s furniture and an impressive very large wooden radio. This was the kind the family would gather round to hear shows like “The Shadow Knows.”

The attention to detail was impeccable with genuine antiques and elegant decor.

They spent a lot of time to make a room as beautiful as this. But the kicker was the radio, which played famous songs from the 40’s...BACKWARDS!

One year they had help from America’s Dairyland when the WISCONSIN JAYCEE’S loaned them an amazing custom made costume & the actor who invented it. Here’s the effect: At the end of a hallway on a throne sits a crazy creature. He suddenly takes notice of you, and rises from sitting. But as he rises, he suddenly becomes a menacing giant whose head almost hits the ceiling! A clever telescoping mechanism was the guts of this CRAZY CONTRAPTION.

The pre-show waiting area at HOUSE OF FEAR had a wacky couch. One of the  spots to sit activated a GIANT FAN. It was like a hurricane...I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down!

Outside the building they had a whimsical graveyard and lots of speakers blasting spooky stuff.

It was sad to lose them, but all haunts someday sing their FINAL SWAN SONG like another volunteer haunt we adored. HAUNTED HALLOWS in WESTLAND was right behind the VFW Post on Hix with the woods behind them - gave an Up North Feeling only seconds away from the CONCRETE JUNGLE of FORD ROAD.

OCTOBER 16, 2022 SUNDAY 10 PM - KING OF THE HILL

We’ve just received a treasure trove of HIGHLY CLASSIFIED INFORMATION concerning a POPULAR LOCAL HAUNT and their Master Plan to DOMINATE THE MICHIGAN HAUNT MARKET!

However, as you can imagine these documents are TOP SECRET and any version of them we become authorized to release will likely be heavily redacted.

That said, stand by for a MAJOR INSIDER SCOOP you won’t see anywhere else!

OCTOBER 16, 2022 SUNDAY 9 PM - IT’S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL

Great haunting requires great sustenance, so we started our haunt journey Saturday night at the RIVER ROCK BAR & GRILL right down the block from ROTTEN MANOR. The pecan encrusted whitefish is to die for.

Our friendly waitress heard us talking about haunting, and wouldn’t you know it she’s a haunt fan too!

She said lots of the happy diners at RIVER ROCK have been RAVING ABOUT ROTTEN MANOR and saying it’s the BEST HAUNTED HOUSE EVER! Their words, not ours.

WOW! How’s that for word on the streets? WORD-OF-MOUTH is the most powerful advertising, that money can NOT buy. ***SIDEBAR*** That’s largely why SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP. has stopped advertising.

Anyway, to finish the story about the waitress...

She said that she can’t wait to take her kids to ROTTEN MANOR, and we asked what other haunts she had gone to.

She said her FAVORITE HAUNT EVER sadly closed long ago, THE REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC. Her words, not ours.

My partner and I laughed, and explained to her that the lady who created REALM all those years ago has now created ROTTEN HAYRIDE at ROTTEN MANOR!

This all goes to show that you just never know who you’ll meet that you have so much in common with. Please tip your waitress!

OCTOBER 16, 2022 SUNDAY 10 AM - DRESSED TO THE NINES

Some of you are putting on your Sunday Best right now, getting ready to go to church COMIC CON! https://motorcitycomiccon.com/

Today is the last day, so if you were haunting Friday & Saturday as we were you can still get a BIG DOSE OF COSPLAY FUN!

We heard that ALICE COOPER was there Friday & Saturday, how cool! And as you may know, ALICE COOPER is from DETROIT. He’s been involved with several Michigan haunts including HOMER MILL in HOMER (burned down long ago), JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON, and ELOISE ASYLUM in WESTLAND.

OCTOBER 16, 2022 SUNDAY 9 AM - AIN’T TECHNOLOGY GRAND

WOW! ROTTEN HAYRIDE at ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY has a MIND BLOWING LIGHTING EFFECT, using the latest & greatest LASER TECHNOLOGY. You can’t miss it, as you pass below giant trees awash in tiny green sparkling reflected laser dots.

We’ve seen other attempts at lighting trees with green lasers, mostly made with consumer units designed for home Christmas displays.

BLOWING YOUR BUDGET AT TRANSCON & COMING UP ROSES

But this new technology is a quantum leap ahead of those, and represents the commitment to excellence that has always been a trademark of THE SCREAM QUEEN who created this masterpiece of a hayride.

Lots more to tell you later, but for now just 3 words says it all: ROTTEN MANOR ROCKS!

OCTOBER 15, 2022 SATURDAY 4 PM - JUST REWARDS

As an old joke goes, if someone says in jest “I’m losing my mind” the smarty-pants response is “If you do, I’ll help you look for it!”

Or someone might say, “I lost my head” after losing their temper.

But if you go to SLAUGHTERHOUSE this phrase takes on a much darker meaning, yet still had us laughing our butts off!

BTW, “I Lost My Head” is also the title of a great song by one of the most under appreciated bands of all time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlB_XoJd1bg&list=RDAlB_XoJd1bg&start_radio=1&rv=AlB_XoJd1bg&t=12 Don’t let the beginning of the song fool you, this seriously rocks!

Or what if there’s someone you’re trying to avoid and afraid of, yet you find it impossible to evade them?

If you go to SLAY NIGHTS, a very famous and very bad man will hunt you down like a dog in his blood thirty quest for revenge. Not just once though. Persistence is a virtue, and you won’t believe how determined this deranged character is!

Every haunt has specialties and nuances all their own, and to that we say “Vive Le Difference!” BRING IT ON, MONSTERS!

OCTOBER 15, 2022 SATURDAY 4 AM - TERRIFIC TWO-FER

Holy GPS Batman! We missed the exit for SLAY NIGHTS in HOWELL. Hmmm...the next exit is FOWLERVILLE...may as well hit SLAUGHTERHOUSE first.

So we got lost, sorta...we used to get lost at least once every season before GPS was invented!

But flip-flopping your plans is no big deal when haunts are this close to each other.

Lots has changed at SLAUGHTERHOUSE since our last visit in 2019, yet their core values are intact and the entire cast & crew were TOTALLY ON POINT.

SLAY NIGHTS in HOWELL is a BLAST OF NEW BLOOD on the haunt scene, and is the brainchild of MR. GIGGLES. (see OCT. 7, 2022 6 PM article for more about MR. GIGGLES)

SLAY NIGHTS has so much going for them, it’s hard to imagine anything other than a FABULOUS FUTURE for this dynamic 2nd year haunt.

COMRADES OR COMPETITORS?

Haunts this close to each other are competitors by definition, but that’s not how they see it. We told a staff member at SLAUGHTERHOUSE we were going to SLAY NIGHTS next, and he was quick to praise them as primo new members of the HAUNT FAMILY.

He said when people ask which haunt is better, he only will say he keeps hearing good things about SLAY NIGHTS and they should go there too.

CROSS PROMOTION of haunts is a win-win. Let’s hear it for The Golden Rule!

Reviews for SLAUGHTERHOUSE and SLAY NIGHTS coming soon. 

OCTOBER 14, 2022 FRIDAY 5 PM - OVER UNDER SIDEWAYS DOWN

We just heard back from THE SCREAM QUEEN, creator of ROTTEN HAYRIDE at ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY. She said there are 14 new things with the hayride this year!

This is the same lady that created the legendary REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC many moons ago, and HOUSE OF NIGHTMARES in WARREN before that. She also has contributed much to many other haunts including NILES SCREAM PARK in NILES and THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS. These are some of the biggest names in the business!

OCTOBER 14, 2022 FRIDAY 3 PM - FREAKY FRIDAY

Oh no! I can’t believe it...actually I can...my partner has once again been called in on emergency to work until closing at the pharmacy on an already scheduled vacation day.

But if she’s up for it, we’re still going haunting tonight. I know I’m up for it! I just tried on a pair of jeans I wore last year and they’re too big, so I now have a smaller size and as with GOLDILOCKS they’re jusssst right.

The plan is to hit SLAY NIGHTS in HOWELL and SLAUGHTERHOUSE in FOWLERVILLE.

SLAY NIGHTS was new last year, but we didn’t make it so it’s even more of a priority this year. We also missed SLAUGHTERHOUSE last year which has been a big fave of ours for many moons.

OCTOBER 13, 2022 THURSDAY 7 AM - EAT DRINK & BE MERRY

Imagine you’ve just finished a high intensity night of haunting, and you’re on the way back traveling on a country road. Oh yeah, and you’re really hungry.

Being as late as it is, you only expect to find fast food open. Wait a second, on the other side of the road...it looks like a regular restaurant...the lights are on. SCREECH! You make a u-turn and go back and sure enough they’re open and lots of happy diners are there with awesome looking food on their plates.

And so it was for us a few years ago, after having gone through ROTTEN MANOR that we stumbled upon THE ROYAL DINER in CLARKSTON also on DIXIE. Highly recommended! https://www.theroyaldiner.com/

And there’s another FABULOUS RESTAURANT also on DIXIE right in HOLLY that we’ve been to several times, RIVER ROCK BAR & GRILL. https://www.riverrockbarandgrill.net/ Also highly recommended!

OCTOBER 13, 2022 THURSDAY 2:30 AM - DINNER AND A SHOW

If you’re a guy chasing a girl, it’s an old cliché to take your date to dinner and a show.

But the “show” doesn’t have to be a movie.

It could be a THEATRICAL HAUNT as we recently talked about.

And here’s yet another one which we’re anxious to check out, MICHIGAN’S HAUNTED MUSICAL in FLUSHING. https://www.hauntedmusical.com/ They have an awesome 14 foot tall DISTORTIONS UNLIMITED animatronic creature!.

OCTOBER 13, 2022 THURSDAY 2 AM - YOU TUBE GORY GOODNESS

Gotta love YOU TUBE! I just found this gem, from our first haunt of the year THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MkPYPGwXBY&t=30s

OCTOBER 12, 2022 WEDNESDAY 6 AM - ONCE UPON A TIME

Here’s yet another “THEATRE HAUNT” from many moons ago. Who remembers HAUNTED THEATRE HOUSE on LIVERNOIS in DETROIT?

This place was wild! It ran for only 2 years, in 2001 and 2002.

They had a small makeshift “theater” where they presented live shows featuring dancers in fluorescent skeleton costumes. The music was original, instrumental electronic music which is often said to have originated in Detroit.

The dance routine was performed in TOTAL DARKNESS, using several SHORT WAVELENGTH commercial theatrical blacklights. These emit NO VISIBLE LIGHTso the costumes seem to jump out of total darkness. Most people have only seen LONG WAVE black lights, which produce a highly visible distinct PURPLE glow.

There’s a very good reason that only long wave black lights are sold on the consumer market and used in haunted attractions.

It’s completely safe to look at them, but SHORT wavelength black lights can cause BLINDNESS if stared into for too long, in a similar way that staring at a solar eclipse can cause permanent eye damage.

They had the special black lights pointed away from the audience, so there was no danger to the public.

Essentially, the dancing skeletons themselves provided the only visible light to great effect.

The haunt itself was exceptional in many aspects, and even had mice and dog actors. One prop was impossible to forget. On a small velvet covered table was a highly realistic severed human hand. With no visible mechanism, it started to crawl towards you. ULTRA CREEPY!

The final “room” had the haunt’s BIGGEST THRILL. They constructed a giant LAZY SUSAN type of spinning platform with railings like in a HELLEVATOR. A stripped down converted golf cart was set on its side to power this crazy contraption. 

In total darkness, they led you into this “secret room” and insisted you hold on to the railings. The room slowly starts to spin and gradually speeds up as monsters suddenly appear in the center of the platform.

LESS IS MORE

The FRIGHT LIGHT was many years away from being invented by JB from THE HAUNT, so they used small flashlights to illuminate themselves with waving repetitive patterns. Later they told us they ran various lighting tests using strobes, GOBO projectors and such.

But the biggest impact came with the simplest, low tech approach with small flashlights providing the only light in the room.

OCTOBER 11, 2022 TUESDAY 4 PM - TO YOUR HEALTH

Tomorrow morning on the news from WDIV TV - NBC CHANNEL 4 DETROIT there will an article about how it can be healthy TO GET SCARED!

Dr. Frank McGeorge will verify what we already knew in “HEALTHY SCARES.” Here’s a link: https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/2022/10/12/halloween-thrills-and-chills-why-people-love-the-fear/

OCTOBER 10, 2022 MONDAY 4 PM - OFF TO THE THEATRE

We’ve seen theatrical haunts before, at the STATE WAYNE THEATER and in a mall in LIVONIA.

And so we’re pleased to see this: https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/immersive-haunted-attraction-opening-at-rumored-haunted-theatre-in-metro-detroit

OCTOBER 10, 2022 MONDAY 3 PM - MORE MEDIA BLITZ

Since they opened with a bang in 2015, we’ve been gushing about ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY. Many would say this is the NEW PREMIERE MEGA HAUNT.

So it’s no surprise to see this on the website for WXYZ-TV DETROIT: https://www.wxyz.com/about-us/as-seen-on/rotten-manor-is-one-of-southeast-michigans-best-and-most-talked-about-haunted-attractions

OCTOBER 9, 2022 SUNDAY 2 PM - LEST WE FORGET / ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES

We just remembered 2 MORE TRAILER HAUNTS, ranging from perhaps the smallest to the GRAND DADDY OF THEM ALL!

The small one was at PAPP PARK in TAYLOR, as a secondary attraction to their excellent hayride. Sadly, PAPP PARK has been closed for years now.

The GRAND DADDY OF THEM ALL to our knowledge has got to be THE HAUNTED GALLERY which ran in PONTIAC. Later, the HAUNTED GALLERY owner opened EREBUS in a massive 4 story warehouse also in PONTIAC.

THE HAUNTED GALLERY was constructed from lots of tractor trailers. But if you didn’t see them, you would not have known you were walking through a long series of trailers.

The heyday of trailer haunts is gone now, however THE HAUNTED GALLERY lives on. It’s been renamed CASTLE OF THE DEAD and is currently operating as part of the big fun at SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP.

KUDOS to SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK for keeping this worthy effort alive! It’s still cool by any measure; we especially like the “decapitation” scene.

OCTOBER 9, 2022 SUNDAY 1 PM - MEDIA COVERAGE

Kudos to WDIV TV - NBC CHANNEL 4 DETROIT for their special report about HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS showing in various newscasts.

It starts at HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND and continues to AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS in MADISON HEIGHTS, GLENLORE TRAILS HAUNTED FOREST in COMMERCE TWP., and finally HALLOWGLOW NIGHTS AT TREERUNNER ADVENTURE PARK in WEST BLOOMFIELD.

I couldn’t find a link to the article, but it’s very well done and YES they do mention the THREE SECRET BARS in HUSH.

We understand there may be some concern over the addition of alcohol to haunted attractions which already can be wild & crazy places.

To anyone worried this could be trouble, consider this is NOT the first haunted attraction to add alcoholic drinks to their offerings.

Take for example SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP. They got a liquor license years ago, to go with their “BEER TENT” where bands played simulating a night club. It has NOT been a problem, or they wouldn’t still be doing this.

The process for obtaining a liquor license is an arduous task, and the authorities keep close track of things.

Haunters may be WILDLY ENTHUSIASTIC but by and large they’re also responsible citizens who use the DESIGNATED DRIVER approach to safely enjoy adult beverages while GETTING THEIR HAUNT ON!

OCTOBER 9, 2022 SUNDAY 3 AM - BONUS DAY

Select haunts are open tonight!

They include ABANDONED ACRES FARM HAUNTED ATTRACTION in SPARTA, AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS in MADISON HEIGHTS, BLAKE’S BIG APPLE HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS in ARMADA, DERANGED in ROMULUS (SPECIAL EVENT), ELOISE ASYLUM in WESTLAND, EREBUS in PONTIAC, EXIT 13 in MT. MORRIS, HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND, GLENLORE TRAILS in COMMERCE TWP., JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON, NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S in YPSILANTI, NILES SCREAM PARK in NILES ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY, SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP, SLAY NIGHTS in HOWELL, TERRORFIED FOREST in PINCKNEY, VILLAGE OF THE LIVING DEAD in ST. CHARLES (BLACKOUT) and ZOERMAN’S ZOMBIES in JACKSON.

If you’re a haunt performer or owner of a haunt closed tonight, here’s your chance to see what else is out there. Have fun!

OCTOBER 8, 2022 SATURDAY 7 PM - EARLY RELICS

There were other early TRAILER HAUNTS. Who remembers REAPER’S DUNGEON in LIVONIA, LEO’S HOUSE OF HORRORS in RIVERVIEW, or ALLEN PARK JAYCEE’S on ALLEN ROAD?

Wait a second...I think there’s at least one remaining TRAILER HAUNT with TUNNEL OF TERROR in ROCHESTER...uh oh! Closed for Covid safety, we understand: https://rajc.org/tunnelofterror/  

Also we’d be remiss if we didn’t lament the loss of the KENTWOOD JAYCEE’S FOREST near GRAND RAPIDS, which of course is the location of THE HAUNT. www.the-haunt.com

OCTOBER 8, 2022 SATURDAY 3 PM - BOO HOO!

Oh no! I can’t believe it...

Nothing man-made lasts forever, but it’s especially sad when AN ICONIC HAUNT sings their FINAL SWAN SONG.

And so it is that we’re sad to report the “PERMANENT CLOSING” of WYANDOTTE JAYCEE’S HAUNTED HOUSE, according to the red flagged message on a GOOGLE SEARCH: https://www.google.com/search?q=wyandotte+jaycees&rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS768US768&oq=&aqs=chrome.0.69i59i450l8.498223j0j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

CUE THE TWILIGHT ZONE MUSIC

How weird, we were just talking about the JAYCEE’S and how they essentially INVENTED HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS AS A FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT with MUTILATION MANSION and ANXIETY ALLEY.

If anyone can provide evidence of any other public haunt earlier than MUTILATION MANSION in 1966, we’d love to hear from you! Email us at ZioptisFoundation@gmail.com and feel free to send messages and or questions there too.

SAY IT AIN’T SO, JOE

So that’s it? The WYANDOTTE JAYCEE’S ARE GONE? Let’s do some digging...

What does it say on their FACEBOOK PAGE? On September 25, 2022 they posted this: 3131 Biddle (old city hall) was sold last spring by the City of Wyandotte. We will not be running the haunted house this year. We are very thankful to all of those who visited us in 2021.”

Hmmm...it doesn’t specifically say they won’t be back. Let’s look at comments: “Does this mean The haunted house tradition is over for good or just this year till you guys find a new building? Answer: “...as of right now we have no plans on opening with a new location.”

Again, hmmm...one of the unusual strengths of this haunt was to find new buildings every year no problem. The City of Wyandotte worked with them and were very helpful, recognizing the massive amount of good this longtime effort produced.

Did something change at CITY HALL? We’ll leave that one alone, but if anyone has dirt to dish feel free to email us at the above address. haha (;

https://www.facebook.com/WyandotteJayceesHauntedHouse/

OCTOBER 8, 2022 SATURDAY 2 PM - PEOPLE WILL TALK

We always like to talk to whoever we encounter at haunts, asking which other haunts if any they’ve been to and what they thought.

And so it was last night at HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME in INKSTER. One group told me they’d gone to THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR.

APPEARANCES CAN BE DECEIVING

They said when they arrived they were skeptical, as THE SCREAM MACHINE is located in a strip mall. But their doubts vanished the moment they stepped inside, as they were instantly transported to SPOOKLAND where they had the TIME OF THEIR LIFE!

Every haunt has a different setup, but the physical layout is secondary to providing a TOP NOTCH HAUNT EXPERIENCE.

Let’s not forget that the entire HAUNTED ATTRACTION GENRE was started by SOME KIDS WITH A COUPLE OF TRAILERS in the 1960s. To our knowledge, MUTILATION MANSION in MADISON HEIGHTS was the first ever public entertainment based “HAUNTED HOUSE” and it wasn’t even a house.

Shortly after that, ANXIETY ALLEY in LINCOLN PARK hit the scene. It too was a haunt created from a few tractor trailers thrown together. Like MUTILATION MANSION it was also created by the JAYCEE’S, a community organization for young people under the age of 35.

I can still remember the chatter at school in October:

Did you hear what happened over the weekend? Billy asked Susie to go to MUTILATION MANSION. They both peed their pants, but still ended up making out in the parking lot!”

Both MUTILATION MANSION and ANXIETY ALLEY are gone now, but the sequence of motions they set in place with their dynamic impact created THE STUFF LEGENDS ARE MADE OF.

OCTOBER 8, 2022 SATURDAY 12 MIDNIGHT - HUSH HUSH SWEET CHARLOTTE

My partner dozed off again, FRAZZLED & FREAKED OUT after a long hard day on the front lines of public health dispensing medicine, vaccinations and such.

I can’t wake her, as she’s working late again tomorrow and has to get up early on Sunday...

CALL OF THE WILD

But I simply could not resist the urge, so off to the HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME in INKSTER I went for a PRIMO FIX OF OLD SCHOOL.

As before, the wild looks on people’s faces says it all as they’re chased out the exit by a chain saw wielding madman! https://www.facebook.com/The-Haunted-Funeral-Home-368707953461056/

OCTOBER 7, 2022 FRIDAY 6 PM - THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT / REVISITED

Who remembers ST. LUCIFER’S HAUNTED ASYLUM in FLINT? Often we found ourselves starting the season at this primo haunt.

It ran for many years, then the owner KW told us they were planning to move. But the next year they failed to appear and we were BAFFLED & BUMMED.

Even worse, we also lost THE CRYPT in FLINT, CLIO MANOR HAUNTED HOUSE in CLIO, 13 FEET UNDER in FLINT, DREADLANDS in DAVISON, BURTON HAUNTED FOREST in BURTON and earlier the LOCH LOMAND TRAIL PROJECT in FLINT.

THE EVER CHANGING FUTURE

We were tempted to call KW with ST. LUCIFER’S to find out what happened, but held off lest we bum him out too.

Well, we just had a great talk with the owner of SLAY NIGHTS in HOWELL and were able to fill in some of the blanks about ST. LUCIFER’S and it’s all good!

10,000 SQUARE FEET OF REDEMPTION

Once upon a time, an enthusiastic haunt performer who went by the name of TWITCH made a name for himself at...drum roll...ST. LUCIFER’S HAUNTED ASYLUM.

TWITCH’S KID BROTHER became so enthralled that he came up with his own haunt character, MR. GIGGLES. Soon enough MR. GIGGLES joined the crew at ST. LUCIFER’S and the die was set.

FREE & CLEAR

After the closing of ST. LUCIFER’S, TWITCH & MR. GIGGLES were on the lookout for a new opportunity. Persistence is a virtue, and eventually a LASER TAG ARENA went out of business in HOWELL.

They took action and this building is now the site of SLAY NIGHTS. With 10,000 square feet there’s ample room for lots of GORY GOODNESS. Even better, the building has been paid for in full which means there’s no rent or landlords to potentially hinder operations going forward.

We missed this last year, but that’s okay because they assured us they’ve UPPED THEIR GAME since their debut last year. This could very well end up being a MAJOR NEW HAUNT!

OCTOBER 7, 2022 FRIDAY 4 PM - NEW BLOOD

Here’s another haunt we need to check out, LOCHHAVEN HAUNTED HOUSE in WATERFORD. We haven’t talked to them yet, but it looks like they started as a popular YARD HAUNT ON STEROIDS. Their Facebook postings started in 2012, and many photos follow their journey: https://www.facebook.com/LochavenHauntedHalloweenHouse/

It’s obvious they really have the HAUNT SPIRIT in their blood

OCTOBER 6, 2022 THURSDAY 9 PM - THE NEXT BEST THING TO BEING THERE

We reached out by telephone to various haunts today, including SLAUGHTER HOUSE in FOWLERVILLE which sadly we missed last year.

SLAUGHTER HOUSE is a farm haunt that started as a neighborhood Halloween Party that became such a giant success the decision was made to go public.

It’s an indoor / outdoors multi-attraction haunt. The indoor walk thru is highly creative and features magic show-like illusions and clever story lines. The outdoor trail features a PHYSICAL THRILL unlike any other we’ve seen. After being directed to enter a certain “room,” it takes off...literally. This high-flying romp into the thrill zone will knock your socks off! www.slaughterhouseadventure.com

OCTOBER 4, 2022 TUESDAY 3 PM - THE ‘OLE LIQUID GOURD GOODNESS

Yum...sipping on the first PUMPKIN SPICE COFFEE of the year, with a touch of cream no sugar pleeze.

And window shopping thru THE HAUNT GUIDE. Hmmm...here’s a MAJOR NEW ADDITION to a MAJOR MEGA HAUNT that also had A MAJOR NEW ADDITION last year. It’s ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY with their new ROTTEN THEATER. From their website: 

“New for the 2022 season, ROTTEN MANOR haunted attraction will be opening an old timey vintage style Theatre. There will be a variety of immersive horror themed performances including a deep dive into who Mr. & Mrs. Rotten are and how they came to reside at what is known as Rotten Manor.”

This adds yet a new dimension to ROTTEN MANOR and sounds like A BIG WINNER to us. We’re anxious to check this out! Last year they impressed us with the debut of ROTTEN HAYRIDE, even though it was created on a fast-track schedule.

We’re probably PREACHING TO THE CHOIR here, but if you haven’t yet experienced ROTTEN MANOR you’re missing out on what many are saying is the PREMIERE DETROIT MEGA HAUNT! www.RottenManor.com 

OCTOBER 1, 2022 SATURDAY 6 PM - BIRDS OF A FEATHER

The HAUNTED GARAGE SALE was a big success, and many were decked out in their HALLOWEEN BEST costumes.

Many unique one-of-a-kind spooky artistic creations were on display and for sale. We’ll be posting pictures later.

SEPTEMBER 30, 2022 FRIDAY 10:30 PM - EVERYTHING INCLUDING THE KITCHEN SINK

From our friends at MOTOR CITY HAUNT CLUB, it’s the 17th ANNUAL HAUNTED GARAGE SALE in DEARBORN on SATURDAY OCTOBER 1, 2022. https://motorcityhauntclub.com/annual-haunted-garage-sale/

We went to this a few years ago, and it was way cool! The first person we saw there was GLENN WILLIAMS from HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS in GROSSE POINTE WOODS. We have lots of pictures from the event, yet to be released.

SEPTEMBER 30, 2022 FRIDAY 10 PM - IN THE ARMS OF MORPHEUS

My partner is asleep right now...best to let her be. But I am SOOO tempted to jump in the car and cruise down CHERRY HILL. It’s opening night at HUSH, and at THE HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME too. Decisions, decisions...

SEPTEMBER 30, 2022 FRIDAY 9 PM - BIGGER BADDER BETTER

Haunts are always trying to UP THE GAME and outdo each other in a friendly competition, with the public being the ultimate winner.

Some haunts come flying out of the gate, like when THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS had over 35,000 patrons in their first year.

Other haunts don’t have the luxury of starting as a MAJOR MEGA HAUNT, yet still achieve that status through dedication, imagination, and hard work. HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND is a prime example of this scenario, and this year marks their TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY. www.hushdetroit.com

This year also brings another new feature at HUSH that we’ve alluded to before, and also takes them a step closer to more off-season activity.

They’ve obtained a liquor license, and part of the NEW BIG FUN AT HUSH is finding 3 “SECRET” BARS.

Regretfully, previous plans at HUSH for a MURDER MYSTERY DINNER THEATER were thwarted by the Covid pandemic.

So who knows what the off-season future holds at HUSH? Whatever it is, we have full confidence that CB and crew will certainly BLOW US AWAY!

SEPTEMBER 30, 2022 FRIDAY 8 PM - LET YOUR FINGERS DO THE WALKING

The NEW FEAR FINDER is looking sweet: https://www.fearfinder.com/

Also, you can pick up a copy of THE HAUNT GUIDE at various haunts and PAPA ROMANO’S PIZZA who is again the sponsor. THE HAUNT GUIDE is printed in color on premium glossy stock, so there’s no ink stains on your fingers. You may get some stains from the delicious pizza, but not THE HAUNT GUIDE!

SEPTEMBER 30, 2022 FRIDAY 4 PM - OPENING NIGHT JITTERS

Lots more haunts open tonight and the weather is looking fine with no rain or hurricanes in our forecast, thank goodness. Our thought and prayers go out to those affected by Hurricane Ian.

Unfortunately, my partner has to work late tonight and is working again tomorrow. But I might still sneak off to a few haunts impromptu...

I can’t wait to see the new setup and show at HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND, and I’m curious about the ROTTEN THEATER at ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY.

TIME FLIES WHEN YOU’RE HAVING A GOOD TIME

SEPTEMBER 27, 2022 TUESDAY 6 PM - THERE GOES MY HERO

No, not the FOO FIGHTERS song...but it is a cool one so here it is anyway...over 61 million views... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqWRaAF6_WY

Last June we gushed about PAUL & ROY BLAKE coming to the rescue taking over at ERWIN’S ORCHARDS, and now we have another NEW HERO OF THE HAUNT WORLD! It’s Monroe native NATE THOMPSON who is opening MICHIGAN’S FIRST YEAR-ROUND HORROR MUSEUM. The plan is to be open for this haunt season. https://www.mlive.com/life/2022/09/local-filmmaker-to-open-michigans-first-year-round-horror-museum.html

There’s more! Nate is later planning to open a YEAR ROUND TOWN OF HORRORS using the IRISH HILLS OLD WEST STAGECOACH STOP. https://www.mlive.com/life/2022/06/year-round-horror-town-being-built-at-michigans-old-west-stagecoach-stop.html

As we’ve said before of the haunt industry, the only constant is change!

SEPTEMBER 26, 2022 MONDAY 6 PM - THE BEST HAUNTED ATTRACTION IN THE WORLD

Imagine a TV AD:

VOICE OVER / Don Lafontaine voice  (R.I.P. SAG brother) - IN A WORLD full of science fiction mumbo jumbo and haunted attractions ballyhooed by bazillions, comes a BOLD NEW LEADER TO KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF!

So what exactly is the best haunted house/attraction in the world?

That’s a no-brainer!

“It’s THE DENT SCHOOL HOUSE!” is what you might say if you lived in CINCINNATI. Indeed, we’ve heard many great things about this TRULY LEGENDARY HAUNT! Here’s a random video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Utwyj3fb8EI

But what if you’re in Michigan? What is the BEST HAUNT IN MICHIGAN???

OK, Detroit or Up North? “Up North.” OK, mainland or U. P.?

Sheesh, whatever the answer, it’s a subjective call so...

We would say that THE BEST HAUNT IN THE WORLD is the one you’re having a great time at right then, wherever the location.

Every haunt has unique, special things only they bring to the table. Saying one is better than others is pointless. And that’s why we abandoned the ill-fated STAR RATINGS method in 2009.

Yes, haunts are technically in competition with each other. But it’s still all a large artificially extended family.

And when problems arise, family supports each other. That’s why, for example, premiere haunt designer/consultant DS “THE SCREAM QUEEN” has been known to go out of her way to help even competing haunts resolve whatever problems may be hindering them. How’s that for team spirit?

SEPTEMBER 26, 2022 MONDAY 4 PM - IS THIS THE STRANGEST HAUNTED ATTRACTION IN THE WORLD?

When it comes to haunted attractions, you’ll find some pretty weird things like nowhere else on earth.

Things don’t always make sense, as your new reality is molded by the imagination of a mad genius.

THE HAUNTED HOUSE THAT ISN’T A HAUNTED HOUSE

Take for example MEOW WOLF in SANTE FE, NEW MEXICO which is open year round.

They don’t call themselves a “haunted attraction,” but it definitely has many of the same traits.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8hv04GWtlY

This is but one of 4 locations of MEOW WOLF, and RATS they were in ANN ARBOR back in 2019 and we had no idea: https://www.clickondetroit.com/all-about-ann-arbor/2019/03/27/meow-wolf-art-collective-coming-to-ann-arbor-thursday/  https://meowwolf.com/

SEPTEMBER 25, 2022 SUNDAY 6 PM - PARTY BUS TO THRILLVILLE

The new HAUNT GUIDE for 2022 is looking great! As before, the sponsor is PAPA ROMANO’S who have some sweet coupons for discount pizza.

But what really caught our eye is the back cover, where the ULTIMATE HAUNT TOUR is being announced. It’s a whirlwind tour of TWELVE primo Michigan haunts: AWAKEN, AZRA, ELOISE ASYLUM, EREBUS, EXIT 13, FACTORY OF THE DEAD, HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION, JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD, NIGHTMARE REALM, PHRYTE VILLAGE, ROTTEN MANOR, and THE HAUNT.

WOW! What a great lineup, more details here: www.UltimateHauntTour.com 

SEPTEMBER 25, 2022 SUNDAY 4 PM - THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT

It wasn’t my fault...I never intended to start the haunt season without my trusty partner who got called in to work. In fact, she’s working even now as I type this.

So last night I decided to just do a drive-by at THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR, just to see how it’s going.

ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER

As you can probably guess, the lure of eminent THRILLS & CHILLS was just too much and next thing you know I’m inside and about to experience the first haunt of the year.

THE SCREAM MACHINE did not disappoint! The new setup is primo, and the show is a power-packed dynamo. The actors vocalizations and makeup are fabulous!

My partner was all like “WAH! I WANNA GO TO THE SCREAM MACHINE!” I consoled her by telling her since there have been many other years we went to THE SCREAM MACHINE twice, we can do it again this year!

SEPTEMBER 24, 2022 SATURDAY 3 PM - CALL OF DUTY

We had a “FREAKING FABULOUS FRIDAY NIGHT HAUNTING!” is what I wish I could tell you about last night...

THE GLORIOUS TRIFECTA OF TERROR

The plan was to OFFICIALLY START THE SEASON WITH A BANG at THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR, and then hit DERANGED HAUNT in ROMULUS and cap off an already incredible evening at NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S in YPSILANTI.

But my partner got called in on emergency to work Friday & Saturday until closing, on already scheduled vacation days.

She’s a highly dedicated FRONTLINE WORKER at a well-known pharmacy, working overtime to protect the general public from COVID with mass vaccinations and Paxlovid.

I am SOOO tempted tonight to at least go to THE SCREAM MACHINE!!! They have always delivered the goods, and have won MULTIPLE ZIOPTIS AWARDS. www.thescreammachine.net

THE SCREAM MACHINE has a unique intrinsic ability to reinvent itself every year, due to a favorable arrangement with the property owners who apparently have a soft spot for haunted attraction owners. Not only that, the Ecorse Road location is almost directly off I-94 freeway for easy access from METRO DETROIT AND OHIO.

SEPTEMBER 23, 2022 FRIDAY 6 PM - FUN & GAMES WITH YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD EMBALMER

We’ve seen many buildings/properties repurposed to create haunted attractions. Like for example when a former FARMER JACK SUPERSTORE became THE REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC. Or when the site of the former SKATELAND WEST in WESTLAND became the new location of HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION.

But what if a building available to become a haunt was already spooked out for real?

SMALL BUT MIGHTY

Well, that’s exactly what happened at HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME in INKSTER when an actual functioning funeral home went out of business under suspicious circumstances and became a haunted attraction in 2008.

They came out of the gates fast and furious, and continue to CRANK THE OLD-SCHOOL TO ELEVEN! And starting this year they’ll also satisfy your hungry tummy, serving HOT FOOD, SNACKS & DRINKS.

HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME is about as RAW & BASIC as they come, and we’re long-time fans! https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Haunted-House/The-Haunted-Funeral-Home-368707953461056/

SEPTEMBER 23, 2022 FRIDAY 4 PM - OFF TO THE RACES

Tonight is opening night for two major haunts that have always delivered the goods - THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR and AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS in MADISON HEIGHTS. www.TheScreamMachine.net  www.AzraHaunt.com

We’ve been to both of these many times, and feel confident that either of these HAUNTS WILL KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF!

It’s not opening night, but ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY is also open tonight. If you haven’t yet experienced this PREMIERE MICHIGAN MEGA HAUNT, you’re missing out big time. www.rottenmanor.com And you can see pictures we took at ROTTEN MANOR (and other haunts) here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/albums/72157650409830035

SEPTEMBER 23, 2022 FRIDAY 3 PM - GENTLEMEN, START YOUR ENGINES

HOORAY! It’s official, FALL IS HERE. Time for fresh MICHIGAN APPLE CIDER and cinnamon donuts from BLAKE’S, WIARD’S, APPLE CHARLIE’S, PARMENTERS, SPICER’S, FRANKLIN, HY’S, or any other you can find. They’re all excellent!

But watch out for deer on the roads. There were over 52,000 deer/car collisions in Michigan last year, and that’s only the reported ones. The actual number is far higher, and we have personally had multiple collisions with deer.

SEPTEMBER 17, 2022 SATURDAY 2 AM - AND YOU CAN GO TO H - E DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS

No, not the ALICE COOPER song.

It’s yet another haunt only in their 2nd year whose debut we missed last year. It’s NIGHTMARES FROM HELL in IMLAY CITY which looks to be a STRONG NEW ENTRY into the Michigan haunt market. https://nightmaresfromhell.com/  https://www.facebook.com/people/Nightmares-from-Hell-haunted-attraction/100063918764485/

We hope to check this out soon!

SEPTEMBER 16, 2022 FRIDAY 2 PM - ABSOLUTELY KILLER!

Who could we be talking about? The season hasn’t even started yet!

The haunt we’re referencing is a relative newcomer, with 2022 being only their second year. We made contact with them last year, but sadly we never made it to see them.

So we can’t know for sure that it’s “ABSOLUTELY KILLER!” as we teased with the above headline. But the mere fact that they’re back for YEAR 2 strongly suggests they’re doing something right. And if they make it to YEAR 3 they should be on track for long-term success, according to the “3 YEAR RULE” of CRAZY BOB TURNER from HAUNTED HYDRO in FREMONT, OHIO.

Cut to the chase already, WHO IS IT?

It’s SLAY NIGHTS in HOWELL. Lawn signs have been popping up all over the Howell area, and their website and Facebook pages are looking good. https://www.slaynights.com/  https://www.facebook.com/people/Slay-Nights/100076443360146/

Every new haunt is cause for celebration! But to actually succeed in such a highly competitive market, you’ve got to DELIVER THE GOODS. So hats off to SLAY NIGHTS, and welcome to the club!

SEPTEMBER 15, 2022 THURSDAY 10 PM - ONE FOR THE MONEY, TWO FOR THE SHOW

Select haunts will be open this coming weekend!

NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S in YPSILANTI has their Opening Night on Saturday. https://www.hauntedhousemichigan.com/

SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP. will be open Friday & Saturday. www.scarefestscreampark.com

DARKSYDE ACRES in JONESVILLE & TERRORFIED FOREST in PINCKNEY will be open Saturday only. www.darksydeacres.com  https://www.terrorfiedforest.com/

DERANGED HAUNT in ROMULUS will be open Friday & Saturday for their PREVIEW NIGHT SPECIAL following the PARADE OF LIGHTS in ROMULUS. https://derangedhauntedattraction.com/

JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON will also be open both Friday & Saturday. And shame on us, they actually opened last weekend and we failed to report it. A thousand lashes with a wet noodle! It doesn’t hurt, but it’s awfully annoying. https://jxunderworld.com/

THREE TO GET READY NOW GO GO GO!

At most haunts you’re assured that the monsters will not intentionally touch you. But some contact is to be expected due to spacing issues and such.

ALL HANDS ON DECK

But what if the MONSTERS RUN AMOK, ignoring conventional boring Standard Official Size & Weight Rules & Regulations and literally take customers into their own hands? That’s exactly what is planned at TERRORFIED FOREST for their Special Event on Saturday Sept. 17, 2022. From their website:

BLOOD BASH EVENT AT TERRORFIED FOREST

A BRAND NEW EVENT CREATED FOR THE BRAVE ONES.
NORMALLY OUR CREATURES CAN'T TOUCH YOU, BUT FOR THIS ONE NIGHT
THE RULES HAVE CHANGED!
THAT TOUCH ON YOUR SHOULDER, THE FEELING YOU JUST GOT ON YOUR ANKLE...THAT WASN'T YOUR IMAGINATION. IT'S A NORMAL HAUNTED NIGHT THROUGH THE WOODS...BUT WITH A TWIST.
THE CREATURES WILL TOUCH...BUT NOT ONLY THAT, MANY ARE EXCITED TO
SHARE THEIR BLOOD WITH YOU

Share their blood? How exactly does that work? It is messy? Will it come out in the wash?  Will it leave permanent psychological stains that won’t go away?

So it could be a BLOOD BATH this Saturday at TERRORFIED FOREST. We think you should risk it! And regardless of how much blood you shed (or drink) here, you can marvel at the INCREDIBLE MAKEUP that won this haunt the ZIOPTIS AWARD IN 2021 for BEST MAKEUP / COSTUMES in a two-way tie with HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND.  www.hushdetroit.com

SEPTEMBER 13, 2022 TUESDAY 5 PM - THE END OF AN ERA?

Bittersweet. That’s how we feel after seeing the following announcement on the website of BESTMAZE in WILLIAMSTON:


HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT: This will be the final year for Mid Michigan’s favorite corn maze after 22 years of operation. We will open this year Friday night Sept. 16th and run until Oct. 30, 2022.

Sadly, their fabulous TRAIL OF TERROR will not be operating for the 2022 season. However, they also mention that the TRAIL OF TERROR could be back in 2024. www.bestmaze.com

This is yet another example of circumstances beyond control causing difficulties at a haunt. It seems a new pipeline infrastructure project is in the works that will include digging up the existing parking lot at BESTMAZE.

If you haven’t yet experienced BESTMAZE, we strongly suggest you go this season. Even better, BESTMAZE will be distributing special vouchers for special treatment and FREE UPGRADE TO SPEEDPASS ENTRY at SLAUGHTERHOUSE nearby in FOWLERVILLE and THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS.

BESTMAZE also endorses AWAKEN in LESLIE and TERRORFIED FOREST in PINCKNEY. MARK B. who runs BESTMAZE is a class act!

SEPTEMBER 13, 2022 TUESDAY 4 PM - A NEW DIMENSION

There’s something new this year at HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND that just made the local DETROIT TV NEWS.

https://www.wxyz.com/news/sips-scares-3-secret-bars-to-open-inside-hush-haunted-house-in-westland-this-fall

We’re so glad to see this, as earlier efforts by HUSH going in this direction were thwarted by circumstances beyond their control like a WORLDWIDE PANDEMIC. We predict this will be WILDLY SUCCESFUL!

SEPTEMBER 8, 2022 THURSDAY 4 PM - BEATING YOUR HEAD AGAINST THE WALL

What makes a haunt popular and successful?

The answer is a combination of many factors, but even the most diligent efforts sometime fall short.

Take for example KRAZY HILDA’S, who moved several times before landing at PANAMA FARMS in YPSILANTI. It looked for all the world like they were about to hit the big time.

They had totally unique one-of-a-kind family made props, and a fabulous presentation that WOWED everyone who attended. We personally talked to many patrons that were blown away.

They should’ve been wildly successful, but fate was not on their side and they had no choice but to call it quits. It was a travesty by all accounts in our opinion.

Sadly, this story is not unique. Also consider what happened with SINISTER which operated in PONTIAC and UTICA.

Like KRAZY HILDA’S, SINISTER was a top notch haunt on top of their game. Conceptually and performance wise, they were fabulous and received critical acclaim from multiple haunt rating / review services.

SINISTER had a final room that was to die for! It was a zebra striped strobe light room featuring an ACROBATIC MADMAN also adorned with zebra stripes. He appeared to FLY ACROSS THE ROOM, while verbally hurling impromptu zaniness.

SINISTER also featured a wacky chicken man, who worked the crowd and queue line to great effect. He had a crazy story that explained his extreme identity issues and cannibal tendencies. He carried with him a freshly cooked rotisserie chicken like they sell at KROGER GROCERY STORES, offering free samples to all. It was super wacky but also very delicious!

So why wasn’t SINISTER a major hit? They checked all of the boxes, dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s. These were seasoned professionals with proven track records of producing KILLER HAUNTS.

The haunt market is a fickle thing, and there are no guarantees even if you do everything right.

SEPTEMBER 6, 2022 TUESDAY 10 PM - HARE TODAY, GOON TOMORROW

Every year, haunts come and haunts go. It’s just the nature of the beast.

I know we’ve bemoaned this before, but sometimes even a fabulous haunt fails and closes despite seeming to do everything right.

Take for example THE BONEYARD in STOCKBRIDGE. It was a topnotch farm haunt, run with great gusto and passion. We had a game we played there we called “SPOT RANDY.” Randy was the owner/operator but also was a lead performer in the haunt.

Every year, he had a totally different character. One time he played an adult who never grew up, with serious MOMMY ISSUES. He fiddles with a knife he used to carve the word “MOM” on his forehead! Another time he played The Devil who ends up literally burning the image of the cross into your mind with a giant propane blast in the dark!

Everything was on track for this haunt. But then shortsighted neighbors complained about noise levels, eventually forcing them to close.

Was it loud and raucous? Absolutely! But to us, complaining about that is like complaining that it’s dark at night. As we’ve said, “It’s just the nature of the beast.”

Other TOP NOTCH HAUNTS were forced out of business by lackluster ticket sales, and we’ll talk more about that later. 

SEPTEMBER 5, 2022 MONDAY 9 PM - HAPPY LABOR DAY

We hope you had a wonderful Labor Day, while not laboring...except for whatever effort it takes to fire up the grill for some juicy rib eye steaks for example. Make ours medium rare if you please! (;

On the other hand, maybe laboring was exactly what you did if you’re a haunt operator. The seasonal nature of the business has many haunts operating on unusual schedules, doing whatever it takes to be ready for Opening Night.

We can’t help but wonder what’s happening at some other haunts we miss besides those listed below like FACTORY OF THE DEAD in SAGINAW, DARKSYDE ACRES in JONESVILLE, SCREAM PARK in NILES, and TERROR ON 27 in ASHLEY.

ASHLEY now has 2 haunts with the more recent addition of HINTERLAND which we’re anxious to check out.

So we have TWO CITIES WITH TWO HAUNTS EACH in Michigan! There’s ASHLEY with TERROR ON 27 and HINTERLAND, and WESTLAND with HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION and ELOISE ASYLUM.

SEPTEMBER 2, 2022 FRIDAY 6 PM - A LABOR OF LOVE

Happy Labor Day Weekend! This marks the unofficial end of summer which also means the HAUNT SEASON IS QUICKLY APPROACHING. We can’t wait!

What new and amazing spooky goodness will blow our minds? There’s no choice but to wait until Opening Night to find out. The anticipation and delayed gratification amplify the impact and are part of the haunter’s experience.

Sigh...we haven’t been to THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS for too long, and we also sorely miss SLAUGHTERHOUSE in FOWLERVILLE, ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY, EREBUS in PONTIAC, BESTMAZE & TRAIL OF TERRORS in WILLIAMSTON, SHAWHAVEN FARMS in MASON, BLAKE’S in ARMADA, WIARD’S NIGHT TERRORS in YPSILANTI, SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP., WICKED WOODS OF TERROR in CARO, THE EDSON INCIDENT in BAY CITY and so many more...

AUGUST 29, 2022 MONDAY 4 PM - ENOUGH ALREADY!

As if one horrible pandemic wasn’t enough, we now have TWO of them with the new-kid-on-the-virus-block MONKEYPOX. So what impact if any will this have on the haunt market?

Many people are now behaving as if the pandemic was over, and to be honest that includes us to some degree...

But the cold hard facts are that thousands of Michiganders continue to become SICK WITH COVID. And Michiganders are STILL DYING from COVID, 37,909 so far as of August 23, 2022 according to: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/stats

Many of you have had your life upended by Covid in many ways including the death of loved ones...our death count is at 5 so far including our beloved WEBMASTER BILL GODWIN, R.I.P. BUDDY...

Why do some people shrug off COVID like a common cold while others die?

Why do some people get infected despite wearing masks while others don’t?

https://www.wxyz.com/news/national/why-some-people-still-havent-had-covid?dicbo=v2-ff79a26238ff88b4ed2660f0c37ade47

We forgot to put on masks last year for our final haunt of the season at a super crowded haunt. There were many who looked too young to be vaccinated. But we are and it’s possible that’s what saved us...we’ll never know for sure but at least we did not get COVID!

So with TWO PANDEMICS this year, will there be health mandates imposed on indoor events and/or large gatherings?

What will our doctors recommend? Who always follows what their doctors recommend anyway? We got away with it last year, why should this year be any different?

EDITOR’S NOTE: taking computer in for  routine maintenance soon. This is an unusual computer, split into two systems running at different bit rates (I think) of 32 and 64. Our web program NET OBJECTS FUSION wouldn’t work on 64 bit. If this computer dies it could take a long time to restore control of this website, as our web master died of Covid. ):

AUGUST 29, 2022 MONDAY 2 PM - BOBBING FOR APPLES & COMING UP ALL ROSES

HOORAY! We saw a news report about the 2022 MICHIGAN APPLE HARVEST, almost DOUBLE of what it was last year.

The timing couldn’t be better for PAUL & ROY BLAKE, who’ve taken the reins at the former ERWIN’S ORCHARDS in SOUTH LYON. Check this out: https://www.wxyz.com/about-us/as-seen-on/blakes-south-lyon-grand-opening-celebration-underway

Hats off to BLAKE’S for saving ERWIN’S from suffering a fate like what happened many moons ago with JOHNNY APPLESEED’S in WASHINGTON TWP. when a strip mall bulldozed over mountains of memories. JOHNNY APPLESEED’S opened in the early 1980s, photo here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/larrythebiker/3943364714

BTW, the dude that ran the haunt at JOHNNY APPLESEED’S now runs SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP. https://scarefestscreampark.com/

SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK has become a MAJOR PLAYER, AND THEY OPEN ON FRIDAY, SEPT. 16, 2022. To our knowledge, this is the first haunt open this year!

Even better, SCAREFEST offers an EXCELLENT BANG-FOR-THE BUCK: https://scarefestscreampark.com/why-scarefest

AUGUST 25, 2022 THURSDAY 3 PM - BACK IN THE SADDLE

The COVID PANDEMIC has put a major damper on going to public indoor events. Oh, how we’ve missed going to concerts and such!

But you can’t live your entire life in a bubble, and in July we finally took a chance and went to see CIRQUE ITALIA at Fairlane Town Center in Dearborn. It was positively fabulous! Pics here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/

After the show, one of their lead performers (who plays a flying mermaid) came and introduced herself to me. Having been a road show performer myself many moons ago, we had a great conversation and a few days later she invited us to attend their last Michigan show at Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor.

FROM ITALY WITH LOVE & GUTS

The Briarwood show was totally sold out and featured a new stage that piqued our interest big time. It has lots of SPOOKY THEMES, but no reference to them was given and the show was the same as we saw at Fairlane.

This begs the question: will a new CIRQUE ITALIA show feature a haunted house theme?

We can’t say right now. But we’ll be in touch soon with our FAVORITE MERMAID, so stay tuned for exclusive info right here at the trusty ZIOPTIS HAUNTED HOUSE HOTLINE!

AUGUST 11, 2022 THURSDAY 10 PM - TWO FOR ONE

We found out what happened with the STEVE AUGERI CONCERT, but too late  for us to go or post the info either.

They did reschedule STEVE AUGERI for 6:30 PM on Sunday before the country concert at 8:30 PM.

So if you went, you saw both the original Saturday AND Sunday headliners in one night.

We went for the fireworks only on Sunday, having already checked out the rest of the festival Saturday. I also got some striking LIGHT PAINTING pictures of the Ferris Wheel and of course the fireworks on both nights. A new 18mm - 105mm zoom lens was the cherry on top, and my trusty NIKON DSLR has never been happier! Pics coming later, stand by my little monkeys! 

AUGUST 7, 2022 SUNDAY 2 PM - SORRY ABOUT THAT!

Rats! Last night’s DEARBORN HOMECOMING HEADLINER STEVE AUGERI ( from JOURNEY) unexpectedly canceled yesterday. A staff member told us the band “was stuck in Washington.”

Will they play tonight? We don’t know, but this reminds us of another time they had to cancel fireworks due to rain. They rescheduled the fireworks about a month later, and a grand time was had by all.

We wouldn’t be surprised if a similar thing happens with the CANCELED STEVE AUGERI CONCERT. We’ll let you know when we find out.

However, RANDY HOUSER is still scheduled for tonight with fireworks following the show at 10 PM. The fireworks last night were excellent!

AUGUST 5, 2022 FRIDAY 2 AM - KABOOM!

There are two nights of FIREWORKS this weekend as part of the DEARBORN HOMECOMING FESTIVAL, which is back after a 2 year hiatus: https://www.dearbornhomecoming.com/

The festival has moved from Ford Field to the FORD COMMUNITY & PERFORMING ARTS CENTER at 15801 MICHIGAN AVE. which is at the corner of MICHIGAN AVE. & GREENFIELD.

The Saturday night concert headliner is STEVE AUGERI who was the lead singer for JOURNEY 1998 - 2006. The Sunday headliner features country music crooner RANDY HOUSER. Also of note on Friday at 6:30 PM is some old friends of ours SUNGLASSES AFTER DARK.

***EDITOR’S NOTE: This event somehow escaped our usually reliable friends at www.michiganfireworks.com  ***

JULY 11, 2022 MONDAY 5 PM - BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

At this very moment many haunt operators are making decisions about their show for next season.

There are endless choices to make: what kind of sounds / music to use, story lines, actors, costumes / makeup, feasibility / logistics, concessions / merchandising, advertising / media, social media...wait a sec am I missing something?

What was it at BESTMAZE TRAIL OF TERRORS that TOTALLY WOWED US? What was it at THE REALM OF DARKNESS that took our breath away, many moons ago? What was it at TERRORTOWN that was the ENVY OF THE HAUNT INDUSTRY? What was it at EREBUS that totally freaked us out?

In every case above, it’s the “P” WORD.

So what exactly is the “P” WORD? No political sidestepping allowed here, the “P” WORD is PROPS.

A prop can be as simple as a paper bag and a flashlight, like I saw at my first haunted house (JAYCEE’S I think) in Dearborn many moons ago. Or it can be an artistic complex electronic masterpiece, like we saw last season with DEMON FURY at HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS in GROSSE POINTE FARMS.

DEMON FURY was originally slated to be the center piece darling for DISTORTIONS at the 2020 TRANSWORLD SHOW, but it was canceled due to the worldwide Covid pandemic.

IF IT AIN’T BROKE DON’T FIX IT DUMMY

Every haunt would love to be able to completely re-invent itself every year with awesome props like DEMON FURY, but we know that’s not always possible. We never criticize haunts for not changing things up.

That said, we highly admire haunts that invest proceeds back into the haunt.

For those of you not familiar with DISTORTIONS, they’re a premiere source of highly distinctive haunt props. https://distortionsunlimited.com/

And JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON features some way cool DISTORTIONS characters that you can see in our FLICKR photostream: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/albums/72157650409830035

 

 

 

 

Rest In Peace, Adam T. Ladd
June 19, 1974 - May 30, 2014

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